What do socialists think of impossibilism, the view that capitalist reform is counterproductive to the achievement of socialism?Posted by T.Collins Logan on
I think there are several issues in play, all interacting with each other to create “the perfect storm:”
1. The Spectacle - Consumers become infantilized dependents of a capitalist system, always looking for something to buy to cure their woes. Reforms are often just another “commodity” peddled by plutocrats to pacify the exploited.
2. Superficiality - Many reforms are just wolves in sheep’s clothing. Consider B-Corps or “benefit corporations:” the objective may be noble, but many companies simply jump through the requisite hoops to differentiate themselves from competitors for the sake of profit - without any real commitment to the values they say they promote.
3. Unintended Outcomes via Values Inversion - Without changing the fundamental orientation of society to prioritize civil society and collective well-being above rent seeking, all reforms in capitalism will ultimately replicate the unhealthy priority of profit over people. It is inescapable; to rephrase a well-known adage: the arc of capitalism is long, and it always bends towards greed. For more on this topic, consider reading Reframing Profit.
4. Pernicious Corrosion - Capitalism is toxic to human being and planet Earth. Why try to perpetuate it at all…? For more on this, see The Case Against Capitalism.
However, even though I feel strongly about all of these issues, I believe there is an important demarcation between highly destructive chaos and a moderately destructive status quo. In other words: complete breakdown of our current system is not likely to result in an anarchist paradise, but something much worse (and much less facilitative of socialist ideals) than building on the democratic civic foundations that have already been laid. So the goal is to foment revolutionary transformations that can use at least some of our civic institutions and systems as a launching point. For more on why I think this, consider reading: Revolutionary Integrity.
My 2 cents.
From Quora: https://www.quora.com/What-do-socialists-think-of-impossibilism-the-view-that-capitalist-reform-is-counterproductive-to-the-achievement-of-socialism
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