my most unpopular (yet pretty basic) opinion: things that people blame capitalism for in the current era are facets of humankind that in fact vastly pre-date the rise of capitalism in society, an will require a far greater re-engineering effort, whose shape is possibly hidden from sight by strictly anti-capitalist stances


I usually prefer the positive framing ("democratic socialism" as opposed to "anti-capitalism") and think of it as "necessary but not sufficient" change -- we also need to broaden the appeal of a secular humanist value system along with it.

The great diversity of social and economic organizing forms, both today and through history, shows that we absolutely can organize a society that rejects the profit motive and cancerous growth. In that sense, anti-capitalism is absolutely necessary.

@eloquence @mala Absolutely, but my reading of Mala's toot was more like: people who are anti-capitalist are prone to framing other things they don't like as being caused by capitalism, when in fact they predated capitalism. And therefore if we write them off as "symptoms" and expect them to fade away after capitalism dies, we will simply have failed to deal with them.
Common examples: inequality, slavery, racism, sexism, gender-bigotry, etc.

@eloquence @mala I think you're right that a more secular-humanist outlook can help but I would be skeptical of expecting all cultures to express "humanism" the same way. If we expect that all people adopting secularism will end up thinking alike, that's a sort of colonialism waiting to happen. After all, many traditional cultures' governances in Europe and elsewhere are/have been secular in nature and still very unfair by e.g. modern Irish standards.



Tolerance is a central value in secular humanism, but it also offers an alternative to religious dogma, and challenges dogma where it is used to justify the evils you mention ("inequality, slavery, racism, sexism, gender-bigotry, etc."). In that way it is distinct from secularism alone, which offers no alternative to dogma, and rarely challenges it.

In my view, a humanist socialism must walk the tightrope of embracing spiritual pluralism while challenging reactionary ideologies.


Depending on the concrete example and context, I may agree that anti-capitalist rhetoric obscures important causes. That said, capitalism certainly is a _proximate_ cause and a _specific_ ideology in its own right -- and it's particularly the addiction to cancerous growth and the willingness to completely ignore externalities (like, say, the destruction of our planet) that can be directly identified in it.

We must be anti-capitalist to survive as a species (necessary, not sufficient).

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