Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chris Dillow — On Social Change

And perhaps we are seeing a slow-motion revolution. Credit unions and peer-to-peer lenders, owners of coffee shops competing against Starbucks, the steady rise in the numbers becoming self-employed, the growth of bloggers, tweeters and file-sharers are all taking small - not necessarily deliberate - steps away from hierarchical capitalism, just as early factory owners made small contributions to the industrial revolution.
What Erik Olin Wright calls (pdf) interstitial transformations can ultimately add up to more radical economic change than windbags on marches.
Stumbling and Mumbling
On Social Change
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle (UK)

I did a master's thesis in social and political philosophy entitled Revolution or Evolution: Toward a Theory of Social Change (Georgetown University, 1972). My conclusion was similar to Dillow's (evolution leading to revolution), but with a bit of a different focus.

I concluded that real and lasting social change occurs as a consequence of a change in the level of collective consciousness based partially on the integration of subjectivity with objective condition, especially growth of complexity, and partially on changes in subjectivity itself in the direction of greater universality. The latter is the chief reason that history has a liberal bias. Greater universality entails a greater range of freedom by expanding awareness of potential.

1 comment:

Tom Bergbusch said...

This is a nice vision, but I don't buy it. Co-ops are great, of course, and need appropriate public supports (at least equivalent to those already available to conventional firms), but people tend to open small businesses, and opt for self-employment, when the economy is doing badly because of insufficient aggregate investment spending, and high unemployment. Small firms and organizations depend on large capital investments by large firms. I am all in favour of local solutions and entrepreneurship, but let us not pretend that they are somehow a panacea.