Comments on Peter Joseph’s book, The New Human Rights Movement, 2017

I have now read most of Peter Joseph’s book, The New Human Rights Movement, 2017. It can be summarized as a condemnation of capitalism because capitalism creates all the maladies arising from poverty, capitalism uses war  for economic gain, and capitalism has created our present ecological disaster because it disregards  collateral damage.  Peter Joseph proposes that we should create a consumer economy by using all the advances we have made in science and technology.

My reaction is like that of Noam Chomsky: it is a nice proposal. Chomsky, when asked for an alternative, said that he has been offering alternatives for years, which is libertarian socialism — based on worker controlled enterprises of small democratic communities federated into larger unit.

Peter Joseph seems to have missed the Marxist thesis that the necessary condition for capitalism is the existence of a proletariat.  Proletarians  are people who have been deprived of access to subsistence land.  In view of this, my proposal is — in terms of priority — to first give each person free access to subsistence land. Afterwards we can talk about the use of science and technology for mutual aid.

Joseph, Chomsky, and I have these ideals, but how do we realize them? The three of us say that it must originate with the people through a grassroots movement. However I have more specific proposals for grassroots movements. 1. Nations have to be decentralized. All groups should have the right of secession. 2. Governments should be based on the autonomy of small communities. 3. No individual should hold decisional power; all powers should belong to councils.

If this sounds utopian, then my realistic proposal is: imitate Switzerland.

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