Just Say No to Commodity Fetishism: A Reply to Rakos

Jerry Ulman

Abstract


After touring the Peoples Republic of China plus several other worker states in Eastern Europe, Rakos (1988) concludes that capitalism is consistent with human nature (behavior principles) whereas socialism is not. In reply, I argue (a) that the fatal fiaw in his reasoning is the conceptual error of reductionism and (b) that his conclusion about capitalism is contrary to reality. Rakos fails to consider cultural evolution (Skinner, 1981). I consider capitalism as an evolved world culture in decline and present day worker states as the initial step toward the construction of a communist world culture - with the economic and political problems Rakos observed in them being transitional, not inherent. As evidence, I contrast the current political and economic reform programs of the Soviet Union and Cuba.

Key words: behaviorism, capitalism, communism, cultural evolution, Marxism


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