“Capitalism is slavery!” vs “Socialism is slavery”

Another one from the anarchist fora on Facebook: which is the ideology that depends on (is most responsible for) slavery, capitalism or communism? Since communism is socialism refined to perfection, the two terms can be used interchangeably.
Ancoms keep reverting to “In capitalism, if you don’t work, you die of starvation.”
This makes sense, but does not turn work into slavery.
One argument against it, might be: “In capitalism, you own yourself, so if you wish to go hungry, you go right ahead and spend your money on things other than food. So working for money means you are a slave to nobody but yourself. If you don’t like a particular job, you quit and find something else (not necessarily in that order).
In socialism (not in Marx’s fairy tale version, but in the cold hard reality of life), nobody will work, because it’s more comfortable to sit on the sofa, get over your vodka binge of the previous night. Because initiative is not just not rewarded, but actively oppressed under socialism, there is not much else to do other than get drunk. You get the same amount of goods, whether you do something for them or not. That means there is no stimulus to achieve anything. So all human progress will come to a halt in Marx’s dream world.
Unless the small handful of central planners designs initiatives, which can not be smoothly, naturally introduced by entrepreneurs, but instead have to be forced through with brute violence, putting people to work in “corrective camps” (Gulags), to chop enough wood in the frozen tundra of Siberia for export, to enrich the centrally planning state apparatus. And to build train lines (which cost thousands of lives and hardly get used: no capitalist would waste such amounts of labor, time and money, only a Stalin would do that to punish people for not being perfect commies), to dig up nuclear material to make bombs.
Or speaking of death by starvation: central planning of the whole chain of agricultural production (production of tractors»digging up enough iron ore»planning for the mining industry, which requires people to be fed» planning for the agricultural sector)

Advertisements

Marx and inequality

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/opinion/karl-marx-at-200-influence.html
Celebrating Karl Marx’s birthday! Such a daring feast of being-wrongness can only be executed by the paper that hosts the oft refuted column of Paul #Krugman, who calls himself an economist, yet most of his writings are about how bad Donald #Trump is (there is indeed plenty to complain about with The Don) and how good mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton is and could I please have a job in your cabinet, miss? So, they’re about politics, not economics.
He’s no more than a very partisan politician.
Being partisan (on the side of the government, not the people) is ofcourse par for the course in politics. Power hungry humanoids.

Mikhail Bakunin was more right than Marx. At least according to the label in the article: “anarchist”. I know that many ancoms (ansrchocommunists) claim that Marx (and Lenin, Stalin) wanted a stateless world.
I have trouble believing tha. Not only because of the horrible?Soviet outcome, but also because Marx proposed a central bank, and there are quotes that refer to the role of the state.
I do not own a copy of Das #Kapital (though I have downloaded some digital versions of it, but their text could have been altered by removing undesirable passages, or adding content) so can in no way speak with any authority on the contents of the book. Which is a problem with holy books that offer instructions on how to live. It is also why #capitalism is the better #ideology: it actually is an ideology, unlike communism, which can be whatever you say it is, or rather: whatever you say lord Karl said. As his word is definitive.

educated liberal opinion is today more or less unanimous in its agreement that Marx’s basic thesis — that capitalism is driven by a deeply divisive class struggle in which the ruling-class minority appropriates the surplus labor of the working-class majority as 😘profit — is correct.

I do consider myself educated, so it is my view, that Marx proposed an ideology that is based on profound inequality, though an ever so slightly different one than existed in his time, but it was even more severe. In Marx’s time, the state colluded with big business, because their interrests alligned. Hence the Prussian model of education, where all children were trained to be around very similar ones (age, intellect, geography, wealth). Because #diversity would not a good regiment of soldiers or tame factory workers make.

#Inequality
Instead Marx proposed a system that could only be imposed by a powerful leader, who would seize power and transfer all power to him, away from the #people, where it rightly belongs. Such political inequality could only lead to economic inequality. Stalin forced people into the #Gulag as slaves that needed to be taught a lesson. And to help fund communism’s #BasicIncomeGuarantee, or #BIG, because slavery was the only way to make the state (pseudo) productive. The only thing the system could produce, was aversion leading to resistance, so the Gulag also served to keep people in line, aka exert political power over them. #Hegel apparently really thought the state was more important than the people.

Marx’s “surplus of the labor” is being taxed away by many a #socialist government, meaning Marx’s basic thesis is being perverted by socialists, that appropriate the surplus profits of the working #caste, for their own pleasures. #IncomeTax.
#Socialism is all about promoting/generating inequality; which is not something to celebrate. New York Pravda editors!
Better to celebrate the lives of Mises, Rothbard etc., because they are the only ones that proposed a system that stands a chance at leading to political (and #economical) equality. But oh no: those are too #progressive for that. Better to celebrate the birth of one of the most #conservative fantasts (alright, call him a thinker if you insist) of history.

Thanks to Brion McClanahan for sending me the link to the New York Pravda article.

Chosen currencies

Note: I have not yet read Hayek’s choice in currency, so I have no idea if this post duplicates or contradicts Hayek in any way https://mises.org/library/choice-currency-0

But here goes: what kinds of currencies have people chosen to use throughout history?

Of course it started with barter, but since food did not keep for long / was only available seasonally, more convenient means were sought. People liked gold, so started to do barter with gold as an intermediary, because gold is portable (though heavy), scarce, divisible (unlike a live cow) and in sufficient demand. Any monetary currency is a substitute for barter.

In Surinam, the people used to keep sugar as a retirement fund. Which had its downsides: insects would make off with your savings.

In the Gulag, people would sometimes make soups from plant leaves, those hungry from chopping wood on Siberia’s frozen tundra, were sometimes happy to trade in their shoes that kept their feet off the frozen top soil. those shoes were so scarce and desired, they were used as currency.

Then there is the inflation in (iirc) Brasil, which made the population look for a replacement for the official state currency, the peope chose bus tokens: those were small and easily portable (though not divisible), and could be exchanged for a bus ride.
The danger to such a system is, that because the tokens were still issued centrally by the bus company (which I presume was state-run), if the token money catches on, the state may take to inflating the currency (as they are wont to do) removing one more currency from the pool of convenient money substitutes. And wreaking havoc with the bus company’s planning of resource application.

Must a country (people) be led?

Without politicians, who would run the country? The only people that know about how to do so, are politicians.

Or that’s how someone thought to have countered my arguments against the state, on some BBS, some time ago.

Why would a country be the only way a group of people (society) can exist/be organized?
People are perfectly able to supply and/or acquire services, like sewage, trash disposal, housing, food supply without the state, in fact, if the state does those things, eventually, the wall will be demolised and Trabants will drive freely to the west. In countries were that has not happened (yet) starvation is de rigeur. Because aready, the state is incompetent at supplying stuff the people want/need. businesses already do that, and can and will want to continue doing that.

People have a tendency to follow lead(er)s; similar to a flock of geese, all changing direction; they follow the feathered creature at the front. Would this mean that without the state, people would just follow the lead of any random loud mouth, which would lead to anarchy? No, because without the state would already be anarchy: rulerlessness, aka statelessness. It would not lead to it. Fear that it would lead to chaos seems somewhat underwhelming. Following (strong) central leadership would be worse than chaos; Hitler (WW2, including holocaust), Lenin/Stalin (all of the USSR, including purges & Gulag), Johnson (Vietnam), Bush (Iraq, Afganistan), are examples of that; I’ll take disorder over either of those, any day, thank you.

Postscript:
In statelessness, there may some day arise a certain charismatically violent despot, who manages to amass a growing following. That is precisely my view on the origin of the state: violent bullies who have conquered tribes (familial societies), fear of anarchism leading to the formation of a new state seem founded, but are no reason to not abolish the current state, which is a contnuous threat to mankind. At the very least man could hope that the new state will be organized better (i.e. more in the service of the people), meaning more minarchist, instead of max-archist (totalitarian) as is the case now.
In anarchy, there is no central institution for them to take over. So a power grab would mean, they first have to create the power begore they can grab it: cumbersome and time consuming, and each individual unit of power may meet with resistance.
But I find it rather likely that the people, once accustomed to democracy, will oppose violent bullies, with the means at their disposal, which will likely include: a penalty for bad reputation: meaning that if someone is considered a threat to a society, they will find it more difficult to acquire food, shelter, etc.
Of course, some may be willing to sell those services anyway, but they will then have to face the consequences, of people bannishing them, etc. So even when businesses would be unscrupulous, the other customers need not be, revoking their custom from the businesses, in extremis making the business entrely dependent, on the one and only customer. No sensible businessman would want that, either for his oen interests, and those of his employees.
Keep in mind also, that society’s psychology has evolved over time, man has learned from the past, therefore people will still be oposed to slavery etc.

Socialism is not an economic philosophy

Rather it is a childish (therefore hazardous) political philosophy. ¹)
An economic theory will necessarily touch on production. All socialism talks about, is: “I breathe so you owe me stuff”, quote from Ben Shapiro. Because there is no price incentive, (nobody can earn any money) nobody will want to spend effort/time/materials producing anything.

So yes, the basic income guarantee will result in (see below): the Gulag system
Which is why, the economic miracle of the USSR, was only made possible by the inhumane system of Gulag-slavery. That was the only way the housing barracks got built, and the state “earned” income from exporting wood harvested by the slaves that were forced to work in the freezing Siberian winter. Which is where one tiny economic truism can be derived from socialism:

A money is any medium of exchange commonly used and valued by multiple people. (And preferably also portable, as implied by “exchange”)

Gulag slaves that had to work in the snow, on the permafrosted ground, valued boots enormously, sothey could be used for trade, if someone made a simple soup from moss or whatever, the most malnourished who were lucky enough to  sctually have boots could trade them for a portion. They could also have their boots stolen from them, by desperate prisoners (the official name for them was “zek” meaning “prisoner” though they were really slaves). Some enterprising souls would make their own footwear from bark and rope.

It’s typical for scammers (“Against the gods” on http://www.freedomainradio.com, under free books) to make fase claims like that: despotic, abusive, elitist dictatorships called themselves Democratic People’s Republics, slaves were prisoners (they did go quite far in that, by first accusing people of crimes against the state, or treason, or something)

¹): Childish so dangerous: since socialism can’t work, the rulers would get petulant about it and blame the not-working on the people, who obviously had no influence on the matter. This petulance created the iron curtain: people did not want to play anymore, but Stalin was not yet finished playing with them! So everyone who wanted to stop playing and leave would get murdered. And what does that say about the assassins manning the towers, operating the search lights and machine guns? They prbably were assigned to the job, and refusal would result in the Gulag.
So: socialism was either: the definition of sadistic maleficence, or it was utterly pathetic.

Definition of Fascism by Merriam-Webster is wrong

The dictionary definition of fascism is wrong:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascism

includes the statement

A political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

It is right in so many respects, yet becomes PC in one: it claims that fascism is racist; “exalts nation and often race”. Whie true that the facists (under Mussolini) attacked Ethiopia, where people of a different race lived. But this was only done for the greater glory of the political monstrosity called the nation.
Fascism wasn’t racist; at least it was not anti-semitic, there were some prominent fascists who were jews. It was only when the frustrated German socialists yanked the fascist strings (and even invaded Italy at one point) when jews got persecuted for their race.

Fascism was the ultimate expression of politics, and its spirit still lives on. The greater glory of the political construct (hence fable) was elevated above all other interests, including (especially) those of the people. This is eerily similar to the right-wing:

  • The right wing sacrifices the interests of the people to big business
  • The left wing sacrifices the interests of the people to their own petty pleasures.

One iftose pleasures will likely be “basking in the glory of a great nation”, this is were the lines between left and right blur: the left will find part of their desired glory in economic power (which led to Stalin’s Gulag slavery).

This is where the myth comes from that fascism means the integration of the state and the corporation: politics finds particular glory in economic power, sobusinesses get preferetial treatment. Also, because fascism is socialism, corporations were nationalized, which also fed the myth.

Basic slavery

If the basic income would get introduced, that would (in my humble estimation) lead to Soviet-style slavery to get the dirty jobs done (aka the Gulag),because there would be no possible (financial) incentive for people to do the unpleasant jobs, like building tall buildings. That’s how the Soviets ended up with the tall baracks complexes (“Apartment buildings”). They had Gulag slaves to dig the uranium out of the mines, they also used slaves to cut down trees in order to get the wood that was the premier Soviet export commoddity.