Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chains II

This is the second part of my "critique" of capitalism today.

I'd like to start off by saying that I understand the benefits of Capitalism. I might have made mention of this last time, but I would like to spell it all out right now. Capitalism was the economic system needed to increase developing nation's wealth and get things moving, politically and otherwise. Capitalism jump-started many wanna-be nations into working countries, and even, dare I say it, strengthened communities and more. My electricity, the water in my home, and more are all provided by the economic philosophy that is Capitalism. the question is,

at what price?

In my opinion, just like the feudal system, Capitalism has grown rotten with age. It was the Capitalists that toppled Monarchal and Feudalistic societies, leading to major progress as a human race. But, just as the people outgrew the increasingly corrupt and self-serving Feudalistic state, so do we NOW outgrow Capitalism. We can live with Capitalism now, but to me it just seems like we're prolonging the inevitable, and we're warping the old notion of what capitalism means (and it was pretty fucked up originally) into something even more monstrous.

I understand that the days of unregulated Capitalism are long over. The labor unions helped dissolve this. But what is left, this amalgam of government regulation that is in most cases just as corrupt as unregulated methods, and weak socialist programs (Social Security, etc) is an aberration. It seems to me to be the same as mixing opposing blood types--one rejects or outrightly negates the other. I will say that the slow chug to a more Socialist state is better than a straight Capitalist one, but even Socialism, in the form that it is recognized today, can lead to an oppressive and confining State that is just as bad as the coercion present in a Capitalist one.

Anarchist philosophy and theory is deeply rooted in Socialist concepts, that I can't deny. What I am asserting is that the form of Socialism that Karl Marx was talking about is skewed to the side of authoritarians and bullies. I will not debate the worth of Marx's Communism here, though I might in a later entry. Let me just say that, unlike some Anarchists, I do respect Karl Marx and his political theories.

Back to Capitalism though....

How can the owners of the machinery, the bosses etc., treat us like their automatons? When we experience an economic recession or depression, the Capitalists think that they can turn off the workers (through wage freezes and pink slips) just like they turn off the heat or electricity. Capitalists see the labor force, the people doing the work for the owners of the machines, as a commodity that can be manipulated and warped. People are not commodities, and we are not meant to be used and treated like machines. In this respect I think both Marx and Bakunin were right--The State applies both alienation and coercion in equal doses on to the proletariat.

Keep in mind, the proletariat of today has changed. No longer are they the agrarian farmers, peasants and laborers of the Industrial Age. Today they encompass everyone from the dry-wall cutter to the steel-mill worker, all the way to the white-collar cubicle monkey. No one deserves to be so enslaved, in any sense of the word, and slavery is what Capitalism thrives on.

They need us, we don't need them. Never forget that.


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