Thursday, 12 March 2009

The twin myths of the “voluntary” nature of capitalism and social mobility

Some people seem to assume, particularly those who support capitalism, that somehow the capitalist system is voluntary. This is simply not true. Unless you live in a cave somewhere and are completely self sufficient it is compulsorily, in fact it is state enforced. You buy food from supermarkets, you buy your clothes from stores and are bombarded with commercialised tripe on TV, radio etc. We are all bombarded with the one way propagandafest which is the mainstream media. Not only that, but the vast majority of people are wage slaves. For those unfamiliar with the concept I will explain. Essentially a wage slave is someone who is dependent on a wage packet for survival. The Boss essentially owns you. He/she has power over you through the treat of either being made redundant or being given “disciplinary action”. In some cases the boss controls what you wear to work,What your hours are etc. The concept of wage labour is corrupt and completely immoral. The only difference between this and conventional slavery is that you are not literally whipped and chained and also you can choose your slave-owner.

Businesses and industries should be run through worker’s self ownership, preferably organised in voluntary, worker controlled co-operatives without any form of hierarchy.

The workers themselves should own the means of production (whatever tools necessarily needed for the job whether that be doctor, labourer or teacher-whatever) and make the decisions. No bosses, no employees and no hierarchy.

Defenders of the vampire known as capitalism say that people can be self employed if they want but the fact is that very few people can afford this.

Another myth, one that is in some ways is connected to the myth of voluntary capitalism is social mobility. Although there are the occasional exceptions, the rich always stay rich and the poor stay poor. This is one of the many signs of how horrible capitalism is. The inequality of wealth is a major side effect of this system. The broad mass of people is poor while a small minority are better off, with a smaller group being in the middle. This production of hierarchy is one of the major banes of capitalism. The class you are born into severely affects your role in society.

Most people are forced by necessity to live in homes “owned” by the council (an appendage of the state and in some way a mini-state in its own right.)- Although of course the capitalist notion of private property is based on theft.

Ownership should be based on personal use i.e. occupation.

Property is only ever valid when it is in the Proudhonian sense-in other words what he called “possessions”.

Only a few people can afford to buy their houses, even though if they live in them, then they really own them. It is only the tyrannical bifurcated fiend known both as “government” and “the state” which maintains that somehow someone can own a building or piece of land without actually using it or even ever going anywhere near it. This is theft and parasitism of the worst kind. If you rent something you are actually stealing from the “tenants” because they own the building or land through their occupation of that property. You are taking a cut of the product of their labour, i.e. any money they may have earned. If you own a building or piece of land and merely leave it to decay and make sure other people can’t occupy it, you are stealing from the community. People could use that. If no one is occupying it in any form, then no one owns it and anyone who needs it should be able to move in and use it themselves. There would be no homeless people if this were possible. This is why I support civil squatting, which is basically people who find derelict buildings and move in, using it to live. This is of course if they know for a fact that the property is not being used. I do not support people who squat in other people’s houses, when they know that there are already tenants. Of course if those tenants say “sure, you can move in with us”, then great. If, however they force their way in then that is unethical and is theft.

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