Re: The Poor Masses

Suresh Naidu (
Tue, 8 Oct 1996 18:17:38 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 5 Oct 1996, John K Clark wrote:

> Fine, sounds like something worth a try, sometimes a big corporation becomes
> ossified and is driven to extinction by a small fierce competitor. Maybe your
> co-op could do that, maybe not, the market will let you know.

My point is that competition cannot help worker conditions, nor can it
eliminate the authoritarian nature of business. The coop may not be able
to compete with the big corporation because they pay fair equal wages,
while the big corporation may not. The only advantage they have is that
people there are more motivated because the work they do is their own.

> >
> Politicians love business taxes because they are invisible to most consumers,
> they just lead to higher prices for everything. Corporations are robbed twice
> by government thugs, once as a business tax and then any profit that goes to
> shareholders is taxed again, both as dividends and capital gains.

1400$ per person in corporate subsidy, 400 dollars per person for welfare
per year in tax dollars. SOurce:Utne reader, I forget what issue.

> >you are likely to have talents that get you ahead in the
> >current economy. However, there are those that arent as
> >fortunate.
> The only hope these people have is to live on charity until they can learn a
> marketable skill. If most people do not feel charitable toward them then they
> are in deep trouble, but government can't help. If I am unwilling to
> voluntarily give money to these people why would I vote for a politician who
> would force me to do it through taxes?

The fact that we need politicians, who pretty much have the same class
interests as the business men to keep whatever semblance of equality
shows how messed up the liberal capitalist democracy system is.

What I propose is this:Anarcho-syndicalism, as advocated by Rudolf
Rocker and Noam Chomsky, souped up into a hi-tech version by yours truly.
Private property is abolished, as the only way to hold
private property is by right of force, and since there is no need for a
government to keep people in check, that would be abolished as well. Most
crime comes from poverty, and the rest can easily be dealt with by
citizens. Okay, ask me questions.

> I really don't understand it, whenever somebody wants to show how evil
> corporations are, they always come up with a long list of rotten things that
> governments do. Granted, few companies actively opposed these monstrous
> regimes, but that's not quite the same thing as instigating it, and anyway
> can you really blame them for not playing the hero, in most cases it would be
> economic if not real suicide.

It's not like corporations aren't actively prpping up these businesses.
Dole fruit , for example, keeps the aristocracy in power while the U.S.
keeps the military in power. Corporations and government are two sides of
the same elite group. They both support each other. Quote from Sprint's
CEO I heard last night that got me rather irate "Bill Clinton has been
good for American Business"

> It would really be great if that was true, then justice could be treated like
> a commodity, surely the best way to maximize it, but unfortunately it is not
> true .

I really don't see that. Explain.

> Equality is a second rate sort of virtue, you can't have too much justice or
> truth or beauty or intelligence or kindness, but you can have too much
> equality.

In the same way that you can have too much liberty. I don't think
everybody should be reduced to the lowest common
denominator. Instead, equal access to resources
to do with as you will, provided it doesn't harm
anyone else's access or human rights. This needs
some elaboration, which I will provide if asked. >

> Good heavens NO!!! I don't care for it myself but I definitely think altruism
> would be just perfect for you, and for everybody else for that matter. I have
> often said Anarchy is only the second best system, undoubtedly the best is
> one where everybody just does what I want them to.
> >If humanity is truly going to ascend and take our place in
> >the universe, a then we need to cultivate a sense of respect
> >and a little bit of compassion for each other
> True. I confess I was being a little glib before, but only a little. The
> truth is I engage in compassion myself, but I do so for selfish reasons,
> seeing somebody in pain makes me unhappy and if I am the cause of that pain
> then I'm even more unhappy.
> If I own a steel mill worth a billion dollars, that does not take money from
> poor people, just the reverse, it produces a product that people want and
> jobs that people need. I will be able to keep my steel mill only as long as I
> can run it as well or better than anyone else. The day somebody finds a way
> to operate a mill significantly better than I do is the day I go broke,
> unless I learn real fast and copy his technique. Having a public mob run the
> mill will produce little wealth for anyone.

Unless (gasp) the workers ran the mill themselves. Operating a mill
better tends to mean "how much wages can I take away without reducing the
output of my workers.

> Then it is in a corporation's best interest to expand its market and make as
> many people affluent as possible.

No, it is in the corporations interest to consolidate affluence so that
it has no need to tailor it's product to different
cultures. Make sure all the rich share the same
tastes, so they can buy more of the same thing.> >

> Then dump the Government not the business. We can live just fine without
> Government but we'd all starve to death without business.

Ditch em both


> Yes, I think the rulers of governments should do that, but it doesn't matter
> a bit what you or I think, our masters will do what they want to do. The
> reason the free market sometimes looks bad in debates like this is that
> people are comparing the market as it actually is, warts and all, with a
> mythical government lead by a man who always knows exactly what the right
> thing to do is, always has the moral courage to do it, and can convince those
> less wonderful than he is that it is indeed the correct path to take. A man
> like that never existed and never will, yet people keep thinking if we can
> just elect the right man everything will be fine.

I agree, but it's both the bankers and the rulers of
governments. The business people have pretty much the
same power as a politician. >

> It doesn't matter how much it takes to feed you, it doesn't matter how big
> your family is, if your services are only worth 75 cents an hour to me then
> that's all I would pay for them, unless I was giving charity. Don't
> misunderstand, that might be exactly what I decide to do, but I don't want
> to be forced and it shouldn't be confused for a salary.

Theyre only worth 75 cents an hour to you because you can dictate prices
to me, thanks to a very tangible power imbalance. Human labour has been
commodified, so all we do is sell it to others.

To fight the argument "so anybody can start their own business". Two
friends of mine tried, but they come from low income homes, don't have
any credit history, and thus it is virtually impossible to get a loan,
regardless of the merit of their idea(which I,personally thought would
sell). We like to pretend there is no class difference, but a kid who was
coddled by his parents and sent to a top notch private school has a
definite advantage over a kid born addicted to crack.

> If people think what is on this network is valuable then people will watch it,
> even pay for it. If people think it is worthless then I see no reason it
> should be subsidized, that would just result in a huge network that nobody
> watches, or should watch because it's junk.

I don't want it subsidized, I would like to see it come out of peoples
homes. I would like to see decentralized media. I don't
want another big corporate station open to the public, I
want the public doing their own media.

People won't have any need to do this as long as they are beat over the
head with establishment sound bites. Who am I to tell people what they
should watch? That's like saying the system in Brave New World was
acceptable because the people were happy.

> Costs a lot? AOL charges 10$ a month and you can communicate with the world,
> if anyone wants to listen. The real reason that people aren't demanding to
> read Mr. Joe Average's home page is the same reason public access television
> is so dull, Mr. Joe Average has nothing worthwhile to say. You may not be
> average but superior, if so then people will read your Web page, and nobody
> can tell how much money you have only how much talent you have.

Really, and how much does a computer cost, especially when youre trying
to pay the rent.

> John K Clark

Suresh Naidu