The Poor Masses

John K Clark (
Wed, 9 Oct 1996 22:47:25 -0700 (PDT)


On 8 Oct 1996 Suresh Naidu <> Wrote:

>competition cannot help worker conditions

Why not? One of the things corporations compete for is workers. If the working
conditions are bad I might move to another company even if they pay less,
provided they had pleasant working conditions. A company can not exist without
people, it's in their best interest to make workers as happy as they can or
they will leave and join a competitor.

>The coop may not be able to compete with the big
>corporation because they pay fair equal wages, while the
>big corporation may not.

Why couldn't you compete? If you have wonderful working conditions and pay
huge wages then nobody will want to work for your competition, the big
corporation, and they will go out of business, unless.... Unless the
astronomical wages makes the product you sell so expensive that nobody wants
to buy it, and then you would have no money to pay anybody anything. Silly me,
I just answered my own question, please ignore.

>1400$ per person in corporate subsidy, 400 dollars per
>person for welfare per year in tax dollars.

I haven't checked your figures but I have a hunch much of that is in the form
of tax breaks, if companies do certain things the government agrees not to
steal as much from them. If I decide not to stick a gun in your face today and
rob you of 50$, does that mean I've subsidized you? Should you thank me?

Having said that, I have no doubt the government does play favorites with
companies, by crushing competitors with force in the name of anti trust laws,
I'm also sure part of that 1400$ figure of yours is indeed a subsidy. I don't
think anyone or anything should be subsidized by tax dollars because I don't
think their should be any tax dollars.

>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.

I repeat my question because I don't consider that a satisfactory reply. In a
democracy, if I am unwilling to voluntarily give money to poor people why
would I vote for a politician who would force me to do it through taxes?
In a dictatorship, why would angering the most powerful people in society and
becoming a friend of those least able to help the dictator stay in power be a
wise move for him to make?

>Private property is abolished, as the only way to hold
>private property is by right of force

And the only way to abolish private property is by force. If you want to
live on a socialist commune that has no private property I have not the
slightest objection, and I wish you the best of luck, you'll need it. I do
have one very important question however, how do you intend to deal with
people like me who don't want to join your workers paradise and just
want to be left alone? Will you try to convince me to join by your splendid
example, by showing me how fabulously prosperous your community is and how
educated and happy the people are, OR, can I expect a knock on my door at 3am
from people wearing uniforms?

>Most crime comes from poverty,

And History has shown that the best way to get rid of poverty is to get rid
of private property, that's why the former Soviet Union is the economic
powerhouse it is today, that's also why it's a crime free paradise with the
workers having not a worry in the world.

>and the rest can easily be dealt with by citizens.

Easily?!! I think you and I must live on different planets.

>Quote from Sprint's CEO I heard last night that got me
>rather irate "Bill Clinton has been good for American

I'm irate too, the statement is not true, Clinton has not been good for
business, that's one reason I don't like him.

>>justice could be treated like a commodity, surely
>>the best way to maximize it

>I really don't see that. Explain.

In Anarcho- Capitalism, there would still be police and there would still be
law, but it would be private police and private law. PPL's (privately produced
law) in a anarchic world would have private protection agencies (PPA's) to
back them up. Disputes among PPA's would be settled by an independent
arbitrator agreed to by both parties BEFORE the disagreement happened.
Something like that can happen today. When companies sign complicated
contracts they sometimes also agree on who will arbitrate it if differences
in interpretation happen. Nobody want to get caught up in the slow, expensive
court system run by governments. The arbitrator would be paid by the case,
and because he is picked by both sides, it's in his interest to be as just as
possible. If he favored one side over another or made brutal or stupid
decisions he would not be picked again and would need to look for a new line
of work. Unlike present day judges and juries, justice would have a positive
survival value for the arbitrator.

All parties would have a reason to avoid violence if possible. The disputing
parties would not want to turn their front yard into a war zone, and violence
is expensive. The successful protection agencies would be more interested in
making money than saving face. Most of the time this would work so I expect
the total level of violence to be less than what we have now, but I'm not
such a utopian as to suggest it will drop to zero. Even when force is not
used the implicit threat is always there, another good reason to be civilized.

I'm not talking about justice only for the rich. If a rich man's
PPA makes unreasonable demands (beatings, sidewalk justice, I insist on my
mother being the judge if I get into trouble) it's going to need
one hell of a lot of firepower to back it up. That kind of an army is
expensive because of the hardware needed and because of the very high wages
it will need to pay its employees for an extremely dangerous job. To pay for
all this they will need to charge their clients enormous fees severely
limiting their customer base and that means even higher charges. They could
never get the upper hand, because the common man's PPA would be able to
outspend a PPA that had outrageous demands and was just for the super rich.
A yacht cost a lot more than a car, yet the Ford motor Company is far richer
than all the yacht builders on the planet combined.

No system can guarantee justice to everybody all the time but you'd have the
greatest chance of finding it in Anarcho-capitalism. In a dictatorship one
man's whim can lead to hell on earth, I don't see how 40 million Germans
could have murdered 6 million Jews in a Anarcho-capitalistic world. Things
aren't much better in a Democracy, 51% can decide to kill the other 49% ,
nothing even close to that is possible in Anarchy , even theoretically .

In general, the desire not to be killed is much stronger than the desire to
kill a stranger, even a Jewish stranger. Jews would be willing to pay as
much as necessary, up to and including their entire net worth not to be
killed. I doubt if even the most rabid anti Semite would go much beyond 2%.
As a result the PPA protecting Jews would be much stronger than the one that
wants to kill them. In Anarchy, for things that are REALLY important to you
( like not getting killed) you have much more influence than just one man
one vote.

> you can have too much liberty.

Well, unfortunately the world is structured in such a way that it's physically
impossible for everybody to have an infinite amount of liberty, it's probably
impossible to have an infinite amount of any virtue, but that doesn't mean it
has a limit, you can and should always strive for more. Equality on the other
hand has a limit, enough is enough.

>Operating a mill better tends to mean "how much wages can I
>take away without reducing the output of my workers.

Yes, but if I make my workers unhappy enough it will reduce their output to
zero because they'll quit.

>it is in the corporations interest to consolidate affluence
>so that it has no need to tailor it's product to different

The bankruptcy courts are littered with the carcasses of corporations that
ignored cultural differences and tried to get their customers to conform to
the companies wishes rather than the reverse. In general I can't imagine a
better or faster way to go broke.

>>dump the Government not the business.

>Ditch em both

If joining your "Anarcho-syndicalism" is voluntary then it's a business, if
it's not voluntary then it's a Government, if it's neither then it's nothing.

>business people have pretty much the same power as a

No they do not. If I don't like what a company is selling I don't have to
buy it, it makes no difference if I like what government is selling or not,
I must buy it or people will come to my house and drag me away.
Everybody agrees that force is justified in self defense, but government
claims far more rights than that, more than any sane individual or
corporation would dream of. If government needs money they take it, if I
object to them stealing my property they will use force to get their way,
as much force as they need to, up to and including a bullet in my brain.
They will NOT take "no" for an answer. I don't think Government should not
have more rights than individuals, but then of course, then they wouldn't
be governments.

>Theyre only worth 75 cents an hour to you because you can
>dictate prices to me

I could only do that if there are about a million people with talents equal to
or greater than yours who are currently making 0 cents an hour and would love
to have your job. You like equality so tell me, why do you deserve the job
more than they do, especially when you don't even like it?

>Human labour has been commodified, so all we do is sell it
>to others.

Not so, some labor we do for love, as when we take care of our children.
There are only 3 ways to get somebody to do something you want, love, trade,
or force. I like to encourage the first two and keep force to a minimum.

>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.

Yes, and a kid lucky enough to be born with genes that gave him a boiling
water IQ has an advantage over a kid who's dumb as dirt.

>I don't want it [ a peoples network] subsidized, I would
>like to see it come out of peoples homes.

That's not a subsidy? You would be using force to make companies spend
billions of dollars to pipe this drivel into everybody's house and waste
valuable bandwidth that most people would rather put to a different use.

>I would like to see decentralized media.

How much force are you going to use to get it? You will also need a
centralized power to decide when it is "decentralized" enough. Who is in
charge of this centralized power? Can I have the job? I promise that my only
interest will be in serving the public. Really. I would never lie to you to
you, my dear friends. I feel your pain.

If you believe that, I have some swamp land with oil on it that I'd like to
sell you.

>>AOL charges 10$ a month and you can communicate with
>>the world,

>Really, and how much does a computer cost

Well, I think you could probably pick up an old 286 with a 2400 baud modem
at a garage sale for 100$ or so. You may not think that's much of a machine
but just a few years ago it was hot stuff, it's certainly powerful enough
to expose the world to your ideas. If nobody is interested in your words you
can't blame the computer.

John K Clark

Version: 2.6.i