democracy: governance by and for the people, the people govern themselves, the people decide on how the nation is governed dictatorship: a country is governed by one person, the whole nation is doing or forced to do the will of a small minority Summary Table of contents Summary Democracy, forms Context Dictatorship, Capitalism, Socialism, Democracy The Limits of Democracy Morality of trade Revolution, system change ! End Capitalism Socialism Markets Companies, financial pressures (picture) Companies, market pressures (picture) Capitalism development (picture) Investor choices (picture) Post Revolutionary Constitution [Action] Revolution Good work by Moses Non-profit finance fund set up prototype Discussion Self Critique `What about me ?!' Epilogue DAVID text simulation
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|dictatorship, police state||form of government where the will of the people is expressed through violent battle with security forces of the state, and other forms of physical resistance; if no such will is expressed, the state can evolve into becoming a monarchy|
|monarchy||form of dictatorial government where the job of being the dictator is handed from father/mother to son/daughter|
|constitutional monarchy||the power of the hereditary monarch is limited by laws which he/she may not change; this form of government has a form of representative democracy, expressing the limited power of the monarch|
|represented democracy||form of government where the people vote for "politicians", who lose their power after a predefined amount of time, after which the process repeats|
|constitutional democracy||the power of the elected politicians is limited by laws which they can not change easily|
|winner-takes-all||the politicians-group with the most votes, even if not a majority, forms the new government|
|coalition government||politicians-groups must cooperate with other politicians-groups until the combined group has a majority, the combined group forms the new government|
|Republic||form of representative democracy without a monarchy element; every member of government is elected by the people (directly or indirectly)|
|Direct democracy||form of government where the people decide and vote on issues "directly"; this form of government is often mixed with representative democracy|
|Suffrage||People who are allowed to vote for government|
|Rich only||Historically first only the most powerful/rich were allowed to vote|
|Everyone||Eventually under pressure from the less elitist more people were voting, until everyone except children voted|
|Workers only: Soviets||System that only allows votes to people who do productive work, who elect a factory body which elects wider bodies until the state government is elected: bottom-up democracy, based on employees, particularly large factories. Macro democratic organization as a function of micro democratic organizations, for the direct purpose of denying exploiters the power of state.|
|Civil war||Physical violence between different sections of the people of some region, often fighting for power/influence over the same territory; often devastating|
|Revolution||Physical violence between the people against their (previous) government, this can result in a new government; often in reaction to devastating circumstances|
|Strike||Refusal to work, denying government the proceeds of that work, putting pressure on those depending on it; striking people may be helped by non-striking sympathizers or saved funds for this purpose, because striking often denies strikers their income|
|Solidarity strike||striking to make a strike by other people more powerful|
|General strike||strike by all or most sectors of productive activity; strike of workers as a class against the present leadership|
|Boycot and Donations||Selecting trading partner for other reasons then price/quality of directly received product|
|Demonstration||Mass gathering to "demonstrate" opinion to government and/or other people|
|Petitioning||Circulating a written opinion and gathering written support statements from people on it, which are then presented to a government which has been unwilling to address the issue in the direction of the written opinion|
|Voting||System to measure opinion in a group: members of the group are typically asked to perform a small task that encodes their opinion, these opinion-tokens are then counted, after which a predefined action is to occur depending on which opinion(s) gathered most support|
|Hand raising||The members meet, and raise their hand when they hear an opinion they agree with|
|paper ballot||People are presented with a list of options, they can mark their opinion and deposit the paper in a box; the contents of the box is often counted in public view and/or by committees selected to form a neutral group, to prevent fraud; voting is often monitored by special vote-monitors; sometimes secondary voting takes place, to get a second result which can be compared to the first|
|object-token||People get a token for each opinion, and deposit the token encoding their opinion in the vote-box and the rest in the not-vote box (ancient system, hardly in use today; but not unlike voter verified voting)|
|Electronic voting||People press an area encoding their opinion on a sensitive electronic machine, the machines are (presumed to have been) build to count all votes together automatically; control of vote-counting is in the hands of a small group creating/verifying the technology, and the crackers attacking the systems; supported by compuphobics politicians and naive voters|
|Electronic voting with "Paper Trail"||Voting machine that prints a paper ballot for the voter to verify and cast by hand, combines paper ballot and electronic voting techniques|
|Tell one person||Voters tell one person their vote, this person comes forward with the total; similar to Electronic voting but with the voting machine substituted by a human being (hypothetical system, not in use)|
|Voter verified voting||system where each token representing opinion has been marked and/or is being marked by the voter, all votes are later displayed allowing voters to "verify" their vote; tokens are randomly distributed to voters for anonymity|
|Free vote (loosely defined)||Voters can form their vote creatively; voters may explain
their vote in more detail;
voters may define their own subsidiary voting process inside
the comment space, also giving the power to ask questions to voters
(This combined with "voter verified voting", is the voting process of the sede computer program)
|trade||Swapping services/goods in an agreed quantity; when power is equal between the trading partners both swap a comparable amount of effort, when power is unequal the effort exchanged becomes unequal|
|capitalism||A system of trade that allows the trading actors to be themselves traded; creates a separate influence on the trading actors besides consumer choice; stimulates high excess profits, businesses of a more dictatorial type able to keep wages low and profits high, resulting in higher investor profits; ideology: "Be a winner, use the losers !"|
|socialism||system aiming to supersede capitalism because of the high and unfair disparity between rich and poor; stimulates directly democratic businesses; brings finance under direct government control; has historically viewed trade itself as part of capitalism, as it has little value when people have no excess money to play with; ideology: "Workers of all lands, unite !"|
In a dictatorship, a minority dishes out orders and the majority
must follow them or receive some kind of punishment. Virtually all
of modern businesses have this type of organization. This is
a reflection of several factors.
- Workers apparently don't care enough to resist dictatorship in their immediate environment.
- Consumers (for the most part off-duty workers) are greedy enough to fall for the lower prices dictatorial businesses can provide ... and/or don't see the connection with their own working conditions.
- Too many people dream too much of being rich themselves, preventing support for a maximum on personal wealth. Without such a maximum, capitalism is invited. The resulting poverty creates the wish of being rich.
- The people in general do not seem to recognize sufficiently, that big financial investments are 1. a task of democratic government, 2. not part of the actual markets, but the place which trades the actual markets. This trading with enormous amounts of money of businesses that actually provide services/products, is taking place in the interest of profits for the inherently unproductive financial pseudo-markets. The financial pseudo-markets comprise a gambling industry, where productive people are the horses running the race, and producing the rewards for the winners of this pseudo gambling industry. Note: the actual casino gambling industry (poker games, slot machines) is part of the productive markets; the entertainment industry, providing its own games for amusement and selling them in competition with other forms of entertainment, just like - in a certain way - every productive business.
- People and especially media/politicians seem unwilling to make sense of free market values. The free market is a "good thing", because 1. it allows consumers choice (which is power, democracy), 2. it allows people to organize themselves (freedom, direct consequences to activity), 3. it makes sure unproductive companies go down automatically (survival of the most popular). For the free market to operate at all, politicians seem to have taken to the idea that they must stimulate *competition for extreme wealth by extreme minorities*. That is not what free market values are about, although it may be what these politicians are about.
For there to be *choice* for consumers, privatization is not always necessary: one can split a productive "group" in such a way that consumers can choose. For instance they are allowed to choose between varies government-owned hospitals. The democratic government (that is the people themselves) can then control the hospitals both from above and below. The hospital which does attract more costumers is doing something better, which is valuable information. If one hospital doing badly does not change, it might have to be reduced in size, losing jobs. There is no need to privatize hospitals and cater to monstrous greed, for there to be consumer choice, free market operations, incentives to deliver quality work.
For there to be consumer choice, there have to be many different companies to choose from, and new businesses must be able to start up quickly, and badly behaving companies must be able to die off quickly and without trouble. Some industries are able to meet these criteria perfectly. It is for instance quite easy to open a bar, or a small shop, and if one of them goes under that is not a great problem at all. This results in there being in the region of at least 20, 30 or more offerings to costumers, to buy their goods (in cities). This large amount of offers means costumers can get good services and fair prices. There is always pressure on existing businesses to not start behaving like a monopoly, from new startup companies.
Some industries however are patently unable to provide even the most rudimentary consumer choice and therefore market operation. The best example of this is probably the railway. Is it possible to have 10 or more train companies offering costumers the same ride in the same hour as the traveler may wish to travel ? For that, you need to have 10 tracks side by side, which is expensive. The result is that with free market operation, prices will be extremely high. Can you trivially start up train companies, can one be allowed to go bankrupt and have its components scrapped ? It is certainly possible to privatize a train company, but that does not buy free market operations. It only buys a monopoly, which is much worse then a government managed system, because a government managed system is at least controlled by the people from the top (through democracy), while the monopoly is a private dictatorship of a section of the economy.
In practice, any industry that will probably always have fewer then 20 to 30 serious and roughly similar offerings to a costumer, may need to be seriously looked at as an industry that may not be suitable to privatization type free market operations. It may need other ways to ensure the people have their power over that type of system, like (fractional) government ownership. When the number of offerings is low, the market becomes a "sellers market", under excess power of the sellers causing prices to rise. There are also likely to be explicit or implicit pricing agreements. It should be noted that businesses do not need to meet in order to negotiate a price cartel. They all know (are presumed to know) the margins of their business, if a company raises prices for no particular reason, it is an obvious invitation to other companies to do the same: no secret meetings required, no laws broken. Only with sufficient offerings to costumers can this danger be reduced, as the chance is higher someone will not play along but grab the chance to choose a lower price, higher volume and grow that way. For this reason, no business should probably ever be allowed to control more then 5% of the market, and if it does there may have to be additional safeguards to make sure it does not overprice. This is especially true in markets that are hard for startup companies (like public transport, energy production, mining, investment banking). The natural choice is that the democratic government increasingly comes to control the company, providing a natural slope toward complete government ownership for companies that have a 100% market share (monopolies).
Such things seem all but too obvious. Capitalism is not about free market, it is a cancer that eats the free markets, stimulates dictatorship in business, and then in government as governments come under increased pressure from the business dictatorships. Although retail investments and retail banking can be part of the regular productive markets and/or are not a great threat to the free markets and democracy, above a certain amount of money the power becomes so great that it becomes a matter of national interest, and national importance. What exactly this point is is up to the people.
To combat capitalism successfully, and protect free markets and democracy, military peace (etc), I guess choices in this direction and in the same venue, which actually stimulate the free markets (but not unwanted greed), may work while not being shocking to the economy/society. The "free market" is a good play garden for people, where they can organize themselves along varies principles. It is up to the consumer to make decisions about these things: if consumers are greedy, they stimulate low prices, and therefore bad working wages. It is their choice, their greed. If consumers distinguish between companies on the basis of how employees are treated, if they are willing to know, find out, and pay for it, other companies would be more successful, in turn hiring them as well.
But this can not work under a free financial "market of markets", with its negative selection on adverse working conditions and stimulation of excessively aggressive competition between producers (too much money available for all kinds of nonsense). Controlling "Big Money" is a task of democratic government, just as "Big Power" (the army, the police), and Justice are (among others, like health care, probably). Trade does not work for these problems. Moreover: `investment banking' with "Big Money" is by definition a monopoly business, because if all or most people owned enough "Big Money" to become a player, inflation would have wiped out all that money. Other problems include that a normal trade involves a swap of "productive effort", trading "Big Money" itself does not involve such a swap: it is not a `real swap' (only people who initiate an investment with earned money are conducting a `real swap'; but that is not "Big Money", it is peanuts and mostly irrelevant for the economy as a whole (suggestion: "invest" in a better world by donating to a Good Cause, spend the money for something real, or invest in the business you work in yourself ... private investment for profit is immoral, because other people do the work and if you could invest you could also donate ... why does an investor need the profit if he can already do without the primary sum ?)).
Other interesting solutions are the taxation on financial movements, or the theoretically elegant but perhaps practically complicated `giving every person 1/population of the Earth, as an inalienable right'. Wealth concentration is the main cause of poverty, and therefore the cause of a high birthrate and therefore overpopulation (war), and wealth concentration causes much unnecessary environmental pollution.
In the days of the world wars and depression, the rich had their ocean liners with the luxury of Royal palaces. Today, the rich are building aircraft with the same type of luxury on board. This type of luxury has little to do with satisfying genuine human desires (as part of the motivation to keep people interested in being productive). It is part of a quest to appear superior, to put others in the dust. Worse still: these rich people are often not productive at all, severing the link between being productive and wealthy. This quest for domination is part of animal instincts that had their place before the dawn of technology. It is aimed at generating bodily violence and death, that is its purpose.
Limitless greed is a raging cancer, terminating the understanding of mutual interest between people.
Democracy ensures that the majority of the people get their way. Since the majority is usually in more places, is being confronted with the results of choices more then a minority, the system not only ensures most people learn something from a mistake, the majority also usually has the most interest in good decisions.
However "usually" is not "by definition", it is perfectly possible to have a majority that is exploiting a minority. The system can be democratic, but it could be the minority which is feeling the results of the bad decisions, while the majority is making them. The majority might then never learn anything, the situation can become stagnant.
This is the an obvious limit, where democracy fails to perform in terms of skill progress by making mistakes, and in terms of defense against an exploitive and abusive minority. The answer seems to be, that within the rules of "democracy" has to be included, the right to decide to what group you want to belong. If you are forced to belong to a certain group, but always loose there, that is "no good". A person should at least win some of the votes, for there to remain an interest to stay within the group.
In the earlier example: the exploited minority decides to form their own group, on a defined territory. Now the majority has to face the realities of life on their own, they will become better because of this. The formerly exploited minority can form their own culture, and needs to address the issues of making choices. Eventually both regions would probably be better for it, and could even merge later.
In addition to this reason for sub-groups: localized and decentralized democratic groups and subgroups, means decisions and decision making procedures are closer to the people it concerns, therefore more democratic. But some decisions may still need to be made by the largest group (if they affect everyone) ... :
This problem is the same as the problem of `freedom'. Freedom is good, as long as everyone can have it (equality), and as long as that freedom is not abused to hurt/exploit other people (solidarity). What a murderer calls freedom, is what its victim calls crime; what a good person calls equality, a criminal calls oppression; what a positive person calls the freedom to do good or solidarity, a criminal calls insane. Freedom is nothing without equality and solidarity. Nothing but a license to misbehave, exploit, murder and torture. (Sorry for stating the obvious (again and again ...).)
The current modern armies are not a defense force, they have offensive weapons and are ordered to use them for conquest and general destruction. The armies of the world have to be (partly) retrained, to deal with natural disasters areas, and for a guerrilla type defense strategy, which is completely and always contained on the home territory, prepared to fight a foreign occupation that has already invaded and officially taken over the country. Such a defense strategy may even want to take the acts of this occupation force into account, because in some cases an occupation force that is not misbehaving, might be better dealt with peacefully and politically. The aim is not to keep the current powerful and rich in power, the aim is to protect the people and democracy (long term).
For this to work, some of the money saved on hardware could be diverted to a salary increase for the soldiers, until they retire. They would be doing dangerous work (danger bonus), they would be retrained (contract breach of sorts), some may need to be bought (bribe) which may end up being cheaper then the alternative; all who end war deserve a reward. Many army people will probably be much happier doing something constructive and honorable, rather then destructive and criminal. It is just a happier business.
Such things should naturally be implemented especially by the most offensive powerful country, but even other countries probably should start with such a strategy immediately (if they haven't already), because it can be the reason for the collapse of such a powerful military from the inside in time, even if such a military is able to inflict significant damage somewhere. The political forces supporting a powerful military will increasingly run dry of reasons to make their case. Even in countries with powerful armies, the local people seem only to support this for mostly just causes. Only a small minority in any country seems to support conquest for conquest. Deprived of (rich) dividends of conquest and especially long term control (because democracy fights back), all that modern military hardware can produce, is destruction. That is not something any population will stand for in the long run, and it should be a contributing factor to internal collapse of the popular support for an offensive military. To make the case "at home" for attacking a country which has made it clear has no offensive military, because it strives for long term world peace, will be harder. To conduct such an attack anyway, could contribute more to the collapse of the platform for offensive war.
The alternative is more and more weapons, more and more war, which will reach higher and higher levels of destruction previously unimaginable, because military hardware is rapidly becoming more and more destructive. The continued war will continuously provide "solid" reason for more weapons. The loop has to be cut somewhere.
Sorry again for stating the obvious. The real question is of course: why is it taking so long. Most people don't care, I guess.
Disclaim: when things of democratic nature are being implemented, especially democratizing ("nationalizing") ``big money'' and/or reforming heavy army weapons, it is possible/likely that regions that do not reform and rich local people, will attempt to harm as much as possible the reforming region in any possible way, in an attempt to "prove" that the changes do not work (it has happened, it is happening). The real effects may become completely lost in this type of war. Disclaim more: The economy and production should shrink, then stabilize, to make room for nature and her recovery: reduction of available luxury. When the world is made fairer, some regions, perhaps entire continents, will permanently lose a level of luxury currently being imported from other regions. If luxury is the aim of human life, don't follow this plan.
* Cancer tumors always want "more, more more".
* Capitalists always want "more, more more".
* Cancer tumors pretend to be healthy, part of a healthy organ: lungs,
bone, muscle, etc. Enough cells buy into this, the tumor escapes attack.
* Capitalists pretend to be a healthy part of trade: swapping of productive effort between producers. Enough people in error buy into this, the capitalists remain.
* Cancer tumors are not productive parts of the body, if anything they
are destructive, especially if there is too much cancer.
* Capitalists are not productive parts of society, if anything they create a class society, especially if there are too much of them.
* The "job" a tumor concerns itself with, is consumption of body resources.
* The "job" well developed inner capitalists concern themselves with, is consumption of products and services.
* The cells in the tumor can be said to have taken on their own life,
divorced from the goals of the body. They have individualized, treat
the body as in principle hostile, a kind of host, eco system. They
take the risk of turning against their own larger body, a kind of mutiny.
* The capitalists are only interested in improving their own well being at tremendous cost to others and society at large. The job they usually are concerning themselves with is "taking personal risk" with things already stolen. This serves no purpose of society (although society is made to think it needs it, capitalists failing this task won't last).
* Cancer eventually infects the whole body, making it suffer and ill.
* Capitalism eventually infects the whole society, making it suffer and go to war.
* Cancer eventually kills the host body, then dies itself too.
* Capitalism is the driving force behind global environmental destruction in its quest of forever more and more, eventually likely to devastate the world which could end modern civilization in its current form at least.
But there is also an important difference: in a healthy body, all cells start out as good, although they may in the distant past have behaved hostile to each other. In society, which is still closely descendant from apes and full of animal type mutual violence, individuals can have different ethical development, and can often have a conflicting moral inclination. The Capitalists can be said to simply be the most morally backwards parts of humanity, rather then a mutiny of otherwise healthy individuals. In that sense, the social/technical progress of humanity means that those not changing with it, are increasingly behaving as if they were sick, while they in fact remain the same, retain their human-to-human violent tendencies. This seems stupid, but could be a biological adaptation: if all individuals drastically change, a species can't recover easily when the conditions revert. By now the change of humanity is taking so long relative to technological progress, that those who haven't changed are initiating a change back to prehistoric levels of society themselves. Rather then be reserve players "just in case something bad happens", they are self creating this "something bad". I guess therefore, that capitalism/crime have outstripped their usefulness for survival, even under the most advantageous analysis.
That sounds rather harsh. How about this: if society doesn't want to rid itself of capitalism, it may not possess the intelligence, strength and/or interest needed to survive high technological development. It is the job of the capitalists not to make it too easy for humanity.
It is probably true that a stable free market is to a degree a luxury item, because it can only sustain itself if all people have money well above subsistence, and are therefore able to factor in social, political and environmental issues. Such luxury may have seemed unimaginable in the 19th century, with workers dying of starvation and poverty. Under such conditions, nationalizations of some or all industries may be prudent, to be able to alleviate immediate suffering. Market freedoms are no excuse to let people die from hunger and disease !
Because of the fundamentally erroneous analysis of market operations and trade, the solution with respect to "ownership" could not be in the direction of fractional ownership, "for each person something". That was likely to stimulate many different businesses and market operations between them, which was expected to yield bad results. The reverse solution was collective ownership or "no ownership". Unfortunately "collective ownership" in practice means: ownership by the leaders of the group, who are then enticed to become the exact same type of exploiters (eventually). "Collective ownership" seems to be a hollow phrase, "no ownership" is even worse. With fractional ownership, people have the freedom to pool resources to have the benefits of a collective, but retain individual power (democracy), final control. Marx also seems to have coined the just stupid term "dictatorship of the proletariat" (although it was meant to mean `democracy'), and failed to realize that after the "bourgeoisie" had been ejected, that it would disintegrate and could not be found anymore. Where would it hide ? In whatever body of power (eventually) ! Always on the lookout for positions of power, through deception or whatever ... it is the nature of "the beast". Marx' theory of a revolutionary avantgarde (club of revolutionaries), which was - essentially - to rule the "ignorant masses" (apparently) and guide them to their liberation, is a problematic strategy. The concentration of power is the method, principle and goal of bourgeois, criminals and naked animals alike. It is this concentration of power, in state, business and ownership which denies people their power to make their life better. The foremost revolutionary strategy of Marx carries in it the essence of what is the problem, it proposes a continuation of the class society albeit under new names and with a new moral demand placed on "the new leadership class." It is a sacrifice of (democratic) principle for tactic, which is in principle a bad strategy in the long run. Since Marx' was probably going to be part of this revolutionary elite class, he shows himself to be perhaps somewhat part of the bourgeois problem ... This tactic results in a situation of tyrannical rule by the revolutionary club after a successful revolution, which is then supposed to step down and submit itself to democratic elections. That is possible in theory but unlikely in the case of corruption. The power concentration attracts the wrong people, the chaotic situation after defeat of criminal rule makes proper election difficult, the role the masses are assigned does not promote a working democracy after the revolution.
Apology: Since workers were working, they have had little time to develop a theoretical understanding, especially since they had to fight tactical battles day to day with the capitalists, and attempting to survive poverty and abuse. But, the social battles of the past (Marx included) have freed up a lot of time for us now, which we can use to build more accurate theories. One of the explicit goals of the past battles has been exactly that: to free time in order to be able to develop another culture.
In many ways the most famous theoretical parts of Communism are a pure anti-thesis of Capitalism. The famous Communist theorists have suggested that history progresses from `thesis' ("what exists"), to its `anti-thesis' ("its opposite"), to a `synthesis' ("going beyond both"). The theories of Communism around 1900 were only the anti-thesis, the rejection of capitalism; it had little in the way of a self confident alternative. Its theories were pretty much the opposite of everything that Capitalism said, whether good or bad. A real alternative "should be developed later". The name anti-capitalism most closely conforms all that is was and is Communist, a telling name for an `anti-thesis.' These theories (certainly Marx) also rejected what was good about the things that existed, namely a level of State Democracy (certainly better then tyranny), and free markets (completely misunderstood by most Communists). Holding these (somewhat superficial IMHO) communist theorists to their own theory: they form the anti-thesis and therefore not a solution. We now seem to live in a period where both primitive Capitalism and primitive Communism have more or less historically failed. Capitalism failed because it does not solve ownership and private Capital; Communism failed because it organizes a multi million person society as if it were just an extended family in need of a little discipline, ignoring the potential for corruption, self generated renewal (cleaning) and diversity. Democracy is a good system, always supported by the (original) Communists, but it is not enough to organize the whole state as one singular democratic block: states are too big.
Perhaps the ideal `freedom' captures Capitalism as in: `freedom run wild' (too much freedom to accumulate Capital and ownership, turning freedom into slavery for the many); the ideal `brotherhood' captures Communism: `brotherhood run wild' (too much slavish belonging to a massively sized collective, ultimately turning brotherhood into tyranny). Which would leave the ideal `equality'. This is just a play on words, but may have some historical merit since it seems to fit events.
As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can
both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry,
and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the
greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render
the annual value of society as great as he can. He generally,
indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor
knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of
domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own
security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as
its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his
own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an
invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his
intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it
was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently
promotes that of society more effectually than when he really
intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by
in `The Wealth of Nations.'
A.Smith as champion of free market operations, did probably not recognize that under capitalist conditions - private investment of sums of money so vast that they have collective influence, by definition a monopoly sector and therefore in principle in need of break-up or nationalization - these private investments create a second form of free market pressures on businesses, besides consumer choice. The theory of a free market is simple and elegant: have a lot of businesses, let the costumers - who are also working and organizing businesses - sort them out. The true elegance of it, is that the costumers can decide what they think is important in these businesses. Perhaps price/quality, perhaps not. It can go all ways, and is therefore democratic and open ended (free). Unfortunately this elegant solution does not describe a capitalist free market, it only tells half the story. The other half is, of course, that private investors - playing with a collective power, and not with an individual power because of the size of the money - are distorting this elegant solution. Investors want something, and they have to always want the same thing: profit. Marx saw this correctly, capitalists (but not individual costumers!) have to always strive for profit, because those that don't are soon out of money and drop from the pool of capitalists. This profit comes from a share of the profits of companies, this share can be greatest when the profit is greatest. Profits are greater when production costs are lower and market share is greater, therefore investors always have to invest in businesses that cut wages, and have a strategy "to take over the world". Which can eventually create monopolies, breaking down trade from the amount of choices available, while it is already forcing down wages, forcing costumers to look more and more for lowest price, terminating this democratic and open ended promise of a free market. Another possibility is a finance sector which continuously and consciously plays "divide and conquer" against industry, so as to keep industry in a state of dependence and mutual strife, while finance itself is left free to pick up the profit. Profits of companies have to be centralized, otherwise they can not be extracted: this requires dictatorial forms of business. Hence, investors will have to invest in business dictatorships, rather then in democratic businesses. Those that don't follow the dictate of "pure greed", lose out in the race to become the biggest and most powerful capitalist. The more powerful a capitalist, the more it can set more things in its advantage, crushing other capitalists. The direction of private investors is always to ultimately destroy free trade from both ends, choice and wages; that is: the freedom to decide on what basis to decide. All people are forced to adopt `maximization of wealth', are forced to be each others enemies.
There is therefore a significant difference between the profits of a company, and the profits of a private investor. Profits of the first are primarily a function of free market operation, effort, luck and talent. Profits of the private investors are always parasitic and destructive, destructive to the host body: free markets.
A solution to this seems to be to go back to the elegance of free markets: build an investor who does not by definition seek more (and more and more) wealth. Who is this magical investor. The democratic majority: the people. The people as a group are a collective force, to them belongs the power to direct sums of money that can not be fairly generated by one person from honest labor. Small amounts of money have a private "force", enormous amounts of money are a collective "force". The simple solutions seems to be: there will be a maximum on what any one person is allowed to own, all above it falls into the collective domain, and is decided by a collective democracy of producers/costumers. It will of course be good to compute a sustainable goal income, or compute the world/region average income as a goal. Policies and action would center explicitly around "balance", rejecting the principle of an open ended "more". People with power obviously should not have a high income at all, because it is the clearest possible sign that person is missing the skill to handle power/money on someone else's behalf.
When trade is being destroyed, the race for capitalists would be on to become part of a new land lords class of direct owners and slave drivers. The capitalists jump the ship of free trade which they have exploited effectively when it is breaking down, and return society to its prerevolutionary state in some way or the other. However, no well developed disease kills the host, destroying trade in favor of a more explicit and simple form of dictatorship. The people have resisted it before. The fogginess and divisiveness of capitalism prove effective; the multitude and life cycles of volatile businesses, the uncertainties of the job market and political, military, criminal or whatever else attention grabbing issues, keep the people in general unhappy, uncertain, confused, divided. It can be said that the democratic revolution is still in progress: control over collective sized money is still not there. It should be part of a ministry of finance, and probably be under extremely detailed democratic control. In a real sense: capitalism is the ultimate corruption of the ministry of high finance.
A danger with this solution is if it is implemented in name "nationalizing banks", but without practical real time democratic control over state investments. That would only create a monopoly bank, who by virtue of monopoly is able to misbehave perhaps even worse, although it must at least pretend to produce for the public interest. What is termed "investment profits" under capitalism, would be renamed "corruption". Solution to this might be to fracture the ministry of finance and its investments, into branches for different industries. The top democracy would allocate maximum amounts to be invested in all the industries, people working in these industries could use their experience, interest, and democratic leverage to direct these investments. Private banks would be reduced to being a services industry, rather then wield the Control they do now. They would be assigned to deal with money below a certain amount, such that retail services would be available, but not grand economic/political influence. For instance you could get a private mortgage on a home, but a private bank could not buy a railway.
Private investment, particularly large sums, is not part of the proper markets. They buy and sell "control and power", not "services of effort and products". Investors spray toxic money on the market, they make the markets non-free.
You have to separate Capital from trade, because both are contradictory.
* Trade, solidarity and cooperation are more or less the same thing, just different words.
Proof: solidarity means supporting others who support you. This could be practical, like: if we strike, you strike with us, and the other way around. But if you don't strike with us when we ask you to, then we aren't likely to strike with you later. This is a trade, swapping effort. And if you stop doing your part, we tend to stop our part.
Proof: cooperation does not mean `I do everything and you do nothing'. Cooperation means `I do this and you do this'. For instance: `I do the development of a constitution, and you try to find the mistakes.' Or: `I grow potatoes and you make knives, what we make more then we need, we give to each other, according to its "fair" value.'
This `fair value' is of course dependent on the effort involved and the need for a particular product. The `law of supply and demand' tends to work out that way roughly, if power between people is equal (which it currently isn't). Because trade works so well, it has been in existence for thousands and thousands of years. Trade has nothing at all to do with a "trade ideology", trade simply is here because it works. In a "social" analysis, it works beautifully.
Trade can (and should) provide an anti-capitalist tool/logic. This is simple: when you trade, what makes it fair is the effort. Compare: If I grow potatoes, I put them in the ground etc etc, I do a lot of actual work. Work as in `time in which I can not do something else', like laying on the beach or playing a game. While I'm doing something, you are `making knives', meaning heating steel and molding it, etc. Or maybe you have a machine, but it needs to be monitored and repaired, you displace actual effort. What we then end up swapping should roughly be an equal effort in order to get the label "fair". If you work 5.000 hours for 5.000 knives, and I work 5.000 hours to find 5 pearls, a typical exchange would also approach 1.000 knives for one pearl. This is basically needed to find the pearls in the first place, because one needs food during the time something that takes a lot of time to do. Therefore watches tend to be more expensive then apples, because it takes so much time to make. The typical exchange-rate would probably roughly equal the amount of equal effort, plus/minus. I can not give pearls away for 10 knives a piece. If the market price is that bad I can't find pearls because there is no living in it. Law of supply and demand works, and therefore it continues to exist.
So far, so good (roughly speaking, and it doesn't need to be perfect, it just has to work and be relatively OK).
Now look at Capital: suppose I have a 5 billion fund, I invest money in you. Now you start working on finding the medicine for Cancer. 10 years later, you finally find it. You have displaced a lot of effort in that time. I have displaced no work at all, I could do what I wanted all the time. When we compare the effort we are going to swap between us, you get to maybe 1.800.000 hours worked total with your 100 man group (and 25.000 hours of lost sleep, several accidents, etc). I didn't do any work, I just entered in an (exciting) state of risk-taking with money I didn't need in the first place (didn't need it to live, or else I couldn't have invested it in you, temporarily or permanently losing it). Yet we might have agreed to split the returns 50%-50%. Suppose the profit will be 2 billion, so we trade: you give 1.8 million worked hours and get 1 billion, I do nothing and skim of 1 billion off what was going to you. The trade is completely unequal in terms of `swapping effort' (zero=/=1.8mil), therefore it wasn't "fair" even if it was agreed, and because it isn't fair we ought to destroy these kind of things in the economy (with law!). That's what laws are for. What would be fair is that I would also work during that time, and then get about 101th share of profit, not 50%.
The exact some thing happens with concentrations of ownership. Suppose I own a mine, you do the work and therefore people trade with you an equal effort. You work 1 million hours for 1 million ton of coal, everyone buys one ton roughly for the buying power so that one hour the consumer worked, equals the amount of coal you produce in that same hour. Your neighbour gets a ton of coal from you, you get a one hour dinner. But now I demand pay from your income, because I gave you the "privilege" of not being fired upon by the police in removing you from what is according to the State laws "my property", my "right" to have you removed or not. `Not excersizing this right' leaves me free to do all kinds of things. I can go bowling `while not excercizing that right', and hence I am not displacing effort or doing work. But it means quite a dramatic thing for you miner: you work your equal share to produce 1 ton of coal, but you get only half the amount of buying power back for it. The other half disappears in me, for doing nothing. The coal-mine owner is a pure parasite. To what exact degree any `owner' is a parasite depends on exactly how much (positive) `work' he/she is doing, so it is too easy to dismiss all owners as parasites. It depends on work and income. Even as owner, I could still demand a small and fair share for doing some accounting, for instance. Then you get your true value for your coal work (even while deprived of natural power).
Capitalist and ownership income is a special kind of `trade' or `negotiation'. It is special because normally one would exchange effort, but the Capitalist and the owner do not exchange any effort (in the real sense of the word, sweating, doing something specific and productive, that prevents doing whatever else at the same time). The Capitalist is `risk taking', that is not effort. People do that for fun all the time. The owner is `not calling the police', which is neither effort.
What the Capitalist and owner do in the media, is call themselves `traders', part of a `free trade ideology', but it doesn't hold up. Trade has essentially a good name because it works. But it only works if effort is displaced. Nothing is fair in a robbery, the point is that the robber isn't displacing positive productive effort. A robber displaces effort, but it is an unwanted product. In a more narrow sense the robber trades `not firing the gun' for your `hard earned cash'. `Not firing' is not effort. Robbery, Capital investment, and ownership of major resources, are the same class of non-effort swapping pseudo-"trades" ! Is trade bad because robbers call themselves businessmen ? No, that is nonsense.
I feel therefore, that `trade' is a useful concept when it comes to social changes. Not only is it useful, it already exists. It exists so much that it can't even be removed, nor should it be. What do criminals (in the movies at least) often call themselves: business men. That's exactly the problem: everyone attempts to be a trader, but not everyone actually is swapping effort for effort. In the current economy, workers are traders who continuously lose fair value because of pseudo-trades with Capital and owners. Only workers really do deserve the name `trader' (`trader' as in `swapper', not just someone who buys/transports/sells). The rest is just vermin to be crushed by the law. Under that clearly fall: Capital investment, income from hoarded resource ownership titles, and plain robbery/thievery (basic crime). These things simply do not classify as trade/swapping, because they lack the moral ingredient: effort.
Given the above analysis, it seems an absurdity to blame trade for the disastrous capitalist/imperialist rampage accross the globe. Trade, as it is supposed to work meaning negotiated swapping of the results of actual work, is the exact opposite of everything that Capital and Imperialism have done. But how happy are the criminals, Capitalists and Imperialist robbers, that they are allowed to fly the banner of `free trade'. It white washes their crimes. Take that flag from their ship, it doesn't belong there.
Companies, financial pressures (picture)
Companies, market pressures (picture)
Capitalism development (picture)
Investor choices (picture)
Post Revolutionary Constitution (Conclusion). (txt|ps)
This post revolutionary Constitution is meant to drive a revolution onward after it has achieved power, so that it does not become stuck. Drive it past a state of eternal emergency and into a new stable and relaxed situation, where private Capitalism is beaten by a new system. This new system is not a Utopia, but to be stable it needs a level of moral development. Moral development can be proven to exist in the large amount of progressive initiative that exists in the world, even if it is mostly not aimed at system change. Being willing to put in effort and money for social improvement is what this Constitutional model needs in terms of stabilization (see Companies, market pressures). If the Capitalists give up their position which is no longer intellectually defensible at any level (neither in terms of coherent system, in terms of trade success, or in terms of survival of the fittest), that would be great.
Good work by Moses
Non-profit finance fund set up prototype
`What about me ?!'
DAVID text simulation