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Marxist Hacker 42's Journal: Communism, Capitalism, and Austrians are not the only option 55

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42
First, a quote from the Venerable Fulton Sheen (Ok, you all KNEW I was a Catholic, right?):

âoeBut the reforms of communism are wrong, because they are inspired by the very errors they combat. Communism begins with the liberal and capitalistic error that man is economic, and, instead of correcting it, merely intensifies it until man becomes a robot in a vast economic machine. There is a closer relation between communism and monopolistic capitalism than most minds suspect. They are agreed on the materialistic basis of civilization; they disagree only on who shall control that basis, capitalists or bureaucrats. . . Capitalistic economy is godless; communism makes economics God. It is Divinity itself. Capitalism denies that economics is subject to a higher moral order. Communism says that economics is morality. The Communist solution of the problem is like the cynical way Oscar Wilde suggested a woman can reform a man: "The only way a woman can reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life."

"I'm going to plead with you therefore, not to be bored in Life. The reason we are bored is because we don't LOVE anything."

+Venerable, Fulton J. Sheen +JMJ+ [1948]

Centralization is the symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. The Austrians are quite right in the idea centralization sucks, but what they fail to diagnose is WHY centralization sucks.

Allow me to offer a few competing theories:

Centralization sucks because the needs of the few are met by the labor of the many, while the few do nothing. Solution- decentralize ownership and eliminate the concept of an employee- make every man his own business. Allow him to have apprentices to pass on how to run such a business to the next generation, but eliminate all other employees, make everybody independent contractors.

Centralization sucks because anonymous people aren't friends, and centralized economies of any sort have people you don't know making decisions that affect your life. Doesn't matter if it's the party committee (communism), shareholders and upper management (corporatism) or distant supply chain members (Austrian Capitalism), anonymous people making decisions for you sucks. Solution- geographically small markets with strong regulatory and protectionist but still geographically small government; tribalism.

Centralization sucks because when transactions are anonymous, the temptation for fraud becomes greater and advertising is used to spread fraud and create wants that replace needs in an individual's budget. Solution: better schools, more education in the scientific method to allow individuals to detect fraud and make advertising worthless.

There, three methods OTHER than capitalism for fighting centralization; based on different reasons OTHER THAN monopoly/oligarchy on why centralization sucks.

Finally a troll for the conservatives out there: While you were examining government for signs of communist infiltrators, the communists got smart and bought into the stock market. They have infiltrated it so completely that they now control most of the businesses in the United States.

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Communism, Capitalism, and Austrians are not the only option

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  • While you were examining government for signs of communist infiltrators, the communists got smart and bought into the stock market. They have infiltrated it so completely that they now control most of the businesses in the United States.

    How in the world do you possibly consider that 'Communism'?
    Any godless Commie out there buying stock has pretty much departed from Communism.

    • "How in the world do you possibly consider that 'Communism'?"

      Centralization of power into an oligarchy or monopoly, like centralization of power into the State, reduces the ability of individuals to own private property. Look again at that quote from the Venerable Fulton Sheen way back in 1948. I'm not saying he was prophetic about this, but the free market has indeed become the primary tool for Communists in our time.

      "Any godless Commie out there buying stock has pretty much departed from Communism."

      Why?

      • I would say that His Excellency _was_ a prophet, in as much as he was echoing the message promulgated by every Pope since Marx spawned his ugly ideas. The Syllabus of Errors is more relevant today than ever.

      • by Bill Dog (726542)

        Centralization of power into an oligarchy or monopoly, like centralization of power into the State, reduces the ability of individuals to own private property.

        This has been untrue so far. We have more stuff now than ever. People can't even park their cars in their garages they have so much junk.

        But if the rich continue to avoid hiring Americans, future generations will indeed have less ability to own private property, due to unaffordability.

        So I agree that capitalism, if left as unchecked on the macro level

        • The thing that checks capitalism is competition.
          The government, like the referee of a sporting match, ensures competition is carried out with a modicum of 'fairness'.
          Otherwise, you witness our slippery slope through oligarchy toward a government monopoly.
          • With Communists investing in the stock market- owning shares of previously competing companies and merging them to cooperate instead of compete- there is no useful competition. And since the politicians, thanks to our campaign funding system, are owned by the corporations, which are owned by the Communists- we've got a bigger infiltration than the House UnAmerican Activities Committee ever uncovered.

            Forget about military conquering- the real way to conquer is with hostile takeover of corporations!

            • With Communists investing in the stock market- owning shares of previously competing companies and merging them to cooperate instead of compete- there is no useful competition.

              Pull the thread on that--the lack of useful competition is that regulation is a noose about the neck of competition. Every. Single. Miserable. Page. of regulation that DC cranks out is a tightening of the noose about that neck.
              We've long since passed diminishing returns, and look rather blue in the face.

              • A regulation that they could pass- but won't- that would solve that problem quite quickly- end interstate respect of corporate incorporation for banks or any other industry.

                Make them file for incorporation in *every* jurisdiction they do business in, and require 51% of stock ownership be internal to the jurisdiction.

                You will quickly see the number of competitors increase. Of course, we'd have to have at least 50 separate SECs to manage it. As in- competition on the government level as well.

                • And there is a legitimate oversight role for the Federal Government, too, lest the scope of business escape the scope of government capacity to regulate.
                  • Unfortunately, I think the horse has already left that particular barn. Business is to the point of regulating the government, rather than the other way around.

          • by Bill Dog (726542)

            The thing that checks capitalism is competition.

            Nowhere near enough. Capitalism is about achieving economies of scale and enjoying rising productivity, and winners and losers, so just like a game of Monopoly can take a long time, given enough time a single or few entities will naturally win big in their respective game/industry.

            The government, like the referee of a sporting match, ensures competition is carried out with a modicum of 'fairness'.

            Just ensuring that the game is played fairly is not enough. In t

            • The referee must not just ensure a fair game, but be vigilant for and split up the players of dominant teams just before those teams reach the point where the consolidation that's always underway threatens to turn the game into something else entirely.

              Sure, you can flog my analogy all you like.
              You must grasp that the power to split up opposing teams quickly becomes the Highlander power.
              There is some Pareto Optimal point where there is enough competition for honesty, without chaotic fragmentation.
              Maintai

              • Why exclude the chaotic fragmentation? In fact, doesn't the value of subsidiarity almost insist upon chaotic fragmentation down to the bare minimum of organization needed to accomplish a given task?

                • I think that 'chaotic fragmentation' == libertarianism, and 'bare minimum of organization' == conservative.
                  • Trouble is, with libertarianism, you don't get chaotic fragmentation. You get collectivism. The reason why is because John Galts do exist- and once they're allowed to earn large amounts of wealth, they keep buying wealth makers until their companies either might as well be governments, or form governments to keep others out of the market.

                    A crony capitalist is just a libertarian with bribe money.

                    • What you say has some empirical merit.
                      However, proper libertarianism is about refusing bonds, both on the receiving end of a collar on oneself, and placing a collar on the neck of another.
                      Thus, Libertarianism shouldn't swerve into the crony capitalist hypocrisy you cite.
                      Barack Obama has proven a typical politician/serious crony capitalist, but I don't think he has a libertarian bone in his collectivist carcass. Maybe a hedonistic bone, if some scurrilous rumors have merit.
                      This is why I think that the co
              • by Bill Dog (726542)

                "You must grasp that the power to split up opposing teams quickly becomes the Highlander power."

                I must not, because it's wrong; the power to split up opposing teams *slowly* becomes... whatever it is you said there.

                "Maintaining that operating point is The Trick."

                And it doesn't just maintain itself. As a fan of the free market, I want it protected, from both those who would dissolve it willfully and those for whom it would be a side effect of their plans.

                • Highlander=="There can be only one!"
                  Darn right it's not self-maintaining; those who'd collapse it work 24/7, typically winding up somewhere around oligarchy/aristocracy. Then it gets bloody.
        • We have more stuff, bought on credit, and therefore owned by our banks.

          The rich WILL continue to avoid hiring Americans, because the American Standard of living of $108 spent for every $100 earned, is not sustainable- we've priced ourselves out of the world labor market.

          And yes, I agree with you the real problem is public corporations grown so large as to exceed the size of many world governments.

          • by Bill Dog (726542)

            We have more stuff, bought on credit, and therefore owned by our banks.

            No, typically only our houses and cars are bought on credit. Like they've always been. The only thing of significance that is now widespreadly attained thru credit that wasn't so widespreadly before is higher education.

            But the crap in people's homes and garages, our gadgets and tools and toys, and our expensive wireless plans and access to media. We have more stuff that we own that clutters our lives than ever before. Trickle-down works,

            • "No, typically only our houses and cars are bought on credit. Like they've always been."

              The distributive idea is that they shouldn't be- that such items should be subsidized to the point that you don't need credit to buy them, and that by owning shelter, dwelling, and tools you can then proceed to engage in some useful activity which will allow you to actually go and make a living for yourself.

              An interesting thought I read today- a minimum wage is a set number. But a living wage, which takes into account h

              • by Bill Dog (726542)

                "Why do you think most of his cabinet came from Wall Street?"

                Because those who are desperate for power will align themselves with anyone they think can help them get it.

                "Why do you think his Obamacare asked them to give up a paltry 5% of their profit in exchange for a 15% increase in customers?"

                It was designed as a trap, to eventually put them all out of business so the govt. can come in with single-payer and save the day and claim that they didn't want to have to do that but they were left no choice by the

                • "It was designed as a trap, to eventually put them all out of business so the govt. can come in with single-payer and save the day and claim that they didn't want to have to do that but they were left no choice by the ins. co.'s who just somehow imploded all by theyselves."

                  Quite a trap that- "I'm going to guarantee you 20% profit and a captive consumer base that is required by law to buy your products, and we can even poison those consumers to remove their fertility and save you money in the long run, by ha

                  • by Bill Dog (726542)

                    Exactly how is this supposed to make the insurance industry implode again?

                    Unaffordable mandates.

                    • So far, there aren't any. The HHS mandate bills have already started coming, and there was a rise in premiums to cover them.

                    • by Bill Dog (726542)

                      Wow, you're like the frog in the pot saying if you're really being boiled, how come you can't feel the heat coming on faster. Because that's the whole point.

                      The pre-existing condition mandate doesn't kick until 1/1/2014. This will set up in effect an on-demand subsidy. And hence more of the privatization of gains and socialization of losses stuff. Premiums will be so high, to cover everyone, no matter what, that it'll be cheaper to pay the govt. penalty, and only temporarily acquire coverage when you actual

  • MH, I had a bit of an epiphany the other day that small companies in the U.S. and other free market economies are probably the closest you see to Distributism in action. I've only ever felt a real sense of ownership, which is more than just loyalty deserved the people you work for (deserved as long as its earned) when working for very small companies. They are also the only places I've ever really had any job satisfaction. Some of the bigger companies have treated me pretty well, but it's never been the

    • Yep, and the smaller the better. My trick is getting my brain to believe in the product in a small company, but yes, the best company I ever worked for was TWO PEOPLE- an idea man and myself. Second best was just myself, but I'm a horrible marketer. Third best is as a contractor with onsite customers and offsite management.

      See the idea above of solving the cog-in-a-machine issue by having *everybody* as independent contractors.

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