[Marxism] Two Threats: Starvation and Hell

Barry Brooks durable at earthlink.net
Sun Sep 18 15:38:13 MDT 2011

No Free Riders?

Two Threats: Starvation and Hell

If we wish to reform government so that money no longer makes the rules 
we will need a good state that is on guard to prevent a bad state from 
returning. Big money is always manipulating government policy and public 
opinion so that any kind of state will face constant attacks designed to 
impose the will of the most willful.

One central issue for the left is whether reform can ever be enough. Can 
any state be good with so many very rich people, any one of which can 
buy hit men, make big propaganda, and (re)turn the state into the kind 
of state we have now? Yet, we must ask if we have time to change those 
in control before we change the policies that make us lemmings.

Anyone can step-up and offer ideas. Our challenge is to propose policies 
that will work quickly and which will help both rich and poor, people in 
the present and of the future. The revolution will be too late and 
change the wrong things. Reform will be too late and change nothing. We 
need a vision of a new system, or we will toast the planet pretty damn 

Rules and Crazy Rules

Is the threat of hell for doubt more pressure than the threat of 
starvation for idleness?

The pressure on individuals by their groups is extreme, yet many people 
like to talk about freedom as if they were independent and in control. 
It may not often be a law or stated in its crude form, but "If you don't 
work you don't eat" is one form of group pressure that is so widely 
accepted that it isn't seen as extreme pressure, but the internalized 
foundation of normality.

In a capitalist order the unearned income of the rich is legal and 
widely envied. The work-ethic that for so long has been instilled into 
the souls of paupers does not apply to capitalists.

Prohibiting idle people from eating is seen a very useful form of group 
pressure. Usually, some exceptions must be made. Busy at the club, or 
sailing, or whatever, the idle rich are not at all productive. Others 
manage their entitlements, leaving them free to worry and plot. How 
fortunate for the idle rich that we don't have a explicit law about 
undeserved eating.

If one tries to connect the idleness of the rich with the idleness of 
welfare it is often dismissed as communist thinking and thus deserves no 
further consideration. That's odd since very few communists advocate 
idleness. It's the capitalists that love idleness, for themselves at 
least. Call the servants!

Capitalism allows unearned income, so wage dependence would not be a 
part of capitalism if people had capital. If people have no capital we 
have a bad form of capitalism, monopoly capitalism.

Free use of one's time is the greatest freedom. Work-or-starve is one of 
the greatest pressures a group can place on the individual. Isn't it odd 
that those who hate free-riders often wish to become free-riders too, if 
they aren't already.

To stop inflation US policy has been to increase unemployment. They call 
it "slowing" the economy, but it's like musical chairs where there must 
always be a shortage of chairs. Social rejection and poverty are not 
often seen as the enforcers of work or an agents of any kind of 
un-freedom, but in a world that could provide enough for everyone 
poverty becomes a unfair punishment for not being the fastest player to 
grab a chair.

Maybe we could find another game to play. Please.


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