[Marxism] Two Threats: Starvation and Hell
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
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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