Published: 27 May 2015 | Written by Jeff Nielson | Bullion Bulls Canada
Ideologies are extremely slippery concepts. Indeed, they have become (intentionally) categories of quasi-religious dogma which sabotage thought more than they communicate thinking. It is for this reason that the dogma of all these ideological zealots rarely finds its way into any of these commentaries.
Today's subject, however, is one where it is impossible to fully explore it without spending some time wallowing in this dogma – specifically the ideology known as "capitalism". In fact, this discussion is also an ideal means of exposing how/why all of these idiot-ideologies are almost completely intellectually bankrupt as vehicles of analysis.
We see one example of the fraud of these ideologies when we note, historically, that we have seen the rise of two virtually opposite models of economic development, but where both have been filed under the (meaningless) label of "capitalism". One of these models of so-called capitalism is the entrepreneurial model. We saw this form of "capitalism" demonstrated, in its purest form, in the entrepreneur-based economy of the United States, primarily in the 19th century.
In this manifestation of so-called capitalism, the mantra is simple. Every man (and working woman) seeks to "be his own boss". Mere employment is seen as nothing more than a means of apprenticing and/or acquiring the necessary experience to then become one's own boss. Let's call this "small-c" capitalism. It was a highly egalitarian model, and also an extremely prosperous one, as demonstrated by the rapid rise of the U.S. economy during its entrepreneurial era.
In contrast to this, we have the other model of so-called capitalism: the factory model, originally pioneered in (where else?) Germany. In this model of "capitalism", societies are class-divided into two groups: the (factory) owners, and the (factory) workers. Along with this, we see a sycophantic pseudo-aristocracy: doctors, lawyers, economists, and other so-called "professionals", who rigidly and enthusiastically support this two-tiered society, since they themselves are in the top tier.
Most important amongst these sycophants are the charlatan economists, since they are the frauds whose dogma supposedly "explains" and justifies this industrial feudalism. There can be no doubt here, nor any distinction between the so-called "Keynesians" and "Austrians". Both camps are shameless elitists who unequivocally endorse such two-tiered societies. Let's call this "big-C" Capitalism.
In the Capitalist model of these charlatan sycophants, the workers are not even considered to be "people" (or citizens). Rather, they are referred to as "wage units". And according to the dogma of both camps of these charlatans, in the ideal economy we would see "a stable wage unit".
Translation? The real wages (and standard of living) of the workers (the vast majority) never rises. Instead, all of the benefits/prosperity produced by the labours of the workers are divvied up by the "people" at the top: the factory oligarchs and their sycophants.
What happens any time that the workers see any actual (real-dollar) gain in their wages – and thus their standard of living? Both the Keynesian charlatans and the Austrian charlatans call this "wage inflation", and preach that this is an unequivocal evil – something which must be immediately stamped out, via anti-worker economic policies from our puppet governments.
We see this demonstrated most frequently whenever the subject of "raising the minimum wage" is discussed, and all of these ideological sock-puppets spout their (mathematically flawed) dogma of why this is such a bad idea. The percentage of economists who preach anything other than this shameless elitism is statistically insignificant.
This is also reflected in empirical/financial terms by what we see taking place, every day, in our own feudalistic economies. Every day, life for those on top gets better and better (and at a rate never before seen in our societies). Every day, life for the vast majority on the bottom gets worse and worse, also (collectively) at a pace never before seen in our once egalitarian societies. The sycophant economists vacuously refer to this as "the New Normal".
We also see this reflected in our so-called "education systems". The goal here is (most emphatically) not to educate, but rather to program the proletariat. Our schools are nothing but drone mills, intended to churn out workers with barely enough (real) education to follow instructions (the instructions of the factory owners, i.e. the oligarchs).
Students who endeavour to think for themselves are not merely actively discouraged, but often openly penalized for such non-conformist behaviour. Such students don't make good workers (i.e. wage units). They don't "know their place".
We see this two-tiered, industrial feudalism reflected every day in the policies of our corrupt governments – stooges bought and paid for by the oligarchs. For those on the top, the official policy is always "bail-outs" (and now "bail-ins"). For the "little people", it's nothing but "austerity" and more "austerity". Even in the intentionally non-communicative euphemisms used by these political puppets, it's impossible to hide the fact that these are now 100% two-tiered societies. Rob from the poor; give to the rich.
Obviously, (big-C) Capitalism is virtually opposite to (small-c) capitalism. Yet in the fantasy world of these idiot-ideologies, they wear the same hat. Since nothing can be its own opposite, we see the utter meaninglessness of this idiot-ideology exposed in empirically unequivocal terms.
By no means is capitalism alone here. While the flaws are different, all of the other idiot-ideologies are also fatally flawed, and thus totally deficient as models for societies. These are not precisely defined "blueprints", from which we can build economies and societies. They are nothing more than hazy philosophical visions, which (at best) can be considered as no more than partial influences on any economy/society.
We see this conclusion proven, empirically, in several different ways. First of all, there are no "pure" capitalist economies anywhere in the world. In "pure" laissez-faire capitalism, there are no rules/regulations. All commerce is governed by the Law of the Market (i.e. the Law of the Jungle). Thus, every rule and regulation which we have in our societies is antithetical to capitalism.
Some of our policies are borrowed directly from competing/opposite ideologies. Programs such as unemployment insurance, taxation, public education, and universal health care are overt "socialism" (in the Land of Ideologues). Yet only the most hard-core, Neanderthal zealots would argue that we should do away with all of our rules, regulations, and "socialist" programs.
We also see this proven, empirically, through the evolution of this idiot-ideology. What has been produced from 200 years of "capitalist thinking"? Is it some precisely defined and functional system? No; rather, we see two models, which are not only totally incompatible with each other, but virtual opposites: the small-c, egalitarian form of "capitalism", and the two-tiered, industrial feudalism of big-C "Capitalism".
We see this fact manifest itself in a third way, as our societies/economies devolve toward the point of economic implosion. As our servile governments do nothing but practice Capitalism, catering to every whim of the oligarchs, we see capitalism withering and dying. The "small business" (home of the entrepreneur), like the middle class, has become an endangered species.
Clearly, attempting to discuss an ideology which is its own opposite is a completely pointless activity. Thus, having debunked this ideological drivel (and the charlatans who preach it), we will dispense with it in this discussion.
While the small business is now an endangered species, and the middle class is rapidly shrinking toward oblivion, there is one silver lining in the two-tiered industrial feudalism which now totally dominates the corrupt West: the Internet.
In most facets of our economies, the rules and regulations which exist have been perverted, over the decades, to the point where the deck is stacked hopelessly in favour of the oligarchs and their gigantic/obscene oligopolies – the corporate fronts behind which these economic rapists hide. But not on the Internet.
Because of its relative newness, along with its explosive growth, there simply has not been nearly enough time for the oligarchs to create the same level of (anti-capitalist) restraint of trade which exists in nearly every other sector of our economies. For the Internet entrepreneur, the egalitarianism and opportunity to "be your own boss" (which used to be hallmarks of Western societies) is still possible – although admittedly difficult.
As we see (briefly at least) the Rise of the Internet Entrepreneur, what does the future hold? That's very simple. If we retain the same puppet governments, and remain enslaved within this two-tiered, industrial feudalism, what we will inevitably see next is the Death of the Internet Entrepreneur. The puppets will be instructed (by their masters) to stamp out/stomp on these entrepreneurs, in the same manner in which these loyal puppets have stamped out nearly all other entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurialism or feudalism? The (corrupt) status quo, or something different (legitimate)? Citizen or serf? These are questions which not only must be addressed by all readers, but also (eventually) by all of the programmed drones, who are currently conditioned to shun any/all "non-conformist" thinking.
The current industrial feudalism is relentlessly parasitic, and thus has already hollowed out our economies past the point of insolvency. Entrepreneurialism not only builds healthy economies, but healthy societies of citizens, who take responsibility for the world around them. The fact that this is even viewed as a choice in the 21st century is, perhaps, the most vivid indicator of how low we have already sunk.
Thomas Aquinas 2015-05-27 13:08
What you don't mention is the critical point that INTEREST, which is a fraudulent charge, as well as the fractional reserve banking system must be abolished, and the money issue convertible to gold and silver coin must be given to the government, if an economy is to thrive.
dgierl 2015-05-28 02:03
The little "c" capitalism had more entrepreneurs, for sure; however, it also had the precursor oligarchs such as Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Morgan, etc. who would be ruthless to competition and paid their workers a barely living wage for very long hours, usually 12 or more a day, six or seven days a week. There were no sick days, and if you got hurt on the job, oh well. It was cheap enough to replace you…
Henry Ford was probably one of the few industrialists who were willing to pay the true value to workers, believing that all of his workers should be able to afford a car. Very few factory owners agreed that it was a good idea to pay more than a subsistence wage.
That said, it is true that one had an easier time to start his own company if he had the money and drive, as there were few laws against any occupation, or as a barrier of entry into a given line of business. Snake-oil salesmen were common, and "buyer beware" was the rule. Patent law at the time was sane, and a reasonable amount of protection existed to promote new ideas and products.
Little "c" capitalism had issues also, until the advent of labor unions. That evened the field some, but started a whole new set of issues; however, the use of honest money and the rule of law usually prevailed over those who were trying to keep people enslaved.
Big "C" Capitalism is now trampling on unions and undoing the good part of unions, but seeming to only diminish a little of the bad parts. With the oligarchs owning the governments, the rule of law is only for the common man. It is fascism at its finest.
Jeff Nielson 2015-05-28 05:25
Dgierl, I would put things somewhat differently. Yes, even in the 19th century, there were already oligarchs in the U.S. But there are oligarchs everywhere. The big issue is their level of power/influence. In the 19th century, the influence of the oligarchs was relatively minor.
When you speak of "Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Morgan, etc. who would be ruthless to competition and paid their workers a barely living wage for very long hours, usually 12 or more a day, six or seven days a week. There were no sick days, and if you got hurt on the job, oh well. It was cheap enough to replace you…", that's pure big-C, factory capitalism. Another aspect of that master/servant relationship is precisely what you describe: inhuman working conditions, since in the big-C factory model of capitalism, workers are not considered PEOPLE.
Henry Ford was exceptional. He was a factory owner, but he had progressive, populist ideals. Ford was eventually SUED, by his own shareholders, because he wanted to price his cars so that (literally) every American could afford to buy in. His shareholders successfully sued Ford (and forced the company to raise its prices) because Ford had the audacity to put the welfare of the people ahead of MAXIMIZING PROFITS.
Ford showed then (as a handful of progressive employers have shown today) that it is possible to employ the factory model in a humane manner. Conversely (as you also point out), it was the ruthless inhumanity of the non-progressive oligarchs which directly led to the rise of unions. But THAT is a whole, huge subject on its own…
The "buyer beware" (caveat emptor) side of free-market economies is one of the big reasons that pure, unrestricted free markets were ANOTHER aspect of capitalist theory which was naive to the point of being dysfunctional.
Obviously, any/every economy NEEDS consumer protection legislation, so that the wolves are not totally free to prey upon the sheep. It's another illustration of how capitalism (like all ideologies) is TOTALLY impractical and unworkable – in "pure" form.
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