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View Diary: "Socialism has never happened before." (92 comments)

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  •  And yet... (2+ / 0-)
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    MrJayTee, isabelle hayes

    capitalism could not exist if it did not allow a form of slavery, which is the boss/servant relationship between those who are privileged to own the means of production and the majority who are not. Capitalism is, if anything, slavery to the working class.

    Capitalism is entirely based on exploitation, which is not eliminated by "safety nets".

    In a collective society, there will still be plenty of self interest going on, but it won't be institutionalized into doctrine. People can still excel at what they do, people can still influence, people can lead with their ideas, if not their positions of exclusive authority.

    Making selfishness an institution by virtue of law is a particularly bad idea. And any society that opens that door will always have people jostling for more and more power, and a bigger and bigger portion of the pie. As long as some individuals can accumulate power and wealth at the expense of the rest, the tendency will be for those few to consolidate control over others.

    Here's an interesting article about the evolution of teamwork in humans:

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Sun May 05, 2013 at 12:38:36 PM PDT

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    •  It is not slavery. (1+ / 0-)
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      boss/servant relationship between those who are privileged to own the means of production and the majority who are not
      Calling it slavery is that binary thinking again.
      If you work for someone that owns your living quarters, controls your life and that doesn't pay you, THAT'S slavery.
      And that's illegal in this and most other countries.
      If you work for someone who pays you, from whom you can walk away without being captured and dragged back, that's not slavery. It may be pitiful wages, it may not be a living wage, it may suck, but don't exaggerate.
      This tendency to push the rhetoric into the extremes is one of the real problems we have in the current socio/political climate, don't feed it.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Sun May 05, 2013 at 01:36:18 PM PDT

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      •  The prevalent illusion (2+ / 0-)
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        Cassiodorus, Tommye

        is that a worker can "walk away" from a job and get another one. That is completely, utterly false. If that were true, there would have been no reason for all the labor struggles throughout the history of feudalism and industrialism. Why strike or protest or form unions if it were true that people could just get another job? But that isn't reality. The choices which people imagine to exist don't exist for most of the working class. When you are lucky to get a halfway decent paying job (scarce even in the best of times) you hang onto it with your life, and are forced to accept the bad treatment and inequality lest you end up homeless. And all of this exists just to allow the top percentage of the owner class to have lives of relative luxury at the expense of the rest of us.

        This is not an exaggeration.  It is slavery. Workers don't get remunerated according to the value of what they produce, but rather get the lowest that the market will bear, even if the wages are insufficient to survive, as if they are not living people who have a right to live, but commodities no different from a forklift or jackhammer which can be bought at a certain market price.

        As Kropotkin wrote, "The wealth of the wealthy always springs from the poverty of the poor. "

        The only people who think workers have freedom to quit and go elsewhere are people of economic privilege who have never experienced the realities of the working class. And retrain? Really? As one gets older, retraining becomes harder and harder. Employers have no obligation to hire you just because at age 55 you went back to school. And have you seen the cost of education lately? It's too expensive for most workers, and just adds more debt slavery.

        And the debt slavery is certainly part of this as well. Why do you think so many lost their homes in the foreclosure crisis? They weren't making enough from their jobs to pay their debts, including mortgages and student loans. Losing a job usually means losing your home and good credit history. One can pay hundreds of thousands in the form of interest on a home loan, only to lose it all in a few months time because of losing a job.

        And there is a plethora of ways workers are dominated, in many cases right down to when they can eat, go to the bathroom, what they can openly discuss, what they do with their spare time, whom they associate with, even whom they vote for.  Most workers spend their entire working lives under the corporate form of totalitarianism of the American workplace.

        Apparently you've never been thrown to the wolves the way some of us have.

        And look at the other side of the equation. My employer goes out and plays golf when the weather is warm and dry, lives on a vast estate, travels the world, eats rich foods, while I am left to labor to provide him with this wealth at my expense. He takes lunch when he pleases, decides when I get a raise (never), acts as if he is a lord (and in fact he is the modern equivalent), treats me as if I should be seen and not heard. I'm far smarter than he is, but if he says the sky is green, I nod my head and agree, even if my eyes say it's blue.

        I could go on at length with example after example of the inequality in the relationships between owner and worker. Most of the working class spends most of their adult working lives under the watchful dictatorship of the owner class.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sun May 05, 2013 at 02:54:28 PM PDT

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        •  It may be reality for some, or even most. (0+ / 0-)

          It isn't the reality for others. I don't think it's true for me, but perhaps it's because I'm privileged. If more people were in a position such as mine, maybe it would no longer be privilege. I think the increasing costs of education are a major barrier to allowing more people to achieve this. Does that necessitate a change from capitalism to socialism? I don't know, but it seems as if things used to be more equitable, and that was also under a capitalist system.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:44:52 PM PDT

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          •  No, the history of capitlaism (1+ / 0-)
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            is written with the misery of the working class from the very beginning. It has its ups and downs, but for the working class (and thats most people, not just manual laborers) its been mostly exploitation all along. Look at the way the US was founded, when only something like 6% of the population was able to vote in the beginning. Look at the murders of people in the labor movement. Look at the lack of workers rights that still are being fought for.

            Capitalism is built on exploitation. And if you're doing well, it is coming at the expense of someone else. One person's privilege derives from the lack of privilege of others.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:15:27 PM PDT

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