Skip to main content

Social programs are the extortion that capitalism must pay for peace.  This concept is not written in any law book or widely discussed as an accepted premise.  I declare that it has been the case since FDR and the New Deal. It was reinforced with introduction of Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps.

As a nation, we recognized that a safety net had to be in place to keep large numbers of our citizens from hitting bottom.  We did not want to live in a country where the streets were lined with sick, homeless grandparents.  So capitalism struck a deal with the millions of peasants: Let us make unlimited profits and we will maintain a safety net to catch you at your weakest moment.  That unwritten social contract prevented the democratic mob from storming the gates of the CEOs and robber-barons.

For decades, the peace treaty remained in place with occasional exceptions.  Then Ronald Reagan came to town and capitalism decided they didn't want to pay the ransom any longer. They slashed the taxes of the rich as each subsequent president followed suit.  

Twenty years and trillions of dollars of debt later, after two unfunded wars to boost the stock prices of Haliburton and defense contractors, now capitalism claims that we can't afford the programs that they stopped paying for decades ago.  They have every intention of completely dismantling the safety net.  The peace treaty is over.

What capitalists don't realize is that if you do not pay the ransom, you do not get the peace.  It may take years after a Romney presidency, but the programs will fall.  We will return to bread lines and beggars in even our smallest towns. Capitalists will wring every last dollar out of this country and then watch from their protected gated communities as we tear each other to pieces.  

Yes, there is a contract.  There is an agreement between a moral society and those that only care about money.  As long as the agreement is maintained in a balanced state, we can maintain peace.  What scares me is that the contract has become horrifically unbalanced. The clear intent of the GOP and newly coined corporate-people is to cancel the contract altogether.

I don't want to live in that country.  That is not an acceptable alternative.  And no, I will not leave.  As time passes and the contract is dismantled, we will have to relive the 1930's, re-fight the union battles, and show corporations that people fight wars, and corporations are not people.  Corporations will eventually lose.  But at what cost?

Just pay the damn ransom...

Originally posted to Penthesilea on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Only one solution: revolution. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    I belong to a union that is openly revolutionary: the IWW.

    Attempting to regulate or tame Capitalism is like putting a serial killer under house arrest.

    •  Sure, When You Have a Majority of the People (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, coffeetalk

      behind you.

      Before that you're only talking civil war.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:26:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  _ The Social Contract _ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OutcastsAndCastoffs, blueoasis

      "The Social Contract" Which I think of, is that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
            "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." - J.J. Rousseau
         There is NO "Social Contract for Capitalism"!
      My Dear Penthesilia, you have only affirmed your belief in the spurious concept
      of 'Benign Capitalism'!
      For capitalist are not benign, they are swinistically greedy carrion feasting ogres!
                      'Benign Capitalism' is a putrid oxymoron!

                  http://www.youtube.com/...

         

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 05:02:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I actually agree with you... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        My point is merely that the compromise created to maintain a very thin peace is breaking down.

        That does not mean I'm a fan or a supporter of the compromise.  However, when they fail to even accept the best possible deal, then they don't leave us many options.

        Eventually their marriage to the religious right will break down when the poor fundies realize that they can't eat their bibles and their prayers don't cure their sick children.

        •  Capitalism bears the seeds of its own destruction. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie, blueoasis

          What is its basic value?

          Greed.

          In normal human societies, the greedy are banned or worse.

          The natural physics of it all decrees that they will bring themselves down.

          These fuckers are intoxicated on their own power and wealth.  They have lost their common sense.  Watch Dimon pontificate before the Senate today, as most Senators bow in obeisance.

          This system is destroying itself.

          It will be less a revolution than a mop-up and rebuild.

          •  "Don't change before the Empire falls." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie, blueoasis

            "You'll laugh so hard you'll crack the walls."

            "Greasy Heart" Jefferson Airplane--Gracie Slick

            And if some greedy Capitalist prick puts some Obama ad in there before the song, what a piece of crap.

          •  There is a natural limit to capitalism (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie

            and I believe we've reached it.

            For capitalism to thrive or even to merely survive, it must have growth.  When you have seemingly unlimited resources and a population that only increases, it works.

            Sooner or later resources become depleted and are inadequate for the overpopulated planet.

            This is very simple, and does not even take into account the environmental devastation brought about by accelerating resource exploitation, nor the "resource" of human invention.  But it still ends the same.

            Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

            by Gustogirl on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 05:53:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Good for you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OutcastsAndCastoffs, joe wobblie

      Live free or die. Rent-seeking sociopaths are leeches feeding on our Common Citizens. VAMPIRES seeking eternal existence sucking the blood from civilized society.

      What will they do when we are bled dry? How will they survive? They won't, but they will destroy us first if we let them.


      The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question. For there are few things as useless–if not dangerous–as the right answer to the wrong question. -- P. Drucker

      by The Angry Architect on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:03:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Extortion is not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    a contract.

    •  call it what you will.... (0+ / 0-)

      bottom line is that it must be paid to keep the peace in a purely capitalist society.

      You can call it whatever pleases you.  I consider it semantics.  Call it protection money....  matters not.

      If capitalists want to peacefully be allowed to extract unlimited wealth from a population, they can pay the nominal fee to keep the bottom 10% from hitting bottom, ... or they can do nothing, practice economic darwinism, (funny how they only believe in it when it comes to money), and let the peasants fight each other over the final scraps of bread on the table.

      •  Right, but it is NOT unlimited... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        The skim that must be paid is to keep the minimal peace. The peace that allows the scam to continue. These greedy bastards - unwilling to pay even that - are sowing the seeds of their own downfall. History don't repeat, but it sure as hell rhymes, yo!


        The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question. For there are few things as useless–if not dangerous–as the right answer to the wrong question. -- P. Drucker

        by The Angry Architect on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:11:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You are correct Sir, yessss... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie

      Neither are intimidation or slavery but that ain't stopped these motherfuckers yet.

      They will push and push and push until there is no choice for the Common Citizen but to rebel, cast of h:is/er chains and fight like a motherfucker against these bloodsucking, greedy self-indulgent leeches.


      The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question. For there are few things as useless–if not dangerous–as the right answer to the wrong question. -- P. Drucker

      by The Angry Architect on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:09:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well When the Global Superpower Occupies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, joe wobblie, oldpotsmuggler

    your land with a total surveillance state and militarized police units at the ready, maybe capitalism doesn't need so much social compact.

    Also when the economy has such important offshore interests, maybe it doesn't need to care so much about the welfare of the locals.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:28:52 PM PDT

  •  Corp break contracts with real people all the time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    Its the American way. We're stupid like that. We want to be free to have moldy crumbs; they want it all.

    Wrong revolution and wrong civil war is what this country
     is about.

    I curse the evil non- Supreme court.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 05:17:30 PM PDT

  •  That safety net is bought and paid for by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    everyday Americans "paying into" funds so they can draw out of it when they are older or hit their own bad times.  It too is a part of the capitalistic model because others profit from it along the way.  Look at how the money movers get rich managing pension funds.  The farmers make money off the assured market of food stamp recipients.  Under capitalism everything is exploitable.

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 05:25:28 PM PDT

    •  The others who profit alog the way... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie

      are ensuring that the "safety net" WILL NOT BE THERE in the future....That's the problem. When you play with F.I.R.E. you will get burned! (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate). Bubbles, suckers, believers and fools ~ Tis is a con-game in which fewer and fewer are willing to believe.

      This system will implode. The key question: Who will suffer and for how long before a new, just, and humane system arises in its place? Eat the motherfucking rich, and pass me more whiskey!


      The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question. For there are few things as useless–if not dangerous–as the right answer to the wrong question. -- P. Drucker

      by The Angry Architect on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:19:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Welfare Capitalism? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OutcastsAndCastoffs, blueoasis

      Under capitalism even 'welfare' is exploitable!

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:38:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's no magic wand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    no rhetorical flourish, and the 20th Century  Synthesis wasn't something that capital and their trained seals in government did out of decency, thoughtfulness and moderation.

    The 20th Century Synthesis was imposed throughout the industrialized world  by organized social forces that threatened the very rule of capital itself, in its most radical format simply ovethrowing the capitalist order and taking control of industry.  Through its aggregate of mass organizations, of parties, unions, community organizations and social movements, both reformist and revolutionary, created an aggregate force, let's call it "socialism" that forced capital to concede some small begrudging compromises.  In return for continuing to control the economy and the distribution of surpluses, the 20th Century Synthesis of business liberalism and soft social democracyextended to labor certain workplace protections  and social benefits funded out of the aggregate surplus.

    Capital always resented this, but as long as the forces that I've identified as "socialism" remained an effective hedge against the hegemony of capital, they had no choice but to sustain it.

    Reagan individually changed nothing.  However, as an avatar and an ideologue he served capital well at the hour when it became manifest that those evil expropriators of profit, the socialists, were in global decline, in both their reformist and revolutionary  incarnations.  The long-awaited  hour to strike and dismantle the 20th Century Synthesis, and to blame the social upheavals consequent thereto on the decaying remnants of socialism, was at hand, and Reagan and thatcher expertly gave voice to the new ideology.  Which of course, having soon achieved hegemonic status, was able to proclaim itself "non-ideological" "pragmatic" "Common sense", just the way the world works", and not only was this doctrine  embraced by the long-term parties and organizations of capital, but also those who once had at least purported to be the forces lof labor, even "socialism".

    It's the consequences of the complete collapse of "socialism", and the total hegemony of capital, that are the driving forces of the 21st Century Social Crisis.    But just as no politician on a white horse changed diddly-squat until capital was cowed in terror by "socialism" early in the last century, don't expect any politician to reimpose a synthesis without an organized, independent, self-activated and self-actualized movement akin to, if not exactly the same as, "socialism".  Like the prior movement it will need to take many forms and include many forces who are not afraid to buck the hegemonic rule, all built by those who have no other voice.  Until that happens, all you'll get is more and bigger of the same you're getting.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:16:23 PM PDT

    •  A most dismal potrayal of the human condition... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ActivistGuy, blueoasis

      Your assertions reveal at least one thing;   your weltanschauung.
      You are no Utopian dreamer of foolish goals...
      And by the way, the term 'socialism' is considered by many a very dirty word
      in capitalist America.

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:59:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  heh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        This will have to do as my "utopian dream":

        an organized, independent, self-activated and self-actualized movement akin to, if not exactly the same as, "socialism".  Like the prior movement it will need to take many forms and include many forces who are not afraid to buck the hegemonic rule, all built by those who have no other voice.
        But it's a hard utopian dream, we'd have to assemble it ourselves, and batteries are not included.  Even then there remains the prominent possibility that what ended before in tragedy would end anew in farce.  Or so it has been suggested.

        As for the S-word problem, there are  a million ways around that, different word choices. "economic democracy", "participatory economics", "cooperative commonwealth", "syndicalism", (cue Yul Brynner) et cetera, et cetera et cetera!

        The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

        by ActivistGuy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 11:10:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I was wrong about you! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          You are indeed, like many others, a Utopian dreamer of of foolish goals.
          But it's not hard to dream, people do it all the time...
          And "syndicalism" definitely does not belong in your list of euphemisms!
          1. Syndicalism: revolutionary political doctrine: a revolutionary political doctrine that advocates the seizure of the means of production by workers organized
          in trade unions (somewhat archaic).
          Exempli gratia,   "Workers will own the corporations" - IWW

          ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

          by joe wobblie on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 07:01:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site