Capitalism Doesn’t Add Up Or The Left Hand Doesn’t Know Or When you are Similieing

 

You should familiarise yourself with the law of conservation of matter and the law of conservation of energy.

 

Both of these scientific ‘laws’ express the same basic idea:

 

That the amount of inputs in any given reaction and the amount of outputs from that given reaction, must balance. In other words, every element of a given reaction or process must  be accounted for.

 

Although these ‘laws’ are often characterised as being ‘scientific’ in nature, in fact they come from a much older intellectual tradition; that of Christianity.

 

The entire concept of Christianity is based on two central core principles.

 

The first principle is that any particular incident can only ever occur once and is therefore unique.

 

The second principle is that every incident, process and event that has ever occurred is recorded down to the most infinitesimal detail and that the totality of calculation involving all this detail will be taken to be the final meaning/accounting of everything. Everything can and will be accounted for.

 

These are two foundational concepts that science directly stole from Christianity. (Although scientists would have you believe they ‘created’ them!). Together they make up the philosophy of rational accounting. This philosophy of rational accounting presents a  fundamental problem for the creators and propagandists of the Germanic cult of capitalism.

 

It means that matter or ‘wealth’ cannot be created or destroyed in the sense of being brought into, or taken out of, any given process or reaction. Everything on the left hand of the equation must be accounted for on the right hand of the equation. If it is missing it is because you failed to account for it.

 

This means that ‘wealth creation’ in the sense of creating something cannot rationally exist. If wealth is present on the right hand of an equation it must have been present on the left hand of the equation.  If wealth creation cannot exist, then ‘wealth creators’ cannot exist. So there cannot be any such thing as capitalism or any justification for capitalism.

 

By way of a simple example:

 

An iron smelting plant is in operation and claims to transform iron ore into usable steel and therefore ‘create wealth’. If we take into account the pollution and destruction of environment involved in the smelting process and we adequately account for this and other left hand costs, we find that in fact this melting plant has not created any wealth or any matter of any kind, but in fact simply transformed parts of the existing environment into something else. No wealth has been created.

 

The trick behind this, is to undervalue the preliminary imports – the land, the environment, the labour et cetera and to correspondingly overvalue the output: the ‘wealth’ that has been created. Turning healthy useful corn into ‘Cheetos’ counts as wealth production!!

 

The Whole World Similies With You

Let us look more closely at the value of inputs, for instance the value of iron ore. The value of any particular portion of iron ore can only be rationally valued in comparison with the total amount of all iron ore.

 

If you were to say that 1 pound of iron ore is as valuable as six eggs you are making a poetic comparison, expressing a SIMILIE not an accurate fact. There is no rational relationship between a lump of iron and an egg and there never can be any rational relationship between a lump of iron and an egg because there is no rational point of comparison.

 

(This is an indicator of the value problem which comprises the third part of my general theory of money. I will return  to this later).

 

There is no rational relationship between a lump of iron and an egg but there is a rational relationship between a lump of iron and the totality of all iron available. We can say that any one piece of iron represents a proportion of all total  iron.

 

If there were 100 tons of iron available on earth, then one ton of iron would represent 1% of all the available iron and this would be its true demonstrable, rational, proportionate value.

 

But this presents an immediate and obvious problem: we have no idea of how much iron is actually available and can only provide a an estimate. It follows that we can only present an estimate of the value of any given piece of iron. Since it is only an estimate, is open to a bit of ‘creative accounting’…

 

But although creative accounting can paper over some of the more obvious gaps in the capitalist fraud, the more intelligent Germans realised that this could not form the basis for a long term strategy.

 

They realised that they were playing a game of cat and mouse they were bound to lose in the end. The longer the game went on,  and the more information that became available, the more clearly people would begin to see that the estimates of value that were given to steel and wheat and air were clearly fraudulent.

 

The more clearly people began to get an idea of the TOTAL amount of any given thing, the more clearly they would realise that the present valuation of it was undervalued and just as importantly  the previous estimates were even more fraudulent!

 

This is the true meaning behind the battle between environmentalism and its opponents…

 

And then Germanic capitalists had a stroke of ‘genius’. Which actually means they simply reverted to their fundamental nature. They decided to turn everything back to front, inside out and upside down.

 

Why wait for the inevitable exposure and condemnation when the accounts became due? Why not instead START with the accounts and work backwards??!! And this is exactly and precisely how capitalism and capitalist democracy was brought into being.

 

A capitalist corporation first produces a final profit and then promises to work towards it. Of course, it usually fails and resolving the consequences  of this failure is called capitalist economics.

 

A capitalist political party first produces a set of intended results and then promises to work towards it. Of course it usually fails and resolving the consequences of this failure is called capitalist politics.

 

But the key advantage of this process, insane as it seems, is that there is no point where the capitalist corporation or the capitalist economic party is actually HELD TO ACCOUNT in the literal sense of the word.

 

Because they persuaded the investors and the voters to endorse the accounts they were given before the process even began. They made you just as culpable as they are.

 

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Nine Hundred And Fifty Four, Nine Hundred And Fifty Bloody Five.. Or I Wonder If We Are Ever Gonna Change

 

Underpinning Einstein’s theory of relativity is the philosophical argument that it is both possible and desirable to view a particular event from a multiplicity of points of view to gain a comprehensive understanding of the processes embodied in that event.

 

If this is the case, then it might also be argued that it is both possible and desirable to view any particular historical and economic event from a multiplicity of points of view. This would be as revolutionary a development in economics as Einstein’s theory was in physics.

 

Both classic economics and the Marxist variant, promote a singular subjective perspective on structure and meaning of economic systems. Their purpose, openly stated or covertly implied, is to promote the political, moral and cultural system they are representative of.

 

The formal purpose of capitalist economics is to run the system at its most efficient , it’s covert aim to justify capitalism as the dominant system. The overt purpose of Marxism is to produce a critique of capitalism that will lead to its being abandoned as a consequence of its internal contradictions. Its covert aim is to justify historical attempts to create alternatives to capitalism.

 

In order to work, both capitalist economics and Marxism need a protagonist, an archetypal hero from whose singular perspective we can see the world and whose actions we can subjectively identify with. This is the real identity politics.

 

For capitalists the hero of the story is well ,.. The Capitalist  who daringly risks all to bring wealth up from the depths of the darkness -a variation on the Prometheus narrative. For Marxists the hero of the story is The Worker whose toil in the mines is the real producer of wealth.

 

Effectively, both socialism and capitalism are operatic arias in the Wagnerian mode, with two main characters competing for The Ring of Wealth, claim and counter-claim, war, deception and betrayal all part of the story…

 

In a small accommodation with reality there has been a recognition of this subjective limitation and  attempts to modify both classic and Marxist economics. Keynesianism explicitly criticised classic economy from the perspective that it had no macro economic analysis, that it was limited and partial. Marxism also criticised classical economics from the same perspective.

 

In turn, classical economics responded by broadening the fields of economic activity that it covered and even integrated elements of both Marxism and Keynesianism to produce the modern hybrid that passes for mainstream economics today. At the same time neo liberalism explicitly critiqued Marxist planned economy for offering a limited and distorted perspective on the real world. Only the market was capable of gathering and processing enough information to make the system work it claimed.

 

Classic economics and Marxism have historically attempted to compensate for narrowness of vision by reaching for an ever more comprehensive breadth of subject matter. Their final strategic purpose is to claim that the point of view they represent is capable of encompassing all of experience. In other words, both capitalism and socialism claim to be universal theories.

 

This strategy really amounts to nothing more than a form of semantic  trickery that exploits the confusion between taking something into account and adequately accounting for something. An analysis undertaken on this basis degenerates into nothing more than description in the form of an ever expanding list of complaints that classic economics makes about Marxist economics and Marxism makes about classic economics.

 

But neither capitalist economics or Marxism can overcome the fundamental problem that they are subjective in both analysis and purpose- they are in essence particular points  of view.

 

In the back and forth diatribe of mutual complaint each philosophy implicitly recognises the value and need for the other as each seeks new territory to colonise at the expense of the other. Both competing analyses move from old to new battlefields as they become available for domination,  seeking both to justify their own existence and to nullify the existence of their opponents.

 

This is the operation of a dialectic; the domination of thought through the application of a controlled conflict- a drama- a demi-urge.

 

The last major episode in this opera was the credit crunch. Marxist economics went on the offensive, seeking to gain advantage in this period of capitalism’s distress. In response neo- Classic economy sought to spin events in such a way as to justify itself. Perhaps unsurprisingly classic and Marxist have managed to fight each other to what is effectively a stalemate. Both boxers now winded and bloody, have retired to corners for a chest rub and a pep talk from their respective managers…

 

The central question now is: Do we wish to invite both protagonists back for a further round of conflict? Would there be any purpose, political or intellectual, in continuing a boxing bout that seems to have stalled in mutual exhaustion? If subjective political economy has nowhere left to go, what can emerge to take its place?

 

The economic model I propose does not rely on a representation of any particular group as the main protagonist in history and economy. I don’t seek to make The Capitalist the hero of history or The Worker either. On the contrary I am now arguing that there is no such thing as The Capitalist as a concrete economic agent. There is no such thing as The Worker either. They are both literary inventions of Germanic culture. This is where culture meets economics.

 

Nobody ever in the history of the world ever created capitalist wealth through undertaking risk. Nobody ever in the history of the world ever created capitalist wealth through undertaking labour. Both these ideas are literary fictions.

 

Instead I am arguing that the only way that capitalist wealth is created is that it is extracted and accrued through the operation of money forms, that is denuded versions of money. These money forms create and operate their own distribution networks within society and economy that allow the extraction of wealth.

 

Individual or group economic power and significance comes from the extent to which one has access to one or more money forms and is able to utilise them to extract wealth.

 

This analysis seeks to represent Germanic capitalism from a multiplicity of perspectives to show both action and reaction in any given transaction. We no longer need to be bound to this or that heroic perspective or this or that litany of complaint and counter-complaint.

 

But there is a price to be paid for this insight. Because in such a model the struggle for economic power becomes a zero sum game. Power is fixed in quantity and quality. If power accrues to one then it necessarily is taken from to another. Wealth cannot be created as in a Germanic literary fantasy.

 

Just as Einstein’s theory was able to capture the multiplicity of relative motion through the adoption of a constant the speed of light so this model of money requires a constant  – that of wealth. Wealth in this model is not created, that is the absolute barrier that cannot be broken through.