G.U.T.

Whatever else Karl Marx was, he was not a Marxist- as he himself is reported to have said. This comment is generally taken as a dig at the intellectual quality of ‘Marxists’ and one all the more piquant because it comes from the progenitor of Marxism..  But it is possible to see this from another point of view; as a typically wry observation that Marx himself understood that he could not be a Marxist according to the logic of his own position, because he was unwilling and unable to apply a strict Marxist interpretation to Marxism itself. If Marx was accusing anyone, he was accusing himself…. His favourite motto:

De omnibus dubitandum [Everything must be doubted].”

would of necessity include Marx himself of course…

Marxism as an ideology necessarily comes into existence in it’s own terms. Marxism proclaims that it derives  purpose and validity solely by virtue of it’s own content. For a Marxist, there are no questions to be asked about Marxism’s  origins or the context in which it came to existence outside of the terms of Marxism itself. At first glance his seems a bit knotty, but in fact the logic is quite straightforward. Let me elaborate: Marxism is given as the product of Marx’s intellectual development which in turn is the product of the development of the objective conditions that gave rise to it; (That would be Marx’s intellectual development and also Marxism, which are two different things, but also the same thing,,,ahem..) Let me elaborate further…

The basic idea underpinning historical materialism is that capitalism inevitably comes into existence because of mankind’s increasing productive capacity through technological advance. By the same process socialism/communism also inevitably must come into existence because of the inherent nature of capitalism. In so far as mankind’s development is inevitable, so the development of capitalism from feudalism and then socialism from capitalism is inevitable.  And since socialism is the first truly self aware social movement, it’s ideology must also inevitably come into existence at the same time that socialism itself comes into existence.(Because if it didn’t then it wouldn’t be self aware..and therefore not Marxism/socialism). You can be a functioning capitalist without necessarily understanding capitalism but you can’t be a functioning socialist without understanding socialism. On the contrary, Marxists argue that it is a precondition of being a capitalist that you do not really understand the true nature of capitalism since if you did then you would be…. a socialist!

“Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.”
Karl Marx

This fundamental conditionality is encapsulated in the idea of ‘false consciousness’ which, like many such concepts, is used in inverse proportion to the extent it is understood. The vulgar exposition of false consciousness is that workers believe they have a stake in the ongoing success of capitalism when in fact their best interest would be served by its collapse. But actually the doctrine of false consciousness holds that thought is ‘falsely conscious’ when it holds itself to be the product of abstracted reason instead of objective conditions. In other words a thought is conscious in that it wants to be the product of reason (which is what consciousness consists of, according to Marx),  but it is false in that it is not actually the product of reason but an expression of the social relationships that gave rise to that thought. In more prosaic, (but no less convoluted), terms; You think that you think what you think because you have reasoned it out and therefore there is no reasoned alternative to what you are thinking.  But in reality you think what you think because you have been conditioned to think it. Simply because you are unaware that you have been conditioned to think as you do, your conditioned thought is non rational. If you did understand that you have been conditioned to think as you do, then this would necessarily be the first step toward breaking that conditioning and becoming truly aware, (a socialist).

“Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.”

In general the first step towards becoming a socialist/Marxist is to understand that there is an historical identity to capitalism because that specific understanding breaks the conditioning of capitalism.

“Once the inner connection is grasped, all theoretical belief in the permanent necessity of existing conditions collapses before their collapse in practice
Letter to Ludwig Kugelmann (July 11, 1868)”
Selected Letters: The Personal Correspondence 1844-1877

From this whole cloth the historical materialism I refer to above  is created. Historical materialism holds that the emergence, development and demise of capitalism is part of an ongoing historical process. On the contrary, modern capitalist ideology holds that capitalism itself is the end point of that process. (The ‘End Of History’ a la Francis Fukyama).

A brief word to clarify what is meant by conditioning here. This is not necessarily a directed process in the Pavlovian sense of training a dog to salivate at the sound of a bell, but rather a natural outcome of interaction with the world as it presently is. To a Marxist, thought is the contemporaneous state of the world mediated through the minds of the people that inhabit it.

“Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand.”
Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy

As a consequences of this perspective, Marxism understands thought as a PRODUCT not a cause in distinction from capitalists who regard thought as a means to an end instead of an end product in itself. Thought is unconscious ( falsely conscious), to the extent  of being a product and not a cause. Thought is actually conscious to the extent of being a cause and not a product. ( hence the famous Marx quote:

Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.

Eleven Theses on Feuerbach

These prophetic words are inscribed upon Marx’s grave. Irony.

Marx argued this in direct contradistinction to Hegelian philosophy although he claimed Hegel in part as inspiration. In fact, Marx characterised his materialism in exactly this way as the contradictory argument that refines Hegelian philosophy. Hegel starts from the process of thought and goes on to explain the thought process but Marx ends at thought. In this way Marx directly contradicts Hegel and yet claims though this contradiction to be his successor! This startling conception of the thought process gives rise to a problem however. If a given thought process is the product of the conditioning that created it, surely it is trapped by that very same conditioning. How can such a thought process ever realise that it is the product of conditioning? How can you modify your own thought process just by thinking about it? How can you lift yourself up by your own shoe laces? It is clear that for the argument to work some outside force becomes necessary to break into the conditioning/thinking feedback loop and produce a change.

Luckily as it turns out, capitalism just happens to contain within itself that agent of change!

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Don’t Let The Good Be The Enemy Of The Goods

The customer is always wrong…

 

The following appeared in an article in the Indepenent:

German supermarket empties shelves of foreign-made goods to make a point about racism Will Worley Thursday 24 August 2017

 

A German supermarket has emptied its shelves in an effort to make a point about racism and diversity. The Edeka store in Hamburg removed foreign-made products from its stock, replacing them with sign bearing anti-xenophobia slogans. It is believed the move will be followed be a larger campaign from Edeka, the largest supermarket chain in Germany. Surprised shoppers entered the store to find that much of the normal selection was gone, demonstrating how reliant they are on other countries for everyday products. Instead, they were greeted with signs saying: “This shelf is pretty boring without diversity.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/edeka-german-supermarket-empty-shelves-racism-diversity-largest-chain-a7908551.html

Just to make it clear if the article itself is not obvious enough: This shop in Germany no longer sells capitalist ‘goods’ as we have understood them. In fact it has removed ‘goods’ from it’s shelves in order that we might more clearly see what it is actually selling; that we might more clearly see what it’s shelves are now actually stacked with.

This shop has stacked it’s shelves with, and is now selling Good, (as opposed to ‘goods’).

And since it is actually selling Good as opposed to ‘goods’ it follows that the accounting conventions that have previously applied to the sale of ‘goods’ (such as selling at a profit) no longer apply. It follows from this that the objective of this enterprise is no longer that patrons leave the premises satisfied to a greater or lesser extent with the purchases they have made, but rather that they should leave the premises suitably EDUCATED or IMPROVED.

In this particular instance achieving this objective will take the form of the customer leaving WITHOUT the ‘goods’ they entered the premises for, but WITH a clear sense of having been educated and/or improved. In fact, customers are educated and improved precisely to the extent that they leave without the ‘goods’ they envisioned purchasing. Presumably the idea is that they return home and spend the time they would have spent consuming the goods they had obtained, contemplating the benefits of DIVERSITY.

Of course the business not only forgoes the profit that would have come from this day’s trading but also undergoes the additional expense and inconvenience of restocking the shelves after having to de-stock the shelves and store all the produce somewhere while making the point they are making..

And presumably should one or more patrons choose to object to the process and subsequently decide to shop somewhere else, well the loss of revenue is apparently acceptable to this business. Because if customers don’t want to be educated and improved about the benefits of diversity and other things while shopping, then frankly we would rather do without their custom.

After contemplating the picture above for a while, a comparison with the shelves of the Cold War Eastern Bloc and assorted command economies rises to the mind. We were assured repeatedly that it was the abundant provision of consumer goods that proved the superiority of the capitalist model over the command model and resulted in the end of the Cold War.

And yet somehow here we are seeing those self same scantily stocked shelves making an appearance in the supposedly victorious west. And the fact that these shelves are empty is a matter of conscious decision, not any failure in management. What gives?

The fact is that everybody is more or less sick of consumerism, which is another word for capitalist manufactured crap. From cheap nasty food high in sugar and fat, to an endless myriad of plastic novelties manufactured by slave labour in the Far East, it has become impossible to avoid the simple observation that 99.9% of everything created by capitalism is useless crap. And that other 0.1%? That’s the stuff you can’t afford…. so what’s new?

Well, what’s new is that now even the capitalists themselves are starting to get sick of it. They just can’t find a reason to get themselves out of bed and drag themselves into work in the morning anymore. Except..maybe, if they could use capitalism as a vehicle to propagate a message.

Seriously.

Advertising used to be creating ideas to sell you stuff. From now on it’s going to be creating stuff to sell you ideas..

Yet more proof that free market capitalism is well and truly dead.

Oh, and pick me up a pint of diversity on your way back from town will you?

 

 

 

 

Unscrambled Eggs 3 Or All The Kings Men Or A Stitch In Time Or You Can’t Make.. Or Asteroid! Or The Real Crackernomics

 

 

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In the first part of this series I briefly outlined how the Germanic cult of Capitalism redefined the relationship between the person and the state. Fundamentally this redefinition meant that the sole valid legal and moral relationship an individual could have to society would be to the nation state and not local community or supra national church. This was effectively nothing less than the legal abolition of voluntary community in NW Eurasia.  Capitalism is defined in large part by the fact that no-one, outside of a tiny elite, is allowed to decide who they live with and under what rules. This is Germanic Land Democracy;  the elite forms a Land Republic the rest are the land slaves.

 

In tandem and in consequence to this legal putsch the economic needs of capitalism incrementally developed an unstable and mobile workforce.  Communities that had lost their link to the land, their independence, would be forced to go wherever the work was, even to the extent of destroying inter generational family structures. Family, by ideological necessity, was ordained as evil. ‘Workers’ were elevated by capitalism  to a position where they did not even have access to water to drink unless provided by the emergent nation state.

 

The newly ordained priests of Protestant Capitalism preached that this EXTREME state of affairs could only be negotiated through the ‘Free Market’, which was of necessity magical in the extent of the powers it would have to overcome these problems. But effectively this was accepting and then promoting an unending state of PERMANENT CRISIS, something that Marx intuitively understood. Capitalism IS a state of permanent crisis- this is the single most important insight you can have into it’s political structures. Capitalist democracy is effectively a never ending series of emergency meetings-  of chaotic shouting and gesturing taking place in stock markets and bond sales as well as in the seat of government.

robert-de-niro-frankenstein

Let’s party!

The new workforce was unstable and mobile; given identity by theoretically owning collectively a geographic area- the nation state- but not allowed to actually own any of that very thing that gave their existence meaning! As a consequence Germanic culture spawned the modern political party  as a Frankenstein’s monster of geographic representation and ‘ economic’ necessity stitched together; constantly torn between its supposed constitutional identity and the reality of the system it represents. Nowhere is this clearer that in the case of economic nationalism. To protect the national economy it is necessary to deny the ‘Free Market’ and international trade! The two foundational concepts of capitalism are fundamentally opposed to each other. Managing this running sore at the heart of Germanic life is the basis for modern Germanic politics and economics.

 

Subject to inevitable periodic disruption, the system staggered on, until as a result of the financial crisis,  the free market suffered virtually total ideological collapse in the west in 2007.  Once the belief in the Free Market as a negotiating mechanism was gone there was no agreed ongoing way to negotiate the state of emergency that I describe above. It has now become an immediate and pressing feature of day to day existence in the Germanic capitalist world. This explains the dynamic that powers all politics and economics in this 21st century; a state of permanent visible crisis that has no agreed mechanism for negotiating a solution.

 

I must underline this central point. The market and capitalist democracy are often described as being supposedly somehow self replicating and self regulating (these are some of the magical qualities ascribed to the Market). And this perspective seems to be valid from the point of view of market cultists. But the reason that the Market reappears and reproduces itself  is exactly and only because the crises that give rise to it are continually replicating and reproducing!!

 

Naomi Klein had a fantastic insight into this process in The Shock Doctrine, in which she described some of the largest and most extreme manifestations of this phenomenon. But Klein failed to understand that the crisis has always been permanent and ongoing every second that capitalism exists. In capitalism every meeting is an emergency meeting. This is the spirit of the age. The critique that capitalism offers of socialism is that it is incapable of creating a crisis management system as effective as capitalism. The criticism of capitalism that socialism offers is that capitalism is incapable of creating an effective crisis management system.

 

Marx understood that the Germanic cult of capitalism was a permanent state of emergency. He also understood that should the sense of forward momentum of capitalism be dulled or even stalled that Capitalism would CEASE TO EXIST in people’s minds in that millisecond. That is the fundamental importance of the cult of ‘Progress’ that obsesses both Germanic left and right. Marx formulated the observation that in the absence of progress:

 

 “A development of the productive forces is the absolutely necessary ….because without it want is generalized, and with want the struggle for necessities begins again, and that means that all the old crap must revive.”

 

The management of capitalism is only considered valid to the extent that it can be shown to be progressing in managing and solving the day to day problems thrown up by the inherent crisis of capitalism itself. The moment this is shown not to be the case, capitalism has an election and puts in a new management team. When there are no viable capitalist management teams available, there is a socialist revolution, which is effectively an outside team of management consultants being drafted in. In detail, the process can be described as:

 

Unless the all encompassing illusion of progress can be maintained , the appearance of socialism reverts to the appearance of capitalism and the appearance of capitalism reverts to the appearance of feudalism. The reversion of the appearance of capitalism to the appearance of feudalism is what we can observe all around us.

 

Think about it and you will understand that under these circumstances the possibility, the promise of stability, either real or illusory, simply cannot exist.

 

So the 24/7 round the clock emergency repair system of the market has broken down and the appearance of feudalism has re-emerged in the west. Great!- Let’s Go Feudal! But we can’t go back to the pre-capitalist system because the link between culture, community and place has been permanently and irrevocably mutilated. Just like a scrambled egg whose yolk and white have been amalgamated there is no way back for the Humpty Dumpty of free market capitalism. And this understanding finally brings us to the meaning and significance of cultural constituencies

 

I initially pointed out that the nation state took over responsibility for morality from Church and Community; a duty to society that would from now on be discharged by the offices of the free market which would decide who would get what, where and when. But now that the market has been shown to fail the question for the populations of NW Eurasia is how to take the responsibility for morality back from the nation state..If you doubt this, you have only to look at the self appointed refugee rescue NGO’s operating in the Mediterranean Sea that have effectively privatised the process of immigration from the third world.

Chicxulub-impact-2

Big Bang

We can describe the problem  of reconstituting morality in this way. A massive asteroid  hits the earth at Chicxulub  68 million years ago and throws millions of tons of  debris high into the air. Over a period of subsequent decades that debris falls to earth, but not just in the place it came from but all over the earth’s surface. The entire globe now has a thin layer of dust that came from one just one place in Eastern Mexico. So the same with the human debris of capitalism. And  instead of one meteorite there is a continuous stream of impacts every hour of every day. So people are exploded up from where they originated into the atmosphere and then land down all over the globe in a variety of stratified layers that are analogous to the ‘classes’ that are said to compose modern society.

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The class system..

 

But morality is the link between culture, community and place and it has been permanently and irrevocably mutilated.  So a modern cultural constituency is a cross section of stratified layers trying to act as though it were a cohesive regional community. It is a plate of scrambled eggs trying to remember what it was like to be six eggs in a box…

 

 

 

 

 

Unscrambled Egg 2: The Empire Of The Mind

 

Newly emerged Germanic Land Democracy was based on a modified relationship between citizen and nation; between people and land. The essence of this change was expressed most clearly in the requirement that only property owners be allowed a vote in the new system. If you didn’t own any land in the new Germanic nation state you were not allowed to vote. You were not a citizen, your legal status was  less than a slave. Effectively, the entirely new ‘class’ of  landless urban dwellers created by capitalism were completely shut out. At the same time  the ‘peasants’ who remained on the land were equally constrained by the same legal system as the newly created ‘workers’- they too were rendered powerless by the new property system.

 

An Empire Of The Mind

 

In each newly formed Germanic State territory, an emergent capitalist elite accrued virtual total political power. But it was clear that as a small minority of the overall population, they were unlikely to hang on to it for long unless they cold find a way to broaden support for the new regime. The central Germanic contradiction is a polity based on land ownership and an economic system based on the the denial of land ownership.

The solution that emerged was two fold:

 

First, to propagate the concept of ‘property ownership’ as a validation of democratic rights, primarily the right to vote. If a system is to have land ownership as a condition of participation and is to be as inclusive as possible, it follows that land ownership would have to be as widespread as possible. But the capitalist economic system requires precisely the opposite of that. So a dilute deformed symbolic form of land ownership has to be forged.

 

Secondly to increase the scope of the democratic franchise and correspondingly dilute its power. If a society is to have genuine people power and that power is based on total mass participation then there will be no one left to have control over!!

 

Underpinning this is the difficult truth that a democracy can only work if part of the population is not in it. A democracy only has a valid purpose if part of the population is not in it. It is a system of control. What would be it’s purpose if there was no-one to control?

 

So- called Germanic ‘Property rights’ are fundamentally different to genuine land ownership. As such they constitute one of the biggest frauds in the history of human society. A property owner is NOT a land owner by any means . A ‘property owner’ is one who pays state and private taxes for the privilege of being a citizen of a capitalist  nation. The property owning citizen pays private taxes in the form of mortgage or rent and state taxes in the form of local or national taxes. No citizen of a capitalist state actually owns the land on which his property resides outright, even if they manage to pay off a mortgage.

 

The land your property is built on provides no safety and no refuge. You cannot say what happens there. You cannot defend the sky above your property from pollution and you cannot defend the land below from mining. In fact you cannot defend it from anyone, even the lowliest representative of the Germanic state!!.  In the Germanic nation, the state is the landlord of last resort.

 

In truth the Germanic capitalist nation is a land dictatorship ; it’s citizens are land slaves. In order to hide this discomforting truth, grocers and factory owners hire  gangs of preachers and poets to sing a new song; of an Empire Of The Mind of lions rampant and unicorns, (in England) and of disembodied eyes floating atop stone pyramids (in America). Instead of water and sunlight, you have a passport. Instead of clean food and air,you have a flag. Instead of culture, family and identity , you are assigned a ‘class’. Modern Germanic nationalism is born. In creating an empire of the mind class end of land ownership. Cultural and regional difference is to be abolished. Ties to the land are to be abolished for the ordinary people. Claims on the land are to be abolished. From now on economics would  decide what you were allowed to want and when you were allowed to want it.

 

 

This new song of ‘economics’ led to the  second great modification; to increase the franchise and so to the creation of modern political parties. The modern  Germanic political party is formally based on geography, ( you elect specific representatives to ‘represent’ the people of a geographic area), but whose stated collective purpose is primarily economic. (The redistribution of the product of society generally understood as tax and spend)

 

This leads us directly to the concept of constituencies. A constituency is a group of people whose identity and interests are represented within an agreed forum.

 

A capitalist constituency such as ‘workers’ or the ‘middle class’ is a defined economic group whose economic interest is represented within national government by means of a Germanic party. A land democracy constituency is a geographic group of people represented within national government by means of a party..

 

I have briefly described the legal political  development of a Germanic capitalist polity, but there is also the economic and technical development of capitalism to take into account. Capitalism requires a large and mobile group of people who have no option other than working for wages and SPENDING WAGES to function. It seems fairly obvious that capitalism needs ‘workers’ who have no way of obtaining resources other than by selling their labour. But capitalism also needs those same workers to depend upon the market for everything, even down to a glass of clean water. In the end, everything must become a commodity. Everything. Food water, air, sunlight, then dignity, justice, privacy. Everything. And if you look around you that is what is happening before your eyes…This ever increasing dependency is called growth.

 

Capitalism  transforms the population into a large mobile and unstable workforce. In other words capitalism makes mass immigration and emigration inevitable.

Cultural Constituencies: Unscrambled Egg 1

 

The arrival of Germanic Protestantism, the modern nation state and capitalism transformed the social composition of  North Western Eurasian territories. By social composition I mean the relationship between the actual peoples who made up these territories and the legal and political personality of the territories themselves.

 

In the pre-Reformation period, societies in NW Eurasia were characterised by groups of ethnically and culturally homogenous people that were gathered in defined geographical areas. There were clear and identifiable differences between these groups of people in customs, variations of language and dialect, and even specific ethnic difference. The creation of the German nation state acted to distort and blur these differences as a consequences of the political, economic model it imposed. Notable elements of this new model included:

 

Germanic Land Democracy

A legal relationship of individuals directly to the State and not community

The end of supra national religion and morality.

 

‘The concept of modern Germanic national integrity is most commonly referred to as the Westphalian model. This model is based on the idea that nation states have clearly defined borders and that the inhabitants of those bordered areas have specific defined rights in relation to other nations and their defined geography. As described here:

 

‘In fact, the ‘Westphalian model’ of international legal order holds that the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years’ War in Europe, constituted a paradigm shift in the development of the present state system.The twin congresses held are deemed the forum where, for the first time in the history of international relations, distinct separate polities became sovereign. It is portrayed as a historical fact that Westphalia ‘represented a new diplomatic arrangement − an order created by states, for states − and replaced most of the legal vestiges of hierarchy, at the pinnacle of which were the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor’. As Mark Janis unequivocally put it:

The Peace of Westphalia legitimated the right of sovereigns to govern their peoples free of outside interference, whether any such external claim to interfere was based on political, legal or religious principles. […] Sovereignty, as a concept, formed the cornerstone of the edifice of international relations that 1648 raised up. Sovereignty was the crucial element in the peace treaties of Westphalia, the international agreements that were intended to end a great war and to promote a coming peace. The treaties of Westphalia enthroned and sanctified sovereigns, gave them powers domestically and independence externally.*

In order for this to be workable, the basis for the polity must be that of land owned through legal entitlement and not commonality of identity or culture. A simple illustration of this can be shown with nomadic peoples who traditionally travel over extended geographical areas with no consideration for national boundaries. If a tribe spends the summer in territory ‘A’ and the winter in territory ‘B’ can they be said to be citizens of ‘A’ or of ‘B’ or of both? To obtain the protection and rights of territory ‘A’ or territory ‘B’ they must sacrifice their community identity and way of life or be designated as an enemy or inconvenience to both nation states. And we know what happens after that..

 

It follows from this that the legal rights and obligations of a newly designated citizen is to the STATE in the form of a fully or partial formal social contract (a constitution),  and not to local community. All forms of informal community rights and obligation are either immediately void or subject to authentication and enforcement by the state.

 

In NW Eurasia first and foremost of these informal rights and obligations were those owed to the Catholic Church which was to be superseded by national religion in the form of Protestantism. The authority and privilege of Protestant religion and its adherents is guaranteed by nation states and not supra national religious authorities such as the Catholic Church. In England the right of English people to appeal to the Pope over the heads of  national royalty was abolished in 1566 (I think). By this act Henry the Eighth made himself supreme monarch and head of religion. In this way not only were matters of identity, loyalty and culture resolved in favour of the Germanic Protestant nation state, but matters of MORALITY as well! This is a massively important point, the significance of which cannot be over emphasised. Germanic morality is absolutely and utterly  entwined with the political cultural and economic structure of the nation state. More on this later.

 

Once the nation state was established, the question of politics and specifically democracy, came to the fore. Democracy necessarily rests on the question of eligibility, that is who is eligible to take part in a particular democracy. In the Germanic form (NOT in the classic Greek form), eligibility is contingent upon land ownership and territory. It is for this reason that the form of modern democracy seen in North Western Eurasia and elsewhere is accurately described as GERMANIC LAND DEMOCRACY and not GREEK BODY DEMOCRACY.

 

It is not an accident of history that political systems of the modern German nation state are without exception based on the concept of GEOGRAPHIC CONSTITUENCY. This is a pyramid of ever larger geographical units. Usually the structure is:

 

Ward

District

Town or City

National Parliament

Head of State

 

And you are no doubt familiar with both theory and practice of how this pyramidal structure is supposed to transfer the requests of the people up to the elected elite and the subsequent orders of the elected elite back down to the people. But there was a problem… (Isn’t there always?)

 

Along with all the Good Things that were supposed to come along with the Reformation Freedom, Enlightenment, and the return of Germanic supremacy, there was also the matter of Capitalism, which was the bill that the stout yeomen  would be required to pay for all the good things that Germanic Land Democracy would bring. And capitalism required two important things:

That people should be thrown off the land in ever increasing numbers and

That people should be herded together in cities to provide the labour that would power capitalism.

So here was the problem. The political system was based at every level on the ownership of land. The economic system required that most people should not be allowed to own any land!

 

 

 

*Australian Journal of Legal History

The Westphalian Model In Defining International Law: Challenging The Myth

Stéphane BEAULAC

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.

 

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.