Wednesday, August 01, 2018

#YouToo: Capitalism is Socialist Rape-Culture

eand |  Capitalism is produced by socialism. It socializes losses. It privatizes gains. It needs social investment and support to keep doing both, in fact. Why? And why do we let it? Why does capitalism always seem to need capital from society to plow on, and losses to socialize right back — which also means that a noble laissez faire state of capitalist nature is an old wives’ tale? Whether it’s armies to enforce slaves, bailouts for banks, or loans for the American Dream (no blacks allowed, please)?

“Capitalism” is really just a way to say that “governments support private ownership of things.” Sometimes, those things are factories, sometimes they’re bonds, and sometimes, quite terribly, they’re even other people. But note the wrinkle. The job of a “government”, as far as “capitalism” is concerned, is to keep privately owned things running, going, operating — and yet that alone says that capital can’t really exist by itself. Who’ll do the work of quelling the slave rebellion? Of funding the frontier? Of bailing out the hedge funds? Who’ll pipe that house and pave those roads? Yet without those, capitalism would have ceased to function in the blink of an eye, time after time. Without social investment and support, capitalism would stop overnight — even in America. Imagine if the skies turned black, or the phone lines went down, or the internet became gobbledygook, or the trees attacked us, instead of stood there pleasantly, giving us air to breathe.

That means that “capitalism” is a system of a very specific kind. One where those who have the least capital are always subsidizing those who already have the most of it — and hoping for a little bit in return. And that means that those already who have the most capital will always win. Imagine that you have a hundred times more money than me. Won’t you have the power to demand all kinds of concessions from me? Imagine you have a hundred times more social capital than me. Won’t that make your power over me even greater? And so on. And yet here I am, not just begging you for a job — but subsidizing you while I’m doing it, paying for that bailout, paying back that extortionate interest, paying for the democracy which keep your contracts worth a dime while you wreck it, and so forth.

The problem, then, is a kind of paradox. “Capitalism” means the job of a government is that society supports and nurtures, protects and subsidizes, the capitalist, not vice versa. But the capitalist is the one who already owns the most, by definition. He has the least to lose. He has the most information. He can buy up all your alternatives. So this idea of governance itself means the capitalist always wins — because the government is enforcing his rule now: those who have the most capital receive the most capital, and those who have none receive none.

That is why the history of capitalism seem always to be those who already have the most capital amassing the most, and those who have the least amassing the least. Not any specific individual — but certainly amongst social groups. It’s not a coincidence that American billionaires are mostly white men — and white men were slaveowners, not slaves. Whites amassed so much capital thanks to slavery that they still hold ten times more, on average, than blacks. So of course it’s vastly more likely that whites will be billionaires, or even millionaires. Capitalism is a construction of socialism — a system in which society subsidizes those who own the most, not vice versa.

Isn’t that what’s happened in America today? Late on your bills? We’ll hunt you down. Bad credit? Kiss a home goodbye. Can’t afford your deductible? Too bad, I guess the cancer’s going to get you. The government is enforcing the capitalist’s rule — whomever has the most capital receives most, and whomever has the least loses the most, or at best, wins the least.