Thursday, May 7, 2009

Equal Opportunity

"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals."

— Albert Einstein, "Why Socialism?", May 1949

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I believe that immigration from the South is a fine example of where capitalism fails. Above setting up a Berlinesque wall between the U.S. and Mexico and treating them like criminals, I believe there should simply be stricter regulation on the wages and exploitation of immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants. The ways in which they’re viewed and treated by society, and paid a literal fraction of any sort of ethical minimum wage is a modern form of slave labor and should be treated as such. It is a horrific injustice to human rights and the general belief that we should care for our fellow human. An easier, hastier method of granting immigrants citizenship must be implemented as soon as possible.

Anger over jobs being “stolen” by immigrants should be more accurately directed at the international corporations that ship good paying jobs that most Americans can fill overseas. Outsourcing technical/customer support jobs and a wide range of general industrial occupations is more of a burden on Americans than a contractor looking for cheap labor. In essence, American business should be more regulated and kept in line, given their gross record of indecency.

God damned . . socialist.

A vast majority of America’s socio-economic faults stem from our fundamental belief that capitalism works, and everything else fails. One could argue that a bulk of it is a result of the demonization of communism during the Cold War, and the current demonization of anything involving the word “socialism”. However, socialist economic ideas in America have played a large role in passing fair labor legislation that, today, we take for granted, and creating the political climate we deal with on a daily basis. It isn't that hard to believe, especially considering Eugene V. Debs, leading and representing the Socialst Party, received 6% of the popular vote in the 1912 United States presidential election. In a time of massive labor strikes and even before the Bolshevik revolution, socialism was in the hearts of many Americans.

One of the most common arguments for the decency of capitalism is the profit motive. Each individual’s desire to be successful and garner wealth builds an economy to be reckoned with. While the concept of profit motive may seem wholesome, there are severe and often overlooked byproducts:

Exploiting (a wild understatement) workers,
• A preference for cheap, sub-par materials in the stages of production (high fructose corn syrup),
• Generally building things that simply aren’t meant to last (obsolescence schemes - American cars, for example),
• Perpetuating the already rigid caste/limiting social mobility,
• An imbalance in the influence of corporate interest, and
• Promoting the acceptance of American greed.

The profit motive also leads to the creation of the corporation. We’ve seen too many examples in the past 20 years of corporations failing, burning the accounting books, for the sake of profit and not disappointing investors. Wall-Street speculation and predictions of a stock’s growth dictates the company’s bottom-line. Corporations such as Fannie May and Freddie Mac, AIG, and the “Big 3” Detroit auto makers all have something in common that affects the tax-payer and government: they’re too big to fail. They provide too much tax money that accounts for a large portion of the federal government’s budget, too many American jobs, and too many investments made by the American people.

Profit for the owners of the means of production is simply withheld wages and benefits for the laborers. The question this leads to is whether a power-house economy and the world's largest number of millionaires and billionaires justifies the fact that we also have one of the highest rates of childhood poverty for a developed, industrialized nation. Almost 1/4 of American children are raised in relative poverty, and more than 46 million Americans have no health insurance whatsoever -- that's over 18% of the total population.

Social Environmentalism

A meaningful, successful, and earnest American environmental movement will not see its way into strict legislation or international pacts under the current capitalist policies. The United States, being one of only two nations to have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, was largely convinced by corporatist idealism. Murray Rothbard, a key figure of libertarian idealism and a significant supporter of what he called “free market anarchism”, or what I like to call, “free market fundamentalism”, and his followers argued that individual pollutants that are emitted are still, by law, private or Lockean property (interesting, considering John Locke also believed that a person putting their labor into an object made it their property at least in part, and that the idea of private property was a contradiction of the Bible). Adhering to something like the Kyoto Protocol which calls for CO2 emission caps and emission-trading would be a violation of individual rights and is something to be handled in a class action tort.

This is a product of capitalist fundamentalism dictating government policy more than Washington or public interest could ever hope to. It is, by definition, fascism.

I think Benito Mussolini said it better than I can: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

Or maybe FDR: “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

Free market environmentalism is insulting. What's best for business is not what's best for the American people. What's best for business is virtually always at odds with what's best for the conservationist and environmentalist.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Same-Sex marriage is possibly the biggest sham of a mockery of an issue that I’ve seen. Marriage is, above all, a government institution. Every culture on the face of the planet has a form and generally accepted version of marriage. The fact that Americans are making it into a Christian issue is not only an abomination of the first amendment (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”), but also a tragedy of human rights. I believe this is chiefly a Constitutional and legal issue, and letting citizens actually vote on whether or not to grant a minority certain rights is horrific. If Alabama had let citizens vote in 1963 (in the midst of George Wallace's "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" speech) on whether or not they wanted to desegregate schools, I can’t even imagine what would have happened. For civil rights to be an issue of popular opinion is appalling, and American history has proved that, more often than not, people need to have strict legislation regulating equality before anything honest or serious takes place.

I am a proud atheist, but that doesn’t prohibit my ability to walk on down to the court house and get married to a fellow atheist. That single-handedly proves that marriage in America is the furthest thing from a religious institution and should be handled as such. Marriage isn’t a Christian organization like the Boy Scouts of America; it is a government package that grants tax-reductions and benefits for the family, whoever it may be. People who claim to be "for LGBT rights" and then propose "Civil Unions" are missing the point entirely, and are instead promoting a separatist social hierarchy (separate, but somehow equal) and status that the LGBT community has been dealt far too often. Why is simple equality not an option here..?

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