Friday, June 8, 2012

Capitalism vs Democracy

I sit down with activist Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign to discuss Organizing, Identiy Activism, Ego Trippin', and Grand Strategy.
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Capitalism vs Democracy

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Capitalism is working just fine-- it's making the poor poorer and the rich richer.


Have you ever played the game monopoly?  Well, monopoly and capitalism operate under very similar rules.  So long as everybody has a fairly equal share of property, and the money keeps getting passed around the board equitably, the game can go on for what seems like forever.  But eventually, somebody gets enough of an upper hand that you can see the game is already over.  People start losing their homes in order to pay their bills.  Sudden expenses come up that you can't cover, and you start losing the very things that allowed you to participate in the game to begin with.  Then slowly and surely, one person ends up owning everything, simply by the virtue of the fact that they own more stuff than anybody else to start with, and then the  balance of power tips forever in their favor from that point onwards.  And so eventually all the money and all the property ends up in the hands of one person.  And that's how you win Monopoly.

That's also how you win capitalism.  That's where we're at right now, on the precipice just before the super-wealthy end up owning every property on the game board, and all the money in the bank, while the rest of us are unable to play the game at all.  To the 1%, to the Koch Brothers, I say, congratulations, you win at capitalism.  Nobody else has anything.  You win.  Another word that people use capitalism as a stand-in for is Democracy.  Truly Capitalism and Democracy could not be further from each other in meaning.

Under capitalism, your workplace is organized in a hierarchical structure, in which one person, or a small cabal of people own everything, and reap all the profits from the labor of the workers.  The workers have no input in the direction of the business, how it is run, how their fellow workers are treated, etc.  If your average workplace were a government, we would readily call it fascism.  So let's call it what it is-- fascism.

Worker-owned autonomous workplaces, however, looks very different from Capitalism.  Under worker-owned and operated cooperatives, the workers all share ownership of the means of production.  They are all paid equally for their labor, they all share equally in the profits, they all share equally in the losses.  Workers come to consensus how to run the business, and how their fellow workers are treated.  If this workplace were a government, it would be called a "democracy."  Another word for democracy in the workplace, is "socialism."  So Socialism and markets are not mutually exclusive.  In fact there are many worker-owned cooperatives that you already know about.. (read the entire article, and see the video)


* I'm running for office: State Senate actually.  I'm turning my run into an instructional reality show.

* There was an attempt by Wall Street to overthrow the US government and install a fascist dictator.  I'm not fucking kidding.  Watch these videos.

* Democracy Now's coverage of the #NoNATO protest: yeah this shit is old.  I've been busy. Click these words

* Obama Is a War Criminal: So much for hope and change. Are you really THAT surprised?

* Venture Capitalist censored by TED talks agrees with me: Economies are run by consumer demand, not "job creators."  Okay fine, he doesn't actually know who I am.

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