Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The Joint Stock Company with limited liability -- the corporation, as we know it today -- came into existence in the US in the 1880s and it was the manipulation of the financial system and the assembly-line mass production of goods in factories created to produce the armaments for WW I (war, again) that combined in an over-stimulated economy that crashed when the consumer finally had to stop accumulating new stuff to pay for the stuff already consumed.

The format was formalised around then, but the concept of shares and share dealing was around very much earlier in Europe. I haven't checked this but I wouldn't be surprised to find it in classical times.

If there's going to be proper revolution, everything we take for granted financially now is going to have to be put up for grabs.

The origins of the limited company assume that people are a convenient resource and can be farmed for profit. The metaphor is feudal, with capital replacing land. The peasants are lent money - only states truly own money - in return for a tithe called 'labour' which is a claim upon their time.

Very few peasants escape from this system, and even the more inventive and intelligent scribe/overseer caste still have strict limits on their freedoms.

The terms of the loan have become increasingly strict and demanding as the pharoanic class has become more greedy and demanding - to the point where money is now obviously loaned, where previously it was offered in quantities sufficient to produce a convenient illusion of private property.

Any worthwhile revolution is going to have to replace this with an ethic of organic value making - decentralised, spontaneous, participatory, fluid and based on genuine personal freedoms.

We've had a good few centuries of the Church of Capital, and it'll probably never wither away entirely. In the same that many people still think the idiot in Rome with the silly robes is important, a total end to capital may not happen.

What's needed now is a no-holds-barred intellectual humanitarian assault on the Church of Capital. In the same way that Rousseau and Voltaire undermined the rule of the Church before the French revolution, we need to debunk the nonsense and cant of the Church of Capital with a similar combination of lucid ridicule, satire, and sanity.

Blowing shit up doesn't make for an effective revolution. Blowing people's brains wide open does.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2008 at 11:04:05 PM EST
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