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Free like we want 2 be? (Pt. 1)

by ManfromMiddletown Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 04:43:19 PM EST

Tell me are we free like we want to be?

Free Like We Want 2 B

Free like we want to be
Some time you want to get off
Leave the work and take off
But the boss man say you gonna lose you pay
No chain on your feet now
9 to 5 got you beat now
You working hard to save
Inflation like a tidal wave

Are we free like we want to be
Tell me are we free like we want to be
Are we free like we want to be
Tell me are we free like we want to be

The Road to Serfdom?

We are told that the State alone has the power to
coerce, and that it alone is capable of the denigration of human dignity.

That the State alone rendered a Holcaust, 11 million made burnt offering to the march of God through the world.

That alone in Society, the State compels, coerces, and kills.  

The State must die so that Man may live in freedom.

There Is No Cross Of Gold!

Inherent to the libertarian worldview, is as stated above, the belief that coercion belongs to the State alone and that power relationships beyond the purview of the State exist without compulsion.  

The individual exists without social context, such that their success or failure lies with their capacity rather than the constraints that social structure places on them.

Poverty is a sign of moral failure, prosperity one of the blessings bestowed upon those who have behaved well.

There is no cross of gold, no crown of thorns pressed down upon the  brow of all mankind.

The Market rewards those who are worthy, and punishes those who are not.

If you are poor, it's your own damn fault.

Those who would force upon the worthy the burden of caring for those who are not, commit a crime against mankind.  Those who would have the State compel those who grown wealthy as a result of their piety to be their brother's keeper, the seek to destroy freedom in the world.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

The road to serfdom is one of a thousand miles, but the first step is to deny those who are worthy their due. Those who posit theories of democratic rights in the economy error beause they impose upon the natural freedom of the market the aberration of State compulsion.  Economic Democracy would only be warranted were it possible to prove that the Market and those economic institutions upon which the wealth of nations (and the prosperity of the pious) depend upon coercion and the existence of unequal power relationships.

Of course this is precisely the case, which is why the lamentations of the libertarians exist without virtue.

The State Origins of Market Power

Foremost among those economic insitutions demonstrating the extent to which markets depend upon State power in order to survive is that of the limited liability corporation.

While in previous eras, the manifestation of Capital was held to human dimensions by the lack of institutions permitting the pooling of Capital beyond small groups, in the current era, Capital has been given life quite literally in the form of the ficton of the corporate person.

Where without state enforcement of the legal fiction of corporate personality investors would be held jointly and severally liable such that shielding of private assets would not be permitted.  In the event of a corporate failure, the CEO might lost everything that they own in order to pay off creditors what they are due.  The institution of the corporation compels all in Society to accept the burden for those few in whom's hands wealth has been concentrated.

The growth of the Market as the organizing principle in Society this depends upon State compulsion.  Further, the State creates information assymetries yielding power relationships between the corporation and the consumer unequal.  Even more disturbing the combination of Capital is made upon request of incorporation, while that of labor is held suspect such that in the course of negotiating work contracts Labor is rendered into an unequal relationship with Capital. Relations between employer and employed thus depend upon State power so that contracts carry within them implicit coercion.

So again, I must ask those who argue the Market more humane and worthy than the State.

Tell me are we free like we want to be?

My purpose is not to argue for political authoritarianism to match economic authoritianism, rather I wish to argue
argue for economic democracy to match that we aspire to in our political life.  

The misfortunes laid upon the State have been seen to result from the belief that state action is in some form "the march of God through the world."  Those who would venerate the Market as an ordering principle in Society appear to suffer the same delusion.  There is nothing moral about a system that strips men and women of their dignity for economic gain. We must deprive the Market of those delusions we find dangerous in the State.

Economic democracy is a neccesity in order that man may live freely.

Are we free like we want to be?
. Yes 0%
. No 100%
. Other (please comment) 0%

Votes: 10
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Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 04:56:51 PM EST
This would be more accurate with cows.

Cause we all know how that ends.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 05:01:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our predecessors well understood the connection between workplace democracy and political democracy. Instead we have a society that fears government but thinks anything those with wealth and power do is fine, so long as it's not done by government. You're poor? You're sick? You're homeless? It's your own damn fault! And you want government programs to help you? Well, you're just stealing from me!

Jefferson and FDR both understood the importance of economic security to democracy and liberty, although they sought that security through different means. Today, in late imperial America, their ideas are dead.

The comments in reply to a New Orleans Times Picayune article about a protest for those refused reentry to public housing illustrate these points in stark relief:

I'd give 'em 15 minuted to release the hostages. Then, either way, tear gas the building. Bring them all up on terrorism charges

Sounds like the handiwork of twits from the Common Ground, that swell group that initially couldn't distinguish the Eighth Ward from the Ninth and that refused to give aid to one of my neighbors and her grandmother becaues they were white. Maybe if they'd played the Hispanic card, they would have gotten something, but they weren't accustomed to asking for handouts in the first place.

OK the problem I see is that if your is "Public Housing" its NOT YOUR HOME!!!! It is owned by the tax payers. They should have no rights to stand on about getting back into the old ones... the only argument they should have is if they have not been relocated. Its simple really, IF YOU DON'T PAY TAXES AND YOU LIVE OFF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TAXPAYERS, YOU DON'T GET A SAY AS TO WHERE YOU LIVE!!!!!

Hey! I'm tired of working my ass off!! I lost everything and got nothing but was glad I had the opportunity to work 70 hours a week non-stop for the first year and a half after Katrina.
After I paid enough taxes to support the lazy family across the street who never go to work but who have lots of cigarettes, beer, cable, blackberries, computers, etc, I decided not to work so hard.
NOW I want to know where to get in line for the free housing, health care, food stamps, and government bailouts for the lazy.

tell these lazy asses to get out and get a job. one said she had lived in one for 26 years. they think it is a right. no it is not a right. it is a privilege and for a short time until you get you fat ass on the welfare dole. this is one reason that new orleans has streets and sewer system like a 3rd world country.

And so we skip happily down the road to serfdom.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 05:36:42 PM EST
The details of corporate personhood differ from legal system to legal system: the US version seems extreme to me, but it's not necessarily the only way it can be done.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2007 at 04:56:01 PM EST
The US version is so extreme because of an 1888 ruling of the Supreme Court, however it's firmly rooted in Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence.  I think that this has led to some differences between common law and legal code countries.  

However the limitation of liability to investments made is something that all the systems have in common.  And at a more basic level, there's an argument that the protection of property rights of any kind rests upon the ability of the state to coerce.  Thus, calling into question again the belief that the Market exists without coercion.

I take it from the silence in the comments that I've either throughly confused everyone, or they just don't care.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2007 at 06:03:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually that's the very point, I take it you're referring to Corporate Personhood which seems to confer exceptional rights but precious few responsibilities on corporations.

I think that's the differnece between the US and the rest of the world. Even the UK is uncomfortable, culturally, with the way the US is organised. However, globalisation has had interesting results. Initially the globals were able to hide behind US military might to impose the american legislative settlement on the 3rd world. However, now with manufacturing and profits moving away from mainland USA, the people of the US are beginning to wake up from the dream of the Matrix and wonder what they signed up for.

I rather fear it's all too late.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2007 at 09:54:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Allegory of the Cave.  Yes man has know of his own disease for quite some time now.
by Lasthorseman on Sat Sep 1st, 2007 at 07:59:19 PM EST

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