The rightarded are constantly attempting to false frame the issue of corporate personhood. A notable salvo appears in an article in the Huffingtom Post penned by Kent Greenfield. The article was posted in January as Why Progressives Should Oppose A Constitutional Amendment to End Corporate “Personhood”‘.
“Though Citizens United was about free speech rights, and the main concern of its opponents is about the power of large, for-profit corporations, the People’s Rights Amendment would end all constitutional rights for all entities that are not natural persons. So a private university — not a natural person — could be required to start classes with a prayer. The government could prohibit The Huffington Post — not a natural person — from printing columns critical of the president. The FBI could seize the servers owned by Google — not a natural person — without a warrant. Each of these would be a clear constitutional violation under current law, but would be permitted under the People’s Rights Amendment.”
The lie by lie is as follows:
“Though Citizens United was about free speech rights, and the main concern of its opponents is about the power of large, for-profit corporations, the People’s Rights Amendment would end all constitutional rights for all entities that are not natural persons”
There are at least two lies in this one sentence: (1) The PRIMARY CONCERN of many of the realistic members of “Move To Amend” is the destructive behaviour of “NON-PROFIT” organizations dedicated to smearing all candidates for office who do not “suck up” to the 1%. ‘For profit’ corporations do not normally want to become embroiled in elephant versus donkey electoral wars because they will lose market share by doing so. If they cannot act through other associations such as lobbyists, non-profits, or Political Action Committees then they are far less likely to do so.
And (2) the first amendment SPECIFICALLY protects the church and the press and ‘the people assembled to seek redress of grievances’. Speech directly attacking individual candidates or individual elected officials is not protected by this clause concerning redress. According to “statutory interpretation”, NONE of these SPECIFIC protections in the First Amendment would be repealed by the McGovern amendment — see the actual proposed amendment as a PDF. The Specific clause of the wikepedia article that protects First Amendment rights is as follows:
Generalia specialibus non derogant (“the general does not detract from the specific”)
Described in The Vera Cruz (1884) 10 App. Cas. 59 as: “Now if anything be certain it is this, that where there are general words in a later Act capable of reasonable and sensible application without extending them to subjects specially dealt with by earlier legislation, you are not to hold that earlier legislation indirectly repealed, altered, or derogated from merely by force of such general words, without any evidence of a particular intention to do so.” This means that if a later law and an earlier law are potentially—but not necessarily—in conflict, courts will adopt the reading that does not result in an implied repeal of the earlier statute. Lawmaking bodies usually need to be explicit if they intend to repeal an earlier law.
Therefore, the constitutional guarantees specifically accorded the church, the press, and the people assembled to seek redress are still perfectly intact and valid even with the “McGovern Clarification”. It should also be said that these statutory interpretations (Common Law) extend to section one of the amendment drafted by “Move To Amend” and introduced in the US House of Representatives February 11, 2013
The next illustration of lies says:
“So a private university — not a natural person — could be required to start classes with a prayer.”
And, of course, that sort of crap is prohibited by the first amendment — “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. BUT!!! PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS can do whatever they or their benefactors want with regard to religion. People are free to sign on or not.
Then we have:
“The government could prohibit The Huffington Post — not a natural person — from printing columns critical of the president.”
The Huffington post is an on-line NEWS source, not to be confused with the “Faux Noise” TeeVee propaganda channel or even the MSNBC channel. Articles critical of the amendment are posted at Huffington (like this one) as are supportive articles. Huffington post is “The Press” and often posts articles criticizing the president. The claim that “The Press” will be stifled by this amendment is total crap.
Then we have:
“The FBI could seize the servers owned by Google — not a natural person — without a warrant. Each of these would be a clear constitutional violation under current law, but would be permitted under the People’s Rights Amendment.”
What is remarkable is that the judiciary could have interpreted the US Constitution in such a way as to ensconce constitutional protections for institutions CREATED BY OR ALLOWED BY THE LEGISLATURES. Incorporated entities are not specifically nor generically mentioned in our US Constitution and these entities are CREATIONS of the CONSTITUTIONALLY AUTHORIZED LEGISLATURES. Most normal, well adjusted, human beings would probably agree that the creators of these entities are responsible for their regulation. And returning now to “Statutory Interpretation”, we have:
Expressio unius est exclusio alterius (“the express mention of one thing excludes all others”)
Items not on the list are impliedly assumed not to be covered by the statute or a contract term. However, sometimes a list in a statute is illustrative, not exclusionary. This is usually indicated by a word such as “includes” or “such as”.
I don’t see “such as” in the First Amendment. The “Church”, “The Press”, and “The People assembled to seek redress” are SPECIFICALLY mentioned. Other _GROUPS_ are not.
It seems to me that if the corporatists want constitutional protections for corporate rights then they will need to amend the constitution to include such provisions. Because those provisions do not currently exist.
But on that score let us understand that the right of a spouse to be free from compelled testimony regarding the other spouse is NOT a constitutional right (see here). It is a LEGAL right created by common law. Attorney-client privilege, on the other hand, is based on statutory law enabled by acts of the legislature. Common law is the basis for any currently SUPPOSED corporate rights. There is no constitutional prohibition that would stop the legislature from enacting statutes that overrule common law. That is why legislatures exist. But since a legislature is empowered by the people we are not in danger of losing spousal privilege or attorney-client privilege. There is also nothing that would stop the legislature from extending the search and seizure protections of the 5th amendment to corporate bodies in such a way as to insist on a warrant. I have NO doubt that such legislation would be immediately forthcoming when it becomes clear that an amendment clarifying the constitutional facts will be presented and passed. Sorry, conservatives. All of the laws are not IN the Constitution. We have constitutionally defined and authorized bodies for that purpose, and the legislative body is superior to the judicial. In the normal course of events, should the legislature, on behalf of the people, decide that current “common law” is lacking or inappropriate, then the legislature creates statutory law to correct the problem. And the judiciary is bound by constitutional construct to abide by the legislated statutes.
A Cooperative form of Capitalism in the U.S.A. is Not Just a Pipe Dream
Those of you who know me are already aware that I seldom if ever write for blogs and dislike pontificating in general, so the following statement is rare for me. I am compelled, however, to write an opinion piece at this time to clarify certain values that I hold dear and which I believe are also consistent with not only Occupy Tacoma’s but also Occupy Wall Street and the worldwide Occupy movement. Please consider the following as a proposed item for adoption by Occupy Tacoma.
NOTE: If you hate reading lengthy articles and already “get it” you can skip to the HOW DO WE FIX THIS
portion of the piece.
The Past as Prologue
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that the U.S. is in deep trouble economically and politically as a result of many different factors that you, as readers, are already well-aware of. First there was the systematic deregulation of safeguards put in place on banks and Wall Street after the Great Depression . This, of course, resulted in rampant speculation using ever-more sophisticated “tools” to develop “creative” financializing of our entire economy by Wall Street and the banksters. To make matters worse, our elected officials decided to bail out these banks when they failed, thinking that they could regulate them back into sound fiscal health. They did this on the backs of the general taxpayers (us), and by cutting needed social , education and jobs programs. Then, there was the Supreme Court decision in the case of Citizens’ United, which ruled that corporate dumping of money into campaigns was free speech and just dandy. Well, folks, we all know this is NOT SUSTAINABLE. When the workers cannot buy the products created by capitalism, capitalism fails, miserably.
We see the current model’s values in practice when we look at war profiteering and empire-promotion, the foreclosure epidemic, massive layoffs and the total disregard for protecting our environment from rape. Just look at the Keystone XL Pipeline, Artic drilling, the proposed Coal Train shipments from Montana’s mountaintop removal massacre, fracking to get at the natural gas and on and on. If maximum profits to the absentee shareholders is God, then who cares about the workers or the communities affected by corporate greed? The result is an absolutely rotten system, denial of the fact of global climate change and an increasingly unequal distribution of wealth in our economy. You, readers, know the problems it has created for the 99%: unemployment, homelessness etc. That is not the point of this article, however. The point is:
How do we fix this and what can Occupy Tacoma do?
(1) We need to start now to take power away from openly traded limited liability corporations by refusing to support them financially. We need to “out” the slimiest of them so that everyone knows what not to buy, even with our little dollars. Although our divestment in these corporations doesn’t matter all that much to the big players, sunlight does, and it puts pressure on our elected officials to distance themselves from these corporations. They don’t want to look dirty to the voters.
(2) We need to promote cooperative businesses as a viable form of capitalism. I am talking about cooperative ventures that have written into their mission statements and articles of incorporation such values as: not being able to sell the business without approval of the shareholders who are the workers themselves and valuing the businesses’ contribution to the community in which they are located over maximizing profits. The current corporate model is mandated to maximize profits above all else, which legitimizes mergers, moving companies overseas etc. This current model is NOT the only way to go.
(3) We need to work in Washington State (this is the Occupy Tacoma part) to encourage Olympia to pass legislation that is friendly to cooperative forms of business, whether for communities setting up their own alternative energy companies or for small start-ups. Cooperative ventures are currently at a disadvantage for obtaining loans and for obtaining energy grants because of beaurocratic requirements and the reluctance of banks to make these loans because of an unfriendly banking environment.
(4) Of course we need to support our local credit unions and…
(5) We need to work to convince our legislators that we need a State Bank, dedicated to keeping the money in state and helping cooperative ventures get started.
Nobody said this was going to be easy, but it is doable, is working very well in Spain with their Mondragon cooperative system which employs thousands and is making a profit in hard times. Cooperative businesses are already starting up in hundreds of communities throughout the U.S., such as in Cleveland, Ohio, California and Oregon. Occupy Tacoma, let’s start here, too!
For an informative read, please check out Marjorie Kelly’s book, Owning our Future, which not only is readable to a lay person like myself, but is also succinctly explains the arcane world of economics.
If you haven’t heard the news then let me be the local informer: Current consensus within the “in person” general assembly is that Occupy Tacoma will be bringing forth an On-Line General Assembly. The facility will provide equal access and equal opportunity for all breathing persons of 18 years of age and older to express themselves and to have their opinions tested in the caldron of democracy. This ideal of equality was the heart and soul of Occupy General Assembly.
Occupy General Assembly was put forth as a way to implement “direct democracy” and it failed because too much “control” was established by the “leaders” and because the isolated groups were, within themselves, much too small. In the On-Line version we do all we can possibly do to insure that this “control” does not happen and to expand the membership to levels that prevent “group-think”. The rules and the methods are well defined and enacted in the software itself (which is an open source “plugin” to WordPress). The software will brook no direct control by editors or administrators concerning content. All participants are treated equally; all posts, ideas, and comments are placed before the community, essentially in the order they are received, and given their shot at recognition and support by the community. As such, the system works very much like Face-Book with its “like” concept. The assembly concept adds the dimensions of “categories” for those who want it while not insisting on categorization. The number of categories is restricted and it is possible to use the facility (create, locate, and comment on articles) without stumbling through a maze of categories. We have found that typical “forums” are rejected because of this over categorization that temnds to bury people’s ideas. And the ability to express ones opinion or to join in various efforts is much improved. (much more than a yes/no or like/unlike).
The “community” is all breathing persons 18 years of age and older who will attest to the fact that they do not already have a “voting” account in the system. New voting accounts are offered by invitation codes only because that is the only way we have to assure all of the people participating in our on line assembly that they are interacting with real live PEOPLE. We MUST assure our members that they are not being overrun by a bunch of “sock puppets” stuffing the ballot box or by the manipulations of the administrators. We will add more and better ways to “join up” in the future or perhaps even before the facility opens. But our (the administrators) primary function is to assure that each “ballot” in our system represents one individual person and that each individual person controls only one “ballot”. We have no other function other than to maintain the integrity of the facility and to try to “present” other people’s ideas in a reasonably clean and pleasing and intelligent way (colors, fonts, page arrangement, etc.).
It is intended that the new facility will have a much closer relationship with our Face Book page and with other organizations who chose to participate in this open democratic process. As such, the facility _MAY_ become accessible directly as “AssemblyTacoma.org” as well as through OccupyTacoma.org. From the inception of On Line General Assembly forward into the future new accounts at AssemblyTacoma.org and perhaps OccupyTAcoma.org can only be gained by using an invitation code. We are hopeful that we will be able to authorize other organizations to act as “trusted agents” issuing “invitation codes” to people who they _KNOW_ are real live adults.
We _MAY_ make this facility a separate site under the AssemblyTacoma.org name. Other organizations can chose to issue invitation codes to their members to access the AssemblyTacoma.org facility without allying with or appearing to be allied with Occupy Tacoma. This decision has not yet been reached. “I” DO NOT wish OWNERSHIP or BRANDING of this facility. But “I” do want it to be realized in one way or another..
In no way will the software allow the current membership of Occupy Tacoma to control what is placed on any web site (or our own site for that matter) except by using invitation codes on our site for account creation and by insisting on SSL to protect passwords. In no way will the current “General Assembly” of Occupy Tacoma edit, censor, modify, or choose that which is to be posted in the on-line General Assembly(ies) except through the design of the plugin software. That software allows all members to choose what appears on the front page(s) of the web site. The software will be made available to all administrators of all WordPress sites who wish to examine it or use it in their own facilities. This “strategy” software is not controlled by Occupy Tacoma in that it is “Open Source”. e.g other organizations may want to develop a democratic system on their on by using our “strategy” plugin for wordpress as is or by modifying it.
There are two current instances of this software: One instance is located at “TacomaTest.org” and there is a “Demo” version located at “TacomaTest.org/v1″. The v1 instance can be used for a “test drive” by logging in as “demo” with password “demo” and using the single ballot located there. The other instance located at TacomaTest.org is a test bed using 6 or 7 real persons. It is currently intended that membership at this TacomaTest.org site will be seeded by current members of Occupy Tacoma represented on our OccupyTacoma sign up list. That list is the “driver” for initial membership. It was created by real live people showing up at in person General Assemblies. The current plan is to grant membership to these persons at TacomaTest.org and all of the data created in that site will then be used to seed an instance of On Line General Assembly at AssemblyTacoma.org. These plans are fluid and decisions will be guided by the limited On Line General Assembly at TacomaTest.org. But no matter what happens the plugin software will be available to all.
A new button will be added to the “Ballot” presentation to allow an individual member to “lock” and abandon his/her current account and thus opt out of the general assembly. In this way people can cut all ties to any past opinions they may have expressed. These individuals may then apply for new membership under a new login name. We evolve. The old name can never be used again for balloting but posts that were created under the old name will remain in the system. This is not an oversight. The author of the posts (the member deciding to opt out) can remove the posts prior to opting out or not. Some members may want to do this sort of thing in order to get a NEW login identity that is less indicative of their real name. e.g. they may want a greater degree of anonymity.
Login identities and user and screen names are NOT anonymous in this system. Every ballot is connected to a Login identity (the “name” used when you apply for an account). Each name has an associated “profile” in which the individual may or may not divulge information about the self. Our current policy is that if you wish to remain anonymous then we advise that you do not put personal information in your profile. All individuals are identified internally by an associated email address, but that address is not revealed to anyone other then the admin people. The email address is used to allow people to recover from forgetting their password or their login identity. It may also be used to send out email advisories but we do not currently do that very often. The membership will be polled about how often such emails are to be tolerated (my own vote is like quarterly at a maximum and if no big changes are being anticipated then we would send no mail at that time either). We all get more than enough crap in our mail boxes already. My own opinion is that we WILL NOT send emails about EVENTS. We will not allow our email list to be used to further the desires of various organizations and factions; even our own. It seems to me that other organizations might be the right place for that sort of thing. We are going to be very protective of our email list just as we have been in the past.
Video of debate on breaking up the big banks from Fora.tv site. This seems to be fairly well presented.
Unfortunately, this video is 1 hour and 43 minutes in length and discusses topics which are not well understood by normal people. And IMHO the topic is not well understood by the people engaging in the debate either. There are, however, some high points that are quite informative. One such instance occurs at 6:33 into the debate where the chairman of the Dallas Fed states the policy of the Fed as being to create economic growth without creating inflation. That same person then goes on to explain that the side of the debate seeking a break up of the big banks is not talking about taking a meat cleaver to the banks or setting some arbitrary capitalization above which the large banks would be broken up as AT&T was busted up in the past. The Dallas Fed chairman is arguing for a return to a version of Glass Steagall in which only the depository institutions have any form of government protections. The team on the side of breaking up the big banks is saying that such a regulatory policy would force the large banks (which are actually not in the banking business, but are instead into speculation on real estate and in the brokerage and insurance businesses) to be much more risk averse. Such a functional “break up the big banks” is, of course, not a meat clever arbitrary capitalization approach.
The opposing team at 34 minutes points out that the debate was supposed to be about busting the big banks as in AT&T (the arbitrary meat clever approach) and that the team for “break up the big banks” is changing the topic. Then begins their defence of big banks based on the need for these banks to be competitive in world trade and world finance. From that point on the debate is simply two versions of how to best insure the continued prosperity of the 1%.
Neither side bothers to raise the question as to WHY it is good for Americans if the US banks finance factories in China or anywhere else. It is fine well and good to say that the banks must be large in order to compete with other large foreign banks. But how do the profits of these large banks serve rank and file Americans? That is not discussed or even broached.
The other slight of hand occurs as the Dallas Fed Chair keeps yapping about how the “taxpayers” are harmed by the bailouts. The reality is that the $600B tarp has been repaid. The 10 TRILLION in loan grantees and monetary assets furnished by the FED to stabilize AIG and others came from the Money Fairy and is NOT a debt of the American taxpayers or anyone else. The fat cats that should be in jail or living pretty low on the hog are still the proud owners of 3 mansions, two yachts, and at least one Leer Jet. But that money DID NOT COME FROM AND IS NOT OWED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE (TAXPAYERS). Some of us would really like to ask the Fed how much MONTHLY INTEREST and DEBT SERVICE is being paid by WALL STREET on the 10 TRILLION supposedly LOANED to the Financial Weenies to bail them out. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM????
According to the rules of the debating contest the side against breaking up the banks won the debate. See the results at 1 hr and 41 minutes. The “against breaking up the big banks team” won the debate, but the majority of the audience still favors breaking up the big banks. Perhaps there is yet hope for rationality.
Starting the Engines
Sandwiched between two public barnstorming events put on by Wamend coalition member Move to Amend there will be a brainstorming event in which Pierce county progressive groups will take a look at the effort to gather signatures for a statewide initiative.
The brainstorming event is by invitation only. The local chapter of Washington Public Campaigns (a member of the Wamend coalition) has been sending its people to deliver invitations to Pierce county progressive organizations. I am told that the meeting will begin with a local WPC breakdown of the number of signatures needed from the Pierce county area. Those numbers are used to measure the effort required on a group basis. The meeting will then ask the representatives for their reactions and initial assessments of how they believe we all should “share the load”. It appears to me to be exactly what a “brainstorming” session should be. Find out if your group is sending a delegate.
The public barnstorming events will take place in Olympia and Seattle. The weekend begins with the Olympia event (click here). A similar event will take place in Seattle, Saturday evening at 7:00 PM (click here). If you lack familiarity with the issue of corporate personhood and “Big” money in politics you would serve yourself well by attending one of these barnstorming events.
This essay expresses how I see things and is not an official Occupy Tacoma pronouncement
Occupy Tacoma activists have been doing some soul-searching, attempting to determine what we’ve done right and what we’ve done wrong. In actuality, despite the lull in Occupy Wall Street activities nationally and locally, we have not been inactive. It is useful to look at what we’ve done in the past year or so, at our recent accomplishments, as we assess ourselves and try to determine what should be the way forward for us.
Here is a partial list of what we’ve done over the past year or so. If you’re not a part of Occupy Tacoma and wish to play a role, check out our schedule for meeting times.
- OT played a major role in initiating and spinning off Tent City Tacoma.
- OT endorsed Marilyn’s petition to Tacoma City Council to oppose coal trains.
- We endorsed and supported the Tacoma City Council resolution to amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United (in alliance with Washington Public Campaign, the Move to Amend Tacoma, as well as many other groups and individuals such as long-time Tacoma veteran activist Susan Eidenschink)
- We ran a strong editorial congratulating the City Council for the resolution opposing Citizens United, specifically congratulating them for avoiding the divisive issue of public campaign financing.
- We provided support and participated in Mike’s effort to write OLGA software.
- Participated, along with other groups, in political theater to publicize the effort to overturn Citizens United
- We organized a very successful 2-day anniversary celebration of Occupy Tacoma, making a lot of contacts and mending a few fences.
- We organized a very successful May Day celebration.
- We participated in and helped publicize St Joseph Medical Center informational picket line in solidarity with the nurses’ union.
- Supported and helped publicize the campaign for clemency for Leonard Peltier.
- We unanimously supported and showed solidarity with Chicago Teacher’s strikers.
- Published TM’s articles on front page supporting “People’s Constitutional Convention II” and “Too Little, Too Late” on quantitative easing, as well as several other of his economics articles, including a rebuttal of Alan’s 3rd video on political economy.
- We participated in the West Coast shipping port activities in solidarity with the Longview dockworkers’ and truckers’ struggle.
- We supported Vince’s efforts to oppose Tacoma Transit cutbacks.
- We supported and helped publicize Tacoma Transit janitors’ struggle.
- We supported Move To Amend at 2012 Ethnic Fest.
- We supported Occupy Seattle and Red Spark Collective by passing a strong solidarity resolution, opposing the politically-motivated police raid. We helped publicize Occupy Seattle and Red Spark Collective’s campaign for justice.
- We supported various anti-foreclosure actions and the “Stay In Your Home” workshops and activities.
- We participated in Bank of America protests.
Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent
OK… So I know I should be working on the strategy database for on-line voting here at Occupy Tacoma. But I didn’t “join up” to do technoid labor. I joined up to help promote the general welfare and more specifically to improve the economic and social position of the 99%. As it turns out, educational information is a huge part of that undertaking. I also have much more to do under the ISSUES->U.S.ECONOMY tab. But that sort of post takes a lot of time. I have to be very careful under that tab to make everything a factual tutorial as opposed to letting my opinions show. But here I can just give you the *NEWS* and let you sort it out for yourselves while my “opinion” actually does “show”.
The “debt limit cliff” or “the new Republican false frame” is a continuing kabuki theater over nothing. And this is because of the way fiat money actually works . The United States owes its debt in money that it can print at will and the responsibility for the actual value of the money is a joint responsibility of the congress and the FED.
The urban MYTH that the federal reserve is somehow controlled by the banks as opposed to being controlled by the elected government is rather insane on the face of it. Can you actually imagine bankers shaking ball point pens at the US government that controls the tanks and the flame throwers and expecting to win an argument? The congress, in agreement with the (p)resident, can shut down the FED tomorrow morning and recreate it the next day if that is what is needed or desired. It really is time for a reality check on this silliness, and the current debt limit kabuki may well turn out to be that point in history where money is properly redefined in the political world to be what it has been in the real world since 1973 (when all ties to a commodity standard (gold) were severed).
All of this comes to a head with the “platinum coin”. And this advance of reality was given a large boost by none other than Paul Krugman and a Republican kabuki craftsman by the name of Greg Walden. (See Here) . See this article at Daily Kos for the “he said she said” political fluttering.
For those with a taste for monetary economic realism as opposed to “politics” I would suggest articles from: “Pragmatic Capitalism” and more from Krugman . And there is still more from “Pragmatic Capitalism“.
Well I am out of time and must get back to the technoid sweatshop. Enjoy…
According to wikipedia, an op-ed, abbreviated from “opposite the editorial page” (though often mistaken for opinion-editorial), is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper’s editorial board. These are different from editorials, which are usually unsigned and written by editorial board members.
And from that same reference we have: “It occurred to me that nothing is more interesting than opinion when opinion is interesting, so I devised a method of cleaning off the page opposite the editorial, which became the most important in America … and thereon I decided to print opinions, ignoring facts.”
The other blogs associated with the “Issues” tab are true editorials written by Occupy Tacoma’s regular General Assembly attendees and members who have been granted “author” status. Alternatively, a pending entry submitted from outside might be placed into one of the editorial tabs if sufficient references have been supplied. Editorials should not be confused with “Op-Ed” in that editorials are to be based on the facts as perceived by the author. They are not “opinion” pieces “ignoring facts”.
If you or someone you know feels they do not yet know enough about the proposed coal train shipments from Montana through Washington State NOW IS THE TIME to get your facts.
COAL TRAIN DEBATE TODAY AT ST. LEO’S CHURCH IN TACOMA AT 7:00-9:00.
EXCELLENT LINE-UP OF SPEAKERS BOTH PRO AND CON.
DON’T BE WILFULLY IGNORANT! EITHER WAY, THIS WILL AFFECT YOU!
This is the second in a series of articles about _real_ political economy, versus what I choose to label as Marxist political economic pretense. It is my opinion that Marx was a political opportunist as opposed to a political economist. It seems to me that he had to “make up” his own language in order to sell the tripe needed to justify his preconceived ideas.
In my previous post I remarked on the Marxist misuse of language. I remarked on how I felt language was used to infer that labor and value are somehow intertwined if not synonymous. Reality, of course, tells us this is not the case. As anecdotal evidence: If we want mushrooms for our dinner it is the mushrooms that are valued and not the labor needed to get them onto our dinner plate. As a matter of objective reality this will hold true for all that we might place on the plate, the plate itself, and the table and the chairs that we might use to make dinner an enjoyable experience. In every case, labor is the cost of the enjoyment and the bounty of nature is the original wellspring from which the satisfaction of our wants will have flowed. In every case, labor is the cost of the satisfaction and not the value.
And having quite rationally and logically and realistically asserted the proper relationship of labor to value I will now embark on the next phase of _real_ political economy as the proper relationship of “capital” to value. For it is capital that diminishes the cost of the satisfaction of our wants and needs. One of the articles of which I am most proud is entitled “The Berry Patch”. And in this article I define “capital” very distinctly, just as I defined labor very distinctly in my previous post and do again in “The Berry Patch”.
My disagreement with Alan and Marxism is heightened to an extreme by the Marxist re-definition of the word “capital” found at “marxists.org”. Here we see Marx redefining money to be capital in order to berate “capitalism”.
It is unfortunate that wikipedia defines “capitalism” as “private ownership of the means of production” as opposed to “private ownership of ‘capital’”. To me, the wikipedia definition is semantically incorrect. The “means of production” include land and labor as a fundamental fact. Without these two “factors of production” there can be no production. “capital” is not an absolute essential to all production as labor and land are.. As we “harvest” commodities from the natural world using only our own labor production is occurring. Unless we can countenance slavery, the ownership of any labor other then our own is not acceptable. And if we subscribe to the reality that all of nature (= that not PRODUCED BY ANY MAN) belongs to all sentient creatures equally (a collective/common ownership), then private ownership of nature is also denied. Hence, “private ownership of the means of production” is woefully unjust and wrong, UNLESS, we are actually talking about the private ownership of the “factor of production” called “capital”.
I must accept the wikipedia definition or change it. And I can’t imagine the war I will cause should I make the attempt. The current definition provides a boon to the Marxist and a very big problem for _real_ economics and what I would call “real capitalism” — The private ownership of capital, as the term “capital” is herein defined..