Economics, Culture, and Why the Proletariat's Differs from the Capitalist's
State Socialism Failed, But Capitalism Will Never Last
The twilight of Communist empires and regimes is finally here. Communist nations like the Soviet Union and those throughout Eastern Europe collapsed, while Communist nations like China and Vietnam have found ways to benefit from global Capitalism. Communist dictators proved to be as cruel as those they replaced and as willing to cooperate with the masters of private property. The veil has been lifted, everyone really knows what went on -- so how can anything like a Socialist Revolution happen?
Profit and Control. These are the two aspects of Capitalism that define it for the billions who experience it. The owners of Capital are the recipients of wealth coming from their business; and they are the only ones who have any right to decide how to run the economy. The absolute right in both of these areas was so oppressive that every government put some limits on it through regulations, and every society put some restriction on through labor unions and the strike. But while there are limits, the same mechanism is in operation today as when trade itself was born: the owner of wealth is its benefiary and master, none but the state's tax or the church's tax have a right to take from it or control it.
When a person does something to acquire material advantages, we classify the behavior as economic. When a person does something for any other reason, we classify the behavior as cultural. Profit attacks the first, and pulls out the heart of the human; Control attacks the second, and pulls out the soul. In profit, we see the owners of capital get better healthcare, education, recreation, and food -- doctors with a thicker set of degrees, sandwiches with a thicker, middle layer, thicker cigars, thicker wallets. In control, we see the Capitalists are similarly undisputed. The scientist just about to cure cancer, the engineer just about to finish the counterpart to the Pyramids, the poet and artist about to wrap our fascination with their imagination -- every one of them must immediately stop and dance like an animal on a leash if ordered by their boss.
Arbitrary Power. This is sometimes the name used to describe the power of kings and princes, but with the rise of industrialism, the keystone of Monarchy was lifted by the powers of society, and became the keystone of Capitalism. But any type of unnecessary control is arbitrary, so almost all power is arbitrary, and therefore tyrannical. That means the great vast amount of interaction with our employer is so culturally offensive, that sociologists and anthropologists across the world settled on giving it the horrible-sounding name Alienation. It is not work that is irksome, that causes worker dissatisfaction; no, it is the bosses, managers, and masters who are oppressive. Employee responses are typical: drowning in apathy, gluttonizing on religious and patriotic ferver, stuffing popular media and brand names and mass produced goods and drugs into every available orifice and forgetting, or resisting.
So long as there is Profit for the owners, the masses will be offended by economic exploitation. And as long as there is Control in the hands of the Capitalist, the masses will be culturally incompatible with their masters. Without Profit and Control, there is no Capitalism. It is a struggle between the heart and soul of the masses, and the profit and control of the Capitalist class. One cannot guess the odds of the outcome without making some judgment about their own soul.
Will Capitalism Always Be So Economically Exploitive?
A willingness to rule and dominate usually comes with an avaracious appetite and a lust to demonstrate one's power. Material advantages are the simplest way of satisfying these needs, so, the master of economy makes themselves a home on the mountain of goods produced by the working classes. Thanks and celebrations are expected, naturally, but nothing is as powerful as having the right to bread for your children that was intended for other children, or having the right to land that was made useful by generations of workers from other families. The symbolic power then turns into actual power; if tyrants were satisfied with symbolic power alone, then they wouldn't be tyrants anymore -- nobody could accuse them of anything if they didn't take anything from the people.
If the Capitalist class ever surrendered its right to claim Profit, to take from those who worked without having worked, then this right would be lost forever. The workers may only be somewhat aware of this fact, but the Capitalists are acutely aware of it. The people obey in giving up their material wealth to these masters only by thin threads of tradition and subservience, breakable at a moment's notice. If the Capitalists went for fifty years without Profit, and then finally decided to ask for it, their audience would only find this to be ridiculous and absurd -- as though someone had suggested restoring kings and queens as masters of nations. Taxes go on, so that taxes can keep going on -- and if nothing else, profit goes on, so that profits can keep going on.
A government may exist without tax revenue, the way that a capitalist may exist with profits -- that is to say, they could not exist. Government's only duty is to use force for the established social, economic, or religious powers. Capitalists see their duty as to safeguard their business, using every bit of profit and control in their fingers to do this. If the government no longer received taxes, it would collapse, and its individual components would go their separate ways. But if a Capitalist no longer received Profits, they would simply cease to be a Capitalist, and would need to make their living by actual work, just as the rest of us have done. Those managers who do some real work, but also give orders, would simply need to rely more heavily on their income from the former, having lost what they received from the latter.
Power has never contented itself with being symbolic. If this is true of monarchies, dictatorships, parliaments, and congresses, why would it not be true of economic systems? If top-down hierarchies in politics and society have meant the rulers taking material advantages at the expense of the public, why would a top-down hierarchy in economics be different? As long as their Capitalism, there will be Profit, and when there ceases to be Profit, then Capitalism ceases. The beast will not go quietly, but we can be sure that it is dead when nobody lives off the labor of others.
Will Capitalism Always Be So Culturally Offensive?
The Capitalists of the world will be more satisfied with the economic gain of a productive worker than the cultural gain in demeaning their employees and the employees' cultures. This desire reduces the likelihood of arbitrary power; similarly, corporations, which are responsible to stockholders and stockholders alone, use a rigid set of rules to determine the expected performance of employees. The definition of Republic is "a land ruled by law", in contrast to Monarchy, which is a "a land ruled by men." Small businesses, which make up most of all businesses, are still in the age of Monarchy; they still have their tyrants, their established classes, their working masses, and even their "criminal," untouchable groups.
But this corporate decision-making isn't a product of good will; it is like when a king is defeated in some uprising, and instead of ousting the monster, the revolutionaries wrap him up in a constitution and roll out their new society to the public. Even if many corporate systems use a rule system to determine who can be fired and for what, the rule system's founding principle is going to be the same everywhere: our greatest interest is in securing the profit of our company. It does not take into consideration the impact of corrupting governments, polluting rivers, demeaning ourselves, buying slave-produced goods, or anything else generally linked to human unhappiness.
Your workplace, where you spend about a third of your life, is not your home -- it is a tool of your master to get more out of you. When Capitalism tells us this, it is like hearing that we should live without feeling, or exist without being. Is our suffering, the suffering of the masses, worth less than the momentary, fleeting sensation of glory and power felt by Capitalists in dominating both society's economy and culture? In an age when we were not so well connected, this suffering was not worth enough to make a successful revolt. But if the printing press killed monarchy, then the digital age will finish the job by killing Capitalism.
There is one way the Capitalists could make control be completely inoffensive, and that is by completely abolishing it. But that would mean their orders would no longer be listened to, their complaints will no longer get any attention. To hope for Capitalism to become humanized and pallatable to heart and soul, is like hoping for power to destroy itself for no reason. Many empires have fallen by the misguidance of their rulers, but emperors believe only they alone can spoil and ruin their empire, fiercely guarding this right above all others, and calling it Sovereignty. If we classify emperors with this low regard, we must naturally do so of the Capitalists who are but little emperors with tiny fiefdoms. They will not resign; we will only be rid of them by abolishing the Capitalist system.