capitalismasdemocracy

CAPITALISM AS DEMOCRACY

An “an”cap once suggested to me that capitalism is a form of democracy. I don’t recall which “an”cap it was, as right-wing assholes are largely indistinguishable, but I very much doubt the idea would find favour among his fellow “an”caps, who have a very low opinion of democracy, assuming, as they do, that representative “democracy” is the only form democracy can take. Regardless of that, the “an”cap in question is ever-so-slightly correct (and that’s considerably more correct than is normal for “an”caps).
When you purchase a product or service you are, in effect, “voting” for it. If enough people “vote for” (buy) a product or service then it is likely to continue being provided. But this is as far as the parallels between capitalism and genuine democracy go.

One of the main problems with capitalism as a form of democracy is that it lacks a “no” vote. You can either vote “for” (by purchasing the product or service), or you can abstain (by not doing so).
Child pornography is one of the many areas where the lack of a “no” vote is significant. So long as there are enough people “voting yes” to cover the production and distribution costs, as well as create a worthwhile profit for someone, then it will continue to be produced unless external factors (“interference in the market”) come into play.
We only need look at the world around us to see that child pornography is profitable, and is likely to continue to be so until the factors that cause it have been addressed (“an”caps refuse to believe that social problems have causes, and so they have no strategy for dealing with them). The lack of external influences in markets is the central tenet of “anarcho”-capitalism, and so child pornography would surely exist inn “An”capland, and to a greater extent than currently.

Another example worth considering is the racist lies and hate-speech spread by Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda machine. A while ago we posted a front page of the Sun (a race-hate paper owned and controlled by Murdoch) on SLANCAP, in which they deliberately misrepresented the result of a poll with the aim of increasing racial tensions, provoking more racist violence against “Muslims”, and pushing the country into a racist war.
One “an”cap commenter went so far as to agree that it was a “violation of the NAP” but, unlike “violations” by the working classes, this violation should absolutely not be met with violence. Rupert Murdoch is a member of the ruling class, and is therefore allowed to violate “NAPs” as he pleases. The solution, apparently, is for us not to buy the Sun (which has been a policy of mine for as long as I can recall). He didn’t explain how “abstaining from the vote” will prevent Murdoch from spreading his racist lies.

There are numerous other situations in which allowing only the buyer and the seller a say will harm third parties; environmental destruction, resource depletion, hunting (especially endangered species), gentrification, and so on.

Another important issue to consider is information. In a true democracy people should have access to all the relevant information. This is not te case in representative “democracies”, where politicians lie to voters about their intentions (electoral promises are less binding than pinky swears), and where most of what politicians do while in office is either shrouded in secrecy, or “spun” by the media.
Voters cannot be expected to make rational decisions because they have little idea of what politicians are actually doing.

This situation is mirrored in capitalism. Businesses, like politicians, keep as much information secret as they possibly can, and most of what does get out into the public domain is either “spin” or outright lies.

Customers rarely know much about the businesses they patronize; they don’t know how much they pay their workers, how much they pollute the environment, where they get their raw materials (and under what circumstances), and so on.
The “rational consumer” is supposed to make “rational” decisions even though nearly all the relevant information is withheld from them.

Yet another parallel between representative “democracy” and capitalism is that the options available for us to choose between are determined by those at the top. There are a limited number of options that we can choose between and they all have one thing in common: they are acceptable to the ruling class. They need not, however, be acceptable to us. If none of the options are satisfactory then you have the option of either voting for/buying whatever you feel is closest, or abstaining from the vote.

An area in which capitalism fails to be democratic, and even more so than representative “democracy”, is in the distribution of “votes”. Whereas representative “democracy” is one person-one vote (at least in theory, if not in practice), capitalism has a massively unequal distribution of “votes”, allowing some privileged individuals to out-”vote” thousands, or even millions, of other people.

In conclusion, while there is the hint of democracy to capitalism, it is only a hint. “An”caps like to portray democracy (even direct, consensus democracy) as a “tyranny of the majority”. Capitalism is a tyranny of the privileged minority.

[Tom Joad]

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What happens one hour after a “Nice Guy” drinks Mountain Dew?

What Happens One Hour After a Nice Guy Drinks Mtn Dew?

What Happens One Hour After a Nice Guy Drinks Mtn Dew?

 

  • First 10 Minutes:
    Tricks your eyes & attacks your critical thinking skills
    The philosophoric acid corrodes your mind’s ability to distinguish which hats you can get away with and which ones will make you look ridiculous. It’s at this point you look in a mirror and notice that a wispy neckbeard has been growing ever since Jeffrey Tucker told you to stop using shaving foam. You think it’s sexy stubble and you whisper “beast mode” at your self.
  • 20 Minutes:
    Can switch on beast mode
    The discovery of your glorious lion’s mane of a neckbeard coupled with your mistaken belief that ladies love a manchild in a fedora, may lead you to display misogynistic behaviours and get suspiciously defensive when anybody mentions patriarchy. Other beastly characteristics include assuming that being nice to a woman means she owes you something, and confidently telling off SLANCAP admins because you got banned from Anarchist Memes, a separate page run by entirely different people. That’s irrelevant to you though because the aspartame in Mtn Dew has calcified that part of your brain that knows commies don’t have a collective cyborg hive mind.
  • 40 Minutes:
    Can cause euphoria
    The potentially deadly combination of caffeine and wearing a hat that’s too small for you, restricts the supply of oxygenated blood to the brain. You reassure yourself that everything is ok and that if racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia aren’t a problem for you, then there’s no problem!
  • 60 Minutes & Beyond:
    Can deplete nutrients, make you hungry & thirsty for Cheetos
    When your sweaty neckbeard becomes saturated with fizzy wetness that never quite goes dry, your body is naturally going to crave the only thing absorbent enough to dry it out – Cheeto dust! It ain’t easy being cheesey, but you got this brah! Just shove large handfuls of cheetos in to your mouth quickly while continuing to breathe through your nose. The arrythmic cycle of your heavy panting will naturally distribute the dust throughout those hard to reach areas of your face and neckline. This kind of redistribution is ok because it’s not what commies do.

    For more information about the dangers of becoming a stereotypical caricature of an “Anarcho”-Capitalist, visit Still Laughing at “Anarcho”-Capitalism (SLANCAP) at – facebook.com/slancap
    Please prax responsibly.

    #MisesDontWantMe4aSunbeam

 

“An”cap Activism

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A common accusation that “an”caps make of anarchists is that we’re not real activists because we “spend all our time arguing with them on the internet”. The only place they see us is on the internet and that’s therefore the only place we are. It doesn’t occur to them that the reason they’ve never see us at an anti-war rally is that they would never attend an anti-war rally. They never see us on the picket line but that is only because they are never on the picket line. We’ve never joined forces with them for a direct action, but only because they’ve never been involved in a direct action.

I intend for this to be the first in a series of articles about the ways in which anarchists work towards the society we desire. I hope to look at the many organizations, both anarchist and not, through which anarchists unite to combat the issues we feel are important, and at the ways in which we try to effect change through direct action.

But before moving on to industrial unions, the animal rights movement, prison abolition, and so on, I want to look at a very strange beast indeed: “anarcho”-capitalist activism.
Of course, when discussing “an”cap activism you can only discuss one thing, the only known example of “an”caps trying to make a “difference”: the Keene “Robin Hooders” who hassle low-wage parking attendants.

If you ask an anarchist what is wrong with government you could expect a range of responses, probably including some, or all, of the following: war, the protection of private wealth and power, its’ authoritarian nature, corruption, or the lack of a genuine democratic voice for the people. If you ask an “an”cap, you’ll get: “taxes and business regulations”. The Keene “Robin Hooders” at least manage to expand the “an”cap critique of government to a third topic: parking tickets.
Never mind the arming of dictatorships in third-world countries to enable the free exploitation of markets and resources by capitalists, the REAL problem with government is that they fine people for parking where they’re not supposed to or without paying the stated fare.
That this also happens in the private sector is of no concern to the “Robin Hooders”. Indeed, the only change “an”cappers actually want to the situation is for it to be privatized. If the road were privately-owned and the “meter maid” worked for a privately-owned organization then the actions of the “Robin Hooders” would be considered a violation of the NAP and would be loudly condemned by the “an”cap “movement”.

Most anarchists agree that activism should reflect its’ goals. If you want worker control of the means of production then the best method is surely to organize within the workplace. “An”caps seem to agree with this attitude, and that is why their activism is nothing more than an attack on workers in the interests of private profit.
By targeting those with the least ability to effect change, all they are doing is hassling those who are tring to put food on their tables, and driving them to quit their jobs and face the perils that entails. Somebody else is then hired and has to deal with them.

“An”cap activism: dealing with minor problems by attacking those who can’t change anything, and only if you think private interests have something to gain by doing exactly the same thing themselves.

PS: The myth of Robin Hood is that he stole from the rich to give to the poor, the exact opposite of capitalism, whether “anarcho” or not.

WHAT IS THE “NAP”?

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The NAP, or “Non-Aggression Principle” (a name that would have George Orwell spinning in his grave) is part of the “anarcho”-capitalist strategy to privatize the state. The idea is that “aggression” is not to be tolerated, which is a noble-enough sentiment. The problem is that the definition of “aggression” would be left up to private courts to determine.

The private court system, as described by David Friedman, is a system specifically designed to ensure that the wealthiest minority get their way absolutely all the time, regardless of any factors. In it everybody “subscribes” to a court, legal code, and police force. If two people have a dispute then they have to decide whose they are going to use, and this is done by pitting your hired polices against one another. In the working person’s corner is dear old Bert, a lovely man but suffering from cataracts in both eyes and armed only with a water pistol and a list of strong adjectives. He’s not the best, he’s very cheap, and the best the working person can afford. In the wealthy person’s corner is Global Defense Initiatives Incorporated, a multi-billion dollar multi-national with an armory that would make the U.S. military tremble.
If dear-old Bert can take down Global Defense Initiatives Incorporated then the working man gets to choose the court and legal code. If, and I must stress that this is the more likely outcome, GDII wins the not-so-epic battle, then they decide. Of course, in nearly all cases the working person will just have to accept the choice of legal system before it comes to that, if only because they don’t have the heart to send poor old Bert to his inevitable demise.
Once the court has been chosen a decision can be made. The judge can choose to favour his client, the very rich person who pays their wages, or the opposition, a poor person who has nothing to offer them. “An”caps tell us that this will be alright because there will be competition. They don’t seem to realize that everybody will be competing for the money of those who have money, and nobody will be competing for the money of those who have none.

It is through that means that “an”caps intend to re-define “aggression” in much the same way the U.S. government has re-defined “terrorism”: if it is done by us or in our interests then it isn’t terrorism/aggression, but if it is done against us or our interests, it is.
And even if the impoverished person can find a court that is willing to find in their favour, they will have no funds with which to enforce the decision. “An”cap claims that police forces would voluntarily uphold the law for free sound more than just a little hollow. Would they really go up against a wealthy, powerful, and heavily protected person for no gain whatsoever?

The “Non-Aggression Principle”, therefore, is, as stated at the start, an Orwellian name for the complete ownership and control of the state by the wealthy minority. In “An”capland the law would be whatever the richest say it is, and the working classes will just have to accept or rebel. I favour the latter, is anyone with me?

Just for fun, here are some scenarios. See if you can guess which would be considered “aggression” in “An”capland and which wouldn’t:

A) Drinking water from a natural spring to quench your thirst. The spring is on privately-owned land.

B) Hanging, drawing, and quartering somebody you caught drinking from the natural spring on your land.

C) Selling your child into sex slavery.

D) Whipping a slave (you legally purchased the slave on the open market) for not doing enough work.

E) Hiring a police force to herd strikers into a confined area and opening fire on them.

F) Depriving people of any access to food and any means of acquiring food until they have no alternative but to accept a slavery contract.

That’s right, only (A) is considered “aggression” to “anarcho”-capitalists.

FAQ: The Homesteading Principle

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1) How much is the minimal amount of labour that needs to be “mixed with the land” in order for it to qualify as “homesteaded”? If I cut down a tree can I claim the entire forest for my logging company?

2) How much land is it permissible to take at any one time?

3) How high-up does this “homesteading” apply? Could you charge airlines for flying over your property? And do you own everything down to the core of the planet?

4) How long must land be apparently unused before somebody else is allowed to “homestead” it? Or is it that person’s for all eternity, even if that means it is completely wasted land that others need in order to survive?

5) If roads are to be privatized then the currently public roads must move into private hands. How would a person “homestead” an already-existing road?

6) Does this apply to all publicly-owned property? Could a person “homestead” NASA HQ, and if so, how? How would someone “homestead” the Large Hadron Collider? How about publicly-owned satellites?

7) Does discovering a star/planet/asteroid/etc. qualify as “homesteading” it?

8) What happens to the graves in publicly-owned graveyards when somebody “homesteads” them and wants to use the land for other purposes?

9) How will we defend ourselves when the wrong people “homestead” the enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons?

10) If person A grows a tree on the border of their property, and an acorn falls into the garden of their neighbour, person B, and starts growing into a tree, is that a violation of the NAP and does that entitle person B to blow person A’s fucking head off?

11) Do beavers, ants and other structure-building creatures “homestead” and, if so, how can they be expected to navigate the minefield of an “an”cap legal system?

12) What happens to future generations when all the land has been “homesteaded” and is in private hands? Would they have any alternative to wage slavery?

13) Would the “homesteading principle” lead to a reckless and irresponsible drive to build anything wherever people can in order to claim land before it all goes? Couldn’t this just lead to ecological devastation that we can ill afford?

DEBUNKING “AN”CAP MEMES IV: …AND THEY’RE STILL MISOGYNISTS!

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This is yet another in a stream of misogynistic posts from “Anarchy”ball lately (and generally).  I have a suspicion that he also runs an MRA group and sometimes forgets which he is posting in.

So what is propertarianball pissed off about today?  Is he upset that women won’t sleep with him?  Is he annoyed because women are allowed to choose their own sexual partners?  Is he fuming because it is no longer acceptable to slap your “bitch” around whenever she steps out of line?  Well, yes, all except the last one (he’s probably saving that for later).

“Don’t teach women not to get raped, teach men not to rape” is, like most things in life, too difficult for neo-feudalistball to wrap his tiny mind around.  As far as he can see there is only one sensible person to blame when somebody is raped: the victim.  Don’t try to prevent rape “jokes” that trivialize and normalize this brutal act.  Don’t quit using misogynistic language that objectifies and dehumanizes women.  Don’t examine and improve the culture that depicts women as little more than the providers of sexual pleasure.  Don’t tackle the patriarchal system that so often condemns the victim and excuses the perpetrator.  Don’t do any of those things.  The best way to deal with rape, in the mind of “Anarchy”ball, is to blame the victim.  “It’s your fault, you were drunk”.  “It’s your fault, you weren’t wearing enough clothes”.  “It’s your fault, you fell asleep”.  “it’s your fault, you’re susceptible to date-rape drugs”.