Capitalism and Socialism

I should be finishing a higher priority article related to the platforms of political parties and how not even the platforms their politicans run on serve the interest of the American people, but my attention was focused elsewhere.

It was late morning. I finished the first of two jobs scheduled for the day and decided to get lunch as my second appointment was scheduled for four hours later. I was tired. My sleep was delayed the night before by an attempt to cause me to commit a serious crime. A response to a classified ad where I was directed to meet someone at an apartment at 1230am. When I arrived I was told to enter the apartment without knocking, which I of course refused. I presumed it was a set up from the beginning but the dialouge added credibility to the prospect prior to arriving. This is to say I am tired today.

At Burger King, seemingly unprovoked an old woman yells out no socialism, no socialism, no socialism. I don’t know what prompted the outburst, I was the only other patron in the resturaunt and it is unlikely to have stemmed from any conversation with the employees. It may have been an inserted event undertaken for the purpose of agitating me or provoking a response, or again, it may have been related to some conversation I didn’t hear.

It was successful in agitating me eventhough I am not a socialist. It begins with the misconceptions peddled by the right, to the right, that democrats are socialists. I am also not a democrat but their actions are far from socialist. The affordable care act was pro-business legislation that many on the right assert is socialist. Using public funds in the form of vouchers to purchase insurance from private companies and mandating that people purchase a product from a private entity has nothing to do with socialism.

I whispered to myself “define it bitch”. There was a period in my life where I would argue nearly every senseless comment I heard and it yields next to nothing in these settings. I am also all too aware of how it makes me look, as if I’m picking on some old woman. The point is arguing with ignorant strangers in public places does not advance your cause, and to argue against someone saying no socialism causes me to look like a socialist. Later I still felt like I should have made that woman look stupid.

The distinction between captialism and socialsim is a question of production and distribution. A collective approach verses an individual approach. Socialism relies on a democratically elected body to decide production and distribution whereas captialism is a system where individuals with money decide what will be produced.

Socialism is neither inherently good nor inherently bad and many of the failures of attempts at socialism can be shown to be the result of imposistion from western states. The Soviet Union was totalitarian, but it was in the interest of the Soviet Union to call it socialism for the goodness of their cause and the contentment of their population. It was important for the United States to call it socialism to equate socialism with totalitarianism and make even the mention of the word disgusting to its population. The Soviet Union was not socialism because although the state controls production, the state is planning production absent the will of the population.

No candidate of any party has a plan for the government to participate in any substantial way in the economy in terms of a state business entity. The governments participation in the economy consists of purchasing products and services from private companies, tax policy, providng loans to companies, and cash support in the form of subsidies. This is the economic policy of both parties despite rhetoric to the contrary.

Anything thought of as social spending is thought of by the right as socialism, although it has nothing to do with socialism. Government is a social contract among people within its jurisdiction. This means people decide on a system of creating rules they agree to that they anticipate will cause them to be more free than they would be without them. In addition to agreeing to systems to create rules and the rules themselves, they contribute money to maintain the enforcement of these rules and to allocate this money to any purpose they choose. Whether this money is provided to ensure people have food, housing, education, health care, or any purpose they collectively choose to allocate the money does not cause it to be socialism, it causes it to be the expression of the collective will. It only becomes socialist if the government is participating in the economy as a for profit enterprise competing against privately owned companies. A public option for health insurance could be considered socialist, also a good idea, but outside of health care, there are no ideas that could be considered socialist.

The rank file members of the republican party have also been taught that regulations are socialist. Again what is government? Agreed upon rules not only for the purpose of conduct and collective spending, but also rules governing commerce. People wanting to have clean water to drink, a habitable world, protection against predetory business practices, protection for labor, etc, is not socialist policy but an expression of popular will and interest.

Beyond the presumed ignorance of this woman I was aggravated at a more fundemental level. Her implied understanding relates to equating socialism with those things mentioned above, primarily social spending. Even more fundemental than this is the implied assertion that only people with money should be able to decide production and create opportunity. Everyone else, the majority of people in this country and a vast majority world wide should be reliant on the few for opportunities to be productive and earn a living. The implied assertion is advocation for the perpetuation of economic tyranny.

On a more fundmental level, in light of the subversion perpetrated by the United States and Western European countries against Venezuela, and threats made against Cuba and Nicarugua, the assertion no socialism implies that she isn’t for people having what they want to have. Any people, of any nation should be free to choose any form of government or economic system, without imposistion from countries who want to interfere with their right to self determination for the purpose of profiting from their labor and resources.

Again I am not a socialist, although I have created and promote something that could be misinterpreted as a socialist institution, which is called a Center for Economic Planning.

Captialism disenfranchises people without money from participating in decisions of production which prevents them from creating their own opportunites, decreases the quality of those opportunities, and prevents them from deciding production in a way that is sustainable, as in the transistioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy, although there are numerous other examples of unsustainable examples. Additionally, a people without money is unable to particpate in political decisions in a system where the representation of an interest is equal to the amount of money behind.

A Center for Economic Planning is created through a government body but is not under government control upon its creation. Intended to exercise jurisdiction within a city, a CEP allows people to particpate in creating and acquiring business which are then owned by their CEP which is owned and governed by the people within a city.

A corporation is a business that is owned collectively by a group of citizens where their share of the company depends on how much money they invest. A CEP, is much more akin to a corporation than it is a socialist institution, with the only difference being that its owners are determined by location, not by the amount of money they have to invest. It is a collectively owned and directed private enterprise the same as a corporation with the exception of it being publically funded at its inception and not being publically traded.

I am fine with the state sponsored free market plutocracy that the United States is and has always been as long as all people have an opportunity to compete and participate which is how a CEP empowers a people. I don’t believe you can change pay to play in regard to representation in government. The exchange of value for value is the foundation of human interaction. There are no exceptions.

What I envision is a nation where ever major area has a Center for Economic Planning, and the business owned by the CEP, owned by the people, will comprise somewhere between 15 to 30% of the market across all sectors. What does this mean?

Imagine if 1 in 3 businesess in your city were owned by the people of your city? The people of your city would collectively have roughly 1/3rd of the profits of the entire local economy.

First and foremost wages are higher because you own the parent company that owns the business you work for. The parent company doesn’t squeeze labor to increase profit because the aim is the maximization of satisfaction for its share holders which includes labor. This changes the labor market because privately owned businesses in the same sector will have to compete against the CEP owned businesses for labor.

On the local level electing candidates to serve the popular interest over the interest of industry is supported by roughly a third of the profits of the local economy. On the state level CEPs can network with other CEPs within the state to elect state representatives and lobby state legislators with a backing of a 7th to a a third of all the profits within the state. On the federal level CEPs can network across state lines to achieve the same thing at the federal level.

A CEP delivers democracy in the plutocracy.