Andrew Chrucky’s Politico-Economic Democratic Chart

Commentary:

The crucial concept in this chart is “capitalism.” But for some inscrutable reason no living public figure seems to be able to define it. And the most popular self-proclaimed Marxist economist, Richard Wolff, too is stymied. Why? He tells us that there was slavery, then feudalism, now capitalism. And he tells us that slavery consisted of a master and slave; feudalism of a lord and serf; and capitalism of employer and employee. And his complaint or criticism is that the employer gets a profit by “exploiting” the employee.

I find this description too superficial. For one because the employer-employee arrangement probably always existed at all times — though to a limited degree. For example, I live in a town-home association which employs all sorts of people for maintenance of the grounds. Ideally, the association will hire those who will work for the least amount of pay. Is the association “exploiting” anybody?

The evil which exists under capitalism is due to political laws which prohibits people for taking up subsistence land for free. As a result this creates proletarians or “free laborers.” They are called “free” because they are not bound to any specific employer, but they are bound to some employer or other, that is they must work for employer E(1) or E(2) or . . . E(n), or be self-employed by selling some service or other to people. In other words, they must enter the market-economy, and, in this sense, they are not free to live as indigenous people live in a self-sufficient manner.

Furthermore, this prohibition of taking up free subsistence land cannot occur with a small group such as is the case with indigenous people. It occurs in States with centralized government. Even it a country has democracy, it is invariably a mass or macro-democracy, which by its nature requires politicians to advertise. And advertising support comes from the rich, whose interest is to have proletarians: a reserve army of potential workers.

As the essence of capitalism is the barring of people from free subsistence land, the antithesis of capitalism is socialism — which in an ideal form — allows free access to subsistence land. But in lieu of this, what is called “socialism” is simply providing people with welfare: food, housing, medical care, education, and other social services.

Caveats: I find the concept of anarcho-capitalism — frankly — incoherent. The incoherence consists in wishing for everyone to have a homestead. But this would — by my lights — not be capitalism. But they think as long as there are free agreements between an employer and an employee, this is enough for capitalism to exist. No, free agreement is just barter, which existed at all times.

I am not against an employer-employee arrangements. All I am proposing is that every person have the alternative of free access to subsistence land. And under such circumstances, the employer-employee relation which Richard Wolff criticizes will turn into worker-owned enterprises which Richard Wolff desires.

See also:

Why I am an anarcho-socialist

A People’s Party?

On Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, 4-7 pm, eastern time, there was televised on the internet, a convention to create a new political party. The live stream does not seem to be available from the producers. But there is the following version:

To get oriented about what is going on, watch the interview below.

Nick Brana, founder, executive director of Movement for a People’s Party talks with journalist Chris Hedges about the US’ two political party system, the need for third and fourth parties and his experience campaigning for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election.

My initial reaction

It is abundantly clear that both the Democratic and the Republican Parties represent the interests of the rich. And this message was superbly expressed by Chris Hedges (see below):

I found most of the other speakers boring and the whole program too long. Anyway, if the goal is to push for a third party, why out of all the speakers only Chris Hedges urged people to vote for the Green Party, and everyone else spoke as if there is no existing third party?

Putin’s Russian Invasions

I want to remind viewers that under Putin, in 2014 Russia invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, and is still occupying the Donbass region.

In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia, occupying Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In 1994 and in 1999 Russia invaded Chechnya.

In 1992 Russia’s army supported the breakaway war of Transnistria from Moldova.

Bill Maher: Champion of the Lesser of Two Evils

I have watched Bill Maher, the comedian and political commentator, for a very long time. What has been appealing is the fact that he — like George Carlin — has couched his political [and, incidentally, religious] commentary in a comedic way by sarcasm, ridicule, pun, images — by whatever works.

He has also brought together all types of celebrities for interviews and discussion panels. All this is admirable and captured my interest.

What has displeased me is his insistence on rooting for the lesser of the two evils — I mean his preference of Democrats over Republicans (among other preferences). Consequently, he becomes annoyed when the evils of Democrats are pointed out — always saying that the evils of Republicans are much worse.

Few of his guests take the position that both Democrats and Republicans are evil — perhaps even to an indistinguishable difference. Two stand out: George Carlin and Cornel West.

Below is a clip of Bill Maher defending what he thinks is the lesser of two evils.

Below is Jimmy Dore commenting on how Trump is almost even with Biden in the polls. How does one really distinguish the lesser of two evils?

Bullshit Laws, Policies, and Institutions

Everywhere I look — the news, commentaries, social media — there is a concern with what is happening: protest over a war here, a war there; protests over an oil pipe line or an oil spill, for or against immigration, for or against abortions; lack of response to the Covid-19 epidemic, the widespread police brutality, climate change, Trump doing this and not doing that, deVos bunglings with education, etc., etc. But what is totally neglected is a critique of the institutions which foster all of these: the institution which fosters the enactment of bad laws, namely Congress; the institution of a Supreme Court which rules and interprets these laws in capricious ways; the office of a President with his Constitutional and extra-Constitutional powers. And if you tell me about checks and balances, just remember that the House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump, while the Senate — exonerated him! So much for checks and balances! In short, if you are dissatisfied with the laws and policies which are operative, look at the institutional structure which fosters all of this: the US Constitution. I know, I know . . . we pledge allegiance . . . but it is not an allegiance to the Constitution … though, unfortunately, the Constitution — if thought about at all — is probably widely revered like the Christian Bible with an implicit taboo on criticism.

If there is a critique of the United States, it is not of the political institutions, but of an allegedly economic institution of capitalism. My quick response to this is that it is a mistake to look at capitalism as an economic phenomenon; it is a political phenomenon, created by barring people from free access to subsistence land.

You may respond by saying: “If that is true, then Congress could revive some form of the Homestead Act of 1862.”

My answer to this is: it won’t happen, as it did not happen after the Civil War in 1865 when General Sherman proposed to give to former slaves 40 acres and a mule. And the reason it won’t happen is that it is not in the interest of entrepreneurs and corporations which need employees to carry on their profitable projects. And Congress is full of friends of entrepreneurs and corporations.

And it won’t happen through elections because most voters are oblivious of the connection between capitalism and free access to subsistence land, and are more concerned with their immediate security — to the extent that they have it. Besides, voters are more prone to vote for a charismatic politician than for any specific policies promised. As to awareness of political institutions, these exist — if at all — in the recesses of voters’ minds.

And the status quo (i.e., more of the same) will prevail, unless the institutions are changed.

And what country has a better Constitution? Switzerland!

Federal Council of Switzerland

Matthew Cooke on the lies of Donald Trump

I found the video below very insightful in addressing various political concerns accurately, and exposing lies. But I was puzzled by what Cooke was recommending. I agree with him about the desirability of some of the recommendations of “some” of the Democrats. But these recommendations are not shared by the majority of Democratic politicians, because in reality both the Democratic and the Republican Parties serve the interests of the rich, i.e., the 1%. So I am left puzzled by his unstated conclusion: Vote for the lesser of the two evils?