Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Problem Isn't Jobs!!!!
The issue is not jobs. The primary issue is ownership.
If we had a healthy distribution of ownership, we'd have full employment (along with a better distribution of wealth).
Ownership is the missing key to the American experiment in self-rule. The ideal of self rule is contingent on the idea that each person would have a little domain over which they had "say-so."
Traditionally, people understood property rights to mean "say-so." The owner of a property has the say-so over that property.
This was a radical departure from feudalism. Feudalism was a socio-economic system formed around the political order (a class society). A small ruling class at the top ruled. Everyone else was perceived as workers. In feudalism, you had a ruling class at the top that drew its power from the government. Everyone else was perceived to be a worker.
A small middle class of property owners formed in this system. The Middle class consisted of merchants, manufacturers and professionals. The middle class built its position by reinvesting the fruit of the labor into their businesses.
Feudalism had a corrupt ruling class and an oppressed working class, but a middle class of property owners began to thrive.
In 1776, the classical liberal Adam Smith noted that this middle class was the ones producing the Wealth of the Nation.
In that same year, the American Colonies rebelled against the crown. The colonies established a new system of government with constitutionally limited government and a very large class of property owners.
Please note, by "middle class" I mean the class between the rulers (those who derive their income from government) and the workers (those who derive income by selling labor).
Yes, I know you were taught that "middle class" means the middle of the income bell curve. That model is stupid. Income is always distributed in bell curve with the average being in the middle. The modern definition is a meaningless tautology. The traditional class structure had a ruling class at the top, and most people were workers. The middle class was the property owning class between the ruling and middle class.
People who work for the government writing regulations (rules) are part of the ruling class even if they have a middlesome income. If you derive your position by ruling, you are a ruler. If you derive your position from working, you are a worker. If you derive your position from owning, you are an owner. Capiche? Political science isn't rocket science.
Long ago, the American system of self-rule created a new society with widespread property ownership. This system pulled a large number of people from the working class into the property owning middle class. This experiment in self rule led to widespread prosperity.
The members of the ruling class despise this system with every fiber of their being.
Since the very beginning of the American experiment in self-rule, members of the ruling class used their perches in government, banks, academics and the media to cloud this all important issue of ownership.
Don't you see? The whole key to self-rule is that people need a little domain over which they can rule. The concept of self-rule is meaningless if most people are left with nothing under their control.
To revive the American experiment in self-rule we need to work diligently to create a world in which the people have little domains over which they can rule.
The dialectical split between Left and Right will not revive the concept of self ownership. No matter shrill Conservatives are in denouncing the "liberal" left, we cannot revive America until we address the issue of ownership (property rights).
Contrary to what the right claims, the American Revolution WAS NOT a conservative revolution. The American Revolution was a radical event which completely changed the social order. People who derived their position from the crown were put out and the property owning middle class was elevated.
The Conservatives of 1776 supported King George and fought for the crown.
The first enemies of freedom were the conservatives who drew their power from the class structure.
The philosopher Hegel (1770-1831) is a great example of the thinking of the arch-conservatives who were trying to rebrand and revive the ideals of feudalism.
In Hegel we see a revival of the dialectics of ancient Greece coupled with a dialectical interpretation of history centering on conflict and change.
Hegel could be called an arch-conservative.
The ruling class of the early 1800s could not regain control through straight forward debate. So, they sought to subvert the debate by muddling the meanings of terms and through dialectics.
Marx (1818-1833) was a master of the dialectics. Like Hegel, he despised the property owning middle class. Marx sought to create a new social revolution led by the intelligentsia that would unite the ruling class and the working class against the property owning middle class.
To do this, Marx wrote a large tome called "Das Kapital" that presented a new economy centered around large pools of capital controlled by evil villains called capitalists. Marx claimed that the revolution against capitalism would result in a new social utopia called "communism."
Marx never defined "communism" beyond vague imagery, but he described capitalism in great detail.
The great irony of history is that Karl Marx is the father of Capitalism.
Marx's Capitalism has subtle differences from the free market. In capitalism, people are ruled by pools of capital with most people being reduced to the status of worker.
In Marxian dialectics, a conservative right argues for a society ruled by capitalist and large capital pools in conflict with radicals who argue for society ruled by a totalitarian state.
Both sides of Marx's false dichotomy are opposed to the classical liberal ideal of free people who rule themselves.
To restore America we simply must restore the concept of ownership.
Unfortunately the dialecticians have tied our political system in a knot. The group that seeks greater (if not totalitarian) state control have captured the term "liberal" and turned. Using the techniques of Hegel and Marx, the left has turned the political term "liberal" into its opposite.
The conservative side is equally problematic. Traditionally, conservative meant those who supported the top down social order of the monarchy. Many of the people who support the views of the Founders call themselves "conservative." The group also includes people who argue Marx's anti-thesis and support capitalism as Marx defined capitalism.
When a person claims to be "conservative" who supports "capitalism," one has to ask what type of conservative? Does the person aspire to create a society centered on self-ownership, or is the person interested in a top-down society formed around the capital structure?
The market described by Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations is a completely different beast than the one described by Karl Marx in Das Kapital.
The top heavy capitalism of Marx reduces most people to the status of "worker," with only a few people engaged in meaningful ownership.
If you have a society formed around the model presented by Karl Marx in Das Kapital, the workers must seek protection from unions and the state or they will be ripped apart and reduced to subsistence.
The key to America's greatness was not the limited government. It was the unlimited people. America was a society of property owners.
When a conservative politician spouts the view that Americans are nothing but workers, that conservative politician has bought into the Marxian definition of Capitalism. If we really want to restore America, we need to restore the idea that Americans are owners, and not just overpaid workers.
The problem isn't a lack of jobs. The problem is that American's have allowed the enemies of freedom reduce a once great society of owners to a mediocre society of workers. If we want to restore the society of owner's we need to recognize that the Capitalism from Das Kapital is not the same as the Free Market established by the US Founders.