- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Cheers to anti-WTO Protestors! And A Quiz for Dr. Cruel and Frenchy

Posted by: Bill Phalon ( Yamanashi University, Japan ) on December 06, 1999 at 11:33:11:

Cheers to the protestors in Seattle for stopping the WTO in its tracks!

Now, I have a quiz for Frenchy and Dr. Cruel: Who wrote the follwing words on wages between workers and masters?

The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower the wages of labour...It is not, owever difficult to see which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorises or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work; but many against combining to raise it . . .we rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workemen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate . . .(These meetings) are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy, till the moment of execution, and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do, without resistance, though severly felt by them, they are never heard of by other people. (But workmen's combinations), be defensive or offensive, are always abundantly heard of.

Who said this? A) Karl Marx B) John Maynard Keynes or C) Adam Smith

The correct answer is C. Adam Smith wrote these words in the capitalists' holy scripture, "Wealth of Nations (pages 169-170).

Now, to Frenchy, you asked "what planet" I'm living on. I wrote "capitalist" in quotes because the capitalist vision of "free trade" is in fact the capitalists' nightmare. Capitalists rely on anything but free-trade, instead owe their privileges to MASSIVE government assistance and intervention. So, countries like Honduras are simply U.S. client states, and the U.S. is neither democratic or really even capitalist in the form it claims to be. The masters (owners, or bourgeoisie) don't even play by--indeed stand condemned by their own rules, so why should we believe that anything like a free-market exists, except as a rhetorical justification for exploiting workers and raping the planet?

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