- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Let them eat anecdotes (the sequel)

Posted by: Barry Stoller on December 22, 1999 at 10:13:17:

In Reply to: An epiphany posted by Garloo on December 21, 1999 at 23:05:41:

Nice technique there. 'I reconsidered...no...wait...job rotation ALREADY occurs!'

Very sweet.

But untrue.

What you omit---like Stuart Gort before you---is that capital is predicated upon a very definite ratio of bosses to employees. If everyone 'pulled themselves up by the bootstraps' (like you) and became capitalists (as no doubt you will soon), then capitalism COULD NOT exist. Without the propertyless proletariat who owns NOTHING but his / her labor (sold piecemeal to the capitalists at rates advantageous to capital), no capitalist concern could ever produce anything.

Sure, there are exceptions---many of whom are actually precapitalist artisans, such as freelance photographers---and we use the word exception to describe them because they are, in fact, a statistically small part of the capitalist economy.

For the record, those Americans who own businesses (big and small) only total 10% of the American workforce.(1) Thus, precapitalist artisans must number LESS.

On to some of your interesting points...

: There are millions like me.

Yes, there are. No one ever said that capital does not throw some table scraps around.

But there are MANY MILLIONS MORE who drudge through idiotic, low-wage work unlike you. The Labor Department's list of top-growth occupations: cashiers, janitors, salespeople, and waiters.(2)

: Mr. Stoller is extremely well read and very convincing. His college-mouthed ravings are seductive.

Are we QUITE SURE that Mr. Stoller ever attended college?

: Perhaps I travel in a unique circle but nearly everyone I know tells a story similar to mine.

Of course they do. They are your economic peers. I rather doubt you associate with anyone under your economic level; few people do.

Anecdotes ALWAYS reveal an inability to see beyond one's narrow class perspective.

But your post WAS cute. As a matter of fact, it's probably the best one I read this month. Please keep 'em coming.


These are the 'authorites' David warned you about:

1. Business Week, 28 November 1994, p. 34.

2. New York Times, 31 August 1997, sec. 4, p. 9.

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