- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The pride of the working class rebounds

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on July 21, 1999 at 17:15:57:

In Reply to: Damn right I'm proud to be capitalist!!! posted by Jason on July 21, 1999 at 13:21:34:

: Isn't it obvious by now that socialism and communism just DOESN'T WORK?!?!

SDF: Apparently not, and I don't think that a comment like this is, in itself, going to stop Nikhil Jaikumar or Red Deathy from defending socialism. Perhaps you could find out why they persist in defending such a thing? Me personally, I've stopped defending socialism by that name, since I think it's sufficient to defend intentional communities as a preparation for the end of the Era of Cheap Oil.

: Come on, why the hell would I go to college and receive an advanced education if I wouldn't be receiving some form of reward down the road?

SDF: To learn something maybe? As a former teaching associate, it greatly depressed me that the people I saw were going to college were there just to get a piece of paper with someone's signature on it, that they didn't care if they went out of the process as stupid as they were when they came in, if they wasted their four years of time in the system or not.

: Makes more sense just to mop floors the rest of my life...

SDF: Is there nothing to say for job satisfaction? One of the things we can learn from reading Karl Marx is that our labor is alienated. In doing things, in making things, in working with the things and people of the world, Marx argued, we MAKE THE WORLD. In doing these things under a capitalist system, he further argued, we MAKE THE WORLD FOR SOMEONE ELSE, and that someone else is the owner, who hires the boss to tell us what to do. Thus the satisfaction we might get from the act of working is nullified, replaced by an external reward, which is the pay someone else gives us for following his or her orders.

: I'll be just as rich as a brain surgeon or an engineer who went through 12 years of schooling under the communist system!!!

SDF: And they'll be much smarter than you. Do you think there's no pride in that?

: What incentive is there for me to say, open my own restaurant or start up a new company? If I can't create wealth, not just for myself, but also for all my employees and investors, what's in it for me? Why take the risk if there is little reward?

SDF: But as a mere owner, you don't create wealth. The people who build your restaurant or company, the people who make your products and maintain your buildings, THEY create the wealth. If you own something, you expropriate their creation -- you only participate in its creation if you work to build or maintain it. BTW, you claim to be a capitalist. A capitalist, by definition, is somebody who profits off of the labor of others. Who do you employ, and how much profit do you make off of their labor?

: Capitalism works because it rewards the risk that Bill Gates took when he started Microsoft. Today he is worth more money than anybody can imagine, but I truly believe he deserves every penny. Maybe he does have a monopoly... the government is there to regulate capitalism since it can get out of hand and will without laws. Think about all the wealth Bill Gates has ALSO created for the employees of Microsoft! Many of them are millionares too! Plus, the shareholders of Microsoft have benefited, and that includes "Regular Joe's" like you and I who may just own 10 shares.

SDF: Here is an alternative perspective.

BTW, how much is Gates paying you to post here? If he's not paying you, then why did you post here at all, giving Microsoft free advertising? Perhaps you did it because it's a form of labor you like to perform?

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