- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on July 22, 1999 at 17:30:54:

In Reply to: The colour of money. posted by Gideon Hallett on July 22, 1999 at 16:26:56:

: Is that question "who is *supposed* to make and enforce the law?" (we the people, etc, etc.) or "who *actually* makes the law?" (politicos and corporates).

Who makes law over you? Doesnt matter if they are not enforcing it. You make law over you - third parties cannot so effectively, and rarely toward anything other than their goals.

: Who makes the Government policy? It's normally the corporate backers and lobbyists; since a politician needs massive funds to buy the electorate, they are effectively in the employ of those who fund them. Things like NAFTA and the MAI weren't the off-the-cuff ideas of a politician; they were the result of lobbying by transnationals...

They are the product of what happens when politicians mess about with borders and are 'open to suggestion' of ways to go forward. Had there never been borders and nation states to define them then there would never have been talk about NAFTA etc.

: And when something is government policy, it is the duty of the police and army to uphold it, regardless of the morality of the law; it's what they're paid for.

And they cannot do so in actuality. Murder is against the law, but the law only prosecuted after the event. Theories of deterrence aside - the law in unenforcable in most cases.

: Witness the fact that the UK and French authorities yesterday froze the funds of Greenpeace International; because Greenpeace International were engaging in a peaceful protest against BNFL (British Nuclear Fuels Ltd.) shipping near-weapons-grade plutonium to Japan.

Greenpeace and French authorities have had many arguments. Now imagine the same situation without govt, where BNFL was an unprotected company and authorities could not freeze anything.

All people who actively question the role of govt are likely targets for persecution.

: Why do people not care? The surface of our planet is our collective responsibility.

Yes, so each fellow leaves it up to the next one ad infinitum, and when a body claims to represent the collective its logical for people to 'leave it up to them'.

: The people reinforcing this conformity? Corporates and governments; governments like it because it makes for a docile populace, corporates because it makes a nation full of unquestioning drones who will happily consume anything dumped in front of them; thus providing an ever-present market for profit-oriented companies.

All the more reason to become independant.

: An example; check the debates on things like road building. Whenever this perpetual debate springs up, pundits will opine that new roads need to be built to accommodate the predicted increase in the volume of traffic. No one ever says that the roads are too full with polluting cars and we should be reducing the number of cars on the road.

Because no one want to loose their car, they might be happy for others to loose cars, but not theirs.

: When people suggest levying heavier taxes on motorists, the road and car lobby make a terrible racket;

When some people suggest levying these things the people who will bear the brunt of it protest. it isnt the people against a corporation. the protests are from average joe.

: No-one ever questions the assumption of ever-increasing consumption; no-one ever suggests that fewer people should have cars; because this would put people out of jobs and limit the freedom of British taxpayers. Moderation is not a profitable word.

You can suggest it, but as I said above people dont want to lose *their* cars.

: Hang on; this land was traditionally only "private" because someone had stolen it in the first place. It's like saying that venture capitalists own the Internet; they don't; the 'net was running quite happily before the venture capitalists even knew about the "information superhighway" (*awful term*). I know; I was there.

So was I - way back when graphics were unthinkable. Regardless - if your great great grandad stole something which by some way benefitted you its too late to go and try any restitution - to whom, thief and victim are long gone - heirs dont carry guilt or victimhood.

: (And, yes, it was better in those days, in my opinion; there was far less useless crap and vanity pages around.)

I think its better now - the quality stuff has increased hugely and its well worth the searching through the crap to get there.

: For land to be enclosed and despoiled requires the idea of private land; ask RD, but enclosure was characteristic of the rise of modern capitalism.

It *was* before almost-capitalism became thoroughly mixed economy

: Private property also gives rise to nimby-ism; if you treat the entire planet as common property (rather than a collection of "back yards"); there can be no "NIMBY";

Except that people simply dont treat it this way.

because you have a shared responsibility to all of it. It's the idea that people own land that gives rise to the idea that waste dumped "somewhere else" becomes someone else's problem.

The idea that I am in America gives rise to trash on Namibia is someone elses problem - im afraid the goal of the earth being 'my back yard' is far off, and we wait for tech and travel to make it ever more a global village before people believe that rubbish in Namibia affects them in Seattle.

: And where do most politicians go after they quit political office? (or while they are still in office in the UK!) The boards of corporations; because they know valuable contacts in other governments; check the number of Tory former ministers on the boards of major UK banks (4 or 5 at the last count).

And now labor ones too. All in it together, relying on 'legitimacy' of a 'democratic' govt to pull the scam.

: Actually, if you check the proceedings of the last Bilderberg meeting but one, you will see that it was agreed that there was no overall opposition to the idea of armed security forces reporting directly to corporations. Or, to put it more bluntly, companies can raise their own armies.

I think its true to say that few people risk their lives in war for money alone - and thats all companies can offer.

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