- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Why be sickened when you can make a profit?

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on October 13, 1999 at 17:48:26:

In Reply to: Sickening and evasive posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on October 13, 1999 at 14:24:15:

: : I happen to have more faith in the ability of people to successfully manage their affairs then you do.

SDF: Here Frenchy uses the old ruse of so-called "conservatives," ignoring the fact that labor is social labor. There are no employees selling labor-time so that one can get the credit for their work, just the sovereign individual. "Their" affairs are the affairs of working people as well.

: Maybe not the first generation, but probably the second and so on. Too many examples to argue otherwise. There are some that can't cut it, that's true. But that doesn't mean that all others should voluntarily hold themselves back because of the shortcomings of a minority.

SDF: Since it is a majority who don't own any significant part of the means of production (& thus have no financial security), we're not talking about the "shortcomings of a minority".

: I'll repeat my question. Why don't you suggest this to a California grape picker. i'm sure he'll be thirlled to know that his destitute condition is due to his own shortcomings.

: This is ridiculous, and sickening. Even most conservatives today don't think that ALL destiitution is due to 'individual shortcomings'.

SDF: "My compassion" in the conservative handbook is a means for the extraction of "my profits" from those who believe I am compassionate.

: To blame the worker's codnition on his own fault is worse than insulting. you could at leats have the courtesy to acknowledge SOME systemic blame for his condition. As it is right now, you not only want to keep him poor, illiterate, and disease, bvut then you want to grind your heel oin his face by blaming it all on himslef. Real compassionate tehre. That's wonderful. i wish we all treated each other that way.

SDF: We do, Nikhil, we do.

: All of us are entitled to food, shelter, medicine, leisure, education, and teh dignity of being a respected memeber with a share in society. Tehse are Human Rights, Normand. Don't you believe in human roights, or are you some sort of nihilist? It isn't the garpe-picker's fault that he's starving when he agrees to work for the minimum wage, and will starve if he doesn't get this job. It's not his fault that his kids die because he can't afford health insurance. Etcetera.

SDF: If we had human rights, we'd have to worry about people, and that's hardly a profit-making venture...

: : And besides, you keep saying that it can't be done while I offer you proof in the form of my dad and my three younger brothers who have started their own business's and are successful (two in tool and die and one in vacuum packaging, all in the New England states). Should I pretend that they don't exist?

: I simply don't udnerstand the way you think. Sure, they exist. The people you're talking about were a lucky few. All power o them. now let me tell you about the homeless man I met once who had to drop out of school at 14 to work when his father died, and who now sleeps in subway stations because his army pension won't cover the rents in Boston. Let me tell you about the servant girl I once saw in an Indian hosuehold who was so poor and ill-educated that she was barely even aware when her country was celebrating its 50th anniversary- she was denied teh cahnce to take part in this! Let me tell you about all the homeless people I've seen at soup kitchens. Let me tell you about the inner city kids I knwo who, in spite of getting a great high school education, were forced to go to a given college solely because of hwo much aid tehy were getting (and then remembr the countries that havce free college education). Let me tell you about all the people crammed into substandard apartments in Boston and slowly sickening. Are you going to pretend that these people don't exist?

SDF: Yes, Frenchy is going to pretend they don't exist.

: That's great, it's sowinga lot of respect for tehir life stories that you obviosuly aren't interested in them. Let me tell you, I take their stories into account,a nd I've concldued taht a system taht is built on te backs of tehse p[eopel and tehir suffering cannot be fair. Period.

SDF: Oh it's not, and if you pretend that it is, you're another sucker.


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