Revealed Unemployment Versus Revealed Death

Note: Repost from the old blog.
Our very smart Leftist Brit commenter Lafayette Sennacherib notes in the comments section:

Among the buzzwords on the collapse of the Soviet bloc was ‘revealed unemployment’, meaning that Communist industries were employing people to do nothing useful apart from living and breeding.
The capitalists are bit by bit feeling their way to getting us to accept the idea of ‘revealed death’ i.e. the idea that it’s ok for lots of people to starve to death because there isn’t really a place in the economy for them.
We already accept that the 3rd World is used to starving to death, so it’s no big deal for them; and I’ve even seen the starvation in Korea in the 90’s (though there’s some doubt about whether that actually happened – see Bruce Cummings) described as a ‘leveling of the population to what is its natural optimum level (loosely)’; the next thing is to get Europeans and N. Americans to accept that ‘we can’t carry passengers, if we show too much compassion for the weak then they’ll drag us down with them…etc’.
America has always been pretty close to that anyway, but Europe’s heading that way with ample help from the capitalist propaganda machine – we can’t afford welfare anymore, etc.
You know – capitalism works because we’re all much better off than they used to be, but we’ll all have to work harder and longer with fewer benefits because of globalisation…So are we better off or worse off?
Even supposed Leftists like George Galloway come out with this stuff – “immigration is a good thing; that’s why the US is the richest country in the world…” He really says that, while also arguing that the capitalists are screwing us harder and harder.
But I think there’s room for hope; I get the feeling that even the most indoctrinated and unreflective among our poor are now finding the contradictions in the media bullshit just too blatant, and the hard realities just too hard to ignore.
It really is ‘socialism or barbarism’; just because it hasn’t worked perfectly so far is no reason to give up.
There just isn’t enough discussion of this, anywhere; there is obviously the problem that under capitalism private accumulation of wealth makes excluding corruption impossible…
Discussions of how an effective democracy could work should take up about 50% of the discourse on ‘the left’, but they take up effectively zero, though there are isolated academics and think-tanks I occasionally hear of who do some interesting work.
“I think the free market, if galvanized by the government and the media, can solve problems like global warming far better than a Soviet style socialist economy.” huy
Come on, huy! What’s the solution likely to be – the ‘revealed deaths’ of 4 to 5 billion people. The ‘free market’ will starve them, and the media will put a positive spin on it.
Anyway, there is no ‘free market’; capitalism operates like a vacuum cleaner, sucking all wealth and power to the top – it is a mechanism, which is effectively self-perpetuating – mammon, money reified and deified, which can only create despots, slaves, death and destruction of the environment.

This was an excellent comment by LS, a very smart guy. Let me translate a bit:
Above, LS compares the revealed (hidden) unemployment in Communism to the revealed (hidden) death in capitalism. He also notes that conditions in the capitalist world are getting observably worse and worse for workers in recent years. The capitalists don’t even deny it, but they say that things have to get worse due to globalization.
At the same time, capitalism is the best system on Earth and is making us better all the time. Except that we’re getting worse. Or something. Or whatever.
LS notes the idiocy of a Leftist like George Galloway singing the praises of US super-capitalism, while attributing it’s success to the very immigrant flood that has devastated US workers. This Leftist offers more of the same tidal wave for British workers.
“The US success model.”
But the US is a rich country (not nearly the richest on Earth – check Luxembourg – beating us for years now) on paper only. The bottom 80% has been getting screwed off and on for the last 30 years, just like everywhere on Earth radical neoliberalism has been implemented.
The immigrant hurricane surge will devastate British workers the same way it did America’s.
Failure is success. Getting worse is getting better. The cognitive dissonance is Earth-shattering.
LS also notes that terrible corruption is always going to be a problem in any capitalist society due to wealth accumulation. In the 3rd World, it’s nearly set in stone. Note the horrible corruption and mass theft that accompanied the moves from socialism to capitalism in Russia and China.
If capitalism is the greatest engine on Earth for making money – and it is – it’s also the greatest engine on Earth for theft from petty to grand. Wherever you find capitalism, you will find an orgy of thievery. It’s nearly built into the system.
LS’ last paragraph has some good points. Huy is a British social democrat who is much enamored of whatever snake oil New Labour is pushing these days. He thinks that the market can definitely fix global warming.
Clearly, the market alone is incapable of resolving the global warming problem. By standard market economics, it’s economically rational to devastate the planet with global warming (with unknown consequences), and it’s economically irrational to try to stop global warming with mass government intervention.
There’s tons of money in global warming, and tons of red ink in stopping it. Knowing that, the market is going to take the biggest write-off in history and fix this problem? Get real!
Yet the last 30 years of the rap song blasting, “Market! Market!” in our ears nonstop has mutated Americans. There can be no solutions to anything outside of the market.
The government, or state, is dead, except for blowing stuff up, conquering tinpot dictators, putting cuffs on every other American and throwing millions in the hole. The state’s for killing people and busting your ass. Soldiers and cops, and there’s little else. No wonder Americans hate the government so much.
Even Mother Jones, a “liberal” US magazine, stated in a recent issue on global warming that any solution would have to be a market solution. Why? Because that’s just the way it is nowadays. The state is dead; the market rules. The libertarians won the Culture (of Economics) War.
Yet the market is incapable of fixing global warming because there’s no money it, and it involves massive losses. So the magic hand is essentially on track to blow up the planet, using weather and Mother Nature as the thermonuclear device.

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One thought on “Revealed Unemployment Versus Revealed Death”

  1. Thanks for digging that up again, Robert. It’s strange to look at that, from just about 6 months ago, and consider how much worse things have got in just that short time. Any who expected anything of Obama fits one description of insanity I read somewhere : keeping doing the same thing and expecting different results. Obama is just an extreme version (necessitated by the preceding Bush/Cheney junta) of the usual good cop/bad cop act – you know, once forces start to mobilise in earnest against the bad cop, they gives the good cop for a while and all the mobilised forces go to sleep for a while, and the elites just go on doing what they were doing, but everyone pretends things are getting better. Well, at least the pretense didn’t last long with Obama – witness the disgust with his inevitable sell-out, particularly on health-care but also on war, unions, S.America, you name it … And the reaction is that the Right wants more, and more than we could have imagined a few months ago. You would have been called a nut and a conspiracy theorist just those months ago if you had predicted the entire media castigating Obama as a ‘socialist like Hitler (LOL) and Stalin’, and that for a health care bill that will greatly reduce health coverage – just not enough for some. The Cold War isn’t over for these people. They have a bigger conception of the Cold War; it’s not just Soviet Russia or China, but the very idea of ‘society’ never mind socialism In the UK we are undergoing an insidious assault on our own NHS – quite different from the slanderous accounts of it in the US recently – privatisation by stealth. That’s the next target after communism – ANY hints of social welfarism anywhere, particularly Europe where it is most developed – the ‘threat of a good example’.
    You know the quote from Thatcher: ” there is no such thing as society”. I don’t need to go into the obvious contradictions, hypocrisies and downright insanities in that attitude – you can easily fill in the dots yourself. But the point is that ‘they’ don’t have to make sense, be coherent etc. because they have the media to shout for them – you don’t have to justify an argument when no other voice can be heard. This is part of what I hinted at when I referred to discussions of how effective democracy could work; back in the 70s in the UK a common catch-phrase was ‘One man, one newspaper’ i.e. some limits on the power of the media barons. Of course, much more is needed, but it’s not even talked about now – in the UK, the ‘left’ has given up. In the US, you at least have some public discussions about disbanding the Fed and ending lobbying and buying of politicians. But a lot more talk (and action) is needed on ‘freedom of the media’ – how could regulation of ownership and influence work?
    I believe that in Ralph Nader (and he has his faults) and his supporters you in the US you have a far more solid and developed nucleus of a movement for effective democracy than exists anywhere in Europe. What chances that people rally to him now that there can be practically no-one who believes in the Democrats anymore? What are the chances of him living to 2012? Slim, I’d guess. I predict they’ll kill him (one way or another) as a precursor to full-blown fascism after the Obama debacle. You’ve got to laugh, as they say.

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