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The Last Fight For Eden: OWS Vs Oligarchy

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The alternative political beliefs of socialism, communism and anarchism (libertarians too) recognize you can't separate politics from economics and that morality and the common good must be part of the equation. After all politics is about where the money goes and who gets it.

One of the problems for the corporate press is the OWS people are operating outside of the defined acceptable model of top down management preferred by corporations. Not only are they acting responsibly as a group, the are demonstrating their beliefs in cooperative collectivism. They are reminding the rest of us if what the direct consensus style democracy, which is the core of socialism, communism and anarchism thought, looks like. That's something that capitalists never want the public to know.

The problem is that capitalism flies in the face of democracy, consensus and sustainability, they are mutually exclusive. Capitalists promote the illusion that democracy and unbridled (no regulation) capitalism can coexist and always champion the majority rule representative republic where ever they can't get total control of government (fascism). You have to negotiate/bribe a lot fewer people that way and you only have to win by one vote to disenfranchise the other 49.999% of the people.

Albert Einstein, an avowed socialist, said in 1949 that capital became concentrated in the hands of a few because of the competition of capitalists and growing economies of scale. He went on to say, "The result of this development is an oligarchy of private capital, the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by the private capitalists who for the all practical purposes separate the electorate from the legislature."

"The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. More over under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly the main sources of information (press, radio, television, education). It is thus extremely difficult and indeed in most cases quite impossible for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and make an intelligent used of his political rights."

The 150 Rule

Both anthropology and neurological studies put the number of people that you can "know" at 150 (Face Book doesn't count). This number is based on the evolutionary tribal structure that man lived under for millions of years that is hardwired into our brain and consequently is probably a realistic number for people to interact with in a meaningful way.

Want to understand why congress is so dysfunctional? As a result of the 2010 Census, Congressional Districts will have an ideal population to represent of 646,952. It's worse for the 100 Senators who represent a U.S. population of 307,006,550 . On top of that congress members have to work with the other 435 members. Makes it pretty difficult for your representative to know your needs even if he polls regularly, but I guarantee you he knows the needs of 150 lobbyists. As Ben Franklin said, "For a representative government to work you have to be able to get your hands around the neck of the representative."

The dysfunction of Capitalism

Indeed Capitalism's fatal flaws are many. The model depends on an ever increasing population who buy an ever increasing number of goods and services. It is a magical world where there are endless resources and the population can never become too big.

It is a world where everything becomes a commodity that can be bought, sold, or traded. And that means everything from politicians to wheat to electricity to healthcare to education to work. It means they want what they call a "free market" but in actuality, it is only a market that they can dominate. Despite cries against government regulation, most businesses use their influence in regulation to shut out small producers and limit the introduction of competitive innovations through increased regulation, protect and maximize profit return on infrastructure (think the oil & gas business), and shift more money to private hands to speculate with (think privatizing social security).  

Marx predicted that Capitalism would among other things create over production, which causes recessions and depressions. The economy becomes so efficient it produces more goods and services than the society can buy. Capitalism requires greater efficiency of operation to increase profits, which means lower wages, fewer benefits, longer hours, fewer workers.

We have seen this structural displacement of workers coupled with a rapid increase in applicable technologies (robots, computers) that serve as surplus labor increasing corporate leverage over workers still employed. Marx pointed this out in Capital, "The overwork of the employed part of the working class swells the ranks of its reserve (unemployed labor) while conversely, the greater pressure that the reserve by its competition exerts on the employed workers forces them to submit to overwork and subjects them to the dictates of capital."

Since the 1830s workers fought and died for the 40 hour week which didn't receive any recognition from the U.S. government until the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1937 but even that only applied to 20% of the workers. Capitalists have hated even this small concession and the average worker now works 63 hours per week.

Most people don't realize it is the policy of the United States (at least its capitalist masters) that unemployment is kept in the 4-5% range, when it gets lower than that monetary policies are tightened to restrict growth to "prevent inflation". In other words people are thrown out of work or maintained unemployed to keep downward pressure on wages and of course increase profits.

Unfortunately all capitalist systems will eventually become so efficient that they reach the point where so few people are employed, that there aren't enough consumers or consumers with enough money to buy the products they are producing. At that point in an extractive economy you must remove any accumulated wealth/capital and move it to a newer growing market.

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www.wethepeoplenews.org

John Kelley is the Managing Editor of a monthly progressive newsmagazine, "We the People News", in Corpus Christi, Texas

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OWS may be our last chance to save humanity from t... by John Kelley on Sunday, Oct 30, 2011 at 7:54:03 AM
Well said! I plan to send this article link to peo... by b. sadie bailey on Sunday, Oct 30, 2011 at 8:29:18 PM
Humans need to become conscious of the truth that ... by Philip Pease on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 1:11:24 PM
The MONDRAGON Corporation mission is to produce an... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 3:26:03 PM
While the media, the capitalist mainstream corpora... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 3:27:26 PM