Friday, 23 April 2010

A Case For Socialism by Erik Boyd

Capitalism's Baby

Disclaimer: The AIM has no overall political affiliation so blogs pertaining to politics express the views of the individual writer.

For anyone who has studied politics even minutely, they are likely familiar with the typical right-left spectrum that is used to classify every political mind on the planet. If they are keen on the subject, they are likely familiar with the much more accurate (though still inadequate) graph that incorporates, not just left and right wing, but improvement on the old spectrum, but it is still fatally flawed and this flaw is quite important. One must first, however, understand the meanings of left and right on the political spectrum in order to understand what is meant by the statement that one cannot be both right-wing and libertarian. To put it simply, to be left-wing means to support socialism and to be right-wing means to support capitalism. But what do these words mean in terms of their concepts? Socialism is a term that describes the left-wing ideology that supports a system that abolishes private property in order to either guarantee or allow relative economic equality. Capitalism describes the right-wing ideology that supports a system which uses the enforcement of the right of private property as a method by which to guarantee economic inequality. These definitions, while completely uncontroversial, will likely stir up (albeit unfounded) criticism from those on the right-wing.
To explain how capitalism creates economic inequality through property, we can make an analogy to poker. When a person joins a poker game, he or she enters the game with their property in the form of money. Those that make the riskiest moves when they first enter and from then on, are able to fool people with the straightest face, can generally place themselves in a position of strength at the table with a majority of the money. Once a person is in such a position, all they must do to maintain it is use a small percentage of their money (which would be more than others could afford) to "buy the pot". This example draws many parallels to capitalist business owners: an entrepreneur enters business with a certain amount of money, makes a few risks, and, generally, in order to place their business into a position of power within an industry, they use less than honest techniques. From there, they have the ability to use the money that they've gained using these tactics to keep smaller businesses in their place. On the individual level, this forces people to choose employment (wage slavery) or starvation. If we extend the poker analogy to (libertarian) socialism, people would enter a game with nothing, and generate value simply by contributing to the game and actually creating their own money, ensuring people a fair chance to make the same amount. This, of course, would never work as a poker game, as the entire purpose of poker is to enrich a select few people with everyone else's money. Unfortunately for the capitalist, reality is not meant to be a poker game. A system should not be set up to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

To put it simply, socialism is equality, capitalism is inequality (by the means of non-labor forms of profit). It then is apparent that when I say that I am a libertarian socialist, I am stating that I believe in both liberty and equality. Through non-labor means of profit, inequality becomes apparent because it allows for the hoarding of resources. Therefore, even in the freest of markets, if currency is backed by resources, allowing usury, rent, non-labor profit, etc., inequality will be the consequence.

Capitalism is the false declaration that equality and liberty are mutually exclusive. Capitalists proceed from this statement to create false establishments that they believe are necessary, such as businesses and other oppressive hierarchical structures, in order to maintain this inequality. In spite of this, even the average capitalist dreams of a society in which liberty and the opportunity for economic, social, and political equality are realized in unison. This may be achieved through a
form of socialism that is completely voluntary.

What I propose is the abolition of professionalism in favor of expertise; the replacement of business with industry; the absolution of wage labor (a euphemism for indentured servitude) to emphasize voluntary labor. A proper slogan for such a system could be: "if you want it, make it." People would need to understand that if they want public services, for example, they must be active in creating them or, at the very least, donating to allow their creation; that if they wish to obtain a scarce product, they must work to obtain it.

So if our goals are to have liberty, equality and prosperity, is it capitalism or socialism that will lead us to this goal?

Today's recommendation is for the super dope graphic designer Grafik who designed our Lyrical Warfare Volume One mixtape album cover. There will be a blog coming about the mixtape very soon so keep your eyes on your scope for that. Grafik has exceptional skills with a pen and his prices are fair, especially given his profound talent. We will be using him for all our design work in the future and recommend that you do the same because you won't be disappointed. Check out our album cover and some of his other work in the video above.

Updates: Article added to
Political Oppression by Solomon Commisiong, content added to the Campaigns page, The Welfare Poets Political Hip-Hop page and Lilith's Protest Poetry page.

AIM, Fire & Reload!
Erik B
AIM & RHHF Soldier/Writer

"Democracy is the road to socialism.”
(Karl Marx)

PS: RIP Guru. You will not be forgotten.

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