Friday, December 04, 2009

Capitalism and slavery

America is still ruled by the ideology of the consummately evil Milton Friedman. Let us not be afraid to use the word "evil" to describe that man -- indeed, we must insist on its usage.

Friedmanism is the ruling ideology within both the mainstream and the populist underground. Thus, even in revolutionary circumstances (and we may soon be living in such circumstances), Friedmanism will triumph -- because the citizenry cannot imagine an alternative.

We need to create an alternative by addressing the dangers of unbridled capitalism. I would like to start that process, in my own humble way, with a series of articles. The subject is too large for one post.

Today's lesson: Slavery is the ultimate result of capitalism.

Without strict legal regulation, capitalism inevitably leads to slave labor. For many a capitalist, maximizing profit overpowers conscience. Most recent case in point: Mexico.
Mexican authorities have freed 107 indigenous people who officials say were being held as slave laborers in a Mexico City factory disguised as a drug rehabilitation center.
They made handbags and clothespins and were not paid. Their only daily meal consisted of chicken legs and rotten vegetables, Mancera said.
The men and women worked 8 a.m. to midnight and were given only a half-hour food break. They were not allowed to go to the bathroom, and many soiled themselves, officials said.
Of course, it never occurs to the slave-owners that, if all of society were so constituted, there would be no-one to sell those handbags to.

As neo-liberal ideology (i.e., Friedmanism) has taken hold throughout the world, slavery has increased. Millions of women in Eastern Europe fell into sex slavery after the formerly communist countries underwent a Friedmanite "shock treatment." Modern slavery is a profoundly feminist issue, although many debased and self-absorbed American feminists have neglected it.

(Sex slavery is the subject of the Frontline documentary embedded below.)

There are no slaves in advanced capitalist/socialist mixed economies, such as Sweden and Denmark. The imposition of strict Friedmanism always results in slavery, or in near-slavery conditions.

We have already talked about Dubai, where many extraordinary construction projects were built by what amounts to slave labor.
In their home country – Bangladesh or the Philippines or India – these workers are told they can earn a fortune in Dubai if they pay a large upfront fee. When they arrive, their passports are taken from them, and they are told their wages are a tenth of the rate they were promised.

They end up working in extremely dangerous conditions for years, just to pay back their initial debt.
Never underestimate the human capacity for rationalization. When ABC released an expose on slavery in Dubai (relying, in large measure, on information from Human Rights Watch), a UAE expatriate asked: "Does HRW know the meaning of capitalism?"
The U.A.E. may not offer laboures mansions to live in or the pay of a C.E.O. but thats capitalism for you. If the labourers did not see a benifit in working there, they would never leave their lives and families just to build our towers, who are we? Or maybe youd rather we adopt communism?
And there you have it. Friedmanites will always trot out that false dichotomy to justify peonage and slavery. They will always pretend that bolshevism is the only conceivable alternative to Friedmanism.

Can slavery happen again in America?

Well, there are people in America who want it to happen. As is often the case in this country, religion provides the justification for atrocity.

Dominionist theology (otherwise known as Christian Reconstruction) remains quite popular in this nation, especially within the "tea party" movement. An American revolution is far more likely to be Dominionist than socialist, which is why I find the very thought of revolution frightening and abhorrent. Dominionism both raises capitalism to the level of a theological imperative and demands a return to slavery. As in Dubai and elsewhere, slavery will adopt its usual disguise as the repayment of debt.
Punishments for non-capital crimes generally involve whipping, restitution in the form of indentured servitude, or slavery. Prisons would likely be only temporary holding tanks, prior to imposition of the actual sentence.
Many Dominionist leaders are not afraid to use the S word:
Slavery is openly defended by Dominionist writers such as David Chilton: "Heathen slaves ... were actually favored by [slavery], since it placed them in contact with believers. They received the relatively lenient treatment of the biblical slavery regulations, and they were also able to hear the liberating message of the gospel."
On the 700 Club, a black Dominionist preacher named Wellington Boone offered a view which I can only describe as bizarre:
Boone is a member of the Coalition on Revival, a Christian Reconstructionist organization that advocates replacing the US Constitution with biblical law. Throughout his career, he has distinguished himself from his black clerical colleagues with such remarks as "I believe that slavery, and the understanding of it when you see it God's way, was redemptive"...
Dominionism is primarily an ideology of the mentally diseased American south. Non-white Americans must never forget that virtually all white southern conservatives long for a return to antebellum society. The modern neo-seccessionist movement is, when all pretenses and self-deceptions are dropped, based on a desire to institute Dominionism -- that is to say, to create a society based on unregulated capitalism and slavery.


Ken Hoop said...

Yeah, right, Joe. There are far more Christian Zionists (as opposed to postmillenial Dominionists, these are premillenial dispensationalists)
in what is now termed the American "Far" Right, and the "Tea Party" movement. And the only political racism therein- Jewish.
Southern/small town crackers fighting for Ashkenazis' "God Given" right to dispossess Palestinians and usher in the Parousia. Which was what the Iraq war was largely about, destroying another enemy of the ethnically "Chosen." It's not a Rebel Flag on Sarah's desk.

sevenleagueboots said...

Friedmanism and Dominionism seem to feed on
poverty, ignorance, disillusionment, and cheap unskilled labor. Third world issues. But wait, was
Former USSR third world before 1989? Its taken a mere 20 years to arrive at economic meltdown inthe US. Forget rust belt NE & midwest ~ they enjoyed growth and prosperity off and on for close to a century. The south, where yaaaall is still uttered, is somewhat dluted by yankees, even this last batch of retires opting for mid south final resting places. But that old south is gonna rise again ethic can bark and sometimes bite, wearing
A bluecoat or not, smellin around down hare........
who the hell invited ya!

Anonymous said...

Remember Obama's Jobs Summit? It is both ironic and hypocritical that this black POTUS is catering to the feudal slave lord mentality in the US by supporting more imported workers when this jobs summit is supposed to be all about getting Americans back to work.

The best way to open up jobs for 15 million unemployed Americans is to suspend non-essential immigration, which is where the white collar middle class jobs went to cheaper workers from India during a time when there are not enough jobs for our own citizens. The federal government CONTINUES to hand out 125,000 work permits to foreign workers every month and the CEOS at Obama's jobs summit are looking for more.

I never thought I'd see that day where a seated US Democratic president would tolerate human trafficking in any class, let alone the middle. This administration has proven its ineptitude and hatred for our own citizens. Still surprised? It's a hoot when Dems keep imploring Reid and Pelosi to "get a spine" when the lemming followers never had one to begin with.
Where's that third party?

MrMike said...

What's the difference between an Obama Democrat and a republican?
One gets most of their sex in bus stop rest rooms.

emmag said...

excellent post, joseph. I've recently come to a similar conclusion that what's happening needs to be aggressively explained in new terms that speak simply & directly to our collective & individual self interest. The wake up has to make sense in those terms or it won't get off the ground.

Caro said...

Not everyone from the south is mentally diseased. I was born and raised in south Louisiana.

It's not that southern people WANT to misunderstand who's keeping them down, it's that the so-called progressives have never tried to put forth a consistent campaign to teach and convince, rather than mock.

And as to capitalism, the following is from the book I would write, if I could ever find a publisher:

"[N]either communism nor laissez-faire capitalism can serve us well in the long term. Communism, which in its ideal form is pure altruism, does not work because it ignores self-interest and encourages freeloading. Laissez-faire capitalism, which in its essence is pure individual self-interest, does not work because it ... goes against the self-interest of the many by encouraging a dog-eat-dog world where only the unscrupulous get to the top.

"Human greed can, and often does, go too far by treading on the needs and rights of others. In addition, the human need for security and the illusion of certainty tends to encourage the leaders of businesses to collude to set prices, carve up markets, and combine forces by merging their companies. Totally unfettered, the end result of capitalism would be one big company that made and sold everything everywhere, and that kept competitive businesses from existing—by force, if necessary. If you were to want something not made by this master conglomerate, named something like MicroMax, perhaps, you would not be able to get it."

Carolyn Kay