Thursday, January 12, 2012

Production and Distribution

A recent Vox Nova post on Mitt Romney as a capitalist putting people out of work made me annoyed at both sides of the question. Once again, I find it very hard to think “within the system” on these questions.

In one sense, the capitalists are not wrong. There is no reason that efficiency of production should be limited for the sake of labor. The role of production is to produce the most goods at the least cost, period. A free market achieves this, there is no doubt. It is frankly robbing humanity as a whole to limit production or make it less efficient than possible merely for the sake of “employing” people.

This is where I must agree with the fundamental critique of our current economic system (which is really a critique of the current monetary system more than the “economic” system) from the Social Credit perspective, namely: the bootstrapping of an income to “employment.”

This situation is due to credit being conceived of as a privately created (rather than a public or social) reality. When money-creation is a private industry, all the rest of us who can't create our own money will be beholden, enslaved really, to those who can, who have set up an elaborate rat-race to obtain the "tickets" to society's production. Private money creation basically allows the bankers to claim everything society produces as their own (even though they themselves have produced nothing).

Really, ruthless efficiency wouldn’t be a bad thing at all (in fact, it would maximize production, total wealth, over all) if our system were not arranged, because of this, to (ultimately arbitrarily) bootstrap distribution to participation in production.

That the replacing of people with machines, for example, can be seen as a “bad” thing under our current system because it “takes away a job”…shows the absurdity of our current system. Production would have met it’s proper end if it produced all the goods needed (or demanded) without “employing” a single person, without distributing a single cent.

Participation in production deserves renumeration, to be sure, either a salary for labor or dividends for those who own the capital. But there are vast social dividends to which we are all entitled equally, since we are all co-heirs to an enormous capital which is mankind's as a whole; specifically, the time and natural resources God sends upon the earth each year, and the inheritance of mankind's technological and scientific progress (not to mention the capital of the social network itself!)

Credit should be social rather than privately created. Focusing merely on the question of "charging interest" (which can mean different things in different contexts and systems, not all of which are equivalent) and on the Church's apparent "back-peddling" on this...misses the essence of the condemnation of usury in the first place.

The essence of the (still valid!) condemnation of usury is condemning the notion that credit is privately created rather than a social good, is condemning the theft which is private individuals or institutions creating money (through a variety of deceptive "financial" techniques, which pull the wool over the eyes of most people through their convoluted nature). Credit is a social good; private individuals monetizing it (and thus keeping for themselves the fruit of what belongs to everyone, to sell it back to us) is evil.

In reality, everyone should get their share of the newly created credit each year. When it is distributed in the first place, mind you, not through the “re”-distribution which "welfare state" liberals seem to prefer. Any notion of "re"-distribution of wealth is only treating (with the coercive powers of the State, of which I'd rather be wary) the symptoms, without addressing the root problem of why distribution is unworkably skewed in the first place.

The Social Dividend would be enough, certainly, at this point in history especially, to sustain, and thus we wouldn’t need to sacrifice productive efficiency for the sake of being distributively humane. Mitt and other capitalists may be monsters in this regard if we assume you have to play within an intrinsically exploitationist system in the first place. But, really, I’d rather spend my time attacking the unjust system rather than attacking someone whose actions, in a just system, would be perfectly fine and even good (without denying that, within the current context, they’re ghoulish).

In condemning "capitalism," we really must be condemning usury. There is nothing wrong with the free market nor with the private ownership of capital (and the investment that creates in being efficient in order to compete). What is condemnable as "capitalism" however is the concentration of most of the capital in the hands of a cabal of "capitalists" (set over and against labor, basically). This extremely skewed concentration is only possible, however, through the deception of usury by which these capitalists come to control more and more through their usurpation of creation of money, their privatization of a good (credit) which is essentially social.

I would propose that the Church would do well to re-emphasize the condemnation of usury by including among its fundamental tenets of Social Teaching the proposition that "credit is a social, rather than private, good" (and then reminding people of the implications of this when it comes to monetizing credit, to the creation of money, the means of distribution).

No comments: