“Capital” is the resources taken out of society to form the means of production.

If “Stomp Out Capital” means not doing that any more, it means no production because there are no means of production. “Production” is what most of us eat (and wear, and live in, and…) Before Europeans came to the American continent, the natives didn’t engage in capitalism and had no means of production. They also engaged in continuous violent conflict over resource allocation. Estimates I’ve seen put the number of them, at that time, at about a tenth of the number of people we have now, or fewer — which says the carrying capacity of the North American continent is about that, or less.

So taken literally, “stomping out capital” means killing nine out of ten of the people now alive. Guns and bulldozers are products, output from the means of production, and are themselves things that can be used for production or to facilitate it — capital. If capital is anathema, firing squads and mass graves are Right Out; the killing will have to be managed by attrition, a nice, neutral term for “starving ’em or letting ’em freeze”. My response to that is you first, m– f–s, and that’s the way it would probably work out, anyway. The Sioux had neither Professors of Gender Studies nor the resources to support such societal excrescences, and a society without capital will need warriors to dispute resource allocation, not academics free to pursue their courses of study.

But of course that isn’t what the “Occupy Movement” intends. What they really mean is that farms and factories and the other means of production should continue to exist, so that surplus resources continue to be available to feed the idle, most especially including their good (by definition) selves. They don’t want to “Stomp Out Capital” at all; they want to have it all under the aegis of a single organization — a monopoly.

That exposes the fatal flaw of all socialist-oriented notions: the assumption, maintained by rapid side-shuffles and handwaving, that there is a fundamental moral and existential difference between “Government” and all other forms of human organization. “The Government” == “The People”, or so they’ll tell you. That’s a hole aspiring Rockefellers, Carnegies, and Mellons can drive a truck through, and they do. Preventing the custodians of resources from dipping into them for their own benefit makes ordering back the tide look like a trivial exercise. Nancy Pelosi used The People’s resources to ferry her dog back and forth between San Francisco and Washington in a private jet, and there are plenty of examples of that kind of thing regardless of whether (R) or (D). Do you really suppose that, e.g., Jeff Immelt would have fewer perquisites and privileges as People’s Commissar for Electrical Equipment (North-East Region) than he does as President of General Electric? It is to bitterly chuckle.

What’s even more ironically amusing is that the Occupiers’ most vocal complaint is against the early stages of transferring custody of the means of production to Government control. The bureaucrats who will be taking over know nothing about the process, so they will have to be taught; the obvious way to do that is to co-opt the existing management into Government to facilitate the transition — “crony capitalism”. A pseudo-Marxist Government is neither more nor less than crony capitalism taken to the utmost degree. Marx himself was aware of that, which is why he did so much handwaving about “the Proletariat” as distinct from “Government”. However, he never defined a mechanism whereby the Proletariat could manage the means of production — and there isn’t one. Enterprises require day-to-day hands-on management that cannot be done by committee, let alone a Committee of the Whole People. That means the Proletariat must appoint deputies to do that for them, and such deputies constitute a Government, by definition. The obvious candidates for the posts of deputies to manage the means of production are the ones who are doing it now — “crony capitalism”.

So what does OWS want? Mass murder, or monopoly as an extension of crony capitalism? The answer is “both”, depending on which OWSer you ask.

The mass of the movement is composed of people who haven’t thought the matter through. Such people see what they consider to be injustice (correctly, in many cases), and want to eliminate the structures that support it — but they don’t know or don’t care what the unintended consequences will be. They’ll be wailing in despair that that’s not what they meant, right up to the moment the firing squad puts bullets in their temples.

The leadership, as with all pseudo-Marxist or “socialist” movements, is either as oblivious as their followers or aware and doesn’t give a damn, and it doesn’t matter. Their goal is to be In Charge, largely because of the egotistical notion that they could do much better than the existing managers, but in many cases because they want the privileges of being Boss (hello, Mr. Obama). Ignore their speeches. They don’t want to destroy the System, they want to control it, and the ones who want power for themselves have the advantages of stronger motivation and a better handle on the process than the naifs who think they can Eliminate Injustice by getting their hands on the levers. If the process is allowed to proceed, sooner or later a truly determined individual will emerge to take absolute control. Since such a person will have to be obdurate and unbending, I suggest that we call him “Steel”.

 

Advertisements