Goodness of Capitalism
The origins of capitalism are not democratic. Capitalism was not created in a community meeting of equal members. They did not gather in the public square to ask how best to provide for the well being of the individual and society. Capitalism was not founded on brotherly love or out of compassion for the sick and poor. Its development was not concerned with what happens to you if you lose your job, or what happens to nature in the event of deliberate toxic dumping. The “innovators” of this system were not interested in a fair shake for everyone. They were not interested in job creation, or God. Their aim was to accumulate wealth and power. And this way they loved God, for He approved of these things. God always approves of ruling class actions.
The above may sound like the ranting and ravings of a revolutionary lunatic, but they are in fact, the words of loyal sober capitalists — privileged ruling class capitalists at that. We want to preserve our position. That means understanding how the ruling class works — the better to manage it. Much is understood about capitalism, though often not admitted.
The Ruling Class Preservation Society believes the refusal to understand capitalism honestly harms the ruling class in the long run. That is often what happens when “the winners write history”.
Our way of thinking about the ruling class has led to some unpleasant but fruitful knowledge. We are capitalists and love capitalism, only we are a sect that readily admits to its destructive anti-social and anti-ecological nature. At the same time we want public acceptance of the inevitability of the ruling class and therefore its reigning ideology, capitalism.
It ought to be understood that our system, like it or not, is one that operates for the good of the ruling class first, and its masses only by necessity. This is important to understand because the individual of today is very casual regarding their superior classes, if they even “understand” what’s going on.
The masses think they are more or less “free” of ruling class influence. They say things like “That’s just how I see it” or “Nobody tells me what to think”, then they proceed to parrot the same old regurgitation. We must admit that We are guilty of this, especially when believing makes things easier, more convenient or more profitable. We at the Preservation Society are more than aware of Our ruling class hypocrisies, are the masses? They must be made aware that they are not free of ruling class hegemony, not even the rebel, for there would be no rebel if the ruling class treated its lower orders better. There may be a higher standard of freedom among the middle class than most other classes, but it is all relative. Their rights and security have limitations like every one else.
The superior orders have bred the masses — in the tradition of all ruling class societies — to believe in the goodness of capitalism, that is, the ruling class system currently in vogue. We have encouraged the masses, as we always have, to trust in the Establishment, and to think politics is not that important to their lives if only because there is always a “peaceful transfer of power”. We are fond of saying clever things like “capitalism is the worse system except for all the others.” The great masses of individuals will believe this though the history of crushing any significant challenge to our crumbling ideology is well known and documented.
Capitalism, like any religion or major institution, has an often-sordid history. Its pattern of behavior leaves a fairly consistent and obvious record of anti-democratic tendencies and unaccountable destruction. This is merely in keeping with its ruling class nature. Yet capitalism did grow up together with individualism and propaganda like “sovereignty of the people”. It liberated the subject and celebrated the citizen.
The journey of the individual from “subject” to “citizen” is also the journey of the ruling class from “monarchism/abolutism” to “modern capitalist democracy”. Our class, along with the masses, has had to evolve to stay in existence. The transition from a more autocratic form to a more liberal one did not change the ruling class agenda.
The Great Institution of the ruling class, still dressed in the garb of monarchism, began eyeing the growing power of merchants. He observed their growing influence and expanding activities. Then he looked down at his staid and idle ruling class. He saw which way the wind was blowing and the opportunity to be had in the merchant class for furthering and expanding power. As a result, the Great Spirit of the ruling class pursued liberalism to free himself from his medieval restrictions, enabling him to discard his old clothes for new threads. The Supreme Executive was born and with him the Liberal bourgeoisie.
In the process of this ruling class evolution a monster was born. The citizen. This self-entitled vermin dared take it in his head that he was the equal of his superiors. The citizen exacted a higher price than did the subject in autonomy. The SE saw this and it was not good. He did not want this liberalism to spread widely among the masses to threaten hierarchies and class. The conservative was born. But traditional class had been violated all the same, and it had only been re-secured through material wealth as ideology, where once it was family oriented. The myth of superior birth was replaced by the “work ethic”, closer to the truth, perhaps, but not free of ruling class implications. The rights and pursuit of happiness of the masses is not the concern of the SE.
Thus the masses were liberated from feudalism. They gained the freedom to go anywhere, that wouldn’t arrest them for vagabondage. They became individuals in a commodified society. Thus, a blow was struck against the unity of the human community. It was the price paid for freedom under ruling class conditions. The masses do not know the many backward steps their society has taken in its progress. They do not seem to be aware of this loss, or know that it occurs because the ruling class is trying to maintain the core patriarchal relationship that defines a ruling class society: master and servant, and not partnership.
The word “democracy” itself did not always have the popular meaning we ascribe it today. The modern meaning of “democracy” is inclusive of “all” “the people” of society. Indeed, this seems to be the logical conclusion of the meaning of the word over time.
For the ancient Greeks “democracy” only applied to the ruling oligarchy, which has been assumed by the ruling class ever since. Even in the age of “liberal democracy” the ruling class is a small minority of the population. It constantly looks for ways to roll back lower order political and economic gains.
Down through the ages — and even today — the “rioting” masses have always been one of the traditional fears of the ruling class. The other being threat of usurpation from their ruling class-mates. As western society progressed, the rising propertied gentry and wealthy peasant entrepreneur demanded these rights and protection of private property. This consciousness gradually seeped down to much of the lower orders. “Democracy” became a fearful word to all ruling classes while being a potent political weapon for them at the same time.
The American founders feared “democracy” as it came to acquire its modern meaning of equality of inclusiveness. They felt it crucial to keep a tight leash on the voice of the rabble. Much of their debate focused was on the dangers of the popular mob and slave rebellion, the greatest horror of all.
For the higher orders the meaning of democracy did not change in the transition from ancien regime to modern “democracy”. What occurred was the spread of the liberal bug to the lower orders via the growing merchant class, without the merchants intending to sacrifice their own power.
Today it is well accepted — but not taken seriously by the ruling class — that a society cannot be a real “democracy” if it is exclusive of the majority of its population. It is a contradiction in today’s terms. And while the democratic franchise has greatly expanded, the same traditional principle of “democracy” running from ancient Greece through America today, is still promoted by the ruling classes, only hidden under today’s Establishment terms of “rights”, “choice” and “freedom”.
No doubt the masses have gained much in the transition but they are clearly not up to the task of protecting the little they have acquired from their ruling class masters. It is worse, Our domination is such that the masses actively help us dominate them, which only helps to bring both master and servant closer to disaster. When will the masses learn their responsibilities?
In the next part of “Anti-Democratic Origins” We look at the commons and, in particular, the influence of an essay called “The Tragedy of the Commons”.