Category: Business & Industry

The logic of capitalism; the unemployed and the superfluous

Posted by DanielS on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 05:58 AM

Alain de Benoist
pelizza
Translated from the French by Tom Sunic

Below is the interview A. de Benoist gave recently to Boulevard Voltaire.

Q: Despite repeated promises of politicians, both from the right and the left, nothing seems to be stopping the rise in unemployment. Is it something inevitable?

A: Officially, there are 3.5 million unemployed in France, which means that the unemployment rate stands today at 10.3%. This figure, however, varies depending on how it is being computed. The official statistics take into account only the category “A”, i.e.  those who are unemployed and who are actively looking for a job, while leaving out the categories “B”, “C”, “D” and “E”, i.e. those looking for a job although having had some reduced work activity as of lately; those who have stopped looking for a job but are still unemployed; those receiving training; those in traineeship; those working under “subsidized contracts”, etc. When adding together all these categories, one reaches the real unemployment rate of 21.1% (more than double the official figure). If we refer to the overall rate of the inactive population of working age, then we arrive at 35.8%. Moreover, if we were to take into account insecure, part-time, or short-term jobs, as well as the number of the “working poor”, etc., then this figure keeps getting higher.

Undoubtedly, changes in unemployment depend on the official policies—but only to some extent. Today’s unemployment is no longer of a cyclical nature, but primarily structural, something many have not fully understood yet. This means that work is becoming a scarce commodity. The jobs that have been lost are less and less being replaced by other job openings. Of course, the expansion of the service sector is real; yet the service sector does not generate capital. Moreover, twenty years down the road almost half of those service sector jobs will be replaced by networked machines. To imagine, therefore, that someday we shall return to full employment is an illusion.


Q: There are people who live in order to work and others who work in order to live. Aren’t those who refuse to lose their lives in order to earn it part and parcel of some ancestral wisdom? Is work really a value in itself?

A: What needs to be pointed out is that what we call “work” today has no relationship whatsoever with what used to be productive activity of the past centuries, namely a simple “metabolization” of the nature. Neither is work a synonym of activity, nor of employment. The near universal spreading of wage labor was already a revolution of sorts to which the masses remained hostile for a very long period of time. The reason for that is that they had been accustomed to the consumption of the assets of their own labor only and never viewed labor as means of acquiring the assets of others, or in other words, to work in order to purchase the results of the labor of others.

Labor has a dual dimension; it represents both concrete labor (its metabolizing purpose) and abstract labor (energy and time spent). In the capitalist system what counts is abstract labor only, because this kind of labor, being indifferent to its own content, being also equal for all goods for which it provides a basis of comparison, is the sole factor that transforms itself into money, thus acquiring a mediating role in a new form of social interdependence. This means that in a society where commodity is the basic structural category, labor ceases to be socially distributed by traditional power structures. Rather, it performs itself the function of those ancient relationships. In capitalism, labor constitutes itself the dominant form of social relationships. Its by-products (commodity, capital) represent simultaneously concrete labor products and the objectified forms of social mediation. Hence, labor ceases to be a means; it becomes an end in itself.

In capitalism value is made up of the time spent working and represents therefore the dominant form of wealth. Capital accumulation means accumulating the product of the time spent in human labor. This is why the enormous productivity gains generated by the capitalist system have not resulted in any significant decrease in working hours, as one might have expected. On the contrary, based on the trends of unlimited expansion, the system keeps imposing always more work. And it is right there that we can observe its fundamental contradictions. On the one hand capitalism seeks to extend working hours, since it is only by having people work more and more that it can achieve capital accumulation. On the other, productivity gains allow from now on the production of more and more goods with less and less men. This makes the production of material wealth more and more independent from the time spent on working. In this respect the unemployed have already become the superfluous people.

Q: You are known to be a workaholic. Do you ever miss watching the grass grow and fondle some of the cats in your household?

A: I work 80-90 hours a week simply because I like doing what I do. This does not make me an adept of the ideology of work. Quite the contrary. In theGenesis (3: 17-19) work is depicted as a consequence of the original sin. Saint Paul says: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat” (II Thessalonians3:10).This moralistic and punitive view of the work is just as alien to me as the Protestant redemptive work ethic, or for that matter the exaltation of the value of work by totalitarian regimes. Yes, I am aware of the fact that the word “travail” (work) comes from the Latin tripalium, a word which originally used to designate an instrument of torture. Therefore, I try to sacrifice to the requirements of “free time,” which is “free” insofar as it is freed from work.

Alain de Benoist is a journalist and writer who, in 1968 founded the Groupement de recherche et d’études pour la civilisation européenne, an ethnonationalist think-tank.


North Atlantic: You Have Spread Your Dreams Under Their Feet

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 11:57 PM

intro image
Don’t worry, I’m the kind of foreigner that you’ll like. Hopefully.

Majorityrights began with and has long been committed to freedom of speech, no matter how controversial the opinion, as I can clearly see from the archives. It has been published as an internet magazine with considerable bravery given the political environment and the risks that come from being misunderstood, and has had a pretty diverse set of contributors and viewers. On 14 October 2014, it marked its tenth year in operation, and I hope that its eleventh year coming in just a few months will be as illuminating as ever. As a newcomer, and as an East Asian woman, I feel privileged to be invited to submit articles from my perspective and experience.

Here, on what could be described as freedom of speech’s front porch in its tenth year, we have a good place to talk frankly and honestly as neighbours and allies with common interests. What I’m about to provide is what I see as a necessary polemic against some positions that exist in Majorityrights’ archives and an invitation to conversation as such.

It is said in warfare about the ‘turning manoeuvre’, that when you move into an opponent’s rear in order to cut them off from their support base, you are taking the risk of getting yourself cut off from your own.

A similar manoeuvre has been attempted by many ethno-nationalists in Europe since 2001 on a political level with regards to the War on Terror, through their decision to advance negative attitudes toward it and their decision to develop talking points that reinforce those attitudes. They are refusing to endorse the War on Terror under the belief that this non-endorsement is somehow a ‘good’ angle to protest the political establishment from. It is not good. Those ethno-nationalists are getting themselves cut off because what they are doing actually undermines their own ability to address a severe demographic threat and also undermines their ability to address a persistent international security threat. It’s an unfortunate situation, because it is crucial for people to be able to square the thoughts that are going on their heads with the reality on the ground: The reality of the necessity of overseas contingency operations.

To understand how things reached the stage that they have reached, first a person has to remember how things started out. The world was stunned to see the events that were taking place on television on 11 September 2001. Nineteen Arab men had hijacked airliners, and rather than putting the planes down at an airport and demanding a ransom, they chose to put the planes down by sending them into buildings in New York City.

People seem to have struggled to understand how this could happen.

Over time, a self-hating narrative built up in which the citizens of the North Atlantic were largely blaming their own governments for having allegedly ‘fanned the flames of conflict in the Middle East’ by allegedly ‘supporting radical Islamists’, while simultaneously also allegedly ‘fanning the flames of conflict in the Middle East’ by allegedly ‘opposing Islamists and offending Muslims’. Both of these narratives cannot make sense at the same time, and I would argue that neither of those narratives are true. Furthermore, the apparent implication in both of those narratives is that the North Atlantic should refrain from pursuing its interests in the zone to the south.

That is an idea that should be rejected on the basis that it leads only to paralysis in the political sphere, and a loss of initiative in the military sphere. Groups which argue that the North Atlantic should adopt a passive stance and not assert its interests, and those who place blame onto the wrong people, may mean well, but they do not realise that the narratives they are creating can lead to serious crises which may not have actually been intended by those dissenting groups.

READ MORE...


2015 of Indigenous European Creation

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 07:19 AM


MR Radio: Migchels, Bowery Address Malign Economics

Posted by DanielS on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 02:35 PM

                        AM       
                               
http://www.majorityrights.com/audio/AnthonyMigchelsWithJimBowery.mp3

READ MORE...


Are we to be cannon fodder for war on behalf of White plutocrats?

Posted by DanielS on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 06:04 AM

While we are (in 299 words) addressing David Duke and his single greatest cause issue - Jewish power and influence - with his admonition against their strategy of divide-and-conquer, we should ask..

Is it not possible that our traitorous White plutocrats would be happy to have us fight a war against that which is also their greatest enemy - Jewish power and biocultural patterns -  and use us as cannon fodder?

What, after all, have they done for us?

What have they done to merit our loyalty?

What have they done to fight Jewish power and influence? mass non-White immigration into European peoples’ habitats? the destruction of European cultures and people?

READ MORE...


Black March 2012

Posted by R-news on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 03:08 PM

Black March 2012 is a campaign to avoid purchasing movies, music, books and video games during March 2012. It’s in responsive to continual attempts by malicious individuals to control the dissemination of information under the guise of anti-piracy measures (SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, etc.) or child protection (PCIPA). Spread the word. And don’t defeat the measure by buying excessively in February to carry yourself through March. Seek alternatives to occupy your time with: a new exercise program, more outdoor time with your children, browsing the internet, learning a musical instrument, learning a new language, etc.


Sound principles of money, by Arthur Kitson

Posted by R-news on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 03:59 PM

Arthur Kitson published a book, A scientific Solution of the Money Question, in 1895. It’s accessible for free. This is a very interesting book because he’s a strong proponent of the free market, even using the analogy of natural selection in arriving at the form money should take to maximize the welfare of as many people as possible, and comes down hard on any sort of monopoly regarding the creation of money, arguing against both banker and government control of money. With this kind of attitude, the capitalists, or socialists, or free market proponents can’t dismiss his arguments right off the bat.

He has a very nuanced discussion on wealth, value, standard of value, price, purchasing power, the wisdom of keeping money scarce, etc. This book needs to be summarized, but for now, the most interesting parts will do.

The price of something for sale is dependent on supply and demand for this thing. It’s also dependent on the supply and demand for money. So there’s plenty of room for bankers to make a profit. Now let’s add a third variable, which is to base money on a commodity. Now, the commodity on which money is based can be hoarded, exported, imported, cornered or thrown upon the market, and thus the purchasing power of money affected. Now you know why some people insist that money should be based on a commodity. The third variable plays into the hands of the bankers. Obviously, the bankers have no interest in proposing a commodity to base money on that’s plentiful. They propose a commodity that’s scarce, such as gold, because a scarce commodity is easier to manipulate.

Kitson cites numerous examples of a gold standard being forced upon people, and shows that a free market would never accept money based on gold. Kitson’s thesis is a devastating critique of basing money on a commodity. Kitson followed with an addendum or reply to critics in 1917, titled A fraudulent standard : an exposure of the fraudulent character of our monetary standard, with suggestions for the establishment of an invariable unit of value.

So money established by law, a concept going back as far as Aristotle, is sound as fiat money, i.e., money not backed by a commodity. But who should issue it? Kitson comes down hard on bankers issuing money, as well as a government monopoly on the issuance of money, citing instances of government corruption. Keep in mind that the book was published in 1895. From 1866 to 1886, the volume of money in America had been reduced by almost 80%, causing a depression. Superficially, the government did it by removing greenbacks (debt-free government-issued money) and silver from circulation. Silver was also removed from circulation in many European countries around this time. The actual reason was the bankers had used their control over the governments to bring this about because they wanted to force a gold standard. The American dollar went on a gold standard in 1900.

So who should issue money? According to Kitson, money should be issued by the people! He proposes a mutual banking system. Mutual banks are owned by communities. They create money for loans, out of thin air, against any commodity or IOU (someone promising to pay back the loan). There’s a service fee but no interest. At any given time therefore, the amount needed for repayment of loans doesn’t exceed the amount created as loans, and no one’s forced to default. Money created in this manner goes through an accounting cycle, the same as under commercial banking today: it’s created when a loan is made and destroyed when the loan is paid. The money for the service fee is created out of thin air when a loan is made and used by the mutual bank for its operations.

There are four important differences between Kitson’s proposal and how commercial banks currently operate:

  1. Commercial banks charge interest, which isn’t issued. Just to maintain the volume of money under commercial banking, total loan activity must exceed total repayment activity of the principle sum, which is the reason for spiraling debt and inflation. A $100 loan at 10% interest needs to be paid in the amount of $110 in one year, and this $110 can only come from money that has been issued as debt [doesn’t matter that one has earned it]. The new $110 loan at 10% interest amounts to a payback amount of $121 in one year, which, again, can only come from money issued as debt. And so on.
  2. Commercial banks operate under the oversight of a private central bank. This facilitates coordinated reduction in the amount of loans granted or coordinated increases in interest rates, thereby diminishing the volume of money in society, forcing many to default. This, in a nutshell, is an economic bust. The bankers now foreclose and obtain assets for pennies on the dollar. But a community that runs its own mutual bank has no reason to do this to itself nor any reason to coordinate with other communities’ mutual banks and trouble other communities along with itself in this manner.
  3. Commercial banks issue loans against very specific items as collateral, whereas mutual banks will issue loans against any commodity with the understanding that when the commodity ceases to exist in functional form, the money created and issued against it must also be destroyed.
  4. Commercial banks claim ownership of the money they create as debt. When people default, commercial banks foreclose. Mutual banks won’t foreclose, as a community wouldn’t want to see its members homeless, but work out an arrangement with the person unable to pay the debts to do community service without pay or perhaps allow another member of the community as a roommate who pays rent to the mutual bank.

Under Kitson’s proposal, there’s no shortage of money and no inflation. Abuse is prevented via internal policing, rotation of mutual bank employees, non-hereditary appointment of mutual bank employees, and random external audits by a central authority that can only intervene in the case of fraud.

How will a government obtain the money for its needs? Taxes.

Whereas the government can create its own money, if the government is dependent on the people to pay for its expenses and the people control the money supply, the people decide the nature of the government.

In the special case of advanced technology replacing a lot of human labor with machines, which creates a scenario where specialized factories can produce goods at great initial cost but the displaced don’t have the income to buy these goods, whereas the government may create money out of thin air to extend as social credit to the displaced, since it’s desirable that the government obtain money from the people, the central government should be taking money from mutual banks to extend to people as social credit, in which case the mutual banks make an exception by creating the money out of thin air but not as a loan.

The mutual banking system proposed by Arthur Kitson is clearly superior to the solution that I’ve been promoting for a couple of months, which is that money should be created in a debt-free manner and issued by a government, in which case money that’s created truly circulates as opposed to going through an accounting cycle whereby it’s created and destroyed. The accounting cycle under the charge of mutual banks is easily able to achieve a level of fine tuning to needs that circulating debt-free money created by a government can’t. Technically, mutual banks could be extensions of the central government’s Treasury, in which case the government will be the sole authority creating money, and this wouldn’t require a Constitutional Amendment in nations such as the U.S., where the Constitution only grants Congress the power to create money, but the argument that placing control of money in the hands of a society that uses it is better than a few hands controlling money holds, even if the few hands compirse of an elected and accountable government, and therefore mutual banks had better be community owned.

Now, there’s no way to go from the present system—where commercial banks create nearly all money as debt and people are indebeted to private bankers to the tune of tens of trillions of dollars—to a mutual banking system. This reminds one of the 25-point program of the NSDAP. At the outset, they emphasized the necessity for a strong central government to undo the damage caused by the bankers, noting that the 25 points of the program were temporary. At present there’s a need for a central government to take full charge of the creation and issuance of money, creating debt-free money to retire the national debt and prohibiting private banks from creating money in any way. After a few years, one could transition to mutual banking for the masses and the government only creating money for its own needs. This can transition to a government solely relying on taxes for its expenses and obtaining money from mutual banks for social credit money. But activists don’t have to wait for government control of money before attempting to implement mutual banks. The problem needs to be attacked from many fronts, and one can work on mutual banks right now [to be discussed].

So I need to overhaul the money FAQ and note that the solution offered there as of the date of this posting should be regarded as an intermediate solution, not the final solution.

Kitson wasn’t the first to propose mutual banks. Others have proposed a similar system. The Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) works on a similar principle. John Turmel has shown the mathematical soundness of LETS or Kitson’s proposal. I believe the same idea is described in Paul Grignon’s Money as Debt volume 3 video. Islamic banking—not to be confused with banks operating under the auspices of international bankers in the typical Middle Eastern or predominantly Muslim nation—incorporates one of the proposed principles, too, such as not charging interest.


Large-scale protests in Poland over ACTA

Posted by R-news on Monday, January 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM

Tens of thousands of people in Poland have been taking to the streets, in freezing weather, to protest the government being open to the enforcement of ACTA (ACTA = Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), which is administered by an international body outside local jurisdiction. It has been noted that the real reason for ACTA (also the Trans-Pacific Partnership; SOPA and PIPA) is an attempt to control the dissemination of information, not the superficial issue of violation of copyright.




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