Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dictatorship and Other Hazards of Capitalism

The great thing about this depression recession is that a lot of people are finally paying attention to this thing called capitalism as it really is, not as fabled. Indeed, we're all discovering that, for a small-d democratic country, we sure have and encourage a lot of capitalist dictatorship in our society.

We go through these slick marketing political campaigns every four years in which we wonder whether we like the preacher of a man who, come down to it, can't really feed our family, any more than he can stop teenagers from getting pregnant or help us reach our healthiest BMI level. Yet we surrender every personal right to an unelected individual who can tell us in precise detail what we must and must not do for most of our waking hours: our boss.

Who is our boss answerable to? Ultimately, some "chief executive officer." And the CEO? To a board of directors. And the board? To the stockholders. And all of them together? To a misty legal fog designed, essentially, to make sure that them who've got keep getting more.

You have free speech in the public park, but not at the business meeting or in the lunch room (try organizing a union there). Your boss doesn't legally have to give you a vacation or paid sick leave. Or a raise. Or pay you more than $6.15 an hour. If you don't like it, you can starve.

We don't elect these people. We have no say in how they run things. They have power just because.


Hendaque said...

That's bring it all down to a basic level where it is best understood. What you say is so true, especially in Virginia.

Anonymous said...

This is pure pinko socialism/communism at its worst! Are you trying to deny that power can only be utilized by the rich?

If so, please count me in the Revolution!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Many states, particularly in the South, are "Right-to-Work" states, but the concept is drastically misinterpreted. It refers to a person's employment status not being determined by whether or not he joins a union, but in practice, (in my experience,) employers take the position that it means you're lucky to have a job and should therefore swallow any abuse of power he/she chooses to dole out or risk losing your livelihood.

Sadly, being employed too often compromises ones values as well as ones autonomy and even
authenticity. The workplace is one of the main areas where reform is needed because there is no balance of power, and that is simply deeply wrong.