Posted 10 months ago on July 9, 2012, 2:26 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
“In an unregulated capitalist society you don’t get to intervene in my affairs and vice versa”
This has no root in reality. The economy is all-encompassing. We live in a complex, highly developed, technological society with all kinds of endless networks of economic relations, decisions, transactions etc, that affect the economy we're all a part of in all kinds of different ways.
There are different kinds of “affairs”; some that only affect you, and the ones that affect others. What you do in your personal life; which color you decide to use when you paint the walls in your living room, or what you do in the bedroom etc, things that don’t affect other people, that’s totally up to you, and is your decision alone. On the other hand, if you choose to make decisions that affect other people in your community or the national economy, for example by being in control of a huge corporation that’s a big part of the economy, and is the workplace of lots of people, well then that’s something completely different. If you make decisions that affect other people, well then you have to expect that the ones affected will intervene in these affairs.
The same of course applies to the common "If you like anarcho-syndicalism and anarchism so much, why don’t you and your friends start your own commune somewhere and leave me out”
Well, creating solidaric communes and co-ops etc, is an important task that should be prioritized, but the argument above does not hold up. Again, the economy is all-encompassing; a couple of anarchist communes or co-ops here and there doesn’t change the fact that the super-wealthy financial elite have the overwhelming power in society.
When it comes to the economy we’re not, as individuals, living in an isolated bubble of some kind, just “minding our own business”. On the contrary; when it comes to the economy we’re all in the same boat. The economy is all-encompassing and affects us all.
”In an unregulated capitalist society people get to keep the fruits of their own labor”
This is totally false. First of all, the "fruits" of one’s labor can’t be measured in an advanced modern society.
We now live in a complex, highly advanced technological society built up by generations of people thru hundreds of years. People have been building infrastructure, contributed to science, developed technology, developed efficient ways of manufacturing etc etc. Because of all this effort we now enjoy a more wealthy, advanced and efficient society than ever. All of this, lots of it built and created long before we were even born, we’re now enjoying despite having little or nothing to do with contributing to it ourselves. In other words, our contributions, no matter what we do, are microscopic compared to what we receive from society. We’re enjoying the results of generations of people’s work gradually building a modern society.
Our own personal “fruits” if you will, aren’t measurable, and if they were, they’d be much less than an average paycheck in today’s society.
Also, in capitalism the means of production are privately owned by some individuals, while others do not have this ownership. In other words, some own the means of production others are using. So it’s a system in which the ones using the means of production must sell their labor to these owners in order to have a decent life. The owners can then make a profit from other people’s work by just owning. This happens when the value of the worker’s pay is less than the value that was added thru his/her work in the paid hours. That creates a profit for the owner of the means of production who did not create the value, but still gets paid in the form of profit. This profit is hence capital for future investments and more profits. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value.
Since a capitalist economy is based on the need for growth and profits for the investors and owners, this method of exploitation – profiting on other people’s work – would be (just as it is in today's actual society to a large extent) used by more or less all of them. This exploitation is in other words just a logical result caused by the capitalist system.