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Sep 28 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: An Alternative Economic System, Part II by Diomedes77

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The Stone Breakers, by Gustave Courbet. 1849

At the end of Part I, I said we, as communities, regions and nations should be able to ask the following, when it comes to public projects, without worrying in the slightest about funding:

1. Is this something we all want?

2. Is this something we can build together?

3. Is this something we can maintain together?

4. Does it benefit the community?

5. Is it Green? Is it sustainable?

6. Do we need it now?

I also talked about money being a bizarre concept and a fiction. Another thing that is truly strange? That a government would print money, give it to bankers so they can distribute it as they see fit, with the government getting some of that back in the form of taxes later. Much later. Not to mention the incredibly complex system of taxation and collection, which still manages to miss hundreds of billions per year in potential revenue.

A conservative might think this is strange/wrong because, to them, far too much money goes back to the government in the first place. A minarchist would want very close to nothing going back to a public sector they’d rather see shrink to the size of a peanut. Me? I think it’s all quite bizarre for a totally different reason. Not that it’s inefficient and bad because a portion of the money flows back to the government, instead of remaining in private hands. But that the public sector sends it out into the private sector in the first place. This I find to be absurd.

It’s like if you had plans to build a house, and you had all the resources needed — labor, funding, time, etc.. But the system said you have to send all of your tangible resources out into the private world first, and then wait until a portion of them come back to you. You had everything you needed to begin with. But the system says you can’t just build your house. You have to accumulate tiny portions (percentages) over time before you can build it.

An alternative to that would be that the public sector starts with a permanent store/pool of funding that never runs out. It’s always there. It’s already there, waiting to be used. And it’s owned by everyone. We all own it in common. No one owns more of it than anyone else. There is no need for taxes, debt, borrowing or investors. All funding would come from commonly owned banks on the community, regional and national levels. Not from the price of merchandise. Not from the exchange of dollars for that merchandise. The banks would completely supplant the former revenue stream used in capitalism. That revenue stream would now be obsolete and non-existent. Funding would only flow from the commonly owned banks.

How would this work internationally, once it took hold nationally? More below the fold.

If this experiment takes place in America, we have already conquered several hurdles, American capitalists and the Deep State being perhaps the biggest. If this had been tried in, say, some small Latin American country, we could bet that it would be crushed before it ever got out of beta. It might be that no violence would even be necessary. There would just be “agreement” among enough oligarchs and plutocrats to make sure it never took off. But if, by some miracle, it gained enough street power and support, then actual violence would most likely come into play. The more the threat to capitalism materializes, the more violent the reaction.

But in this case, that’s moot. Because it’s America which does the beta testing and launches the system afterward. America is big and powerful enough to prevent any kind of major international reaction to snuff out the revolution. If we’re the revolutionaries, then the world goes along with us — sooner or later.

But, let’s say it’s later. I envision a router as metaphor. A network as system. Everyone in this closed system would receive points for work, as mentioned in Part I. No money exists. None is exchanged. Just electronic debits. The router acts as a kind of translation and currency exchange mechanism. Individuals, communities, regions and the nation can engage in trade with other countries still in the capitalist system using those routers — which are publicly owned and operated.

Dollars flow into the router (from outside our new system) in order to purchase goods made here. They’re translated into points, which are kept track of per goods traded. Points here flow into the router, are translated into dollars in order to purchase goods made overseas. Our closed system is never altered by the outside, as far as our form of “currency,” economics, common ownership of the means of production, etc. We’re still all public, all commonly owned when it comes to commerce. They’re still mostly privately owned, when it comes to commerce. But the router acts as a bridge between the two systems, and American power acts as the guarantor that our new system survives.

Another aspect to the system would likely result in far fewer imports, and possibly more exports. As mentioned in Part I, artisanship, craftsmanship, the highest possible quality, the greenest, most sustainable goods and services, would be championed. We would no longer be making crap goods for profit. We would be making virtually everything to order, based upon need (use-value, not exchange-value), sustainability and harmony with the planet. There would no longer be any planned obsolescence. There is no reason for it. Profit doesn’t exist. The apotheosis of fair wages and fair trade is here.  

The world would want our products, badly, and we could price them in such a way that most could afford them. There would be no need to hike prices in order to make a profit, pay obscene executive compensation or provide revenue streams for wages and future production. We own everything in common. There is no 1%. Desire for imports would likely plummet, at least at first, because our citizens would quickly grow used to the superior quality and craftsmanship of our own production, along with their safer, healthier and more sustainable foundations. Eventually, however, our revolution would spark improvements overseas — largely in order to compete with our cooperative model, ironically. Once that happened, there would be a shift in the import/export ratios, but it would never go back to current levels under capitalism. We would provide for ourselves to the extent possible, and teach other nations to as well.

P.S. If there is any interest in further discussion, I can do a Part III next month.