Capitalism treats deaths in the line of business as an unfortunate consequence.
So much of the anti-union rhetoric I hear really comes down to “OH NOES! Someone, somewhere, is making a nice middle class salary!”
One of the…“Goddamn auto workers or teachers or teamsters make enough money to Take a Vacation. Who do they think they are? Non-serfs?”
After the First World War, Dutch firm Philips, the American General Electric and German Osram joined forces with other European and Japanese companies in an agreement to limit the lifespan of their light bulbs and fix prices as part of the Phoebus cartel.
The cartel is an important step in the history of global economy because of their alleged involvement in the creation of great-scale planned obsolescence. It reduced competition in the light bulb industry for almost twenty years, and has been accused of preventing technological advances that would have produced longer-lasting light bulbs.
“Our enormously productive economy (…) demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption (…) we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.” (Victor Lebow)
Most psychologically healthy adults recognize in their heart of hearts the moral perversion of the old economy, but may fear to speak up because so many experts—including even some religious leaders—continuously assure us in so many words that greed is good, even that God wants us to be financially rich and financial wealth is a mark of God’s favor.
If all who share a mature moral consciousness find the courage to speak the simple truth that greed is driving us to collective self-destruction and cooperation is essential to our common salvation, we can put the perversion behind us and secure the future of our children.
The notion that someone, somewhere might work a full-time job for more money than what it keeps to barely keep them alive so they can work more sends these people around the bend.
Which is why I propose dusting off an old term and bringing it back in fashion to describe their ideology. The current ones are insufficient. “Libertarian” makes no sense, because they oppose the rights of workers to collectively demand better wages, a fairly basic liberty. Instead, they expect these people to work hard and slobber gratefully that their masters tolerate paying them at all. Nor are they really “conservative” in any meaningful sense. I don’t like conservatives, but conservatives are people who object to social progress. But the existence of an American middle class has been around for a century now, and conservatives in the past were far less likely to object to its existence on the ideological grounds that no one but the rich deserve to have squat.
There’s really only one term for people who believe, as a matter of ideology, that a handful of people deserve to own everything and the rest of us should living lives of endless work and squalor, with perhaps a slender class of people who get paid pretty handsomely to protect the interests of those who own everything: feudalists. That’s the system that they’re clearly advocating for, albeit in modern terms, where the billionaires and company owners are our kings, top executives are the knight class, and everyone else is a peasant who works to death, gets four hours off for church on Sunday, and needs to be grateful that his masters allow him that.
“We created a society where football players and fashion models are astronomically paid, constantly flaunt their wealth and behave as they please, and are treated as gods in the media. This leads young people to aspire to fame and wealth. But instead receive unemployment, poverty and an uncertain future. and now we are surprised when they rebel? “(Rob, London, comments on BBC)
this is exactly (Chomsky just says it better of course) what I’m always telling anyone that will listen! If anyone thinks that Republicans or Democrats have YOUR best interests at heart, you’re smoking crack! They’re only concerned with THEIR OWN wealth.
“It’s class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn’t be.” -Warren Buffet.