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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Do not try this at home

Today was a good day cash-wise, and reminded me of a glaring defect in our entire system. I made double what I usually make, 75 bucks. I sold all my books, and had delightful conversations with most of the folks I talked to. I even bought some art from another artist, in a manner of speaking. But, the very fact that my emotions are in any way affected by money, whether it be depression because it is not there, or elation that I have made a great deal, makes me a slave, at least in some sense, to the idea of money as a "bringer of good things."

I've recently been reading about collectivism, which, as far as history has shown has led to all sorts of gross inequities, but has resulted in some interesting things, albeit in ways that so far are morally indefensible. In a collectivist state (so far only achievable in a state that is on a war footing), labor is more important then immediate profits, or, in the case of the fascist and communist models, more important then the pursuit of knowledge itself. However, the one benefit of collectivism is a very healthy and well fed population. So far, the nations that have collectivized have treated their workers like gold, making them into sort of quasi-soldiers, that attain rank and distinction along the same lines. They are always well fed and well cared for, as long as they tow the party line, whatever that is. Most collectivist states, during a war economy, have a SHORTAGE of workers. There is work for all, and then some.

I think one of the great "questions" of history is this: is it possible to create a "benevolent collectivism" that will not matastisize into a political and social cancer and a vehicle for military expansion? The biggest problem with the fascist and communist labor model is that, because labor is an actual commodity, like cows, they can be butchered with same sort of emotionlessness. Corporatism is not far behind this model. Thus, losing a "few hundred" men to bad plant management is no big deal, and complaining is punished by death. Only in a regulated democracy, so far, can workers protect themselves through legislation from these sort of practices.I think that mankind, forgetting for a moment the dichotomies of left and right, would be wise to analyze what was RIGHT with the enemies of freedom's models of organization, while at the same time continuing to attack the moral bankruptcy of what they led to. Even failed programs have kernels of useful information.

As a little digression, at one point I was in an apartment buillding today, and a knocked on the door of a large family, probably celebrating the football game. One of them, seeing me, became very agitated. The hostess said "no thank you," and shut the door. However, the other man was yelling, and quickly raced out the door. "What are you DOING HERE?," He said in a huff, with a very unhappy and aggressive tone. "I'm selling my cartoons." "YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST COME IN HERE AND DO THAT? WHAT, YOU JUST OPENED THE DOOR??"(he was referring to the metal door at the bottom of the apartment complex) "The door was unlocked," I replied serenely, "and there was no "no soliciting" sign present." I smiled at him with a lot of love. He suddenly looked sheepish and said, "well, I'm sorry, we have had a lot of trouble," and he started apologizing. "No problem brother," I said, "I'm taking off." He thanked me and we parted company. A slight tear came to my eye, I'm not exactly sure why. I know it was at least partially for him.

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