17 April 2009

The struggle within capitalism

Big business is the more fitting instrument of the values of the Borg ("We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."), be they the manifestations of natural systems or mechanical systems. Big business has less tolerance for the niceties and idiosyncracies of sociological relationships; it benefits more from the installation of large scale systems that maintain flow by altering rather than adapting to their environments; and they are more susceptible to blind processes that are self-perpetuating but that risk catastrophic collapse in the end.

The struggle in capitalism isn't between the factors or the classes -- capital vs labor or the moneyed vs the working classes. The large labor unions have been just as culpable (or would have been just as culpable, had they had the chance) as the large corporate enterprises. The real struggle in capitalism is between large and small, between those who honor not only the imperatives of competition but the beneficence of reverence and a regard both for the integrity of the third factor of production -- raw materials -- as well as for a submission to a higher power Whose covenantal partnership is essential for sustainability.

The answer to the challenge of big-business-capitalism is not the American way of developing big labor unions as a counter-vailing force, nor the Russian way of privileging labor over raw materials the same way capitalism privileges money over raw materials. The Western Europeans and the Japanese are moving close to some sort of answer but they still suffer from a too-strong dependence on large scale production. They understand the problem of balancing out the power of three factors as a national problem that cannot be solved at the individual person or individual corporate level so they are beginning to organize their nation-states to mediate between the three factors to keep the prerogatives of the several factors in balance. These experiments Western Europe and Japan are not yet mature but they are beginning to head in the right direction.

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