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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Monday, September 19, 2011

John Boehner, Leninist

Lenin, in a marginal note in his copy of On War, enthusiastically endorsed Clausewitz's argument that wars were not started by aggressors who moved their armies across other countries' borders -- but by the governments of the invaded countries who decided to resist. See, the invading country would like nothing more than to occupy the other country without firing a shot. The war doesn't start until the invaded country starts fighting back.

In that sense, I guess the working class and the Left can be legitimately said to be waging class warfare. The corporate plutocracy has been waging a full-scale class invasion for the past thirty or forty years, with the ratio of CEO-to-line-worker pay rising from 50 to 500 and almost all real dollar increases in GDP going to rentiers and senior management. The percentage of wealth owned by the top 1% has risen from around 25% to around 40%.

So when workers propose fighting back, maybe they're "starting the war" in Clauzewitz's and Lenin's sense.

I never thought Lenin and John Boehner would be on the same page.


Blogger Todd S. said...

Seems a very authoritarian position to take, not that I'd consider Lenin to be anti-authoritarian.

September 20, 2011 6:45 AM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

At least two quotations are relevant here:-

- George Orwell's famous observation that "The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it"; and

- G.K.Chesterton's essay On pacifism in As I Was Saying (1936) that contains: "There is a wild hypothesis now hardening in the minds of many which has nothing to do with any philosophical case of pacifism, let alone peace. It is the notion that not fighting, as such, would prevent somebody else from fighting, or from taking all he wanted without fighting [emphasis added]... But neither of these two types was ever such a fool as to say that he could not be beggared or enslaved, merely because he stood stock still like a post and did not resist beggary or enslavement. Neither of them was so silly as to suppose that there were not men in the world, wicked or resolute or fanatical or mechanically servile enough, to do unpleasant things to them, while they were content to do nothing... Men who have no intention of abandoning their country's wealth, not to mention their own, men who rightly insist on comfort for their countrymen and not infrequently for themselves, still seem to have formed a strange idea that they can keep all these things in all conceivable circumstances, solely and entirely by refusing to defend them. They seem to fancy they could bring the whole reign of violence and pride to an end, instantly and entirely, merely by doing nothing... The pacifists are only a sect; and Europe is boiling over with equally sincere militarist and imperialist sects. Does anybody believe that Hitler or Stalin or Mussolini would ruin all his plans because a Quaker did not propose to interfere with them?"

Note that Chesterton was writing in 1936, the same year that he died and well before these threats that he foresaw came to pass in reality, so that does not involve hindsight either directly or through his having had a chance to revise the essay later.

September 21, 2011 5:09 PM  
Blogger Ohm (Ώ) said...

Good post and analogy! On the dot.

The great Corporate bamboozle of the times has been that on-the-ground work is commodity, while all of management (including Labynthine Middle Management) is novell. The ridiculous, and worsened over the years, pay disparities are the derivative, 'progressive' result of that root swindle.


The most potent fortification of this swindle has come of Govt taking responsibility for Corporate profits and trying to help these out to cause a populist rise in stock market 'valuations'.


October 02, 2011 12:56 PM  

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