Friday, February 16, 2007

How the Republic of Sambonia led to Unexampled Riches

There's a doubling, a dedoublement, as certain French persons are wont, of the economics of scarcity within the corporate form. That is to say: wealth creation derives from maximizing the return on the reproduction of a scarce resource, good, service. This involves the first magic trick, making sure that something that is being made less scarce (i.e., propagated) remains sufficiently scarce so as to ensure healthy profit margins. At times this is accomplished through the magic of intellectual property; other times it is through elimination of viable substitutes. If you wish to monopolize gasoline, it is necessary to eliminate alternative fuels by governmental fiat and public lies if nothing else will do.

That's the first violence of artificial scarcity. The second involves labor -- those needed to produce the first -- which attacks the means to live. Carve these means out of the communal frame and privatize them. Privatize insurance, healthcare, internets, information, recreation, gathering places, etc. Privatize commerce, privatize water. Privatize poetry. Privatize knowledge. Privatize knowing. Privatize Beyonce. Privatize that which if shared would diminish scarcity of means. You cannot stand in the park and sell that, you do not have proper authorization. Privatize the body, the law, the airwaves, roads, parking, farmland, all means to subsistence. Instead of agreeing that the Sovereign People are the source of benefits to the people, privatize all means to live so they go away, or become too costly for the individual to bear, if the worker leaves your employ. This is the second violence of scarcity, productive of cheap, abundant labor.

Now give that labor a superabundance of entertainment, amid which you present a superabundance of dysinformed "news." There is no clarity, no memory, no history, only anxiety and the forgetting of how free USians came to be grist, corn meal, to the giants who must fulfill their large functions, whether it be flatware, sambo lawn jockeys, or cottage cheese.
Off most Americans' radar, the West African nation of Guinea is under martial law, with dozens of people killed by rioting and demonstrators' clashes with security forces. But the violence has sent aluminum prices climbing in yet another reminder of how much the global economy relies on resources under the territory of developing countries that often get little attention in the capitals of their industrial counterparts. Wall St. Journal


Post a Comment

<< Home