Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Macrofraud begets microlending

There is an industrial precedent, occasionally observed, in which a company will pay top-rates to employees in order to undercut their economic incentive for unionization. Because the company knows that the price of unionization typically includes yielding some control of the workplace to employees, they prefer to bear the economic cost. It might be said that the wealthy and the powerful will sometimes part with their wealth if it best ensures the preservation their power.

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Many of the world's great social challenges derive from the fact that people are forcibly deprived of a means to address them, and this is because power -- both political and economic -- is monopolized in the hands of minority classes which governments are erected to defend.

It has long been argued by the socialist tradition that the productive wealth on which every modern society relies -- industry and resources -- should come under the democratic discretion of their populations, and not be the exclusive possession of specialized classes who manage them "free" of public input (thus "free-enterprise") for narrow self-gain.

On some level, this is generally recognized by the average person, and goes far in explaining the lasting appeal of socialist ideals, particularly among social movements, but also, and paradoxically, among the many national governments which seek to either contain, or draw legitimacy from, their significance. These ideals remain significant because capitalism is incapable of meeting the basic human needs, physical and emotional, of considerable portions of humanity, whatever wonders it may generate for the well-positioned few.

Because the practical application of socialism, or, the democratic management of economic life, cannot be reconciled with monopolization in the same realm, governmental force is inevitably summoned on behalf of the owners of productive wealth to "protect individual property rights" -- which is to say, protect the right of certain individuals to derive property benefits against everyone else -- when such "rights" are jeopardized. The wealthy and the powerful have no intention to surrender their wealth or their power. This inevitably leads to conflict everywhere monopoly and human beings attempt to coexist, with famine and calamity awaiting in the cases where human beings are afforded the least means of self-defense.

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The monopolization of the world and its resources, with its impressive gains for the few, subsequently becomes the template by which every problem it has created is presumed to be solved. In short, we have reached a point in which the aching needs of humanity are not so easily ignored; in many cases, they even disrupt the business of profit-making. Governments, being forever in the service of their owners, prove ineffectual in uprooting hunger, famine and disease, because these are not their mandates.

So it is that the beneficiaries of world suffering come to address the world with their solutions to end suffering, having already made their money. Bill Gates had nowhere else to go, and little more to conquer in the technology field, so, like a Jordan retiring from one sport to master another, Gates, like so many social frauds before him, embellishes his power by giving away some portion of his wealth, and at a volume which ensures no one will miss the significance. He will likely save many thousands of lives -- maybe many more -- under the banner of what he calls "creative capitalism," whereby the robbers of public wealth parlay their theft into a self-aggrandizing campaign to save the same wretched souls they have swindled.

Micolending and microfinance fall into a similar category: potentially lifesaving in waters where the practice of swimming has been prohibited.

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