A Return to Egalitaria

A Return to Egalitaria

 

One of the beauties of numbers is their endless supply. No worries about “scarcity” when it comes to our numerical friends. So, in an economy based upon the value of labor instead of capital, with numbers being assigned for a day’s work, and those numbers in turn being used to purchase goods and services, there is no danger of running out of money. Money, per se, does not exist in Egalitaria, and it doesn’t need to exist. In its absence, anything is possible. In the presence of endless supplies of numbers, the sky’s the limit. A sky made bluer because capitalism is dead.

If Nietzsche had been from Egalitaria, he would have said, “Money is dead. Everything is permitted.”

With our current economy, a business has a finite payroll. What one person makes impacts what others can make. No getting around that. There is only so much payroll to be distributed, and those controlling the distribution aren’t Egalitarians. If, as is the current case in America, executives make hundreds (or thousands) of times more than the rank and file, it is impossible to raise the wages of that rank and file without drastically cutting back the compensation of executives. Since executives set those wages, and are not prone to sacrifice their own lucre for the good of the rank and file, this is an extremely rare occurrence in capitalist economies. It’s also one of the major conflicts and contradictions built into the capitalist pie.

Win/Lose. Or Lose/Win.

Same thing occurs with most professional sports teams, though with a twist. There is an official salary cap in the NFL. Players, of course, even at the low end, make more than almost 99% of the population, while the upper reaches of the salary scale put them in the top 0.1%, so they’re not really suffering monetary drought. But they are constrained by league-wide rules. So if a superstar quarterback makes tens of millions, that’s money that other players, at other positions, have no access to. That’s money that is taken entirely off the table for the rest of the team — because it’s reserved for one single table, say, the quarterback’s.

Essentially, this is the way it works for all businesses, though some lovers of “free markets” would have us believe that everyone can make huge amounts of money. Obviously, that’s not the case. Money, access, connections, natural and human resources (and time) are all finite things, and capitalism must work within the constraints of the finite. It must work within the constraints of math, of addition and subtraction, especially. Though when it comes to derivatives and nano-second trades, it’s also dealing with more complex forms of mathematics, thus increasing the potential for destruction.

It is impossible for everyone to win in a capitalist economy, or there would be no profit. It is impossible to only have additions, world without end. Yin and Yang obtain. They always factor in, so it is impossible for everyone to win and consume like the richest 20%, because that quintile consumes 85% of the earth’s resources.

So when we develop the earth to benefit the richest, and only the richest, we remove land from common use. We shrink the Commons. We shrink the range of possibilities for all humans and nature itself. Where do the children play?

When we finally learn the lessons of addition and subtraction we will be ready for Egalitaria.

 

 

 

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