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Open Letter on Capitalism
and Government Intervention

To the American Conservative Union

By Punkerslut

From Peace Libertad Blog
Image: From "No repression" Gallery from
Peace Libertad Blog

Start Date: July 30, 2010
Finish Date: July 30, 2010


     Your organization has some very interesting ideas about Capitalism for a Conservative organization, particularly since the word "Capitalism" wasn't in use during when most of American Conservativism was formed. One of the points you bring out is, "We believe that collectivism and capitalism are incompatible, and that when government competes with capitalism, it jeopardizes the natural economic growth of our society and the well-being and freedom of the citizenry." (From "ACU's Statement of Principles.")

     It is interesting that you would suggest that government competes with Capitalism. I understand that you are making a reference to a handful of nationalized industries, but there is a wider sphere of political, social, and cultural connections. For the most part, government is nothing more but the servant to the Capitalist system, and this has been the tradition of Americanism for the past two centuries.

     The American state has always used its coercive powers in favor of the Capitalists and the wealthy. Consider any major strike activity in the United States, whether the West Coast Longshoremen's Strike, the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike, or the Seattle General Strike. In every case, the police are called in to violently oppress peaceful workers. Where this has failed, the military are brought in, as in the Pullman Strike or the Auto-Lite Strike.

     In all of these cases, the workers had succeeded in organizing and withdrawing all of their labor, peacefully, and making their own demands. And in each of these cases, it required violent force to drive them back to work. It has been the ultimate show over and over again, where the workers refuse to work, and the government uses violence to prove its point: "You, as an American worker, don't have a choice to begin with."

     We can continue with the government's endless applications of violence in favor of Capitalism. War, whether the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, or the Spanish-American War, has always been to benefit the rich. It has always been to sacrifice the blood of the masses of poor for the profits of a very few. And even where it fails, at least a few investors can make some millions off of weapons contracts -- a tradition that completely characterizes the American Civil War. The government has murdered millions abroad just for the profits to be gained from the land, just as it has killed its own people in its backyard to help local Capitalists. The idea of the state "competing with Capitalism" doesn't really enter my mind, rather it appears to be the opposite of the truth.

     What about equality of all citizens before the law? Why is it that shoplifters will serve a week or two behind bars, but those who organize a price-fixing scheme have to pay back only a few percent of the total damages done? For instance, the RIAA's price-fixing on CDs cost the public upwards of twenty billion dollars, but they were only required to pay back $90,000, and there was no prison time. The Capitalist commits these great, impressive crimes, and the law does not prosecute them. But the poor, the hungry, and the starving break much smaller, much more insignificant laws, and they're locked up for years. It is quite clear that the purpose of the government in law-enforcing is not actually order or enforcing the laws; it is to create a sense of obedience in the people, just as the purpose of the king is to make serfs obey their nobles.

     Somehow, though, you seem to make the connection that "government competes with Capitalism," instead of its actual role: "government uses officialized violence to maintain the power of the Capitalist system." It is as though you have closed your eye to situations of regulation, nationalized industry, and publicly-owned railway -- and ultimately, you make this vast conclusion that government involvement is a threat to Capitalism. This observation can only be made by ignoring the vast sum of evidence that is called human history. The powerful of the political realm have always worked together with the powerful of the economic realm.

     The problem is not government passing regulations and limitations on industry. The problem is how the government maintains the system of economic domination by using force, violence, and coercion. This is the real problem, since Capitalism and isolated control of society's productive powers is the real cause of unemployment, poverty, starvation, and war. You are simply misdirecting the entire discussion by posing government as a threat to Capitalism -- the real problem is that both government and Capitalism are a threat to the people.

     Thank you; I patiently await a response.

Andy Carloff

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