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Open Letter on
Liberalism and Capitalism

To the Liberal Democrats (UK)

From Radical Graphics
Image: By Breakfast,
From RadicalGraphics.org

Date: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

          Liberal Democrats (UK) Homepage


     I have spent some time reviewing your platform and position on the issues, and except for some emphasized areas, there is not much that differs from other Liberal parties. Ideologically and theoretically, there is a support for Capitalism and private property. "We will consult with businesses to identify regulations for repeal, reduction or simplification," because "businesses have become increasingly burdened by taxes and red tape." But this position, of course, is tempered by a variety of policies that seek to cushion the damages that naturally accompany private ownership and management of the land. As one excess is cauterized, another flares up and explodes.

     One of these problems, which you have drawn up plans to solve, is "Affordable housing in rural areas There is a severe lack of affordable homes in many rural areas, meaning young people often have no choice but to move away far from their families and communities." Such prices are not the result of any mismanagement, but rather the result of a vicious love of wealth on the part of the 1% of Britain that owns 70% of the land. It is a dual situation of monopoly (single-owner economy) and monopsony (single-distributor economy). Of course, you could pass laws and regulations for land so that it would be efficiently managed, with an eye toward affordability. But that love of riches still exists deep in the heart of Capitalism.

     So, where the Capitalist is regulated and controlled in their rents, they'll expose their lust to profit in other, socially-unhealthy ways: "People today are struggling with spiraling debts, rising food and energy bills and unaffordable mortgages..." Where the possessors of society's productive power cannot exploit you in the rent you pay to the landlord, they will exploit you in the prices you pay to the shopowner.

     And if food prices are regulated and controlled, so that the people are not starving? Then, there is the new problem: low-quality goods, whether it is canned foods tainted with human blood from unsafe machinery, or untested and genetically-engineered foods. "We'll make it easier for consumers to report bad and unfair practices, making sure the state lives up to its responsibility to protect the ordinary citizen." More laws and regulations, to stop the outpouring of anti-social behavior of the Capitalist class: for where they cannot increase rents, they increase prices, and where they cannot increase prices, they lower quality. They are driven by an instinct that brings them toward exploiting and harming the common people.

     What shall happen then, where government policy and private initiative are capable of working together to eliminate these excesses? Does the problem disappear forever, removed from our midsts, finally after endless searching for the solution in every culture for thousands of years? No, it does not. If consumers, workers, and renters cannot be exploited, then find another victim to take excesses. "Nuclear has a dirty legacy and increases global security risks. We oppose construction of further nuclear power stations." Not "nuclear," but all of Capitalism has a "dirty legacy." It does not matter whether you examine nuclear, coal, or oil, whether you look at mining or manufacturing, Capitalism is built on the exploitation of the earth, its creatures, and its resources.

From Peace Libertad Blog
Image: From Peace Libertad Blog

     It does not matter if you simply look at energy production, such as coal over ethanol, or oil over wind. Unsafe disposal of chemical byproducts from production are another example of this profit toll placed on the planet. And if it is not dumped in rivers in the countryside, on the beaches of Somalia, or in the untapped nature of rural China, then it will find its way into your food, your children's toys, the paint in your house. The unsafe use of material, which now abounds everywhere in consumer products, is not the result of technological trends. It is the result of profit, trying to save money where its consumer must pay a health-life cost.

     "Helping farmers to help the environment Much of our countryside is looked after by farmers, yet many earn less than the minimum wage and so can no longer afford to steward the land." It is good business skill to reduce all costs, whether from quality, labor force, or environmental "stewardship." As Capitalism expands, its problems expand, and as you limit one of its excesses, another one begins to overflow.

     Where profit motives fail, because of an enforced, fair deal, the producer simply stops producing. Even if this means that there are no more jobs for a city or a region, capital moves to where it is most profitable. It will leave farmers who accept starvation wages for forced labor of children in Nike sweatshops in Vietnam or China.

     "They [young, unemployed workers] are shocked and frustrated when they walk into a Jobcentre to find that they will have to wait 12 months for the chance to get extra training or professional support to find a job." Conspiracy for underproduction, whether it is motivated by natural market forces under liberal policy, or it is a plot of the wealthy to increase their profits, is always a problem of Capitalism. "Helping people find a job" is such a noble way of putting it. Perhaps it would be more fair to say that you only plan on convincing Capitalists to continue investment even where profits are miserable.

     Education of the poor and the discrimination of minorities in businesses and schools. Again, more policies directed at controlling those very few people who have absolute control over all of society's productive forces. But your struggle is like that of a dying man with a boa constrictor. As you kick, jostle, and move about, passing this law for minimum wage and this one for job training, the snake Capitalism tightens its grip, and cuts off your circulation with greater pressure. And for all of this miserable struggling, the snake finally consumes its victim, admitting that the Liberal-Democrat Party's reaction to its power was as necessary to eating as the strangulation. Laws have been tried for centuries to satiate the monster of private dominion in economy. They have all produced failed and miserable results.

     Thank you. I patiently await a response...

Andy Carloff

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