Cold War conservatism was based on nothing but war propaganda, and the Soviet Union is long gone – as is NSDAP Germany – so it is important to simply move on and let Ronald Reagan rest in peace.
The Labor Theory Of Value
The widget requires $10 of natural resources. The worker takes one hour to make the widget, and the capitalist pays him $20. The widget then sells on the market for $40. Thus, the worker added $30 of value to the widget, but the capitalist expropriated the $10 value as his profit.
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is a slogan popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program.
Of course, Karl Marx didn’t invent this idea. The idea is straight out of the New Testament, from chapter four of the Acts of the Apostles:
Now the full number of those who believed were of ‘one heart and soul’, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for qas many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
A commenter made an excellent point, that people tend to act “socialistically” in a group that is fewer than Dunbar’s number – about 150 people – and begin to act “capitalistically” – transactionally – in a group of more than Dunbar’s number.
The “nuclear family” is pure communism. From Dad and Mom according to their ability, to the children according to their needs.
The second American settlement, the Plymouth Plantation, was a Christian Commonwealth, based on the ideals found in Acts, two hundred years before Marx. It wasn’t long until the limits of communism became apparent.
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst Godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times, that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing, as if they were wiser than God. For this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could, this was thought injustice. … And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them.”
Under Feudalism, the lord owned the land, the peasants worked the land and paid a tax to the lord. As the European economy became more complex, non-agricultural labor increasingly created more wealth, leading to a “middle class” that were neither landlords nor peasants. The Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the democratic revolutions were the result of the rising power of this “middle class.”
During the rise of the Industrial Revolution, this new “middle class” began to engage in the same rent-seeking behavior as the feudal landlords had done previously. They owned the factory, thus they were able to expropriate the excess labor value of the workers as profit.
Both Adam Smith and Karl Marx saw the economy as mechanistic. In his frequent attacks on the Russian anarchist Proudhon, Marx says that idealistic notions such as “justice” cannot provide an analysis of a mechanistic economy. For Marx, socialism meant all property should controlled by the state, the state controlled by the workers, thus the capitalists could no longer expropriate the excess labor value from the workers.
Under Leninism’s Democratic Centralism, a Revolutionary Vanguard would run the state in the interest of the workers. Which, of course, led to an oligarchy that was more exploitative than even the feudalist system, and an attempt to centralize all economic functions created nothing but perverse incentives and a complete failure of the basic market information signals of supply and demand.
Modern American capitalism is a strange beast where the capitalist class does not own the means of production directly, they instead own the financial companies, the banks, which then in turn own the assets of the physical economy. The day to day work of managing the physical economy falls to the Managerial class, who are themselves often workers in the Marxist sense.
The class divisions of the early Industrial era still more or less exist, but are more abstracted and obscured. The owning class lives by their financial assets, the working class still trades their labor for wages.
A great example is Alt-Right celebrity Richard Spencer. Spencer owns stock in a land trust, he is a landlord, and he lives off of $90,000 a year expropriated from the actual farmers who work the land. Thus, he is of the owning class, although $90,000 a year hardly affords one a luxury lifestyle, in a place like New York City, it is not even middle class.
The workers are somewhat bought into the system, via wide spread stock market investment, although the class division remains as stark as ever: do you work for your money, or does your money work for you? If you make more in wages than in investment income, you are a worker. If you make more in investment income than in wages, you are an owner.
The current system has an owning class consisting of about one tenth of one percent of the population owning or controlling the majority of the property. Since they are in political control of the financial system, they are able to simply “create money” and outbid anyone in the market.
And now they are coming for people’s suburban homes. You’ll own nothing and be happy, the Great Reset.
One hopes it is apparent that this system is increasingly intolerable.