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The 1% of the population who constitute the master classes are easier to organize and

more aware of their interests. All of this discussion of the powers of the Fed, the volatility

of the market, the behavior of the Obama administration are of relatively little importance

when one reflects on the fact that it is the masters who control the government and make the laws.



Money is Speech

By Wilson J. Moses


10 August 2011

“What is money, anyway,” asks my nephew. “Money is Speech.” answers the Supreme Court of the United States in Buckley v. Valeo.

Whoever controls words controls thoughts. Whoever controls symbols—and words are sometimes although not always symbols—has tremendous influence over thoughts. Whoever controls communication controls the thoughts of those who are most arrogantly and stupidly convinced of their intellectual independence and free will.

Money is a complex instrument, but it is among other things a means of communication. For the clever and the very wealthy, it is a means of storing wealth. For the foolish and the very poor it is merely a medium of exchange. For those who have enough, it is a means of communication.

In Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court ruled that money is speech. This decision has been grotesquely fortified by the ruling, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205.

Whatever you or I want to think or to believe, regardless of whatever my friends in the blogosphere maintain, the Supreme Court has ruled, just as Adam Smith predicted they would. The interests of the masters are served by the laws because the masters make the laws.  Or as Adam Smith says in words that timelessly describe conspiracies of the master class, “the law, besides, authorizes, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen.

But matters are even more sinister than that. As Jack Vance argues in his satirical and brutal novel The Languages of Pao, the thinking of people is controlled, with varying degrees of success, by the master class. Whoever controls vocabulary and syntax controls thought. Mao and Stalin and Freud’s nephew, Eddie Bernays understood this, as did the War propaganda office of Woodrow Wilson. Unfortunately there are many people walking around with prestigious degrees who don’t understand this.

It is not enough to get a masters degree in German, Chinese, or Hebrew. That doesn’t necessarily mean you understand how language works. One needs to understand the extent to which language controls perceptions of reality. This is the classic, but contested theory of the so-called Sapir-Whorf theorists. There is a great deal of discussion of this controversial theory, which should be discussed thoroughly, but not accepted dogmatically.

Rupert Murdoch understands this, and so does Michele Bachmann. But there are lots of otherwise smart people who don’t understand this.

The Koch Brothers certainly understand that money is speech, whether they understand semiotics, I cannot say. But what does it matter? Eddie Bernays is working for them, and Sapir-Whorf offers food for thought as to why the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch invest so much money in the control of language and syntax.

The people who are currently rioting in Britain are expressing discontent, but if they are capable of articulating the sources of this discontent, the press is not reporting it. The media portray them as inarticulate.

The 1% of the population who constitute the master classes are easier to organize and more aware of their interests. All of this discussion of the powers of the Fed, the volatility of the market, the behavior of the Obama administration are of relatively little importance when one reflects on the fact that it is the masters who control the government and make the laws.

Adam Smith noted this with sorrow, contrary to popular mythology, although he recognized that from his premise only a dismal prediction concerning the rights of workers could follow.

Robert Malthus proposed means of redistributing wealth, and his ideas were adopted a century later by John Maynard Keynes, but Keynes has few defenders today. Certainly the Obama administration is not willing to consider putting money directly into the hands of workers. They endorse the Friedman-Greenspan-Bernanke method of creating large sums of money and putting it in the hands of the upper classes, i.e., the big banks.

It is sufficient, unfortunately, to proclaim by fiat that Keynes has been discredited, and the misguided working people unfortunately contribute to Keynes defamation, preferring the bromides of Hayek, von Mises, Friedman, Rand, Bastiat, and all the other intellectual brigands who conspire to reduce them to a state of poverty, ill health, and ignorance.

I receive emails from honors graduates of Michigan and Penn State, who earn less than $20,000, and are burdened with debt, but continue to believe that unleashing the free market will solve all their problems. The master class preaches the free market, but sneer at the idea of a free market. They understand the necessity of controlling the market, and they make the laws in order to serve their ends.

The masters control the law, and they control the language. This, alas, is how it always has been. This, regrettably, is how it always will be.

Source: WilsonMoses Blog   

posted 8 September 2011

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The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors. Wherever the law allows it, and the nature of the work can afford it, therefore, he will generally prefer the service of slaves to that of freemen. The planting of sugar and tobacco can afford the expense of slave cultivation. The raising of corn, it seems, in the present times, cannot. In the English colonies, of which the principal produce is corn, the far greater part of the work is done by freemen. The late resolution of the Quakers in Pennsylvania, to set at liberty all their negro slaves, may satisfy us that their number cannot be very great. Had they made any considerable part of their property, such a resolution could never have been agreed to. In our sugar colonies, on the contrary, the whole work is done by slaves, and in our tobacco colonies a very great part of it. The profits of a sugar plantation in any of our West Indian colonies are generally much greater than those of any other cultivation that is known either in Europe or America; and the profits of a tobacco plantation, though inferior to those of sugar, are superior to those of corn, as has already been observed. Both can afford the expense of slave cultivation but sugar can afford it still better than tobacco. The number of negroes, accordingly, is much greater, in proportion to that of whites, in our sugar than in our tobacco colonies.Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, p. 315

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Masters Combine to Lower Wages

What are the common wages of labour, depends everywhere upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little, as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower, the wages of labour. It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily: and the law, besides, authorises, or at least does not prohibit, their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work, but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes, the masters can hold out much longer. A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, or merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks, which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year, without employment. In the long run, the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate.

We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform, combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is everywhere a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and, one may say, the natural state of things, which nobody ever hears of. Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy till the moment of execution; and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people. Such combinations, however, are frequently resisted by a contrary defensive combination of the workmen, who sometimes, too, without any provocation of this kind, combine, of their own accord, to raise tile price of their labour. Their usual pretences are, sometimes the high price of provisions, sometimes the great profit which their masters make by their work. But whether their combinations be offensive or defensive, they are always abundantly heard of.—Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, pp. 60-61

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Capitalism and the Ideal State: Marcus Garvey  / Negroes and the Crisis of Capitalism  / Economic Emancipation of Africa

Chomsky refutes "libertarian" "anarcho"—capitalism  /  Chomsky on Capitalism & Anarchism

Free enterprise and the economics of slavery / The Zong Massacre—29 November 1781

The Responsibility of the Artist (Maritain)  / RSA Animate—Crises of Capitalism

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Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition

By Seymour Drescher

In this classic analysis and refutation of Eric Williams's 1944 thesis [Capitalism and Slavery], Seymour Drescher argues that Britain's abolition of the slave trade in 1807 resulted not from the diminishing value of slavery for Great Britain but instead from the British public's mobilization against the slave trade, which forced London to commit what Drescher terms "econocide." This action, he argues, was detrimental to Britain's economic interests at a time when British slavery was actually at the height of its potential.

Originally published in 1977, Drescher's work was instrumental in undermining the economic determinist interpretation of abolitionism that had dominated historical discourse for decades following World War II. For this second edition, which includes a foreword by David Brion Davis, Drescher has written a new preface, reflecting on the historiography of the British slave trade since this book's original publication.

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From the Ashes of the Old

American Labor and America's Future (2000)

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Aronowitz presents a compelling case for the idea that "unions, if they are to thrive, must overcome the complacency of the last fifty years and expand labor's influence throughout politics and culture. But first labor must overcome its image as the representative of a narrow segment of the working population...."

In intellectually strong but clear-spoken language, Aronowitz urges labor once again to define itself in sharp opposition to the ideology of corporate capitalism. He might attract some controversy with his suggestion that doing so requires a distancing of the unions from the Democratic Party (which, he reminds the reader, has drifted increasingly to the right under Bill Clinton, whose "reform" of welfare not only took money from the unemployed but may also keep wages down for the working poor). Might, that is, if labor had a strong enough voice for its dissent to be heard. —

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The White Masters of the World

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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