One of the greatest victories in history is that of Capitalism over Communism. But by defeating Communism we have re-opened the door to the exploitation of labour by Capitalism. Communism kept Capitalism honest, in check, restrained. The Capitalist system had to prove why it was better as long as Communism offered a genuine alternative.
The great weapon of Capitalism was the middle class lifestyle, the American Dream; the property owning working man and his wife with a car, all mod-cons, educated kids, an annual holiday and a turkey on the table at Thanksgiving. This is the image that defeated Communism.
Communists could not own their property. They huddled in jerry built soviet flats, slogged to work through icy streets, squeezed into crowded trains, they queued for meagre supplies of bad quality food and waited on a list for two years to get a bad TV.
As long as Communism existed as a viable solution there was pressure on Capitalists to demonstrate that their system offered significant advantages to the workers. Once Communism was defeated this pressure was removed from Captialists. They don’t have to ensure that the American Dream is there for everyone. Why should they? Why should they be short of another racehorse, or Ferrari, just so their workforce can upgrade their car this year? Those workers have nowhere to go, no ideology to follow other than Capitalism. So Capitalists can now take what they want.
This is exactly what is happening in the workplace. Jobs are being “hollowed out”. Instead of employing an expert on $100,000 p/a you break the job down to components. The expert is replaced by two “graduate trainees” each earning $30,000 for a huge saving to the employer. In the same way that 19th Century carpenters were replaced by single task operators we now see high skill middle class jobs simplified into tasks that are filled by inexperienced hires with one weeks training.
A family can live the American dream if one spouse earns $100,000 p/a. Reduce that to $30,000 and the dream is over. You need both parties out working, and maybe a second job to pay for childcare. Suddenly the college fees for the kids become a problem. But so what, they won’t find high skill jobs when they qualify in any case!
Best of all, if they do go to college, the banks will tie them into student loans that will enslave them to the Capitalist system for the rest of their lives. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the 21st Century Serf, the post-modernist Peasant, the indentured servant of the Capitalist System.
So the paradox is this. If you really value Mom, Apple Pie & the American Way you need to fight hard to protect it and to promote it. The best way to save the American Dream is to defend the very things you reject, Anarchy, Communism, Socialism, Nationalisation of industry, Public Ownership, hard line Unionisation. By defending the rights of the socialists you ensure that the Capitalists compete for hearts and minds by delivering the benefits of Capitalism to the masses and not just to those at the top.