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Class War For Idiots / March 22, 2012

This article was first published in ConsortiumNews.com

A little over a year ago, while researching the Confederacy’s economy, I stumbled across this unnerving graph charting the value of America’s “stock of slaves” in the last decades before the Civil War.

This graph tells the real story behind the South’s secession: the value of the South’s “slave stock”—the property of the ruling class — soared as secession approached, reaching an almost 90-degree angle in those final years before Harper’s Ferry. The South’s ruling class seceded to protect their riches, period:

From afar, if you didn’t know that human “slave stock” was the asset being charted, you could easily mistake this graph, and its parabolic trajectory, for one of the many destructive asset bubbles this country has suffered right up through our own time.

Up close, this graph drips greed, mass murder and shame — it strips away the historical revisionism that falsely ascribed the South’s “cause” to an almost selfless, tragically romantic attachment to “tradition” and “culture”; it gives lie to the myth that slave owners kept their slaves to the detriment of their own bottom line.

Like the worst wars and the worst of history’s villains, the Confederacy’s one percenters seceded and fought in order to continue profiting from their most valuable investment properties — their human slave stock.

The graph comes from a grim working paper, “Capitalists Without Capital”, written in the late 1980s by a UC Berkeley economist, Richard Sutch, and a UC Riverside historian, Robert Ransom.

As they showed, slavery produced huge profits for southerners who invested in slave capital — to the detriment of all other portfolio investments, as the value of slaves soared in the mid-19th century. By that time, by far the largest cotton-growing states’ wealth was in slave stock, not in real estate or other investments.

The slave trade was outlawed in 1808; but the slave population quadrupled from 1 million in 1800 to 4 million in 1860 — encouraged by slaveowners who “bred” their human stock, thereby multiplying their profits as the value of each slave rose.

Slavery is often portrayed by revisionist historians as somehow antithetical to market capitalism; in reality, slavery was a winning portfolio investment, the very incarnation of just how evil “free-market” capitalism can be. As the authors write:

“If slaves … were an investment included in the asset portfolio of the planter/entrepreneur, they helped satisfy the owner’s demand for wealth. But unlike most other forms of capital, which depreciate with time, the stock of slaves appreciated. Thus, the growth of the slave population continuously increased the stock of wealth.”

What makes this graph so disturbing for us in 2012 is what it suggests about today’s “1 percent” — and how they view the rest of us. It gives form to the brutal crackdown on the Occupy protests — and suggests darker things to come as we try to free ourselves from their vision of civilization, and our place in it.

Contrast that with this McKinsey report put out a few years ago by the director of the consulting group’s New York office. Titled “The New Metrics of Corporate Performance: Profit Per Employee”, the report argues that the best performing firms in our increasingly financialized era are those companies that have learned to squeeze ever-larger profits out of each employee — and not by the more traditional “return on investment” metric.

The McKinsey report looked at the world’s 30 largest companies between 1995 and 2005, and found that their return on human capital more than doubled, from an average of $35,000 profit per employee to $83,000, leading to this rather frank and nauseating conclusion:

“If a company’s capital intensity doesn’t increase, profit per employee is a pretty good proxy for the return on intangibles. The hallmark of financial performance in today’s digital age is an expanded ability to earn ‘rents’ from intangibles. Profit per employee is one measure of those rents. If a company boosts its profit per employee without increasing its capital intensity, management will increase its rents.”

Extracting rent from “employees” as a business strategy: This is supposed to be the language of feudalism, not modern advanced capitalism — and yet this is the cutting edge in 21st century capitalist thinking, unashamed and unvarnished:

“One way to improve a company’s profit per employee is simply to shed low-profit employees. But if they generate profit greater than the cost of the capital used to support their work, shedding them actually reduces the creation of wealth.”

As with slave stock in a Southern investor’s portfolio, the McKinsey report argues that as a corporation learns to successfully extract rent from its employees, the more employees it extracts rent from, the greater its aggregate profits.

The new metrics: How much “rent” can be extracted from employees, not investments

To compare “the 99 percent” to African slaves would be crude; but the mindset of “the 1 percent” then, as now, is eerily consistent. They view the rest of us not as human beings with rights, but as livestock whose meat is “rent” to be extracted.

This is the language of plutocratic capitalism, a brutal system totally incompatible with democracy and antithetical to republican government and civilization. It is the language of misery, and misery is what “the 1 percent” is promising “the 99 percent” for years to come, in ever-greater doses.

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

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84 Comments

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  • 1. Myrmecodon  |  March 25th, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    This message is brought to you by the Dixieland Preservation Society:

    “The slavery is gone, so the poorer Southerners run around screaming that they feel cheated but can’t articulate why.”

    I figure it was because black people have all the legal privilege, organization, connections, and power nowadays even if they don’t work, whereas whites have to jump through ever-more stringent meritocratic hoops just to get and keep a job. Capitalism for the white working majority, socialism for the layabout minority who brings up slavery as the excuse for crime, welfare, and general social destruction. Not a bad system, but as whites become a minority and Mexicans move in, it’s going to run pretty thin.

    “Under white supremacy, poor whites were actually underpaid in cash for their labor because the racial divide suppressed labor markets for both races. But the whites felt they were amply paid by the privilege of holding the power of life and death over even the blacks they didn’t own.”

    No, they were paid by having a well-ordered though ultimately unsustainable society that made plenty of money for everyone in on it, and enough again to go hunting, fishing, and Walter Scott LARPing on one’s off times, but destroyed any drive to make factories, unsubsidized stores, or anything that wasn’t the dominant cash crop. The value of the slave was only as good as the power of the white society to keep his baser urges checked, and as white supremacist society fell and black crime rose, so too did the value of the slaves fall. Such is the fate of a one-crop economy, even in an absurdly bountiful environment where nearly everyone could live off the land whenever they felt like it. Got lazy, didn’t plan for the future, same old story.

    CRUSHING DEM NIGGERS wasn’t really the overarching aim, though it definitely did happen. The Old Southerners were certainly “free trade” and “open borders” enthusiasts, very akin to our current international managerialist elite, but for the fact that many had class, humanitarian concerns, appreciation for beauty, and a good classical education.

  • 2. Davrus  |  March 25th, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    #38 My point was that even if the Kochs and there ilks idealogy of screwing the peasantry over drops the world into another great depression, the Kochs will probably still be rich afterwards, maybe less rich on the balance sheet, but probably also more rich in terms of being able to more easily exploit there fellow man. I.E. It could be that some of the super rich have actively decided to trade in some of their high profits, which they were never going to use anyway, in order to retake the right to effectively enslave the lower classes. That is unless the go to far and cause a revolution, or more specifically a successful revolution.

  • 3. John Figler  |  March 26th, 2012 at 5:47 am

    #32
    “If we’re headed towards a long energy crisis, the option of devolving from “energy slaves” to the real deal is back on the table. At that point I vote for the Rickover option, nuke everybody and let the cockroaches evolve and try to do better”.

    Trouble is all that people thinking they would be able to acquit themselves moderately well against the cockros…

    They are miserable half-cooked morons unable to have a decent life in this the most humane and benign system yet to be seen, and they pretend to be successful in a true-style new Middle Age?

    That’s what you get with egoism saturated pop culture. Nobody thinking about real fixes to keep the system working at bearable levels. Let alone improvements! Just Ok, let me alone, I’ll be a postapocaliptic King in no time, just watch me ma…

  • 4. Jack Boot  |  March 26th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Defenders of the South point out that the great majority of Confederate soldiers owned no slaves.

    True enough; but they sure hoped to. Every Southern peckerwood dreamed of owning a plantation; and thus being able to devote himself to huntin’, gamblin’, drinkin’, whorin’ & duellin’.

    Likewise, every Teabagger masturbates to the fantasy of joining the 1%.

    Useful fantasies to encourage, to be sure; but fantasies have a way of collapsing…

  • 5. Anarchy Pony  |  March 26th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    @53, humane and benign? What fucking planet are you living on?

  • 6. Zirb  |  March 26th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    @16 “For the utopian right-libertarians… how do you guys intend for your free market contracts to be enforced?”

    I, Zirb, Bagtard of the 4th Degree, have been selected to respond to your critique of the Holy Order of Bagitarian-Knights, who have been fighting against the evil forces of the Fed since the First Holy Crusades. Here is my response for all ye unbelievers:

    A contract would say how it would be enforced — for example, there may be a list of 10 judges we agree to before hand that we agree will judge any problems. The harder issue which is what I think you’re getting at, is how would property be defended — and that’s with insurance/police.

    “a libertarian capitalist society would also require some kind of deadly force, at the very least, to protect your hallowed private property and make sure your contracts are carried out.”

    Of course. There will be law and police, the question is whether making this a monopoly (government) is good. Everywhere else, we accept that monopolies are bad, but for law and police, we give all the power and guns to a few people and assume it’s the best way.

    “that means this libertarian capitalist society will be little more than feudalism with a powerful few exacting full control over weaker dependents by use of private security forces.”

    This is the key question: how do you decentralize power? We can agree that today power is terribly concentrated in government-corporation cooperatives. The classic argument against anarcho-capitalism is that the rich people will take control like the robber barrons, and I think the evidence shows that the robber barrons, faced with extreme competition at the end of the 19th century, were the ones that pushed government to regulate to kill off their competition (see Dominick T. Armentano’s book on Antitrust and Monopoly). I think that voluntary competition is the best way to avoid your worst case scenario (which by the way, exists already).

    “that homophobic turd”

    I agree Hoppe’s homophobia is offensive, but his logic makes a lot of sense. I didn’t agree with everything in the naked capitalism articles, particularly his douchiness (“Stop interrupting – you might learn something”), and the fact that communities will always self-segregate — I’d hope not (although there are already stories today of how communities are self-segregating), and his talk about his native american “solution” is horrible and it didn’t need to be that way (why couldn’t we just coexist?). But overall, I agree with his outline. What did you actually disagree with other than his homophobia (which I agree with you is bad)?

  • 7. Davrus  |  March 26th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    #56 What you fail to realise is that what distinguishes the earlier feudal society from the later nation states which rose up afterwards was exactly what you described. Feudalism was distinguished by a form of decentralisation of power, wherein each of the local lords had dictatorial powers over his own domain, or property. In addition each of these feudal lords had access to his own private military. The end of feudalism is marked by the central government centralising power within the state, this can either takes the form of a dictatorship where the state where this power is used exclusively for the ends of the central government, or democracy where voting rights at the very least attempt to more evenly distribute these powers amongst the people.

    It is easy to see why many compare the anarcho-capitalists emphasis on having dictatorial powers over their own property, couple with their desire for private armies which will ultimately be answerable only to those with the money to pay, I.E. rich people with property. Is compared with the feudal system of the dark ages.

  • 8. Anarchy Pony  |  March 26th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Wanna see an in depth analysis of “Anarcho” Capitalism/Rightist “Libertarianism”? Go here: http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionF

  • 9. LuisMaraceFrance  |  March 27th, 2012 at 5:49 am

    fror my experience right-libertarianism attracts people(expecially young white boys born into relative privilege) because it appears internally consistent

    What is better of “live and let’s live?” “freedom,life,property!!” “capitalism created my IPOD and my XBOX!!”

    Hovewer ,when you growth up and learn more about history,philosophy,biology,psychology,anthropology etc it become clear that right-wing libertarians make up a lot of explicit and implicit assumptions(property are natural,people are selfish and rational ,resources are infinite,people have the same level of power,only government can coerce people but not private actors,before-tax distribution of wealth is the only fair distribution of wealth so taxes are theft and welfare rewards the leechers etc etc,the private sector is always more efficient,rich people work hard,capitalism is natural etc etc ) that are simple NOT true or historically specific

    It is not a coincidence that the vast majority of right-wing libertarians I know are into computer science,engineering,economics

    These people never had to learn how complex not-rules based real-world system work and the proper methodoly and epistomology to deal with them (unlike people into hard-science and philosophy) or how markets are social constructs and not some natural eternal things created by GOD

  • 10. CensusLouie  |  March 27th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    #59

    Jesus like EVERY libertarian I know is a comp sci major. They can’t view socio-economics as anything but strict, exact rule based systems just like C++ programming language!

    One actually tried to argue to me that a sales tax isn’t regressive because “everyone pays the same amount! Rich people are going to spend that money buying consumer goods eventually!” This from a kid whose parents paid for his entire schooling and has never lived in a poor neighborhood without a tax free grocery store within 5 minutes driving (oops! sales tax just bumped that out of my range!) distance.

  • 11. Davrus  |  March 27th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    #60
    Really? I don’t know anybody in the Comp Sci department who is libertarian, or particularly sympathises with that position, assuming they are not out right against it. That said I’m doing post graduate studies.

  • 12. Davrus  |  March 27th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    #59 I think part of it is that in the modern age the market has come to either replace, or, alternatively represent God. I remember once seeing an article which stated that something like 90% of fundamentalists thought that the government should but out and let God’s invisible hand guide the economy. It certainly seems to have taken over the old function of God, namely, “Why do you live in a big fancy house with plenty of food while doing no work, while I slave out in the field for next to nothing?”, was once answered with “Because God said so, who are you to question God”, has been replaced with “Market forces have said so, Who are you to question the market”. Personally I think the rise of right wing libertarianism is due to people realising that they don’t trust flesh and blood humans ruling over them, but haven’t managed to work out that markets are run by flesh and blood humans. That and billions of Koch dollars used on propaganda.

  • 13. Anarchy Pony  |  March 27th, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    @Davrus, I’ve noticed something similar about the whole God=The Market thing, it’s really quite odd, among the higher echelons, it’s as if the market has become a God surrogate, and they for some reason have come to believe that markets are some sort of immutable natural force like gravity. They seem to be completely disconnected from the fact that the market is an artificial construct. There’s really no evidence that supports this view, just faith, it’s really like a sort of religion.

  • 14. super390  |  March 27th, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    #47:

    If the economic ownership was completely integrated, then Yankee elites would have taken exactly the same position on secession as Southern elites, and they would have settled matters peacefully via their oligarchic control, wouldn’t they? Obviously, it was a partnership between two regional elites, but also a competition. Secession could not have occurred if the Southern rich thought they could withstand the increasing majority of free-state congressmen; the rich controlled the Southern churches and media as much then as now. I’ve seen the Southern newspapers from 1860; they were more full of shit than the New York Post after 9/11.

    More to the point, I’m talking about the Southern rich having made slavery “sacred and essential” back when the institution started. Do you know the story of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676? The Virginia elites faced a rebellion by indentured servants, and they faced it alone because there was so little integration of the colonies. They had to make the devil’s deal, freeing the white servants and then making them the henchmen needed as slaves from the Caribbean were brought in as replacements. The enforcement of this deal by ideology is what I’m talking about, an ideology that has outlived its specific economic origin but still deifies the 3-tier caste system as America’s “natural” order when it was in fact a conscious construct. This is the greatest barrier to American class consciousness.

    That is why I’m singling out the Southern farmers and laborers as a problem. Yankee workers were a hell of a lot more militant a hell of a lot sooner because racist culture was not so pervasive as to obscure class issues. To the extent that European immigrants were used as a surrogate scapegoat in the north, it gave Yankee capitalists some of the same advantages that racism gave plantation owners, but the immigrants kept assimilating and having to be replaced by new scapegoats. The permanance of blacks as untouchables was established in the South, and since the overwhelming number of blacks were in the South, its opinion prevailed nationwide. That gave prejudice against blacks an absolute, sacred foundation; it seems almost a mark of pride for European immigrants when they could be recognized by WASPS as being better than blacks, and made their own status less rigid.

    But the broader baggage of using the threat of blacks to ensure working whites’ harmful obedience to white elites defines every area of Southern culture. If whites elsewhere chose to embrace that culture or if it spread via internal immigration, that’s not me being a regional bigot, that’s me denouncing my ancestors’ culture for now making life unlivable for me in more and more parts of what was once one of the world’s most progressive countries. Just the difference between what Texas was like when I moved back here in 1991 and today feels like I’m trapped in a time machine stuck in reverse. None of that would exist if not for Bacon’s Rebellion; we would be a normal capitalist country like those of western Europe, with a history of a unified working class winning those reforms that characterize the civilized world and of industrialization and rational thinking being obviously more profitable than semi-feudalism.

    As War Nerd has pointed out, the Southern vote has pulled America way to the right most of its history, and as Naomi Klein has showed, that has allowed America to pull the world way to the right, such that we’re all still in danger of falling back into the 19th century.

  • 15. Davrus  |  March 28th, 2012 at 4:50 am

    @Anarchy Pony

    I believe it is because the market which grants legitimacy to there property. If the market is infallible then they are rich because they deserve to be rich, and as such it they should be able to use their riches/power however they please. If however the market is fallible all of this is called into question, they lose their legitimacy, they may not deserve the power which has been bestowed upon them. I don’t think this mentality is restricted just to the elite of course. It seems to me that the middle classes were quite happy to accept the market’s verdict that they were worthy, but that those who were stuck in inner city slums were deserving of there lot. It’s only now that the market is giving them the thumbs down that people in general are beginning to question it.

  • 16. LuisMaraceFrance  |  March 28th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    #65:

    I agree,and this is another reason why I consider both austrian economics and the chicago-school version of neoclassical economics religions, the modern equivalent of middle age scholasticism

  • 17. Anarchy Pony  |  March 28th, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Excerpts from the church of libertardianism:
    (Economist/preacher in reverent tone) All Hail the Glorious Market. Through It’s divine Providence and the word of It’s glorious Prophets; Rand, Friedman, Hayek, Mises and Koch, we will reach the fabled land of Prosperityyyyy.
    May you receive a generous return on investment.

    (Congregation in unison) And may your investment be returned generously!

  • 18. Buddy  |  March 29th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Anarchy Pony,

    The Typical Libertarian is hated by conservatives because he wants the freedom to snort coke off a teenaged hookers ass while smoking pot and watching a movie full of boobies and cuss words in preparation for sodomizing his illegal immigrant housekeeper, Carlos. The Typical Libertarian also wants criminals, terrorists and Mexicans to roam freely about causing all manner of social chaos, and has no interest in forcing people to love Jesus Christ. The Typical Libertarian is a traitor to the GOP and America because he failed to support the war in Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, the Stimulus, and both Bush and McCain, despite the fact that both men once said something at a cocktail party about maybe possibly lowering taxes on some people some day.

    The Typical Libertarian is hated by liberals because he is a crypto-archconservative who wants poor people to go without education, medical care, police protection, food, shelter, and oxygen. The Typical Libertarian spends his weekends running down endangered species in his monstrous, gas-guzzling SUV before stopping off to smoke a pack of cigarettes in a daycare. The Typical Libertarian wants the world to be run by unaccountable multinational conglomerates instead of unaccountable governments. The Typical Libertarian is a racist, sexist, profit-driven nihilist who failed to mark the ascendance of the Chosen One, and has never protested for Union rights nor worn a T-shirt with the word Darfur on it.

    Despite clinging to a hopelessly unworkable, idealistic and marginal political philosophy, the Typical Libertarian has recently been discovered as the cause for the downfall of Western Civilization.

  • 19. Zirb  |  March 30th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I, Zirb, Bagtard of the 4th Degree, am a new breed of Bagarcho-Capitalists, able to display self-deprecating humor.

    @Manipulating_Censor – I’m innnnnnnvincible!

    [@Manipulating_Censor inserts, “You’re a loony”]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHL08OOz6FI

  • 20. Zirb  |  March 30th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    @59 “Hovewer ,when you growth up and learn more about…”

    I, Zirb, Bagtard of the 4th Degree, have been called on again to defend the honor of the Holy Order of Capitalist Bagarcho-Knights:

    “property are natural” – I agree that property is just a convention, but it seems to be one that increases the average wealth of people. I also see no problem in anarcho-socialists living in peace with anarcho-capitalists (Well, and people can continue to live in states, just not ruling over the anarcho-capitalist geographical area).

    “people are selfish and rational” – I think people are both selfish and selfless. Mutual aid was a huge movement in the late 19th century; see From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967, David T. Beito. If it had continued without interference and growed along with the growth of the economy, I think mutual aid would be much better than modern welfare.

    “resources are infinite” – The whole point of economics is to deal with scarcity. The whole point of property and capitalism is to solve the problems of scarcity in the fairest way for the average person.

    “people have the same level of power” – I agree there will always be power disparity, but I think the ultimate power disparity is to give a small group of people all the power and hope they control themselves. The book by Dominick T. Armentano goes over why more competition reduces power disparity.

    “only government can coerce people but not private actors” – What do you mean by coerce? Private actors in an anarcho-capitalist world would be able to, for example, use force to get back stolen goods. But government is the only one that can coerce people to do something involuntarily.

    “before-tax distribution of wealth is the only fair distribution of wealth” – I don’t think it’s about fairness, but it’s about what’s moral. It’s immoral to kill people or steal from people unless in self-defense — I think we can both agree to that. Anarcho-capitalists just say that putting on a government costume doesn’t make it moral.

    “rich people work hard” – I think in an anarcho-capitalist world, wealth disparity would be lower and there would be a lot more entrepreneurs and small businesses.

    “capitalism is natural” – Ideally, there would be no scarcity and we wouldn’t need capitalism (well, actually, we still wouldn’t want to allow rape).

  • 21. Davrus  |  March 30th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    @69

    “I agree there will always be power disparity, but I think the ultimate power disparity is to give a small group of people all the power and hope they control themselves. The book by Dominick T. Armentano goes over why more competition reduces power disparity.”

    Were people more free back in the dark ages when instead of investing power in the hands of the central state, it was instead more evenly distributed amongst the landowners, i.e. feudal lords. That said back then the concentration of wealth was held by the tiniest fraction of the population, like, well, today.

    “What do you mean by coerce? Private actors in an anarcho-capitalist world would be able to, for example, use force to get back stolen goods. But government is the only one that can coerce people to do something involuntarily.”

    Today the government uses force, amongst other methods to accept it’s property rights over the nation, this is why it can tax and such. In your anarcho-capitalist future the new states will use force to make people accept their tyrany over their own private demesne. Sure if the guy who own’s your apartment chooses to charge exorbitantly and your local source of work short changes you, you can choose to move, that said you choose to move country now.

    “I don’t think it’s about fairness, but it’s about what’s moral. It’s immoral to kill people or steal from people unless in self-defense — I think we can both agree to that. Anarcho-capitalists just say that putting on a government costume doesn’t make it moral.”

    What is fair and what is moral are chained at the wrists. Furthermore from an anarcho-socialist point of view, all land and resources are held in common amongst everyone, therefore all current property has essentially already been stolen by force. I know anarcho-capitalists believe that once you hammer a stake into the ground of unowned land it magically becomes their’s for all eternity, but I don’t remember agreeing to the convention, nor do I believe did the majority of people on the planet.

    “I think in an anarcho-capitalist world, wealth disparity would be lower and there would be a lot more entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

    I think your delusional.

    ““capitalism is natural” – Ideally, there would be no scarcity and we wouldn’t need capitalism (well, actually, we still wouldn’t want to allow rape).”

    Yes there is scarcity, The question is, is capitalism the best way to tackle it which gets the best deal for the majority of people.

    Final thought. Koch industries, despite it’s fervent espousal of libertarian doctrines, is quite happy to use the governments force monopoly in order to help it make profits, Most egrigiously through it’s getting the government to use emminent domain to force people to sell them land for pipelines. That’s of course when they aren’t out and out stealing oil using “cheating measurements”. The question is when the government isn’t there as a force monopoly, and they are allowed to hire their own private army, why wouldn’t they realize that their private defense services could be used to lean on people to make profit, to tax people, to acquire land. Sure they would have to make certain they didn’t step on the toes of other people who could afford a private army, but governments have always had to do that throughout history, and that’s what they would be the government.

  • 22. Anarchy Pony  |  March 30th, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    @Davrus, that’s the Anarcho capitalist homesteading theory of property, and it is largely a crock of steaming shit. There hasn’t been empty uninhabited land on earth (unless it is really harsh, say the Sahara, Gobi or Antarctic) for tens of thousands of years, the vast majority of property that exists today was stolen, generally through the killing of previous inhabitants. To speak of the legality or morality of private property is at best a cruel joke.

  • 23. TB  |  March 31st, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Big ups to Professor G. William Domhoff for his 1960’s book, Who Rules America?. In it he shows that most Americans have no idea just how concentrated the wealth distribution actually is. See more here…

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

    America’s top 1 percent or ‘power elite’ use their boatload of cash as a tool to promote an environment of ruthless profit making. In other words, everyone is trying make a profit off your monkey ass, until your left hobbled and broken.

    Domhoff’s article on corporate interlocking is also worth a look over…

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/corporate_community.html

  • 24. Davrus  |  March 31st, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    #72 Buh, buh, buh, but they didn’t transform the land, only someone who transforms the land in a manner which justifies white europeans being able to take land which was used by indigenous people for generations counts as transformation by the homesteading theory of property.

  • 25. Anarchy Pony  |  March 31st, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Well, there is actually much contemporary evidence that they did indeed transform the land, just not to the degree that the “civilized” europeans would. But whatever. Most libertardians can’t actually be reasoned with, despite all their pretense of reason and rationality.

  • 26. LuisMaraceFrance  |  April 1st, 2012 at 10:26 am

    anarcho-capitalism is a oxymoron,capitalism couldn’t survive five seconds without a State

    the right word here is neo-feudalism

  • 27. Michael McFaul  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    more ames and glazov pluhleez

  • 28. Cum  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Well, just look at the most recent story in the Exiled news feed:”BREAKING: “Going Postal” Shooting At California Religious School For Nurses, At Least 2 Dead, 6 Wounded…Gunman Still Loose… ”

    Two weeks ago right here I said to expect the next big workplace shooting story in two weeks, but my bad it ended up being a school shooting. Either way, there were a couple of other minor stories about thwarted attempts at BOTH school and workplaces since then. As pointed out in Going Postal, both workplace and school shootings have the same cause: American society has turned mean, and embraced a culture of bullying that in many ways reflects the cultural attitudes of slavery-era America. You see it in our foreign policy, you see it in our popular culture, you see it in the way that bosses treat their employees, you see it on every talking head political show, you see it in the way we raise our kids to treat each other.

    April is the month of rage murders, expect to see a lot more people going postal.

  • 29. Sean  |  April 6th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    So many proof-read and well-argued comments! Don’t you people have jobs?

  • 30. R. Coogan  |  April 11th, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    #64:

    Chomsky on slavery etc.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yed2NlLWgY

  • 31. nosuchthingasshould  |  April 12th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @78 Cum. made me wonder, in light of this discussion, if there is any record of slave-on-slaves violence in the south, similar to the ‘postal’ incidents. i gueess lower body counts with axes/knives instead of automatics. would they bother recording?

  • 32. John S. James  |  June 1st, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Should we change the phrase “going postal” to “going presidential”?

  • 33. someofparts  |  February 2nd, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    You are the bravest journalist working in English Mr. Ames.

  • 34. fut coins  |  March 17th, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    I think what you published was very reasonable.

    However, what about this? what if you added a little content?
    I ain’t saying your information is not good., but what if you added a title that makes people desire more?

    I mean The One-Percents Doctrine For The Rest Of Us:
    We Are Not Human Beings, But Livestock Whose Meat They Extract As Rent – By Mark Ames
    – The eXiled is kinda vanilla. You should peek at
    Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create article headlines to get people to open the links.
    You might try adding a video or a pic or two to get
    people interested about what you’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it would make your posts a little livelier.


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