Imposition 2012-Work and Money

    Years ago, decades now, the pragmatic philosopher Rienhold Niebuhr often opined (repeatedly wrote) that, in the uneasy companionship between Work (Labor) and Money (Capital) the two sides would constantly overstate their position. Labor would insist its effort and time were worth more than they were being paid, while Capital would harp on its willingness to take risks to create wealth.

   Niebuhr, as we used to say around the coffeehouse, was "spot on." The election here dubbed Imposition 2012 is all about the Labor/Capital struggle in American culture, with the Occupy Forces insisting Labor is good and virtuous, while the Capitalist Uber-Class (now called the 1%) argues for their position as worthy because of their great risk-taking.

   Left unsaid is the fact that Labor is worth what you can get someone to pay for it and Capital is ever averse to risk. In fact, the story of late 20th century and early 21st century Labor/Capital relations is the reduction of risk for capital by government interdiction and the destruction of organized Labor.

   No? Then remember the TARP, with its motto "Too Big to Fail." Remember how Bailing for Billionaires became the credo of 2008, which happened to be the year of the last major electoral Imposition. Capital is risk-averse and the function of Big Money is to remove risk from its machinations, so better to guarantee profit and reduce loss.

   And, then, for the Occupiers, well, the purpose of the Movement is a bit muddled, even if one admires their defense of the Common Man. As a Very Common Man (really, ask anybody who knows me) I treasure anyone who takes up for the Little Guy. The Occupy Movement is the Tea Party of the slightly Left of Center. 

   In fact, the Tea Party and the Occupiers are more alike than they like. Both are active. Neither can plainly state what they are doing. Each has a vivid kind of imagery. In fact, both resemble a kind of Performance Art, taking it to the street to demonstrate they are very, very upset about something or other.

   One is Labor and the other is Capital. They are at war as ever. When you look at them, Labor and Capital, the existence of new entities to represent their position is evidence of their common distaste for their old representative enties. Mr. Obama could not have won the White House in 2008 without the Youth Vote, for the Old Democratic Party is now moribund. Mr. McCain could not win the White House in 2008 because he was not Republican enough for the Republicans.

   Now, polling indicates the Youth Vote will stay home in November and Mr. Romney is McCain II. Labor wants a real benefactor and Capital wants a protector. Neither sees their interests provided by either major party to which they would otherwise naturally be favorable.

   Labor and Capital. The battle goes on.

2 thoughts on “Imposition 2012-Work and Money”

  1. Good post, Rick. One correction. The Tea Party has been very clear about what it wants and has stated it often. Less government, less spending, less debt, and more accountability to the people. They made that very clear in 2010 and have not let up. Although I have never been to a Tea Partry rally, I admire them. They have never left a rally location in a mess when they finished. They never had police have to control them They have mever tried to “take over” anything, except with the ballot. Absolutely everything the Occupy Movement is not.

  2. Ken,
    I went to a Tea Party meeting and rally.
    At the meeting, the director said, to great applause, “We will run Obama out of Texas.” This is nonsense talk. Obama never won anything in Texas.
    At the rally there was a maximum of hot air and a minimum of content. I think this is where the two meet.

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