kevin on credit
The only reason that either of them is spoken of with reverence today is that they had money, or were in a position to be listened to by people with money.
What we have, in functional terms — what’s depicted in the upside-down world of capitalist ideology as Musk and Bezos “creating value” through their “investments” — is a system of workers constantly advancing the products of their own labor to each other through a system of mutual credit.
But under the rules of the capitalist system that prevails over most of the world, the social function of priming the pump — of providing liquidity to get things moving — is reserved for those who have accumulated large stocks of money. The very function of creating money in the first place is legally limited by law to institutions with some minimum level of capitalization. The expansion of the money supply, the creation of the very medium of liquidity itself, comes from the owners of money lending it into existence, and accumulating more money in the process. And because this class has appropriated the function of financing production, it accumulates even more money through control of the means of production — money which, in turn, becomes the source of further rentier income, and so on.
These are rules set up in the first place in the interests of those with such large stocks of money, by a state controlled by them, in order to enforce their monopoly over credit and over control of the means of production. To be in a position to prime the pump and set things in motion, you either have to be a billionaire yourself or know how to sweet-talk billionaires.
testart storage law et al
w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring
Let’s stop for a moment to consider the sheer inefficiency this imposes on society, from a design standpoint, in order to enable the owners of capital to extract a surplus from the rest of us. The money function properly understood should be entirely one of horizontal flows, and not of stocks at all. The fact that stocks of any size are a prerequisite for a license to perform the money function — thereby making that function a source of rents for those who own the stocks — is the problem.
descola control law: ‘the control of the stock becomes the central point‘ – Philippe Descola
In 1649 at St. George’s Hill, in England, a group of landless peasants who called themselves the Diggers told the landlords “Your claims to this land are based on robbery, and we declare them null and void.” They tore down the enclosures and began cultivating the land. It’s time for us to do the same with money.
even deeper.. any form of measuring things.. imposes oppression on all of us
Credit As an Enclosed Commons, Part II – sept 2020 – [https://c4ss.org/content/53425]
The sole function of Bezos and Musk was to provide financing, because they had the money. And the fact that the teams that actually did the work were in the position of relying on rich venture capitalists for the seed capital, and that the latter were in possession of that capital in the first place, was a function of history, and of structural faults within the system.
My primary focus in the previous column was on the nature of those structural problems — particularly the capitalist credit system — which prevent engineering and production workers from organizing and financing their own innovative efforts. I don’t intend to rehash that here.
But in my discussion of the availability of all the prerequisites for the innovations attributed to Musk and Bezos, and the obviousness of putting them together according to a given pattern, I failed to note how this generalization is borne out historically by the concept of “steam engine time.” Most major innovations are the product of social intellect. This is reflected in the fact that, when the technical prerequisites or components all exist in our collective toolkit, and the need for an innovation demonstrates itself, that innovation simultaneously appears in a number of different places.
The obvious example is Tesla vs. Edison (ironically). But look at calculus. The Greeks and Arabs had developed trigonometry, and the Arabs had developed algebra. And then humanity reached the point where a mathematical tool was needed that could handle things like orbital mechanics artillery trajectories, and the like, and what happened? Newton and Leibniz developed calculus independently.
People like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have fortunes in the tens of billions of dollars, and are well on their way to doubling those fortunes since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic despite the rest of us living through a depression, not because of any special intellect, insight, or originality on their part. That insight, although not universal, is fairly common. They’ve made those enormous fortunes because they have a monopoly over a function that’s necessary to put insights and visions into practice: venture capital, or credit. And once the innovations are actually developed, they rely on another monopoly — intellectual property — to extract further rents from it.
The aggregate wealth of billionaires amounts to thousands of dollars for every human being. And it’s wealth they’ve extracted by erecting a toll gate that impedes, and charges tribute for, that basic function of grabbing components off the shelves that were created by our collective, social intellect, and putting them together in new ways according to the insights produced by collective intellect..t Because of this toll gate the innovations created by social intellect, rather than enriching all of us with increased quality of life and reduced labor, are made artificially scarce and costly for all of us. And the extra cost we pay goes into their pockets.
Let’s destroy that system.
and/or.. let’s replace that system..
fragile system: dependent on us holding it up.. as we’re being held by structural violence -dg