Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Monday, August 22, 2005


Globalization assumes that people are resources, not people.

“Labor” is a resource that is either expensive or cheap, depending on the country “producing” the “labor.”

The globalizers say, “Let capital go freely to where it can use itself most efficiently. If labor is cheaper in Mexico than Texas, let the capital go there.”

The job of a government is to control people, to keep people within well-regulated borders, so that capital can go use itself as efficiently as possible.

If we were to embrace a globalization that would see people as free agents and not as resources, we would have to allow laborers to “go freely where they can sell their labor most efficiently.” Worldwide unlimited immigration and emigration.

Does anybody in America want this? The idea makes me nervous! I like my middle class comforts! Wouldn't the end of borders and the nation-state make my middle-class existence impossible? I don't know! But it sure feels that way! And yet – people should be free to come and go as they please.

The globalizers don’t tell you that the job of government is to keep laborers confined so wealthy people can be free to do whatever they can get away with. We can do better than that -- but what that "better" might be feels complicated.

But it does seem that government has done enough to help rich people get richer.

Sometimes I fantasize about an anthropological economics. How do allocate resources? An anthropological approach assumes that resources are held in common, and distribution patterns are made my group choice. This feels real to me, sort of. An interesting angle, at least.

I have no idea what I'm talking about.


This is basically where the communists and the anti-communists parted ways in the American labor movement after WWII. The Commies wanted to keep growing the labor movement internationally. The Anti-Commies gave up this goal in exchange for a junior role at the American governance table with corporate capitalists in the liberal/corporatist but not quite social democratic post war set-up (Reuther tried to force a more Social Democratic option at the end of the war, but failed and contented himself from then on with less lofty goals ).

It worked pretty well for a while with reasonably good wages and benefits for average American workers. But it doesn't work so well anymore.

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