The Capital-Labor Duality
True Capitalism vs. Sociopathic Corporatocracy. In a capitalistic society, nothing else can survive if the society is not able to preserve the most essential pillar of the value creation process: the duality between capital and labor. This is not about fighting for labor rights or shareholder rights. It transcends all that myopic drama and noise. This is about the true essence of capitalism itself and what it really means to build a society based on a sustainable socioeconomic value creation framework. This is about understanding what it means to have an economy that is truly driven by market-based transactions, through which value can be equitably exchanged, prosperity can be broadly achieved with the least amount of government intervention, and the quality of life of the members of a society can be raised and maintained with the least amount of deprivation.
The Production of Anything Depends on the Capital-Labor Duality. The relationship between capital and labor is fundamental to every capitalistic society. Without labor, capitalists can’t produce anything of value to be sold in a market. Without capital, workers can’t produce anything of value to exchange for wages to buy goods in a market. In the value creation process, capital and labor are coequal partners in the dance of capitalism. This is what I call the “Capital-Labor Duality.”
No Jobs = No Economic Purpose. No relationship exists without two mutually engaged partners. The two partners in a capitalistic society are Labor and Capital. When Capital quits the partnership, the connection is broken and the relationship disintegrates because the other side of the relationship is no longer there. By discarding the labor force, Predatory Cannibals have destroyed the very essence of a capitalistic society. Without the mutually shared value and mutual exchange of value between humans in a capitalistic society, there is no society. When corporations move their capital and jobs outside their home society, they leave behind a disemboweled population with no economic purpose.
Without the Capital-Labor Duality There is No Economy. Without the value creation process of the Capital-Labor Duality, there is no real economy, no exchange of goods and services, no ability for the individuals within the society to exchange their labor power for food, water, shelter, clothing, or anything else. Without a real economy, there is no way for the population to survive. If the people cannot survive, they will revolt and take the capital and means of production from the capitalists by force because they have no other choice if they want to avoid starving to death.
Workers = Consumers = the Animating Force of Capital. “Consumers” are not a distinct species of human separate and apart from the Capital-Labor Duality—they exist only within that duality. There are no consumers without workers who trade their labor for a wage. Without a wage, they have no purchasing power and nothing to trade for the goods produced in the capitalists’ factories. When the factories have no consumers to buy their goods, the factories can’t continue producing, capital becomes inert, and the economy grinds to a halt.
Corporations Have No Purpose Without Consumers with Purchasing Power. The Globalism 1.0 neurotoxin is so destructive because it blinds corporate executives, shareholders, and government policymakers to the fundamental reality of every capitalistic society: For a capitalistic society to survive, the corporate governance culture inside the corporations within that society must understand that labor is not merely an expense to be avoided—Labor is the consumer and Labor is the society. Without workers who have purchasing power, corporations have no consumers, which means they have no way to generate income for their shareholders, which means they have no reason to exist.
The Supply & Demand Illusion. What comes first: supply or demand? This question is at the heart of an ideologically-driven debate that has existed for centuries. It is a debate based on an illusion of how capitalism works. Every capitalistic economy is driven by the Capital-Labor Duality, which is why the separation of supply and demand is an illusion. Without labor and capital working together, there is no aggregate supply of anything; without wages earned by labor, there is no aggregate demand for anything because society has no purchasing power. Supply and demand, just like capital and labor, are locked in a symbiotic dance fueled by the Capital-Labor Duality. They are inseparable; any attempt to divide them is like cutting a chicken in half and expecting it to lay eggs.
The Immaculate Conception of Supply & Demand. Partisan ideologues on the left and right engage in endless economic policy debates that have divided humanity into “supply-side” and “demand-side” tribes. Once we recognize the supply-demand illusion, the reality becomes clear: All supply and demand phenomena are driven by the value creation process of the Capital-Labor Duality. Thus, when legitimate governments protect the Capital-Labor Duality from Transnational Cannibals, the supply-demand duality takes care of itself and spontaneously creates a naturally functioning economy. This immaculate conception of supply and demand is another miracle of capitalism, but it mutates into an abomination of capitalism when disloyal Transnational Cannibals dominate the economy.
We Are All Workers or Capitalists. Within a capitalistic society, all members of society are workers or capitalists. Sometimes they serve both roles if they’re entrepreneurs, but if you’re not a worker or a capitalist, you have no functional value in a capitalistic society. From a purely economic perspective, humans not involved in the production of goods or services for commercial exchange are the overhead of a capitalistic society. For example, if you deploy your money, equipment, land, and facilities to productive purposes, then you’re a capitalist. In contrast, if you provide labor to an employer, then you’re a worker.
A Relationship Requires Two Partners. If you’re a capitalist, you can’t earn money without a worker to help you operate your capital equipment and factories. That means you have a relationship with labor, and vice-versa. Now multiply that relationship millions of times to the size of a national population and you have a society of workers and capitalists. Society cannot exist without both sides of this relationship; just like a marriage cannot exist without both sides contributing to the relationship.
Capital and Labor Are the Primary Factors of Production. In a capitalistic society, there are two primary ingredients required to create new value: Capital and Labor. Land is traditionally another separate factor of production, but in a capitalistic society, land is really just another form of immobile capital. “Human capital” and all other such variations of human output manifest through the physical or mental labor of a human. So, in this context, we don’t need another term for it; the concept of “Labor” is sufficient to represent all forms of physical or mental human output.
Societal Stockholm Syndrome. If a corporation is no longer loyal and no longer interested in contributing to its home society, then it should no longer be entitled to the benefits of that society. A society has no rational incentive or obligation to continue extending any benefits to a disloyal corporation that has cut its connection with society. In fact, to continue coddling an abusive corporation is essentially no different than the delusional mental state called the Stockholm Syndrome. But instead of the syndrome causing individuals to develop an emotional bond with their kidnappers, this is a nationwide neurosis that causes entire countries to subjugate themselves to abusive Transnational Cannibals.
Eject Disloyal Corporations. A disloyal corporation should be compelled to leave the society and allow other members of that society to launch new corporations that can replace it. No corporation is indispensable to a society. No matter how large and entrenched they may seem, a disloyal corporation is far more destructive to a society than the process of replacing it with a more loyal capitalistic partner. Labor and Capital will always come together wherever there is genuine demand for a given product or service. If one corporation is ejected, others will be delighted to fill the void; and we can be sure they will behave with far more enthusiasm and loyalty for having the opportunity to contribute to their home society. After just a few disloyal corporations are legally ejected, they will serve as powerful examples for all the other Transnational Cannibals. This would positively change the attitude of all corporations throughout the economy virtually overnight.
The Gig Economy is a Disease Caused by Broken Capitalism. When Transnational Cannibals discard domestic labor, they force the domestic labor force into the so-called “Gig Economy.” This is a perpetual state of joblessness dotted by occasional “gigs” that economic refugees perform at sporadic intervals. Without stable employment to earn a living wage, how can “gig workers” plan for their future? How can they get married and raise a family? Buy a home? Send their kids to college? Go out to dinner, movies, vacations . . . if they’re afraid of spending their last dollar? This certainly does not create the conditions for long-term economic growth or social and geopolitical stability. To the contrary, the Gig Economy represents the last death throes of capitalism because it’s the last step on the path to total Capital-Labor Duality collapse.
The Illusion of Separate Capital and Labor Islands. Visualize capitalism as a large floating mountain just beneath the surface of the ocean and only two small islands are visible above the surface. Two groups of people live on these islands—Capital on one island and Labor on the other island. The entire land mass represents capitalism. Each group thinks they’re living on their own separate island, but the perception that the islands are two separate land masses is an illusion created by the shallow gulf between Capital and Labor. In reality, both groups live on the same landmass. The group living on each side creates balance for the entire floating mountain below. If either group leaves their island, the entire mountain will become unstable and tip over, killing everybody on the entire landmass. That’s what is happening today because capitalists have left their island by abandoning the domestic Capital-Labor Duality.
Commodification Debases the Things We Should Cherish. A capitalistic society should sanctify the Capital-Labor Duality and regard it as a cherished institution, but Broken Capitalism commodifies the Capital-Labor Duality. Commodification is the exact opposite of sanctification. When we commodify things, we strip them down to dispensable objects that are indistinguishable from one another. When we sanctify something, we elevate it to the level of a precious and irreplaceable treasure. We regard it with reverence and respect, something that cannot be squandered or neglected. The Capital-Labor Duality is worthy of our utmost respect and protection, but societies around the world today are trashing it because that’s what corporate-controlled media and corporate propaganda are programming us to do.
This article was an excerpt from our book, Broken Capitalism: This Is How We Fix It.
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