The new globalized assault on labour

The first link below is to a CBC news article about the influx of Chinese miners in Canada and the second is about ‘right to work’ legislation in Michigan, but in other American states too.   Both stories are from yesterday’s National.  These stories may not seem to be linked at first glance, but they are.  They point to the internationalization of labour and the degradation of its value.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/12/10/chinese-miner-investigation.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/12/10/f-rfa-macdonald-right-to-work.html

I’ve written about this in previous posts, but it’s worth repeating Thorstein Veblen’s observation that countries are subservient institutions to private capital accumulation, which is currently our dominant mode of production along with it’s modus operandi, business entreprise and the factory system.  The concept of private property is the legal expression of power over commodity production and accumulation.  I repeat: countries are now and have always been subservient to the capitalist mode of production.  Initially, they were created in Europe as a way of opening up markets for commodities and to ‘free up’ labour to move around beyond the confines of their feudal estates.  Countries are just another step in the historical trend towards the global consolidation of political power.   Still, countries have often been a focus of group loyalty, nationalism or patriotism.  This is not always pro-capitalism.  The problem for capitalism is that once countries are created they become more than what was first intended.  People soon consider them home.  They fall in love with them.  They aren’t entirely sure why, but they do.  Well, we’ve been told forever that countries are the way the world is organized.  Our citizenship defines us.  We are proud to be Canadians, Americans, Australians, Indians, etc… We don’t question this, it’s just the way the world is.  So we get upset when we find out that our governments seem to be doing things that we perceive as harmful to us and to our country.  We can’t figure out why our politicians would do such things.  Why, when the unemployment rate in Canada is fairly high, it would encourage the importation of labour?  Why would the state of Michigan attack collective bargaining, guaranteeing a reduction of average wages there, like it has done in other states?  It’s not that surprising, really.  Some governments, not all, are more business oriented than others.  The Canadian government, for example, is extremely pro-business.  As pro-business, it buys into the argument that lower wages are generally good for business.  The cost of labour is a large part of what it means to do business, so any way of reducing the costs of labour becomes government policy.  Attacking collective bargaining rights, as in the US, is a way of reducing average wages, and it will eventually reduce the costs of labour globally, so will importing cheaper labour from other parts of the world to developed countries.  Ironically, reducing average wages will reduce our capacity to buy commodities, the essence of the capitalist mode of production.  So, go ahead boys, cut our wages, cut our pensions. By doing so you’re cutting your own throats.

So, Canada came into existence officially in 1867.  When do you think it will die?  There’s no question that it will. When and how are the questions, not if.  Will the death of Canada come from the outside, from invasion?  Not at all likely, unless it’s the US over water.  No, Canada will come apart at the seams, much like the US will, bit by bit.  Omnibus bill by omnibus bill.  Harper decree by Harper decree.  But don’t worry, it won’t happen for a few years yet.  A hint might be though that 95% of the petrochemical business in this country is foreign controlled.  Now with the Nexen and Progress deals paving the way, outright ownership is on the way.  And don’t believe a word Harper utters about tightening the rules.

Labour has always been a necessary part of the capitalist mode of production, but labour is being replaced by capital (by the use of technology and automation) or cheapened by the same process.  The inevitable result locally and globally will be a few very rich people and the rest of us.  How far do you think we are away from that outcome?

Is Canada a Capitalist Country?

This is a script I presented on a Knowledge Network sociology telecourse in the early 90s.  Still relevant today, maybe even more so than then:

Is Canada a Capitalist Society?  Interesting question and not as simple to answer as it seems, I think.  Generally, when this question comes up, people immediately think about Capitalism and Socialism or Communism.  Canada isn’t communist, that’s clear…but is it socialist?  Well, what does socialism mean?  Many people think of socialism as government ownership and control.  For some, socialism means no more free enterprise, no more freedom of choice and no more good life!   For others it means Medicare, UIC,  Canada Pension and Social Services.  If socialism means government takeover of private business, then the W.A.C. Bennett Social Credit government of  B.C. was one of the first socialist governments in Canada.  It took over B.C. Electric and made it into B.C. Hydro, took over responsibility for ferries in the province and monopolized the sale of alcohol.  Well, most people would never think of the Socreds as socialists, but there you have it…  Just kidding of course…  But it still leaves us with the problem of coming up with a way of deciding whether or not Canada is a capitalist society.  Is it mostly capitalist with some socialist policies?  Can we talk of shades of pink, or is it one or the other?  Well, maybe there’s another way of approaching the whole question.

 

Let’s stand way back and check out the view from there.  We are very accustomed in this part of the world to seeing things from the perspective of our countries.  I’m not saying that we’re nationalists, necessarily, but that our frame of reference is our country.  We think of “Canadian” society, the Canadian educational system, the Canadian political system, the Canadian legal system, the Canadian transportation system, etc.  We view Canada as an entity, a thing in itself.  We use Canada as “containing” our society.

 

There is another way of thinking about these things.  It is very difficult, though, because we take our conventional view of things completely for granted.  We have difficulty even conceiving of another way of seeing things.   It requires a real perceptual shift.  But let’s try this on.  Think of the concept of Capitalism as a basic reference point rather than the idea of Canada. In this conceptual scheme capitalism has time and space dimensions but I want you to think about it more as a set of institutions or way of doing things, organizing ourselves and thinking.  The primary institutions of modern capitalism are private property, business enterprise, the machine-process, the class system, wages, the division of labor, the market and the price system.   Taken together, these institutions, along with others, make up what we might call the economic basis of capitalist society.  I’m not talking about people here, but about the ways that have evolved by which we relate to each other in society.  The primary institutions are those concerned with how we organize ourselves to make a living…that being the basis for the rest of social organization.  We have to make a living as societies before we can do anything else.   In order to survive…and this is an evolutionary perspective…capitalism generates a whole range of other institutions, or it appropriates them, borrows, begs or steals them historically from previous societies.  These institutions  we usually define as being political, social, legal, educational, etc… And they evolve  themselves and together…like all the organs of your body evolve together.

 

From this perspective, the way we organize official learning, in classrooms with the teacher as authority and children conceived of as empty vessels to be filled with standardized knowledge is a basic educational institution of modern capitalism.  Whole organizations, plants and facilities we call  schools, colleges and universities are created to service this institution which itself serves to ensure the survival of capitalism.  What kids learn in school is more important than just math and social studies.  In the way the school is organized, in the way they are regimented and disciplined, kids learn their eventual place as workers within a capitalist society. It could hardly be otherwise.  An educational institution that would contradict the basic way that we organize ourselves to make a living wouldn’t last long.

 

Countries as we know them are political institutions that arose in conjunction with the rise of capitalism in Europe.  They are the products of the growth of capitalism:  they exist to regulate the flow of capital and labour; to provide infrastructures such as roads for the movement of capital and labor (not always successfully); to defend capitalism, or sometimes the interests of a group of capitalists in competition with another group; to provide a context for law and order and the right “climate” for investment, etc… Once in existence along with the institution of citizenship, countries tend to legitimize the notion that citizenship is a status more important than that of worker.    Citizenship, with all of its caveats and rights,  is the political/legal expression of your right to sell your labour on a market.

 

Canada, then, is by definition a capitalist institution.  It “fits” into a now global system of political institutions that exist to perpetuate capitalism…and make no mistake about it, capitalism is the more fundamental institution here.  It makes little sense to speak of “Canadian” capitalism or even of “Canadian” society, for that matter.  Canada, the political institution, is part of a global capitalist society.  It makes much more sense to speak of the role of the Canadian state in the perpetuation and  survival of the growing capitalist global system.  If the government takes over the operations of a losing propositions such as B.C. Electric, then it does so to ensure that capitalism can still grow and prosper.  Capitalism needs cheap power.  There’s no money in it, but it is nonetheless necessary.  Why not get workers, as citizens and taxpayers, to subsidize it?    If the government sets up systems to train potential workers (i.e., the school system), to support unemployed workers, to nurse them back to health, to provide them with pensions upon retirement, it relieves the pressure from the capitalist to do so, a pressure that the slave master or the lord of the manor had in totality with regard to the well-being of his slaves or serfs.  So, in a big way, the governments in our country help to manage the working class.  And through the tax system arrange to have the working class cover the expenses for its own management and even cover the costs of capitalist risk-taking itself, again through the tax system.

 

This may sound cynical and negative, but I don’t think it is.  Nor do I think that the system stinks and that all capitalists and politicians are lying, good for nothing exploiters of the working class.  I’d rather be a worker with only half of my waking life in the service of someone else than a slave with my whole being and life in the service of someone else.  Besides, capitalists and politicians are harnessed to the needs of capitalism as we all are…much as all the cells in a human body are harnessed for the survival of the body as a whole…and the whole thing will live just as long as it has not exhausted all the resources it has to keep it alive.  Countries are one of those resources that serve the ends of capitalist survival.  Canada is one of those resources.

A Commie I’m not. A crusty old Marxist, maybe.

So, we had a big party at the homestead recently and I was lovingly described as a communist by my son-in-law. I appreciate the sentiment behind this remark.  For him, it’s a term of endearment.  There were many ‘left-leaners’ in the crowd who would have appreciated the comment because in some senses we share many moral precepts.  Oh, I’ve been described as a commie before.  It wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last in all likelihood.  I really don’t mind all that much.  Whether or not people actually believe that I’m a communist is another matter and I hope to set the record straight here for anyone who cares.  If people read this blog posting,  and few will, they will know my position on the matter.  For my own sense of self, for myself, I want to set the record straight once and for all.

When I state that I’m not a commie, that doesn’t mean for one second that I’m a proponent of ‘capitalism.’  Many people see communism and ‘capitalism’ as opposites, as alternate ways of organizing ‘the economy’ and ‘society.’   I don’t, nor did Karl Marx when he got old enough to think straight.  As an aside, Harold Adams Innis, the brilliant Canadian political economist and historian said, in a moment of particular lucidity, that one cannot make a contribution to the social sciences before one reaches the age of 50 and he’s probably correct.  He was 58 when he died and his best work happened in the last 5 or 6 years of his life.  Marx was born in 1818 and died in 1883.  It wasn’t until the late 1860s that he really got his shit together, hunkered down in the British Museum and started writing Capital.  Yes, yes, he wrote the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts earlier, but he really got serious later.

The reason I say I’m not a communist is that I’m not a proponent of communism.  For me, or anyone else, to be labeled a communist or anything else for that matter implies a certain level of advocacy, of ‘proponency.’  It’s not necessary to be proponent of something that will eventually happen no matter what we think or wish.  It’s like being described as an old-agist.  I know that old age will happen to all of us, but that doesn’t mean I’m a proponent of old age.  I’M getting old, but that doesn’t mean that I advocate old age. That would be ridiculous.  A communist mode of production will inevitably replace the capitalist one because the internal contradictions within the capitalist mode of production dictate it in the same way the feudal relations of production replaced slave based ones and the capitalist mode of production replaced feudal ones.  The change will happen gradually, just as old age creeps up on us.  Before it’s clear what’s happening, the old bones get brittle, the arteries plug up and the organs just can’t cut it anymore.  The resiliency of youth is past, old solutions no longer get the same results they used to.  Life inevitably brings on death, they are different sides of the same coin.  What that means for me as an individual is clear, what it means for ‘society’ or for the ‘capitalist mode of production’ is also clear.  Nothing is forever, nothing.  Not the capitalist mode of production, not our beloved countries, not our cities, not our towns, not our fabulous wealth.  The question is not whether or not the capitalist mode of production will live on forever, but when it will die.  It’s not even a question of how.  That’s also been clear for a long time.  Still, classical economics is still in classical denial over the whole thing, a fact which is made clear on virtually every page of The Economist which is a proponent of capitalism.

For what I’ve written above I could be branded with the sin of determinism, one of scholarship’s seven deadliest.   If saying that one day I will die makes me a determinist, well that’s ok by me.  Call me whatever name you want.  Furthermore,  what I write above does not mean that life is completely meaningless to me.  We live life on many levels, a day at a time.  My life is full of activity and that means that every day I make many moral decisions most having nothing or little to do with my eventual death.  I don’t  live life as though my life is about to end (I didn’t do that even when I had cancer and the possibility of my quick exit from this life was very real).  I DO things, there is nothing else to do.  I read the papers, listen to the radio and watch TV.  I play with my grandkids.  I can’t help but get outraged by the blatant bullshit and crap that comes out of the government in Ottawa on a daily basis.  Yet I understand  the role that national governments play in the capitalist mode of production and their essential collaboration in making it possible for capital to flow with greater and greater ease globally  and for controlling labour by keeping tight reins on migrations and regulation.  I haven’t lost my moral compass.  I even get angry on one level…say, at incivility, at stupid driving, at poor highway engineering…while understanding that at other levels, the picture is much different and anger makes no sense.  As I write above, we live life on many levels, many planes.  They are all connected although not always in obvious ways.  Even otherwise highly educated people don’t see the connections.  The connections, interconnections and interweavings become visible only after a sustained gaze upon them.  To see them requires special training.  Somewhere, Norbert Elias got that training, as did many other thinkers who have had a sustained influence on me over the decades.

Does Class Matter in Canada?

A script I wrote in 1993 for a Knowledge Network telecourse.

There are various ways that we can think about the question: Does Class Matter in Canada.  Because the question arises in the context of the conflict perspective in sociology, I want to address it from that perspective, but from a classical conflict perspective as well as from a more contemporary perspective.  From the classical conflict perspective in sociology, the question relates to the genesis of capitalism.  That is, to what extent class analysis can explain the course of history.  There is a contemporary conflict perspective on the question too, but it focusses on inequalities in society and life chances.

 

The question “Does Class Matter” arises partly because, in the popular mind, history is created mostly by politicians and political and military decisions.  That’s what gets into the history books.  Class, by any definition, doesn’t enter into the picture.  But there’s more to it than that.  In an article called “Does Class Matter,?” Wallace Clement of Carleton University notes that class analysis is currently under attack for being too narrowly focussed and for not bringing ethnicity, region and gender sufficiently into sociological and historical analysis.  I agree with Clement when he concludes that these factors are important, but that fact alone doesn’t lessen the importance of class.  And it’s necessary to point out, I think, that class doesn’t refer only to the “economic” relationship between the working class and the capitalist class, it refers to the entire spectrum of relations in society that are the experience of living in class society.

 

Class does kind of hit you square between the eyes, though, in a situation like the one surrounding closure of the Cassiar mine in northern British Columbia in February, 1992   In this case, the “company,” a subsidiary of the Princeton Mining Corporation of Vancouver, decided to close the mine for various reasons.  The effect of this closure, whatever the reasons, was the dislocation of 400 workers and their families, who were required to move out of their community, the company-owned town of Cassiar.  The place was then put up for auction.  The mine owners had every right to close down the mine and, in a sense, miners have to expect that mines must eventually shut down.  The decision on the part of the mine owners, nevertheless, demonstrates clearly the absolute power that the capitalist class has in disposing of the working class as it sees fit without regard for community, democratic process or anything else.  There’s no question of who’s in control here.  Same goes for mill shutdowns in Port Alberni and in single-industry towns all over the province.  Just ask the people of Sparwood how they were affected by the bankruptcy and shutdown of a Westar mine there.

 

The clear demonstrations of power by the capitalist class in these circumstances are not so clear in others, especially with regard to the experience of everyday life in capitalist society.  Many contemporary conflict theorists have focused on class inequality and its effects in everyday life.   Here, the overwhelming “collective consciousness” or ethos of capitalist life more often than not masks its class-based origins and sometimes, as with racism, family violence or education, there seems to be no connection whatsoever with class.  We have the illusion of living in a relatively classless society.

 

Class analysis from a classical conflict perspective is not concerned so much with documenting the personal experience of life in capitalist society as with how history unfolds in the dynamics of class conflict.  According to Marx, if you occupy a position in the class that owns the means of production, the factories, mines, mills, etc., then you are considered a member of the ruling class.  If not, you’re working class.  Obviously, however, there are significant differences in the life chances of a bank vice-president sitting in the top floor office in a downtown Vancouver skyscraper and those of a kitchen worker in a fast food restaurant, even though they’re both, technically, working class.  Furthermore, there are a number of ways that we get sorted out in our society, by gender, ethnic origin, religion, education, occupation, income, citizenship, organizational affiliation, etc…

There’s a very significant fragmentation and stratification of the working class in our society.

 

There’s very little chance of moving from one class into another in our society if we think in terms of a ruling class and a working class.  Hope burns eternal in most of us, however, of “getting ahead,” or of doing just a little bit better than the Joneses…even if we’re all on welfare.  Even at this level, however, there is really not as much mobility as you might think and we hold our relative positions in the class structure remarkably consistently from generation to generation.  The reason is that once a particular group gains an advantage in the class structure, it will do whatever it has to to maintain, strenghten and transfer that advantage to the next generation.

 

When sociologists talk about life chances in capitalist society, they refer to the ability or potential to live a happy, healthy and economically secure life…to quality of life.  It’s pretty obvious that there are different qualities of life, that there are major differences in the life chances of a single mother on welfare and those of a college president.  Conventional wisdom and liberal ideology don’t recognize the existence of social class, so inequality between a single mother on welfare and a college president is always seen as the result of personal characteristics.  The burden is always on the individual.  You occupy your place in society because of intelligence, or lack of it, willingness to work, thrift, courage, etc… By this analysis, those of you who have poorly-paid jobs, who are unemployed, underemployed, or on welfare, with low levels of schooling and no money are that way because you’re stupid, aren’t willing to work hard enough, or you’re wimps, or all three.  You may even believe that yourselves.  If you’ve bought the dominant ideology in our society, you probably do go along with this “cream rises to the top” business.

 

The problem is that persistent inequality in our society is not explainable with reference to personal characteristics alone although they may play a role in some cases.  In our society there are gradations of statuses on the basis of income, occupation and education.   Sociologists often refer to these gradations as strata or classes.  These should not be confused with the classical conflict definition of class, which refers only to your relationship to the means of production.  It’s not quite as simple as this, but if you score high on all three characteristics, good job, high education and lots of money you are considered upper class.  Score low and you’re lower class.  It’s only too obvious we’re not all equal in terms of condition, but what about opportunity? We have equal opportunity don’t we?  If we work hard, we can get ahead, can’t we?  Sorry to disappoint you.

 

If you were born female to native parents in Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands what do you think your chances would be of being appointed to the Board of Directors of Noranda, or General Motors, or the Bank of Montreal?  Would your chances be any better if you were born male to a single mother in Burnaby?  What about if you were born male or female to the president of a major corporation living on the waterfront in West Vancouver, in Point Grey or Shaughnessy?  What all of these questions address is the relationship between social stratification, social mobility and life chances, but at the individual level.  Stratification goes much beyond the individual level.  It is a social fact.  What we have a hard time accepting is that we are somehow locked into a particular strata or class.  Is there social mobility? Let’s look at the way most of us think of as the best way to get ahead: education. Is there a class bias in access to higher education in B.C.?  Is a post-secondary education accessible to all and does it lead to social mobility and a better life?  In a paper called Education Under Seige: Financing and Accessibility in B.C. Universities, published in 1985 but still very much relevant today, Neil Guppy of UBC concludes that there has been no democritization of access to university.  He reports, based on a study he conducted that vocational institutes and community colleges cater to working class or lower middle class students while universities continue to cater to upper and upper middle class students.  And the reality is that a university education still produces greater material rewards so unequal access to university tends to reinforce social inequality.

 

For most of us, most of the time, class, defined both in classical and contemporary terms, has an enormous influence on our life chances. There you have it.

Countries are about to lose their reason for being (Part 1).

Some of us, many of us, really have the sense that our country is one of the most important things that give us our identity as individuals and as cultures. But what is the origins of this thing we call ‘country’ or ‘nation-state?’ Does it ‘deserve’ our undying loyalty, love and respect?  I wrote a script for The Knowledge Network many years ago (1992 to be precise) in which I address these questions and other related ones with regard to Canada.  If I were to write it today, I wouldn’t change much, but I will update this commentary in a new post soon.  Now, read on and comment if you like.

Is Canada a Capitalist Society?  Interesting question and not as simple to answer as it seems, I think.  Generally, when this question comes up, people immediately think about Capitalism and Socialism or Communism.  Canada isn’t communist, that’s clear…but is it socialist?  Well, what does socialism mean?  Many people think of socialism as government ownership and control.  For some, socialism means no more free enterprise, no more freedom of choice and no more good life!   For others it means Medicare, EI,  Canada Pension and Social Services.  If socialism means government takeover of private business, then the W.A.C. Bennett Social Credit rabidly free enterprise government of  B.C. was one of the first socialist governments in Canada.  It took over B.C. Electric and made it into B.C. Hydro, took over responsibility for ferries in the province and monopolized the sale of alcohol.  Well, most people would never think of the Social Credit Party as socialist, but there you have it.  Just kidding of course…but it still leaves us with the problem of coming up with a way of deciding whether or not Canada is a capitalist society.  Is it mostly capitalist with some socialist policies?  Can we talk of shades of pink, or is it one or the other?  Well, maybe there’s another way of approaching the whole question.

 

Let’s stand way back and check out the view from there.  We are very accustomed in this part of the world to seeing things from the perspective of our countries.  I’m not saying that we’re nationalists, necessarily, but that our frame of reference is our country.  We think of “Canadian” society, the Canadian educational system, the Canadian political system, the Canadian legal system, the Canadian transportation system, etc.  We view Canada as an entity, a thing in itself.  We use Canada as “containing” our society.

 

There is another way of thinking about these things.  It is very difficult, though, because we take our conventional view of things completely for granted.  We have difficulty even conceiving of another way of seeing things.   It requires a real perceptual shift.  But let’s try this on.  Think of the concept of Capitalism as a basic reference point rather than the idea of Canada. In this conceptual scheme capitalism has time and space dimensions but I want you to think about it more as a set of institutions or way of doing things, organizing ourselves and thinking.  The primary institutions of modern capitalism are private property, business enterprise, the machine-process, the class system, wages, the division of labor, the market and the price system.   Taken together, these institutions, along with others, make up what we might call the economic basis of capitalist society.  I’m not talking about people here, but about the ways that have evolved by which we relate to each other in society.  The primary institutions are those concerned with how we organize ourselves to make a living…that being the basis for the rest of social organization.  We have to make a living as societies before we can do anything else.   In order to survive…and this is an evolutionary perspective…capitalism generates a whole range of other institutions, or it appropriates them, borrows, begs or steals them historically from previous societies.  These institutions  we usually define as being political, social, legal, educational, etc… And they evolve  themselves and together…like all the organs of your body evolve together.

 

From this perspective, the way we organize official learning, in classrooms with the teacher as authority and children conceived of as empty vessels to be filled with standardized knowledge is a basic educational institution of modern capitalism.  Whole organizations, plants and facilities we call  schools, colleges and universities are created to service this institution which itself serves to ensure the survival of capitalism.  What kids learn in school is more important than just math and social studies.  In the way the school is organized, in the way they are regimented and disciplined, kids learn their eventual place as workers within a capitalist society. It could hardly be otherwise.  An educational institution that would contradict the basic way that we organize ourselves to make a living wouldn’t last long.

 

Countries as we know them are political institutions that arose in conjunction with the rise of capitalism in Europe.  They are the products of the growth of capitalism:  they exist to regulate the flow of capital and labour; to provide infrastructures such as roads for the movement of capital and labor (not always successfully); to defend capitalism, or sometimes the interests of a group of capitalists in competition with another group; to provide a context for law and order and the right “climate” for investment, etc… Once in existence along with the institution of citizenship, countries tend to legitimize the notion that citizenship is a status more important than that of worker.    Citizenship, with all of its caveats and rights,  is the political/legal expression of your right to sell your labour on a market.

 

Canada, then, is by definition a capitalist institution.  It “fits” into a now global system of political institutions that exist to perpetuate capitalism…and make no mistake about it, capitalism is the more fundamental institution here.  It makes little sense to speak of “Canadian” capitalism or even of “Canadian” society, for that matter.  Canada, the political institution, is part of a global capitalist society.  It makes much more sense to speak of the role of the Canadian state in the perpetuation and  survival of the growing capitalist global system.  If the government takes over the operations of a losing propositions such as B.C. Electric, then it does so to ensure that capitalism can still grow and prosper.  Capitalism needs cheap power.  There’s no money in it, but it is nonetheless necessary.  Why not get workers, as citizens and taxpayers, to subsidize it?    If the government sets up systems to train potential workers (i.e., the school system), to support unemployed workers, to nurse them back to health, to provide them with pensions upon retirement, it relieves the pressure from the capitalist to do so, a pressure that the slave master or the lord of the manor had in totality with regard to the well-being of his slaves or serfs.  So, in a big way, the governments in our country help to manage the working class.  And through the tax system arrange to have the working class cover the expenses for its own management and even cover the costs of capitalist risk-taking itself, again through the tax system.

 

This may sound cynical and negative, but I don’t think it is.  Nor do I think that the system stinks and that all capitalists and politicians are lying, good for nothing exploiters of the working class.  I’d rather be a worker with only half of my waking life in the service of someone else than a slave with my whole being and life in the service of someone else.  Besides, capitalists and politicians are harnessed to the needs of capitalism as we all are…much as all the cells in a human body are harnessed for the survival of the body as a whole…and the whole thing will live just as long as it has not exhausted all the resources it has to keep it alive.  Countries are one of those resources that serve the ends of capitalist survival.  Canada is one of those resources.