Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trickle Up: People Need JOBS

As I continue to stew over the to bail or not to bail debates and the shovelling of our dollars into the gaping maws of too-big-to-fail fraud farms and factories, ie investment banks, something put the Lincoln quote about labor and capitol in my head. Lincoln talked about the "superiority of labor to capital" in his "non SOTU address" to congress in 1861. I've always wondered about the context -- isn't that always what we liberals fail to understand ot acknowledge? we always take the stupid fucking things said by stupid fucking people like Palin, McCain, Limplog, Vannity et al out of context.

So here's the famous Lincoln quote "in context:"

... Monarchy itself is sometimes hinted at as a possible refuge from the power of the people.

In my present position I could scarcely be justified were I to omit raising a warning voice against this approach of returning despotism.

It is not needed nor fitting here that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions, but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life.

Now there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.

Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation.

Think of all that in the context of today's impending Refuckyoucan Depression II.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is a good quote. Greed is something that set to a panic on Wall Street caused the big boys to cheat big time. Maddox comes to mind. AIG, front runners who couldn't hold a candle to honest Abe Lincoln.