Under capitalism, everything is game. Whether human life, labor power, earth, knowledge, ideas, thought or other abstract concepts: if it can be bought, sold, traded, invested in or speculated on it becomes commodified. Once absorbed by capital circulation all things are disciplined to the rigors of value creation. Profit for the sake of profit then becomes the bread of life and the market economy becomes the precious womb. Any decent capitalist will go to great lengths to defend and define this virtue. His sustained success depends on it. He realizes that the aggregate of capital must open up more and more markets, search for more and more resources; he also knows the velocity of his capital must increase continually. But passions cannot grantee these things alone. The capitalist needs law and order. Society, in turn, becomes organized not for the good of humanity but in the name of surplus-value. This is how the capitalist issues his orders. Treat it as such.
For example, as the Untied State’s were winding out of the great depression in the early 1940’s, and after WWII extended it economic super power status, big capitalists ruthlessly laid out plans worthy of their new found hegemony. They realized quickly that vast modifications and structural improvements had to be made everywhere to valorize new capital investments and to stuff out the world market it now controlled.
In an expression of this economic dynamism and as more and more vehicles appeared in the service of capital, congress in 1956 authorized the Interstate Highway system to be built. Other than dislodging millions of the rural poor out of their communities, this 47,000 mile network improved upon the roads built under the Federal Road Aid Act of 1916. Reflected in the act was a text book example of a need to organize the American soul around the orbit of capital accumulation.
“Capital as such – its being posited with the necessary scope – will produce roads only when the production of roads has become a necessity for the producers, especially for productive capital itself; a condition for the capitalist’s profit making.”Grundrisse
In other words, it is not that the capitalist likes you that he gave the car, and it’s not that he hates you that he gives the speeding ticket. His technologies, the car for example, increase the rate of circulation and ultimately surplus value creation.
A chief concern, to hell or high water, is that sooner than later the economy needs to expand if it is to productively redeploy all the newly valorized capital. Or else it is devalued or destroyed. Thus a greater sum of capital is dumped into the vortex than before, like fuel to a fire or a growth like a cancer. Somewhere in the process inefficient industries splinter off into new peripheral industries to cater to bottom lines and rates of profit. These new industries require additional fixed investments to allow this metamorphosis to happen yet again and on a bigger scale.
Thus the highway system in America was built out of the law of capital accumulation.
Similarly, capitalist laws also have disciplinary functions. To smooth out the social order for the great strangle hold that accompanies the flex of bourgeois society, and to protect land and resources stolen from the people, the capitalists have created the police forces. The peace of mind this affords the greedy brain of the capitalist class is important. How else could they safely extract wealth from their working class prey.
Living in the largest city of the world’s most advanced industrial nation, London in 1829 organized the first metropolitan police force. The police were intended to act as the bulwark against crime; to keep crime from flooding into and disturbing the peace of the middle-class [ the bourgeoisie] residential districts.American Odyssey pg. 626
It can be shown that any social order that has as an axiom the greatest concern for the dignity of all human life is an abomination to the capitalist. A glory that may equal to that of his profit is simple flasehood or sacrilegious. To put it another way, the capitalist law and order are diametrically opposed to quality human life and only serve to create a world where profits are its pillars.
The genius of God’s social order also rests in law. Unlike the capitalist they contain buffers against oppression. Each decree from God is for society at large, for government of nations. For example, his weekly Sabbath of rest is a labor law, for man and animal. On this day no work can be done. Every 50 years is a year of release, every debt is freed. Every 7th year the land is to rest and regenerate agriculturally. The means of production are to be held in common and can not be held privately by anybody. Just weights and measures must be used. Provisions are made that after a term of service a worker may leave his employment, and with means of production. And so on. If applied, the law of God would utterly destroy capitalism over night.
Until it is realized that God’s law is important and vital to the redemptive struggle of humanity, man’s alienation will be the fundamental evil of capitalist society. In the meantime, the social genius of God will continue to baffle, nay, puzzle the capitalist.
…I teach you the laws and customs that you are to observe in the land you are to enter and make your own. Keep them, observe them, and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding. When they come to know of all these laws they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation.” And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as Yahweh our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation is there that has laws and customs to match this whole Law that I put before you today? (Deuteronomy 4:5-8)
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