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Property is Racism

 

“Property is theft [La propriété c’est le vol]!”

— Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

The operation of capitalism over the last five hundred years has yielded the result that the greatest share of the world’s wealth, and the firmest grip on the control levers of the world’s economy and politics, are held by the white race. Any group photograph of the leaders of the G8 nations will give you a clear idea of the current ethnometrics of the bounty of the Garden of Eden.

The domestic scene in the United States reflects the global situation: whites own and control, non-whites scramble for work and life’s necessities. We are speaking here in generalities, not absolutes (social absolutes are rationally impossible).

To see the racial-tribal pith of capitalism we only have to list the many names it has taken over time: the exploration for trade routes in the 15th century led to the North and South American “conquests” during the 16th century (the destruction of Native American civilizations), the “mercantilism” of the 17th century (e.g., the Dutch East India Company, the African slave trade), the “colonialism” of the 18th century (e.g., the British Empire), and the “imperialism” of the 19th and early 20th centuries (e.g., the Opium War and Chinese concessions, the annexation of Hawaii, the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars).

When the “eminence grise” of the United States, Dick Cheney, speaks about a “clash of civilizations” he is using white tribal language for the war against Islam, which is today’s primary impediment to the ambition for global control by white tribal leaders. It is the mania for control, rather then merely religious bigotry or fanatical avarice, that fuels the drive for white supremacy. The Iraq War of 2003 to the present is just the latest incident in a millennium-long drive for white tribal control that probably started with the European Christian Crusades and the Spanish war against Islam from about the 11th century.

In national and world societies where wealth — property — is racially and ethnically concentrated, the defense of property is the defense of racial preference in favor of the dominant tribe; and the primacy of property (e.g., corporations, “capital”) over individuals, in the administration of government, laws and “justice”, is the protection of white supremacy.

Recent decisions by the US Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts have unambiguously reaffirmed the basic principles of the United States as a white supremacy state. The Roberts court ruled that universities cannot use race in making preferential decisions for admission, and in another case that child-care workers do not have the right to organize unions and thus seek benefits and claim “property rights” in their jobs; rights such as overtime pay (and presumably rights of due process and to grievance proceedings before neutral arbitrators), long recognized for many other types of laborers.

The court decisions are startlingly clear: any impediment to white ambition is illegal. This devolved from an argument about educational opportunities, but it seems improbable not to be taken in general. Such illegal impediments include any “redistributive” or guilt-induced “social leveling” legislation and administrative procedures devised in the 20th century as a result of the Civil Rights struggles. “Affirmative action”, racial preferences for non-white university students to compensate for historical (inter-tribal) injustices, is an impediment to the ambitions of the type of people who can now afford to get into and through college, and so must be dropped. Those who can’t afford to locate themselves in well-funded school districts for their primary and secondary education shouldn’t suddenly expect a “helping hand” when it comes time for college. “Stay in your place,” how much clearer can the message get? This brings to mind Anatole France (1894), “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.” Remember that: “majestic equality.”

Families in all income classes need child-care. At the top, this may take the form of nannies, tutors and selective (expensive) group facilities. For lower income classes, child-care is provided by a mix of public and private group facilities (licensed or not, with more children per attendant adult as costs decrease), and a haphazard network of babysitting for fees, or labor exchange. Child care workers are primarily women, and in many cases they are also non-white (racially and/or ethnically).

In the United States, people of wealth can claim an impressive tax deduction for child-care expenses by means of a “dependent care account”. One pays (by payroll deduction) into an tax-sheltered account held by a third party (like an insurance company), and you subsequently make claims against this account for your expenses with licensed child-care providers. Naturally, there is a great deal of paperwork that accompanies the circuitous movement (dare I say laundering?) of your child-care dollars, but it is all worth it in the end because the income you report for tax purposes has been reduced to noticeable effect. This is by far the most lucrative child-care break available through the US Tax Code. Dependent care accounts are a benefit offered by some employers to their “permanent” employees.

People of modest means can also claim one or more of the direct child-care deductions and credit offered by the US Tax Code. However, the circumstances allowing this are that modest incomes (a “low” upper limit for eligibility is set by the tax code) have had to support relatively large child-care expenses. For people in such circumstances, it is usually a much better idea to preserve the family’s cash by relying on relatives to baby-sit, or to engage neighborhood (officially “black market” if not licensed) babysitting providers, and participate in labor exchanges (barter). This is the real child-care system of many inner city neighborhoods.

Imagine the expansion of the “dependent care” system to all incomes levels, a national child-care benefit, call it “single-payer child-care.” That is what the Roberts court is firmly set to prevent. If child-care workers are recognized as a “unit” or “type” in the labor market with unionization rights, then the likely explosion of child-care labor costs (to boost child-care worker pay to living-wage standards, pay for health and pension benefits, and also fund overtime and vacation pay, as well as paid sick leave — and maternity leave) would directly raise the price of child-care. Because of the broad need for child-care, a radical increase in costs would immediately result in popular political pressure for relief. Tax relief on such a scale — and over all income levels — would necessarily cut into the “lion’s share” (from Aesop’s fable) of government subsidy enjoyed by the military, the “corporate sector”, and the fat cats lapping up Bush’s “tax cut”. The Roberts court knows who it serves and it remains true to this principle: property is superior to people.

The unionization of child-care workers would be a vast expansion of unionization in the fastest growing sector of the labor market, the “service sector”, which can be thought of as the post Civil War replacement of slavery. It would simply not do for “property” to have to contend with increased labor costs for domestic services. The decrease of tax revenues for military projects, and the slackening of corporate dividend yields due to the funding of didy-changing for the children of the nation’s workforce by unionized nannies is just too much to seriously contemplate.

An ancillary problem with the unionization of child-care workers (and the subsequent nationalization of child-care expenses) is that it would boost the economics of a large segment of the non-white population: besides elevating the situation of child-care workers, the parents using these services would be freed of child-care worries and thus able to compete for higher-level jobs (more time away from home), and many “minority” child-care “businesses” would see greater profitability. The possibility of any such social leveling must be nipped in the bud, and it has been. Again, the message is clear, “stay in your place, the flattening of the class distribution is not acceptable.” In the USAmerican Raj, the selection of an “affordable” nanny from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria, Somalia, Tibet and Black America must not be imperiled by the imposition of “unionism” and all its attendant costs and legalities (e.g., workman’s compensation, egads!). The supply of reliable, quiet, inexpensive and trustworthy servants must not be corrupted by thoughts of equal opportunity.

The Roberts court today is just as dedicated to the cause of “property” as was the Taney court during the Buchanan administration (just prior to Lincoln’s). In 1857, the Taney court determined that Dred Scott, a black slave who had made his way to a “free” (slavery illegal) state, was property, and that such a designation overrode any considerations of him as a man, a human being, even a person (which would theoretically imply he was endowed with “inalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”). Then as now, the masters were not to be encumbered by the aspirations of the servants.

A century and a half ago, USAmerican servants were often slaves and thus property to be used at the discretion of their masters, the “owners”. Today, USAmerican servants are technically free and officially human beings, even persons, but they are tribally inferior, and an expense property-owners seek to minimize. So, our slavery is “outsourced” to a domestic “service sector”, which must be kept in check as the Roberts court well knows; and “off-shored” to globalization sweatshops.

The most pressing “servant problem” facing the white supremacy states today is the difficulty of disembodying foreign labor prior to its importation and consumption, this is called “immigration.” Here in the U.S., the problem is generally seen as: how do you bring in Mexican labor while excluding Mexican laborers? The object is to supply low-cost labor to profitable (and subsidized) corporate agriculture (and for other jobs of hard labor), without diluting the white population fraction and weakening its cultural control. We want to import the work of millions, and yet deport the human costs and needs on which the generation of that labor energy depends. We want slaves, and that wanting “we” is the racist core of our white supremacy economic states.

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau (1762)

But, I remember about the Bastille.

MANUEL GARCIA, Jr. is a recently retired physicist from a US Department of Energy laboratory. He is presently on holiday, and his technical interests involve fluids, electricity, heat flow and energy. His non-technical interests are varied, one being the social responsibility of scientists, another being the social dimensions of choices for the energy technologies that power a community. He can be reached at mango@idiom.com.