Thursday, August 8, 2013

Theory of the Leeching Class

"The thief or swindler who has gained great wealth by his delinquency has a better chance than the small thief of escaping the rigorous penalty of the law..." ~ Thorstein Veblen.

You're not allowed to criticize capitalism in polite company these days, despite its abysmal record. Of course, by "capitalism" we really mean business. And as Thorstein Veblen so eloquently put it, business is a parasite.

For proof, look no further than your own bank. Thanks to a court decision in favor of retailers, banks don't get to pick up a third of all plastic card transactions anymore - which should be cause to celebrate. These shadow charges have been the real inflation squeezing your resources, as it necessitated everyone from Sachs to 7-11 to mark up prices just to maintain their own balances.

So this decision would be a good thing... Except banks will now screw you more directly. Higher overdraft fees, higher minimum balances, more and more hidden charges that spring up on you right when you think you've got enough for bills. Because the logic of American business, as demonstrated time and again, is "Fuck the consumer!"

"With a rake!"

It's anti-consumer bullshit on a level also seen in the more and more degenerate console gaming industry - gauge customers at every opportunity and then punish them for the vagaries of the market. The only way it's not economic suicide is because there's no real competition. Every bank is doing it, all the time.

It's really the market loving libertards who should be up in arms about this. They're not, of course. They have much more pressing concerns, like jacking off to Atlas Shrugged or sputtering at irrelevant bloggers. Because they've not only internalized the Veblen critique of business, they're thick enough to think it's a good thing -

"However important the independent owner of property may be for the economic order of a free society, his importance is perhaps even greater in the fields of thought and opinion, of tastes and beliefs." ~ Friedrich Hayek

Friedrich Hayek repeated verbatim exactly what Veblen sneered at in his Theory of the Leisure Class - that the whole point of the elite is to accumulate expensive things, reinforcing that they are expensive (regardless of actual utility) and making the elite look worthy of their station. Except he presented it as the desirable state of things, being a reactionary opposed to full exercise of positive freedom by the common workers.

"Filthy peasants..."

And libertarians, dupes that they are,  accept this as a moral imperative - "Of course the banks can screw us, they're rich!" The wealthy have the right, by virtue of all their shiny knickknacks, to set a moral standard regardless of how patently immoral it is. It's a disgustingly servile mentality, a rationalization of loserdom. And it's coming from the people loudly campaigning for freedom of the individual.

How can you support a "free market" if it makes you a slave?

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