Advocates of the “Free Market” based economy and the “Free Market” based political system (those things come inseparably together, as it was understood since the times of Adam Smith and David Ricardo), say that the argument about “unfairness” or “fairness” of Capitalism is mute, irrelevant, or even not reflecting objectively existing things, being an imaginary khimera of the minds of the few. Because the Real Value of the worker’s labor is “discovered” on the Free Market, which is the True, the Natural, and the Unskewed instrument for doing that. If there are the workers who agree to work 14 hours a day, send their children in mines, and earn few cents for their work, therefore that is the True Value of their labor.
Meanwhile, it’s said, the true value of the things we understand only when we lose them. Let’s imagine that the whole society, which formulated (may be the few of it), agreed upon (maybe voluntarily, maybe forcefully), and carried on (all together) those relationships that make it running, has disappeared. There are no people who produce goods and services, there is no exchange of them, there are no laws to regulate this exchange, there are no courts to oversee execution of the laws, and there are no police and army to enforce them.
You are (and maybe your buddies from the 1%) all alone with all your gold, mansions, yachts, private jets, and records in banks’ databases. And there is no border control, as well. But there are the rest almost 7 billion people of the world who are curious what’s going on there…
Before, when the society was there, you were whining about too high and too progressive taxes, about liberal university professors and pesky parasitic freeloaders… Now, when it’s gone, what part of your wealth will you give up for the work it was doing for you? 50%? 100%? 200% or 1000%, which you do not have, but you would not regret to give up had you have it?
Why we did this thought experiment, and what have we learned from it? It illustrated that the so called “Free Market” model of the socio-economical relationships is not The Only, and The Natural one. It was smashed and sliced in pieces by the Battle Axe of the Drakkar ship rider, whose model of the inter-personal relationships is much more Primordial than yours, and the last thing you may find in it is the respect to the Sacred and Unalienable Right for Private Property.
The value of the worker’s labor and the property ownership will be drastically different under different socio-economical models, even not necessarily so drastically dissimilar. For example, still under Capitalism, but either under the Law and Government always siding up with the property owners in labor disputes and outlawing the collective bargaining, or under the Law and Government that guarantees legality of the Trade Unions and protects the rights of the workers for Strikes and similar bargaining instruments.
More than the “Free Market” model is not The Only, or the Preferable, or One of the Ordinary models, it’s quite an Awkward model, which is ultimately culture-driven, hugely dependent on the collective support, maybe not always voluntary, frequently compulsive, and sometimes plainly enforced, but still cooperative, yet, it tremendously undervalues input of the majority in it.
Still, there exist people who think this strange model is “fair”, or at least “objective”. In eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, political thinkers, philosophers and social anthropologies, such as Charles Montesquieu, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, came to understanding that the laws, political and economical systems come to being not arbitrary, or by the will from the above, but have their roots deeply imbedded in the natural, material, cultural and historical causes.
Building on these ideas, young Karl Marx came up with the idea that has firmly secured him a place on the philosophical Olympus, doesn’t matter how his economical and revolutionary ideas have played (or have not played) out later. He proposed that not only different societies may have specific and different politico-economical systems, based on their historical, cultural, or geographical background, but different stratas in the single society, based on their background, may have eternally conflicting and irreconcilable views and understandings of the world, cultures and ind interests. Later, he fixated his attention just on one of the possible partitions of the society – economically based division on the Worker and the Bourgeois Classes, and their warfare.
Yet, Max Weber applied another partitioning to understand roots of Capitalism better, proposing that the ideological, religious strata of the european society of the seventeenth century, such as Protestants, particularly Calvinists, were the practical inventors of the Free Market Capitalism. When the Medieval German, and other North-European Bakers, Butchers and Shoemakers decided to ditch that pagan Greco-Roman understanding of Christianity, and to come back to the original Judaic understanding, they come up with the Economically Chosen People ideology. Or, rather, they came up with understanding of the Medieval person of what could have been the ideology of the Middle-Eastern barbaric shepherds, who, they were told, received God’s approval of their ideology. The ideology which was even abandoned by the contemporary Judaism (counting it from the second century AD, pharisee-based rabbinic Judaism).
Will this archaic Free Market ideology ever reconcile with the Modern thinking? May be yes, if it changes.
Will the Modern thinking ever reconcile with the Free Market ideology? Never, – for the history and progress never crawls back into archaism. This cultural partition of the society on the Moderns and the Archaic is irreconcilable, for the senses of fairness, and the political-economical models, which implement these senses of fairness, will be inevitably separated by the chasm of the temporal and cultural background differences. With the Archaics holding so much political power, and this cultural chasm widening because the Moderns going further and further into the future, the Storm is inevitable. It is Coming.