All Arbeit contributed to the Life-Energy Reserve must originate from one of two sources: either Vocations synchronized with the VCS Economy or from Real Trade Agreements. Any Arbeit that does not come either or both will not be registered by the Central Bank. The Intent behind the arrangement has multiple justifications and they can range from deterring Speculative practices to finding a barometer for the extent of black market activities. However, it should be noted that those are not the only ones but they can be seen as being the most common. Another less common purpose includes ensuring political-economic representation of all members of the nation and foreigners working on behalf of the nation under a Trade Agreement. This one in particular is hardly taken into consideration under Liberal Capitalism due to the peculiar structure of Parliamentary Democracy and the ideological preference for employers or employees to dictate the wages, up to and including acts of Strikes and Lockouts.
Speculation in Liberal Capitalist financial parlance refers to the act of purchasing something deemed ‘valuable’ and expecting more Kapital from it on a later date. The more expensive the Price of something becomes in the wake of the purchase, the more Kapital can be expected when the time comes to sell it. The practice involves exploiting short-term fluctuations in the Price of something as opposed to the Value inherent within it. Speculation can occur in anything tradable in the Financial Markets, but the most common examples have been real estate, gold and silver, fine art, derivatives, and even foreign currencies. The whole basis is influenced by the Incentives of Supply and Demand.
In case one is unaware, Speculation does have the potential to cause Economic Bubbles and distortions of the true Value due to the Price fluctuations. A “Speculative Bubble” occurs whenever something is overpriced and does not reflect its true Value. And like most Economic Bubbles, Speculative Bubbles assume the form of a euphoric high and a dysphoric low comparable to the use of narcotics. While it is true that Speculation can help Financial Markets make adjustments to Prices based on their scarcity, there will be possibilities where speculators will distort the true Values by confusing them with their Prices. Of course, this phenomenon is a rare occurrence and can be corrected by the Financial Markets
One of the problems associated with Free Trade Agreements and Globalization in particular are the ease of importing cheap labor and how that in turn fuels anti-immigration and fears of demographic decline. Nationalistic hostility toward FTAs occur in appeals against immigration and the displacement of the working class, advocacy of Protectionist policies and promotion of domestic productions. Such Nationalistic tendencies are favorable to Socialism, especially if the Nationalists themselves demonstrate a willingness to condone Socialism as being far more beneficial to the nation than Liberal Capitalism. Another problem introduced by FTAs has been the proliferation of human trafficking and forced labor in Western countries, where people are forced to work against their will for very small amounts of Kapital. Those practices are despicable to both Socialists and Nationalists and that can be a point of coalescence for both Nationalism and Socialism. A discussion on immigration and emigration in relation to the Work-Standard is beyond the focus of this entry and will need to be covered in its own entry within the SMP Compendium’s section on international trade. Similar discussions may also be addressed in entries pertaining to the concept of “Socialist Patriotism” from Marxism-Leninism.
It must be repeated until it becomes internalized that there is nothing Socialistic about Labor Strikes and Lockouts. There is, however, something very Capitalistic about them and the reasoning behind it will no doubt be controversial but nevertheless understandable from even the standpoint of Marxism-Leninism. Agitating for higher wages and fewer hours in work-week is impractical insofar as such disruptive behaviors do not realize Socialism within the nation-state. Vladimir Lenin understood this and it became the focus of his What is to be Done? treatise. Even Oswald Spengler acknowledged it in criticizing the Capitalistic motivations behind them in Prussianism and Socialism.
The reasoning of both men can be summarized as the following. The idea that a multitude of labor unions are ‘competing’ against each other and their employers for the most Kapital makes a complete mockery of Socialism. It essentially repeats the same imagery of speculators at a Financial Market ‘competing’ against each other and the Financial Markets themselves for the most Kapital, which in turn is a perversion of true competition in the economic sense. In fact, the former is influenced by the latter just as the latter is influenced by the former, creating a sort of negative feedback loop. Some labor unions will have more Kapital for themselves before the next Lockout by their employers just as some speculators will have more Kapital for themselves before the next Economic Bubble. The problem here is not a quantitative issue but a qualitative one.
In essence, both cases pertain to the issue of two things, “Labor” and “Currency,” being treated as mere Commodities by Kapital. The labor unions agitated for higher wages and fewer work hours on the basis of their Labor. The speculators agitated for higher Prices and fewer risks on the basis of their Currency. No Incentive can explain this pattern of behavior as effectively as an Intent will. On a conscious level, the labor unions were Striking and the speculators did their Shorting on the basis that the Prices of two specific Commodities do not reflect their true Values and are trying to correct them. The employers and the Financial Markets prefer opposing the demands, with the former either causing a Lockout or the latter causing a Bubble that can result in more problems for the rest of the nation. But on a subconscious level, however, this is the Liberal Capitalist definition of what passes as ‘competition’ and Spengler described this behavior best in several specific passages from Prussianism and Socialism:
The same style is still apparent today in every English trade company and every American trust. Their aim is not to work steadily to raise the entire nation’s standard of living, it is rather to produce private fortunes by the use of private capital, to overcome private competition, and to exploit the public through the use of advertising, price wars, artificial stimulation of the consumer, and strict control of the ratio of supply and demand.
Likewise characteristic of the Englishman is his overestimation of the importance of capital sums for economic health. The materialist finds it impossible to understand that the English concept of capital is psychologically, and therefore practically (the practical life is, after all, an expression of psychic conditions) different from the French system of private means and the Prussian concept of administrative funds. The English have never been good at psychology. They have always considered their own ideas as logically binding on “mankind.” In fact, all of modern political economics rests on the basic error of equating economic life everywhere in the world with an exclusively English interest in business, and the error is committed even by those who reject the theories of the Manchester School. Marxism, in the very act of negating this theory, has adopted its patterns quite completely. This explains the grotesque fiasco of all predictions concerning the outbreak of the World War; it was said that the collapse of world economy would follow within a few months.
Work was for [Karl Marx] a commodity, not an obligation. That is the core of his political economics. His ethics were the ethics of big business. Not that business is unethical; but we can read between the lines his opinion that the laborer is a fool not to engage in it. And laborers have understood him. The battle for higher wages became a kind of investment speculation: the worker was now a merchant selling his product, work. The trick about Marx’s famous “surplus value” thesis is that it was considered as spoils to be carried off by the successful merchant from the opponent’s stores. It was not to be presented to him for nothing. Class egoism thus became a universal principle. The laborers not only wanted to do business, they wanted to corner the whole market. The true Marxist is hostile to the State, and for the very same reason as the Whig: it hinders him in the ruthless exercise of his private business interests. Marxism is the capitalism of the working class. Consider [Charles] Darwin, who was just as important to Marx as [Thomas Robert] Malthus and [Richard] Cobden. Business is conceived of throughout as a struggle for existence. In industry the employer engages in commerce with the commodity “money,” while the worker does likewise with the commodity “work.” Marx wished to deprive capital of the right to private profit, but the only thing he could think of as a substitute was the worker’s right to private profit. That is unsocialistic, but it is typically English.
A recent trend has occurred lately among Liberal Capitalist regimes, especially the US, in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2021: the occurrence of “labor shortages.” This is not to suggest that there is literally not enough manpower available willing to work insofar as there is not enough Kapital to convince people to risk exposure to recently-evolved Coronavirus strains. The result has compelled employers to raise wages and salaries in order to ‘incentivize’ employment. At the same time, the unemployed may even be ‘speculating’ on these wage and salary increases to continue rising, even as Inflation continues to take its toll on Schuld-backed Fiat Currencies like the US Dollar. The behavior is very similar to the earlier example involving Strikes by labor unions and Shorting by speculators. Spengler himself even noted this in the following from Prussianism and Socialism:
The economic Darwinism of the Englishman, together with the Marxian two-class system, led to the adoption of the natural weapon to be used in the war between the real merchants and the merchandizing laborers: the strike. By means of the strike, the commodity “work” is withheld from the buyer. By means of the opponent’s strike, the lockout, the commodity “money” is withheld from the buyer. A reserve army of workers secures the market for the buyers of money, while a reserve army of employers (labor shortage) does the same for the buyers of work. The strike is the most unsocialistic aspect of Marxism. It is the classical sign of its origins in a businessman’s philosophy that Marx adhered to by instinct and habit.
Everything addressed here is indicative of the need for Vocations as stable and sustainable sources of Arbeit for the workforce. A steady source of Arbeit yields a steady source of Geld when the Values of Arbeit and Geld are both kept in governable levels. In the Work-Standard, the State’s Financial Regime and the State Commissariats of Wages and Price command the financial and economic powers to decide on such matters. Council Democracy can and will facilitate that ability, something that cannot be achieved through Parliamentary Democracy.