Compendium: Incentive

Every conception of Currency relies on a “Command and Control” (C2) Mechanism. A C2 Mechanism is how we can issue orders to others that they need to carry out, providing resources and information to them as part of fulfilling those specific goals.  While it is odd to encounter a military concept being described here within economic and financial contexts, a very similar methodology is consistently being employed by both the Socialisms and Liberal Capitalism itself. The reason for this is because the social structures of the peoples who historically conceptualized Socialism and Liberal Capitalism, the Prussians and English, were stratified hierarchies where there was well-delineated distinction between the rulers and those being governed. The Prussians and English were always like this before the Enlightenment, as evidenced by their “First Estate” of clergy, their “Second Estate” of nobility, and their “Third Estate” of commoners. The “Fourth Estate,” however, is a more recent phenomenon that emerged in the wake of the Enlightenment between the 19th and 20th centuries.

What differentiates the Socialisms from Liberal Capitalism is how Liberal Capitalism as an ideology operates according to a “freedom-security dialectic.” Unlike Socialism, where freedom and security exist inwardly in the subconscious of every Individual, Liberal Capitalism insists upon freedom and security as existing outward. That no Individual is truly capable of being inwardly free and secure and only a government can provide freedom and security. It is important to note that the Liberal Capitalists do not describe the freedom-security dialectic as such, preferring to call a ‘freedom-coercion dialectic’ that finds its purest form as the “Non-Aggression Principle” (NAP).  

The significance of the freedom-security dialectic as an overriding factor in Liberal Capitalism is telling. It is evident in the fact that the Liberal Capitalists themselves are defining “security” as a form of ‘coercion’. It is also evident in the distinct manner they define their conceptions of Property, Private Property and Common Property, with aspects of the Non-Aggression Principle in mind. Such language here implies that all Individuals, no matter how ‘secure’ they may claim to be, are somehow insecure by nature and therefore unfree. Freedom and security, Liberal Capitalists argue, never originates from within any Self but from without by their government.

Does one not realize that such inward unfreedom and inward insecurity, no matter how outwardly free and outwardly secure they are, reduces them to that of an ‘indentured servant’? Does one not realize that an inward freedom, inward security is required to become a ‘vocational civil servant?’

There is a whole world of difference between being an indentured servant under Liberal Capitalism and a civil servant under Socialism. An indentured servant is an involuntary mode of being that is not too far away from literally becoming a slave like those African Americans who picked cotton in the fields of Southern plantations prior to the Civil War. They can just as easily be a Northern factory worker who, upon emigrating from Europe, is forced to spend long hours for low wages as an indentured servant on the assembly lines of Chicago, Pittsburgh, or New York. But by contrast, a civil servant is somebody committed to their profession on a voluntary basis or is at least compelled by their State and everyone around them–a “Totality”–that they must be involved in another profession like the military for three years. What distinguishes our Socialistic civil servant from the Liberal Capitalistic slave or indentured servant is their inwardly senses of freedom and security that stays with them even as they get injured in the workspace or on the battlefield.

Liberal Capitalism tends to conceal these facts by a veneer of outward freedom and outward security within the “social contract” (as opposed to a Socialist sacred oath) that an Individual makes with their “civil society” (as opposed to the Socialist State) under Liberal Capitalism. As Americans, we find elements of this false veneer throughout pre-Civil War America, where the slaves toiling in the fields are ‘entitled’ to food, shelter and healthcare by the plantation owner just as the indentured servants are ‘entitled’ to a tiny share of this Liberal Capitalist conception of Currency called “Kapital” by the factory owner. We realize that what is ultimately motivating the slave in the Southern cotton field and the indentured servant in the Northern assembly line are never to be found within their economic activities. Instead, it is that outward freedom that the slave looks forward when he escapes the plantation to the North through the Underground Railroad. It is also that outward security that the indentured servant looks forward when he notices his next paycheck being slightly larger than the previous one.

These two men come from vastly different backgrounds and pasts. Neither knows the other and yet both men are being driven by a C2 Mechanism called an “Incentive.” Incentives serve as the Liberal Capitalist C2 Mechanism by which somebody can see to it that anything will be done by somebody else. Issuing an Incentive requires a fixed sum of Kapital in either Gold and Silver or Schuld (Debt/Guilt) or else promised benefits and material possessions of the same Value. Nobody bothers to do anything under Liberal Capitalism because they are inwardly unfree and inwardly insecure. The slave toiling at the Southern plantation and the indentured servant toiling at his Northern factory are both aware of this and the same can be said for the Southern plantation owner and the Northern factory owner who just so happened to be cousins. The fact that the Southern plantation owner and the Northern factory owner are cousins, which has been the case for Union and Confederate soldiers on the battlefields of the Civil War, helps to illustrate Incentives.

The cousin owning this slave plantation in the South and cousin owning that factory in the North are never going to fathom why the slave escaped or why the indentured servant went on strike. They instead are going to rationalize that a slave heading north or a worker on strike means lost Revenue and may encourage others to follow as Incentives in themselves. It becomes necessary for the cousin in the South to send slave catchers after the escapee and the cousin in the North to send strikebreakers across the picket line. When the law gets involved, coercive measures may be employed against those who assist the escapee just as similar coercive measures may be employed against those who block any strikebreakers from crossing the picket line. Clearly, neither the Southern plantation owner nor the Northern factory owner are going to value the “Work” done by the slave and the indentured servant under Liberal Capitalism. What Liberal Capitalist ideology instructs those cousins to value more instead is the Kapital generated by their slaves and indentured servants, the ability to exploit and subjugate both the slave and the indentured servant.

Granted, it is true that 19th century America is different from 21st century America. Amendment XIII continues to outlaw slavery and all African Americans are still ‘entitled’ to the wages, benefits and salaries enjoyed by other Americans under the rule of law. In reality, what has happened instead is that most African Americans got to receive the similar treatment of immigrants who came to the US. Just as Catholic immigrants were discriminated and segregated because of their faith, African Americans were also discriminated and segregated for most of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Most Americans still retain the status of indentured servants by ‘living paycheck to paycheck’ and thus being a civil servant under Liberal Capitalism is more like a step backward.

‘To live paycheck to paycheck’ or ‘to have a minimum wage job’ elicits negative responses from average people under Liberal Capitalism. Most people perceive the work itself as probably next to worthless and confers neither a higher purpose nor even an economic identity that comes with being involved in those economic activities. Everyone works to earn Kapital as their Incentive in Life and everyone is vulnerable to the emergence of “Perverse Incentives” for the right Price. Just as Kapital can facilitate any Incentive, so too can Kapital facilitate every other Perverse Incentive.

A Perverse Incentive is what happens when a given Incentive does not align with what is being expected of those involved. In contemporary America, examples may range from the mundane like restaurant waitresses expecting somebody to leave a few US Dollars as tips to the more illicit like corrupt police officers accepting bribes to look the other way whenever crimes happen. The waitress is not being paid enough in Kapital and the corrupt police officers are also not being paid enough. When the waitress gladly accepts the tips or when the corrupt police accept the bribes, all of them are willingly accepting the commands of whoever is issuing them Kapital.

Similar variations of those two examples also occur within US politics, whenever a billionaire donor or labor union could sponsor the election campaign of career politicians in a Federal Congress that functions more like a Parliamentary Democracy or wherever corporate lobbyists are trying to finance electoral support for a proposed legislation. Another variation happens under Liberal Capitalism when bureaucracies protest the decisions of our Parliamentarian Congress tries cutting Federal funding to Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland so that Congress can ‘redistribute’ the Kapital to finance infrastructure programs at Department of Transportation. The same is also true for those daring to misallocate Federal funds by ‘redistributing’ the Kapital going to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in order maintain a balanced budget. These activities and more within the everyday life of most Americans will eventually become normalized as part of a broader culture in the American Way of Life. With Kapital, there is immense potential for political corruption and scandals to occur from Incentives becoming Perverse Incentives here, since most Perverse Incentives can begin from an Incentive being more arbitrary than the previous one.



Categories: Compendium, Economic History, Philosophy, Politics

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