Continuing from the first half, I will be delving into the five articles of this ARPLAN post. Each one, upon reading between the lines and going past their aforementioned prejudices, contains kernels of information that correlate with topics covered in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.). This is significant as the overarching topic that unites the articles are related to Socialist economics and finance in general. The similarities with other Socialisms are there if one knows where to look.
In “Against Capitalism,” Dr. Albert Krebs maintained that Pan-Germanic Socialism’s stances on Kapital, as a conception of Currency, is more nuanced. The language in his writing suggested an attempt at demystifying Kapital, as if to deconstruction its meaning as defined by Liberal Capitalists. Krebs was correct to inform the reader that when we think of Kapital, the first thing that should never come to mind are coins and banknotes. Instead, we need to view Kapital as a conception of Currency paired with Schuld (Debt/Guilt) and tied to a specific Command and Control (C2) mechanism. Whether we are talking about Bimetallism (gold and silver), Chartalism (fiat currencies and Modern Monetary Theory), LCFIs (Liberal Capitalist Financial Instruments), or Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, they all rely on the same C2 mechanism.
That C2 mechanism is the Incentives of Supply and Demand, which dictates the “greatest Quantity of Kapital for the least Quantity of Schuld” as overriding purpose of economic life under Liberal Capitalist ideology. When Krebs wrote about treating Kapital as a “end in itself,” why commercial firms and governments often cut corners and tolerate underemployment or unemployment, or why people engage in petty strikes and collective bargaining, that is what he was referring to.
As for Property Rights, Dr. Krebs was criticizing Private/Common Property-as-Wealth without fully condemning it, as if implying that there is another conception of Property Rights. He had to have been alluding to “Productive/Personal Property-as-Power.” While a person owns their household and a business, not to mention generating Geld from it, the Arbeit their business contributes from its everyday economic activities are subordinate to a higher economic authority. No trade union, however, has ever been in any real position to wield economic authority like a Council or Corporative State could.
Second, Goebbels in “Capitalism” argued that the concept of Kapital needs to be further distinguished into two distinct categories. The Kapital generated from the Primary (Natural Sector), Secondary (Manufacturing Sector), and Tertiary (Services Sector) Sectors, the “Volkskapital” is not the same as the “Rapacious Kapital” created at most Liberal Capitalist financial markets and central banks. Going back to what was mentioned by Dr. Krebs, the specific language chosen to describe Volkskapital are in actuality the same aforementioned Arbeit and Geld described earlier. There is in fact a point in which Kapital cease being Kapital and becomes “Actual Geld” (created from the national economy), “Digital Geld” (created from fully-automated machinery), or “Military Geld” (created from the military-industrial capabilities of the armed forces). Where we find those three forms of Geld, we also find “Actual Arbeit,” “Digital Arbeit,” and “Military Arbeit.”
The example cited by Goebbels is that of a coal mine. The Actual Arbeit from harvesting the coal can be converted into Actual Geld for the miners. That coal, as an “Equipmentality,” can be used to create electrical power, which then be harnessed by factories to create finished goods. Thus, with Arbeit and Geld in mind, we can then proceed to articulate a C2 mechanism entirely distinct from Kapital and Schuld. This would have to be the Intents of Command and Obedience, which advocates the “greatest Quality of Arbeit for the least Quality of Geld.”
Prices for everyday goods and services can be adjusted periodically with entirely distinctive Theories of Value and Money. They do not have to be literally frozen into place by Price Controls. We can even determine, through political discourse and enacted laws, which Professions, Enterprises, Industries, and Economic Sectors create more or less Arbeit and their approximate valuations in Geld. A Socialistic competition will be able to emerge as the domestic market becomes a sort of “Tournament,” where the Enterprises of whole Industries compete for the greatest Quality of Arbeit. Human talent, expertise, creativity, potentiality, and experience can be allowed to flourish to their fullest potential through Arbeit.
Third, Otto Strasser’s “On the Nature of Capitalism” should be seen as build up to what Dr. Krebs and Goebbels had alluded to. Once efforts are made to replace Kapital and Schuld with Arbeit and Geld, it will become possible to articulate macroeconomic policies on economic governance and international trade. Liberal Capitalism’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are an extension of Kapital and Schuld: somebody earns more Kapital than Schuld and somebody else gets more Schuld than Kapital. Being dependent on exports is just as bad as being dependent on imports. An export-dependent economy becomes unable to diversify beyond the ones which generates the highest Quantity of Kapital to the detriment of those which are deemed ‘unprofitable’. An import-dependent economy, meanwhile, will struggle to avoid living beyond its own means, forced to constantly devalue its currency to compete. In both cases, a Balance of Trades and Payments is absent between the importer and exporter, and opportunities to promote cultural understanding and good trade relations squandered.
And in terms of economic governance, Otto Strasser was interested in ascertaining how a Socialistic government will carry out its taxation, investment, and labor policies. The central government should be the highest economic authority to determine the length of the work-week, in addition to setting taxation rates on Geld generated from Arbeit and allocating Geld toward creating more Arbeit. This includes the ability of the central government to balance its own budget, how much Geld should go toward the State’s organizations, ministries, and so forth.
Fourth, when Rudolf Jung was not being a Sectarian by searching for the so-called “Jewish spirit” in “Capitalism and Judaism,” he was addressing the problems of Liberal Capitalist financial institutions and monetary policies from a Socialistic perspective. The parts which I know are the most relevant is where he described the problems of Kapital, in its Liberal Capitalist conception, never being bound to any national or cultural identity. It is essentially scathing condemnation of the Fractional-Reserve Banking System, the financial markets and commercial banks that generate Kapital without doing any Meaningful Work, the Floating Exchange Rates (having currency exchanges valued by Supply and Demand), and the Economic Liberalization imposed by international institutions like the IMF and World Bank. The charging of Interest Rates to control the Inflation/Deflation Rate only makes things even more absurd.
The central argument to be posited here is whether Currency Depreciation/Appreciation, with respect to Arbeit and Geld, can be measured through different metrics and controlled without devolving into “Interest-slavery.” I am instantly reminded of Jung’s advocacy for Currency to have a national identity, an idea rooted in his critiques of Silvio Gesell’s Freigeld from “Der nationale Sozialismus.” I am also reminded of the need for a “Reciprocal-Reserve Banking System” and its own financial instruments as well as the need for conventional lending and borrowing to revolve around Arbeit and Geld. Doing so will limit the predatory tendencies of the banks and set the stage for a different set of financial institutions that have the interests of the Volksgemeinschaft at heart.
Moreover, an entirely new and mathematical sound set of equations and formulas by which to gauge the Arbeit and Geld is ripe for the development of a distinct method of accounting. After all, if Cryptocurrencies–arguably the epitome of what Jung found detestable in Kapital–can come up with “Triple-Entry Account Bookkeeping” for Blockchain technology applications, why not Arbeit and Geld?
And fifth, Gregor Strasser in “The Slave-Market of Capitalism” deplores the constant cycle of involuntary unemployment and underemployment that is so common in Liberal Capitalism. It does not always happen from Recessions or even Depressions. Similar effects can also be found where there are disruptive introductions of Technologies that inadvertently cause unemployment and underemployment. Even more problematic is the fact that Liberal Capitalism abhors the dignity of Arbeit when it promotes Producerism and Consumerism. Together with the annoyances of advertising things which people neither needed nor wanted, the need to constantly judge oneself and others based on how much they can afford with Kapital can lead to low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations of one’s place within the nation. Environmental degradation and resource depletion can arise from letting Technology develop without any concern for the environment or the nation.
At the heart of these issues lie the exaltation of Meaningless Work by Liberal Capitalism. Meaningless Work is condoned as a means to achieve Kapital Accumulation. So much of one’s everyday efforts is poured into always making sure that they will “make ends meet” (as the American saying goes) that not enough attention is given to the finer things in Life, like family and friends, fulfillment of one’s Vocation, or the realization of lifetime ambitions. Worse, the proliferation of Meaningless Work has gone in tandem with the uncontrolled advancement of Technology, a problem which has been exacerbated by Globalization after the 1970s and the World Wide Web (WWW) since the 1990s.
Those are all of the areas where I found stark parallels that Pan-Germanic Socialism has with other Pure Socialisms as far as the Work-Standard is concerned. As I have learned from my own research, the qualification of any ideology to be designated as a Pure Socialism, before being further classified as “Scientific” or “Artistic” is dependent on their relation to Arbeit.
Leave a Reply