Makers and Takers: Making the Adjustment, Taking the Risk
The success of capitalism is failing because it yields to unacceptable amounts of harm.
Rifkin says, cooperative enterprises–which are employee-owned and non-profit–exceed the number of for-profit start ups. The trend will continue, he says, because of growing demand at near-zero marginal cost.
Most everyone is familiar with “pent-up demand.” For the capitalist (merging Burger King with Tim Hortons, for example) it’s a function of reducing marginal cost and expanding the marginal profit without risk. The risk, however, is pent up. The natural identity of the capital yields to an on-demand existence…”it just happens!”
(Pent-up demand–the common-collective reality Rifkin empirically identifies in his data–must be politically managed in the aggregate, and big, Objectivist bankers react to this intentional aggregation by testing for the “big risk.” Testing for the gamma risk is to control for the rate of deflation, which results in a declining rate of profit and admits to the integral, empirically verifiable value of “being on demand,” from which, in a free market, the profit marginally derives, reduced to the marginal cost or the fully assumed risk of loss.)
For the capitalist, what just happens just can’t happen. If we are to describe Rifkin’s paradox, that’s probably it.
Trying to prevent the inevitable is a fool’s errand, but according to capitalists the “inevitability” is a delusional, utopian fantasy that does not exist. Instead of late 19th and early 20th Century capitalism, it is starting to look like a free market.
Capitalists fully expect the “takers” to take what the “makers” make on demand. Rifkin’s description of an inevitable trend toward a more free-and-unconsolidated marketplace is anti-capital.
Expanding the marginal profit, by reducing marginal cost, is transforming into a non-profit, common divisibility that does not accumulate demand but distributes it. That just can’t happen! To control “the crowd” (rule the mob), it is necessary to use the surplus in the name of public safety and the general welfare, which then “makes” the risk yield to the “objective reality” (the inevitability) of an on-command existence.
Although yielding to an on-command authority clearly identifies the commanders, capitalists use the “natural identity” argument to exculpate the risk-value. This is a philosophical construction. When Burger King merges with Tim Hortons because uncle Warren wants to maximize his profit margin for his elite investors, he is not making the big risk capitalism avoids by making the free market more consolidated, he is distributing value to shareholders–people that have earned the reward by taking the risk.
According to capitalists, capitalism is not failing because it yields to unacceptable amounts of harm. The failure is the incapacity for the crude masses to understand what “objective reality” is.
(Like Paul Ryan says, it is foolish to resist the natural identity of capitalism. All that does is cause the risk we want to avoid–flight of capital to where there is least resistance, which is no crime. It is the hedonic calculus that rules us all on command.
If we simply don’t resist the natural supply of labor determined by the natural distribution–the supply–of capital, then we find the path to prosperity. Our problems reduce to a simple, unambiguous choice–success or failure by means of self-determination.
Ryan is saying, it is not that failure can not, will not, or should not. Whatever happens, just happens, but we want to misattribute the value. Without correct, causal attribution, like blaming yourself and not the boogie-man capitalist, the harm is rendered acceptable, in whatever amount that just naturally happens to be, with peaceful tranquility.
Take a look at Ryan’s new book. Isn’t that what he is saying?
How does the value derived from merging Burger King with Tim Hortons trickle down to Ferguson? If Ryan is correct, when the citizens of Ferguson are all working at near-zero marginal cost, at less than subsistence wage and thus mired in debt to buy a burger, we have then attained the objective reality, the peace and tranquility, of our natural identity, authored by the invisible hand. All we have to do is, just accept it. Pretty simple, isn’t it?)
The objective of capitalism is to reduce class society to rich and poor–a nice, simple binome of rulers and ruled existing with the legitimacy (the “natural identity”–the predictable, algorithmic instructions dictated by the invisible hand of supply and demand) that measures an on-demand existence.