Capital is wealth used in producing more wealth.
Capitalism is an economic system in which production, distribution, and finance are
in large measure owned or directed by private individuals or corporations. Individual
enterprise, encouraged by the prospect of profit, is allowed a maximum of leeway-- consistent
with the rights of others and the public good-- in such matters as price, output, level of employment,
source of supply, etc.
The Capitalist is the man who invests money in an enterprise from which he expects to
make a profit. As a business progresses and a need for the capital to grow emerges, he may
organize a corporation. As a corporation, the capitalist can now gain access to the capital of
other individuals who are looking to invest money in the development of an enterprise in
the hope of reaping a profit.
A corporation sells shares of stock to people who wish to invest their money. The
management of the enterprise is entrusted to a board of directors. The profits are divided among
the stockholders in the form of dividends. Practically all businesses of medium or large size are
The Stock Exchange is a market for the sale and purchase of stocks and bonds. These
groups originated in coffee houses and evolved into institutions. A trader would buy a seat on the
stock exchange with a huge fee, and perform the buying and selling for groups of clients.
Capitalism is not a new theory. Capitalism has ancient roots. There are even stories in the Scriptures describing investments of capital. To NOT invest your money would bring eternal hell on you.
"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own
servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two,
and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his
journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made
them other five talents. And likewise.... " (But the servant with only one talent buried it.)
(v. 27) Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money
to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that
hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant
into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
There have always been men with "capital" who hired others to work for them, and there
were always poor people who had only their labor to sell. It can be argued that much of
mankind has been
kept poor in order for them to be available to do servitude for those who DID have money and power.
The powerless masses were kept in a state of "need" ensuring that they would be available
to perform the unpleasant and hard labor for their societies. This hard labor often exposed
desperate workers to conditions that shortened their lives... or even took their lives. "Workers"
have always been seen as disposable commodities... to be used and discarded as needed. This
mentality of oppression took various forms, so that even workers often believed that they
deserved nothing better.
It can be argued that absolute Capitalism is anathema to democracy.
Pure Capitalism exists only for the sake of profit. It is a system of the money, by the money,
and for the money. Thus, the conflicts of the absoluteness of Capitalism with the basic concepts
of social responsibility and human rights gave rise to government regulation as well as the formation of labor unions.
Since the Industrial Revolution of the 1700's and 1800's the workers and the government have
emerged to cope with the problems of the Capitalistic system. Regulation includes the gearing
of production to need, checks on stock market manipulations, minimum wage laws, pension
systems, unemployment insurance, and public works programs.
There then emerged another animal... Corporatism.
In its basic concept, Corporatism is the very essence of Socialism. The difference lies in the fact
that it is formed solely to benefit the producers of money... rather than for the benefit of the state.
Socialism would be actually more preferable than Corporatism, in that its benefits would be
distributed throughout the whole of society.
The arguments made against Socialism are that entrepreneurs do not receive the fruits of their
efforts... that the government decides who will work where, how much profit will be made, and what
direction the organization will take on production. In Socialism there is a bottom beneath which
none would go, but there is also a ceiling beyond which few can aspire. Still, there would be the
class of bureaucrats who make their own claim to power and wealth.
Corporatism claims power for the wealthy to make their own rules in order to pursue greater
wealth and even greater power... to create its own laws of perpetuation... and to benefit only the powerful few. Workers and their rights are disposable and are seen as burdens and even potential enemies. Workers keep corporations from making even greater profits. Both of these
systems work against the common laborers.
The Stock Exchange is the institutionalization of sport... with the horse race being the
continuation or decline of whole companies. On any one day a company might have the resources
to expand and increase benefits to its workers... and the next day there might be rumors that
would cause those resources to disappear completely.
This argues the point that the gambling institution known as the "Stock Exchange" actually rules
the lives of companies... of our citizens lives... and in the end, of our nation's economic security.
This further argues that
it is the very existence of the Stock Exchange that distorts the entirety of
So... how do we address these distortions of economies and workers' rights?
If a person with the capital to invest in a company wishes to contribute to the growth of a company-- a company that he knows about and believes in... he should address his desires to
own stock directly to that company. Purchasing stock would be a contract between the
company and the investor. And, thus, the company might refuse to accept particular investors
in their company to preserve its original directives and goals.
When an investor buys a company's stock to enable that company to meet its goals it is not a short-termed committment. A shareholder cannot withdraw his money in the midst of the
expected planning and growth of the company. He must follow it through.
Stock then should never be allowed to be traded as freely as it is. An investor must ensure
that there is a replacement investor available to fulfill that contract.
The contract between a corporation and the stockholders must include an agreement
to adhere to standards of social responsibility and to follow its established plan of growth.
If its plans change, stockholders must be given the option to withdraw their money.
This would include internal policies towards their workforce-- wherever that workforce
may exist. It would also include access to the company books.
Shareholders have the right
to know what their money is being used for and by whom it is being used. In essence, they are participants in what that corporation does and are equally culpable, just as the driver of a
getaway car is equally guilty during a robbery. Investors must be considered participants in
all the activities of the companies they invest
their money in. They must be held responsible for its practices and liabilities just as equally
as they benefit from its profits.
Workers for corporations are also investing their resources in the progress and profit of a company.
Their dedication to the quality of their work should not rely solely on personal integrity or
loyalty they might or might not possess. There is nothing more inspiring than to know that one's efforts will reap a profit along with the company they work to advance. They should have the
right to stock in the company that their work benefits.
Thus... in the frame of reference of a "free market" it should be a "given" that all
workers of a company will be entitled to a set portion of the total stock in it. A set percentage
set aside solely for the workers. On hiring, they would be given a portion of those stocks, and
as they remain with the company perhaps earn more stock. When they leave the company, the
stocks will be sold back to the company... the earnings given to that worker... and the stocks
reverting to the new replacement worker.
These "worker stocks" should be strong enough to allow the workers a voice within the
company. In fact, there may be no greater wisdom in a company than that of those workers.
They would know where efficiencies would lie. They would know where money would be
saved. They would know what managers enhanced the well-being of the company and which
ones did not. As worker-investors... they would be a valuable participant.
It is only within a framework where people are involved in the organizations where they
have put their money... where they have put their sweat and personal enterprise... where they have
invested their lives... that the resolutions of the pitfalls of Capitalism and Corporatism are made.
Workers would have an inate and natural right to those issues that affect their livelihoods, their
efforts, and their lives. Their investment is real... it should reflect that reality.