Moral Code of The Builder of Capitalism (Part 1)

“..It had been decided long ago “What Is To Be Done?” and there is a broad consensus on “Who Is To Blame?” – although the answer to the latter depends on which nation one belongs to. So the pertinent remaining question is “Where To Start?” And here I suggest to start with moral values – that was what people in Russia have been missing for all these years, right? The Moral Values of Capitalism. The Code of Capitalistic Conduct…”

The absence of clearly defined ideological basis of capitalism has worried me for some time already. Indeed – how can a country – for example, Russia- successfully finish the de-building™ of its bad socialism and replace it with a prosperous and happy capitalistic society if no one, it seems, had bothered to formulate the basic ideological principles? No wonder the process was slipping and halting and even after 20+ years still bears the marks of the imported  from and enforced by the US criminal “libertarianism” of the 90s.

It had been decided long ago “What Is To Be Done?” and there is a broad consensus on “Who Is To Blame?” – although the answer to this one depends on which nation one belongs to. So the pertinent remaining question is “Where To Begin?” And here I suggest to start with moral values – that was what people in Russia have been missing for all these years, right? The Moral Values of Capitalism. The Code of Capitalistic Conduct.

So, here you are – for your enjoyment and critical consideration is a draft of “The Moral Code of The Builder of Capitalism” to be discussed and I hope eventually approved by the future “Capitalistic Amalgamated Party of the United Territories” (CAPUT), which I am convinced will have to be created in the near future if only to preserve the spirit of this text.

In the left-hand-side column you find a translation of the original Moral Code of The Builder of Communism [1] which you can compare with the newly formulated Code on the right hand side. With this arrangement the unquestionable superiority of the latter can be clearly seen and appreciated. For non-monolingual people – ref. [2] contains the original text of the Code in Russian.

Moral Code of the Builder of Communism Moral Code of the Builder of Capitalism
1. Devotion to the cause of Communism, love of the socialist Motherland and of the socialist countries. Devotion to the cause of capitalism, love of the capitalist Motherland and of the other capitalist countries.
2. Conscientious labor for the good of society: he who does not work, neither shall he eat. Conscientious effort to obtain a direct government assistance, the government contracts or any other form of public money: those who don’t receive government funds, will only find themselves funding the government.
3. Concern on the part of everyone for the preservation and growth of public property. Concern on the part of everyone else for the preservation and growth of public property by them for you to use
4. High sense of public duty; intolerance of actions harmful to the public interest. High sense of capitalistic public duty and sanctity of (your) private property; intolerance of actions by others harmful to your private business interests.
5. Collectivism and comradely mutual assistance: one for all and all for one. Individualism and readiness to fight for your piece of pie: each one for himself, against everyone. Remember: the only goal of any business is to make the owner richer than other people, so the others might be permitted to benefit only if it cannot be avoided.
6. Humane relations and mutual respect between individuals: man is to man a friend Show humility and do respect the potential strength of others – up until you have measured them up: human humanum lupus est. Remember: competition is the primary driving force of capitalism. Elimination of the competition is the fastest road to your financial success.
7. Honesty and truthfulness, moral purity, unpretentiousness and modesty in social and private life. Public display of appearance of honesty and truthfulness, libertarian moral purity Friedman-style, unpretentiousness and modesty in social and private life (so as not to disturb the plebs too much).
8. Mutual respect in the family, concern for the upbringing of children. Mutual respect in the own family – proportional to the individual contributions to the family budget, concern for the upbringing of your own children in accordance with this code. Remember that your family are just people – they are as much after your money as anyone else.
9. Irreconcilability towards injustice, parasitism, dishonesty, careerism, and profiteering. Irreconcilability towards unjust distribution of unearned income to others, including social benefits. Fight dishonesty, careerism and all other attempts of profiteering by hired labor force.
10. Friendship and brotherhood among all peoples of the USSR, intolerance of national and racial hatred. If and when – and only if & when – this helps your business – open and public display of friendship and brotherhood among all people, intolerance of national and racial hatred. In other cases you will be a fool not to use such inexpensive tool as racism to efficiently reduce the cost of hired labor.
11. Intolerance towards the enemies of communism, peace, and freedom of nations. Intolerance towards the enemies of capitalism, enemies of peace (if you are not in defense industry) and enemies of the freedom of other nations to follow your nation’s understanding of economic liberty principles appropriate for them.
12. Fraternal solidarity with the working people of all countries, and with all peoples. Fraternal solidarity with capitalists of all countries up until you see a chance to rip them off dry.


PS. On a (slightly) more serious note – I am not a communist, have never been one and most likely will never be – because I haven’t yet met sufficiently large number of people ready to live strictly by the rules in the left-hand-side column above. “Sufficiently large” – to form a party, that’s it. Perhaps, this shortage was the reason why the “communism” as economic system had never worked as intended. But neither did pure (“wild”) capitalism – as Russian experience of 90s demonstrated all too clearly.

Despite all the libertarian claims, I doubt that anybody will be able to explain you how a society organized as outlined in this Moral Code of a Capitalist can survive or even function. The truth is most likely (as always) somewhere in the middle – the libertarian model can work only as long as it has a good-sized “communist” feedback loop to channel the stolen or otherwise appropriated money back to the population. Otherwise there is simply nothing to prevent the capitalists from following the above Code to the letter – and far beyond. Certainly there are no built-in moral norms there, other than the residuals of the (dying) religious code .

You may want to ask why then the communist economic model was not viable. The answer to this is most likely the inherently contagious nature of the attitudes described in the right-hand side column – they simply force a protective reaction in the environment. It is a positive feedback – it spreads like a decease. The government will increase law enforcement once they see their money are efficiently wasted just for sport – which will only further stimulate the creativity of the businessmen trying to get them. Ordinary citizens when they see that this guy over there thinks nothing of taking their last dollar even when he does not need it, will then suspect that everyone is like that and thus eventually will act in a similar fashion. Foreign countries will built-up armies and erect custom barriers to protect themselves from overzealous hunters of their natural & other resources etc. In contrast, the “communist” behavior does not multiply. It is a natural defensive mechanism which forces people to remember a single accident when they were hurt (or robbed) by others much better, than hundreds acts of good will on their behalf.

Oh – and to remind you the definition of what is a “Russian Joke” – it is the one where there is more truth than a “joke”. And another one – if you ask me what Google Blogs does to the standard HTML formatted tables – in all honesty – I don’t know.

..and just the reality check from here

‘…Нужно относиться к партии, как к фирме. Если я вкладываю во власть, то я хочу получить больше власти… Если необходимо, надо уметь менять союзников. Слишком принципиальные партии долго не живут. Умейте продавать себя… нам необходимо наладить диалог, надо работать с капиталистами или инвесторами и объяснять, чтобы они в нас вкладывали деньги под общие задачи… Впрочем, если вы будете спать, ничего страшного, коллеги, не произойдет. Мы будем рассматривать вашу партию как прицепной вагон, а кочегарить будем сами…’. В. Сурков

References:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Code_of_the_Builder_of_Communism (translation)
2. http://www.gumer.info/bibliotek_Buks/History/Article/mor_kod.php (original in Russian)

‘…Нужно относиться к партии, как к фирме. Если я вкладываю во власть, то я хочу получить больше власти… Если необходимо, надо уметь менять союзников. Слишком принципиальные партии долго не живут. Умейте продавать себя… нам необходимо наладить диалог, надо работать с капиталистами или инвесторами и объяснять, чтобы они в нас вкладывали деньги под общие задачи… Впрочем, если вы будете спать, ничего страшного, коллеги, не произойдет. Мы будем рассматривать вашу партию как прицепной вагон, а кочегарить будем сами…‘.В. Сурков
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7 Responses to Moral Code of The Builder of Capitalism (Part 1)

  1. Anonymous says:

    In other words, you are claiming that both pure forms are not ESS – Evolutionary Stable Strategies. Which might be definitely true.

  2. Author says:

    yes, you can say it this way. Or using analogy (prey-predator model) – since (unfortunately) there is no third party, the wolves themselves must learn agriculture if they want to avoid extinction.

    I had deleted a very large paragraph from the draft of this post, where I speculated what could have been done to the “socialism” in the USSR to make it work – starting from a (jocular) thesis that human animal has roughly two sides pre-programmed by evolution, and the reason why USSR had about half of the industrial output of the US was that the former utilized only one half of the available “motivational” stimulus. :)) But since the (more serious) result was the same – a mixed capitalist-socialist model, only supplied with a proper Moral Code, I decided against keeping it in the text. Cheers

  3. eivanov says:

    Alex,

    This is absolutely brilliant, and I can’t understand why we have to wait a year to get your next piece of wisdom. Are you on a 5-year plan or something?

    Two short comments. To your #8. Given that many people under capitalism get divorced and then remarry, you may consider talking about respect WITHIN a given family and also BETWEEN different families belonging to the same Builder.

    I also strongly recommend consider creating a NASHI version of CAPUT. Suggested name is CAYUK: Capitalistic Amalgamated Youth Union of Cretins.

    Best Regards,
    Eugene

  4. Author says:

    Thanks, Eugene – you are over- generous as usual, so the alleged “brilliance” is an optical illusion – as a brief flash of a dim bulb in a normally dark room of my blog:)

    Maybe we can modify your suggestion to simply demand mutual respect between everyone who gets *under a capitalist*? But this might classify this blog into a wrong category.

    And you were reading my mind – I actually did spent some time trying to invent a name for the matching youth movement .. but could not come up with anything as good as your suggestion. Next time I will ask you!

    Cheers

  5. Pingback: “NASHI” Chicago-style (updated) | Zed244's Blog

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