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Conflict theory? The Anti-Principle of Instantiation

April 7, 2012
Resources (six apples) have been distributed a...

Resources (six apples) have been distributed among six individuals according to what is displayed in a capitalist society. The population is 6 and the total wealth is 6. Average wealth is 1 but the Gini coefficient is 0,39. After distribution the resources are gone, i.e. lossy distribution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Anti-Principle of Instantiation or as we like to call it… unregulated capitalism, a story about the inordinate gains of a few… amidst the pitfalls and travails of the many… it’s here and it’s there… all at the same time.  But how can that be?  See the apples… that’s how!

 

Are their elements of truth among the basic assumptions of Conflict theory?  Based on the historical accounts of most societies and nations wherein certain groups held power, defined and set the “rules” as well as then enforcing those rules in such a way as to protect their interests over the interests of others it would seem extremely likely. The important point here is that in addition to the direct effects these powerful groups had on the distribution of wealth and opportunity in a given society(s) there are also many legacy or persistent effects and consequences that have followed the subsequent generations of the “under-classes”.  In terms of social stratum, these groups and classes of people tend invariably to remain disadvantaged by way of diminished likelihood of or opportunities for altering their circumstances even after the original power group’s use of coercive social controls abate or fade away, inexorably only to be reinstated or mirrored as the next dominant faction fills the power void.  Thus, in looking at the present by way of the past, it would appear there is some mechanism at work here in service to a conservation of this power or capacity for coercive social control and influence in that it is either conceded to, inherited or subsumed by those newly ascendant or currently jostling factions of elites from the formerly controlling groups.  The point is that for as far back as the records go virtually all societies and nations have manifested some form of coercive social controls that have allowed a few to profit from the sweat of the many.  This makes sense from the perspective of the Pluralist Conflict model in which society consists of a system of loosely coupled groups and powerful special interests.  These powerful elites and Special interests‘ ability to inject influence into the system are disproportional to all the other elements in a society.  As a result, they are able to preserve their position and advantages by defining statute and thru the use of differential enforcement of the under-classes who were then and are now seen by these elites as a social threat to their wealth and status.  Consequently, existent groups of under-classes continue to remain socio-economically disadvantaged or make very slight progress while various different powerful groups and factions come and go.

It is an interesting point that those that who benefit the greatest from the current social structure that is to say the wealthy are obliged to enlist significant numbers of persons from other less powerful segments of society to provide the services and labor needed to manage and run the industries they control and profit from.  While this mainly benefits the members of the powerful segments it also, but to a much lesser degree benefits the people working for them.  Hence, this relationship loosely aligns the interests of those having these jobs with the wealthier controlling groups while at the same time dis aligning or putting them in opposition to the remainder of the under-class who they may now see as a threat to their own prosperity creating yet more conflict.  This arrangement also helps those with wealth and power to use public opinion as a device to arrest and prevent social change threatening to their status and possessions.  They do this by selling the public on the proposition of limited amounts resources benefits and wealth, thus creating even more conflict and fear.  Once enough people begin to believe this falsehood for it to reach a critical mass, it then becomes a mythology whose narrative is easily manipulated.  At this point the rich can then use their clout to control the media leveraging one group of working persons against another simply by suggesting that the benefits and resources currently going to one of the groups is taking away those same kinds of benefits and resources from the other group.  However, at the same time, no one seems to notice an obscure but very important detail.  That is, all during this time of real economic suffering for the millions of people many of them losing jobs, homes and or most of their savings… the real amount of total wealth has greatly increased.  Moreover not only has the total amount of wealth increased, we must also throw into the bargain another undeniable detail; nearly all of this newly created wealth has only been going to one place… straight back to the wealthy.  This despite increases in productivity and the certainty that it is only by and thru the efforts of workers that wealth is created to begin with.  In addition, the fealty between these groups only goes one way as the rich will dis employ as many workers as they think is necessary to protect their capital whenever they feel it is threatened regardless the effects it may have on the overall economy or the nation.  They have been, will be and are, protected by their wealth… the source of their power and very truly the only thing to which they are devoted.

{Just to clear things up a bit… or not

Presently the socio-economic structure of most capitalist nations is such that nearly the entirety having jobs that is to say any gainful employment…  (paltry to substantial) do sooner or later perceive their wellbeing allied along with the elites who own control and manipulate by means of affluent fiat the macro structural economic political and legal organs of society as well as the industries to which their employment is fixed in the collective order.  Discerning their existence appended to its stability, this presents these amorphous blocs of non-elites a pressing but false dilemma as well as disincentive with respect to questioning or challenging the requisites of this socio-economic arrangement.  The nature of this disincentive has to do with the promulgated mythology of limited rights to fiscal resources in society a propos the zeitgeist of idiosyncratic survival being contingent on ones employment status plus uneasiness coupled to the presumption of a “tragedy of the commons”.  Consequently, the coeval of self-injurious pluralities of non-elites make it unlikely that anything will amend.

Or to put it more colloquy…  Until the working classes wake up and stop blaming others from the working class for  the endemic de facto social and economic problems but focuses instead on the actual de jure problems… as in the unjust and inequitable distribution of capital and opportunity currently being foisted upon them by the rich… nothing will change.  There… that should clear things up a tad.  :)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2012 7:46 pm

    I think that’s capitalism analysed and dissected, though what you have written is true I doubt as humans will ever achieve true equality. We are all different, some of us will work hard some of us are lazy so there is no way I can run a company and I am paid similar to a janitor.

  2. April 7, 2012 7:25 pm

    Reblogged this on magnuslover and commented:
    Nicely articulated commentary on the current state of our nation. Sad. True.

  3. Bob W Cain permalink
    April 7, 2012 7:13 pm

    Way beyond me … Lost the plot on the third sentence … Will it help us get rid of those bastards who are ruining our lives? … perhaps you need to explain ti again?

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