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February 21, 2019



I like to think of society as made up of agents connected to each other like nodes in a graph. Each agent has it's own agency, but that agency is either increased or decreased depending where it is placed on the graph. So someone like Jeff Bozos agency is dicated to some degree by where he lies on the graph and has to respond to the multide of individally weaker nodes, his agency may be weaker than the sum of all the weaker nodes combined (amazon is reponding to a demand), but individually he has a whole lot more agency than a single weaker node.


I will also add some personal experience of the capitalist class. When I graduated I spent 6 months working in a warehouse. From one of the managers I learned the company had enough capital to expand its operation by buying a bigger warehouse. If the capitalist agent behaved how marx said he should he would have sold his current warehouse and gone for a bigger one and increased his profit. Instead he refused to do so as the current warehouse was in an old family mill dating back to then 1700s.

So the owner was using his personal agency to decide against expanding and settling for reasons other than capital expansion. He wanted to remain in the mill for sentimental reasons relating to family and history. So he clearly had enough spare cash to pay his underpaid exploited workforce, many of who were polish immigrants. The working conditions there were terrible. I only got two 15min breaks on an intensive none stop 8hour shift. He had enough cash to buy a bigger warehouse and expand his operation, but didn't want to pay his workforce more than min wage or give them better working conditions.

I couldn't stand the site of him and I was right to do so as far as I am concerned. I regard him as scum.


Will Davies tweet (that CD quotes at the start of this article) leads to some comments by Penny Andrews, who says that "you can be anti-capitalist or critical of globalisation, without stomping through anti-Semitic tropes".

Is she referring to some particular piece of writing or some particular tendency? Penny tweets so much that I couldn't find the tweets on her twitter feed so I would be interested to know what the original issue was.

dilbert dogbert

you mentioned Amazon so I had to go look: https://qz.com/1196256/it-took-amazon-amzn-14-years-to-make-as-much-net-profit-as-it-did-in-the-fourth-quarter-of-2017/
Thanks for the interesting place to spend my idle hours.

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