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The Capital method

With a moderate fever, I opened my email and was struck by a Quora question (Is Cuba proof that socialism works?). I don't like this questions in general, they seem to come with a pitfall. But I guess my fever made me go on and read one of the answer. It was from a man who apparently have lived in Cuba. He writes that Cuba is all about corruption and controlling their citizens. Then he goes on to present what he called "The KGB method". I went on to give my answer citing his description of the method:

It is a proof that over all anything is better than leave-it-to-the-market systems. Of course, to challenge capital has been always like drying a block of ice. It doesn’t work in the long run, and a previous answer to this question provided an insight to the reason why:

The Capital method is this:

1. “Create through propaganda a GREAT ENEMY that is about to attack your country and subjugate the people and make them suffer, unless they line up behind you to fight this enemy and get into battle mode and obey their commanders.” This can take the form of a catastrophe, a war, a created enemy (including socialism), insecurity about the future, the so-called tragedy of the commons that boils down to make everyone around you sharing anything with you a potential cheater and therefore an enemy or anything that will come about the strategic minds (increasingly artificial) working on this. Without a clear or clouded enemy on the horizon there is no appropriation of land, natural resources, human effort or collective equipment.

2. "Blame all bad things on this enemy and take credit for all good things that may happen.” So, for instance, spread the belief that markets drive anyone out of poverty and nothing else does even when it is blatantly obvious that it is a non-market based policy that did the trick. How can they spread this strange belief? Well, capital turns belief somehow controlable through media and other all-pervasive devices, it makes use something to fuel the engine, something that is short even in powerful Cuban governments: money.

3. “Eliminate the contact between foreigners and the people so the people cannot be informed of any other perspective but the one you are trying to force on them.” Capital does that by enclosing people in their social class. They can go talk to foreigners, but only looking them down; they can go abroad, but usually only as tourists or with a bag of money in their back so that they don’t think beyond their faithfulness to their share of capital.

4. “Of course control all media and means of communication so as to constantly propagate this fear of attack and to suppress any other communication that is not along these lines.” Control of the media is strict under the rule of capital. Some theoreticians have studied the phenomenon and called it manufacturing consent. It has also been called control society. One of the instruments to implement this is to make media and information commercial. True, the internet, for a while, seemed to break the wall of this information-control system. But it was slowly either bounded by laws or turned irrelevant because attention is systematically grabbed towards the commercial media.

5. “Constantly spy on all citizen communication and when you detect deviance or skepticism about your regime harass or detain those involved.” This has been considerably improved by social media. Spying became industrial and information collected through social media is stored in companies that use it for the benefit of capital. Folks loose their jobs or have limited prospects of being hired if they do they appear in the wrong way in the social media. It is well-known that the market system is one that, left to its own devices, tends to have as little people working as possible. The capital method detains people either by inducing unemployed folks into crime (or supposed crime) or directly making their voice unheard.

6. “Prevent the people from leaving your country as they might spread unfavorable information about your regime. This gives them a daily fear that they cannot escape you and therefore are better off obeying you.” Fear is indeed the currency wherever the capital method is applied. Unsatisfied people - refugees, US poor and Blacks, European working class, South American poor, Asian misfits and all the masses in the system can rarely afford to leave your country.

7. Obedience: this is the only thing that works within Capital and if you think about it is the exact method that all these capitalist regimes have in common (Singapore, Colombia, Haiti, Nigeria, France, US, Italy, Egypt, Thailand) and actually is what capitalism is all about, and the rest is just a total failure: control, detention, forced work through wages, increasing misery. It actually is a quite effective method of herding humans. The workers under this regime are so desperate to leave there that millions would leave next week if they got the chance. In fact, they don’t even know where to escape, there is scarcely any way out.

8. “An additional note the capital manual instructs the leaders that when they create this GREAT ENEMY they must NOT select a group of people that conflicts with the archetypes of their people (like their mothers, or monks, or the hospital workers, etc) or otherwise the people will have resistance to accepting this GREAT ENEMY.” So, capital does that by stressing the image of weirdos (sexual dissenters, race dissenters etc), or of Chavs (poor people that deserve nothing but compassion and who no one wants to emulate). The capital method preferred enemy is often poverty itself - the fear of insecurity, the fear of being redundant, of becoming useless and contemptible.

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