[Spooky ambient sounds] [Karl Marx] Lucky Black Cat… [Marx] Lucky Black Cat… [Marx] Lucky Black Cat! [Magical sparkle sound] [Lucky Black Cat] Yes, Dear Leader. How may I serve you? [Marx] I need you to bring someone to the Dark Side. [Lucky Black Cat] You mean turn them against capitalism? Well, that’s what I’m trying to do for everyone. I’ve devoted my life— [Marx] I need you to convince the one they call “Destiny.” [Lucky Black Cat] Destiny? Oh, you mean the YouTuber and Twitch streamer. Yeah, I know Destiny! I like him, he’s like my favorite liberal. [Marx] Favorite liberal?!!!! [Lucky Black Cat] I only meant— [Marx] We do not have favorite liberals, just as we do not have favorite fascists! [Lucky Black Cat] Right, right. [Marx] Don’t you remember? Liberals get the bullet, too! [Lucky Black Cat] Sorry, Dear Leader, I forgot. [Marx] Make that mistake again and I’ll see to it you get the bullet. [Lucky Black Cat] Ok, so you want me to like make Destiny like a socialist? [Marx] Yes. He has hundreds of thousands of subscribers on Twitch and YouTube. If you bring him to the Dark Side, the influence will spread to the masses. [Lucky Black Cat] Ok, I guess I could make a response video to him, but I don’t know what to say. He seems pretty set in his pro-capitalist opinions. [Marx] Do not worry. I have a script prepared for you. I will beam it into your consciousness using that chip I installed in your brain. [Lucky Black Cat] Oh no, not — not the chip again. That really hurts. [Marx] Incoming in three… [Lucky Black Cat] Seriously, don’t. [Marx] …two… [Lucky Black Cat] Can’t you like, send it by email? [Marx] …one… [Lucky Black Cat] Or like print it? [Marx] Sending. [Lucky Black Cat] Aaggh! Aaaagggghh! Aaaaaaaagggghhhhhh! [Marx] Uh, send complete. Destiny! Hello, Destiny. I saw that video from The Serfs where you debate Professor Ben Burgis on socialism. I thought Ben did a really good job of defending his position, but I couldn’t help but notice that Ben’s answers seemed to leave you — – uh, how should I put this — unsatisfied. Although Ben and I can both call ourselves socialists, we’ve got very different takes on how socialism is defined. That means I can give very different set of answers to your question than the ones that Ben gave, and I believe you will find these answers more satisfying. Ben can’t satisfy you like I can, Destiny. No one can. [Opera song “Habanera” plays] I made myself pretty for you.
[Opera song “Habanera” plays] [Opera song “Habanera” plays] [Screeching sound from “Psycho”] So, you had four main concerns about socialism, or the socialist perspective, that you expressed in your debate with Ben: Now, these are all important, legit concerns, and in fact, they’re concerns I had back in the day. So I’m really glad you brought them up, and in this video, we’re gonna deal with them one by one. So, enough long talk, let’s run this. [Marx] Destiny… Destiny… Pledge yourself to me, Destiny…. Become… my disciple. So, Destiny, it’s clear you don’t like the moral judgment that is sometimes placed on capitalists. Like I would argue that it’s probably not like that huge of a moral wrong. And then you get into these weird areas where people are just saying like fuck all rich people and fuck all landlords and fuck all capitalists! Well like what the fuck? Alright, so, I try not to put moral blame on capitalists, and I think Ben would agree. The problem is not with capitalists as people; the problem is with their social role. Some of my comrades might want to guillotine me for what I’m about to say, but… (Whispering)
I actually know a couple of people who used to be capitalists, and… (Whispering)
I think they’re both really kind and generous and just really good people. Is it immoral to exploit workers and take their surplus value ? Well, yes, I’d say so. But I’d also say it’s senseless to blame this on business owners, because this is just how capitalism works! It’s not the person – it’s the system. The problem is that, economically speaking, workers and capitalists have opposing interests. What’s good for one side is bad for the other. If you’re a worker, you want high pay, good benefits, short hours, workplace safety and the freedom to work at your own pace. But for a capitalist – that’s not good. As a capitalist, all these things result in less profit for you. To maximize profit, you want your workers to work as fast as possible, as much as possible, as cheaply as possible. Basically, capitalists have an economic motive to make life for their workers harder and shittier. As you can imagine, this has a morally corrupting influence. I’m not saying that capitalists are bad people, but if you are a capitalist, you might stop caring about your workers’ wellbeing because their wellbeing stands in the way of your profits. And what about when capitalists do care about workers? Well, they tend to be less successful, and often go out of business. Nothing is more corrupting than a system that punishes those who care for others and rewards those who don’t. Now I am beautiful for Dear Leader. Dear Leader, do you think I am beautiful? [Marx] Makeup is bourgeois decadence. You bring shame upon your comrades. [Sad cello music] [Crying]
[Sad cello music] [Destiny] In capitalism you have a few big companies that can basically fund a whole bunch of climate change denialism and stuff like that. But in socialism, I would imagine what these companies would do is, these companies, kind of like unions, would all come together in order to use their bargaining power, their leverage on society, in the form of paying for advertisements, or influencing elections, or nominating politicians, that’s what they would do. So, how does Ben Burgis respond on this? Well, he does say that in socialism, we’d have more democratic power to stop global warming, but unless I misunderstood him, he seems to agree with you that socialism would have the same economic pressures as capitalism to destroy the environment. I have to completely disagree, and this comes down to the different visions of socialism that Ben and I have. Ben is of the social democrat tradition of socialists, and I’m more of the tradition of socialists that has historically been murdered by social democrats – not that I’m blaming Ben for that. [Loud chopping sounds] NO HARD FEELINGS, BEN. NONE AT ALL! (Laugh) No, for real, Ben, we good, still. I love you, fam. Ben’s vision of socialism, if I understand correctly, includes a private sector of worker owned co-operative businesses, which just like capitalist businesses, compete with each other for profit. Other socialists, including me, have a different vision of socialism. For starters, workers would not own their workplace. Instead, each workplace, and the means of production as a whole, would belong to everyone. That is to say, the wealth that we workers produce would belong to all people, and be used to advance the common good of all people. Another difference is we would not produce goods for the purpose of making profit. And this is key, because if you take away the profit motive, you take away the main motive for environmental destruction. Businesses don’t use environmentally sustainable methods, why? because those methods are usually less profitable. But take away the profit motive, you take away the problem. Businesses clear-cut forests, cover eco-systems in suburbs, mine coal and pump oil – all because it’s profitable. But take away the profit motive, you take away the problem. A next point you brought up was about coal co-operatives pushing against environmental reforms, because the coal workers would not want to lose their jobs. But this would not happen in socialism because workers would not depend on their job for a decent standard of living. In socialism, if you’re out of work, you still have your home, food, healthcare, everything you had when you were working, and free education to retrain for a new career. So, losing your job, eh, not a big deal. Now, I know all this brings up new questions, like, how the hell would an economic system function without the profit motive? I will be explaining this, but it has to wait for a future video. Sor-ry. (Lip synching)
♫ If I ever let you down ♫ ♫ I’m sorry ♫ ♫ If I ever made you cry ♫ ♫ I’m sorry ♫ ♫ ever made you cry ♫ ♫ ever made you cry ♫ ♫ ever made you cry ♫ ♫ cry ♫ ♫ cry ♫ (mock whining sound) “i’M kArL mArX, mAkEuP iS bOuRgEoIs dEcAdEnCe.” (sucking teeth sound) Bourgeois decadence? I’m’a bourgeois deck you upside the head. Fucking pretentious commie beard! [sad cello music] And now we come to my favorite topic: Stupid people. I just love talking about myself. I used to be smart, but then I did this too many times. [Destiny] There’s already what percentage of Americans that don’t even believe that climate change is real. [Destiny] I said multiple times like workers are dumb or whatever. I think in general like people seem to be like pretty clueless about issues. And this isn’t just workers, this is like all sorts of different people. Ok, so you’re concerned that too many people are ignorant, and that this will still be the case in socialism. I think Ben makes a really good point on this. [Ben Burgis] It’s not just that people sort of happen to form these views on their own. There is a very large and very profitable industry devoted to propagandizing them. I mean, you know, how much money does, you know, does ExxonMobil spend promoting the idea that this is a myth. But then, Destiny, you also make a good point: [Destiny] In this new economy that we’re talking about is like is all advertising banned? Because why wouldn’t like coal mining co-ops do the exact same type of advertising? True-say, Destiny, we’d be no better off than we are now, brainwashed by profit-seeking companies to the point that they might as well be controlling us through a chip in our brain! Aaggh! Aaaagggghh! Aaaaaaaagggghhhhhh! This is why the social democrat version of socialism is flawed. And it’s why we need an economic system where we no longer produce for profit. Profit needs to get the F up out the picture! Buh-bye! With no profit motive, there’s no economic motive to have any sort of advertising or fake news bullshit to spread lies about climate change. So we can expect the discourse in the media would get a lot more informative and accurate. Also, in socialism, we can pour way more funding into education than we do now. All the wealth that, in capitalism, is hoarded by the rich would instead be freed up to use for the common good of all humanity, which of course includes improving education. Another reason we’d have more funding for education is that in socialism, various industries that were necessary in capitalism would no longer be needed, like advertising, sales, finance, insurance, corporate law, patent law – to name just a few examples. This would free up workers to move into other industries, including education. [Lucky Black Cat] Dear Leader… Dear Leader… I have something for you… [Marx] What are you doing? No. No! Noooooooooo! Oh. Actually, that looks rather nice. Part 4: Can we have a strong economy? So strong. So very strong. Oh yes. Don’t fuck with this muscle! So, Ben made a good point about automation, or technology taking over human jobs. In capitalism, automation causes unemployment and desperation. But not in socialism. [Ben Burgis] If the workers were controlling the company, then they could just say, “Hey why don’t we each just work two hours instead of the eight hours that we used to? And since we’re getting just as much produced then, you know, we could all still earn what we did before.” Makes sense – but for you, Destiny, it raised a concern. [Destiny] Is it realistic that our economy could thrive in a global economy when all of our workers are working like one or two hours a day? So, I get your concern, I do. We don’t want to stagnate, and we don’t want our economy to become weak, like some sort of … cat-ear-wearing soy-girl. [loud “thud”] It gets tiring after a while. But look, if you hear me out, I think you’ll agree that there’s nothing to worry about. Trust me, brejin. Ok, so, imagine a socialist society where our work hours are short. We have more free time and free education at any age – and not just academic education, but free training in any skill, trade or profession. This combination of free time and free education could lead to a renaissance of discovery, creativity, and advancement in every field, from science and technology to art and entertainment. It could be freaking awesome, yo! You might be thinking, “Well, I don’t know. All this innovation and advancement takes a lot of work, and why would people bother when they can just work two hours a day, instead?” One thing that’s nearly universal among human beings is our desire for life to have a sense of meaning and purpose. We don’t like too much idleness, or to feel like we don’t contribute anything. It gets boring, you feel empty, it hurts your self-esteem. I think most people will find it boring to work so little. They’ll want something more out of life, and will be eager to develop and strengthen their skills and talents, and to use those talents in a way they find meaningful, to experience that sense of pride, passion, and purpose that comes when you contribute something you feel is important. Ok, so let’s reconsider your concern: You want a strong economy that spurs innovation and advancement, and you think that compared to capitalism, socialism can’t compete. But what if it’s the other way around? Stephen Jay Gould said: In capitalism, many people are deprived of a good education, and so the talents they could have offered the world are not able to develop. In capitalism, many children grow up poor and malnourished, and this does serious harm to their intellectual development, which robs society of their potential. Also in capitalism, people’s freedom to innovate is blocked by patents. People avoid inventing anything that improves upon a previous invention, because doing that can get them sued for patent violation. And also in capitalism, because companies are in competition, experts and innovators working for different companies are forbidden to share their knowledge and research with each other. This slows our advancement in all kinds of things, even life or death issues like finding cures for disease. In socialism, we can avoid all of this bullshit, because we can provide free, high quality education to everyone, eliminate poverty, and put an end to the competition for profit that leads to patents and knowledge hoarding. With these obstacles cleared away, economic advancement will get a big-ass turbo-charged boost. So, it seems safe to say that socialism can provide us a strong, thriving economy. But what if people decide to only work two hours a day – would that be so bad? Remember, we’re not talking about a situation where our economic output declines. We’re producing as much as ever, but thanks to automation, we’ve cut down our work hours. This of course would free up our time to pursue hobbies or things like sports art music travelling learning spending time with loved ones and various activities that enhance our enjoyment of life. Sure, this would come at the expense of expanding economic production, but so what? Economic production is just a means to an end, and that end is human wellbeing. Our goal should not be to maximize production, but to maximize our wellbeing. At times, economic growth can serve that purpose, but at other times, we should sacrifice some growth for the sake of enhancing our wellbeing in other ways. With the economy, as with other things, what matters is not size, but how much it satisfies. [Marx] Lucky Black Cat can’t satisfy you like I can, Destiny. No one can. Hey, everyone! I hope you don’t mind me asking you for a favor but I don’t know if Destiny will actually see this video, or even find out it exists. So if you could, please, tweet this video to him @ModalSevenths m, o, d, a, l,
s, e, v, e, n, t, h, s…? Yeah. And hey, maybe we can actually get Destiny to watch this! And it would also be really cool if we could get Ben Burgis and The Serfs to watch it, too. So I put everyone’s contact info down in the description, and if you can spare a minute, maybe send them the link, too. That would be so great. I also want to say, if you liked or commented on my last video, or you subscribed, or hit that bell, you truly touched my heart and you filled me with hope, and for that I am — I really owe you a big thank you. (UPDATE: All of them watched the video! 🙂
No need to contact them!)