Monday, March 16, 2009

Being a Kulak. Malcom McLean is our example.

Truck driver stops flow of resources to dock worker's homes

Malcom McLean is my Jesus. Forbes Magazine called McLean "one of the few men who changed the world. He created Sealand, and launched containerized shipping (pictured above).

Visualize the day that he saw the opportunity. He was dropping off a payload at an Eastern seaboard dock, and the dock workers were offloading the goods and transferring to warehouses or ships. Mclean saw the inefficiency. The multiple times a good was handled. He also saw, or at least heard about, the dock workers steady stream of stolen goods while on the job.

Mclean was a common man, close to the class of dock workers. He did something heroic. He stopped the flow of stolen goods into those dock workers homes. This is where Mclean becomes my hero, stopping the flow of goods to families.

History Lesson: Communists hated Kulaks

Lenin would have called Mclean a Kulak. I remember one of my earliest uses of the internet involved a "virtual exhibit" presented by the Library of Congress, this was in 1992, a year before Mosaic web browser came out. The exhibit showed personal correspondence by Lenin, and the documents had just been smuggled out of Russia months before I saw them. Of particular note were the several times Lenin mentioned his highest contempt was reserved for Kulaks.

According to Marxism-Leninism, the kulaks were a class enemy of the poorer peasants. From this theory's point of view, poor peasants and farm laborers had to be liberated by the revolution alongside the proletariat (the urban workers). According to the Soviet terminology, the peasantry was divided into three broad categories: bednyaks, or poor peasants, seredniaks, or mid-income peasants, and kulaks, the higher-income farmers who were presumably more successful and efficient farmers. In May 1929 the Sovnarkom issued a decree that formalised the notion of "kulak household" (кулацкое хозяйство). Any of the following characteristics defined a kulak:

  • use of hired labour;
  • ownership of a mill, a creamery , other processing equipment, or a complex machine with mechanical motor;
  • systematic renting out of agricultural equipment or facilities;
  • involvement in trade, money-lending, commercial brokerage, or "other sources of non-labour income".

By the last item, any peasant who sold his surplus on the market could be automatically classified as kulak. In 1930 this list was extended by including those who were renting industrial plants, e.g., sawmills, and who rented land to other farmers

How to describe the Enemy

By cross tabulating the specific example of Mclean's shutting down the dock worker's paradise, and the Russian definition of Kulak, we can come up with rough caricatures of people I call the enemy. They are a class of poor or common people that have none of the creative/inventive abilities to produce resources which they feel they have a right to. They want to take value added manufactured goods home and distribute along class or genetic (familial) lines. The mode of acquisition varies -stealing, legislation (Soviets), seagoing piracy (Somalia), and maybe even unionization. They are the dumb but opportunistic layer of the industrialized world. They tend to derive from any religious sect except Protestant.

Extending the Enemy

The archetypical Protestant tradition places automatic virtue on those who succeed. I like that, but problems arise as a class emerges who have not succeeded as much as been born in a family that succeeded long ago. These too are a dumb but opportunistic layer of the industrialized world.

These are NOT the doers, inventors, or intellectual capital of the industrial world. They are just parasites with refined tastes for consumption. These are just as reprehensible as the Catholic, unionized dock workers. The parasitic wealthy do not pilfer through bins on the dock to steal and take home. Rather, they lurk in the corners of international trade and finance, funneling resources to themselves while adding no value to the industrial object.

An example of this is the sorry state of internet service in the United States. In 2001 American consumers could brag that their internet connections were larger and easier to get than in Japan or Korea. As of 2009, this most vital resource is grossly unimproved for Americans, and Asians consumers have 100 times better connection speeds. This is a case of investors arbitrarily ceasing to improve service while continuing to increase the cost. This is where the industrialists cross a line from earning wealth by merit to earning wealth by leaching off the Kulak class of common man.

Representation in Ideology

The Kulak class of common man goes undefended in political discourse. Whether it is your local newspaper, or historical analysis by college professor; the semi-successful common man is never poor enough to rally support. The poorer get screams for social justice, reparations, or sympathy and understanding for their crimes.

The Republican Party has tried being the voice for Kulaks, along with media ally Fox News. All it takes is looking where your not encouraged to look, and you see these are just the parasitic wealthy class manipulating Kulaks. "Joe the Plumber" was emblematic, appealing more to the media's faint and distant knowledge of a real working man, just an angry Aryan Nation looking cartoon posing as a Kulak. Like attracts like, in this case a stupid man attracting stupid men. Kulaks (semi-successful doers in the industrial economy) have better things to do than follow a political party and media outlet that offers this kind of crap.

Economic Operations 1.0

In the 1996 I had never heard of Malcolm Mclean, but I did decide to starve the parasitic peasant class. One agenda I adopted was being very I even worked there as a temp in late 1996. My desire was to replace the multitudes of construction workers who build brick and mortar stores ( especially the illegal aliens and anti-literate construction workers) with programmers and other cool people that live in Seattle. I wasn't a programmer at the time, and was a mere working class man myself. We were generating a better kind of human -the internet using human, and I wanted to take proactive steps towards feeding that family, and not feeding its antithesis families.

From 1996 I was encouraged by society's use of,, and other online retailers to buy everything except groceries. This killed off so much of what I wanted to go away, and made what I think is the better aspects of humanity flourish.

Economic Operations 2.0

The Depression has hit, and consumer behavior may have changed forever. Shopping as a form of entertainment, relying on suspiciously easy credit, is over. The core meaning of Kulak was "tight-fisted". The new consumer behavior sounds more like a Kulak.

Maybe we are entering a new era in which the Kulak is the norm, or acknowledged for being a wise/successful way of being. Hopefully the poorer skill-less peasant classes start to see a climb to semi-successful working class as an honorable goal, rather than continuing class/racial solidarity and expecting academic/legislative sympathies to divert resources to them.

The next iteration of industrialism is supposed to be a distributed sourcing of manufacturing or energy production. This is Kulak with an exponent beside it, Super Kulakism. As these resources are made in our homes, we need to keep the Malcolm Mclean and the Sealand container in mind. We will sell our excess energy, welded metal, guns and electronic devices. We want that distribution channel to be efficient, no siphoning off by wealthy or poor parasites.

Maybe a distribution channel such as Amazon or Google, completely automated by computers, would be the answer.

John Robb blog: The Resilient Community: Malcom's Platform

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