MUTUAL AID and

NO RICH & NO POOR

Mutual aid (sometimes also referred to as solidarity) is an egalitarian basic principle. It means that people help each other, as opposed to being pitted against each other to make them easier for a privileged elite to control and dominate and oppress. 

 

Today the rulers pit us against each other in many different ways: individual against individual, race (or nation or ethnic group) against race (or nation or ethnic group), men against women, young against old, workers for one employer of a given industry against workers of a different employer in the same industry.

 

The billionaire ruling plutocracy glorifies this pitting of us against each other by calling it "competition." Competition, the plutocracy preaches, is wonderful; it's what makes progress (economic, technical, scientific, artistic, athletic, etc.) happen. Praising competition this way, however, is a trick. It confuses something good with something bad, and uses what's good as an excuse for promoting what's bad. Here's how.

 

Friendly competition is (or can be) good, in many ways. A friendly game of cards, or chess, or basketball or ping pong or tennis (or any game for that matter) is a type of competition where the competition contributes to the fun. The losing player or team is not oppressed in any way and typically asks for a repeat play later on.

 

Contests are a kind of friendly competition. Contests can be about all sorts of things, from the trivial (who can eat the most hot dogs in an hour) to the fairly important (who can "invent a better mouse trap") to the enormously important (who can be the first to send a man to the moon, or find a cure for cancer or prove an elusive mathematical theorem.) Yes, competition--friendly competition!--can be not only fun but the source of great inventiveness and progress.

Friendly competition means the winner gets "bragging rights"; it does not mean the loser get driven down into oppressive economic hardship!

 

But unfriendly competition--dog eat dog competition--is another thing altogether, and it is what the plutocracy tries to force us to engage in. When an employer tells his/her workers somewhere that they are in competition with workers elsewhere to work harder and for less pay than the other workers, or else their employer's business will "lose to the competition" and go out of business and have to fire its workers, this is dog-eat-dog competition.  When the rulers of our society tell any group of people (men, women, this or that ethnic group, citizens [as opposed to illegal immigrants], etc.) that their ability to get a job (or admission to a school, etc.) is threatened by other people competing for the same thing, this is dog-eat-dog competition. 

In dog-eat-dog competition the loser faces severe oppressive economic hardship and the only winner is the upper class that promotes the competition for ordinary people to engage in--to be pitted against each other.

 

Dog-eat-dog competition is not about fostering progress or having fun, it is a way that a privileged upper ruling class dominates and oppresses us by pitting us against each other, to make us see other ordinary people like ourselves as a threatening dangerous enemy rather than as friends with a common enemy--the privileged upper ruling class.

To promote dog-eat-dog competition, the ruling class tries to make it sound like a good thing. For example, it tells us that if we're for equality then what we really want is for the (dog-eat-dog) competition to be "fair" and played (as if it were a friendly game) on a "level playing field."

 

MAKING SOCIETY BE NO-RICH-AND-NO-POOR MEANS MAKING IT BE BASED ON MUTUAL AID

 

Unless society is based on mutual aid, it cannot be a no-rich-and-no-poor society. The egalitarian economy of no-rich-and-no-poor is based on the principle of "From each according to reasonable ability, to each according to need or reasonable desire with scarce things equitably rationed according to need." This principle applies the Golden Rule to the economic aspect of society. How this principle works in practice--specifically how it is based on mutual aid agreements--is discussed in some detail here. This economic principle implements mutual aid.

 

Unlike an economy (such as ours today) based on money, on buying and selling, on "if you give me this I will give you something of equal value in exchange," an egalitarian economy is based on giving (for free) a person (or economic enterprise) what he/she/it needs or reasonably desires, with the only requirement being that the person (or economic enterprise) contribute in some way reasonably according to ability. If the person (or economic enterprise) for some reason is unable to contribute anything, then their required contribution is zero and they still can have--for free-what they need or reasonably desire or have an equal chance to get scarce things rationed according to need. Human beings since time immemorial have applied this basic egalitarian moral principle every time they freely gave food and shelter and care to children and the elderly, rather than telling them, "If you can't pay or barter for it then you don't get it." 

 

This is how, in an egalitarian economy, people help each other. It is how everybody benefits when, because of luck or unusually great talent or cleverness, one person (or several people) invent a "better mouse trap" or discover how to do something more efficiently, etc. When this happens (as it always does) in an egalitarian society it results in more of something good being available to be shared with others (who contribute reasonably according to ability) according to need or reasonable desire. It does not result (as in the case of dog-eat-dog competition) in some people becoming winners and other people losers forced into extreme economic hardship. 

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