Title: From Nowhere to the Garbage Heap
Date: 1965
Source: Retrieved 10/25/2021 from http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bright/labadie/LabadieEssays.pdf
Notes: From a carbon copy of the typed original, signed and dated January 9, 1965. Reprinted in Laurance LaBadie: Selected Essays (Libertarian Broadsides), James J. Martin, ed., Ralph Myles Publisher, Inc., 1978.

The individual man is an organization that must of necessity live on and off the earth, and it is incumbent upon him to engage in at least some degree of cooperation in order to survive. He cannot now freely so order his life. Some are obliged to pay others for living on the earth (rent); and all are subjected to being muleted for an opportunity to cooperate with their fellows (interest). With such a state of affairs, it is mathematically inevitable that increasing numbers of people are bound to be dispossessed and left out.

The effect of the land and money monopolies is the concentration of ownership and control of productive capital, with a consequent manufacture of scarcity and scramble. The increasing insecurity at the margin reaches upward, and the scramble for the dollar, as it affects corporate enterprises attempting to sell to an inadequate market demand, compels an effort to decrease prices, which can only be done by eliminating labor as a factor of cost. It induces abnormal technological advance, with incidental uneconomical rate of obsolescence, completely oblivious of the effect on individuals. These individuals inevitably become impoverished and completely alienated from participation in the economy. The social stresses generated by the situation are proliferated in all directions, with the inescapable effect of manufacturing sickness and dis-ease, neurotics, and meaningless lives, and the deliberate murder of those who protest and who stand in the way of The Process, which itself is an invitation to communism. A feature of the process is the accumulation of investment capital which, not being able to be profitably invested in an economy already over-capitalized, measured by the effective demand, searches for other places in the world for profitable investment.

This expensive intrusion and concomitant murder is now taking place in the Congo, in Viet Nam, and it is incipient all over the place. At the rate things are going, it will require 6 to 10 fixers of various sorts, such as doctors, psychologists, social workers, and a whole slew of alleged social ameliorators, including the military and police to put down unrest, to take care of each of the physical, mental, and moral cripples who has been manufactured by the prevailing “ways of life.” Practically everyone who presumes to comment and propose, re the present situation, looks upon it more as a condition instead of a stage of a ‘process of deterioration. As already stated, this process involves the mulcting of populaces by means of an inequitable system of land tenure, and a diabolical monopoly of the means by which substantially all cooperative endeavor is carried on, namely the money-issuing monopoly, which in this country is the Federal Reserve System. None of the self-styled social fixers proposes the eradication of these denials of the essentials of freedom in economic activity. Practically every one of them is trying to concoct some scheme to distribute survival-income to the victims.

Since none of these worthies seem to be even aware that the bottom causes of a process which has resulted in political and economic power being now concentrated in the hands of less than 2% of the population, we may assume that The Process, which obviously entails the downright robbery of each individual’s birthright, and the increasingly wholesale murder of protesting victims, will continue. No government will have any scruples or hesitate to mow down dissidents.

The late technological advances, automation and cybernation, are not the results of the deliberate choice of man. They are inherent and inevitable aspects of the monopoly system. And the effect on humans is not to liberate and elevate man, but to robotize him. Unless and until the criminally exclusive privileges upheld by all governments are eradicated, or relinquished by the respective Establishments, the underlying phenomenon which has reduced large segments of populations to slaves or penurious receivers of handouts, and the aggressive economic penetrations and inherent imperialism of governments which inexorably lead to war, will be a foregone conclusion.

It is being proposed, as an answer to the questions raised by the civil rights movement, by cybernation, and the prospects of an atomic holocaust, that everyone be given government checks, and presumably the political and economic life of the country be relegated to the tender mercies of power elites who no doubt will be entrusted with our health, education, and welfare, “from cradle to grave.” One might comment on the infantile state of mind of the worthies who so propose—a sort of parasitic exploitation in reverse with the State as a full-fitted nursemaid taking care of its victims. But who would expect the members of any institution, school, or study group that had been subsidized by the “powers that be” to come to any conclusion inimical to the privileges of their sponsors?

What sort of world precisely do these wiseacres have in mind? A population of well-kept irresponsibles, dabbling in art and perhaps otherwise engaged in enjoying “the good things of life,” with their cares, worries, and talents (and even thoughts) left to the hands of social engineers? Shades of communism!

The federal government is already distributing over 50 billion dollars, via military expenditures alone, without adding a nickel’s worth of goods to the market. If peace and utopia should descend upon us (horrors!)—but couldn’t our government continue to pay out this amount to those recipients, for playing tiddly winks?

And instead of merely distributing survival income, why not follow logic and do a good job of it and have our government give everyone a million dollars, which then could be invested in backward countries like South America, Africa, and the Near Fast, the recipient living off the income, and nobody needing to work, and the free enterprise system conserved? Maybe our college-bred sociologists never thought of this. I offer the idea free.