Monday, 24 June 2013
- Nicholas van Rijn in Poul Anderson, Mirkheim, London, 1978, p. 102.
I disagree with van Rijn on a few points. Good food, drink, music and profit are not given by God but produced by humanity. Profit is created when commodities, including labour power, are bought and sold at their value. Thus, van Rijn's employees sell their labour power at its value, then produce more than that value.
"No system that mortals devise is perfect; all break their share of lives." (p. 104)
"Troublemakers," so called, are often not those who play God but those who protest when they lose out economically because of decisions taken elsewhere. I participated in a demonstration outside a closed print works. A policeman pushing back a demonstrator said in exasperation, "Why don't you just go home?" to which the demonstrator replied, "I don't want to go home! I want to be in there! I've lost my job, do you know what that means?"
Van Rijn is right that such men can be misled by "Saviors" but, meanwhile, many of the unemployed do not have van Rijn's access to good food, drink or profit. If I saw these things as God's gifts, then I would have to say that God was not handing them out equitably.