Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is this woman your hero too?

by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

This woman is my hero. Of course, she's not supposed to be a hero as she is being used in this instance to condemn those talented, resourceful women who have initiative and that good 'ole American know how. I can't say she is an entrepreneur as an entrepreneur is a person or persons that purchase productive labor power, that labor power that is the source of profit.  The imbecile Bush made it very clear when he said that the French "Don't have a word for entrepreneur".

This is an ad from Business Week. It is from the National Crime Prevention Council and the US Department of Justice it seems.

The ad is on behalf of the investors in the retail industry whose income is derived from the productive labor of others. You know, people like the WalMart heirs.  They don't like resourceful women or men who buy what they call "fake designer clothes".  

The sponsors of the ad claim that these "fake" products,"...are often made under sub-standard conditions...."  and that those responsible are stealing trademarks from "legitimate companies that pay taxes and fair wages to workers." I assume they mean legitimate companies like the ones that make I phones for Apple and other devices as well as the "legitimate" apparel makers like the ones in Cambodia that supply apparel to western retailers, or the one's in Bangladesh that do the same. The workers in Cambodia that demanded a living wage struck for this right and five of them were shot for it. As I pointed out previously, in the aftermath of the Cambodian strikes where workers won some increases, the American and European companies have responded by starving the industry there through holding back orders.  They are taking a “wait and see” attitude in case Cambodian wages continue to rise as it will force them to  “source elsewhere”.  Bangladesh has promise.

They even say in the ad that by wearing these "fake" clothes,  the dollars that my heroes save, "...come at a cost to others." We should not be fooled by this statement. The spokespersons of capital will most likely say that the workers in the "legitimate" companies will lose their jobs and this is the concern, these are the people who will suffer due to my hero above taking some initiative and saying "bollocks" to their patents and trademarks.

The forces behind this ad care no more about workers in Cambodia than they do about workers in the US.  They do not hire workers for the products that they make. They do not invest in production for the use value of the products the workers make, because people need sweaters, shoes, or clothes in general. The "costs to others" the ad refers to is profits to the investors and the manufacturers.  It is likely true that these products are made under sub-standard conditions.  But the standard these people are talking about is very low. All the "legitimate" products are made under "sub-standard" conditions because the standard is set not by the workers but by the capitalist.

Here in the US these very same people are waging a domestic war for sub-standard conditions and are winning it. So screw their standards, their trademarks and their patents.  Think about what patents do to profits for the pharmaceutical companies. Go and check out who this crime prevention group is. The usual "legitimate" crooks. And most importantly, as capitalists profit has its source in the unpaid labor of the working class, the capitalist system is itself mass theft.

All I have to say to this woman is "You go girl".

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