Why the Call for "Fair Distribution" is an Error Ruthless Criticism

Why the Call for “Fair Distribution” is a Mistake

[Translated from broadcast by GegenStandpunkt Marburg: November 1, 2003]

Attac writes:

“There is enough money! Enough for everyone! Our society is the richest in the world! It can afford a decent social system. The enormous wealth which we all create must be fairly distributed!”

It is true that that there already exists enough money, this “enormous wealth.” But “for everyone”?! How does this wealth come about? According to the organizers, by the fact that “we all create it.” However, the crucial question is: for whom do “we all” create this wealth? Definitely not “for us”! All wealth production in this society must pass through a single narrow needle’s eye if it is to take place: it must enhance the wealth of those who possess all the means of production and who own all its products as a result.

All wealth production is chained to the property of the capitalists and has to be servable to them – and that is why “we all” have no claim to the results of this wealth production. Pride in the fact that “we all create the wealth” is really an admission of a subordinate position: “we all” may create wealth only if and insofar as it is in the interest of the owners – wealth production obeys their calculations.

Those who call for “fair distribution” recognize precisely this fact. They do not denounce the requirement that one must first make oneself servable to the property of others; they do not even mention it. Instead, they come along with an “afterwards”: only if “enormous wealth” was created in the first place, then they ask for an after-the-fact consideration that intentionally did not take place beforehand. Beforehand, they were needed in their subservience, and their modesty as well; because claims to that which creates “wealth” are incompatible with claims that allow for the creation of – somebody else’s – wealth. And exactly this is what those who now call for “fair distribution” have signed on to – and also morally elevated with their cliche about the “wealth that we all create.”

Therefore, it is impossible to demand “fair distribution” – whatever this should be. After one has made the rich wealthy with one’s “creating” one may appeal to them afterwards, whether they have maybe a little something left over. Yes, they get involved in charity, although they are very picky.

It is a mistake to call upon the state as a corrective authority: the state ensures with all its force only for the validity of these ownership structures – and with its mechanism of the welfare state and the welfare state reforms, it makes sure that all goes well for the capitalists. That does not prevent the demonstrators from directing a demand straight at the state: it should make the rich pay more taxes. It is characteristic of how hopelessly modest the call for “fair distribution” can become …