Capitalism

"Capitalism is like cancer. Once it enters a host country's economy, it will spread and devour labor, the environment, and any other impediment to the growth of profit. Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital. However, the world cannot continue to get richer as the earth becomes poorer. Just as the only inevitability in life is death, the only inevitability about our capitalist way of life, is the death of our planet [and our civilization]." Garikai Chengu
There is a constant struggle between capitalism and democracy. There have been ebbs and flows where democracy looks like its winning, to reign in those powerful forces, but the fundamental reality is most of the governments decisions today are substantially by powerful corporate interests. clearly, capitalism is winning.  Charles Lewis: Center For Public Integrity in the film "Why We Fight".
Capitalism — the logic of subordinating every aspect of life to the accumulation of profit (i.e. the “rules of the market”) — has become today’s “common sense.” It has become almost unthinkable to imagine coherent alternatives to this logic, even when considering the most basic of human needs — food, water, healthcare, education. Though many have an understanding of capitalism’s failings, there is a resignation towards its inevitability. Margaret Thatcher’s famous words, “There Is No Alternative,” no longer need to be spoken, they are simply accepted as normal, non-ideological, neutral. What sustains the tragic myth that There Is No Alternative? Those committed to building a more just future must begin re-thinking and revealing the taken-for-granted assumptions that make capitalism “common sense,” and bring these into the realm of mainstream public debate in order to widen horizons of possibility. We can’t leave this task to the pages of peer-reviewed journals and classrooms of social theory — these conversations must enter also into the family dining rooms and TV screens. Andrea Brower 1/25/2013
In case you haven't noticed, Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a publishing sensation. It has already sold 200,000 copies, making it the 50 Shades of Grey of economics books. It is being reviewed on the internet by supporters and critics who self-evidently have not read all of its 577 pages. And it has jolted the right, who are scrabbling around for an answer to its main message: rising inequality is killing capitalism. (From a review of Thomas Pikkety's Capitalism)
"Markets enable people to pursue their private interests through free exchange with others, but markets are not designed to take care of common interests such as the preservation of peace, the protection of the environment or the maintenance of the market mechanism itself. Such common interests require political institutions...." The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power: Page 196 George Soros.
The free marketeers have a deep all-abiding faith in laissez-faire for it is a faith that serves them well. It means no government oversight, no being held accountable for the environmental disasters they perpetrate. Like greedy spoiled brats, they repeatedly get bailed out by the government (some free market!) so that they can continue to take irresponsible risks, plunder the land, poison the seas, sicken whole communities, lay waste to entire regions, and pocket obscene profits. Michael Parenti
...market systems turn you into a sociopath - you're out there for yourself, and you don't give a damn about anyone else. That's a market system. That itself is destructive. Noam Chomsky
"Capitalism is based on production for profit, not need. It's also based on a requirement of constant growth for profit. That's self-destructive - quite apart from things like the steady process of monopolization, forming more and more oligopolies, as well as overproduction and the decline of the rate of profit. These are long-term tendencies that can be delayed, but they're inherent to capitalism." Power Systems: Noam Chomsky pg170
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone." - John Maynard Keynes, British economist.

What Happened to the Moral Center of American Capitalism? (9/5/2015)

In Fiery Speeches, the Pope excoriates capitalism (7/11/2015)

To Move Beyond Boom and Bust, We Need a New Theory of Capitalism (3/23/2015)

Cause of Climate Crisis: Capitalism is Stupid (9/24/2014)

In Defense of Capitalism: Joe Stiglitz (8/25/2014)

Can Civilization Survive Capitalism ? (3/13/2013)

The Endgame of Capitalism (2/3/2013)

The Myth of Capitalism (video) Michael Parenti

Capitalism Destroys Civilization


Capitalism on Trial (video)


Markets and Morals (5/30/2012)

Capitalism has failed. 5 Bold Ways to build a new world (5/16/2012)

Wall Street's Latest Shameless Ploy To Fleece You (12/10/2011)

Capitalism's New Era (8/28/2011)

Although Republicans (and some academic economists) would have you believe otherwise, Capitalism has its problems.

 As the environment deteriorates, as it seems certain to do given exponential population growth, climate change, pollution, species extinction, urban sprawl, burning forests, melting glaciers, disappearing icecaps,  etc. there will likely be resource wars, water shortages, and increasing food shortages. There will be armed and violent social unrest.

Although, for now, there may now be sufficient food and resources to provide the world population a decent standard of living, capitalism does not distribute it fairly. Poverty is persistent even when there are surpluses.

The market, since it is not particularly rational, is not an appropriate tool for making decisions. It is unstable, unfair, unsustainable, and amoral.

The overarching goal of any economy should be to serve the people. Not, as we now have, a powerful elite. For anyone paying attention, there is evidence of widespread corruption.

It is unstable. There are booms and busts that are disruptive and largely caused by wild speculation, high leverage, lapses in regulation, and irrational exuberance. Market crashes are brought on when there is extreme income inequality. What we learned in the 1930's was repealed by short-sighted politicians. The graduated income tax is a necessary stabilizer as is a strong social safety net. After the most recent bank bailouts, no one should doubt the need for sensible regulation. (Republicans, with considerable cash from the financial sector, fight even the modest regulations that have been proposed.)

It is unfair. Wealth tends to accumulate into small groups who then use it to further game the system and acquire still more. Wide wealth disparities are always accompanied by pathological social problems. When much of the workforce is unused and resources are idle, when we need to renew our infrastructure, then it is the system that needs restructuring.

Corporations have a clear record of being bad citizens, yet our government is beholden to them. This has not only produced a media-election complex, a military industrial complex intent on building an empire, it has been a strong force for fascism. (Fascism is defined as the control of government by corporations. We have that. )

Corporations can produce most of what we need, but they only employ a small fraction of the people. There is always an unlimited amount of work that needs to be done, but corporations can do a lot with just a few people. There is inexorable consolidation within every industry, so that market choices become limited, work force is reduced, Fewer workers accompanied by declining wages result in a weak domestic market. Increasingly, advanced technology replace workers. So can third-world sweat shops or prison labor.

There is even an increase in unpaid work. Media used to pay for talent, but more often 'reality' shows rely on volunteers. Interns are expected to work for a while before getting an actual paid job.  Often graduating college students may no longer find a job that will pay off their debt.

Because the corporate mandate is only to produce profits, there is a persistent downward pressure on wages. The lowest wages are prevailing in developing countries, so corporations, who have no particular loyalty or patriotism, migrate to the lowest wage, unregulated, environmental unprotected, countries. Where jobs can not be easily exported, there is an aggressive policy of union busting. Corporate media (almost ALL US media) sees all of this in a positive light. Our government is usually well paid to ignore the problems of the vast majority of people. Banks get bailed out and corporate America is well rewarded.

Republican policy, ignoring deteriorating infrastructure, cutting higher education while driving students into unrepairable debt, shredding the social safety net, will drive most people in the US into debt servitude. Not coincidentially, the US will regress to third world condition.

The best economy is a mixed one, where markets are transparent and well regulated. We could learn a lot from techniques developed in Scandinavian countries.

Richard D. Wolff ...See his talks on Youtube.

Capitalism Hits the Fan (A Movie)

Capitalism is Dead, Long Live the Millionaire Bailout Society: (2/22/2010)

How Free Market Delusions Destroyed the Economy

Why Global Capitalism Crashed (10/7/2009)

Consciousness Capitalism: Corporations Are Now After Our Very Beings

Creative-i

Links

Capitalism and Its Discontents

The Next System

Against Crony Capitalism

This Changes Everything

Capital As Power

Video

How to Ruin an Economy

Bibliography

Why America Failed: Morris Berman

Postcapitalism, a Guide to Our Future: Paul Mason

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe: Antony Loewenstein

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism: Naomi Klein

17 Contradictions of Capitalism: David Harvey

Confronting Captalism: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System: Philip Kotler

This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein

Capitalism, Thomas Piketty

Capitalism Hits The Fan, Richard Wolff

Agenda For A New Economy, David Korten (See his comments.)

Saving Capitalism For the Many, Not the Few: Robert B. Reich

The Myth of the Rational Market: Justin Fox

What Money Can't Buy:  Michael Sandell

Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale: Debra Satz

Economyths: David Orell

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