Posts Tagged ‘capitalism’

Capitalism does not exist

30 September, 2008

Unlearn your lessons, expose your assumptions and repeat after me:

Capitalism does not exist.

Mainstream journalists found a long forgotten voice when they stated the obvious in yesterday’s papers – free market for the poor, socialism for the rich. This is not suddenly true because of the recent bailouts, but has been true since forever:

Capitalism does not exist.

Forget about laissez faire, ignore the claims of level playing field, recognise that contracts are instruments of oppression and accept, once and for all, that

Capitalism does not exist.

What is capitalism supposed to be? Wikipedia says it refers to an economic and social system in which the means of production are predominantly privately owned and operated, and in which investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a market economy.

Except – it doesn’t work that way, does it? The market currency, money, is the same as the power currency. Success in the market translates into influence in politics. And what else is politics but deciding the rules of our society? Market players influence politicians to change the rules of the market in their favour. This bears no relation to the theory of a free market economy.

Capitalism does not exist.

And if capitalism does not exist, if the people proclaiming its superiority engage in the very practices they denounce, is it not about time to set the record straight and shape our societies the way we, the people, want?

Shall we?

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Government – Does it protect our rights or take them away?

8 September, 2008

Government as we know it has no interest in guaranteeing our rights. The reason for this lies in the structures we have chosen to base our societies on. More poignantly, in the legacy structures that we find our societies based on. Two of those structures are democracy and capitalism.

Democracy is a system that requires active participation by all citizens. Capitalism is a system that knows no citizens; instead, it recognises capital, its concentration and the entities that propagate such concentration. Typically, no individual is able to amass enough capital to represent significant clout in capitalism.

Democracy in a capitalist society is no longer about citizens. Instead, decision making revolves around the interests championed by capital. Citizens being humans, they are considered mere resources and as such need to be allocated and minimised. In that context, rights are expensive.

Rights are never granted; we need to make it impossible for governments to ignore us. Economically speaking, it should be more expensive to ignore us than to agree we ought to have those rights. Considering that the benefits for capital are gigantic in the current setting (think of the windfall that banks and other financial institutions are experiencing with the current bailout by the US Administration of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), the costs of ignoring the interests of citizens should be even greater.

The role of government in a capitalist society is to promote the concentration of capital. Should we wish to protect our rights as citizens, our only real choice is to take a stand against such concentration. To do that takes effort, guts and, especially, is hard to do within the system; the playing field is hardly level and the rules are skewed against citizens.

Extra-parliamentary action is the only way to achieve this.