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Capitalism Is Doomed — Without Alternatives, So Are We


#1

Capitalism Is Doomed — Without Alternatives, So Are We

Jake Johnson

In 1946, George Orwell pondered the fragility of the capitalist order.

Reviewing the work of the influential theorist James Burnham, Orwell presaged several concepts that would later form the groundwork for his best-known novel, 1984.

"Not only is the best of capitalism behind us, but the worst of it may lie just ahead."


#2

Capitalism remains a very dangerous beast even as the illusions of it as something that is grand and benevolent are shattered.

Universal incomes are they very concepts a number of Countries have tried and introduce , such as in Libya where people were guaranteed shelter, health care and enough food to eat by that Countries Constitution. This type of economic system was claimed as despotic by the media in the west and such systems villified as "lacking in freedom and liberty" by the owner class.

The Capitalists move to crush these movements ruthlessly abroad and will certainly do so at home. I am firmly convinced that part of the villification of Russia, outside the desire to try and make war on that Nation so as to break it up into smaller pieces this allowing the Capitalists to assert countrol over that Countries resources , is to prepare the way for a new enemy at home. Just as the corrupt champion of Capkillism Ms Clinton claims Russia behind the Email attacks and Russia funds environmental groups , those in power will soon claim Russia behind Civil unrest that is bound to occur in the USA as the people awaken to the true nature of that beast called Capitalism.

I am sure there are those who will rush here to defend that economic system and suggest it merely needs to be regulated and all will be well. That simply is trying to put lipstick on a pig . There is no salvaging this system as it predicated on inequality, endless growth and a small group controlling "the means of production" and thus the levers of power that Govern our respective societies and LIFE itself as manifested in turning all of LIFE into a thing that can be owned and destroyed in order to enhance profits .


#3

I don't see that humanity has come up with an ism yet that works beyond the human foible of greed and succumbing to our own worst instincts. Between that and a population that has over stepped it's resource base, we have issues more compelling than who's theory is being shoved down our throats backed by police power and military might.


#4

Articles like this continue to educate me as to the media methodology of channeling precisely what is ostensibly being critiqued. It is as if an agribusiness sized silo has been framed and mounted as the model for information. What gives it away is that NONE of these articles includes the cost of cleaning up the devastating industrial pollution, in all its forms, with which we are saddling coming generations. THIS, I would submit, is exemplary of precisely how pervasive one essential concept is that links a broad spectrum of societal woes: the privilege that capitalism assumes of "externalizing" anything that cuts into the profit margin.

Predatory capitalism is and does precisely that. It preys according to what it claims are 'scientific' (sic) sets of criteria, and scorns, dismisses, denies consequences at a scale that is most likely according to clinical analysis both psychotic and sociopathic.

Try transcribing the very simple and basic equation for the Exponential Function and keep it handy as lens to consider how economic news is shaped. "Ignorant masses" are a 'product' not a natural human condition.


#5

Good point, Capra aegagrus circus antiqua. I'll have to include "ignorant masses" among the externalities of capitalism in the future.


#6

I think they have. It's called socialism.

Socialism acts upon the principle of cooperation to make life better for all.

Capitalism acts upon the principle of competition to make life miserable for all except the capitalists.


#7

Externalities, as pointed out by theoldgoat, is a huge issue. It could and should be addressed by capitalism. I don't know if the elites are the bigger problem or if the problem lies as much or more with the ignorant masses. Of course we are all greedy. I myself could live a better, more environmentally sensitive life, but it's ever so easy to put comfort, entertainment, and sensual pleasures over restrictive life styles. I do not necessarily see the endless growth aspect of capitalism to be a problem. We could, if we wish, have endless growth of good stuff such as endless growth of beautiful gardens, healthcare, education...


#8

I think we all recognize that the direction and aim of capitalism now is total ownership of the planet and all life, including humans on it. There is a group of representatives from the biggest of corporations, and I wish I could remember their name, who put it right on their website, unashamed for all to see, that their goal is to make the transition from government by legislature, which is outdated, to government by corporations. Their premise is that since the big corporations are the ones with a stake in the game, they should be the ones making all the decisions. And of course, current trade deal negotiations are further evidence of this goal.

Hillary is so distasteful because she believes in this religion and makes it clear. Trump also believes in this religion, but expresses the belief a little differently. For Chomsky to say that our only choice is optimism and working toward any possibility, no matter how small, sounds like an endorsement of Stein.


#9

Shame he is still one of those people who bought the "fear Trump" meme and says that people who live in swing states should still vote for Hillary to prevent a Trump presidency.


#10

This is an article from CP that I feel dovetails nicely with Jake’s latest.

The takeaway (I think?) is that collapse is inevitable (which I believe is true) which would include the collapse of this destructive u.s. oligarchy that is fueled by capitalism.

Of course the question remains, will a habitable planet be left in the wake of the human induced sixth extinction? I think not.

I find it curious that so many journalists (and others) talk about the future of "election cycles" while the arctic is melting such that it is nearing a blue ocean event and we are on a trajectory for ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere that will make human life on earth impossible!

In any case, I disagree with Noam Chomsky’s quote about optimism at the end of Jake's piece. (And thank you Jake for your excellent contributions)

Taken as a life system----- if the biosphere/lithosphere/hydrosphere have been altered by humans to the point of not being able to sustain diverse life forms (including humans)----- than acceptance would be in order.

Acceptance does not preclude trying to make the world a better place. And it is OK not to be optimistic-------no need to shame those who are not hopeful for the future of life (as it exists today) on our planet.

Additionally, acceptance does not mean we role over and be accomplices in the destruction of life on earth:

"A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices."—George Orwell

“True sustainability requires zero waste. True sustainability requires an end to all unnecessary manufactured toxics. True sustainability requires an end to excess production and consumption. True sustainability requires an end to equating wants with needs. All of this is antithetical to our current way of life. All of this is antithetical to industrial growth. Most of all, all of this is antithetical to capitalism.

Republicans want to deny that our environmental problems exist.

Democrats want to engineer our way out of global catastrophe, when it is engineering itself that led us down this path.”


#12

That's pretty shortsighted.
The Capitalist system runs our lives. That's pretty compelling don't you think?
The Capitalist "ism" needs to be junked in favor of a less destructive "ism" which are available as port_lookout suggested.


#13

"They" know how to get rid of inequality, but they won't because it would mean less for them.
So it's up to the 99% to show "them" the error of their ways.
Peacefully, like with a nationwide General Strike.


#14

The problem with growing income and wealth inequality is that its only possible outcome is neofeudalism, characterized by the 1% owning everything and the 99% owning nothing. The growing income and wealth inequality we continue to experience is not just happenstance, it is well planned and well executed by the oligarchy.

Neofeudalism is the natural successor of uncontrolled capitalism.


#15

Hi MCH,

I understand that Noam Chomsky has a reasoned analysis behind his 'fear Trump' push. I respectfully disagree with his reasoning. What troubles me, however, are the Clinton supporters ad hominems, misrepresentations, and overall venomous attacks against those of us who promote voting for Jill Stein. I would appreciate him taking a stand against those who use his words to back such attacks.

Now, that Hillary Clinton seems assured of being the next President, I am seeing more Clinton supporters directing progressives to continue to back her so that she will win by a 'margin' that will enable her to confront an obstructionist Republican congress. I imagine that throughout her Presidency, Clinton supporters will continue to push the 'fear' of facist Republican takeover meme in order to direct progressives to put aside differences with her plutocratic and militaristic practices.


#16

I never understood that. What would a "greater" margin of victory do to help Clinton in a republican congress? How would that give her any more influence than a "lesser" margin? Oh well I guess it doesn't matter that much since she has plenty of war hawk friends in congress that will help with bipartisan actions to further the profits of the MIC...


#17

Alternatives exist, but they exist on the micro rather than the macro level. As the Empire continues to tighten its grip on all things economic, individuals will find new ways to trade and commune with each other that won't involve them.

I'm already seeing this in action in my own community as a goods and service barter system appears to be getting stronger as more and more poor and marginalized people are being cut off from the system. Once the total collapse of the system takes place (it's just a matter of time, really), it'll be these traders and makers who will facilitate the transition into something else.

It won't be the same everywhere, which is why I say this will occur on the micro rather than the macro level. In some places, I imagine it'll be as bad if not worse than the worst dystopian vision, while in other places it'll be a lot better, although I resist the notion that any sort of Utopia is possible. (Humans aren't perfect, so how can our institutions ever be?)

Be wise, be well, and be somewhere you feel safe.


#18

One of the most evil canards of Capitalism is the meme and controlled narrative that we hear in the MSM over and over again: VOTE, YOUR VOTE COUNTS! I would submit that is only true if you vote for Dr. Jill Stein; otherwise, you are wasting your vote.

If Your vote for either a fascist, sexual predator, buffoon or a warmongering Wall street and MIC fawning parasite is a wasted vote...then why vote for anyone but the Green party?

Capitalism is doomed without a genuine alternative,,,true. And that genuine alternative is Dr. Jill Stein.


#21

Maybe. I personally can't be that pessimistic though. I am young, so I will be front and center to witness this collapse, a collapse I had no hand in creating. Giving up now would just give the very same systems that are causing this problem the freedom to continue torturing us until we all go extinct. If we can't save the world at the very least we should try to make our exit stage left be as painless to the planet as possible.


#23

Shantiananda, your thought is beautiful. It never occurred to me to turn conventional wisdom around like you did. Most lesser evil voters are preoccupied with sorting out bad policy to avoid throwing their votes away on a third party candidate when, in fact, they are wasting their votes on a destructive outcome. I'm not the one who is wasting my vote by casting it for Jill Stein. Those who vote for corruption are the ones who are wasting their votes.


#24

Ever since I started voting for third party POTUS candidates after the 1985 Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) formation, dyed in the wool Democratic Party voters have been very condescending and self righteous in condemning my choices...until this year when they have demonstrated serial vitriol, first against Sanders' supporters during the primary (despite nearly all polls confirming that in the general election Sanders would do better than Clinton against any of the GOP primary contenders), followed by even more vitriol and even hysteria against third party voters in the general election.

Vitriolic and hysterical parental pressure is driving many of Sanders' young primary voters to vote for Clinton.