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Capitalism: The Nightmare


Capitalism: The Nightmare

Paul Street

The neoliberal, arch-capitalist era we inhabit is chock-full of statistics and stories that ought to send chills down the spines of any caring, morally sentient human. Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of the world’s population is poor, living on $10 a day or less, and 11 percent (767 million people, including 385 million children) live in what the World Bank calls “extreme poverty” (less than a $1.90 a day).


I notice neither the how to aspect nor the temporal reality (the actual number of years it would take to upend capitalism while in the face of an ecological catastrophe in the next few years) is expressed in this lengthy article. While I may agree that someday the points elucidated might come about I think that time is not on humanity’s side. Long dissertations on the failures of capitalism being what they are, we have barely two decades or perhaps three of a dubious ‘normal’ weather before it cascades out of tolerance.

The hurricanes we see now will not be anomalies but instead will be considered regular normal hurricanes in the next two decades. The ocean water has been warmed and will get even warmer. Hurricanes will likely worsen. A category 6 rating will needs be created in the near future. Amid storms, floods, killer droughts and heat, civil unrest, millions of refugees and who knows what else amid our catastrophe climate future…

…where will there be the time nor the effort made to do away with capitalism in the midst of what will be unending catastrophes?

Maybe if Sanders gets elected and people see his ethical socialism as an example. I just think that reality is going to be akin to trying to change capitalism during a hurricane … or something similar.


Let’s start with the fact that while 11% live in extreme poverty today, as recently as 1980, it was more than 1/3 of people, and in 1900, it was more than 60%.

So, while the world’s population has been increasing, both the absolute and relative number of people living in extreme poverty has steadily decreased.

In the US, extreme poverty is currently running at 2-4% (depending on the statistics and the inclusion of non-cash benefits) down from more than 15% in 1900, again, showing improvements in both absolute and relative terms.

Looks pretty good, relatively speaking, especially given the centuries before capitalism.


Fortunately, many of the courses of action that address climate change (you did not identify this by name, but I am assuming this) in a just, equitable, and sustainable manner have the same effect of doing away with capitalism, especially the corporate fascist version.


I believe a combination of the two is preferable. Social capitalism or capitalistic socialism… whatever? Limits to both systems in effect. I doubt though that we will actually choose how things go and will instead have climate catastrophe determine things.

I do very much worry that catastrophe will institute repressive government (including fascism). The next two decades especially are not going to be fun.

“Good luck kiddies!” Said the old coot!


Oligarchic capitalism can and likely will reverse those trends. It is an aberrant form of capitalism and kind of like a bastard child ofsocialist oligarchy (the Soviets were such). Oligarchy does not compete which is a kind of despotic socialism ruled by a few ( nobles for example) monopolistic concerns and elite families.

In an overpopulated and resource scarce future where famine is commonplace and shortages cause wholesale reductions in consumerism (rationing), society tends towards the selfish accumulation of wealth and property by a few at the expense of the many (and too many at that). Throw in the end of the estate tax and continuing tax cuts for the wealthy and in a few decades you will a modern version of medievalism - nobles and peasants (serfs).


Kill off the Duopoly control. End the Nightmare.

Find Greener pastures where Dreams come true.

Put our country back on a path towards Peace.


To be “radical” in the present era simply means to lack a death wish

And there is nothing of even nominal visibility in the current political context, at least in these here United States, that acknowledges that stark reality.


Good article but a minor spelling mistake. It is spelled “Crapitalism”.


The entire US government is thoroughly corrupt. They would rather kill everybody than back off an inch. The US people mean nothing to them, only their personal wealth does, that and the heavily armed police state who are their first line of defense. To pretend otherwise is pure fantasy.


A powerful indictment by Paul Street.

It directs our attention to the fact that it is not the effects or symptoms of the capitalist system that must be removed but that the struggle should be to go to the root cause and END capitalism in its entirety.


“…In a few decades …”? - duh, look around you now …


" … the things routinely and inaccurately identified with capitalism in the dominant U.S. political and intellectual discourse: democracy, freedom, trade, job creation, growth and/or a “free market” that is characterized by widespread competition and/or little or no government interference."

So is what we need a system that is accurately “identified with … democracy, freedom, trade, job creation, growth and/or a ‘free market’ that is characterized by widespread competition and/or little or no government interference.”?

Be careful - you point out later on that continual “growth” is what is killing us “Sadly, growth on the current carbon-fueled capitalist model has put humanity—not to mention thousands of other sentient beings on earth—on the path to near-term (historically speaking) extinction.” But would “growth” on any other model be OK …? And is “trade” for the sake of trade an end to pursue? As for a ‘free-market’ that is characterized by widespread competition and/or little or no government do you realize there is no such thing, it is rather an “oxymoron”? And that the pursuit of such is precisely what the “capitalists” use as an excuse to gut government regulation and taxation?


So … you want to measure capitalism’s success based on the percentage (or number) of those living in extreme poverty of less than $1.90 per day. That is really fucking big-hearted of you! This is the same line of bull shit that all capitalists – especially Libertarians – always puke up.

What you neglect to include in your line of distorted horse shit is that it has taken around 400 years to get here … and it only addresses extreme poverty – while pretending and ignoring that poverty above that level surrounds us every day!

Based on capitalism’s 400-year track record, I call it an absolute failure … with the exception of the ruling elites.

WWSmith, your false narrative doesn’t fool anyone who will take the effort and time to do a little research on their own instead of accepting the “alternative facts” presented by those who finacially benefit (decade after decade) from keeping the masses blind and obedient for further exploitation.

“Democracy and capitalism have very different beliefs about the proper distribution of power One [democracy] believes in a completely equal distribution of political power, ‘one man, one vote,’ while the other [capitalism] believes that it is the duty of the economically fit to drive the unfit out of business and into extinction. … To put it in its starkest form, capitalism is perfectly compatible with slavery. Democracy is not.”

– Lester Thurow


Free market worshipers with their belief that the market is all omnipotent and omniscience refuse to see it is devoid of morals. To give power to an economy directed without morals is ludicrous and a disaster waiting. This free market system is the basis of our current predation economic system


13,000,000 are in extreme poverty in the U.S.?

Extreme poverty, absolute poverty, destitution, or penury, was originally defined by the United Nations in 1995 as "a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.


Slavery is alive and well, its called wage slavery,a much more efficient system----just need to brainwash people making them think they will get ahead someday being a wage slave.


Capitalism has won, the Earth has lost. Capitalism’s minions, Madison Avenue to sell its values, chemical poison companies to grow its food, arms makers to fight its wars, news corporations to give us its news.

The Earth has lost. Mystics and shamans to transmit its values, farmers to grow its food, poets to fight its wars, the Earth itself, its insects and oceans, to give us the news.


Temper temper…

All levels of poverty have been reduced over time. I used the example of extreme poverty, because that is what the author of the article cited.

And how are facts “horseshit”? If you have facts to the contrary, please present them. Or are you taking the position that every problem in creation hasn’t been solved, capitalism is a failure?

And Lester Thurow is wrong. Capitalism assumes that people own themselves. Socialism is the ideology that assumes the state owns the individual.


And if you need an example of how alive and well slavery is doing in the US, just take a look at the growing privatized prison and detention center industrial complex–the 13th amendment did not abolish all slavery.