The Future of What’s Called “Capitalism”

Whatever definition of capitalism you use, the current system isn't it

Whatever definition of capitalism you use, the current system isn’t it so let’s call it “capitalism” in quotes to indicate it’s called “capitalism” but isn’t actually classical capitalism.

Try a few conventional definitions on for size:

Capitalism allocates capital to its most productive uses. Does the current system actually do this? You must be joking.

Capitalism is based on private labor and capital freely choosing where to invest time/assets. Does the current system actually do this? You must be joking.

Capitalism enables comparative advantages which enrich everyone. Does the current system actually do this? You must be joking.

The core dynamics of “capitalism” around the globe are:

1) Central banks create unprecedented sums of currency and credit and distribute them to the top of the wealth-power pyramid: banks, financiers, corporations, the super-wealthy.

2) The recipients of the central banks’ free money and credit dominate production, finance and the political sphere, controlling these forces to serve their own interests to the detriment of the biosphere and 99.9% of humanity.

3) The system depends on ever-increasing debt and leverage in every sector, household, commercial and government. If debt and leverage stop expanding, the system crashes.

4) Energy must be abundant and affordable to the average worker or the system crashes.

5) Despite the supposed benefits of “comparative advantage” globalization, costs of essential goods and services are rising relentlessly everywhere while wages stagnate everywhere.

6) The abject failure of “green solutions” such as recycling to the horrendously wasteful landfill economy.

7) The unholy alliance of surveillance capitalism and increasingly repressive states.

8) The unprecedented dominance of stock and financial markets, to the detriment of the real economy.

The current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine is emblematic of the status quo’s calculated avoidance of these dynamics: the issue’s focus is “The Future of Capitalism,” but there is literally not one mention of central banks, the dominance of financial elites, the dependence of the system on ever-expanding debt and leverage, soaring costs of essentials while wages stagnate or the inconvenient reality that there is no substitute for hydrocarbon fuels.

Instead, the “future of capitalism” is presented as a choice between statist (i.e. Chinese) and private-sector (i.e. American) versions, ignoring the reality that both versions depend on central banks issuing unprecedented, gargantuan sums of freshly issued currency and credit, enormous expansions of public and private debt, ever-higher speculative leverage and ever-greater consumption of hydrocarbon fuels.

Rather than “efficient allocation of capital,” we have monopolies and cartels profiting from a staggeringly wasteful landfill economy based on extracting ever greater quantities or energy to squander on traffic congestion, destructive addictions and planned obsolescence.

Rather than an “invisible hand” benefiting everyone, we have a self-serving state-cartel system that squashes competition, exploits the politically powerless and stripmines resources, workforces and a financial system designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many.

We inhabit an unsustainably destabilizing psychotic dualist reality, an officially sanctioned “capitalism” in which everyone is getting better every day in every way as central banks, financiers and the super-wealthy go about their self-serving business, and the lived real-world economic reality described by the eight dynamics listed above.

The psychotic instability will resolve itself when the illusory officially sanctioned “capitalism” implodes.

Source: Of Two Minds

  1. […] Read further at Anti-Empire […]

  2. XRGRSF says

    Capital is defined as excess profits available for investment. Ergo, the American debt/usury economy is not a capitalist economy. If Americans ever figure this out there’ll be hell to pay, but considering the sloth, and apathy of the vast majority of Muricans I think the oligarchs, and banksters are completely safe. Besides, if it all falls apart they’ll just blame it on China, and the Corona Virus.

  3. Brion Adair says

    Capitalism is doing exactly what it was intended to do and that is to turn the world into debt slaves paying usurious interest on Capital loaned by a Central Bank controlled by some Rothschild scion.

    There are better systems and I don’t mean socialism because its just the flip side of the same coin of the realm.

    Such systems existed in the Americas before they were ruthlessly invaded by invading Europeans in search of gold to feed their god of capital.

  4. cechas vodobenikov says

    capitalism is at best a meaningless slogan, especially for its proponents…neithe culture, political systems, theory of law are considered….capitalism has never functioned in any real sense—it destroys initiative, innovation and produces oligarchies, hence the requirement for regulation….w some exceptions—for example drug dealers, largely unregulated, often peddle low quality trash at high prices….but they r required to reduce completion via cartels, gang wars, etc

  5. David Chu says

    Capitalism is exactly as advertised. It is the fanatical religion of “capital” and debt in supremacy above everything else, most especially labor. Let’s not confuse capitalism with entrepreneurism which are two completely different things, even though the high priests of capitalism (i.e., libertarians, free marketeers, globalists, invisible hands of the market, etc.) want everyone to believe otherwise.

    It is the same Utopia as Communism, but on the other side of the same coin.

  6. CHUCKMAN says

    Rather dated in its concepts and thinking.

    “Classical capitalism” has existed nowhere except in textbooks.

    It represents more of a model to measure the costs and distortions of things against than a real workable concept.

    Truth is, for many reasons, I do not think it possible to exist, anymore than we have seen a genuine example of “socialism.”

    Powerful individuals and corporations will always seek and be given privilege and subsidies.

    Favoritism and bias, too, will always distort the realities so long as it is humans running things.

    And what greater opponent to the model of capitalism is possible than the military-security complex?

    It is a gigantic command-economy, hugely inefficient and wasteful, almost by definition.

    It also represents in the political sphere, the antithesis of democracy and free choice.

    The bigger its role in your society, the more deleterious it is.

    In America, it has become an overwhelming reality.

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