In order for capitalism to “work” ( ie – not fail ) in any regard, its starting assumptions must most likely be either true, or not too far off the truth; they certainly can’t be utterly false and contradictory to reality, in some manner likely to cause total failure.
Now one of the defences not often spoken – but which must logically be implied by any defence of capitalism from a civil liberties, human rights, and individual freedom of expression perspective – is that:
- IF your offerings to the world have value;
- THEN you should be able to support yourself providing such;
- ELSE IF you are unable to support yourself;
- THEN clearly your offerings have no significant value.
Think about that for a minute.
Capitalism apologists call this the best system possible, and the best economic system we’ve seen in the history of the world, and they’ll often cite the modern technological advances of the world as evidence of what capitalism provides, conveniently ignoring the fact that not one single item of technology, nor one single scientific discovery ever, has been, nor ever will be, based and dependent on the economic ideology of capitalism for its existence.
In other words: science invents EVERYTHING. Capitalism merely decides ( often quite stupidly ) what will get invented ( by denying resources to the development of those things it doesn’t want to see ), whom will get access once it is invented, and it plays no further role after that except deciding whom will see how much of the benefits of its invention ( financial profit distribution ).
Capitalism is otherwise utterly uninvolved in the processes of creative, technical, and scientific discovery and invention; therefore the influence of capitalism on invention is mostly a restrictive one.
So back to our assumption … this “best system possible” ( or so the apologists claim ), quite obviously does not provide support nor encouragement to every worthy creative or technical endeavour, in fact most such possibilities are actually prevented from even being known to their potential creators, as those people have their minds stolen from them by brainwashing, and their lives stolen from them by utterly unnecessary poverty, slavery, and warfare … all of which is entirely 100% manufactured by capitalism.
So quite to the contrary of our first conditional statement, the truth is something more like this:
- IF you are fortunately enough not to be born into poverty, slavery, or other crippling/debilitating hardship;
- AND IF you are also fortunately enough to born into an area of relative economic peace and security;
- AND IF you are lucky enough that your circumstances stay that way consistently for a very long time;
- AND IF you also have the good fortune to avoid brainwashing and acquire adequate education for your needs;
- AND IF you also don’t succumb to social pressure to abandon your dreams and creative vision;
- AND IF you acquire enough resources from few enough hours of your time to enable pursuit of such vision;
- AND IF you’re lucky enough not to require further support OR people actually understand and like what you’re doing;
- AND IF such people can afford to provide such further support AND choose to do so;
- AND IF you don’t get fucked over by circumstances or interference at any stage during the project development lifecycle;
- THEN the world might actually see your creative / technical vision.
So we just turned a 2 line false conditional assumption into a more accurate 10 lines, and we’re only half way through that starting point of 4 lines … so it’s not going well for capitalism so far.
But if it’s such a bleeding obvious failure to this staggering degree, why didn’t people notice? Well, that comes down to a few things:
- Capitalism was burning through the planet’s resources in the most utterly wasteful manner, and as a result of which it could minimise poverty by providing most people with jobs, and despite its protests, it lost the battle to deny the existence of a middle class ( which it tried to do ), and which fortunately for it, helped brainwash people into supporting its insanity;
- Poor people have been treated as if they don’t matter for most of history, so is it any wonder they could be easily forgotten;
- So long as there were advancements never before seen in the history of civilisation, how hard do you think it was for this system to take the credit for what would have been invented anyway ( no matter the economic system ), for the simple reason that scientists are curious, and artists want to express themselves … we were never not going to see a high tech world, unless religion remained the dominant force ( as in the dark ages ), and kept burning everyone that contradicted it.
There are many more reasons, but you get the idea ( or so I should hope … it’s a bit sad if you can’t see all that ).
So what about the second half of our starting assumption, that if you can’t support yourself, then clearly you’re just lazy or have nothing of value to offer, because if you did, people would buy it … well, let’s rip that bullshit to shreds right now … here’s how things actually work in reality:
- IF you are poor;
- THEN there’s a higher probability you will remain poor;
- AND most of your time and resources will be spent dealing with the consequences of poverty;
- AND you will experience more consequences caused by the momentum of unresolved poverty;
- AND you will experience more consequences caused by unresolved prior consequences of poverty;
- AND there’s a higher probability these will stack up regardless of your efforts causing depression;
- AND the often callous and superficial beneficiaries of capitalism will judge you as being “negative”;
- AND therefore those people will probably treat you like a leper, and totally fail to provide opportunity;
- AND they will also likely persecute you for being poor ( especially if you dare complain about it );
- AND THUS everything you do will cost more than it should in terms of effort & resources;
- YET despite costing more, you’ll still have a higher probability of failure;
- ELSE IF you are rich;
- THEN there’s a higher probability you will remain rich;
- AND people will throw money and free things at you whether you deserve or earned them or not;
- AND people will suck up to you, especially superficial people who want access to your resources;
- AND everything will be easier, because you can throw more resources at every single task and objective;
- AND you’ll get to do more, because you’ll have more resources to throw at more things;
- AND EVEN IF your ideas are fucking facile, pointless, stupid, and poorly executed – they’ll still have a higher probability of success versus the work of a poor person, for the simple reason that you can manufacture success for your utterly crappy work ( assuming you actually do anything ), by simply throwing money at it;
- AND IF you don’t have any creative technical or scientific ability, you just buy or set up a company of employees that do, and take the credit for their work, because you’re the one who’s too lazy and stupid to come up with your own vision.
So I’m not sure our starting assumptions could have been further off base had we actually tried to start something with a lie … which of course begs the question: was capitalism started on a lie?
In some respects I’m going to say yes, it was.
Now I know the actual economic history of the world ( at least as it is told ), might indicate that the current economic paradigm of capitalism may have evolved from other psycho-social behavioural responses to the issue of scarcity – ie: as a pre-technological species, we are more subject to the potentially deleterious consequences of seasonal and random natural changes in our environment, causing such things as crop failure; which have caused responses such as food preservation, storage, and possibly trade leading to capitalism … BUT just because a system in some regards evolved, does not mean it was not also manipulated for advantage along the way, and such manipulations may very well have become inherently entrenched in the economic construct we know today – which would certainly be indicated if it’s true that the proof is indeed in the pudding.
So that’s a critique of just one small set of the foundational assumptions of capitalism. It wasn’t by any means one of the most foundational nor important / significant such assumptions, and yet look at the magnitude of failure … off the top of my head in a handful of minutes, with no research at all, just applying logic and reasoning, I could completely rip it to shreds.
I have spent many years of my life thinking about things like this, and believe me there’s nowhere I look that I don’t see this kind of total failure … so quite frankly the only reason this idiotic system persists, is because it caters to the interests of those that support it, and it directs the majority of its control and output to the entrenchment of itself …
… BUT it doesn’t “work” for the majority of people, it doesn’t work at all for any other species, it doesn’t work at all for the natural but non-living elements of our planet’s ecosystems, and thus it arguably isn’t worth keeping.
Capitalism is a total failure, and it is incapable of Ecological & Social Justice & Sustainability – which should be our objective.