What’s the real problem with capitalism? If it works so well, if it’s such a great system, why are all the manageable problems in the world today centered around the capitalist ideal? Some would say, the problems have nothing to do with capitalism. Well lets take a look at that. First we’ll need to settle on what capitalism is, at least as far as this conversation is concerned.
If we look for a definition of Capitalism we’ll find there are many. In fact the variations, categories and definitions are so deep and wide that it would take a semester in college to cover it all. So we’ll have to come up with a narrow, easily defined idea for our discussion. What we really mean when we talk about capitalism today is consumerism. Capital as a model for production and all that sort of thing isn’t what we’re talking about.
Capitalism for us means, if we want food, clothing or shelter we’ll have to use money/capital as the unit of exchange. In other words everything has become private property. A head of lettuce is owned by whoever grows it. Next it’s owned by the transport company and then the grocer and finally a consumer – us.
So what’s wrong with this system? What part of it is dysfunctional? Where does the system of capitalism, or consumerism come from? Well certainly it’s just an idea. Someone at some point wanted something someone else was holding and offered the holder something in exchange. That was trade. But why would someone want “the held something” in this situation? We can assume it had the quality of scarcity – it wasn’t sand. This brings up the idea of special goods and services. For instance if I am one in a thousand that can make a flute, or play a flute, I can provide someone a special service.
If I have a love for a certain food that isn’t easy to come by then I might make flutes in exchange for the special food. This is still trading. This is a direct exchange. It could be seen as a form of capitalism or consumerism. The consumer wants a flute and has the special food. But who is the consumer? The special food, like the flute, can be classified as capital. But does this make up a capitalist system. Not really, this system is based on the idea of being able to participate, or not. It’s really just a voluntary barter system agreed to by the individuals involved.
Although we could say this qualifies as a system and we could say that this system of exchange is a form of capitalism this may still be a stretch in definition. In this simple example not only does anything qualify as capital but it’s all based on the individuals perspective and assessment of value.
Maybe this doesn’t even qualify as an “ism”. It may be a system that deals with capital but it’s probably not capitalism. To have a real system of capitalism, like the one we have, there has to be some controlling entity. Someone or some body has to establish, control and regulate the system. To have real capitalism like we’re looking at here it also has to be mandatory. Capitalism is mandatory in most nations and it is controlled by, or through, the Nation State. This is where we start to run into trouble and see the dysfunction.
The best way I’ve found to look realistically at the system of capitalism which has taken over the planet is to see it as a game. This is best because 1) It is a game 2) We all understand the concept of a game. We know that all games are created by people and played by people – usually for fun. The capitalist consumerism game was created by people. The game is played by the people who created it and the purpose of the game is to control all the pieces. The game board is our planet. The pieces are – everything on and in the planet. Everything in the game is turned into a commodity – something that can be bought. The player advance in the game by gaining ownership of each individual piece and the winner seizes control of the board.
The primary players are those who created the game. These are the players who fully understand the rules and the goals. The secondary players are those who can collect pieces. Secondary players don’t make rules for the game. They can make rules via laws and regulations that result in personal gain. But they have little or no chance of becoming primary players and thus no chance of winning the game in the long run. Secondary players are also pieces.
Third level players. Third level players are usually situated in positions of influence within the Nation States. They are seldom in the game but operate on a reward system. They can receive rewards from primary or secondary players. They are the tools used by the players to control the board. The remaining participants aren’t involved in the game at all. They do participate. They are necessary to the game because the primary players created the game as a reaction to the presence of the participants.
Within this group there are varying levels of awareness concerning the game. This awareness goes from not being aware of the game at all – to trying to stop the game. This is maybe the only interesting part of the game for me. Unlike most games the board in the capitalist consumerism game is dynamic. It doesn’t stay put. It can change at any time and is constantly influenced by non-players.
The main objective of the primary players is absolute control of the board. You see who automatically becomes an opponent to the primes? Anyone who has control of anything stands in the way of their winning the game. At the same time these participants must be forced to play the game. If they don’t enter the game they don’t put their pieces at risk. So the game has to encompass the entirety of the planet and every one must participate – or it can never be won. A fundamental tool used to force participants into the game is by promoting the idea that the game is mandatory, inevitable and inescapable.
No matter what the players do they cannot make the game a reality. So they must spend a lot of time on this promotion campaign. There are varying methods for promoting this but the currently accepted model is just to make people enjoy the game or hope they might enjoy the game if they do certain things. This works really good for the ones that don’t know the game is being played. The rest must be controlled and participation forced on them through laws, regulation and threat.
Compliance is constantly dressed up as patriotism, social conscience, the good of the whole etc. etc. Now days, for most people, this idea that “the game is actually a reality” has been accepted. The longer the game goes on the closer we get to not being able to escape. If the game is allowed to go on long enough there will be a winner. Everybody else would lose. Everything on earth would be a privately held commodity – including us.
If one was to examine our situation in the world today they might conclude that this total control has already taken place. That we are already owned and we are conscripted, indentured servants to the game. This hasn’t really taken place but the appearance of this is constantly enhanced. But lets return to the dysfunctional part of this game.
It is the dysfunctional aspect of the game that will bring the game to an end. The game is doomed from the beginning for one reason: Growth. The game relies on growth to reach an end. The entire game of consumer capitalism is based on growth.
Look at any capitalist business model. Look at any capitalist economic plan. What do we find? Growth. Growth is built in as the means of winning. It’s often referred of late as sustainable growth. Does anyone see a problem here? See the dysfunctional tendency? The mistake made by the players was that they designed a game to be played on a board that was bigger and more powerful than the game or it’s players. What is the purpose of the game again? To have absolute power and control over the entire planet? So the planet automatically becomes the board. It has to.
Herein lies the problem. The players want to be in charge of the game. They knew the board was dynamic, that it constantly changes. They put a monetary system in place to make the board stability. To get the board to stay still. Once everyone has accepted the system as inevitable and good and adhere to it’s rules the board will hold still and the players can put the pieces where they want to and the pieces will stay put. Again we come back to the nature of the problem – The Board. The only board available to play the “Conquer The World” game, is the planet.
The only laws and rules that apply to the board are the laws of nature. The only game that can be played with any success is a game that adopts those natural rules. Is sustained growth part of any natural law? Look around. See any sustained growth? The entire game designed by the primes is doomed to fail because they sought to use an unnatural design in their game. They had to put in these unnatural rules into the game because they sought to play a game that wasn’t natural. They were going up against there natural environment. This was never a good idea.
The primes are fast becoming aware of this. Power and control, like all else is not sustainable. We are witnessing a system in it’s death throes. Monetary growth as a sustainable system is done. It’s grown as large as it can – it’s over. The only place it appears to continue is in the purely pretend world of electronic stocks. The players have shifted all their energies to pulling the last (sort of real) money out of the system, using it to control as many pieces as possible then conquering the rest of the board through military force. Again, a really bad unnatural idea. This won’t work either.
Nothing can grow past a certain size under earth law. Nothing lives past a certain time under earth law. Nothing is forever here…the whole idea of total anything, accept harmony, is dysfunctional within our system. Natural harmony is nothing to tamper with. Capitalism in it’s current mandatory form is unsustainable and therefore dysfunctional and doomed to fail.
Some Functional Concepts and Goals might encompass:
- Sharing things
- Enjoying things
- Being born
- Getting old (then leaving)
- Building useful things
One of the most useful things that anyone can do is to study the system of nature. Anything that is designed following natural laws will be a success. This includes dealing with people as individuals or dealing with the planet as our environment. Nature is the key to common sense. Something the Primary players, secondary players and camp followers seem to be way short on…..