Thursday, August 25, 2022

Dysfunctional Capitalism


The point is not to reduce inequality, poverty, debt, or gas emissions a little or to increase the food supply and wages so that fewer people are hungry. Objectively, these problems should have been solved long ago. There is no reason for millions to go hungry in 2022.

 But the need is for a complete reset, a new direction, that favors the people as a whole and puts them center-stage. This means putting humanity not the narrow pursuit of maximum profit by the rich, at the center of everything and taking a new fresh path. The rich and their representatives are not going to usher in this new direction because it would mean making themselves completely obsolete. It is up to working people to collectively bring in the alternative.

There is no sign that economic turbulence, insecurity, and volatility will diminish in 2023 or 2024. We are in a deep all-sided economic crisis that is adversely affecting the social, cultural, and political spheres. The necessity for change that favors the people is presenting itself very forcefully at this time. The crisis of the capitalist economic system has become unusually severe. There is a rapid breakdown at all levels, which is why life is becoming more chaotic, anarchic and untenable.  Nothing lasts forever, everything is transient. The thesis-antithesis-synthesis cycle has not disappeared under today’s unprecedented conditions. The dialectic lives even in these difficult times. It is up to working people to grasp this dialectic and use action with analysis to move humanity forward in a human-centered direction. It can be done and must be done.

 The economy is working mainly for a handful of people and cannot provide for the needs of all. And experience shows that the inability and unwillingness of the employing class to fix any major problems will increase in the coming years. An economy dominated by an extremely tiny minority is not going to produce solutions that favor the majority of people. Experience and research show that problems steadily go from bad to worse under existing political and economic arrangements. All the capitalist institutions are dysfunctional, outmoded, and incapable of giving expression to the interests of the people.

Democracy should not mean that people beg politicians  to “do the right thing.” Such supplication diverts large amounts of precious attention and energy away from focusing on and building our own collective power, analysis, and actions. It prevents us from relying on ourselves and seeing ourselves as the alternative to the status quo. Getting caught up in the nasty, self-serving, pragmatic, and unprincipled reformist politics, shenanigans, and chicanery of the parties of the rich hinders progress and prolongs misery and insecurity for all. It is a non-starter. It is not politically effective. Even incremental and small “advances” and “wins” are very hard to come by. 

Ceaseless money printing by central banks, price-fixing in major sectors of the economy (“greedflation”), never-ending supply-chain disruptions and delays, endless pay-the-rich schemes (e.g., public-private “partnerships”), constantly-growing debt at all levels, more inequality, intensifying stock market turbulence, out-of-control inflation, widespread poverty, and lower working and living standards for millions are signs of an economy that lost historical and social relevance long ago. It is an economy in dire need of a new aim and direction under the control of the workers who actually produce the wealth in society.

The economic and social fallout from an obsolete economic and political system continues at home and abroad. This is especially significant given the interconnected nature of everything and the fact that the rich and their political and media representatives are incapable of analyzing and theorizing the economy objectively and offer only more confusion and incoherence. While a fragmented chaotic economy devoid of conscious human intervention has been the norm for decades, it can be seen from the economic and social catastrophe unfolding globally that such an anachronistic economy is further disintegrating and wreaking more havoc on the peoples of the world. It is out of control and some have even called it a death spiral. The rich and their political and media representatives are becoming more irresponsible, incompetent, and ineffective with each passing day. Not a single major problem has been solved in decades and every day there is more traumatizing news about economic and social conditions around the world. People everywhere are fed-up, exhausted, and overwhelmed, including many “middle class” people. Only the wealthy few can escape the pain affecting the vast majority.

the rich and their entourage nonchalantly talk and act like lurching from crisis to crisis is somehow inevitable and unpreventable. The notion that the economic collapse confronting humanity is mysterious, incomprehensible, or hard to fix is irrational and self-serving to the extreme. The economy is not a mystery and can be directed quickly and properly to serve a pro-social aim. Everything needed to advance pro-social aims already exists. Workers already run everything and many people with valuable expertise in many fields can be brought together to advance a pro-social direction. Many serious chronic problems can be solved quickly with working people in charge of the wealth they collectively produce. Without political authority and power, however, pro-social changes will remain piece-meal and inadequate. Living and working standards will remain subpar for millions. Working people must have sovereign power over economic and political affairs. The aim and direction of the economy must not be set and controlled by big business because that leads only to more disasters.

Adapted from an article by Shawgi Tell


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