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Thread: Is Capitalism Finished?

  1. #1
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    Default Is Capitalism Finished?

    For capitalism to function properly, true and unhindered competition is necessary, this has over the years become impossible with over-accumulation and interdependence.
    With few interdependent financial institutions owning most of the resources, the only source of profit and growth for the last thirty years has been the consumer.
    The financial sector, like a black-hole, having taken away through profits all the wealth the consumers owned and through usurious loans the labour of current and future generations, has achieved total monopoly.

    If everything is owned by one group of individuals or companies, then everybody as their employee can only spend the wages received from these employers. In the last thirty years the only source of profit has been the diminishing wages of the workforce masquerading as a "drive for efficiency". The employer can only take back whatever wages he pays the employee but by paying less year on year the company can show a profit.

    The only problem with that is that there is a limit to the number of hours in the day and even a machine cannot work more than 24 per day. So as one can see, the last source of profit has now gone, and as there can be no capitalism without profit then it is time it was buried. And good riddance if you ask me.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    The contradictions of capitalism, while massively damaging the economy, are doing much more damage to labour. The "1 percent" are in better shape than ever. Recessions are to their advantage. Capitalism is crisis. If you fell into a coma in mid 2008 and awoke in mid 2018 when the "global economy" is growing again, reasonable levels of employment - the only difference would be wages are way down and workers rights are massively scaled back. Democracy won't have any control over states either.

    This is has been an expert coup. Neoliberalism hasn't been defeated, it has landed a total victory. Unless these global protests can make a difference that is.

    So, there is no real economical/determinist answer to when it will eat itself. The power relations might just get so severe that people don't get paid for their work.
    "Fascinating, watching the world act as though it still had a financial system. Using the toilet, when the pipes are gone." - some guy on twitter

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    and where is alternative to capitalism?

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by bormotello View Post
    and where is alternative to capitalism?
    Democracy would be nice.

    After about 4 minutes in he raises some great ideas

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSRXVkf7cjg"]Michael Albert at #occupydamestreet. - YouTube[/ame]
    "Fascinating, watching the world act as though it still had a financial system. Using the toilet, when the pipes are gone." - some guy on twitter

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Capitalism doesn't live in a theoretical box on a shelf like socialism or national socialism (which is just extreme capitalism with uniforms and guns).

    Capitalism can be pronounced dead by as many revolutionaries as you like but the moment any revolutionary takes delivery of a limmo or moves into a mansion then capitalism raises itself from its coffin and lurches back into existence. You can't kill capitalism. You can only restrict its movements until it persuades you it is benign and doesn't need the chains. Then it'll go back on the killing trail.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Reading a very good book at the moment by Raymond Crotty called When Histories Collide: The Development And Impact Of Individualistic Capitalism.
    He goes into great detail on the origins of capitalism and illustrates how it came about when the Eurasian pastoralists migrated to western and central Europe bringing with them their culture of cattle farming and the unique circumstances they came across paved the way for capitalism to begin and flourish. Basically the need to build up stocks or reserves to ensure animals, and so humans, survived the winters and the subsequent need then for property rights. So although industrial capitalism as we know it today is only going on the past few centuries....the culture of individualistic capitalism runs much farther back. It is going to be very difficult to change that.

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraxinus View Post
    So although industrial capitalism as we know it today is only going on the past few centuries....the culture of individualistic capitalism runs much farther back. It is going to be very difficult to change that.
    But most people today just work for a wage. I'm not sure that whether that wage comes a private business or one that is socially owned will make a huge amount of difference to them.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraxinus View Post
    Reading a very good book at the moment by Raymond Crotty called When Histories Collide: The Development And Impact Of Individualistic Capitalism.
    He goes into great detail on the origins of capitalism and illustrates how it came about when the Eurasian pastoralists migrated to western and central Europe bringing with them their culture of cattle farming and the unique circumstances they came across paved the way for capitalism to begin and flourish. Basically the need to build up stocks or reserves to ensure animals, and so humans, survived the winters and the subsequent need then for property rights. So although industrial capitalism as we know it today is only going on the past few centuries....the culture of individualistic capitalism runs much farther back. It is going to be very difficult to change that.
    I've always wanted to read that. Is it still in print ?

    The development of agriculture was an enormous social and economic transformation of the planet. It meant that because there were stores of surplus food, far fewer people died of hunger and populations expanded. Writing, reading, kingship and priesthoods came about - all to do with food stores and what that required and enabled.

    It took centuries of gradual development of industry and trade and finance before capitalism (the merchants in the City of London) challenged agriculture-based feudalism, chopped off the King's head and took control of the State through Parliament, by means of civil war.

    That was in 1640, and there followed a long era of worldwide shift to capitalism, which by the twentieth century was no longer about free enterprise, but was run by monopoly finance dominated capitalism, with most of the world grabbed one way or another for exploitation by a minority.

    Throughout this time, a big new class was formed that does all the work - physical, skilled, managerial - and that owns little or nothing, and has to sell its working capacity to live. Capital has become more and more concentrated in a tiny proportion of hands, people that in many cases do no productive work at all. The rest of the world urban population, that does the work, is reduced to borrowing to try to maintain living standards or is on tiny wages . And science and technology has developed to a point where overproduction and collapse in profits is a constant problem.

    Capitalism can continue, if it wipes out a large portion of the current productive forces. War has been the way that has been done in the past. In a nuclear era, (or any era) this is not what I would call a solution of any kind.

    The alternative is for the working populations to take control of production and only produce what is needed, in a planned way, and without profit.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 23-10-2011 at 08:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Capitalism is done. It undermines it's own market. To maximise profits and compete with other capitalists it has to drive down wages. So people are not able to buy the stuff produced. It's lifespan has been artifically extended through the use of credit. But all those chickens are coming home to roost now. And the credit cards the world over are maxed out.

    The major problem at the moment to my mind has been provided by the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe some decades ago. The huge significance of this has not really impacted on me until now. The "collapse of communism" has left people actually believing what Fukuyama proclaimed to be the case .. the capitalism is the end of history. People can see no way forward and literally anything can now emerge. Fascism .. armageddon ...
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I've always wanted to read that. Is it still in print ?

    The development of agriculture was an enormous social and economic transformation of the planet. It meant that because there were stores of surplus food, far fewer people died of hunger and populations expanded. Writing, reading, kingship and priesthoods came about - all to do with food stores and what that required and enabled.

    It took centuries of gradual development of industry and trade and finance before capitalism (the merchants in the City of London) challenged agriculture-based feudalism, chopped off the King's head and took control of the State through Parliament, by means of civil war.

    That was in the 1640, and there followed a long era of worldwide shift to capitalism, which by the twentieth century was no longer about free enterprise, but was run by monopoly finance dominated capitalism, with most of the world grabbed one way or another for exploitation by a minority.

    Throughout this time, a big new class was formed that does all the work - physical, skilled, managerial. Capital has become more and more concentrated in a tiny proportion of hands, people that in many cases do no productive work at all. The rest of the world urban population is reduced to borrowing to try to maintain living standards or is on tiny wages . And science and technology has developed to a point where overproduction and collapse in profits is a constant problem.

    Capitalism can continue, if it wipes out a large portion of the current productive forces. War has been the way that has been done in the past. In a nuclear era, (or any era) this is not what I would call a solution of any kind.

    The alternative is for the working populations to take control of production and only produce what is needed, in a planned way, and without profit.
    It is indeed...I think I got it from Kenny's!

    According to the book agriculture, which had been florishing for a long time in the Middle-East, north Africa, China etc, didn't take on an individualistic nature until it reached Europe. When it did it formed two parts, individualistic slavery in the Med region and individualistic capitalism in central and western Europe. Very interesting so far. Now obviously that only set the foundations for what was to come...and which I haven't read yet. The end half of the book he uses Ireland as a case study, as the only western European country not to develop along capitalistic lines...instead becoming a colony.

    Is the English Civil War effectively about the rise of merchant capitalists over the feudal system? I've been meaning to read up on the Civil War from a British context for a while since reading about the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.
    Last edited by Fraxinus; 23-10-2011 at 08:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Capitalism is done. It undermines it's own market. To maximise profits and compete with other capitalists it has to drive down wages. So people are not able to buy the stuff produced. It's lifespan has been artifically extended through the use of credit. But all those chickens are coming home to roost now. And the credit cards the world over are maxed out.

    The major problem at the moment to my mind has been provided by the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe some decades ago. The huge significance of this has not really impacted on me until now. The "collapse of communism" has left people actually believing what Fukuyama proclaimed to be the case .. the capitalism is the end of history. People can see no way forward and literally anything can now emerge. Fascism .. armageddon ...
    I agree with you about the seriousness, and have long been of the view that analysing the reasons for the collapse of the USSR, and studying what worked and what did not work, throughout its time, is one of the most important bit of work to be done, politically.

    But I think that we are far from done for. A new generation of young people are coming into action, and learning from the old ones who haven't given up the ghost. There's a massive new working class in the east that is organising itself, and as we've seen from North Africa, when people can't eat on their wages, they get moving.

    And, as you say, Capitalism is done. The can is at the end of the road.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 23-10-2011 at 08:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    The alternative is for the working populations to take control of production and only produce what is needed, in a planned way, and without profit.
    Incompetent bureaucracy never will manage to plan it properly
    This is why Stalin had few purges mostly against bureaucrats
    Soviet union didn't collapse immediately after his death mostly because he found good ones, but 20 years later USSR was close to collapse and only oil crisis saved USSR

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by bormotello View Post
    Incompetent bureaucracy never will manage to plan it properly
    This is why Stalin had few purges mostly against bureaucrats
    Soviet union didn't collapse immediately after his death mostly because he found good ones, but 20 years later USSR was close to collapse and only oil crisis saved USSR
    We have an incompetent bureaucracy under capitalism too. And constant resource wars, and starvation of millions of people.

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    We have an incompetent bureaucracy under capitalism too.
    fortunately, it doesn't decides everything

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    And constant resource wars, and starvation of millions of people.
    Socialism wont guarantee absence of wars
    Socialist China and Vietnam were fighting against each other in 1979 and 1988

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    Default Re: Is Capitalism Finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by bormotello View Post
    fortunately, it doesn't decides everything


    Socialism wont guarantee absence of wars
    Socialist China and Vietnam were fighting against each other in 1979 and 1988

    Well the bureaucracy doesn't decide(only implement), that's the competence of lobbying organisations. Politicians are PR for said decisions. The current system is the worst of all worlds.

    Imagine a scenario where peoples' votes decide and we replace the "representative" model of capitalist bureaucracy.

    I can't see the population ever deciding a war with anyone is a good idea.
    "Fascinating, watching the world act as though it still had a financial system. Using the toilet, when the pipes are gone." - some guy on twitter

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