Six arguments for the elimination of capitalism
Review of Jerry Mander’s The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System
(h/t Energy Bulletin)
- Amorality – increase of individual and corporate wealth is the only core principle of capitalism. Recognition of any social concern or relationship to the natural world that transcends the goal of increasing capital accumulation is extrinsic to the system.
- Dependence on growth – capitalism relies on limitless growth, but the natural resources essential to wealth production are finite. Super-exploitation is exhausting those resources and destroying the ecosystems of which they are a part, jeopardizing human survival as well as that of other species.
- Propensity to war – since the only goal is to accumulate rather than distribute wealth, resources that produce wealth must be controlled; therefore war is inevitable.
- Intrinsic inequity – without any constraining outside force or internalized principle of social equity, capital accumulation leads almost exclusively to more accumulation, and capital is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.
- Anti-democratic – democracies are corruptible: wealth can purchase most of the representation it needs to get the laws necessary for further accumulation and concentration of wealth. This means that as the concentration of wealth increases, democracy is degraded and ultimately destroyed.
- Unproductive of real happiness – human happiness and wellbeing are demonstrably tied to other factors besides capital accumulation. Extreme poverty is clearly unproductive of happiness, but so is wealth, past a relatively modest level. Happiness is most widespread where there are guarantees that basic needs will be met for all, wealth is more equitably distributed, and bonds between people and the natural environment are still stronger than the desire to accumulate wealth.
...not only are personal ethics and a sense of connection to nature extrinsic to capitalism, but, in fact, the idea of a fully developed human consciousness that would prioritize them over consumption is an anathema.....
Consciousness seeks to make a whole of a disparate, fragmentary experience. Capitalism now flings stuff and information at it relentlessly, numbing it to accept these offerings as the totality of existence. The system’s happy-face, sky’s-the-limit facade imperfectly conceals an enormous vacuum of meaninglessness, and a bonfire of destruction and waste.