Unbridled capitalism is bad for society
Christian Riggs

Unbridled capitalism is bad for society

Written by Peter Jadinge Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Unbridled capitalism favors the survival of the fittest even if it means pushing other people into destitution and starvation, creating untold suffering for animals and the natural environment, and depleting and destroying the natural resources of our world.

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If there was a form of "conscious capitalism" in which care was extended to fellow humans, animals and the natural environment whether animate or inanimate, the question is if could be called capitalism at all?

The name of a social ideology provides the tenor for the whole show, and capitalism does nothing but putting privately controlled capital onto the platform of supreme social importance. It doesn't say if capital is to be utilized for the benefit of the members of society or any aspect of the natural world. It rather naively trusts the forces of greed and fear within people to control capital and be stimulated by capital to bring an end result of social good.

Under this banner of capitalism people consider it a self evident virtue to utilize ones physical and mental assets to enrich oneself even if it robs untold others of the opportunity to a healthy life in a healthy body.

"Conscious Capitalism"

Is a contradiction in terms. It is thus because human consciousness obeys the rule of "as you think so you become". As a money minded capitalist spends the majority of waking hours in the contemplation of gold, property and currencies, naturally his mind will in the long run crudify to an unconscious entrapment in crude matter, however financially valuable.

"Capitalists argue, "We amass wealth by dint of our intellect and labour. Let others also procure wealth in the same way if they have the intellect or labour. What stops them?" These people do not want to realize that the amount of consumable commodities in the world is limited, but the basic necessities are common to all. If one person rolls in affluence, in most cases others will be deprived of even their minimum requirements. The failure to recognize the needs of others is itself a disease." P.R.Sarkar, The responsibility of society, 1960

At best it can be said that a constructive sustainable society that spreads the opportunities widely to all its members have to include and protect a free market in the form of a level playing field where people can start their own business either as an individual or as a collective with others. Communism, which Sarkar describes as an extreme form of destructive materialism, did not cater in this way for peoples need to be entrepreneurial and consequently lost its dynamism.

Then there are other industrial and economic spheres where private management and ownership is unfeasable, areas where the prevention of monopolies would be hard and where profit taking would emaciate every other business, areas such as major infrastructure and raw materials. These concerns would have to be controlled by boards answerable to the local electorate, on a no profit no loss basis.

A new Paradigm

Let's be very clear: A society controlled by money minded capitalists would not be able to construct a balanced society for the progress of all its members, and neither would the dictatorship of any party. We see proof of this all around in most of the countries of the world today.

The world is ripe for a new paradigm, and although it has to include a healthy portion of level playing field small locally owned companies "capitalism" (for want of a better word), it can't be capitalism as usual.
Peter Jadinge

Peter Jadinge

Keeping up to date on economical developments by following progressive, non mainstream economics and investor blogs, and reaching conclusions, if any, through the prism of Neo-humanism and PROUT, the Progressive Utilization Theory.

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4 comments

  • Comment Link Richard Tuesday, 11 December 2012 22:38 posted by Richard

    I read the above with my head cocked to the side with a raised eyebrow. It seems to treat us like we are the evil ones and the government is benevolent and the capitalists the scourge.

    I would give this more stars if the writer took into account tariffs and protectionism, after all, where does the power of those benefits arise from?

    If an author is worried about capitalists yielding control of society, yet then fails to see the illegitimate use of state power to enforce such state capitalist edicts, (where I can agree that predation occurs), then the question of what needs to be changed drastically needs to be re-assessed.

    However "unbridled" capitalism has no state enforcement, therefore the existence of business without the state would be out of graft and mutual benefit providing good for society. By definition all transactions would be voluntary, without the coercion of the state, thus using the term "dog eat dog" would be impossible. However coercion is necessary for "social" models.

    To develop on such notion, fears of natural monopolies are myths at best, because without coercion you can proceed to assume that true benefit is given to those who exchange with such company, as the value has been chosen voluntarily.

    Any social doctrine cannot morally compete with issues such as the predation of one group from another, as this is the premise of their function. Even for the anti state left, to hope that a non "guberment" socialist model or anarcho syndicalism would be hard chocked to believe that coercion of the masses (what essentially becomes the new state) cannot be ruled out as a means of distribution after their "re-education" plans.

    Authors who do not talk about the involvement of the state are sadly 10 steps behind the debate, particularly when I hear 20 articles a day talking about the evils of unbridled capitalism without understanding the beauty of the unbridled price mechanism, including free valuation of currencies, something which we clearly have never had ever.

    I seriously fear any further look into history shows that we will be repeating ourselves again from the above said ideas and all the detriment that it will bring us will be relived.

    Please as writing this understand that I personally make just enough for subsidence, but I understand that socialist policies will directly hurt me with coercive force. Predation and coercion must be ruled out.

    The writer must start talking about the legitimacy of the state and it's function in society. At the moment I believe the writer is genuine in his intent unlike some, which is nice to see, but I fear he may sound and come across as a closet communist to someone else, rather than a regressive socialist.

    Before saying any more I will leave this link here. This is certainly worth everyone's time to read, and is an interesting read for those like the author genuinely seeking to make this world a better place.

    thttp://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard62.html

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  • Comment Link Peter Jadinge Thursday, 13 December 2012 22:54 posted by Peter Jadinge

    Hi Richard
    Thanks for sharing your reaction to my piece. You have clearly thought deeply about this, especially the dangers of an excessive government power-grab.

    When looking at harmful state intervention in the economic sphere, the elephant in the room is surely Fiat Currency. In a democratic system the temptation to manipulate a currency not pegged to anything is far too strong for the average politician trying to get re-elected. This leaves us in a quandary: Who will bell the cat?

    * Capitalist societies are almost invariably ruled democratically, perhaps especially those with a small government

    * Politicians always try to get re-elected

    * In order to get re-elected they "buy" votes by doling out favors to these two groups: lower income people in the form of welfare benefits, and wealthy campaign contributors in the form of tax benefits, bailouts, and get-out-of-jail cards.

    * To pay for it they tax the middle class, including small entrepreneurs; thereby stalling the economy, necessitating even more bailouts and welfare benefits, usually paid for with government borrowing and quantitative easing. (If at this stage the currency is still backed by bullion, the politicians will simply unpeg it, blaming the economic crisis they themselves created)

    Show me ONE capitalist society that has not gone down this path. Capitalist societies everywhere, however well functioning in the beginning, tend to lead to stagnant cleptocracies led by short sighted politicians for the benefit of large corporations with a large dependent underclass, an emaciated middle class and a high street full of boarded up shops.

    The question for people like us is then to shake ourselves out of the illusion that a sustainable, steady state 'perfect' capitalism is even possible. Fatuous dreams like that rob us of our power and prevents us from playing a positive role in an economic and political landscape that can only be described as interesting, and feeling good about it.

    It is indeed possible to come back to so called 'perfect capitalism', but it is not by holding back time. Let's join the dots. After the four stages of capitalism above come these further stages:

    * The democratic and economic crisis comes to a head, and professionals and educated people from the middle class forced into lives of meniality are the first to bail out from the system. As soon as the working class lose their benefits they follow.

    * The late capitalist excesses of democratic pandemonium and eye watering greed and poverty is (creatively!) destroyed through the chaos of the working class revolution

    * Thereafter: In a highly educated society: the leadership of society gravitate to the hands of intellectuals as civil administratiors under this or that philosophy or ideology. Less educated societies head for a period of military rule, whereafter it gradually evolves into civil rule.

    * This, and only this time is the time when anew a time of 'perfect capitalism' can be experienced. Rigid intellectual rules give way to democratic societies; This is the time when the previous era of capitalist excess with its unhealthy government collusion has receded into history, and a new generation strikes out to create a better world; a new generation of entrepreneurs build their dreams.

    Unfortunately the dreams of each era sooner or later become too big and go pop.
    Never mind; there is a beauty in that too.

  • Comment Link Peter Jadinge Friday, 14 December 2012 11:28 posted by Peter Jadinge

    Allow me to add one more thing, Richard, to make it more relevant to your comment.

    As you see, my theory is that any capitalist era starts in benevolence and deteriorates into what we see around us today. None of these eras, capitalist, military or intellectual, lasts forever. They are abandoned when enough people suffer under them.

    The question I tried to answer in my original post was related more how to fashion the capitalist era; the socio politico economical set-up in the capitalist era to give it greater longevity; to have it provide benefit to more people for a longer time.

    But no matter how hard we try, the social cycle inexorably moves on sooner or later. That's my theory anyway, borrowed, incidentally, from the PROUT theory by P. R. Sarkar.

  • Comment Link Stephen Nightingale Tuesday, 18 December 2012 03:40 posted by Stephen Nightingale

    This so-called 'survival of the fittest' is only so if the beneficiaries of the financial and capitalist framework have the support of state-sponsored violence, together with a lopsided justice system. If there was no military and militarized police support, they would have to hire their own and we would have a straightforward mafia arrangement. If they were unwilling to do that, then the violence would be directed against them.

    The keys to a fair and accountable democracy are, whose side are the justice system, the police and the military on? The 'fitness function' seems to be defined currently to favour those who can suborn justice and violence to their minority advantage. It may be too much to expect that the 'fittest' be redefined as those who can combine effectively for the greater public good. It should be possible however to combine to prevent the greater public harm.

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