Many people still think that capitalism is a good economic model. The truth is - it is the cause of many of the bad things that are happening around the world - greed, cheating, high cost of living, stress, low birth rate, crime. Read this article to get a similar view:
The economic system underlying empire-building today has a name: capitalism. Or, more precisely, a predatory corporate capitalism that is inconsistent with basic human values. This description sounds odd in the US, where so many assume that capitalism is not simply the best among competing economic systems but the only sane and rational way to organise an economy in the contemporary world.
Although the financial crisis that began in 2008 has scared many people, it has not always led to questioning the nature of the system.
That means that the first task is to define capitalism. It is an economic system in which:
"Although the financial crisis ... scared many people, it has not always led to questioning the nature of the system."
- Property, including capital assets, is owned and controlled by private persons;
- Most people must rent their labour power for money wages to survive; and
"Industrial capitalism", made possible by sweeping technological changes and imperial concentrations of capital, was marked by the development of the factory system and greater labour specialisation. The term "finance capitalism" is often used to mark a shift to a system in which the accumulation of profits in a financial system becomes dominant over the production processes.
- The prices of most goods and services are allocated by markets.
Today in the United States, most people understand capitalism in the context of mass consumption - access to unprecedented levels of goods and services. In such a world, everything and everyone is a commodity in the market.
In the dominant ideology of market fundamentalism, it's assumed that the most extensive use of markets possible, along with privatisation of many publicly owned assets and the shrinking of public services, will unleash maximal competition and result in the greatest good - and all this is inherently just, no matter what the results.
If such a system creates a world in which most people live in poverty, that is taken not as evidence of a problem with market fundamentalism but evidence that fundamentalist principles have not been imposed with sufficient vigour; it is an article of faith that the "invisible hand" of the market always provides the preferred result, no matter how awful the consequences may be for real people.
How to critique capitalism in such a society? We can start by pointing out that capitalism is fundamentally inhuman, anti-democratic and unsustainable: