“The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital.” (Michael Parenti) For as long as I’ve been writing, giving public talks, and all that, I have offered informed critiques of capitalism. For as long as I’ve been offering informed critiques of capitalism, I get replies like this: “I suppose you think socialism is the answer.”
Any system of government, no matter capitalism, socialism etc..., can become corrupt if we don't constantly weed out the bad.
"To question capitalism is to recognize that we can have prosperity and abundance without surrendering compassion and cooperation." I'm with you. And the false choice usually offered (same as what we receive when you question Biden - "Oh you love Trump?") is something we need quickly to get past.
This is good sense. There's much more to political economy than is covered in the prevailing discourse. How many people have ever heard of, e.g., mutualism? Is there an argument for hybrids that try to take the best from existing systems, and maybe add something entirely new and experimental? Life in intellectual strait jackets serves no one.
Please don't ask me for the definition of a utopian paradise. The world's billionaires are already living IT.
If we truly wish to find out what lies beyond capitalism, the current system of things needs to expire. Perhaps then will arise a generation of people who discern the difference between the seven deadly sins and the seven heavenly virtues.
Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Free market systems also require shame. In low trust systems there no shame because consumers are disconnected from producers and from each other. That is by design. Rather than looking at economic systems we might want to look at social systems.
Agree to disagree. Monopolization of the system has led to every single atrocity mentioned.
You can blame the capitalism or truly understand how the system has been subverted by a very few elite that run the entire system.
Capitalism is NOT where we are. We have kings and queens that pretend it is free market, while they wage wars, tank entire countries and murder for profits.
1% rule the world and whatever system you believe you are part of, you're not.
capitalism is only good for the capitalists, the wealthy, the mighty (because of their wealth). Not one system will ever work, because we are all different. Just like meds don't work for everyone. The uppeties try to put everyone in a system, a statistic. But you and I are not a statistic, we are not a number, our numbers can differ from everyone else's. To say that everyone should have a blood pressure of so-and-so is to say that you are the same as 'the average'. and no one is average! We are all unique! If you feel good with a blood pressure or a heart beat a bit over or under the average, and have no problems with it, what is that doctor to say it is off? What do they know? How long have they known you? (in my case, 2 minutes LOL)
Mickey, I coudn't agree more. And couldn't even begin to express the many ways in which I agree; one thing I will say, however, is that questioning differs from setting up binaries that may fulfil some need of logic... whilst avoiding what the late author V.S. Naupail once called 'a more elemantary complexity.'
(In his novel 'The Mimic Men')
Gee, and I thought "communist" Joe Biden and the "CCP" (in quotes like I put "covid" in quotes) are THE root causes of everything that's ever gone wrong in the world.
I'll try to keep my rant short. I completely agree with you!! I think we have been cleverly tricked to accept "capitalism" and "democracy" as the best ways of life. Through questioning new ideas would emerge that would topple this God-awful system we currently have. We can't have that, now, can we?? :-) I've always thought our monetary system was idiotic. I mean, "THEY" can simply elevate or crash the stock market at a whim. The stock market is fickle and stupid, and the value of money is imaginary. Cheap, crappy products built with slave labor are rewarded in the capitalist system. One example I recently encountered - water heaters. I've only been in my home for even 17 years, and I've already had 3 water heaters. The plumber openly admitted that the industry DELIBERATELY makes modern water heaters crappy so they only last just past the warranty. That's capitalism for you!!
Yeah, why can't we question everything?? I know people are going to think I'm crazy, but no one can tell me what is really wrong with "15 minutes cities" if they were beautifully designed by benevolent people. I'm not talking barricading roads or pack 'em and stack 'em apartments. What's wrong with having all the amenities within a short distance from locally owned businesses instead of wasting your day driving for essentials at huge warehouse monstrosities? IMO urban sprawl is part of capitalism. "Developers" take all that is inherently beautiful and pave over it in order to create another damn strip mall so people can open businesses that no one will go to so then in 5 years there will be ANOTHER abandoned strip mall. We have so many unoccupied strip malls in my city because of property tax laws. So then that leads to why can't we question our damn tax system??? Our tax system is obviously unconstitutional and the money the govt is stealing from us is being used to fund war and other nefarious programs, yet we've willingly put up with it for generations. Why??? That leads me to question what's really wrong with the concept of communism?? I'm not talking about the warped version of communism with gulags and where the government controls everything. I'm talking about the pure form of working as a COMMUNITY to get things done. Sadly, pure communism would only flourish if people would be willing to get off their butts and bring their best effort to the table instead of living off the teat of government. There are so many questions that we're not allowed to pose...is our health system really the best?? Is our school system really the best?? Is the "history" we've been force fed in school accurate?? Is "green energy" really green?? Why do we not value extended family in the US and throw our vulnerable elderly into nursing homes?? Was aggressive "feminism" really beneficial to women?? Why do parents have children if all they are going to do is have them raised by daycare and the school system?? Is our military really the best?? Is our government really the best?? Aren't all 401Ks simply pyramid schemes?? Why is our financial system so complicated that we need to pay people to "manage" our money for us?? Why is our tax system so complicated that we need to pay people to do our taxes for us?? (Even my husband's accountant is overwhelmed by the new tax laws so he's ready to quit). IMO this complicated crap is ALL by design to keep us in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety and DEPENTANT on the government to perpetuate capitalism.
Ugh, that rant was all over the place!! I don't have the answers, but I'm just so tired of people not questioning why we do what we do! We need to imagine a better way of living and questioning is the first step. Thanks, Mickey!
I liked how you structured this post with the couplets of "question" vs. "blindly accept." Thank you for illuminating these points!
Excellent column, Mickey. I'm currently reading a book titled "SuperClass" by David Rothkopf, which, in part, is about the differences between Main Street capitalism and crony, aka monopoly, capitalism, the latter of which usually seeks to crush competition (so much for a 'free market'). Rothkopf explains how monopoly capitalism is able to crush smaller businesses (or buy them out). He also discusses how crony capitalism has now gone global and operates outside of any national gov't. He talks a lot about how the WEF facilitates the merging of gov't leaders and CEOs--what Mussolini called fascism.
Excellent column, Mickey. I'm currently reading a book titled "SuperClass" by David Rothkopf, in which he details the differences between Main Street capitalism and crony, aka monopoly capitalism, the latter of which usually seeks to crush competition (so much for a 'free market'). Rothkopf explains how monopoly capitalism is able to crush smaller businesses (or buy them out). He also discusses how crony capitalism has now gone global and operates outside of any national gov't. He talks a lot about how the WEF and other unelected, powerful groups facilitate the capture of gov't leaders by big global corporations--what Mussolini called fascism.
"Side note to those in the “medical freedom movement”: Your frequent misuse of the words “communism” and “Marxism” does not serve you well." Amen, Mickey! Boy am I tired of that.
And anyway, if someone calls you a socialist, you're in good company-- Eugene Debs, Big Bill Haywood, the Wobblies... Oh and anarchist? Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin (who wrote _Mutual Aid_)...Leo Tolstoy...