A society that holds out for the younger generation prospects that are worse than those held out to their parents and grandparents is a society that has ceased to progress and begun to regress—one that has lost any claim to historical legitimacy even if it is technologically advanced.
The common experience for millions of young people is permanent economic insecurity.
Youth unemployment in the European Union stands at more than 23 percent, while in Spain it is 56.1 percent and in Greece 62.9 percent. There are 26 million young people in the “developed world” who are classified as not in employment, education or training (NEETS). Poverty and homelessness have become mass phenomena.
While the world may not be one big village in terms of lifestyle, it shares an image of “the good life” that’s proffered in movies, TV, and the Internet. That’s what teenagers in Afghanistan have in common with teenagers in England; they’ve been fed the same image of success in the global community and they know it’s inaccessible. They are angry and, ultimately, their anger has the same target — multinational corporations (and the governments that support them).
The political implications of these social transformations are far-reaching – ISIS.
Capitalism as we know it today—is an amoral culture of short-term self-interest, profit maximization, emphasis on shareholder value, isolationist thinking, and profligate disregard of long-term consequences—is an unsustainable system. Only today five of the biggest banks are fined Billions for fixing the Foreign Exchange Market.
Capitalism must change itself, from the inside. This kind of change will require a radically new leadership ethic, one driven by a new set of motivations and a broader understanding of wealth.
With global population rapidly marching toward 11 billion and with it the demand for food, health services, energy and security, we need to reexamine the models that have gotten us to this point.
There are far better men than I to undertake this reexamination.
The word “capitalism” was coined by the socialists and has historically described a system of state-granted privilege and plutocracy.“
Free market capitalism may be viewed as a system in which individuals make voluntary arrangements involving the exchange of capital.
Free market” implies voluntary arrangements, whereas “capitalism” has become (rightly so) known as a system in which business and coercive state forces collude to serve whatever arbitrary interests may be lobbied for by the businesses or championed for reasons of power by the politicians.
If it’s a free market, it’s not capitalism. And if it’s capitalism, it’s not a free market.
So why bother trying to apologize for “capitalism” when “free markets” are what you (and I) really wish to obtain? That is, if you really do believe in “free markets”, then you should probably distance yourself from the word “capitalism”.
The modern world is ruled by multinational corporations and governed by a capitalistic ideology that believes:
Corporations are a special breed of people, motivated solely by self-interest.
Corporations seek: to maximize return on capital by leveraging productivity and paying the least possible amount for taxes and labor. Corporate executives pledge allegiance to their directors and shareholders. The dominant corporate perspective is short-term, the current financial quarter, and the dominant corporate ethic is greed, doing whatever it takes to maximize profit.
Capitalist society is guided by the play of the market mechanism.
There is no better evidence of this than- The “recovery” of 2009-10 ensured that “too big to fail” institutions would survive and the rich would continue to be rich. Meanwhile millions of good jobs were either eliminated or replaced by low-wage jobs with poor or no benefits.
We’re living in the age of corporate dinosaurs that take the path of least resistance to profit; they’ve swallowed up their competitors and created monopolies, which have produced humongous bureaucracies.
There achievements are far to numerous to list here, but here are a few in no particular order.
Climate Change. Inequality of Opportunity, Stock Exchanges, Poverty, Wars, Lack of Fresh Water, Sovereignty Wealth Funds plundering the finite Natural Resources for short-term profit, Corruption, Privatization, People Trafficking, Drugs, ect You could say without fear of contradiction that conditions are far worse today than at any time since the 1930s.
The nearly universal opinion expressed these days is that the economic crisis of recent years marks the end of capitalism. Capitalism allegedly has failed, has proven itself incapable of solving economic problems, and so mankind has no alternative, if it is to survive, then to make the transition to a planned economy, to socialism.
Corporate executives don’t care about the success or failure of any particular country, only the growth and profitability of their global corporation.
Global corporations are ruining our natural capital. Four of the top 10 multinational corporations are energy companies, with Exxon Mobil leading the list. Global corporations have ravished the world and citizens of every nation live with the consequences: dirty air, foul water, and pollution of every sort. The world GDP is $63 Trillion but multinational corporations garner a disproportionate share — with banks accounting for an estimated $4 trillion (bank assets are $100 trillion). Global black markets make $2 trillion — illegal drugs account for at least $300 billion.
The past five years have demonstrated the impossibility of changing anything within the existing political system. Inequality has grown enormously. The stock market is booming, the Forbes 400 are richer than ever, yet the conditions for youth and workers are disastrous. War continues without end.
However the historical bankruptcy of capitalism does not bring about its automatic collapse as it will if not already doing so turn Climate Change into profits.
It is from the market that the capitalist economy receives its sense.
So what if anything is to be done.
At the start of this post I said that Capitalism must change itself, from the inside.
Is this possible. Yes but only by making it pay for our values. By putting humanity back into human.
We needed to make the private enterprise economy work better in a redistribution of wealth and income toward greater equality.
This can only be done by placing:
A World Aid Commission on all High Frequency Stock Exchange Transactions, on all Foreign Exchange transactions (over$20,000) and on all Sovereign Wealth Funds Acquisitions.
A capitalist economy is inherently unstable” It is one thing to recognize the instability of capitalism, but another to show that an alternative to it is possible.
Clearly no one has got a clue” about what might replace it.
What ever it is we can not going on tolerating a world … in which the needs of the many come before the greed of the few. It is time to recognize that “ Like what, exactly?” is an honest and profound question that demands straight and worked-out answers. And it is time to start working out those answers. I am not advocating abstract revolutionism here.
When questions about the future are bound up so intimately with day-to-day struggles, a new human society surely cannot emerge through spontaneous action alone. To transcend this impasse, people need to know not just what to be against, but what to be for, not just “ what is to be done,” but what is to be undone— what is it exactly that must be changed in order to have a viable and emancipatory socialism?
Unfortunately, this issue received almost no attention throughout most of the last century.
So it is only in recent years that any significant attention has been paid to whether another world is possible. But now, when the future of capitalism is a live issue, it seems to me that this issue needs to be understood as the central problem of revolutionary thought today.
The younger generation is “lost” not just in the sense that it has no future under capitalism, but also in the sense that it is increasingly “lost” to the ruling class and its political establishment. The forms through which the bourgeoisie seeks to maintain political control are losing their hold. Their conscious political experience has been dominated by unending economic crisis, war, the dismantling of democratic rights, political gangsterism and corruption.
And if that not bad enough The global economy is splintering with new and devastating trade agreements like the TTP.
If the function of the market as regulator of production is always thwarted by economic policies in so far as the latter try to determine prices, wages, and interest rates instead of letting the market determine them, then a crisis will surely develop.
It would be disastrous merely to call for socialism while ignoring the problems of mass unemployment. This brings me to the notion of developing socialism within capitalism, enlarging the space of the commons or whatever. Unfortunately, it cannot be done. It has been tried (for instance, in the Israeli kibbutzim ) and it does not succeed. The economic laws of the larger system will not allow it. If you buy from the capitalist world “ outside,” you also have to sell to it in order to get the money you need to buy from it, and you will not sell anything if your prices are high because your costs of production are high. And if you have debts, you have to repay them.
So it appears there is only the one option as I suggest : Make Global Capitalism contribute by a World Aid Commission.
We live in interesting times. The stakes are high. The time has come to face the future with sober senses. The good news is we’re witnessing the failure of global corporate capitalism. The bad news is we don’t know what will replace it.
Financial inequality in the 21st century is on the rise, and accelerating at a very dangerous pace turning into a conflict between billionaires.
Complete change will not happen overnight. It will not be built on the back of one investor or one innovative entrepreneur. It will be something that business owners, investors, political leaders, consumers and entrepreneurs must all work together toward.
Neither of these categories (Investor-Innovator) makes or produces anything but their wealth, which is really a super-wealth that has broken away from the everyday reality of the market, which determines how most ordinary people live.
Worse still, they are competing with each other to increase their wealth, and the worst of all case scenarios is how super-managers, whose income is based effectively on greed, keep driving up their salaries regardless of the reality of the market. This is what happened to the banks in 2008, for example.
So when you look at Climate change what you see is that it is true that it will take time to roll out the infrastructure and technologies to get off fossil fuels, and we will burn a lot of fossil fuel in the process.
What explains our collective failure on climate change? Why is it that instead of dealing with the problem, all we seem to do is make it worse?
Here’s is the inconvenient truth: when you tell people what it would actually take to radically reduce carbon emissions, they turn away.
What would it take to radically reduce global carbon emissions and to do so in a way that would alleviate inequality and poverty? The World Aid Commission.
Just building a clean tech innovation economy is not enough. We have to reinvent our economy from the ground up if we are to successfully address these challenges.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS GOING TO CHALLENGE EVERYTHING THAT CAPITALISM OR ANY SOCIAL SYSTEM STAND FOR.
What we need is “ethical capitalism,” Business leaders must become servant leaders, leaders who serve not just themselves and share holders, but leaders who serve employees, customers, the community, the planet, humanity, future generations, and life itself.
Science has made huge steps, society has not.
The sooner we fix Capitalism the sooner we move to the future we imagine.
If anyone has a better idea, I would be all ears.