( Twenty minute read)

It would be fair to say that up to now Casinos Capitalism has had an adverse and positive history, because of its understanding of the science of reward and reinforcement, but beneath this past history, our current problems lie.Casino Capitalism -  Hans-Werner Sinn

It, along with colonialism, the brutal subjugation of indigenous peoples created the world of consumerism.

(The concept of colonialism is closely linked to that of imperialism, which is the policy or ethos of using power and influence to control another nation or people that underlies colonialism.)

The result is the planet was divided into a world of North and the South.

The North consumerism and the South cheap slave production to serve the North.

A perpetual Growth system of consumption for products that are not essential to life.

Over centuries and more so in recent decades this is the reason we see inequality growing, with the environment on the verge of collapse due to the exploration of natural resources to fuel profits at all costs – GDP before the people.

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One only has to look at the attempts to turn our economic system into green sustainability production and one see, that we now have a market place claiming,  buy this or that because its Bio/ Save energy.

Most of these items still have a built in replacement in order to ensure market growth.  –  Vehicles, Electrical Items, Smartphone, TVs, the list is endless, all fuelled by an advertising industry promoting their use behind unaccountable technology of algorithms the new looming menace.

Profit seeking  Algorithms hidden beneath the surface of the web.

They are the invisible nonhuman workforce that powers the web—and they’re foreshadows the true future of world.

There are no labour laws to govern this kind of work. 

The harms from so-called AI are real and present and follow from the acts of people and corporations deploying automated systems.

Regulatory efforts so far focus on transparency, accountability and preventing exploitative labour practices are dim to the affects on society as a whole. While many of us hear about the latest and greatest breakthrough in AI technology, what we hear less about is its environmental impact .

In fact, much of AI’s recent progress has required ever-increasing amounts of data and computing power. And this all comes at a cost — while currently cloud computing represents roughly 0.5% of the world’s energy consumption, that percentage is projected to grow beyond 2% in the coming years .

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are in a phase of rapid development, and are being adopted widely.

While the concept of artificial intelligence has existed for over sixty years, real-world applications have only accelerated in the last decade due to three concurrent developments: Better algorithms, Increases in networked computing power and the tech
industry’s ability to capture and store massive amounts of data.

Data discrimination is a real social problem.

As search engines and their related companies grow in importance—operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond—understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance.

We need when we using AI to combat online problems and urging policymakers to exercise “great caution” about relying on it as a policy solution.

For Example:

Facebook’s algorithm amplified misinformation” and “it consistently chose to maximize its growth rather than implement safeguards on its platforms.

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We all know Climate Change is the last thing that the world now needs, but there is a deeper crisis:

A lack of imagination.

The global response to the pandemic was in a sense a testing ground for the international community’s capacity to deal with the biggest and most complex international challenge of all – climate change.

While we’re at it, we should think about the question of scale, not just at global and national levels but at community levels.

WHAT’S IS NEEDED IS A REDUCTION IN PRODUCTIVITY OF NON ESSENTIALS ITEMS.

MORE OF AN EMBRACMENT OF PROGRAMS THAT ARE FOCUSED ON TURNING IDEAS AND THEIR IMPACT.ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES.

Let’s not beat around the bush — we all want something from someone. And while the importance of networking and asking for help is undeniable, why aren’t we taking a more human approach to the process?

We need transformation not just in our economies but across the whole of our societies – from the economy and our politics, to our family structures and media and communications systems – as all these social spheres are interlinked and all are fundamental to our well-being. We need to transform the structures of our societies so that changes which put the brakes on climate disaster become, not just verbal ambitions but real actions.

With 57% of people worldwide say  “Capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world, we all know by our nature we are selfish and greedy, that we have insatiable needs.

THE TIME HAS COME FOR LOCAL COLLECTIVE SOCIALISM.

A sort of confederalism where small-scale communities manage their own provisioning systems, working in partnership with other communities where necessary. Social norms are when you help a friend without expecting payment. Market norms are when you base your actions on how much money people will pay or cost you. When people act on social norms — that is, when they do things because they want to.

In short: people are much more likely to go above and beyond for tasks that they’re emotionally (rather than financially) invested in.

With this insight in mind, consider tapping into social norms to create situations where both parties walk away with more value than they anticipated. How can you use value exchanges to get what you want, give others what they want, and nurture a relationship in the process?

This doesn’t mean replacing capitalism with state socialism. It means diversified ‘ecologies of ownership’, where co-operatives and community owned enterprises sit beside publicly owned initiatives.

For example.

Councils should be able to make available non repayable grants to set up village gardens, to produce for their community’s.

It doesn’t have to be huge. It can be as simple. Lead with value: Start the interaction by offering something that’s need.

Every village has retired gardening people, why not pay four or five of them to run a garden/ polytunnel/garden shop.

Another example.

Why not create combination of local energy co-operatives and regional public energy companies in the framework of a cap on energy prices and a publicly owned national grid – all based on renewable energy.

( The average home in the UK would need around 9.2m² of solar panels to satisfy its yearly electricity demands, estimated at 2,900kWh, costing an estimated £2,588.  A five-bedroom house will usually need 14 panels. The return on a solar panel takes between 10 to 25 years, depending on the cost of the installation, the power produced, the amount resold and where you live.

If you divide your annual electricity usage by 265, you’ll end up with roughly the right number of solar panels for your home .Most countries in Europe would be able to satisfy their electricity needs with less than 1% of their total land area being devoted to solar power.

The world would need around 85,894km² of solar panels.

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While we may think of capitalism more as the absence of the state in favour of the market, in reality, the domination of the market is impossible without a domineering state to impose it.

The state institutionalised hierarchy, and with capitalism, state domination and bureaucracy reached into every corner of society, resources, or what we call the ‘means of life’ should not be owned by anyone, they form a commons based on the principle of ‘usufruct’ – everyone is free to use them as long as they do not damage or deplete them.

The principle of the ‘irreducible minimum’ means that everybody is entitled to the means of life no matter what they contribute – an even more generous maxim than Marx’ famous ‘from each according to his [sic] ability to each according to his needs!’

The sentiments behind these slogans are not confined to the ash heaps of history, rather, many of the policies from the political left today fit under this simple slogan.

“From each according to ability” is what underlies a concern for the common good and a conception of society as a cooperative venture, with mandatory public service as a matching policy proposal. Overall, the phrase from each according to his abilities is a phrase associated with socialist and communist ethics, but with the arrival of AI it is transferring people into digitalized citizens, with ownership of natural resources such as fresh water, fresh air becoming the exclusive ownership of profit seeking algorithms.

Why is this happing?

Because, most of our institutions set up after world War 11 are not working.

Because,  western capitalism is not irretrievably bound to fail; but it does need to be rethought like the return of public ownership.

The key principle in all this is removing profit from a significant portion of economic activity, and bringing democracy in.

Indeed, if you judge by measures such as inequality and environmental damage, “the performance of Western Capitalism in recent decades has been deeply problematic..

Perhaps most significantly, in many developed nations late-20th Century capitalism has contributed to a significant gap between the wealth of the richest and poorest people. The richest billionaires in the word have amassed staggering fortunes.

So, will capitalism as we know it continue in its current form – or might it have another future ahead?

If the gap grows between rich and poor, then instability can follow (Credit: Jay Directo/Getty Images)

The inequality gap may matter more than some politicians and corporate leaders would like to believe.

Why?

Because, to build a better world, a world where many worlds fit; linked worlds of collective liberation and ecological sustainability.

Because, While industrial capitalism exploited and controlled nature with devastating consequences, surveillance capitalism exploits and controls human nature with a totalitarian order as the endpoint of the development. This leaves surveillance capitalism as an exceptionally useful tool for businesses, but also an invasion of privacy to users who do not want their private experience to be owned by a company.

Because, as a result of rising inequality, the ever-rising cost of living, people have less trust in institutions.

Because, economies will with AI, become completely divorced from the demands of people, who seek jobs, affordable housing, education, healthcare and a clean environment.

Because, there is ample evidence that social and environmental impacts are relevant and need to be incorporated into development models.

Because, the desire to earn profits from business activity, is the driving force of capitalism. It’ flaws as with any system are numerous, but the one that stands out is the trickle down aspiration.

Because, it is obvious that these issues must also be considered within the social contract underpinning capitalism, so that it is more inclusive, holistic and integrated with basic human values.

Because, capitalist growth is driven by profit expectations, it fluctuates with the changes in technological, climate change, or social opportunities for capital accumulation. It is held accountable only to the test of profitability.

Because, government must stop ignoring the needs of ordinary citizens and companies must do more than deliver profits to their shareholders.

Because, if we don’t seize this opportunity to build back better – to reset and reinvent rather than ‘return to normal’ – systemic risks and vulnerabilities will continue to accumulate, making future shocks both more likely and more dangerous.

Because, the shift toward greater individual liberty changed the social contract.

Because, technology will have an important role to play, but the principle has to be that the technologies we develop will enhance rather than harm our relationship with nature. What is certain is that technology won’t save us while the current drivers of the economy – capital accumulation and the profit motive – remain in place. Unfortunately as people increasingly asserted their right to individual liberty, they are being exploited by AI.

While one response to the downsides of capitalism in its current form is for nations to take a defensive posture, seeking to protect themselves by minimising external ties, protectionism is short-sighted, particularly when it comes to trade, – Brexit.

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Will capitalism as we know it evolve into something new?

With  artificial intelligence capitalism, lifting a substantive number of people out of absolute poverty people expected less from governing authorities, in exchange for greater civil liberties, including individual, political and economic freedom. But at the same time, critics argue that its tenets of lowering taxes and deregulating business has done little to support political investment in public services.

This newer strain of capitalism has NOT led to increased economic growth worldwide.

Previously, many resources were provided by those in power (land, food and protection) in exchange for significant contributions from citizens (for instance, from slave labour to hard labour with little pay, high taxes and unquestioning loyalty).

The economic system of Capitalist is characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.

Capitalism has fuelled the industrial, technological and green revolutions, reshaped the natural world and transformed the role of the state in relation to society.

However, the story is not universally positive.

In recent years, capitalism’s shortcomings have become ever-more apparent. COVID-19 has exposed the fragility and societally negative outcomes of contemporary capitalist economies. The virus has highlighted many vulnerabilities – within businesses, supply chains, economies, health systems and political institutions – that will need to be addressed in the post-crisis world.

Functionally, capitalism instead of planning economic decisions through centralized political methods, as with socialism or feudalism, economic planning under capitalism occurs via decentralized, competitive, and voluntary decisions.

The profit motive, an indispensable, if regrettable, by product of capitalism, is being exposed daily, with social media, climate change, the environmental dangers of the free market and profit seeking algorithms.

Capital is wealth—that is, money and goods—that’s used to produce more wealth with underpaid work for profits.

Governments and regulators must intervene to ensure the costs of environmental and social damage are internalized by the companies responsible:

Profits cannot come at the expense of long-term societal resilience.

The green recovery is vital if we are to create more resilient economies and a world in which business can thrive, not just now but long into the future.

Reach out to people with a genuine intention to connect and add value to their lives, and you’ll see how much more you’ll be able to get from the interaction than if you just treated it like a transaction.

What can be done to change the inequality that is the main feature of capitalism?

Just-in-time” may be superseded by “just-in-case” as the mantra of procurement. 

The case for ‘green’ stimulus measures is clear: they are likely to deliver more jobs and higher (equitable) growth in the short-term, while reducing longer-term risks linked to climate change and biodiversity loss – crises that, if unaddressed, will cause a level of disruption to our economies and societies orders of magnitude greater than COVID-19.

Now, more than ever, integrating climate goals into business strategy will be a vital driver of long-term success.

Ultimately, it is worth remembering that citizens in a capitalist, liberal democracy are not powerless.

So it follows that we might be similarly blind to what capitalism could look like in another two centuries. However, that does not mean we should not ask how it might evolve into something better in the nearer term.

The future of capitalism and our planet depend on it.

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To destroy democratic capitalism and replace it with authoritarian socialism is not the solution.

Communism, socialism, capitalism, and democracy are all among our top all-time lookups, and user comments suggest that this is because they are complex, abstract terms often used in opaque ways. They’re frequently compared and contrasted, with communism sometimes equated with socialism, and democracy and capitalism frequently linked.

I believe that  beneath the political, and driving it, is a justified, if poorly articulated differences.

Communism referred to an economic and political theory that advocated the elimination of private property and the common sharing of all resources among a group of people

Revolutionary socialism, which advocates a proletariat overthrow of capitalist structures within a society; societal and communal ownership and governance of the means of production; and the eventual establishment of a classless society.

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Why should our life chances be so far determined by the accident of where we are born?

Why would we want to live in societies that benefit some people in some places at the expense of other people in other places?

The good societies that we build now, during the ‘great pause’, need to work for everyone in the world.

There’s a tension when we’re thinking about scale – when formulating alternatives, should we be thinking global or local? The universal or particular?

Our current capitalist economy is certainly global – there probably isn’t a person in the world whose life isn’t integrated into it somehow, though in different ways in different places. So it makes sense to start there.

We know the dangers involved with huge corporations sucking up data on the most intimate aspects of our lives – how they collaborate with governments to enable wholesale spying, crackdowns on democratic freedoms, and dystopian predictive policing and facial recognition practices; how voters are manipulated during elections; how discrimination is built into algorithms; how the data-based business model encourages fake news, polarisation and hate; and how these companies resolutely dodge tax.

The data frenzy is also wreaking havoc on the environment – a 2015 report found that data centres are responsible for about 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, putting them on par with the aviation industry. And it’s exacerbating global inequality.

It is China and the US who are set to reap the biggest rewards from AI, while Africa and Latin America will see the lowest gains. It is unlikely that the profits accrued to multinationals based in the US or China from data mined in lower-income countries will ‘trickle down’ to those supplying that data.

The concept of cultural imperialism has been around for decades. Now we can also speak of data imperialism. Again, it is the profit motive that’s at the bottom of all this.

In our attempts to understand the new from the old and the unknown from the known, we risk either stripping away too much truth or adding too much falsehood so that our inquiries inevitably become futile.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gail.com.

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