Discovering the Post Capitalist Reality
Watching someone else work through the process of recognizing the collapse of late stage capitalism is always interesting. There is a tremendous amount of thought and writing that has gone into analysis of the disaster that now defines the US. The failure is allowing greed to rule and to be made into a virtue. That offends on so many levels that watching a nation state fall prey to advocates of greed is nearly impossible to understand.
The result of this is the subsequent realization that capitalism is a stunning breakthrough in establishing open markets and rewarding capital acquisition for expansion and growth. In the early stage the benefits raise all elements of a society although these quickly become distorted.The same distortions demand consolidation and monopolization for efficiency. The cost savings are so large that, with the emphasis solely on profits, it is impossible to stop.
In my opinion that is the point that marks the move to late stage capitalism. In the growth phase with traditional moral and ethical standards workers become the essential value and standards rise. At a point profits are held back by labor and the owners demand higher stock valuations and dividends. They of course have the money to purchase government in governments that use semi-representative systems. Representatives represent those who give them money to stay representatives. Votes are allowed to decrease in value as it is cheaper to manipulate populations with ignorance and fear than information and knowledge.
It’s obvious where the US is in that process. This is not a case of capitalism being inherently bad. It produces open markets that are excellent ways to allocate resources. It is unbeaten at building new sources of wealth that are available for exploitation. But in the late stage it is cheaper to take money away from people than it is to keep producing every more and ever newer mass products. And the destruction of the planet becomes a rapidly growing issue. The manipulation of abstract financial systems takes over from actual production. The middle class that arose in the middle stage begins to shrink and wealth also become monopolized.
The distortions become so unhealthy that societies become self destructive and subject to increasing irrationality. We are past the point of failure hence post capitalist.
Socialism works better and is stronger at human support using the same semi representative systems of government. It must deal with the same distortions and is also crippled by the need for endless materialist production. Neither system can survive the discovery of planetary limitations with risking death.
The key is building a sustainable and steady state economy with freedoms for innovation and change while assuring shared asset ownership. This will remove capitalist work for a living and shift value systems to knowledge and creativity for competition. Happiness rather than profit becomes the goal and sharing rather than greed becomes the prime virtue.
Sadly there is very little in the way of alternatives to this once the planetary climate has been badly damaged and overall wealth has reached a level that could support all at some reasonable level. Failing this change is an ultimate moral failure.