Saturday, February 7, 2009

Capitalism Conundrum

Daisy asked me to comment at her post on Gordon Gekko Capitalism. (Thanks so much for your kind invitation, Daisy.) Instead of my usual smart-ass comment, I left something that could be an extension of my previous Freedom Rants post.

What's wrong with Capitalism? What's right about it? Is it better than Socialism or Communism?

This area of socio-economics has so many shades of gray amid the shadows and glare; we can hardly have a balanced view of it.

To begin with, the meanings of the words, Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism may have morphed so much by this day and age that they are impossible to debate without an agreement on the definition of such terms.

There are many governments and societies that likely have elements of all three systems. Those Chinese sure are getting the hang of Capitalism, aren’t they?

That's confusing enough. The real problem is the system now in place has dwarfed all of them. And I can't even find the word "corporatism" in the dictionary.

This will sound simplistic, but the foundation needed for any fair and just system is democracy. We may have had a little bit of that at one time or another in the US, but not anymore. The anti-democratic forces have gained power.

Communism, as developed by the Soviets, Chinese, etc., is not the only nemesis of democracy. Unregulated Capitalism, or corporatism, is now showing us what can go wrong.

Capitalism can mean anything from the kid's lemonade stand on the corner to hedge fund managing. It seems like the very act of defining it also limits it.

What has become clear, though, is democracy in the US has been usurped by corporatism. Corporatism may be the most lethal enemy of democracy yet. Its tentacles are so entwined into our government; I can't even see how to extricate them within our current system. A good start may be public financed elections and reversal of media conglomeration.

The only hope I see is to somehow educate the masses into realizing the need to reclaim democracy. We need a government of, by, and for the people, and that would include, by definition, more Socialism.

You know, if we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we would also have the right to the health care needed to achieve it.

Anyway, it’s not all about anti-capitalism. It’s more about promoting a more democratic Socialism along with regulated Capitalism.


Kulkuri said...

We have the best government that money can buy and corporatism has bought it a long time ago. The thing I don't understand is why corporatism supports the party of the Never-Right. Whenever their policies are implemented and allowed any time to fester, business goes in the tank. Business need regulations and controls to keep them from committing suicide.

As for Communism, we have had a number of examples of that in this country, Amana and the Shakers were communes.

Dave Dubya said...

The Greed Over Patriotism party has been married to Big Money for so long it has become a dysfunctional relationship.

Both have been blinded by a short term bottom line mentality that has been overriding any interest in long term investment or stability.

And of course the Democrats dance to the corporate fiddlers as well, to all our detriment.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Corporatism is indeed in full blown command of the globe in this era. Sadly, it is many of the same once-anti-establishment Hippies that morphed into the awful selfish greedy materialistic Yuppies who championed the rise of the corporate behemoth.

Great blog ya got g0in' on here, Dave. May I add it to my Tie Dyed Tirades blogroll?

Marvin D Wilson
Eye Twitter 2 -

jmsjoin said...

Hey Dave
The last decider allowed corporatism to operate unchecked and through Fascism destroyed our Democracy starting us on the road of socialism that Obama is now getting credited with.
At this point I think a good dose of socialism is necessary to save our Democracy!

Dave Dubya said...

Hi, Marvin,
Thanks. Glad to see you. You are added to my list of Sites to See.

I think most of those morphed Yuppies were never hip to begin with. They were just playing along to score chicks and drugs. They were the ones who liked acid because it helped them drink all night. And they were no Hunter S. Thompson either.

Dave Dubya said...

You're correct that the wayward Right helped open the door for Obama. Now they are doing their utmost to undermine everything Obama can do to reverse the damage.

We need a serious campaign to discredit the Reich Wing and the corporate media won't do it. People need to be reminded of their crimes and treason.

Thanks for doing your part, my friend.

Wally da Weasel said...

Oh crap!!!!

Are you saying the next big government bail-out will be the kid's lemonade stands? It will probably be the most worthwhile bail-out yet.

Choosing between Fascism and Socialism......I'll take Socialism any day.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Dave - tend to agree. Thanks for the mutual link-up - gotcha up now on Tie Dyed Tirades. We'll be in touch Bro!

Cactus Annie said...

Great post. Followed over here from Marvin's Tie Dyed Tirades blog. Glad to read peeps spouting out truth. Keep it up!

Dave Dubya said...

Hi, Wally,
Just watch, the SEC will set up a branch to regulate lemonade stands!

Cactus Annie,
Hi. Nice to see you. I suppose a little truth gets sputed out in my rants.

Anonymous said...

"Anyway, it’s not all about anti-capitalism. It’s more about promoting a more democratic Socialism along with regulated Capitalism."

Part of the problem, escpecially in the U.S. is the apparent semantic confusion (much of it promoted by the establishment media) between governance and economics. The very notion that a capitalist system of "corporate personhood" is somehow tied to and supportive of government of, by and for the people (i.e., human personhood) is patently absurd.

Dave Dubya said...

Thanks for stopping by. You got that right! IF we had a true movement for democracy in America, the order of business would need to be in three key areas.

First, we need to abolish the artificial notion of corporate personhood. Absurdly, it was not even a Supreme Court decision, but a clerical note attached to one, that started this mess.

Next, we need public financed elections.

Then we have got to reverse the conglomeration of corporate media and institute REAL public TV and radio.

It ain't rocket science. We need a motivated and informed population to change things. The problem is there's so much power entrenched against democracy it will take a revolution of consciousness and conscience to begin to make a difference.

Anonymous said...

It is utterly impossible to win any kind of contest where your opposition controls the semantics of the argument.

There is no lack of popular support for "democratic ideals" and all that other good stuff. The problem is that the U.S. financial aristocracy and its media servants hold and define all of those good things to MEAN their capitalist system and no other. Futhermore, their semantic distortions have been wildly successful, at least amongst the domestic proletariat if not elsewhere.

In fact, the spreading of "freedom and democracy" to other unfortunate nations and peoples can only be understood in those terms. That's what "globalization" is all about.

Dave Dubya said...

Yes, totalitarians always define the terms needed for control. Eventually reality will intercede. When the economy bottoms out and we see massive unemployment and food shortages, the people will wake up.

Just as the draft woke the masses up to Vietnam, the class war will also reach the public's awareness.

Everyone will be "drafted" into the class war. Most people are not even aware of it yet, but they will be soon enough. When the economic situation finally hits home, a lot more people will wake up and want to do something about the ones who did it to them.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to believe that forthcoming events will prompt the masses toward greater awareness and re-examination of the whole range of inculcated beliefs and value systems, but I'm sceptical even then. Some awakenings are just too painful where the false comfort of conventional wisdom offers any alternative whatever.

History, recent or otherwise, is replete with instances of popular illusions sustained in the face of the most damning evidence. Smug self-congratulatory mythology, in particular, seems not much lessened by the rot and decay of its foundations. Nor does the need for denial of pressing realities seem to be an insurmountable barrier to its sustenance.

I don't know whether Orwell actually thought of his satirical works as being truly prophetic at the time, but at least some of his "Newspeak" and related totalitarian thought control commentaries seem eerily relevant to the current situation.