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Capitalism (originally known as Commercialism or Commercial society) generally refers to the worldview of rightist economics. The Freemasonic libertarian inventor of capitalist theory in basis, Adam Smith himself, describes capitalism being held together by an "invisible hand". This invisible hand is unemployment. Capitalism relies on many people being out of work and desperate for any job. Freemasons are obsessed with the hidden hand symbolism, which itself is used as a term, by usually opponents of the Jewish conspiracy to refer to International Jewry (which Freemasonry worships), also shown by the hand-in-waistcoat.
Capitalism is the world's largest sort of religion. At its most basic, capitalism is the insane theory that people are inherently selfish and greedy assholes, and the only way anybody could work and maintain the economy is if they should be allowed to earn and own private property. As an applied economic system it permits the exchange of service for paper with no physical worth, with relatively little interference from a centralized government. The ultimate goal of any person under this system is to make as much money as possible while making everyone else as poor as dirt. Neoliberalism was invented by Ayn Rand in the November 1959 edition of The Objectivist. Since Ayn Rand was a Jewess, she argued that money is the root of all good.
In Capitalism, the means of production are all or mostly privately owned and operated for profit, and in which investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a market economy. It is usually considered to involve the right of individuals and groups of individuals acting as "legal persons" or corporations to trade capital goods, labor, land and money. Capitalism has been dominant in the Western world since the break up of feudalism, but some feel that the term "mixed economies" more precisely describes most contemporary economies, due to these economies containing both private-owned and state-owned enterprises, or that combines elements of capitalism and socialism, or a mix of free market economy and planned economy characteristics.
Theories of capitalism as a coherent economic system derive from the mid-nineteenth century. In the late 19th century some German and Austrian theorists began developing concepts of capitalism that differed from Karl Marx's✡ analyses in studies of capital and interest. In the early 20th century Max Weber gave the term a more positive connotation. During this same period Ludwig von Mises✡ authored a comprehensive philosophical treatise on capitalism: Human Action.
Capitalist economic practices became institutionalized in Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries, although some features of capitalist organization existed in the ancient world. Capitalism has emerged as the Western world's dominant economic system since the decline of feudalism, which eroded traditional political and religious restraints on capitalist exchange. Capitalism gradually spread from Europe, particularly from Britain, across political and cultural frontiers. In the 19th and 20th centuries, capitalism provided the main, but not exclusive, means of industrialization throughout much of the world.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Opposition
- 3 References
- 4 Further reading
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Videos
- 7 Literature
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
Does not get the best products for people
Capitalism is claimed to give consumers the best products, but this is not true. One reason is for products to appear in stores, the companies making them must pay the store franchises. Manufacturers also pay stores to display their products more prominently and visibly than competitors, such as instead of displaying them inside an aisle, displaying them at the end of an aisle on a large display called an endcap.
For example, all the battery backup power supplies for computers that are seen in store as the "APC" brand. At the slightest bit of "electrical noise" they will freak out, popping and beeping and they noisily switch back and forth between the AC current and the battery, and many times will completely drain the battery this way. Other brands are hard to find. One brand, Eaton, simply filters out the "electrical noise" and never switches to the battery or popping and beeping noises in alarm to it. It quietly filters it out and its systems keep running. Eaton and brands besides APC appear on websites of physical stores but the stores themselves only have APC brand.
Another example is toothpaste. There are many brands and varieties of toothpaste but nearly all the ones in the store have some variety of sodium fluoride (or a similar chemical form), possibly baking soda, and possibly a peroxide-based whitening agent. But toothpaste can also have remineralization compounds that remineralize teeth (made from things such as milk and bioactive glass), xylitol (which disrupts the cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth), and many other options. However these special components are rarely sold in stores for toothpaste and only one or two stores. Even worse, all the companies manufacturing NovaMin (a remineralization agent) decided they were too lazy to sell them in the USA several years ago, even privately on websites (which had been the only way to get them) and they just stopped. Despite all the potential options for a big manufacturer to make a lot of money selling toothpaste with actually useful ingredients, they just don't care. They're fine having 20 boxes of toothpaste with essentially the same ingredients each. Maybe the big manufacturers will advertise a new whitening agent (which is a ripoff since cheap hydrogen peroxide used as a mouthwash will do the same thing and clean your teeth better than brushing, flossing, or regular mouthwash) either in toothpaste or as an expensive separate whitening agent, and that's all their innovation.
Marketing and market share wins out over innovation also in online auction and fixed price listing websites. eBay has long remained dominant and no alternative has ever been able to get an edge despite open hatred towards the site from the majority of sellers and many buyers.
It also doesn't get the best products for businesses. For instance the credit card system. It requires businesses to pay large fees (which generally by law they cannot pass onto customers). Businesses receive even larger fees whenever a customer disputes or forgets who they made a transaction to, which businesses are forbidden from the credit card company's agreements from charging this back to customers should they win the dispute. Buyers also can dispute anything and a false dispute called "friendly fraud" is common.
Anti-capitalism encompasses a wide variety of movements, ideas and attitudes that oppose capitalism. Anti-capitalists, in the strict sense of the word, are those who wish to replace capitalism with another type of economic system. Or, replace it with the absence of economics altogether.
Socialist economic theory
Socialism advocates public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals, with an egalitarian method of compensation.
1. A theory or policy of social organisation which aims at or advocates the ownership and control of the means of production, capital, land, property, etc., by the community as a whole, and their administration or distribution in the interests of all.
2. Socialists argue for a cooperative/community economy, or the commanding heights of the economy, with democratic control by the people over the state, although there have been some undemocratic philosophies. "State" or "worker cooperative" ownership is in fundamental opposition to "private" ownership of means of production, which is a defining feature of capitalism. Most socialists argue that capitalism unfairly concentrates power, wealth and profit, among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation.
Socialists argue that the accumulation of capital generates waste through externalizations that require costly corrective regulatory measures. They also point out that this process generates wasteful industries and practices that exist only to generate sufficient demand for products to be sold at a profit (such as high-pressure advertisement); thereby creating rather than satisfying economic demand.
Socialists argue that capitalism consists of irrational activity, such as the purchasing of commodities only to sell at a later time when their price appreciates, rather than for consumption, even if the commodity cannot be sold at a profit to individuals in need; they argue that making money, or accumulation of capital, does not correspond to the satisfaction of demand.
Private ownership imposes constraints on planning, leading to inaccessible economic decisions that result in immoral production, unemployment and a tremendous waste of material resources during crisis of overproduction. According to socialists, private property in the means of production becomes obsolete when it concentrates into centralized, socialized institutions based on private appropriation of revenue (but based on cooperative work and internal planning in allocation of inputs) until the role of the capitalist becomes redundant. With no need for capital accumulation and a class of owners, private property in the means of production is perceived as being an outdated form of economic organization that should be replaced by a free association of individuals based on public or common ownership of these socialized assets. Socialists view private property relations as limiting the potential of productive forces in the economy.
Early socialists (Utopian socialists and Ricardian socialists) criticized capitalism for concentrating power and wealth within a small segment of society, and does not utilise available technology and resources to their maximum potential in the interests of the public.
German individualist anarchist philosopher Max Stirner "private property is a spook which "lives by the grace of law" and it "becomes 'mine' only by effect of the law". In other words, private property exists purely "through the protection of the State, through the State's grace." Recognising its need for state protection, Stirner is also aware that "[i]t need not make any difference to the 'good citizens' who protects them and their principles, whether an absolute King or a constitutional one, a republic, if only they are protected. And what is their principle, whose protector they always 'love'? Not that of labour", rather it is "interest-bearing possession . . . labouring capital, therefore . . . labour certainly, yet little or none at all of one's own, but labour of capital and of the -- subject labourers"." French anarchist Pierre Joseph Proudhon opposed government privilege that protects capitalist, banking and land interests, and the accumulation or acquisition of property (and any form of coercion that led to it) which he believed hampers competition and keeps wealth in the hands of the few. The Spanish individualist anarchist Miguel Gimenez Igualada sees "capitalism is an effect of government; the disappearance of government means capitalism falls from its pedestal vertiginously...That which we call capitalism is not something else but a product of the State, within which the only thing that is being pushed forward is profit, good or badly acquired. And so to fight against capitalism is a pointless task, since be it State capitalism or Enterprise capitalism, as long as Government exists, exploiting capital will exist. The fight, but of consciousness, is against the State.".
Within anarchism there emerged a critique of wage slavery which refers to a situation perceived as quasi-voluntary slavery, where a person's livelihood depends on wages, especially when the dependence is total and immediate. It is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person. The term wage slavery has been used to criticize economic exploitation and social stratification, with the former seen primarily as unequal bargaining power between labor and capital (particularly when workers are paid comparatively low wages, e.g. in sweatshops), and the latter as a lack of workers' self-management, fulfilling job choices and leisure in an economy. Libertarian socialists believe if freedom is valued, then society must work towards a system in which individuals have the power to decide economic issues along with political issues. Libertarian socialists seek to replace unjustified authority with direct democracy, voluntary federation, and popular autonomy in all aspects of life, including physical communities and economic enterprises. With the advent of the industrial revolution, thinkers such as Proudhon and Marx elaborated the comparison between wage labor and slavery in the context of a critique of societal property not intended for active personal use, Luddites emphasized the dehumanization brought about by machines while later Emma Goldman famously denounced wage slavery by saying: "The only difference is that you are hired slaves instead of block slaves.". American anarchist Emma Goldman believed that the economic system of capitalism was incompatible with human liberty. "The only demand that property recognizes," she wrote in Anarchism and Other Essays, "is its own gluttonous appetite for greater wealth, because wealth means power; the power to subdue, to crush, to exploit, the power to enslave, to outrage, to degrade." She also argued that capitalism dehumanized workers, "turning the producer into a mere particle of a machine, with less will and decision than his master of steel and iron."
Noam Chomsky contends that there is little moral difference between chattel slavery and renting one's self to an owner or "wage slavery". He feels that it is an attack on personal integrity that undermines individual freedom. He holds that workers should own and control their workplace. Many libertarian socialists argue that large-scale voluntary associations should manage industrial manufacture, while workers retain rights to the individual products of their labor. As such, they see a distinction between the concepts of "private property" and "personal possession". Whereas "private property" grants an individual exclusive control over a thing whether it is in use or not, and regardless of its productive capacity, "possession" grants no rights to things that are not in use.
In addition to individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker's "big four" monopolies (land, money, tariffs, and patents), Carson argues that the state has also transferred wealth to the wealthy by subsidizing organizational centralization, in the form of transportation and communication subsidies. He believes that Tucker overlooked this issue due to Tucker's focus on individual market transactions, whereas Carson also focuses on organizational issues. The theoretical sections of Studies in Mutualist Political Economy are presented as an attempt to integrate marginalist critiques into the labor theory of value. Carson has also been highly critical of intellectual property. The primary focus of his most recent work has been decentralized manufacturing and the informal and household economies. Carson holds that “Capitalism, arising as a new class society directly from the old class society of the Middle Ages, was founded on an act of robbery as massive as the earlier feudal conquest of the land. It has been sustained to the present by continual state intervention to protect its system of privilege without which its survival is unimaginable.” Carson coined the pejorative term "vulgar libertarianism," a phrase that describes the use of a free market rhetoric in defense of corporate capitalism and economic inequality. According to Carson, the term is derived from the phrase "vulgar political economy," which Karl Marx described as an economic order that "deliberately becomes increasingly apologetic and makes strenuous attempts to talk out of existence the ideas which contain the contradictions [existing in economic life]."
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If we have chosen the position in life in which we can most of all work for mankind, no burdens can bow us down, because they are sacrifices for the benefit of all; then we shall experience no petty, limited, selfish joy, but our happiness will belong to millions, our deeds will live on quietly but perpetually at work, and over our ashes will be shed the hot tears of noble people..— Karl Marx, 1837.
Karl Marx saw capitalism as a historical stage, once progressive but which would eventually stagnate due to internal contradictions and would eventually be followed by socialism. Karl Marx claimed that capitalism was nothing more than a necessary stepping stone for the progression of man, which would then face a political revolution before embracing the classless society. Marxists define capital as "a social, economic relation" between people (rather than between people and things). In this sense they seek to abolish capital. They believe that private ownership of the means of production enriches capitalists (owners of capital) at the expense of workers ("the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer"). In brief, they argue that the owners of the means of production do not work and therefore exploit the workerforce. In Karl Marx's view, the capitalists would eventually accumulate more and more capital impoverishing the working class, creating the social conditions for a revolution that would overthrow the institutions of capitalism. Private ownership over the means of production and distribution is seen as a dependency of non-owning classes on the ruling class, and ultimately a source of restriction of human freedom.
Barter is a system of exchange where goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. It is distinguishable from gift economies in many ways; one of them is that the reciprocal exchange is immediate and not delayed in time. It is usually bilateral, but may be multilateral (i.e., mediated through barter organizations) and, in most developed countries, usually only exists parallel to monetary systems to a very limited extent. Barter, as a replacement for money as the method of exchange, is used in times of monetary crisis, such as when the currency may be either unstable (e.g., hyperinflation or deflationary spiral) or simply unavailable for conducting commerce.
Wage slavery refers to a situation where a person's livelihood depends on wages or a salary, especially when the dependence is total and immediate. It is a pejorative term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person.
The term wage slavery has been used to criticize exploitation of labour and social stratification, with the former seen primarily as unequal bargaining power between labor and capital (particularly when workers are paid comparatively low wages, e.g. in sweatshops), and the latter as a lack of workers' self-management, fulfilling job choices, and leisure in an economy. The criticism of social stratification covers a wider range of employment choices bound by the pressures of a hierarchical society to perform otherwise unfulfilling work that deprives humans of their "species character" not only under threat of starvation or poverty, but also of social stigma and status diminution.
Criticisms of anti-capitalism
In constantly observing the negative side(s) of capitalism, anti-capitalists remain focused on capitalism, thus co-performing and further sustaining the actually criticised unsustainable capitalist system. Thus, the impression of capitalism as hyper-adaptive "system without an outside". One way out of the trap is to understand that the observation of capitalism, a system strongly biased by and to the economy, implies functional differentiation. As the economy is only one out of 10 function systems, however, both pro- and anti-capitalist visions of society imply this economy-bias and, in return, a neglect of other function systems. Effective strategies for alternatives to capitalism therefore require a stronger focus on the non-economic function systems. A corresponding re-coding of capitalist organisations has recently been proposed.
- Newman, Michael. (2005) Socialism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280431-6
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- The Political Economy of Socialism, by Horvat, Branko. 1982. Chapter 1: Capitalism, The General Pattern of Capitalist Development (pp. 15–20)
- Marx and Engels Selected Works, Lawrence and Wishart, 1968, p. 40. Capitalist property relations put a "fetter" on the productive forces.
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- Goldman 2003, p. 283.
- — Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin. "G.6 What are the ideas of Max Stirner? in An Anarchist FAQ". Infoshop.org. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "el capitalismo es sólo el efecto del gobierno; desaparecido el gobierno, el capitalismo cae de su pedestal vertiginosamente...Lo que llamamos capitalismo no es otra cosa que el producto del Estado, dentro del cual lo único que se cultiva es la ganancia, bien o mal habida. Luchar, pues, contra el capitalismo es tarea inútil, porque sea Capitalismo de Estado o Capitalismo de Empresa, mientras el Gobierno exista, existirá el capital que explota. La lucha, pero de conciencias, es contra el Estado."Anarquismo by Miguel Gimenez Igualada
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