Browsing Posts tagged capitalism

Alex Knight, a writer, teacher and social activist based in Philadelphia, recently asked me to republish the first two parts of an interview he did with Michael Carriere regarding his construct of what he calls The End of Capitalism. While it is not my desire to re-publish other works of original content by writers other than myself, I made an exception in this case as Alex Knight’s writings on the subject are not only articulate, concise and well-constructed, they are also of grave concern to me (and hopefully everyone) as the Imperialist and exploitative system of Capitalism/Corporatism has been plundering the natural and human resources of the earth for far too long. Mr. Knight’s words are needed more than ever right now, and so is our call to action to stand up to the moneyed interests that control our democratic process and alienate us from our own interests and each other. I re-published the first part of Alex’s interview on my other site, The Pigeon Post, which you can find here. So here is part two (a) of Alex Knight on The End of Capitalism:

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The following exchange between Michael Carriere and Alex Knight occurred via email, July 2010. Alex Knight was questioned about the End of Capitalism Theory, which states that the global capitalist system is breaking down due to ecological and social limits to growth and that a paradigm shift toward a non-capitalist future is underway. This is the second part of a four-part interview.

Part 2A. Capitalism and Ecological Limits

MC: Capitalism has faced many moments of crisis over time. Is there something different about the present crisis? What makes the end of capitalism a possibility now?

AK: This is such an important question, and it’s vital to think and talk about the crisis in this way, with a view toward history. It’s not immediately obvious why this crisis began and why, two years later, it’s not getting better. Making sense of this is challenging. Especially since knowledge of economics has become so enclosed within academic and professional channels where it’s off-limits to the majority of the population. Even progressive intellectuals, who aim to translate and explain the crisis to regular folks, too often fall into the trap of accepting elite explanations as the starting point and then injecting their politics around the edges. This is why there is such an abundance of essays and videos analyzing “credit default swaps”, “collateralized debt obligations,” etc., as if this crisis is about nothing more than greedy speculators overstepping their bounds. continue reading…

When Adam Smith first published The Wealth of Nations in 1776, I highly doubt he would have foreseen the current climate of a global imperialist system propagated solely for the interests of what we can describe as the Capitalist Class.

By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Smith

Within the historical context of Smith’s time, corporate charters were controlled by the state, somewhat similar to current no bid contracts granted various industries who service government projects of varying degrees. However, in Smith’s time, the state had complete control over these corporate charters, such as the the British Empire’s East India Company, which served as a sort of trading company gaining much profit from Opium among other resources to be exploited by British Colonialism. Just for a reference, Colonialism has manifested into modern Imperialism to a large extent, though that will be explained in greater detail further down the road.

Smith felt the government control of capital and business hindered the free flow of capital, thus slowing economic — or capital — growth. Smith believed the free flow of capital would ultimately lead to greater opportunities for all people to share in the wealth of this free flowing capital. This theme of capitalism without government restriction, or Laissez-faire capitalism, is the backbone of the modern libertarian movement. It’s understandable the sentiment of Smith given the historical context of state, or in Smith’s case, Monarchistic control over capital markets. Unlike what we now consider Communism, this state control of capital did not result in equal distribution of wealth, but rather the wealth being  hoarded by the Monarchy. continue reading…

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