A companion blog, The Metacognition Project, has been created to focus specifically on metacognition and related consciousness processes. Newest essay on TMP: Goals and Problems, part two

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Capitalism Without Rules

What would capitalism without rules look like?  What “invisible hand” guides capitalism’s actions and to what result? 

There is an invisible hand guiding the physical world to all the forms and processes of our “world.”  It is in the laws that control the rates, that set the proportional relations of various forces.  But this fundamental reality is only metaphor for other “invisible hands” in evolution, social relations or economics.  Appeal to invisible hands in these situations are no more than the failure to illuminate the designs of process. 

The appeal of capitalism exists largely in its making acceptable the concentration of wealth and in its religion-like faith in a common, generally negative human attribute as a positive guiding principle: human greed.  Capitalism is a social and economic design that gives great freedom to the most greedy.  Greed and wealth concentration are intellectually supported under the argument that the invisible hand of greed will design the best possible distribution of wealth based on the most efficient use of resources.  And it denies that humans have the power, or should have the power, to control wealth and resources.  

This ‘leave it to the market’ argument overtly suggests that we should not trust other people to control the process of wealth distribution while hiding the fact that the very most acquisitive and ruthless of us are doing exactly that under the cover of ‘the market.’  Trillions of dollars of wealth have been taken by the tax and credit system over the last 8 years (and for many years before) and “redistributed” to the economic elite, a polite term for the greedy sociopaths at the core of these economic actions.  This is being done primarily with war, the healthcare (sic) system and the credit system.  

The “bailout” of Wall Street is not a bailout at all.  Embezzling is slow. To get big bucks in a hurry requires a robbery and a robbery requires the hold-up note.  All the planning can be done in secret, but with a robbery there comes the moment when intentions must be made clear: “Fill this bag. I have a gun in my pocket.”  We have just been through such a moment, with the note written in all capitalism, so most people missed its true meaning. 

“Fill this bag. If you don’t your lives will be ruined and children’s lives will be ruined”  In capitalism the note reads: “The Market has been damaged by excessive attempts of foolish people to regulate it and so trillions of dollars must be given to the managers who are guided by the True Invisible Hand to save us from a great depression, social unrest and civil war.”

What this boils down to is that capitalism, as an economic process, seeks to remove the rules that guide economic behavior, and as economic capitalism melds into political capitalism, what ever form of governance was in place is replaced with fascism.  This has been the major movement of historical process in competition with democratization.  Global corporations have championed democracy as a way to gain deep power in government, to take control of taxation, reduce political restraints from popular autocrats and manipulate political process.

Capitalism restrained by democratic socialism, capitalism used as resource distributing economic device and not as a religion is a functional design.  But it is a little like having a gorilla guarding your house; he might at any moment realize his power to take over the whole place. 

This is what has happened and, I fear, that we will see the full effect of capitalism without rules for the next many years.  It will look a lot like other times in history when the powerful separate from and dominate the great middle by reducing them to servitude.  Only this time we are facing an ecological end of track.  How the elite will handle this reality as it manifests more and more clearly will, I suspect, not be pretty.

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