“A world without workers is impossible. A world without capitalists is necessary.”
— World Federation of Labor.
The unemployment rate in the USA is down to just over 8%. This is evidence that we are in a recovery from a recession. But that rate is actually higher than it was when this particular recession began.
The patient’s temperature has gone up, a sure sign that the patient is getting better. Huh?
Living under the rules of a profit and loss religion in a market church controlled by private clergy, almost anything negative can be made to sound positive, especially to those who have not yet felt the full impact of a disintegrating political economy. But those who are experiencing its worst aspects find no relief in academic jargon about structural or cyclical problems, stagnation, supply/demand curves, unemployment blips and market equilibrium. None of this helps them find jobs or borrow enough money to pay their rent, mortgage, food bills or education loans. And as those people are not only in the USA but in the rest of the world, the global nature of the problem makes it clearer that a solution is far beyond a particular nation state and concerns all of humanity.
An old admonition to act local but think global has come to mean far more than was originally intended. Then it had almost nothing to do with economics but now, if we don’t think and act economically we may assure failure for the planet and all its inhabitants. That’s us, whatever market terminology may be used to hide that fact behind national, racial, religious or other divisive identity group labels that help keep power in minority hands. And that minority is doing better than ever, in the short run, amassing more power and money than any past godlike royalty in what were supposed to have been more primitive societies. How much has really changed since ancient times when peasants and slaves were ground underfoot so that royal families and their wealthy sponsors could live lives of luxury? Not much, in essence, though the material standard of living for workers became what was called middle class and assured far more material comfort than previous generations of common people enjoyed. That lasted until the present breakdown began decreasing the income of more people at a faster rate so that the wealth of less people could increase at a greater rate.
What kind of system is this? This kind:
If people are murdered in wars, that is good for the weapons business. If illness and disease run rampant that is good for the medical business. If natural disaster ravages communities and kills people, that is good for the construction industry and the burial business. Such are the realities of the cold blooded economics by which the people of the world have been organized for hundreds of years. A profit for one always means a loss for many. The idea of keeping people healthy, safe, secure and alive is reduced to the private force of doing so only if they are able to create profits for those selling health, safety, security and life itself to the highest bidder in the market. If we can’t afford to buy those things and charity does not exist for us, we can just drop dead.
Millions of us do, and not only in bloody wars which profit the war makers. Many of us starve for lack of food while others have to go on diets because they eat so much. Many of us sleep in doorways, on the street or under bridges, while dogs and cats have their own rooms in comfortable homes. None of this happens because of individuals who are thoughtless or cold hearted or murderous, although such do exist. But in a system which dictates that profit must be created in a market sale, the owner of a private firm that makes band aids can be the nicest person on earth but still only profit and prosper if lots of people are bleeding. The social concept of doing all that is possible to avoid bleeding would be terrible for his private business. That is the case for every single human endeavor in the capital dominated religious belief system of the market, an anti-human, anti-social core of political economics that is threatening the future of all people all over the world.
Criticism and rebellion to such injustice is the history of humanity but today it is growing far beyond the national minorities previously involved in such struggle. People organized to obey authority, work for others to survive, live in physical poverty or shop in moral poverty and vote for employees of wealthy rulers when allowed to and call it democracy, have remained unorganizable for the kind of change now necessary for the survival of humanity. But as the critical conditions grow worse, new methods of communication among the people are helping bring more rebellious response to this old order of great wealth for the few at cost of crippling poverty and debt for the many.
Under the threat of potential social collapse, environmental destruction and radical revolution, those who reap the greatest profits are exploiting, ravaging and murdering at insane rates in mindless desperation to maintain their power and wealth. That cannot continue and is no longer tolerable to billions of neither human beings nor the planet’s natural support system.
All over the world of capitalist anti-social democracy, the collapsing structure has brought about calls for austerity from the rulers and their paid minions in government. This means further losses absorbed by the majority so that even greater profits can accrue to ruling minorities. Establishment philosophers of mass culture operating through corporate media still have enormous impact as they explain why the present reality is all that exists and must be experienced without substantial question. But when increasingly painful economic conditions for more people combine with increasingly dangerous conditions for much of the natural environment, the complex of events called material reality take on a new meaning well understood by growing numbers who face that reality in all its harshness and are less influenced by misinformation, propaganda and economic fairy tales.
Thus, many world citizens, even while their governing powers continue representing capital, wars and injustice, are rejecting the ugly burdens forced on them by their rich overlords. Elections in some places are small indications of change but far more indicative than the voting process which is still under the control of capital, are the rising multitudes all over the world all aiming for the same goal: a new world based on democratic power exercised by people taking action as members of the one and only human race and not simply as parties, religions, sects, cults or other labeled divisions which serve to keep minorities in control of majority created wealth.
Those tiny minorities are the capitalists who somehow own the fantastic wealth produced by enormous majorities of previously divided people. The divisions still exist and the power still is in the hands of those minorities whose days may be numbered, but so are those of humanity as well if action is not taken to create the world of democratic equality which has been the stuff of wishes and dreams but must become reality. Or else.
Doomsayers and doubters are in abundance and are to be expected, even when they are not on the payroll of the ruling minority. It’s easy to look at the state of the world and surrender to present reality. But that is only possible for those not yet suffering the ever increasing misfortune of dependence on a political economics of profit for a few through loss, pain and misery for most. It is not just time for social change activists but for all citizens of the world’s 99% to heed the words quoted at the beginning. An end to the reign of minority capitalism is necessary to save the earth and all its people so that we can begin a human society offering hope for all and not just some.