Psychopathic neocon Nikki Haley is greasing the wheels for her 2024 presidential campaign by screaming that America has been taken over by socialism.

“2020 was the year socialism went mainstream,” Haley tweeted today. “The dangerous ideology, which has failed everywhere it has been tried and ruined countless lives, is on its way to becoming the default economic policy of the Democratic Party. This terrifying trend threatens the future of every American.”

Ah yes, America. The country where Republicans spend all day screaming that socialism is happening and Democrats spend all day making sure it never does.

Meanwhile, outside of Nikki Haley’s magical fantasy world where Joe Biden is ushering in a Marxist world order and Bernie Sanders is personally guillotining billionaires in Central Park, Americans are being denied financial support and healthcare even as millions are thrown out of work during the pandemic.

In reality, the world is still very much locked into zealous worship of the great god known as capitalism. And it is choking the world to death.

We live on a finite planet of finite resources with a finite ecosystem that has a finite capacity to absorb punishment without becoming uninhabitable. Science tells us we are fast approaching the breaking point at a debatable rate of acceleration. Depending on what scientists you believe we could get there in several decades, or it could be a whole lot sooner.

Capitalism, the predominant driving force of human behavior in our world right now, offers exactly two potential solutions to this dilemma. The first is to pretend the dilemma doesn’t exist, which is why a Venn diagram of climate denialism and support for capitalism is always going to be a near-perfect circle. The second is the entirely faith-based hope that some kind of sustainable technological innovation is going to save the day before our behavior drives us off the cliff of extinction.

Which means the only answer capitalism has for the current plight of our species is the blind-faith belief that the world is about to be saved, any minute now, by a handful of union-busting tech billionaires who choose every single day not to use their vast fortunes to end world hunger. That is the unspoken premise in the argument for the continuation of capitalism.

Since ideological echo chambers tend to develop their own dialects and definitions which can make cross-ideological conversation damn near impossible, I should clarify that what I mean by capitalism is the current system dominating our world today wherein human behavior is driven as a whole by the pursuit of capital. The current system of profit-seeking and competition as the primary determining factor of what humans are doing on this planet.

Profit-chasing as the driving factor in human behavior is what got us here. As long as it remains profitable to destroy the environment and human behavior is driven by profit, then humans will continue destroying the environment. Inevitably. This will have to happen.

So for purposes of this conversation it’s actually irrelevant whether capitalism enthusiasts believe the current system is “real capitalism” or not, whether you believe the markets are “free” or not, or whether or not you prefer Austrian over Keynesian models of economic theory. Since we’re talking about any system where profit-chasing and competition drives human behavior at mass scale, we are necessarily talking about whatever pet definition of capitalism you happen to prefer.

So there’s no need to play pedantic word games about this.

So, again, the only argument for our species continuing along its current trajectory is the entirely faith-based belief that some greedy anti-union plutocrat like Elon Musk is going to promote new technologies which make it unprofitable for any humans to destroy the environment, and do so quickly enough to evert ecological disaster. Which is slightly dumber than believing the world has been saved by the election of Joe Biden.

The plutocratic class are not good custodians of our world. They are not good people. They are not wise. They are not even particularly intelligent. They’re just a very profitable sort of clever, and have a willingness to crush anyone who gets in their way.

The plutocratic class has been buying up control over our political systems to ensure maximum profit, buying up news media outlets to propagandize the masses into supporting the status quo they’ve built their kingdoms on, and forming alliances with sociopathic government agencies which murder people around the world to ensure continual US unipolar hegemony. These are the people we’ve placed in charge of the innovation and distribution of emerging technologies, and we’re meant to believe that they will save the world?

They will not. They will keep chasing power and profit until we drive ourselves off the cliff of extinction. It’s all they know how to do.

We’re never going to compete and consume our way out of the existential crisis we’ve competed and consumed our way into. Capitalism will never make it more profitable to leave a tree standing than to cut it down, to leave fuel sources in the ground rather than dig them up. Money has no wisdom, no matter how inflation-proof and gold-backed you might want to make it. Markets cannot navigate us through this crisis, no matter how “free” you might try to make them. Capitalism is the problem. Not the wrong kind of capitalism. Just capitalism.

The only way humanity survives the looming existential threats of ecological collapse and nuclear war it now faces is if it radically transforms from a competition-based model to a collaboration-based model. One where we collaborate with each other and with our ecosystem to clear the massive hurdles that are rapidly approaching instead of stepping on each other’s heads in a mad scramble to stay afloat and destroying our ecosystemic life support system for profit.

Even if you want to make the extremely debatable claim that socialism has failed everywhere it’s been tried, an earnest reckoning with our situation will force you to admit that capitalism has failed too. Our system of insatiable profit-seeking to the detriment of our world has led us to the brink of extinction, which is as spectacular a failure as any system could possibly manage. How much of a failure is a system that gets everyone killed? All of it. All the fail.

So it’s kind of a nonsensical position to argue that a movement away from competition and profit-seeking is untenable because it’s never been done before, because our current disastrous situation is the direct result of everything we have already tried. Everything we’ve done led us to this point. If we are to survive as a species, we’re necessarily going to have to do something that is entirely unprecedented. We’re going to have to transcend our old patterning and do something completely new.

A world where human behavior is driven by collaboration in the interests of humanity and our ecosystem instead of competition and profit seeking would indeed be wildly unprecedented. Our current crisis is itself also wildly unprecedented. This is evolve-or-die time.

We are living in unprecedented times, and unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. We need to stop clinging to our old failed ways of doing things and find the courage to step into an entirely new way of being.


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120 responses to “The Unspoken Premise Of Modern Capitalism Is That The World Will Be Saved By Greedy Tech Oligarchs”

  1. People in premodern societies had already been engaging in activities of all kinds that augment their personal stock of physical wealth. The two major restraints that for the most part had prevented them from destroying our planet and exhausting our resource base had been traditional moral/religious scruples and the lack of technology. Both restraints are largely absent in the modern world.

    While I agree with well nigh everything in the above article, I don’t see how we’re going to escape our current plight unless someone can show us something that’s readily accessible to everyone and provides far greater and deeper fulfillment than the acquisition of material goods and assets. Spiritual experience is supposed to offer just this — and I emphatically won’t dismiss it as rubbish — but how readily accessible is it? How many spiritually enlightened people do you encounter around you, who are so blissed out they can still be genuinely happy even when living in a state of poverty?

    Maybe via something like the Hundredth Monkey Syndrome, the number of spiritually enlightened people will reach a critical level at which there will suddenly be a major shift in human consciousness which will lead us all to ‘step into an entirely new way of being’, where the human species will transcend the desire for material goods and assets, having found something else far more genuinely fulfilling. Who knows?…

    1. I am making over $9k a month working part time. I stored being attentive to different human beings inform me how much money they are able to make on line so I decided to lok into it. RFd well, it turned into all actual and has completely modified my life.

      That is what I do….-!~!~!~!…. Home Profit System

  2. …feel I must acknowledge same I proffered RFK, Amy Goodman, gentleman who led New York mosques post Malcolm, Frank Herbert, Naomi Klein, William Blum, John Perkins, Gretchen Morgenson, James Yee, Edward C Hart, Jesse R Glover: thank you.

  3. An excellent post, and completely correct. As usual. Thanks.

  4. No one, no matter how great their wealth can end world hunger!
    There are already far more humans than can be supported & each year we add 80 MILLION MORE MOUTHS that will DEMAND MORE food, more water, more clothing, more jobs, more more more & there are LIMITS TO RESOURCES & LIMITS TO GROWTH!
    We have already exceeded earths natural limits, only OIL has made it possible to push ourselves over the sustainable cliff edge.
    When OIL becomes too difficult & expensive to extract, we will see & feel first hand how far over the cliff we have gone & billions of us will be eliminated.

    1. Exactly. It is sooner than any expect. The next five years will see the world transformed by disaster, disease and much death.

    2. Ho-hum …Yawn …

  5. Here, in the straight shootin’ words of the cowboy economist, is BY FAR the most RADICAL and DOABLE idea out there right now. But damn if I can seem to get ANYONE interested in it. Yea, I know, it’s much more fun to beat up on the bastards in charge of things, call them every well-deserved name in the book, and then forget about the MUCH MORE DEMANDING part; i.e., coming up with specific ideas–PRACTICAL, WORKABLE ideas–that could be put into action RIGHT NOW to turn us around in a better direction. So saddle up your horses, pardners, and give this little video a look-see…you know, like the one about socialists I slapped up here earlier.

  6. 1. What is socialism?
    According to Marx, Engels and Lenin, in order to lay the basis for socialism, to just begin the transition to socialism, the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist class must be achieved. This can only be through a workers uprising that smashes their state machine of repression and replaces it with a workers state (‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’) that in turn represses, vanquishes and expropriates the capitalist class to then subject the economy to rational, democratic planning to the benefit of the vast majority.
    According to Marx, Engels and Lenin, socialism is the lower stage of communism, where society and the production of all its needs is based on: (i) common ownership of the means of production, where distinct social classes based on such ownership therefore no longer exist; (ii) levels of productivity are far higher than any ever attained by the most advanced capitalist societies, are based on an international division of labour, and are sufficient to satisfy all human needs; (iii) the average time needed to perform necessary labour in order to live is continually being minimised through constantly improved automation, and the working population experiences these reductions; (iv) by habitual, democratic, rational and centralised economic planning, the administration of people is replaced by the administration of things, in which everyone has a part; (v) the state as an instrument of repression and compulsion has thereby ‘withered away’; (vi) laws overwhelmingly are replaced by simple cultural pressure; and (vii) the operative slogan is ‘from each according to his ability to each according to his work’.
    Communism (or alternatively the ‘higher stage of socialism’) is where productivity has reached a point where the individual is free to pursue their life’s desires without compulsion to work as such, where the distinction between ‘work’, ‘hobby’, ‘art’, ‘science’, ‘research’, etc, has all but disappeared. The operative slogan under communism is: ‘from each according to his ability to each according to his need’. Individual liberty is attained only through the collective ownership and exploitation of the earth’s resources.
    A note to all the Cassandras moaning about the earth’s finite resources: no socialist or communist society would ever limit its vision to the earth only. There’s actually a solar system, galaxy and a universe out there with rather a lot of resources to spare, way beyond capitalism’s ability to ever exploit rationally or without resort to imperialist war (albeit in ‘space’).
    2. Has ‘socialism’ ever existed?
    According to the above definition, it most definitely has not. What has occurred with the overthrow of capitalism has been the establishment of the essential foundations for socialism: socialisation of the means of production and distribution, and economic planning. The October 1917 Russian revolution was the first to overthrow capitalism, to socialise the economy (not immediately of course and extremely bureaucratically when it was), to institute economic planning (bureaucratically also), and was accomplished by a workers revolution. Subsequent post-capitalist societies also instituted socialised economies, but arose either from peasant/partisan guerrilla uprisings that were forced to socialise their economies (China, Yugoslavia, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba), or from the ends of Red Army bayonets (ie, Eastern Europe/Warsaw pact to serve essentially as a cushion to defend the USSR against another imperialist invasion).
    The only people who will insist that these post-capitalist countries are ‘socialist’ either are their own Stalinist bureaucratic caste representatives or mouthpieces of the capitalist class.
    3. Can ‘socialism’ exist in a backward country?
    Not according to the definition above. As long as the productivity of the socialised economy of a backward country remains below that of the most advanced capitalist countries, its economy and society will be at a disadvantage. Backwardness and low productivity and lack of access to needed resources otherwise held by capitalists will engender scarcity. Scarcity engenders bureaucracy. Bureaucracy engenders repression and corruption. Repression and corruption engenders capitalist counterrevolution (as occurred in the USSR and Eastern Europe in 1990-92).
    For socialism to exist in a backward country it can come only with the help of an advanced post-capitalist country. That’s why Lenin and Trotsky were most anxious to spread the Russian revolution to the advanced countries (especially Europe from their immediate perspective). Capitalism in an advanced country is yet to be overthrown.
    4. Can ‘socialism’ be built in one country?
    Not according to the definition above. It can’t be built in even the most advanced single country. As long as there are needed resources anywhere on the globe still monopolised by the capitalist class, the post-capitalist society of the advanced country will still be subject to blackmail, isolation and scarcities.
    As an ideology, ‘Socialism in One Country’ was promulgated by Stalin and his followers in the mid-1920s to justify not pursuing socialist revolutions in other countries, foremost because such would have undermined bureaucratic rule of the Stalinists themselves. ‘Socialism in One Country’ goes against everything Marx, Engels and Lenin ever conceived socialism to be. This verdict isn’t simply ‘Trotskyism’.
    All the extant workers states (ie, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos) are ‘deformed’ and ruled by nationalistic, repressive bureaucratic castes. Despite these bureaucratic deformations, Marxists defend them unconditionally from counterrevolution or imperialist attack (just as we defend trade unions, in spite of their sellout misleaders, from attack by the bourgeois state). The Stalinist bureaucracies must be overthrown in political revolutions which leave their socialised property forms essentially untouched to instead subject them to democratic control (through the soviets or communes, etc, that arise during such revolutions). Overthrown by their own workers led by a party of the Bolshevik type, not by colour ‘revolutions’ unleashed by the CIA and other imperialist agencies.
    5. Has ‘socialism’ been implemented in an advanced country?
    No. If only. Capitalism is yet to be overthrown in an advanced country. The ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ has yet occur in any advanced country.
    6. Has ‘socialism’ failed?
    If it hasn’t been achieved, how can be judged to have ‘failed’? If it has been, then where is an example? What we can see, however, is that where capitalism has been overthrown, the country that overthrew it has advanced more quickly than it otherwise would have. Perhaps the best instance is to compare the fates of China and India. Before the Chinese revolution, China’s economy and living standards actually were more backward than India’s. Today, on nearly all social and economic metrics, China is far more advanced than India, and on some metrics has and will surpass those of the declining US empire.
    7. Is it possible to have a ‘socialist’ society where the means of production are still privately owned?
    Not according to the definition above. All capitalist societies have to a greater or lesser extent socialised some parts of their economies. Scandinavian countries often are touted as ‘socialist’ by the Sandernistas or the Democratic (Party) Socialists of America because they believe that state subsidised healthcare, education, housing, etc, equals ‘socialism’. Only the most naive social democrat (or Republican) would regard these countries, still with their virulent capitalist classes constantly chafing at the bit to privatise all services or otherwise roll back the ‘socialised’ parts of the economy and any non-corporate welfare, as somehow ‘socialist’. Such ‘socialistic’ measures and other reforms are always contingent on the willingness and abilitiy of the ruling class to abolish them and on those they rule to resist such efforts.

    1. Helpful summation of what has been. But does history lock us into what can be? Some read Marx in scriptural fashion here, as big a mistake IMHO as reading scripture scripturally.

      1. Yes, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, etc, often are read and used ‘scripturally’ like holy writ, especially in polemical exchanges between differing left tendencies and groups, also by bourgeois ‘interpreters’ of Marx, etc. Because the ‘holy fathers’ often changed their positions in the face of new empirical evidence, latter day followers and interpreters choose one passage to use against opponents who use other passages to push their line.
        Lenin in his State and Revolution is a good illustration of such ‘scriptural’ analyses, where he used passages from Marx and Engels to show how their views evolved regarding the nature of the state in the face of historic events, eg, the Paris Commune, and how these changed views were ignored, suppressed or distorted in the name of opportunism by lesser ‘holy fathers’ like Karl Kautsky.
        With new editions of popular works like the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels often wrote prefaces updating their views that rendered certain parts of the original obsolete in light of events that occurred since 1848 when the Communist Manifesto was first published.
        Opportunists would quote passages in the original text like holy writ to justify reformism, while Marx and Engels’ updates in prefaces to new editions of their work invariably were to more a ‘radical’, revolutionary position but ignored by opportunists. Marx and Engels after all were revolutionaries, like Lenin, who weren’t merely ‘philosophers’ as the bourgeoisie like to paint them (like harmless icons hanging in an orthodox church).
        Most of everything Marx and Engels wrote was directed toward others also professing revolutionary politics, not as ‘philosophy’ per se nor as popular expositions like the Communist Manifesto with little in the way of polemics. Accordingly much of their own work also comprised textural analyses that appear to be nitpicking, obscure and ‘scriptural’ especially to those unfamiliar with revolutionary politics (or philosophy or political economy, etc). In one of his more ignorant remarks, Freud called such disputes ‘the narcissism of minor differences’, yet such ‘minor’ differences somehow grow or pan out to become the difference between revolution and counterrevolution.
        It’s not ‘history’ that locks us into what can be, but clinging to old positions that history in fact tells us to unlock ourselves from. Often one must (nit)pick the lock.

    2. As usual, great comment, Stephen. (But I wonder what the point would be of traveling to Mars to acquire something that earth does not already have. But that’s a discussion for the day after the revolution, not today. Again, great comment.)
      Have you noticed a not-so-subtle shift in many of the articles and video “shows” in alternative media ever since the Russian “response” to COVID has shown itself to be nearly as bad as some of the “big name” capitalist countries? IMO, the perfect example of the shift is today’s Crosstalk.
      During so-called WWII, draftees were expetcted to literally travel, fight and die for their, for lack of a better expression, “system back home”. Nowadays I see something similar happening — citizens living within their nation are supposed to die for their capitalist “free market system”. That is, at all times, even during COVID, rather than anything fundamental changing in the system, citizens are supposed to carry on as much as possible as usual, even if that costs the lives of, in the case of the US, 346,000 people (one hundred 9/11s); and in the case of Russia, well over 56,000.
      If the goal of a nation’s response to COVID was the lowest possible death count, China’s state-controlled-capitalist draconian lockdown early on in the infection has proven itself to be the most effective. The western corporate-controlled-capitalist responses have resulted in much higher death counts. But what is heard in both the western corporate and alternative media is that so-called lockdowns are really bad things to do because they restrict fundamental freedoms, etc. and that they are going to lead to technological tyranny and great resets. If one could turn back the clock to Jan. 1, 2020, knowing what they know about COVID today, I think that many of the latter would now argue to do absolutely NOTHING in response to COVID. If several million people die in each nation, so be it. Just like the New Hampshre license plate motto used to say, “Live Free or Die”. Continue to pack movie theaters, stadiums, cruise ships, airliners, tourist spots all over the world, the spicest Chinese restaurants, etc. Isn’t all of that wonderful shit worth dying for? Actually, I can understand that Darwinian argument — thin out the herd; survival of the fittest, stronger herd, etc. I just don’t want to be one of the sacrifical lambs.
      IMO, what we are witnessing is an all-out battle between systems. COVID has been a catalyst greatly speeding up that struggle. How the 153 million people who just voted for More Of The Same are going to unite and do absolutely anything to improve their lives when they cannot even agree on the definitions of words, which you attempted to overcome, is a mystery to me. Maybe if there was a lot more starvation and homelessness and hopelessness and packed prisions.

      1. COVID has created an unholy alliance between libertarians, liberals and conservatives. First, in most countries especially outside Asia, there hasn’t been in living memory quarantines or lockdowns due to outbreaks of contagious diseases that are a deadly threat. For most the last time was 1919. So there’s a hue and cry about individual ‘rights’ and ‘liberties’ being curtailed or suppressed. Yet most of our pearl clutchers are blissfully unaware that your right to go anywhere you like without precautions infringes on my right to not be infected by you.
        Secondly, the bourgeoisie has two main motivations in imposing restrictions, even though many of these on their own are necessary and supportable. Their first motivation, as always, is their own self-preservation. Our precious capitalists don’t want to catch the disease themselves since viruses tend not to respect class lines no matter how geographically or otherwise physically these may be defined and enforced. It’s hard to imagine them risking their own soft skins for ‘herd immunity’, which in most countries for the moment at least trumps their genocidal instincts. Unfortunately with COVID for many, it’s not ‘Live free or die’, it’s ‘Live free and die’…and ‘Live free and kill’.
        Their second motivation, again as always, is they are and will use COVID as a pretext to further tighten their rule, primarily through making the restrictions on individual movement, speech, etc, permanent. All in the name of ‘protection’, just as ‘security’ in the face of 9/11 and ‘terrorism’ was used. Already they find in COVID a great rationalisation for making everyone work from home for less, and so on.
        COVID deniers (like Patrick Henningsen), as much as they highlight all these horrors the rulers are imposing on us somehow blame the restrictions on ‘leftism’, and moan about hard-won rights being taken away ‘without a whimper’. Except that ‘hard won rights’ were won overwhelmingly through labour movement (ie, class) struggles which they conveniently expunge but who fanatically support the suppression of the principal means through which such rights have been won, the organised labour movement.
        And of course there should be general strikes to stop workers being forced back to work to sacrifice themselves on the altar of profits. Our tory commentators appear to forget that general strikes will also be necessary to win back the hard won rights taken away without a whimper. (All the better if Bolsheviks lead them to revolution).
        That episode of Cross Talk you posted was one of the most irrational and silly I’ve ever seen, dominated as it was by post-modernist scientifically illiterate nincompoops, who are especially aghast that science is imperfect, wrong even, in the face of new phenomena. Heaven forbid!
        On ‘travelling’ to Mars and other speculations: a wonderful resource extremely rare on earth and in plentiful supply on the moon’s surface is He3 (from the Sun). This isotope of helium (minus a neutron) is key to producing fusion power far more easily than starting from deuterium (H2, hydrogen with a neutron) or tritium (H3, H with two neutrons). So it’s not so far fetched, and that’s why there’s a lot of interest in lunar exploration. But in the end, we’d use machines to routinely fetch the resources we need from other parts of the solar system or further afield.
        Right now there’s a confluence of technology and energy needs necessitating far greater social organisation and planning than capitalism can implement (as coal and industrial production went way beyond feudalism)…unless conditions of ‘individual’ liberties that capitalism’s mouthpieces have always crowed about are further eviscerated. Yet our conservatives, libertarians and liberals can never admit that the only way capitalism can employ any planning beyond the boardrooms of each corporation is to impose restrictions not only on individual liberties but on individual corporations themselves that will be intolerable and unsustainable in the longterm. Davos may be the bourgeoisie’s attempts at global ‘planning’, but such confabs will need to be replaced by an internationally empowered soviet if rational global economic planning that liberates us all is to become a reality.

      2. Stephen, once again, the tradition of me agreeing with 99% of what you have to say continues.
        I think the perfect example of one of your second paragraph’s points is ex-person Herman Cain.
        In short, he probably-unintentionally chose your “Live Free AND Die” option. I don’t often say “I told you so”, especially with a smile on my face, but I make an exception for capitalistically/politically Able Cain.
        FWIW, I’m 70 and grew up with The Jetsons and all the sci-fi TV shows and movies such 1968’s vision of the future, “2001: A Space Odyssey” (the major features of which have still not been achieved by humanity 52 years later in 2020). I spent my working life as a laboratory technician working in oil and coal-fueled power plants, as well as a few years in the laboratory of an under-construction nuclear power plant in the northeastern US. Last but not least, just the other day I watched the movie “Moon”! IMHO, it is going to make far more sense in every way to make the fuel for a potential fusion power plant (which, like the major elements of “2001”, may turn out to be a bridge too far) on planet earth. But, first things first; let’s see if humanity can create a fully-functional, 1000 mW fusion power plant before we discuss how “we” are going to exploit helium isotopes on the moon! China is apparently building their very own fusion reactor, so we’ll soon see how the cream of China’s ultra-competitive universities handles the problem. Hopefully I’ll live long enough to see if fusion power either comes into being or turns out to be a very expensive white elephant that made a lot of corporations a pile of profit.
        More on “the shift”. Last spring, into early summer, China was battling COVID heroically and winning. After just a couple of months, it had licked COVID (pun definitely intended). Even the Tangerine Jackass complimented China. But, not long thereafter, as the US’s death total went skyward, and ever since, TJ has more or less accused China of making biological war on the US.
        Early on, Russia also did not take COVID seriously, at least by enacting strict measures such as China’s. (Russia’s effort on the vaccine front was breathtaking, however.) During this early period, RT’s shows and articles were mostly positive on the measures China was taking, and sort of bragging that Russia was doing just great without having taken any draconian measures.
        But, because neither the US nor Russian capitalist oligarchies were politically capable of doing what the CCP-controlled capitalist oligarchy did, again, the bodies piled up (and continue to pile up). And as the bodies piled up, RT’s shows and articles started to change – the latest Crosstalk being reduced to a re-make of The Three Stooges. “Left”, “right” and a lot of other words are now thrown about with no consistency whatsoever. IMO, those three guys are just trying to hold onto their jobs, just like the famous US MSM talking heads, only paid a lot less. (I’m betting that none of these three delicate people want to get their incredibly soft hands dirty in a factory of digging a ditch.) Because they can’t criticize the Russian “system’s” obviously ineffective response to COVID, they have to ignore it by deflecting viewers’ attention to something, anything else – for example, the precious mental health or the financial suffering of those locked down, or the possibility that COVID might be the very excuse “the left” needs to turn everybody into slaves (as if they weren’t before COVID). Christ Almighty, many people slaving away at tedious, mind-numbing jobs wish for the day that they can be “locked down” at home to finally learn to play the piano, collect stamps, tend to the garden better, finally do that renovation, or even devote some serious time to learning more about geopolitics or alternative economic systems!
        The systemic battle I previously mentioned is between three capitalist systems – again only one of them controlled by a “communist” party. There is no true communist or socialist nation in the battle. Regardless, I think the fatal flaw in all three capitalist systems is their (so far, anyway) vital need for perpetual growth, which means a perpetually growing population, which means, fusion power or no fusion power, the extinction of the human species. The US system’s vital need for perpetual war will do the job if perpetual growth doesn’t. (I think that the US is about to use Ukraine as a means of driving the final wedge between Russia and “the west”, Nordstream 2, and all.)
        Considering the past 30 years of revolutionary activity on the part of the masses in the US and its vassal states, anway, I don’t think there’s enough time left for a revolution …….unless, again, there is a lot more starvation and homelessness and hopelessness and packed prisons, real quick-like. THEN the hundreds of millions of wretched refuse will suddenly come together, especially the hungry ex-prisoners, and agree on the definitions of all those important words like “socialism”, etc., right?
        Just think, all of this discussion will go down the memory hole in just a few of Caitlin’s new articles. Thank God for cut and paste and “save”, right?

        1. The 60s certainly were times of great optimism, and illusions in unlimited resources and technological prospects. Not even then did thirty minutes let alone “30 years of revolutionary activity on the part of the masses in the US” occur. Neither the civil rights and antiwar demonstrations and protests then, nor the 2020 insurrectionary George Floyd uprisings, produced revolutionary or pre-revolutionary situations where the question of power was directly posed. If there were any actual ‘revolutionary activity’ on the part of the US masses, and I sincerely wish there was, the world would be in a very different place today.
          Persistent revolutionary mass activity would likely take the order of months to produce a revolution (assuming the necessary condition of a conscious revolutionary leadership). In the absence of a revolution resulting from such revolutionary activity, no mass movement can maintain a revolutionary pitch for very long. The movement would fizzle, and history shows that lost revolutionary opportunities demoralise the masses who then look for other ‘solutions’ to the crisis sparking the revolutionary activity. Fascism takes its cue with such a golden opportunity to fill the vacuum.
          China may give the appearance of being a ‘state-controlled capitalist oligarchy’, but the increasingly dangerous capitalist class there still doesn’t hold political power. The core of the Chinese economy (heavy industry and banking) remains in the hands of the state, and economic planning still predominates. China remains a workers state with corresponding property relations the rule but with significant capitalist inroads and bureaucratic deformations. Certainly the Chinese capitalist tycoons must be expropriated before they completely overturn the socialised economy with counterrevolution. But the Chinese Stalinists have consciously and dangerously chosen capitalist market mechanisms to discipline the workers as a substitute for workers democracy. They have put the Chinese revolution in great peril.
          Here’s something that somewhat undermines the bourgeois propaganda about China being ‘capitalist’:

      3. Stephen, tradition is still holding.
        I have two friends who emigrated from China to Canada – “David”, raised from birth in Hong Kong, about 50 years ago (in a family whose father served some function in British intelligence); and “Michael”, a turbine engineer, from the NE part of China about 20 years ago. They both have present-day contacts in China and most of what they talk about is, naturally, family-related and, just as naturally, the political situation in China and Canada.
        I talk to these two people at least weekly and, as you might imagine, I learn every bit of information about the situation in China that I can. They have very different things to say about the same China.
        David is a few years younger than me and is retired. Even though he was raised in Hong Kong, he is very pro-mainland-China, even more than me. He acknowledges problems that the CCP has with corruption, but he knows that the CCP does in fact control the oligarchs rather than the other way around, and that China’s heroic effort to limit the deaths from COVID prove it. (I agree.) He tells me that the CCP is now changing direction from relying on exports, to more relying on creating and satisfying domestic demand, encouraging domestic rather than foreign tourism, and continuing to improve living conditions throughout the country, but concentrating more on remote rural areas. He says they are making good progress and I believe him. He is very proud of the recent Chinese accomplishments in space which are barely mentioned in the “free world” (my sarcastic expression, not his). I, also, am very impressed with China’s accomplishments in space — in particular, their last lunar mission, which returned lunar samples to the earth.
        Michael, OTOH, was really anti-CCP while he was living in China and for at least 15 years after he emigrated to Canada. He experienced first-hand the corruption of at least some of the members of the 90-million-strong CCP (many of whom are people who have non-elite jobs) and could hardly wait for he and his young son to move to Canada and “live long and prosper” in the land of freedom, democracy and milk and honey and oil. After 20 years of the latter, Michael is now unemployed because of COVID’s recessionary effect on Oilberta’s energy industry (the only game in town, really) and, because of the anti-Chinese rhetoric spewed by Donito Assolini and Justine Turdeau, has personally experienced some what he rightly calls racist, hurtful comments from fellow-Canadian perfect strangers. He has also been educated by other Chinese immigrants who have experienced the same treatment, as well as by the lying Canadian MSM and his wonderful America-phobic neighbor across the street – me. Michael now realizes that the place that he was so anxious to get away from is in most important ways better than the one he now lives in. He acknowledges that the CCP does indeed rein-in the capitalist oligarchs for the betterment of the country, but says that what is really needed is to get some of the young city dwellers into the country for some Maoist re-education, so that they can get some of the communist revolutionary spirit into themselves and think a bit more about others than themselves. He says that this will be a very difficult thing to accomplish, even in China, because of Deng Xiaoping’s socialism with Chinese characteristics, etc. back in the ’90s which unleashed unbridled greed. Long story short, the last time I talked to him only a few days ago, he told me for the first time that if he could somehow be assured of a job if he returned to China, he would move back tomorrow.

    3. Thank you for this, which appears to be the most accurate and fully described explanation found here.

      EVERYONE refused to answer (or actively ignored) my repeated questions about Lenin saying Communism is the goal of Socialism.

      What I seem to read from Ms Johnstone is some fluffy, pie-in-the-sky “hope” for change of the current corrupt system. Can’t we all wish for that?

      Yet her answer is to achieve Communism. She didn’t admit it, but I asked more than once. Actually, when I pointed this out, NO ONE would comment. I question motive.

      This is why I cannot give the Socialism/Communism track any real adherence. It is a known dead end.

      1. Stephen Morrell Avatar
        Stephen Morrell

        On re-reading what I wrote above, I must make some corrections because some of it is misleading.
        Firstly, Marx himself didn’t make a distinction between ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’. In fact he didn’t use the word ‘socialism’ a lot. Instead he distinguished between the ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ phases of communist society, but along the same lines as above.
        As stated above, the lower phase of communism (viz. ‘socialism’) is characterised by ‘From each according to his ability to each according to his work’. For this to occur in practice, a system of accounting and accountability is required, meaning ultimately that a remnant of coercion remains regarding entitlements and rights to goods of consumption based on work performed (importantly, minus what’s needed for overheads, social welfare, infrastructure and all the rest). In this lower phase of communism, the state thereby hasn’t completely withered away in upholding this last remaining holdover from bourgeois society.

        With the higher phase of communism (viz. communism ‘proper’), whose advent can’t be predicted in advance at all and when productivity is high enough to render necessary labour trivial, then the need to account for work done withers away, as does the last remnant of compulsion, ie, the state. Then begins the epoch of ‘From each according to his ability to each according to his needs’.
        Finally, Lenin often used terms like ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ in reference to backward Russia to inspire and mobilise soviet and party workers for one purpose or another. One of his more famous aphorisms, from his December 1920 Report on The Work of the Council of Peoples Commissars, was: “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country”, which is clearly in this ‘voluntarist’ category.
        You might ask this question about socialism/communism being a ‘known dead end’: From where does such ‘knowledge’ originate?
        Otherwise, I apologise for not being clearer on these definitions.

  7. We started down this road in the 13C with the enclosure of the Commons, when the rights of the powerful over-rode the rights of the powerless. This same mentality took over continents and exploited workforces in the Industrial Revolution. We have been staggering down this road for a very very long time, and it’s probably amazing that it has taken so long to get here. The ethos is well entrenched: money is power, without it you have none. Democracy is a sham, because money influences those who are elected, and they cannot stand for office without a truckload of money. Short of a revolution, I’m not confident it can be changed. And even if there were a revolution, it would probably be hijacked as the Russian Revolution was by the Global Banksters. Only a figure like Donald Trump could have brought change, had he understood the depth of the corruption. With Biden we’re toast.

  8. The real dilemma facing mankind is not capitalism or a climate change problem, though these are contributing factors. It is an energy problem with failing old infrastructure for energy transmission. We have reached our limit. Thus the lockdowns to bring us dead in our tracks. Everything depends on energy, medicine, healthcare, transportation and most vitally food and clean water. Even solar panels and batteries require energy. Add to this fiat MMT economies and we are facing hard times ahead.

  9. Groundhog Day yet again.

  10. Caitlin please elaborate on your dictum “step into an entirely new way of being.” This sounds nice but it is philosophical and vague. Everyone has their own idea of how to find a “new way of being” but everyone thinking and doing their own thing will not precipitate the crisis in government we need to end the evil empire and revolutionize the world. The world’s great liberator was specific and I try to relay his instructions in modern English. Read more of this here:

  11. Roundball Shaman Avatar
    Roundball Shaman

    “Psychopathic neocon Nikki Haley is greasing the wheels for her 2024 presidential campaign…”
    Can’t wait to see what other Psychopathic Neocons will also be running so We the People get to “choose” which Psychopathic Neocon gets to warm the Big Chair for the Dark State.
    “…the world is still very much locked into zealous worship of the great god known as capitalism. And it is choking the world to death.”
    We don’t have true capitalism anywhere. We have Crony Capitalism which is not capitalism at all but a rigged game to favor the rich and powerful.
    “… the only answer capitalism has for the current plight of our species is the blind-faith belief that the world is about to be saved, any minute now, by a handful of union-busting tech billionaires…”
    This is the only answer being proposed but only by those very same union-busting tech billionaires who portray themselves as Savior of the World. They all have massive god complexes which is what one develops after acquired obscene wealth and when looking for something to do where they can be worshiped as the deities they falsely believe themselves to be.
    “…I should clarify that what I mean by capitalism is the current system dominating our world today wherein human behavior is driven as a whole by the pursuit of capital.”
    Pursuit of capital by itself is not an evil act. It is the pursuit of capital AS THE SOLE PURPOSE that is the problem. Corporations of wealth could choose other priorities that are more humane while making a profit. They choose not to, and that is the real problem.
    “The plutocratic class are not good custodians of our world. They are not good people. They are not wise.”
    These misguided souls have just one thing: A load of god-awful riches of wealth and power. They lack all the qualities that an evolved human being should have. Remember what Jesus said about the Rich Man’s chances of getting to Heaven.
    “If we are to survive as a species, we’re necessarily going to have to do something that is entirely unprecedented.”
    The answer is simple. All we have to do is treat each with respect as valuable human beings. Never in the history of humankind has THAT ever been tried before.

    1. Precisely! Great comment. All we need is for humans to understand the Non-Aggression Principle, and for all to understand their rights to life, liberty, and property. That is all! Obviously governments can not and could never be trusted with protecting these rights. Therefore it seems to me that voluntaryism/agorism/anarcho-capitalism is the only way forward.

      1. You too, Bill. Hands off Anarchism. Abandon your Rothbardian appropriations.
        Call yourselves, “Libertarian-Capitalists”, or “Randian Capitalists”, or “Utopian Capitalists”. Just be honest and leave Anarchism alone, it does not need your”help”.

        1. I am sincerely curious about how our beliefs differ. (btw I don’t understand “You too, Bill.” Can you explain that please?) I contend anarcho-capitalists are anarchists in the purest sense. Are you of the belief that humans need rulers, or at least leaders? Some structure from above, anyway? (If so, we disagree.)

    2. No. Thay is not all we have to do. In fact it will change nothing at all. What we have to do is to understand that “More than enough is too much.” If you want to keep all 7,600,000,000 humans alive, then you will have to accept that you do not need a car, or more than a small space to sleep in. That running water is not available to all, and if you have hot, you are fortunate. That one set of clothes for work and one for best, is the sum total of your wastefulness. That one or two children is enough. That every available space must be used to grow fruit and vegetables. That all meat farming must stop, now!. That…
      Everything about civilization is wrong. Everything about the way humans chose to live about 10,000 years ago when they swapped hunter-gathering for living in permanent dwellings, has been wrong. The world we evolved in for our first couple of hundred thousand years, literally cannot support the way humans have chosen to live. So the things that support us are dying or dead. And so will we be unless we ditch completely all ‘civilized’ habits that run counter to nature.

      1. As a favor, could you disclose whether or not you live in a city, Rigby? Thanks.

  12. Comorbidity 2024 Avatar
    Comorbidity 2024

    Caitlin will put capitalism’s vaccine in which arm: Facist, far right, Republucan, right, Democrat, left, far left, socialist, communist?

    When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

  13. Caitlin,
    Do you have any examples where a “collaboration-based model” has worked? How about on a large scale?

    Mr. Nut

    1. Norway, Finland, New Zealand.

      1. Spanish Republic, 1930s.

  14. On the far right side of the comment page below, Ian Perkins suggests that differing definitions of socialism, communism, etc. help to explain much of the disagreement or confusion. That’s a point well taken, so let me offer a short and catchy little video that directly addresses this problem:

    1. This fifty minute one goes into the issue more thoroughly and seriously, but he speaks in plain clear language with accessible examples. And he talks of socialisms, recognising the different ways the word has been interpreted.

    2. PS How do you get the video into your comment? Obviously not by pasting in “Copy embed code.”

      1. Ian, I just do what this codger always does. I get the video going on YouTube, then I go to the top of the page and copy the address line. Then when I paste that address into a comment on a blog like this, sometimes I get the video picture, sometimes not. But the important thing, obviously, is the link. Glad you liked the video. He’s got a bunch of them under “cowboyeconomist”. I just stumbled onto him a few days ago.

        1. “sometimes I get the video picture, sometimes not”
          Thanks. Maybe I get it now.
          And cowboyeconomist is definitely more entertaining than most who try clarifying these matters!

          1. I have pasted links to videos here in the comments as Newton Finn described, and I suspect the reason they sometimes come out as video picture and other times not, is they automatically convert to embedded video if the URL is on a separate line, and I think it has to be the last line of the comment as well.

    3. A good video. Plain spoken. Take the time to watch it.

  15. Cait disappoints again. It really does disappoint me that even the best commentators, the ones who usually get things right, especially about capitalism versus socialism, accept without question the most vicious propaganda trope of the globalists.

    That is, the “Climate Change” nonsense. This comes from the people who subscribe to the idea of the human species as a plague on the planet, who put up monuments to their idea that they would like the earth’s population reduced to 500 million, who want to halt all progress because it might give rise to an alternative to them.

    The language of “climate change” is for such bullshitters and those duped by them. Legitimate discussion on this topic is in the language of “environment.” Pesticides, single use plastics, genetically modified organisms, misuse of antibiotics, unregulated industrial chemicals, and plain old overuse of natural resources, are the threats to survival of life on the planet. That and plain old nuclear war and nuclear power.

    There is plenty here to fight against. Instead people’s attention is diverted into a hysteria about a harmless gas, necessary to plant growth on earth. Every geophysicist on planet earth tells us that climate change on earth is controlled by solar cycles. Carbon Dioxide has nothing to do with it. The earth is presently cooling down as predicted by real scientists studying solar cycles.

    To make it even sicker, there is growing evidence that the rise in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide is causing an increase in plant growth. Earth is not being deforested; forests are growing. Further on this, if atmospheric levels of Carbon Dioxide fell below a certain level, plant growth would cease. The planet seems to have been close to that during the last ice age.

    Thus I conclude, that the ‘climate’ idiots are the biggest danger to life on the planet, in that they divert attention away from the real dangers to the environment, and promote solutions to a non problem which create and increase real ones. The worst thing they do is promote nuclear power as an option.

    In general, they are promoting these ‘green new deal’ and ‘reset’ measures which would be disastrous for working people in industrial societies, and for subsistence farmers in pre industrial ones. This makes normal people rightly suspicious of anyone posing as an opponent of capitalism and oligarchy, while also mouthing the vicious ‘climate’ disinformation. Are they leading a liberation movement, or just diverting us into an even worse system of suppression?

    Do not trust people who talk about liberation from capitalism while also promoting ‘climate’ over ‘environment’.

    1. Water may seem innocuous and necessary to life. It can still drown you.
      And ‘Every geophysicist on planet earth tells us …’ is a gross exaggeration.

    2. Wow, the climate denier trolls are everywhere. Obviously you didn’t even read the blog. Nowhere in this essay is climate change mentioned. Even if climate change is not occurring (which it is), ecological collapse is progressing apace. The continued destruction of oceans, fresh water resources, production of persistent toxins, the plastic pandemic, industrial agricultural practice and rapacious use of natural resources are more than enough to make the earth extremely inhospitable to human existence. What the capitalists are banking on is that they won’t be around to see it.

      1. Thank you, Dugless, for highlighting ecological collapse, which is looming due to our relentless war on living things and almost gleeful destruction of the ecosystem. I happen to agree with Charles Eisenstein that climate change is but a major symptom of a much broader and deeper mental and spiritual illness.

      2. “The first is to pretend the dilemma doesn’t exist, which is why a Venn diagram of climate denialism and support for capitalism is always going to be a near-perfect circle.”
        I think you are a “climate” denier. See her sentence above. Other sentences refer to it too.

      3. “The first is to pretend the dilemma doesn’t exist, which is why a Venn diagram of climate denialism and support for capitalism is always going to be a near-perfect circle.”
        I think you are a “climate” denier. See her sentence above. Other sentences refer to it too.

    3. Thank goodness nitrogen has nothing what so ever to do with climate change even though its 78% of the air. That dastardly CO2 molecule which makes up .04% of air is what’s doing all the damage!

      1. Ahh, another moron who doesn’t understand science. Maybe you should take a chemistry course. There really is a difference between different molecules.

    4. “The first is to pretend the dilemma doesn’t exist, which is why a Venn diagram of climate denialism and support for capitalism is always going to be a near-perfect circle.”
      I think you are a “climate” denier. See her sentence above. Other sentences refer to it too.

    5. Agree with your comments except nuclear power. It is the only avenue available to produce sufficient energy as we wean off petroleum products. Renewables will not cut it. Unfortunately it takes years to get a nuclear plant operational

    6. “Do not trust people who talk about liberation from capitalism…” I won’t. They understand the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism.

      1. (They *don’t* understand the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism.)

  16. … unprecedented measures?
    There are precedents before the “isms”
    but we are not willing.

  17. Where oh where are the Michael Parentis among us willful ignoramuses???

  18. Right on, up to the end. A system in which we cooperate instead of compete, in which we respect Mother Earth instead of raping Her, is not unprecedented. This is what you see in most indigenous societies–how we lived when we were hunter-gatherers. Perhaps this only works in small groups, in which case we need to decentralize. In any case, it’s clear that the current system, which you call capitalism but I think capitalism is one aspect of, the epitome of, a dominator culture that dominates the planet. The problem is not human nature, the problem is that no one has ever found a way to stop the expansionist, domination-focused, violent, class-based culture as it has relentlessly taken over the whole world.
    But what happens if we decentralize–and I’m afraid it’s inevitable as the sociopaths in control will lose that control only when we have utter collapse–which they are bringing about by their irresponsible actions. Then we have a hundred thousand little polities of wildly varying type, some the green dream we fantasize about, if they can fend off violent rapey neighbors–and some nightmares of warlord led slave gangs. It’s easy to imagine a global system where everything is benignly led by a central UN-like agency that prevent the ugly local setups, that allows all the best parts of modernity to continue–but it’s about as realistic as imagining Heaven. How do we get there from here?

  19. Marx got it right, capitalism, especially as it exists right now, will eventually fail. It is addicted to endless growth and the expansion of markets, which are obviously finite. Globalization runs out eventually.

    1. But does it run out before it runs us out of existence?

  20. “Classical” economics saw rent-skimming as bad, reducing the efficiency of economic matching, and sought always to minimize rent extraction, and attach it to things that needed holding down, like taxing cigarettes and alcohol.
    Competition was seen as good, because competing producers would find ways to be more efficient, to lower the cost of goods and services.
    “Neoclassical economics” turns that on it’s head and counts rent collection as the same value as making stuff “financial services” don’t produce. They extract value and put it in a pot which seeks to extract more value out of the productive economy.
    Crony Financial Capitalism also gets rid of competition, so there are fewer and fewer choices on who sucks your life force, until there is no choice at all and it takes as much as it thinks is good for it.
    The capitalism of Henry Ford, who determined to pay his workers enough that they could buy the cars they made (2-3 times the going pay rate, extremely controversial) was not a bad thing at all, “Fordist Capitalism”. It was a good thing when subjected to classical economic analysis, and not even bad under Marxian scrutiny.

  21. I think I understand the idea that what we see as socialism today may not be ‘real’ socialism and that there may be some socialist dream awaiting us that could remedy what we have.

    One brand was National Socialism, which, of course, is now tainted beyond any understanding.

    But the one thing that has always given me pause is what Lenin said about socialism:

    “The goal of socialism is communism.”

    If the people who basically invented the ideology know where it leads, why push it? Or do you think communism is a viable answer to what thwarts the world today?

    I love your writing, but this seeming disconnect has me questioning the stance.

    Just being truthful with you.

    1. there’s no disconnect. it would be a viable answer (if it wasn’t for some people whose salary depends on them not understanding it, fighting it tooth and nail).

      1. Why is it that the main point of my comment (asking the young lady) goes unnoticed (likely ignored)?

        If Vlad Lenin said that Socialism’s goal is communism, are you saying Communism is the workable goal we should approach?

        Show me an example of a working Socialism. Then show me a workable Communism example.

        1. One can’t show you an example of something that has never been. Apart from idealized hunter-gatherer tribes (in many ways but not all a modern construct), there has never been a “developed” society on planet earth where the people owned and operated the means of production and distribution. The only form of government humanity has known since the coming of “civilization” has been the rule of the rich (or otherwise powerful). So your demand is meaningless as far as history is concerned. If you’re interested in what socialism might look like were it to come for the first time, here’s one example:

          1. What is it about my question that people are actively ignoring?

            Again, “If Vlad Lenin said that Socialism’s goal is communism, are you saying Communism is the workable goal we should approach?”

            I know the theory well. I know that it worked in Germany, to the consternation of America and the western world (also the USSR).

            I know why it was attacked and rendered useless.

            Will you answer my very direct, easy to understand question or should we just go in circles?

            1. The words capitalism, socialism and communism seem to have different meanings for each commenter.

    2. All isms are systemic devices of ultra organization. Globalism the apex of a scale inappropriate to limited beings. There is no pretty way to deconstruct big and by itself it will always end in excess. Pick your poison.

  22. I am really beginning to like you more and more Caitlin, because you express my understandings so precisely and well. One thing you might add is the reason socialism has failed is because it has always been centralized, hierarchical, and this is the problem. Governing/organizing/managing needs to be restructured to horizontal self-governing ( which is virtually incorruptible and is all about collaboration. It is practiced bravely by two groups under siege, in Rojava, Syria (4.5 million people) and Chiapas Mexico by the Zapatistas.It would be great to have you on our team Caitlin. It needn’t take up much of your time: because we are in total alignment. Abrazo, Mofwoofoo, founder (

    1. The previous “socialisms” that have failed weren’t socialist at all. The only way for the people to control the means of production and distribution is via genuine democracy. Since none of these previous “socialisms” were genuinely democratic, but rather authoritarian, the conclusion is inescapable that humanity has yet to attempt its first truly socialist experiment. As Caitlin indicates, the time is running short.

  23. “human behavior is driven as a whole by the pursuit of capital.” There is nothing inherently evil in pursuing capital. In a free market, capital can only be gained by offering goods or services people want or need at a price they can afford and are willing to pay, with acceptable quality, by acceptably moral means. By serving their fellow humans. Put goons with guns in the mix, and the use of violent force to acquire capital, and we can look in the mirror and see the result. All economies are capitalist. The difference lies in who controls the capital. Those who create it, or those who steal it. Most of it is stolen, by oligarchs or the state.

  24. “Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.” AA. “Attachment is the cause of suffering.” Buddha. “Be still and know.” Bible.

  25. That title is such a blatant LIE. Capitalism is just name to which we give the mechanism of exchange. No one does ANYTHING for free, there is ALWAYS some “profit’ from it, even if it’s just feeling good.
    And we don’t have Capitalism today. The Capitalism advocated by “big” is regulatory Capitalism to keep competition out.
    That’s the problem with socialist’s like yourself you don’t understand economics.

    1. I addressed your “we don’t have Capitalism today” red herring in the article you are commenting on. The only people who say socialists “just don’t understand economics” are idiots who don’t understand economics.

      1. Although it appears I might appreciate you more than Fred does, Ms. Johnstone, we in the US definitely do not have capitalism. When governments have unbridled powers to choose winners, err sorry “regulate”, capitalism is absent, and crony capitalism is present. No red herring whatsoever, none. Full disclosure: I did not read your previous addressing of Fred’s point on another article.

        1. Again, that’s squarely addressed in this very article.

          1. You guys are mindlessly reciting from an old script that does not apply here.

            1. Ms. Johnstone, thank you for the reply. While I can only speak for myself, I assure you I am reciting nothing, much less mindlessly. Capitalism necessitates the absence of coercive government. This is why you have not and are not seeing capitalism. We are living some dark days. Some blame COVID, I blame coercive government. I think we would agree that we want these dark days in the rear view mirror forever. We offer up different solutions is all.
              One more thing I will share with you that life has taught me: learn to fear those who talk about overpopulation, as they treasure current human lives less than you.
              Well thank you always for your insights. All the best in 2021!

      2. Since even economists cannot agree, I find it amusing tbat each camp calls the others idiots.

  26. You should have added that these two capitalist misconceptions of “solving” the climate change problem are perfectly represented by the two US parties:
    Republicans: Denial
    Democrats: New technologies.
    This means:
    Republicans and Democrats alike represent a continuing, growing, exploiting, destroying, naked oligarchic capitalism.
    As you said: Change from within this system will be impossible.

    1. The climate change is a perfect example of an Overton window narrowed by oligarchic pro-capitalist mainstream propaganda. It pretends there are different “options”, and you can decide freely. But all “options” capitalism offers always stay within this narrow frame: Capitalism will stay unharmed, it will continue to go and (what’s required if capitalism should do so) to grow. So, giving several “options” is a tool to keep capitalism alive. This is “democracy” Western style.

    2. Republicans deniers, democrats lip service to new innovations. Both essentially doing nothing.

  27. Haley who?
    She sounds like she’s positioning herself for a head kicking, arse licking job in the plutocratic hierarchy.
    All you’ve gotta do is sing the anthem of avarice, and presto,
    you’re on the TOP TURDS TEAM.

  28. Validation is a wonderful thing, Caitlin. Thank you!

  29. Socialism has failed everywhere like heavier-than-air flight has failed everywhere.
    Each time fall-like-a-brick Capitalism sees a Socialist aircraft flying in the sky, it will do its utmost to shoot it down – thereby proving heavier-than-air flight is not possible.

    1. Capitalism has never seen a “Socialist aircraft flying in the sky.” That particular aircraft, where the people via genuine democracy control the means of production and distribution, is still on the drawing board. It’s true, however, that each time capitalism sees some small movement in the direction of socialism, it shoots it down, often literally.

    1. This post was intended elsewhere, but that is how it goes sometimes. Sometimes things post unexpectedly and I suppose there is no harm in that, but get ready for some serious retribution for the obvious harm that has been caused.
      It will be fair. It will be justified.
      I say this in honor of Julian Assange because after he is extradited, assuming he is still alive, there will be some immediate justified retribution and it will be swift. That only seems fair to me and justified retribution is fairly dished out to all those who deserve it.
      Get ready cause it is coming you pompous psychopaths.
      It is obvious. You get what you deserve
      Let the rain happen and let the pain flow upon the psychopaths who have caused so much suffering of innocence. Let them get what they deserve and let it be SWIFT.

  30. Could the word Materialism be substituted for Capitalism??
    As long as Materialism or manufactured goods is worshipped;
    the natural world is taken for free and for granted.
    The reverse is actually the truth.
    Try making a tree or bird from ”scratch” — it would cost billions.
    The manufactured goods break and are worn out.
    Nature replenishes itself for free.
    Life is free. We are billionaires and don’t know it.

  31. I am so glad that you labeled Nikki Haley as a neocon. I am a Libertarian and I cringe whenever the Republicans are labeled as conservatives. You have become very popular among the Libertarians, however, your complaints about capitalism are losing us. But there is good news, your complaints about capitalism really aren’t about capitalism at all! Under a free market capitalist society, the central government is usually minimized. Under socialism the central government is more powerful and takes on a higher degree of central planning. Your latest article rightly complains about Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, but please don’t call them capitalists. Both of them are rich as a result of artificially depressed interest rates by the Federal Reserve which is an example of central planning (socialism). Amazon has such a thin profit margin, their earnings yield is only 1%. This company could not exist without centrally planned, artificially controlled interest rates. And Tesla is a Ponzi scheme which wouldn’t exist without free money. Tesla and Amazon are the result of socialism, in my opinion. I know you don’t like hearing it as much as I don’t like hearing you label it as capitalism. Instead of name calling maybe we should have a discussion about the details of the situation. I think you would see that the socialists and free market people have more in common than you realize. Take socialized medicine, for example. I am against it because I haven’t seen the Federal government do anything right for the past 90 years. However, I would take socialized medicine if we reduced military spending by 50%. Do you see how easy that is to compromise if we stop the name calling? I consider Trump to be a socialist. Only a socialist would run up trillions in deficits without even attempting to control spending. I’m sure you really don’t like hearing that. And about climate. I wish you would stop calling us deniers. I have been studying climate in my spare time since 1974 when I took a graduate level climate class as an elective. Nearly all the science indicates that the climate changes are cyclical and not a result of increasing levels of CO2. If we can get past the name calling maybe we can discuss the situation. I’ve been working as an engineer for 42 years and there has never been one time where we ever did anything that harmed the environment, so I am not in agreement when you equate capitalism with environmental harm.

    1. Best comment of the night. Thank you! I agree with so much here. I am far less willing to make sacrifices than you are, just for the record. I will stick with not trusting socialized medicine and thus of course not wanting to pay for it, nor wars, nor anything else. The sole reason for governments to exist is to protect the rights of citizens living with them. Whether they are even remotely capable of even remotely being interested in even remotely trying to accomplish this task is the question. Needless to say, my answer is “no.”

      1. But which rights should be protected? The US hasn’t ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as it doesn’t accept there should be economic or social rights. It has a hodgepodge of excuses for not ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is very keen on protecting property rights, and of course there’s always the right to remain silent.

        1. Life, liberty, and property. (Just because you have a natural or god-given right to something doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes have to defend it.) Tasking coercive governments with protecting these rights is not wise. Non-coercive governments would be fine. No governments would be even better, forcing people to innovate, collaborate, whatever it takes.

    2. Climate change has hijacked the environmentalists. It is really a question of polluting and over using the planets resources. I am just sad that the entire movement to save the planet has been reduced to CO2 levels. Why cant people realize this is propaganda to politicize and tax the process. They are in the process of solving the problem by killing off a few billion of us by starvation and disease. The hydrocarbon industrial age is winding down. It is the only thing that allowed world population to reach 7 billion. Mankind will regress over the next 50 years.

      1. Whether or not the hydrocarbon age is winding down, CO2 levels are increasing, and this will be one of the few years when emissions haven’t increased. Look at the devastation climate change is already causing. Come back in fifty years and say CO2 levels are propaganda.

    3. Again, by “capitalism” I mean “the current system dominating our world today wherein human behavior is driven as a whole by the pursuit of capital. The current system of profit-seeking and competition as the primary determining factor of what humans are doing on this planet.” As long as human behavior is driven by profit and ecocide remains profitable, capitalism will necessarily lead to ecocide. None of your “free market” talk addresses this, as I explained in the article.

      1. Agreed. Slowly CEOs started making ridiculous income. Then oligarchs emerged from them. Profit at all cost is killing the environment.

      2. We need a. PARADINGN.shift of values –from Capitalism/Materialism to Nature/ Earth / LIFE.

        This is a shift that sees manmade materials as short lived and cheap;
        versus the earth as long-lasting environment, essential to life.

        Or life is worth millions and billions to replicate versus. a smart phone for $600.
        Which is essential and more valuable??

    4. I am a libertarian, too. To be more precise, I am a libertarian eco-socialist. But liberty is for people, not for unaccountable corporations, or joint stock companies. The idea that corporations are ‘persons’ is a legal fiction, invented by right-wing pseudo-‘libertarians’ in the US, as is the idea that financial ‘markets’ are ‘free’.


      The right-wing ideological god of alleged ‘free markets’, Adam Smith, was also opposed to joint-stock companies. He regarded them as ‘combinations of employers’.


      But individual liberty can only really work if it fits in with everyone else’s liberty, by mutual agreement. That is why Kropotkin wrote a book entitled ‘Mutual Aid’, which he also proposed as a biological evolutionary principle to complement Darwinian ‘natural selection’, which was (and often still is) believed to operate through competition and greed, only.


      We will never get out of this mess that ‘capitalism’ has got us into, unless, or until, we can find, and implement, the right balance between individual liberty and mutual aid.


      Socialism should be about finding that balance. It is not about ‘central planning’, even though Lenin mistakenly said it was.


      ‘Normal science’ advances through ‘paradigms’, as Thomas Kuhn said. Although Kuhn didn’t really explain what drives the paradigms. It isn’t necessarily wrong to be sceptical about what scientists say, although, if you disagree with them, you need to have good arguments to back up your disagreement.


      I have also been following the climate debate since the 1970s. I am not a climate scientist. I think that too much of their argument has been based on computer modelling and dubious statistics. But, nevertheless, I do think they are most probably right when they say that climate change is largely caused by fossil fuel burning.


      In any case, I have known since the 1960s that all human life is in danger from nuclear weapons, and, since the 1970s, that it is also in danger from pollution and capitalist overproduction and waste of resources. Now, we have to add viral pandemics into the mix, too.


      As Caitlin has rightly said: None of these problems will be solved by capitalist oligarchs. They can only be solved by global mutual aid, and … yes …. by ‘socialized’ medicine and public health.

    5. I am in complete agreement with you, particularly the climate change hoax. The US economy is an absolute cesspool of corruption. I speak from a position of experience having been an entrepreneur here for the last dozen years or so. People like Bezos and Musk flourish only because they have played this great game beautifully.

      1. Climate change is working beautifully. While we over fish our seas, pollute the oceans with waste. Destroy ecosystems by supposed progress, we have gotten the opposition to focus on CO2. We will get them arguing and pay lip service as we rape the planet. Well done.

  32. Caitlin, it’s time you finally write that five letter word that seems very rare in your enlightening essays. Capitalism is based on human GREED and greed is what will ruin true socialism. Greed is baked into each of our cells and no amount of education can eradicate it. Sure, we can legislate to minimize greed but it is what can end civilisation as we know it.

    1. Greed is not baked into our cells. It appears so because of the culture that we are exposed to from our formative years and the lessons of our parents who were taught the same way. Throwing off that cloak is perhaps best evidenced by observing the behavior of our chimp ancestors. Nowhere in nature does a handful of individuals garner so incessantly for themselves. Chimp status also has responsibilities like defense which can be deadly. Post humane culture has granted the individuals of status not only a disproportionate sharing but also exemption from responsibility. If they were held to the same level of responsibility as a Leonidas then they might become significantly less inclined to gluttony.

  33. If only Haley would trouble her pretty little mind and read this description of Socialism in America:

    1. She has a very different idea of socialism, not the one that originated in Europe in the 19th century. So many Americans think that any form of government intervention is socialism, even the commenter above saying that government control of interest rates is socialism.

      The essence of socialism is the protection of people from exploitation, corruption and other forms of harmful manipulation by organisations and governments. It embodies basic human and civil rights.

      But it is disliked by those who see it as getting in the way of their harmful behaviour, whether that is exploiting workers, manipulating markets, polluting the water supply / air / environment for profit, etc. In short, capitalists who don’t care about the effects of their behaviour on people and the environment.

      It is intended to make the country / world a fairer place, a safer place. That’s it. What’s wrong with that?

      1. If we could only find those genius saints to run socialism, I would be all for it. They don’t exist. At least not among those who seek power. While genius is abundant among them, there are none who approach sainthood. Most often quite the contrary. Which is the problem with all governments. Whether “capitalist” or “socialist”, they are routinely run by those who seek acquisition of wealth, and have no problem using their position to acquire it. Whether directly, as fee for service to the highest bidder, or at gunpoint. Those not motivated by acquisition are even worse, as they seek power for the sake of it. They delight in holding a gun to people’s heads and forcing them to abide by their whim, however insane it may be.

        1. When the USSR collapsed, many in the party structure were found to be living lavishly while the rest barely survived. You cannot change human nature. That is why all economic systems eventually fail.

          1. Human nature cannot change and you never give references for your sweeping affirmations.
            Happy New Year!

        2. The “geniuses” who would run socialism would be the people exercising their democratic power to determine the means of production and distribution. Where would you prefer to place your trust, in the people or in a handful of greedy plutocrats?

  34. It seems to me that the opposite of Capitalism is to treat money as a tool of barter, and not wealth itself. “Free enterprise” should mean that industries should not be ruled by shareholders or bankers or marketing – they should be free to produce goods for trade (with other industries that do the same). “Credit” should be based on proven character and reliability, proven by personal history, and “success” has to be mutual, otherwise it isn’t success, it’s failure.

  35. Are we really going to have to do something that is entirely unprecedented?
    We came down from the trees and walked on two legs.
    We developed technologies like fire, stone tools, the wheel and boomerangs.
    We evolved from hunter-gatherers to settled agriculturalists.
    We are transitioning from agricultural to industrial societies, with some arguably post-industrial.

    Moving beyond our current mode of production, our current class structure, our current social relations, is not unprecedented. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. We need to, if we’re to avoid a descent into barbarism as we cut each others throats for a share of the spoils of capitalism while its ‘external costs’ increase and climate change intensifies global instability.
    We haven’t always lived this way, and now we can’t. Business as usual just isn’t an option. We solve the crises we’ve created, or we leave to future generations a world of turmoil, conflict and misery.

    1. I’m sick and tired of leaving it to future generations to solve our problems cause that is a cop out. It is time for us to solve our own issues and even though my generation was a neglected one we will be the ones who solve it. Do you doubt me? It is now or never.
      We will be the ones who make it obvious for those coming after us what needs to be done for the sake of survival. If you think about it more deeply, consider any culture that gets off it’s own planet. Do you think they achieved that by kicking ass or do you think they realized that if we work together we can accomplish so much? I think obviously it is the latter, and if you are part of a culture that manages to get off your planet and you are flying around there trying to meet others, then do you think you will survive if you don’t know this basic truth? You won’t survive unless you understand Mutual Aid.
      We either discover it now and let it be part of our mindset, or we don’t. If we don’t, then it is simple. We will all be dead before too long.
      Think about it and give it some consideration for the sake of future generations that may or may not be.
      By the way, all you psychopaths out there who think you have nothing left to learn…….well, just to be gentle about it, I think you are fixing to learn the hardest lesson of all. Pompous is what I call anybody who thinks they have nothing left to learn. Pompous and basically already dead in the brain.
      After the American Bison were slaughtered indiscriminately on the Plains there were a few of them left who thought to themselves…………never again. Metaphorically speaking I feel like I’m amongst them.
      You get what you give.

      1. Larry Summers is a particularly good spokestoad for neoliberalism.
        Matt Taibbi has the story:

  36. What we are seeing is an evolutionary dead end as a result of a grossly defective economic system that has disturbingly similar parallels with a Ponzi scheme, and that cannot be controlled or stopped. We are doomed. Perhaps octopi and cats will rule the planet when we are all gone.

  37. Socialism has been an amazing success in China, Vietnam, and Cuba. The happiest, most satisfied people in the world live under Nordic democratic socialism in countries like Norway. Actually, it is capitalism that has not succeeded anywhere. Capitalism creates enormous wealth inequalities. It creates hunger, homelessness, and suffering. I destroys indigenous cultures. And it is destroying the planet.

    1. All societies are a mixture of socialism and capitalism. It is a sliding scale. Even simple bartering is a form of capitalism. A balanced society has aspects of both. America has become unbalanced and destructive to its citizens and the world..

    2. Yes, Larry, every country that has made a small move in the socialist direction, and hasn’t been shot down by America figuratively or literally, has done rather well in comparison with purely capitalist ones. But in none of the countries you mention so the people, via genuine democracy, control the means of production and distribution. THAT we haven’t yet seen anywhere, though it seems to be the only thing that might save us.

      1. In the second sentence, it should be “do” the people, not “so” the people…the older I get, the more my proofreading sucks

  38. We don’t need capitalism in order to have commerce, and we don’t need to listen to people who say we can’t change our economy. Feudalism ended and the world did just fine.

  39. We have entered the Age of Aquarius.It might take some time to get going but we are on our way to two thousand years of powerful creativity and new ideas.

  40. All of this was discussed more than 100 years ago and since then we have had 2 World Wars and a bunch of little wars perpetuated by the psychopaths who are getting more scared by the day as they approach the edge which they will most assuredly be pushed over unless they change their ways. There is still time to get out of this maze for them I think but the clock is ticking and time is of the essence. The grunts will go down in mass, but the pompous ones will get what they deserve if they continue to refuse to learn. Personally, I want them dead for all the suffering they have caused. It is time for justified retribution and let 2021 be the year it happens. The year of reckoning.
    Learn or Die is my motto for 2021.
    The clock is ticking.

    1. Klaus von Berlin Avatar
      Klaus von Berlin

      Be of good cheer,We may yet live to piss on the graves of our oppressors.

      1. Ah, kind of you Klaus to raise my spirits. And so in return let me say to you that not only will they be pissed upon but they will reap what they have sowed and we will get to watch as they go down one at a time in incredible misery in equivalence to that they have inflicted upon others. I relish the moment when this is realized and I pray to my Lord it happens in my lifetime. I want to watch them die one at a time. I’m not playing around.
        You reap what you sow.

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