The End of Capitalism
by Anthony Migchels
November 13, 2009
In these days of upheaval and transition, it is more important than ever to have a clear understanding of what we are talking about. The opposition is very skilled at playing with language and creating holes in linguistic concepts, blurring our vision of reality.
A good example is “inflation”. Many people nowadays seem to think that inflation means “rising prices”; however, inflation means a growing money supply.
Because of this misunderstanding, you often read things like “inflation dangers because of rising oil prices” – a totally ridiculous statement without any economic relevance, but understandable when one realizes how our language is being willfully corrupted.
It is useful to realize that such “evolutions” of meaning are no accident. John Kenneth Galbraith noticed that: “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.” And to evade truth about money and economics, a lot of lies are also purposefully introduced in the public discourse.
“Capitalism” as a concept is another, and far more important, case in point. I don’t think there is a generally accepted definition of Capitalism that we can use as a reference – which is strange in itself.
Most people, however, believe Capitalism is associated with “free markets”. And most people agree that most of the Western world lives in a Capitalist society, although many will say that these economies have been “Socialized” too much to be considered really Capitalist.
I agree that we want to call the current system Capitalism; after all, it is our current system we are talking about and want to reform. I don’t think the defining nature of Capitalism has been exposed for what it is, however, so I’ll give a very clear working definition to get a better picture:
“Capitalism is an economic system where owners of capital dominate providers of labor, by causing artificial scarcity of money.”
Money, of course, is a medium of exchange by agreement; capital and labor are the factors of production.
This is surely not a definition that everybody will immediately accept, so I will elaborate a little.
To begin with, we should consider that, as one Capitalist once put it: “Capital, if it is to co-operate untrammeled, must be free to establish a monopoly of industry and trade: this is already being put in execution by an unseen hand in all quarters of the world.”
So, domination of labor by Capital will express itself by Monopolies – and Capital’s natural tendency is toward Monopoly.
Many others have pointed out that Capitalism and Communism share this Monopolistic tendency: Communism, after all, is a Monopoly in the hands of the State (we will forget about the poor proletariat…). The question is then, “Who owns the State?” – and it has been established without a doubt that Capital financed the Communist revolutions and controlled the Communist States. One only has to think of Averell Harriman running the Stalin war effort to get the picture.
Communism is therefore not Capitalism’s antithesis, but merely a subset. Actually, it is a more direct expression of Capitalism than our current system.
The notion that Capitalism is associated with “free markets” strikes me as very odd indeed, because we can easily ascertain that, in this world, there are no free markets. Every major industry in the world – be it Big Pharma, Energy, Food, Telecommunications & IT, Aviation, Weapons, Automotive Industry – is run by a small number of gigantic Transnationals. These Transnationals only compete nominally. They divide the market among themselves, set the rules of the game, control the watchdogs intended to supervise them, and co-operate in keeping the market closed to competitors (or “interlopers”). They operate as Cartels.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that all these Cartels are basically proxies of the Money Power that controls them.
So the real situation is that our so-called “free markets” are basically one gigantic Money-Power-controlled Trust.
The idea that we live in a “free market” economy is simply another Orwellian thought control operation, totally comparable to the “Freedom Is Slavery” and “War Is Peace” slogans.
Big Brother likes his slogans, and he has many of them. And why shouldn’t he? They are very effective.
Means of control
In our system, and throughout modern history, Capital has been controlling labor through control of the money supply. Most historians agree that Capitalism’s first real champion was the Amsterdam Empire. It is no coincidence that de Amsterdamsche Wisselbank was the first major Central Bank in the world. When London rose, the Capital that dominated the Dutch Republic financed Oliver Cromwell and later that not-so-Glorious Revolution. Capital simply migrated to control greater markets through the new British Empire, to eventually end up taking over New York after that city rose to world prominence.
By keeping the medium of exchange scarce, there is always unemployment, forcing labor to accept detrimental conditions. By claiming interest on loans financing production, Capital ends up with a large part of the added value of production. Labor gets its wages, so it can survive and continue to feed Capitalists, but all the profit goes to the providers of capital. You work for 30 years with a big firm and you are to be happy to end up with some pension, if you are lucky.
By controlling the money supply, Capital is insured to be the bottleneck in production, leading to Capital’s supremacy. By controlling money, you end up controlling everything, and this surely is a fitting description of our current situation.
When you know the problem, the solution is usually easy
Our not-so-illuminated masters (after all, how illuminated would you consider someone praying to Mammon?) are real masters are pitting us against one another by controlling the flow of ideas and language. They let us play with concepts we don’t understand, which they invent and define. “Capitalism”, “Communism”, “inflation”, “free markets” – all these concepts have been shown to be misunderstood. These misunderstandings lead to bad analysis and even worse solutions.
Nowadays, we say “free markets” have failed – as if there are any. Because of the language distortion we are discussing, people actually believe that we need to more closely “supervise” these “free markets”; whereas our current system has shown, without a doubt, that regulators are usually doing the bidding of the industries they are supposed to keep in check.
We can also be led to believe that since these “free markets” operate globally, we need global solutions – which of course require the Capitalists’ coveted World Governance.
Now that we can see that Capitalism’s defining nature is simply capital being the bottleneck in production, we know the solution must be to make labor the bottleneck. Labor should be the scarce factor of production.
And since we now also know that scarce money is the means of control, we can establish once more that it is vital to wrest away this control from our current masters – the Powers-That-Shouldn’t-Be – if we are to improve our lot.
Nowadays, many people around me are looking for solutions to the illusory “free market” problem. They want committees to set prices. They want someone to control the factors of production.
They should be looking to actually establish some free markets – a free-market economy, with sufficient money circulating to let labor become the scarce factor of production.
I don’t believe that great Monopolies will survive for long, if many people and organizations gain full access to markets. If you have ever worked for a big company or any other bureaucracy, you will quickly realize that these organizations are so inefficient that they can never survive competition from small, agile firms. The only reason they are successful now is that they are being financed by the Money Trust, while normal people are not.
Capitalism is slavery – because labor is composed of the many, and capital is controlled by the few. Capitalism in its favored form, Communism, has shown us everything we need to know about not allowing the Monopolists to establish their World Government.
To paraphrase Henry Ford: “Solve the monetary question and you solve the question of Capitalism.”
The Wailers: “Get Up, Stand Up”
Jimmy Cliff: “The Harder They Come”