It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Is this end of capitalism as we know it?

page: 1
6

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:04 PM
link   
Interesting take on things and very relevant. I think the BRICs are going to be less powerful than the author and others think, but they will still be forces to be reckoned with, and the state capitalist rather than global free market model may in the end win out. Actually, the article doesn't mention the increasing role of the state and the importance of governemnt money in the developed economies as well as the BRICs.




fascinating new book is about to hit the shelves. Called The End of the Free Market it argues that all-powerful governments from around the world will be the new driving force in the global economy, skewing the decision making process away from individuals, companies and the market towards states, political interests and authoritarianism.

Stated in one bald paragraph it sounds a little apocalyptic. But Ian Bremmer, the highly respected author who is president of the Eurasia Group in the United States, makes a compelling case. The financial crisis has left Western capitalism nervous and risk averse, constantly under attack from a body politic keen to take advantage of public anger over the events of 2007 and 2008. Issues like the control of the banking system, remuneration and the failure of so much of the financial sector, whether Northern Rock, Lehman Brothers, AIG or Royal Bank of Scotland, has created a fundamental crisis in confidence.

At the same time, and with little of the same scrutiny, cash-rich governments from the Middle East and Asia are taking advantage of this malaise. Bremmer argues that, with the collapse of communism little more than a generation ago in historical terms, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia are now the leading players in this new era of state capitalism.



More at source:
www.telegraph.co.uk...




posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:11 PM
link   

Is this end of capitalism as we know it?


I certainly hope so.

I'm going to do something quite controversial for ATS:


"We do live in a global economy. But it is important to be clear about what we mean by that. A global economy is characterized not only by the free movement of goods and services but, more important, by the free movement of ideas and of capital. This applies to direct investments and to financial transactions. Though both have been gaining in importance since the end of the Second World War, the globalization of financial markets in particular has accelerated in recent years to the point where movements in exchange rates, interest rates, and stock prices in various countries are intimately interconnected. In this respect the character of the financial markets has changed out of all recognition during the forty years that I have been involved in them. So the global economy should really be thought of as the global capitalist system."

"Global integration has brought tremendous benefits: the benefits of the international division of labor ... But global capitalism is not without its problems, and we need to understand these better if we want the system to survive. By focusing on the problems I'm not trying to belittle the benefits that globalization has brought ... The benefits of the present global capitalist system, I believe, can be sustained only by deliberate and persistent efforts to correct and contain the system's deficiencies. That is where I am at loggerheads with laissez-faire ideology, which contends that free markets are self-sustaining and market excesses will correct themselves, provided that governments or regulators don't interfere with the self-correcting mechanism."

"Our global society contains many different customs, traditions, and religions; where can it find the shared values that would hold it together?"


This eye-opening quote from a paper written by none other than George Soros. I agree with it wholeheartedly.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:22 PM
link   

Originally posted by Someone336

This eye-opening quote from a paper written by none other than George Soros. I agree with it wholeheartedly.


Then I'm assuming you find the trends mentioned in the article horrifying because they represent not "shared values" binding "many different customs, traditions, and religions," but rather a monolitthic form of statist/corporatist capitalism controlled by central governments and Sovereign Wealth Funds.


[edit on 7/3/10 by silent thunder]



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 06:26 PM
link   
reply to post by silent thunder
 


We are going to have to walk a fine line between capitalism and socialism, realism and idealism, self-interest and humanitarianism. We cannot give full power to the state, as in Marxism-Leninism, nor full privatization as espoused by Austrian types. Ideology has been our downfall; we refuse to part with ideology even though it is necessary to begin to blend them if we want to progress.

American has indulged in successful nation-building around the globe through state-oriented economic planning (such as our assistance to Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan), despite the fact that we bill these as 'free-market miracles'. Another case would be the so-called triumph of the Chicago School with Pinochet, who actually maintained a nationalization industry of copper, Chile's number one export, a leftover from the ousted Allende administration. Let us not forget that state directed economies, such as China, are faring reasonable well, while those that still adhere to relatively free-market principles (though I maintain that the 'free market' is pure mythology - it's simply a measurement of the amount of government regulation/assistance).

Stronger regulations and stricter anti-trust laws can serve to to bust up over sized corporations, allowed more room for actual market competition to drive prices down. International economic organizations such as the WTO, IMF and World Bank can dedicate their time not to spread the gospel of some pie-in-the-sky free market, but actually work with developing nations with economic planning and direction in a more 'state-capitalism' model. We could even foster more international cooperation to produce a better reserve currency than the dollar, so there would be more funds for such programs.

Just some ideas, you know? Not all government is evil, nor is all capitalism. A balance must be struck.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 06:56 PM
link   

Originally posted by Someone336
reply to post by silent thunder
 


We are going to have to walk a fine line between capitalism and socialism, realism and idealism, self-interest and humanitarianism....Ideology has been our downfall; we refuse to part with ideology even though it is necessary to begin to blend them if we want to progress...
... A balance must be struck.


Very well put.

I think the greatest flaw of pure free market capitalism is the assumption of infinite growth in a closed system. Not possible. On the other hand, the massive state-run systems are deeply flawed in many ways, perhaps fundamentally in that they are not conducive to creativity or, ultimately, effort.

The only viable system will be one that truly takes into account as fully as possible what it means to be human. It will have to acknowledge all our strengths and weaknesses, our foibles and our instincts and what truly makes us healthy, and happy. Without deeper awareness on this level, we cannot move ahead.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 11:14 AM
link   


state directed economies, such as China, are faring reasonable well


Only because some idiots/traitors in the west in their quest for the all hallowed quest for the "Global Economy" decided to give them markets in the west and lift tariffs. Those tariffs should have been left on to offset the unlevel playing feild in favour of china who produces goods using cheap labour that comes from a population of a billion.

Chinese also cut corners , regulations and labour laws , so they give us lead laced products , melamine in the milk , sweatshop working conditions and environmental disasters that would make the industrialists of the 20th century look like saints.

It all comes down to competition , the thing that fascists and socialists hate the most , true capitalism and free market , not the fascism/socialism we have today masquerading as capitalism. As a fascist once said "competition is sin-john d rockefeller" only because he was not willing to share any market and was a staunch monopolist and was willing to do anything sinful to wipe out competition.

If people don't recognise that globalization is not capitalist nor free-market in nature , but in fact fascist or socialist in nature , destroying competition and leaving fewer and fewer businesses , who then become state monopolies (remember them bailouts) , all under one global government. Workers' wages shrink but management's rises as the cost of living rises , desperate , workers accept lower standards. Who don't accept the lower wages or bad conditions , get muscled out by imported immigrant labour from countries where life is miserable in comparison. Most coming from the BRIC member countries to america , irony.

[edit on 4-7-2010 by De La Valletta]



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 11:23 AM
link   
I think capitalism was dealt was struck with a near death blow when the bank and corporate bailouts began.

The systems works on the rise and fall of companies. Many companies and businesses in all of our towns have gone belly up due to bad investments, not being able to compete, as well as other reasons. I don't recall "Uncle Sam" doing anything but saying "oh well mom and pop, thats how the system works".

When "we" chose to bail out the banks, insurance companies, and auto makers we damaged the legs that capitalism stands on.

While I don't doubt that had these institutions failed there would have been hard times for everyone. But have the bail outs really accomplished anything?

If they were so worried about the economy failing, they should have let the institutions fail and given the money that was given to them to the people. To help "pick up the slack" in the hard times that allowing those large companies to fail would have created.

I still think that giving the money to the people, who's money it was to begin with, would have went much further in stabalizing our economy and creating growth in jobs and small business than bailing out these companies who went under largely due to their own shoddy business practices.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 11:39 AM
link   
Star from me and I was with you right up to the give the people money. That is not a bad idea if the government simply never took the money from us in the first place. Think of how strong the economy would be spurred if households that make less then $35,000 per year were not subject to income tax withholding. That would be about 100,000,000 workers with an added $10,000 per year to put into the economy.

That would be $1,000,000,000,000 per year not taken out of the economy. This would spur job growth and give us a real recovery fairly quickly.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 11:46 AM
link   
reply to post by Someone336
 

Your "state capitalism" or national capitalism NAT-C has been done in natzi germany and the present natzi america , government and business in a love affair and where has that got us , world depression part 2. One led to a world war and this current one seems to be taking us down that route. For while the economies that refused to mix but remain independant of this foolishness that america made are holding steady and growing.

Not because of ant phony state capitalism but because their leaders wisely did not anchor themselves to the mirage that is globalization which is about taking away sovereignty and independance and giving it to some loony wizard/s of oz , hidden behind a curtain.

The only thing government should be doing is ensuring safety , health and not taking taxpayers money and giving it to "too big to fail " blackholes of a coorporations and pseudo banks. If they were too big to fail then they lied as they failed , big time and are taking the world with them. But when was the last time a Too Big To Fail or TBTF ever bailed out the american citizen when they were on the verge of bankruptcy or foreclosure.


edit to add
I see no-one starred and flagged , so here's my s+f for a very interesting thread and I encourage others to do the same.


[edit on 4-7-2010 by De La Valletta]



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 12:28 PM
link   
reply to post by De La Valletta
 



Only because some idiots/traitors in the west in their quest for the all hallowed quest for the "Global Economy" decided to give them markets in the west and lift tariffs.


Why would we not trade with them? Since the beginning of time, mankind has traded with his neighbors. As the world shrinks through technological innovation, it would only make sense that we would begin to trade on a global level. In fact, globalization has been going on since the 1600s, with the establishment of the British East India Company.

I would also like to point out that by accusing the economic powers that be, you are inadvertently agreeing that capitalism should subscribe to national interests. Is this not to opposite of 'free-markets'?


It all comes down to competition , the thing that fascists and socialists hate the most , true capitalism and free market , not the fascism/socialism we have today masquerading as capitalism. As a fascist once said "competition is sin-john d rockefeller" only because he was not willing to share any market and was a staunch monopolist and was willing to do anything sinful to wipe out competition.


I would disagree with you that fascists and socialists hate competition, especially when it comes to fascism. In a fascist system, competition is promoted as a means of social-Darwinism to weed out the weak to maintain a wealthy elite. So of course there would be government intervention in the marketplace here, and it is this exact nature of economic fascism that our government indulged in during the post-Civil War era when corporate charters were handed out. By creating corporatism, the government ensured a kind of cronyism that has snowballed into the ideology-less monster we have today.

Socialism, on the other hand, sought not to preserve the elite, but to dismantle it. Thus, it would be opposed to the creation of corporations, instead focusing on collectivist run industry. This idea continues to this day under the guise of worker co-operatives, which function quite well in the marketplace. Collectivism does not necessarily destroy competition. I am certainly socialist leaning, yet I do not scorn the market.


If people don't recognise that globalization is not capitalist nor free-market in nature , but in fact fascist or socialist in nature , destroying competition and leaving fewer and fewer businesses , who then become state monopolies (remember them bailouts) , all under one global government. Workers' wages shrink but management's rises as the cost of living rises , desperate , workers accept lower standards. Who don't accept the lower wages or bad conditions , get muscled out by imported immigrant labour from countries where life is miserable in comparison. Most coming from the BRIC member countries to america , irony.


Again, I must disagree with you. People need to remember that economics are in constant flux, and one could regard the elite that are spawned by capitalism as the people who engineered the government creation of the corporation, thus making the corporation the natural progression of capitalism. After all, when you have a system based solely on greed, you will inevitably have individuals who seek more power.

We have corporations, and they are going nowhere; the economy has become much too dependent upon them. We also cannot count out the good that they have done, but how do these measure up to the sins that they constantly commit? The solution is the, clearly, to allow them to exist while limiting their power and preventing them from growing to 'too big to fail' sizes. To do this will require stronger anti-trust laws, stricter regulations, and the ability to liquidate oversized firms that are in immediate danger of collapsing. This would effectively even the playing field, spread wealth around, and provide parameters for actual market competition to go forth, allowing for a stable economy and the lowering of prices. In short, government oversight is required for an economy to function properly.


Your "state capitalism" or national capitalism NAT-C has been done in natzi germany and the present natzi america , government and business in a love affair and where has that got us , world depression part 2. One led to a world war and this current one seems to be taking us down that route. For while the economies that refused to mix but remain independant of this foolishness that america made are holding steady and growing.


I would suggest that you study the difference between Nazi economics and the Nazi racial ideology, and just what the German economy was doing in the pre-War years.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 12:57 PM
link   
I'm by no means an economist, but I do have some understanding of the way things work. I've recently written an essay on how Capitalism, as currently exercised, is actually a bastardized form of what it should be.
www.anti-socialengineering.com...

(I don't bother explaining what it should be, I don't know.)

I thought this was an interesting thread. I like the aspect of solution that is beginning to be developed, not only here, but in the overall psyche of regular consumers. This phenomenon is more vehement overseas, but is also gaining ground at home. Star and flagged.

I would like to suggest to all who contemplate such matters that we be carefull in the terms we throw around. For instance, when we say "Capitalism is failing." we are not just saying "The dictionary definition of capitalism is the dictionary definition of failing." We are actually saying "The way that Capitalism is currently defined in action is failing to meet the expectations of what capitalism should be and do, at least to some of us."

Let's not forget, this failure is not a failure for some.

The same can be said of the definitions of any other word we choose to use in this discourse. I'm going to use "Globalization."

Globalization is inevitable and is a good thing. Like "capitalism" it just depends how you define it. If we consider the defining aspects of"globalism" as "world trade," then we already have that. Pretty much have since the 18th century. If we define it at "world currency" then who cares? The american dollar is a phantom of a phantom. I'd rather we didn't have money at all, but as it is something that "they" control now, what difference does it make if "they" continue to control it? If we define "Globalization" as the process of the human species becoming a group with at least some characteristics and agendas in common, I think we'd be onto something.

So, like "capitalism," "globalism" depends on the agenda of the "they" who define it's parameters.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 03:29 PM
link   
reply to post by Someone336
 




Why would we not trade with them? Since the beginning of time, mankind has traded with his neighbors.


Ever heard of Trade Wars , which is currently what china and America is engaged in. Add that to the fact that since opening trade with them they have become quite confrontational and untrustworthy techno-pirates. They're still red.



In fact, globalization has been going on since the 1600s, with the establishment of the British East India Company. I would also like to point out that by accusing the economic powers that be, you are inadvertently agreeing that capitalism should subscribe to national interests. Is this not to opposite of 'free-markets'?


In fact I think it's the other way around. since then till around the 1900s , when institutions like the Federal Reserve , IMF , World Bank etc. were formed , all trade was not globally centralized nor nationalized. It was in fact more "free market". You could go any where , set up shop , down anchor and buy and sell as you pleased as long as you could find markets and defend them. Businesses were allowed to grow and die , mostly without intervention. Today most small businesses are regulated with burdens which only the larger companies can carry and it is very hard to break into a market which is already cornered by a monopoly , no matter how efficient you are , or the quality of your goods and services , which is especially evident in this crisis. Often larger companies get tax breaks while small ones have to carry ship. You have to have luck and the right connections to make it. Government should only regulate safety , health and ensure businesses do not become uncompetitive.





Again, I must disagree with you. People need to remember that economics are in constant flux, and one could regard the elite that are spawned by capitalism as the people who engineered the government creation of the corporation, thus making the corporation the natural progression of capitalism. After all, when you have a system based solely on greed, you will inevitably have individuals who seek more power. We have corporations, and they are going nowhere; the economy has become much too dependent upon them. We also cannot count out the good that they have done, but how do these measure up to the sins that they constantly commit? The solution is the, clearly, to allow them to exist while limiting their power and preventing them from growing to 'too big to fail' sizes. To do this will require stronger anti-trust laws, stricter regulations, and the ability to liquidate oversized firms that are in immediate danger of collapsing. This would effectively even the playing field, spread wealth around, and provide parameters for actual market competition to go forth, allowing for a stable economy and the lowering of prices. In short, government oversight is required for an economy to function properly.


On this we can agree except the part about corporation being the natural progression of capitalism. Without regulation , such as anti-trust and maybe Glass-Steagall they will. What does antitrust combat? , monopolies , which are? , anti-competition. Now you and I both know anti-competition is not free-market. Capitalism without competition is not capitalism anymore. And look at Glass-Steagall , they the Government may have been the ones to create it but they were also the ones that repealed it.

I'm not against globalism per se , but the present model being pushed by the elitist globalists are force-ripeing us before we are ready , many issues are brushed under the rug , many wounds left open , the ramifications of this method may not be pretty . Why are they in such a rush?

To rebutt your notion that fascism and socialism encourage competition , how does an economy run by the state (a singular entity) that hand picks the companies it wants and formulates policy and has a share in said companies become competition.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:45 PM
link   
reply to post by De La Valletta
 



Ever heard of Trade Wars , which is currently what china and America is engaged in. Add that to the fact that since opening trade with them they have become quite confrontational and untrustworthy techno-pirates. They're still red.


I wouldn't regard them as 'communist' anymore; they are far too pro-market for that. Statist-oriented capitalism, yes, but capitalism none the less.


In fact I think it's the other way around. since then till around the 1900s , when institutions like the Federal Reserve , IMF , World Bank etc. were formed , all trade was not globally centralized nor nationalized. It was in fact more "free market".


I disagree. Global trade, the root of 'globalization' has existed throughout history, be the silk or amber roads, or the corporate giants that represented the interests of the British Empire. Let us not forget that it wasn't truly until the era of Woodrow Wilson that the US became free market oriented - albeit in its disastrous corporatist/crony capitalism form. Prior to this, we had a protectionist, anti-free market model known as the "American School", based on the writings of the German economist Friedrich List. The grand irony here is that List's theories influenced not only the economic principles of Nazi Germany, but also Deng Xiaoping, who led the post-Mao era of the People's Republic of China from Marxist-Leninism style communism to the modern state capitalism model.

This is why I regard people such as Glenn Beck as nonsense: individuals such as Woodrow Wilson and FDR were not anti-capitalist by any means; they were the agents, so to speak, of the corporate interests in Wall Street who saw it fit to utilize the so-called 'free-market' system. The free-market, however, was never meant to be free. It would always require government sanctioned monopolies to exist, require lucrative government contracts and subsidies, and in the worst cases, require government bail-outs. It has always been that state-directed economies, not free-markets, that builds nations. So by operating under the guise of free-markets, the corporate interests that run our nation are able to keep third world and developing countries poor, and thus easier to tap for their resources. These are the reasons I believe that a state-oriented economy is necessary, but it needs to be run differently from the prevailing "socialism for the rich, capitalism for the model" that we are currently operating under - and always have operated under - and move towards one that keeps corporatism in check to allow an actual competitive market.


On this we can agree except the part about corporation being the natural progression of capitalism.


My argument is that the ideologues behind capitalism - "pure" capitalism ignore human nature as much as those who push communism. Human are going to be inherently corrupted by greed, and capitalism, believe it or not, produces an elite. The creation of the corporate system was only a way for the free-market's naturally occurring elite to solidify power, and in a sense, achieve financial immortality. This in part answers your later question about my supposition: the current system, as well as fascist economic policies, are all about weeding out the poor, the weak and the small (read local business, small business, mom and pop stores, etc) to allow for the elite to compete only with the elite.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 06:12 PM
link   
reply to post by silent thunder
 


I'd say it's the end of Capitalism as we incorrectly thought it was.
Line2



posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 09:07 AM
link   
reply to post by Someone336
 


I'm not disagreeing that global trade in one form or other was going on since time immemorial , just that it was not centralized and it was more free. I just think that centralizing it all or the majority is risky(absolute power corrupts absolutely). Giving one group or individual that power , when they fail or , have a hiccup the whole world will too , like is currently happening now.

Our fortunes could go both ways depending on if , their nefarious or benevolent men in charge of the global economy and they'd litteraly have the whole world in their hand , to uplift or destroy. Too much interferance from government and oversight can have a disasterous effect on economies , as you seem to know since you cited roosevelt. Alot of people thank that man saved america from the depression but instead , he prolonged it and made it deeper with his socialist solutions. Obama seems to be his reincarnation.

[edit on 5-7-2010 by De La Valletta]




top topics



 
6

log in

join