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How Will Capitalism End : Essays On A Failing S... _BEST_

Capitalism will play a major role in the global revival of liberty and prosperity because it nurtures the human spirit, inspires human creativity, and promotes the spirit of enterprise. By providing a powerful system of incentives that promote thrift, hard work, and efficiency, capitalism creates wealth.

How Will Capitalism End : Essays on a Failing S...

Pinning hopes on a double movement of this kind, however, denies four material realities. First, social democracy came about and persisted only as long as the threat of actually existing socialist societies was present and union strength endured, and faded immediately with the demise of both. Second, neoliberalism today is ingrained in capitalism itself, in the phase of monopoly-financial capital. The earlier age of industrial-capital dominance, on which Keynesian economics was based, is now gone. Third, social democracy was in practice reliant on an imperialist system that was opposed to the interests of the vast majority of humankind. Fourth, the liberal-democratic state and the dominance of a purportedly enlightened industrial-capitalist class willing to engage in a social accord with labor is largely a relic of the past, with its structural bases having all but disappeared.

On the so-called liberal-left, some have adopted a broad technological-modernization approach, largely disregarding social relations. Here, in an implicit technological determinism, digital technology, social engineering, and wise liberal management are expected to reign supreme. It is true, such thinkers argue, that the capitalist absolutism of neoliberalism points to unending disaster. But capitalism can be altered, presumably from above, to fit any exigency, even the sidelining of profits and accumulation, conforming to current technological imperatives. What will remain of the system, in this conception, will be the bare frames of corporations and markets now devoid of any class or acquisitive drive, mere engines of efficiency.

Could such a revolutionary acceleration of history, though on an incomparably greater scale, happen in the twenty-first century? Most establishment commentators in the hegemonic countries of the world imperialist system would say no, based on their own narrow experience and limited view of history. Nevertheless, revolutions continue to break out in the periphery of the world system and are, even now, only put down by imperialist economic, political, and military interventions. Moreover, the failure of capitalism on a planetary scale today threatens all of civilization and life on the planet as we know it. If drastic changes are not made, global temperature this century will increase by 4 or even 6C from preindustrial times, leading to conditions that will imperil humankind as a whole. Meanwhile, the extreme capitalism of today seeks to expropriate and enclose all the bases of material existence, siphoning off almost the entire net social surplus and robbing the natural environment for the direct benefit of a miniscule few.

Growth imperatives are active at multiple levels, making the pursuit of economic growth (net investment, i.e. investment above depreciation) a necessity for different actors and leading to social and economic instability in the absence of it7,52,60. Following a Marxian perspective as put forward by Pirgmaier and Steinberger61, growth imperatives can be attributed to capitalism as the currently dominant socio-economic system in affluent countries7,51,62, although this is debated by other scholars52. To structure this topic, we will discuss different affected actors separately, namely corporations, states and individuals, following Richters and Siemoneit60. Most importantly, we address the role of the super-affluent consumers within a society, which overlap with powerful fractions of the capitalist class. From a Marxian perspective, this social class is structurally defined by its position in the capitalist production process, as financially tied with the function of capital63. In capitalism, workers are separated from the means of production, implying that they must compete in labour markets to sell their labour power to capitalists in order to earn a living.

The second, more radical, group disagrees and argues that the needed socio-ecological transformation will necessarily entail a shift beyond capitalism and/or current centralised states. Although comprising considerable heterogeneity77, it can be divided into eco-socialist approaches, viewing the democratic state as an important means to achieve the socio-ecological transformation51,65 and eco-anarchist approaches, aiming instead at participatory democracy without a state, thus minimising hierarchies54,87. Many degrowth approaches combine elements of the two, but often see a stronger role for state action than eco-anarchists50,51,88. Degrowth is defined here as an equitable downscaling of throughput [that is the energy and resource flows through an economy, strongly coupled to GDP], with a concomitant securing of wellbeing59,p7, aimed at a subsequent downscaled steady-state economic system that is socially just and in balance with ecological limits. Importantly, degrowth does not aim for a reduction of GDP per se, but rather accepts it as a likely outcome of the necessary changes78. Moreover, eco-feminist approaches highlight the role of patriarchal social relations and the parallels between the oppression of women and exploitation of nature89, while post-development approaches stress the manifold and heterogeneous visions of achieving such a socio-ecological transformation globally, especially in the global South90.

We know there are significant regulatory and logistical hurdles to achieving this today, but we believe this could bring more democracy and more voices to capitalism. Every investor deserves the right to be heard. We will continue to pursue innovation and work with other market participants and regulators to help advance this vision toward reality.

That is why it is more important than ever that your company and its management be guided by its purpose. If you stay true to your company's purpose and focus on the long term, while adapting to this new world around us, you will deliver durable returns for shareholders and help realize the power of capitalism for all.

The more advanced the capitalist economy becomes, Marx argued, the greater these contradictions and conflicts. The more capitalism creates wealth, the more it sows the seeds of its own destruction. Ultimately, the proletariat will realize that it has the collective power to overthrow the few remaining capitalists and, with them, the whole system. 041b061a72

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