Posted 6 months ago on May 15, 2014, 11:46 a.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Capitalism has for a long time been regarded by many as a sacred cow, something you can't criticize. It shouldn't be that way. Capitalism is an abhorrent, tyrannical, unsustainable system, it shouldn't just be criticized, it should be dismantled.
Capitalism is system in which the means of production are owned privately. In other words, it's a system in which some people own the economic institutions, while others don't. The owners then hire employees to produce the goods and services that the institutions are in the business of providing. Even though the workers are the ones producing the goods that the institution offers, they don't have any say in how the business is run. The ones who make the decisions are the ones at the top -- the owners, the CEOs etc. In other words, a top-down hierarchy in which a small group make the decisions, while the rest of the ones involved don't have a say and instead have to take orders from above.
This way of organizing production is in other words very undemocratic.
Another consequence of this way of organizing the economy is that it leads to exploitation and concentration of wealth.
Capitalism is as I just mentioned a system where the means of production are privately owned by some individuals, while others do not have this ownership. In other words, some own the means of production that others are using. This allows the owner (the employer) to profit on the users (the employees). This happens when the value of the worker’s pay is less than the value that was added through his/her work in the paid hours; this creates a surplus that the owner of the means of production gets, even though he did not create it.This profit is then used for future investments and more profits. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value.
Since a capitalist economy is based on the need for growth and profits for the investors and owners, this method of exploitation, profiting on other people’s work, will be used by more or less all of them. This exploitation is in other words just a logical result caused by the capitalist system.
In other words, the claim coming from right-libertarians and republicans and others, that in a capitalist economy you're "paid what you're worth", is a myth. Capitalism is based on paying people less than the value of their labor.
Another myth that's presented by the right wingers and libe(R)tarians like Ron Paul, Gary Johnson and the rest, is that Capitalism is based on "voluntary agreements".
This is false. Agreements taking place in this kind of system are far from voluntary. In a capitalist class society you have some people with huge wealth and recourses, and others with very little or no wealth and resources. It’s of course meaningless to talk about “voluntary agreements” in such a society, because the ones owning the recourses, the wealth and the means of production etc, have much more power and control in society; that includes of course that they have the advantage and overwhelming power when it comes to job hiring, negotiations and so on. The workers are in other words trapped in a society in which they, in order to have a decent life or necessities in order to survive, must sell their labor to people who have much more power than they have. This has very little to do with voluntary agreements, rather it's people being forced to accept the terms set by people with much more bargaining power.
In other words, it's a system in which some people, because of their wealth and ownership, have a lot of power and control, including in the labor marked. The owners and employers have much more influence and power when contracts and agreements are being made, and can pretty much set the conditions.
Another myth created by the right-wing is that in a capitalist society you're free to mind your own business and affairs without others interfering in it.
This has no root in reality. The economy affects everyone; it's all-encompassing. We live in a complex, modern society with all kinds of endless networks of economic transactions relations, decisions, etc that affect the economy we're all a part of in all kinds of different ways. Economic transactions that affect others who did not have anything to do with the deals -- so called externalities -- are enormous. There are different kinds of “affairs”: some that only affect you, and the ones that affect others. What you do in your personal life, which color you decide to use when you paint the walls in your living room, or what you do in the bedroom etc, things that don’t affect other people, that should of course be totally up to you, and is your decision alone. On the other hand, if you choose to make decisions that affect other people, for example by being in control of a huge corporation that’s a big part of the economy, and is the workplace of lots of people, well then that’s something completely different. If you make decisions that affect other people, then it's unreasonable to expect that the ones affected should not be allowed to intervene in these affairs.
The same of course applies to the common "If you like libertarian socialism or anarchism so much, why don’t you and your friends just start your own commune somewhere and leave me out”
Well, creating communes and co-ops is an important task that should be prioritized, but the argument above does not hold up. Again, the economy is all-encompassing. A couple of socialist-anarchist communes or co-ops here and there don’t change the fact that the super-wealthy financial elite have the overwhelming power in society.
What the right-wing should come to understand is that when it comes to the economy we’re not, as individuals, living in an isolated bubble of some kind, just “minding our own business”. On the contrary, when it comes to the economy, we’re all in the same boat. The economy is intertwined and all-encompassing; it affects us all.
Right-wing ideology advocating a more or less "free" unregulated Capitalism is not the road to freedom, it’s the road to corporate tyranny: a society in which a small non-elected minority of wealthy individuals and huge corporations have the overwhelming power and control in society.
Right-libertarians have (like many others) good reason to be frustrated and opposed to the status quo, but they’re focusing on the wrong issues. It’s exactly by implementing more and more of these libertarian ideas of deregulation and privatization that have caused a lot of the mess we’re in (cf. financial speculation, outsourcing, pollution etc.) Libertarians, Republicans and others should be, not ridiculed or laughed at, but enlightened about what’s really happening, and confronted with, and introduced to better ideas; ideas of how we can build a more solidaric, democratic and sustainable society.