United States is in its most destructive stage of Capitalism. The system proved to be outdated and in a great need for repair and overhaul. Its values system is in great discord to the notions our forefathers created this country: namely, the spirit of democracy and equality, the opportunity for pursuing of life, liberty and happiness. The radical markets is calling for uprooting capitalism and democracy for a just society.
More than ten years ago, the great recession of 2008 initiated responses from our government a mammoth currency printing programs to save banks and all those too big to falls and those culprits (the capitalists) who directly/indirectly caused the financial crisis. The mainstream trickle-down policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama appear to have pandered to corporations and the rich while bypassing recovery for that vast majority. Because massive government borrowing helped to pay for those policies, national deficits and debt rose quickly. Both democratic and republican parties bicker over the details of austerity to reduce those deficits and that debt. Indeed, the political system shows less and less capacity to solve the root problem. The corporate’s grip of our society in even tighter than ever. We observe the tech giants’ monopoly and their dominance to hijack democracy in every aspect of life; the pharmaceutical company’s manipulation of the market. Under this phrase of capitalism, even the new technology breakthrough has showed diminish return for the benefits of the whole society. In the word of Satyajit Das, an international expert in Finance, the new technology, in many ways have proved to be more of a innovative destruction rather than just disruption. He compared several waves of technology breakthroughs and their return to the collective living standards to illustrate the points.
We see our society fast accelerate towards a system that the majorities are suppressed by a very handful group of social aristocrats and Economic Royalists. Today, the riches become even richer, and we see all over the world, tremendous gap in equality and wealth distribution. In the aftermaths of 2008 financial crisis, Americans have watched a recovery program that did not help them. They have been lectured by the architects of that recovery program on the need for “everyone” to pay its costs, not the people whose actions caused the crisis. The political and economic establishment simply repeats its usual mainstream mantra: maintain the post-2008 trickle-down program with maximum hype about the government’s efforts to end the crisis and wait until the crisis depresses wages and the costs of doing business enough that profit opportunities prompt capitalists to resume investing. The establishment prefers to wait rather than to pay the costs of a government intervention sufficient to overcome the crisis.
We, the people are less and less in a position to address the issue of inequality and our basic need for safety and freedom of choice. The capitalists, with huge disposal of tremendous wealth, have been able to influence and manipulate social political balance towards their advantage. There is less and less social mobility – just look at the current education system, expensive tuition drove ordinary people to the wall while the riches easily get into ivy league schools that further advance the elites. Look at our medical system that is dysfunction and waste. Look at the huge cut of social welfare community programs. The whole society is controlled by a handful of people. American’s fundamental value for democracy is under duress. Democracy is in Chains. At this stage, capitalism proved to be reactionary because in order to maintain their status quo, the monopoly powers block the advancement of the collectives.
Capitalism in its early stage, together with new world exploration, has brought about of economic expansion, innovation and advancement in technology. Initially, Capitalism was a triumph over feudalism, it provided ordinary people more opportunity of competition entreprenuership. It promoted new social mobility for grassroots to rise out of their plight. But as it developed into later stage, Capitalism’s fundamental principle drove people to ruthlessly compete for controlling of resource and domination of market. Capitalism as a social system proved its innate weakness of cyclical crisis – incapable of a stable society. Political speaking, the WWI was a result of crisis in capitalism as the capitalist European countries fighting for the market dominance. Later, WWII was a continuation of the unfinished business of destruction. After WWII, the Bretton wood agreement and the co-existence of two oppositional camp (socialism and capitalism) had to certain extent managed to keep the world power in balance and help foster the political economic prospers of 1945-1970s. Socially and economically, capitalism brought about huge inequality and social upheaval. Just like the 2008 financial crisis, the great depression of the 1920s -1930s was a clear depict of the flaw in capitalism.
Extremely action created extreme reactions. Socialist movement is a reaction to extreme imbalance of capitalists’ domination suppression and exploitation. FDR’s new deal of 1930s was a desperate measure to save capitalism. United States involved into WWII eventually provided the extra boost to the survival of Capitalism in USA at huge social expenses. Internationally, Marxism and communist became a counter act to the capitalism. After WWII, the world broke into two camp of social systems.
In the 60s, People like Kennedy brothers who advocate peace and support Labor Union and progressive movement for the people was assassinated. That was a huge social political and culture right turn in American history’s juncture. In the 70s, the economic stagnation stimulated a whole new round of public debates to roll back the FDR’s new deal. The far right thinking represented by neoliberalism, with representative and intellectuals like Ann Rye, Jame McGill Buchanan, Koch brothers, Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powelletc.had led to Reagan’s presidency and election of Margret Thatcher in Great Britain to power. The Neoliberalism’s influence has far reaching social political and culture implications.
- Seeing Current Social Political Economic Situation through U.S. History 1
- Seeing Current Social Political Economic Situation through U.S. History 2
- Neoliberalism and Its Far-Reaching Effects on Culture and Inequality
- Neoliberalism ‘s Effects on Culture and Inequality 2 Why we cannot afford Rich;
- Neoliberalism ‘s Effects on Culture and Inequality -Why we cannot afford Rich Continued;
Then the early 1980s saw the globalization initiated in and later fully disseminated in the early 21st century. Capitalism brought another bout of tremendous shift in wealth distribution and social inequality. This time the transfer the system into China. The big winners are the multinational capitalists and Wall Street, as well as the powers in control of the Communist Party leaders and their closed small circles. These Red 2nd and 3rd generations using their fathers’ power, taking advantage of the free market transformation from Communist system in China of the 1990s, through money laundry and expropriation, they turned public common wealth/resources into their private pockets, thus accumulated unthinkable amount of wealth/power. Capitalism has developed into its final most destruction phrase the financializtion. All kind of capital valuation based on irrational notion is put on the markets. The economy is in services for the richest in stead of for the common goods. The new generation of capitalists, backed by the sovereign power, with fractional banking system in support , exploited the global trade system and caused tremendous social injustice and inequality all over the world. One of these social economic struggle showed in the recent US-China trade war. But ultimately, the fight is about what is fair and what is justice.
Hayek claimed markets free us, he claimed communism/socialism is the road too serfdom. To his credits, there is certain points in arguments. Socialism is not without its problems. But today’s reality is monopoly capitalism is enslaving majority people and unjustly enrich a small group. To rescue our economy (and the world at large as well) from the next inevitable crisis and to foster long-term economic growth and stability, we will need to rethink capitalism, rethink the role of public policy and the importance of the public sector … maybe a updated version of what FDR did in the 1930s is in order.