Capitalism’s Profit System

My country is the world.

— Thomas Paine

Workers of the world, unite.

— Karl Marx

Demands for social change are accelerating throughout capital’s global empire. Once limited to armed insurrection, now nations like Bolivia and Venezuela elect governments to replace capitalism with democratically controlled socialism. While their approach is not followed everywhere, more people are demanding democratic power with those demands reaching new peaks in the Middle East.

Recent uprisings in the Arab world may endure short-range attempts at western manipulation, but their long-range outcome is clear to all but the morally disabled. Calls for majority rule are coming from masses of people united in their desire, rather than from elites organizing minority rule and calling it democracy. The USA and Israel will try to control the uncontrollable, but the days of western Zionist rule are numbered. This is not just great news for Arabs or Muslims but for all humanity.

After colonialism officially ended, western domination was maintained over former colonies by governments headed by puppets whose regimes were called democratic as long as they remained under the domain of privately controlled markets and adhered to the dictates of Israel. That minority-dominated system has never been under more pressure as disgusted majorities are crying out “enough is enough”. This global trend may not always be focused on private capital’s anti-democratic control, but that is the core problem which can only be solved by democratic public control of the political economics of all nations. The rise of a previously subjugated population in Egypt heralds a move closer to that solution to humanity’s collective problem.

The commerce of profit and loss has been harshly criticized from as far back as biblical times, when usurious interest and money changers in the temple were subjects of moral outrage. That criticism continued through the ages, often muted because many seemed to prosper under the economics of “buy cheap and sell dear”. Those paying dearly got products they might not otherwise have acquired while achieving material comfort and social status in the process. But the commercial religion of global capitalism has reached a crisis point of physical and moral degradation nearing total breakdown.

Capitalism’s problems are isolated as single issues to obscure the flaws of the entire system, the way people are divided into minorities to keep individuals from acting as an organized majority with common interests. But climate change, imperial war, racial supremacy, corporate greed and countless other problems are the result of private control of markets organized to run on those profit and loss economics of ancient origin.

After ages in which this system enriched some at the expense of most but with support from greater numbers led to believe they would soon be included in the minority feast, we have reached an impasse that threatens to include all in a majority famine. Nature itself is in terminal danger under the abuse of the unnatural rush for private profit. And as the group to whom the profits flow gets smaller, the riches they accumulate grow larger.

The world’s richest minority is wealthier than ever as a result of public debt carried by the global majority in an economic casino of waste and war. Billions live in poverty while the working middle shrinks under an attack on capital’s primitive welfare state which takes their jobs and benefits to create still more wealth for the top. Glaring inequality and declining material standards are being experienced in the once affluent west as well as among the nations formerly providing much of its wealth. All over the world people are expressing contempt for the system reducing them to outrageous poverty, denying them democratic representation and burdening them with unpayable debt.

The Internet age has helped people to better communicate and identify common problems, enabling them to form seemingly leaderless groups that react to conditions with greater speed than authority can respond to and subdue. The result of this consciousness raising experience can be seen in global outbreaks of these fast reacting groups, as in Egypt. The Internet is a form of communication never before available, and breathless supporters can sometimes exaggerate its affect. The overwhelming majority of Egyptians who participated in the demonstrations were not even owners of computers. But the newer communications media of internet, cell phones, and cable news – especially Al Jazeera – is helping create groups that connect in the physical and not just electronic world. The historic rise of the Egyptian people was hardly based on the Internet, but it could not have happened without that tool used by an aroused population. As this electronic global web is better understood as a tool for community organizing and not just market commerce, the universal march to democracy will take on even more speed.

Even when the west tries to manipulate movements with its color-coded and outside financed uprisings to assure private capital’s control, the long-range outcome of more democracy can only mean eventual public control. Whether the new movements call themselves democratic, socialist, Islamist or artistic, most of their national economies will ultimately be placed under the control of the state and the state will at long last – and for the first time in history – be controlled by the people.

Social justice will begin when minority domination of political economics is finally brought to its end. Democracy means majority rule and the social sharing of wealth, not the selfish squandering of humanity’s product on a minority of billionaires, most of whom never worked a day in their lives. We are moving closer to realizing that democratic ideal as a global and not just national reality. The Egyptian people and the Arab world are playing a major role in that realization.

Frank Scott writes political commentary which appears in print in the Coastal Post and The Independent Monitor and online at the blog Legalienate. Read other articles by Frank.

19 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on February 14th, 2011 at 8:41am #

    Not bad, but remember that capitalism is a relatively new system. There is nothing eternal about it and, like all other human systems, it will sooner or later fade away in favour of something else. The “shelf life” of such an “era” in human history seems to be about 250 years and capitalism, which evolved from the Reformation, has been with us since roughly the middle of the 18th century. Logically, it should be evolving into something new in or about now. By the looks of this, that something will be some sort of green politics.

  2. bozh said on February 14th, 2011 at 10:14am #

    now, if i only knew what “capitalism” means? does it mean owning jobs-work and thus people? does it mean constant warfare? does it mean terror abroad against poor nations?
    does it mean equal rights of a hobo and a b’naire? does it mean that columnists r telling us nothing but the truth? etc.
    all the above can be seen- – capitalism cannot. marx i think saw capitalism as people with money; spending it for own greater good and for greater evil for others.
    ok, maybe he didn’t see it that way!? if he didn’t, then he was a fool. like all others who use or abuse this label in order to make matters worse for house people, hobos, homeless, et al– none of which know what “capitalism” means!

    it’s just an invent like sin, god, devil, democracy, rule of law, etc. devil may hel us from such [inter]ventionists! tnx

  3. Don Hawkins said on February 14th, 2011 at 1:19pm #

    You think you’ve seen the worst of it; you haven’t. Monbiot

    {http://www.monbiot.com/2011/02/14/stripped-bare/#more-1470}

  4. ajohnstone said on February 14th, 2011 at 1:45pm #

    All credit to the author for saying “Capitalism’s problems are isolated as single issues to obscure the flaws of the entire system” but i find the article quite disappointing in the end since he identifies capitalism with “private control of markets organized to run on those profit and loss economics of ancient origin…” and fails to understand that “democratically controlled socialism” and “democratic public control of the political economics of all nations” is state capitalism with all the fundamental faults as the free-market, laissez faire capitalism. The middle way – The Keynesian view that government intervention can make capitalism work in the interest of the majority has also been discredited.

    Capitalism can be defined, bozh.[ see http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/articles/whatiscap.html

    A system of society based on the class monopoly of the means of life that has the following six essential characteristics:
    1. Generalised commodity production, nearly all wealth being produced for sale on a market.
    2. The investment of capital in production with a view to obtaining a monetary profit.
    3. The exploitation of wage labour, the source of profit being the unpaid labour of the producers.
    4. The regulation of production by the market via a competitive struggle for profits.
    5. The accumulation of capital out of profits, leading to the expansion and development of the forces of production.
    6. A single world economy.

    Nationalisation is the wages system under new management. Nationalisation is state capitalism and does not differ from private capitalism as far as the exploitation of the workers is concerned. They still need their trade unions, and the strike weapon, to protect themselves from their employers. It is not socialism, nor is it a step towards socialism. Capitalism is not just a particular form of property holding, but is essentially an impersonal economic mechanism; impersonal in the sense that it is a mechanism that operates independently of the will of people and imposes itself on them as an external force. State capitalism and private capitalism have never existed as pure forms of society; every country has its own historically developed mix. But the main features of a model of state capitalism, drawn from historical examples, are as follows:
    1. State ownership of the principal means of production
    2. Generalised wage labour
    3. Generalised use of money and money calculation
    4. A relatively free market for consumer goods in the form of agricultural products and light industrial products
    5. A market for means of production which is closely monitored by the state
    6. Wide-scale planning activity, allocating supplies and directing products within the sphere of heavy industry, setting production targets, fixing prices and directing the flows of capital

    Socialism is not about running capitalism better!

  5. Deadbeat said on February 14th, 2011 at 3:31pm #

    Besides Dr. Petras, this is one of the BEST articles that I’ve ever read on DV that sums up the problems! Frank Scott’s analysis is concise, simple, and complete. It’s the lack of completeness, especially the interplay of Zionism with Capitalism, that is commonplace of the writings of pseudo-Left.

    I’m going to keep a copy of this article!

    Thanks Frank for sharing this piece!

  6. bozh said on February 14th, 2011 at 4:12pm #

    ajohnstone:
    “A system of society based on the class monopoly of the means of life that has the following six essential characteristics:” ok!
    but bear in mind that some people may not understand the above definition. i know for certain my wife wld still not have a clue about the meaning of the above definition.

    a simplified version may go like this: capitalism= rich people owning people.
    and one cld then list what rich people do.
    and which cld be brought to an eye and which solely elucidates.
    the problem is that most people over value words and under value eyes to gather knowledge.
    “Socialism is not about running capitalism better!”
    i do not understand that quote!

    i am dismayed that people use labels such as capitalism, fascism, socialism and forgo to list their characteristics or what socialists, fascists, capitalists do.
    defining such labels by offering further definitions is a process which never ends, yet lead to bitterness, anger, frustration and end– u guessed it– in more definitions.

    one cld define god, devil, capitalism, socialism all one wants, these labels cannot be ever seen and thus never understood. tnx

  7. bozh said on February 14th, 2011 at 4:29pm #

    btw, “system of society” as in the context of ur above post or any other u care to consider leaves out people who set up a system of society.
    some people have always been excluded from formation of a society.
    serfs, tillers, slaves, fishers as 8k yrs ago and as today r almost totally excluded from setting up of a structure of society.

    so, i suggest, instead of using the label “system of society” we use “usurpation by clerico-noble class of an idyllicly-structured society we once had and had been seen in many american voelken pre-european invasion of their lands.

    lets not throw monkey wrenches into this clarity-simplicity by injecting labels which cannot ever be defined or understood; however, nevertheless, people in u.s. ‘know’ that socialism, healthcare, free education is bad, etc. tnx

  8. Deadbeat said on February 15th, 2011 at 2:23am #

    Yeah bozh, there is a history of understanding what Capitalism and Socialism are. I’m sorry you’d rather accept defeat and abide by the propaganda system’s distortions and perversion of language.

  9. Don Hawkins said on February 15th, 2011 at 3:37am #

    Speaking of seeing things with own eye’s the other night Anderson Cooper was on 60 minutes and interviewing Lady Gaga Gaga. Now not so much Gaga Gaga she is just good with props but something I saw in New York City as Gaga Gaga during the interview went to her old crib in the city wanted to show Anderson her old place. Well first she pressed all the buttons on the outside of the building and yes someone opened the door then they went up to her old apartment and she knocked on the door and said hello it’s Lady Gaga Gaga. It looked like there was about three lock’s on the door and the person in her old apartment didn’t open the door so they headed down the street in the concrete jungle no trees. How many people in New York City live like that it’s almost like they are all hiding from one another. Seeing again as the other night Haley Barbour was talking from the big meeting of the Conservatives and he said the American people have spoken in so many words and after listening to him my first thought was heck let’s just get this over with as we all hide from one another. Who would like to help me write a book we could call it America the gated community or the people have spoken and here’s some words I would probably use in the book Capitalism, drought, flooding, rain, snow, wind, Australia, the Arctic.

    I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. Galileo

    Ok one more word or two HOUSE ARREST!

  10. Don Hawkins said on February 15th, 2011 at 4:06am #

    Maybe a whole chapter in the book devoted to who likes certain things better boy’s or girl’s. Let’s see make a list and check it twice. The Universe, the space shuttle, science, Capitalism, drought, flooding, rain, snow, wind, Australia, the Arctic, Dickens, Sagan, Einstein and;

    You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful. Marie Curie

    She made artificial flowers, artificial flowers,
    Flowers for ladies of fashion to wear;
    She made artificial flowers, you know those artificial flowers,
    Fashions from Annie’s despair.

    They found little Annie all covered in ice
    Still clutchin’ her poor frozen shears
    Amidst all the blossoms she had fashioned by hand
    And watered with all her young tears.

    There must be a heaven where little Annie can play
    In heavenly gardens and bowers.
    And instea-a-ad of a halo she’ll wear ’round her head
    A garland of genuine flowers. Darin

    Marie Curie’s quote where have we hear that before? Ok who would like to help me write the book probably get ourselves in trouble so be it.

  11. Rehmat said on February 15th, 2011 at 5:35am #

    Karl Marx, being a Shylock, was a liar to his teeth. Both Capitalism and Socialism are the difference faces of the same coin – the privileged minority (mostly Jewish) has the divine right to rob the great majority of the Goyims with the help of of morally corrupt Goyim minority.

    Just look how the billionaire Jews in the Wall Street sucked the US taxpayers of US$10.7 trillion while 53% of American population cannot afford basic medical-care.

    Long Live fascism in the name of ‘democracy’.

  12. MichaelKenny said on February 15th, 2011 at 7:49am #

    Karl Marx was born into a Lutheran family. “Liberal” Lutherans, by his own account. Thus, other than in the eyes of the nazis, he was neither a Jew nor a moneylender! Hence, I fail to see the connection to the fictional Shylock. I assume that Rehmat is Jewish since no “goy” would dream of making such an obnoxious remark about Jews. We are the children of the “Holocaust generation”. Our parents were horrified at what happened and brought us up never to say anything nasty about Jews. We criticise Israel, we criticise Zionism, but we don’t insult the Jews. Only a Jew would not have that reflex. Only a Jew would not understand the difference between criticising Israel and/or Zionism and attacking the Jews.

  13. shabnam said on February 15th, 2011 at 8:44am #

    {We are the children of the “Holocaust generation”. Our parents were horrified at what happened and brought us up never to say anything nasty about Jews.}

    Oh please. Who are you that do not know about other HOLOCAUST caused by British and American empire under control of JEWISH PLUTOCRACY, Rothschild family and its extension, including Sassoon dynasty who were responsible for MILLIONS of deaths in China, Opium war, in Iran, British policy in occupied Iran during WWI where diverted crops from local population to feed British occupying army let Iranian people, more than 8 MILLIONS, die. Are these deaths meaning anything to you? If it does, then why you have never mentioned these atrocities for the past few years and limited yourself only to the OFFICIAL STORY?
    Mohammad Gholi Majd in his book “Great Famine And Genocide In Persia, 1917-1919” documents Iranian genocide by British empire due to their racist policy in Iran.

    {In this book, Mohammad Gholi Majd argues that Persia was the greatest victim of World War One and also the victim of possibly the worst genocide of the twentieth century. Using U.S. State Department records, as well as Persian and British sources, Majd describes and documents a veritable holocaust about which practically nothing has been written.}

    {http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/192815.The_Great_Famine_and_Genocide_in_Persia_1917_1919}

    By the way, in WWII more than 56 million were killed, 23 millions from the Soviet Union. Why you never cite other groups and always bring the Zionist propaganda which has PENETRATED THE MEDIA in the West?
    This propaganda is the cornerstone of Palestinian’s destruction that you support.

    Natan Rothschild insisted that British Empire was under Rothschild control because the family controled circulation of money.

    Majority of the famine in the region, including, Afghanistan Iran, India and China, were manmade caused by using the land for opium production to make money and leave the local to die. This policy was carried out by Sassoon dynasty which left millions of people dead in the region during British colonialism.

    Millions of deaths and billions of hungry people is the result of Western Imperialism, including British, France, American and zionism that you ignore.

    More than 95% of JEWS supported Gaza genocide in 2009, this means anything to you?
    Mondoweiss writes:
    {just as it is fair to criticize Israeli policies, it is fair to criticize its apologists — groups that claim to represent the entire American Jewish community.}
    {http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/young-jew-at-princeton-yes-american-jews-are-to-blame-for-ennabling-injustice.html}

  14. bozh said on February 15th, 2011 at 9:02am #

    Deadbeat said on February 15th, 2011 at 2:23am #:
    “Yeah bozh, there is a history of understanding what Capitalism and Socialism are. I’m sorry you’d rather accept defeat and abide by the propaganda system’s distortions and perversion of language.”

    u and i cannot ever talk unless we first agree to use the same language. accusations, reading into what other people say-mean i do not evaluate as instructive– in fact, i deem such [ab]use of a language destructive to civility and also of elucidation.

    one of the basic human rights is a right of a person not to be blamed, pigeonholed, labeled. in short, allow a person herhis right to make mistakes.
    don’t love anyone- just respect one’s basic human rights.

    i am accepting defeat?? by whose hands? what’s defeat mean? not engaging in terrorism? such as planting bombs in public buildings?
    so, accusation is in order, as always before : my use of language amounts to defeatism!
    if u want to talk, u’r welcome! tnx

  15. MichaelKenny said on February 15th, 2011 at 9:11am #

    Have you ever noticed that whenever I post a comment, somebody always attempts to create a diversion? The point being diverted away from is, I think, the idea that Rehmat is Jewish.

  16. bozh said on February 15th, 2011 at 9:24am #

    i try not to complexify simplicities; nor simplify complexities. teachers, professors, judges, genearals, pols, clergy do that as matter of a principle or for own and their ‘laws’ [lawlessness] good.

    in short, in order to own lower and ‘uneducated’ classes.

    but before u’d able to understand what i mean, u first must know what kind of language represents a simplicity and which represents complexities.
    all labeling–unless they come after the facts– represents enorm complexities.

    as already noted, if labels r a starting point for further talk, it wld always lead to more labeling; hatred, intolerance, anger, frustration; eventual to bloodshed, etc. tnx

  17. kalidasa said on February 15th, 2011 at 11:02am #

    Children of the Holocaustianity religion is more to the point, don’t ya think?

    God as the Jewish body, rising from the ashes of Auschwitz and all that jazz.

  18. 3bancan said on February 15th, 2011 at 11:48am #

    MichaelKenny said on February 15th, 2011 at 7:49am #

    “I assume that Rehmat is Jewish since no “goy” would dream of making such an obnoxious remark about Jews. We are the children of the “Holocaust generation””

    Only a zionazi blatherer like MichaelKenny can produce such blather…

  19. Deadbeat said on February 15th, 2011 at 12:07pm #

    bozh writes …

    one of the basic human rights is a right of a person not to be blamed, pigeonholed, labeled. in short, allow a person herhis right to make mistakes.
    don’t love anyone- just respect one’s basic human rights.

    That’s right bozh you have every right to make a fool of yourself.