Capitalism’s failures arise from two of its defining elements. The first is perpetual growth. Economic growth is the aggregate effect of the quest to accumulate capital and extract profit. Capitalism collapses without growth, yet perpetual growth on a finite planet leads inexorably to environmental calamity.
A system based on perpetual growth cannot function without peripheries and externalities. There must always be an extraction zone – from which materials are taken without full payment – and a disposal zone, where costs are dumped in the form of waste and pollution. As the scale of economic activity increases until capitalism affects everything, from the atmosphere to the deep ocean floor, the entire planet becomes a sacrifice zone: we all inhabit the periphery of the profit-making machine.
The second defining element is the bizarre assumption that a person is entitled to as great a share of the world’s natural wealth as their money can buy. This seizure of common goods causes three further dislocations. First, the scramble for exclusive control of non-reproducible assets, which implies either violence or legislative truncations of other people’s rights. Second, the immiseration of other people by an economy based on looting across both space and time. Third, the translation of economic power into political power, as control over essential resources leads to control over the social relations that surround them.
Read the full article in the Guardian
Despite All It Has Provided, Capitalism is Failing UsCapitalism hasn't just failed the planet, it has failed society in general. Inequality has soared as the masses flatline while the spoils of capitalism accumulate to a handful of billionaires.
The citizens of the western world are being taught to hate policies that would in fact benefit them. Socialism is the political bogeyman, so the average Joe happily votes against his interests by electing wealthy elites who will remove the foundation of broad social benefits - healthcare, education, pensions, etc. Money buys power, worsening the economic divide as political and economic control concentrates in the hands of the 1% .
The following 2014 lecture by Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, explains why capitalism is failing us: