Capitalists of the World, Unite!
By Mike Krauss
This piece first appeared at Mike Krauss’ blog.
The other night I watched The Greatest Cable News Program That Absolutely Ever Was. The host was extolling the virtues of capitalism, repeating the claims you can read in The Economist or Wall Street Journal; that capitalism has lifted many millions out of poverty world wide.
The same broadcast also reported that most Americans “could not lay their hands on $1,000” in an emergency. That figure may be on the high side. Other published reports put it at $400, including what may be available on a credit card.
The program host missed the contradiction. You can’t be a capitalist without capital. The overwhelming majority of Americans don’t have any, and are completely excluded from the “benefits” of the capitalist system he extolled.
Capitalism is not a form of government. It is a system of wealth management. It does not create wealth, but only allocates it. It is indifferent to the welfare of people. It has no social purpose. Private profit is everything.
Over several decades, as millions in Asia and elsewhere have seen living standards rise, tens of millions of Americans have seen theirs fall dramatically – low wages, and lost jobs – in a massive re-allocation of wealth abroad from the once large and prosperous American middle class.
In order to mask the growing poverty in America, the capitalists introduced massive credit, debt and propaganda to sustain the illusion of prosperity among enough Americans to head off a revolt against an economic system that clearly no longer works for them.
Americans are now drowning in debt: families, students, businesses, state and local governments and school districts.
20th Century capitalism is like a sun burning out, collapsing in on itself, consolidating into global monopolies to reduce competition and maintain private profit.
In order to form and protect monopolies, capitalists must dominate governments. These monopolies were once national in scope. Now they are global. The form of government that capitalists have always favored is fascism – the integration and primacy of corporate interests in the government, for which the military is an agent.
Think Nazi Germany. Its purpose was not military domination or even control of individual liberty. These were incidental to the first purpose: the global primacy of German corporations and the German 1 percent.
The point of World War II, from the German perspective, was that after the war, Daimler-Benz would be the world’s largest car manufacturer, Krupp and Thyssen would be the dominant steel manufacturers, IG Farben would be the dominant chemical and pharmaceutical company and Deutsche Bank would lead world banking and finance.
It didn’t work out that way. The U.S. destroyed the physical plant of both Germany and Japan – our two main commercial rivals – and U.S. manufacturers and banks had a field day. The American middle class boomed.
But the Germans and Japanese rebuilt with modern technology and began to compete with the outdated American physical plant. U.S. unions resisted modernization that cost any jobs and U.S. manufacturers began to relocate overseas into modern and more efficient facilities. Then modern container shipping slashed the cost of distribution from foreign to U.S. markets and American manufacturers brought other nations into the game.
As the accumulated wealth of the American middle class was re-allocated abroad by the capitalist system, the capitalists began the drive to eliminate the drag on profits of global competition by consolidating into global monopolies.
That is the purpose of the Trans Pacific and Trans Atlantic “trade” deals promoted by U.S. President Obama, British Prime Minister Cameron and the global cartel of banksters they represent, who provide the financing (debt) to enable the capitalists to compensate each other for lost future profits when one is aggregated into a new and larger monopoly by another.
But the serfs on the neo-feudal debt manor are finally now in revolt. One battle is the vote in the United Kingdom on an exit from the European Union (EU). A dissolution of the EU undermines the Trans Atlantic deal and threatens the Trans Pacific deal and the entire fascist future of the New World Order
Another battle is the U.S. presidential elections and Donald Trump’s assault on these deals.
So Obama went to the U.K. to lay down the law and explain the dire consequences of any resistance to that New World Order. Then he went to Asia to deliver the same message. He will push for a vote in Congress on the Trans Pacific deal as soon as possible, while he still has the support of the pre-Trump GOP of Paul Ryan.
Capitalists of the world unite! The fascist future is in reach.
Mike Krauss is chair of The Pennsylvania Project, a non-partisan public policy advocacy organization. His byline has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and regularly as a guest columnist in the Bucks County Courier Times.