How Capitalism is Making Us Sick: Part Two

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How Capitalism is Making Us Sick: Part One.

“Privatization does not mean you take a public institution and give it to some nice person. It means you take a public institution and give it to an unaccountable tyranny.” -Noam Chomsky.

In this part, we shall examine how the major variants of capitalist ideology are comparable to mental diseases and what their effects are on the individual and human society itself. The primary variants of capitalist ideology we shall cover are libertarianism, laissez-faire capitalism, conservatism, objectivism, and fascism. We shall also examine how capitalism leads to other diseases such as racism, sexism, and homophobia and how the beliefs of the common capitalist such as the necessity of privatization are false “freedoms.”

Libertarianism: Libertarianism claims freedom. Freedom from the “heavy burdens” of regulations and taxes. But then libertarianism replaces those “burdens” with bigotry, poverty, and wage slavery. The entire ideology is inherently routed in reactionary tendency. It has recently seen a growth spurt upon the “socialist victory” of Obama, and as such, libertarians are incredibly bigoted and misinformed. Libertarianism remains a more radical version of liberalism, in that it is a “radical life-style” which promoted individual autonomy in the extreme sense. Although there are similarities between libertarianism and anarchism, even anarchism tends to focus more on society than libertarianism. Because libertarianism places a more excessive value over the individual than the collective, it is routed in bourgeois ideology; it is not freedom.

Libertarians are “concerned with justice” but merely for those who own property, labor employers, and petty bourgeois. When we become subject to markets like in a libertarian society, we lose our humanity and become mere wage slaves. Regulation is necessary, and many economists argue against laissez-faire; there are not all that many economists who simply advise to leave the market alone. Just as well, Libertarians very conception of economics are oversimplified and weak at best. For example, when Chile adapted libertarian-esque policies similar to Friedman’s between 1973 and 1989, disaster occurred. Privatization of welfare and social programs, excessive deregulation, destroying labor unions, liberalizing trade, and rewriting Chile’s constitution, all of which resulted in a far less stable economy for Chile. There was economic stagnation for sixteen years, income inequality more and more severe. Workers earned less by 1989 than in 1973 prior to the attempts at a libertarian-style society. Without regulations, Chile become the most polluted country in Latin America. Democracy ceased to exist, numerous human rights being violated.

Another example of libertarian policies applied to society was in 1984 in New Zealand. Roger Douglas became the minister of finance and began radically shifting the economy for libertarianism. Over the next 15 years, New Zealand’s economy declined. Suicide rates increased into one of the highest in the world. Proliferation of food banks increased, crime increased, poverty increased by 35%, and health-care became less accessible. The overall standard of living decreased significantly in this time period for the working class. Meanwhile, the proponents of libertarianism and bourgeois ideology were living comfortably and idle at the expense and exploitation of the workers. This is libertarianism applied; this is in a sense worse than American capitalism. In actuality, I think far more people are comfortable with regulations and mixed-market economy than pure, unregulated laissez-faire style society. Corruption and inefficiency will run rampant in a libertarian society, without doubt. Libertarians are generally blind to this, and ironically themselves believe everyone who isn’t a libertarian is a sheep. I don’t even necessarily think we should worry about libertarianism, though. More often than not it is merely a fad for idiotic reactionaries and university students who have “reached a higher level of enlightenment than every other sheep.” We see therefore that the disease of libertarianism leads to excessive individualism, egoism, and a lack of concern for society. So long as the market remains unrestricted libertarians will have their “Utopia.”

Laissez-Faire: Like Libertarians and other capitalists, supporters of laissez-faire capitalism believe that the government should reduce its interference in the economy to the lowest extent possible, preferably zero percent. Laissez-faire style capitalism was particularly prevalent in practice and belief in America and European countries during the 19th century. Supporters argued that the “invisible hand,” a metaphor coined by Adam Smith, would operate the markets rather than governments. However, there were little economists that supported the belief of laissez-faire; political economists of the time generally argued that government intervention is necessary in one form or another. The criticism of laissez-faire came from both ends of the political spectrum, but during its earlier years most of the criticism was coming from capitalists themselves, who were primarily followers of Hamilton’s ideas and American school economics. Therefore laissez-faire was seen as radical and immature even by many capitalists themselves. Wherever laissez-faire proved failure, supporters argued it was not laissez-faire that was failing it was regulation that caused the failure. The same sense of denial can be attributed to today’s reactionaries and others such as Rand. After numerous panics, recessions, exploitations, and of course the Great Depression, laissez-faire policies in America as well as Europe were finally reduced. Keynesian economics and other economic schools of thoughts became more preferred among American economists. Despite outcries from the laissez-faire supporters that politicians such as F.D.R were violating freedom by intervening in the economy, it was not until the 1970s in America that laissez-faire supporters enjoyed a mild resurgence and new found influence on American economists, given the failures of Keynesianism (which is merely a way to save capitalism from itself). The major supporters of laissez-faire such as Hayek and Friedman rallied against steps taken away from laissez-faire, but failing to realize it was those steps that made capitalism more bearable for the working class (even despite the current exploitation and negativity of today’s capitalism). Today, supporters of laissez-faire are on the rise. Much like Libertarianism, laissez-faire gains more supporters when reactionaries come to power and respond to “democrat socialist Marxists” such as the Obama administration; many of today’s radical capitalists are merely frustrated that their eight year reign during the Bush administration is over, which is ironic given the failures and similarities between Obama’s polices and Bush. It is people like Glenn Beck who spread libertarian and laissez-faire type ideas who create mindless followers of such nonsensical, radical ideologies, merely to gain lobotomized puppets. Laissez-faire capitalism merely means rampant exploitation, no environmental legislation, no minimum wage system, no way to check powers, huge gaps between the wealthy and the working class, inevitable monopolization, and a myriad of other extremely detrimental problems. It is therefore logical to conclude laissez-faire is illogical. Upon the breakup of the Soviet Union, even the former Soviet Republics began adapting laissez-faire policies, which were equally detrimental to society, coupled with Gorbachev’s liberal capitalist reforms of Perestroika and Glasnost which introduced nationalism and other negativity into the republics.

Conservatism: As another set of reactionary political beliefs dedicated to resisting change, favoring low levels of restriction in free-market enterprise, conservativism establishes itself in the hearts and minds of many bourgeois politicians; those parasites hosting parasites themselves. Conservatism contradicts itself in that opposing changes, conservatives are therefore introducing radical changes in order to sustain their “capitalist nostalgia” if you will. Conservatism widens the gap between the wealthy and the working class, results in more rigid restrictions and bureaucracy, and an inherent social standard to follow obediently, often rooted in a perverse understanding of Christian dogma. The policies of conservatives that have held political power, such as Reagan and Thatcher, have been to refuse change, even when the change is in favor of capitalism. The Conservatives therefore are grounded in their pathetic and ill-conceived visions of reality. Conservative parties often end up dividing themselves into numerous factions, be it the more liberal and radical conservatives or the traditional conservatives, but either way, they hurt everyone in their actions, society and even themselves. Conservatism is literally a form of psychosis and a threat to humanity. The fact of the matter is that conservatism itself is inherently less of a serious political ideology than a (perverted) status of mind. Today’s Neo-Conservatives, dogmatic Christian rightists, and the like have provided aid to corporations and politicians to more easily trample upon us, acquiring more and more wealth and generating increased poverty, alienation, and blood-spill. Conservatives also tend to bash any form of regulations, especially ones that take power away from business, because they see it as a threat to capitalism and their existing society. They demonize intervention but fail to realize the current government merely intervenes to save itself and to save capitalism, and intervenes only where its interests will be met.

Fascism: Fascism is capitalism in decay; it is the ultimate and most authoritarian output of capitalistic disease. Fascism’s policies include vicious nationalism, totalitarian military control, and often times include sexism and racism. It is the most reactionary form of capitalism and petty-bourgeois ideology. Fascism is able to gain support among the people for its rhetoric, and highly effective propaganda methods, uniting selected people against a common scapegoat. Fascists do not always come to power merely through violence, but through funding via capitalists. Given the right conditions, fascists can gain the support of bureaucratic bourgeois and receive power from them as well. Like any ideology that has numerous positions (e.g. ultra-left, rightist, etc) there are different “forms” of fascism as well. Historically the major comparison lays between Mussolini, the father of modern fascism, and Hitler, the father of Nazism. Both were incredibly ruthless monsters, but Mussolini’s fascism supposedly rejected Hitler’s racism. But Mussolini remained Hitler’s lap-dog and where he didn’t call for the excessive racism of Hitler’s policy, he did call for “Italianization and fierce nationalism. The Manifesto of Race were a set of laws that stripped Jews of their citizenship as well; in these regards we see the hypocrisy of fascists, but even the brutality used to keep “less powerful” fascists willful servants to the leaders. Regardless of Hitler and Mussolini’s views of race, both engaged in imperialist conquest throughout their leadership, particularly in Africa (Mussolini and Hitler collaborated in Ethiopia starting in 1935). Their conquests were aided by the Western governments in the hopes that the fascists would help destroy the Soviets. Of course, it was not until Nazi Germany began to mobilize toward England and France that the West changed their views, as Nazi Germany threatened their imperialism. Speaking of alliance with fascist and Nazi forces, the West numerously allied themselves with pro-Nazi groups in order to undermine the Soviet Union, the GDR, and so forth. General Patton even had dreams to take the Nazi army and utilize it against the Soviet Union. Not to mention the majority of “anti-Stalin” propaganda is borrowed from Nazi Germany as well. And of course an anti-communist will assert that Stalin formed alliances with Hitler via the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement, but this completely ignores the previously mentioned American support for Nazi Germany as well as Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan which occurred even before the war and even after the war. Plus those who argue that Stalin was somehow “pro-Hitler” are incredibly superficial and make no attempt to examine the context of the agreement. But back to fascism as an ideology. While Mussolini had once been a socialist, he was an inherently perverse socialist and one who was expelled from his Party for confused views and support of World War I, the first war fought by capitalists, and he of course allied himself with Hitler, who despised socialists and other leftists, so the point that “Mussolini was a socialist” is therefore invalid and baseless. But what is fascism’s relation to socialism, especially given that Nazism means national “socialism?” Fascism supports a sense of unity and emphasis on community to extent, but not in the form of democracy and working-class leadership. Instead fascism calls for obedience to the state coupled with strong nationalism to justify state violence. The Neo-Fascists completely scorn upon anything socialistic however, and call for workers to become more wealthy and stronger than other workers on the basis of social Darwinism, not class unity. Furthermore, corporatism is at the base of fascist economics. Bosses in certain industries determine wages, working conditions, and so forth. The bosses control everything without government regulation. Fascism also destroys unionization and workers democracy. Representative bodies of government are reduced if not eradicated and often times leaders are chosen through favoritism or through buying their power. In the education system students are taught to be obedient little workers and strong, unquestioning supporters of the military and the fascist state. All that is deemed as an enemy to the state such as Marxism, anarchism, communism, are to be destroyed. A large level of conditioning, opportunism, and control ensues in order to ensure these “harmful leftist trends” are destroyed. Nationalism and patriotism play the leading role of conditioning, and those who do not support their country, their wars, and so forth are considered as threats; those who dare think are considered as threats! Imperialism in fascism is excessively rampant, and wars create markets in the countries they are fought in that would not otherwise exist. In fact, fascist countries may tend to spend more of their money on war than providing for their citizens. Dually, fascism places “hero-worship” on those who volunteer for specific tasks, but this is merely to say that the people who do are awarded for being obedient dogs. Finally, fascism destroys all forms of creativity that do not make positive reference to the military, the state, or to fascism itself: it is anti-intellectual, as it wishes to substitute individual thought process for state-based thought. If we examine our own society we can easily draw comparisons between fascism and capitalism, if there is really even a different at all in the end. Rampant imperialism, excessive military spending on wars, growing reactionary trends, emphasis on patriotism and nationalism, media control in order to create slaves to the market, inherent systemic racism, violent corporatism, and a myriad of other similarities, even in our “liberal democratic capitalist” society.

Objectivism: Whereas fascism is a radical form of subjectivism, objectivism is the extremely disgusting philosophy of capitalist pseudo-philosopher and cult like figure, Ayn Rand, whom many capitalists themselves even despise as the ultimate in ultra-radical ideology. Objectivism is, like fascism, extremely reactionary, claiming selflessness as virtue, and all forms of loyalty are slavery. Rand was born into a wealthy family and when the Bolsheviks came to power she obviously felt her wealth was being threatened, and therefore began formulating her “philosophy” on how to remain wealthy. The objectivist philosophy refrains from making judgments and does not recognize that subjects are part of objects. Rand’s objectivism is first and foremost grounded in metaphysics, which are opposed to Marxist dialectical materialism, but even so, this is not the full reason for why Marxists view objectivism in such a negative light. Ultimately, Rand’s epistemological “arguments” fail to explain why one should be convinced an objective world exists outside of our consciousness. She fails to adequately explain her theory of radical “ethical” egoism, that humans are compelled by “rational self-interest,” and she contradicts the fact that human beings in recent times have become more sociable than any other period in humanity. Rand takes the fundamentals of capitalist ideology and perverts them to become so crude that she completely undermines what legitimacy capitalism had in the first place. Rands capitalism would mark the end of capitalism; selfishness removes the Utilitarianism of Smith and the Invisible hand concept. Her brand of capitalism is merely ultimate power; and thus she exposes what capitalism is: Lust for power without regards to society, without regulation, and without any compromise. For objectivists, pure laissez-faire capitalism is absolute freedom, and any form of socialism is seen as “mystic altruism” or an act of coercion. Later capitalist philosophers such as Austrian School economist, Murray Rothbard, would exhibit sympathetic views and influence to Rand, but dismissed the notions that altruism is “repugnant,” and dismissed the overall radicalism of her theories, such as her lust for big buisness. Rand and many objectivists claim that most if not all other ideologies are diseases themselves, including libertarianism, liberalism, social-democracy, and so forth. Rand made numerous contradictions in her theories as well, claiming to be completely for the rights of the individual, but her social philosophy did not realize that “free markets” disables freedom.

Now let us examine how capitalism inherently leads to racism, homophobia, sexism, and the like. Racism as an ideology is merely a form of biological determinism and often manifests itself into Social Darwinism depending on the extent of its nature. It lies in the belief that races are only capable of specific things, one race being superior to the other often due to supposed genetic makeup. However, this completely ignores scientific evidence that more than 75% of genes are the same in every human being. Therefore racism, xenophobia and racial-supremacy are merely socially created phenomena by capitalism, a system of inequality bent on dividing the people. Race becomes merely an enabler of exploitation in the capitalist system. Racism justified slavery, the holocaust, and a myriad of other results of human ignorance; the ruling class uses racism to further divide the people and benefit their self-interests! And what of sexism, and homophobia? Capitalism inevitably leads to exploitation of women and LGBT as well. It is therefore the duty of Marxism to serve as a revolutionary emancipating force to oppressed and exploited working class woman and LGBTs, for true equality and for freedom. The ruling class creates a false portrait of the “nuclear family,” obedient and plastic workers, dressed in conformity and adhering to perverse religious dogma and falsifications of reality such as the “American dream.” Deviations of their twisted views are seen as abhorrent abominations, and through conservative elements of society, the people become divided against one another, prolonging class struggle and systemic exploitation of the working class. Dually in regards to conservative elements, capitalism shows its contradictory and repugnant nature by both upholding promiscuity and denouncing it. Whatever the view on promiscuity is, it generally relates to whether or not profit is being made off of it. Marxism recognizes that emancipation of LGBTs and women is connected to the emancipation of the working class and humanity, for a better and more free world. The output of racism, xenophobia, nationalism, sexism, homophobia, and the like are the outputs of imperialism and of capitalism. Despite the efforts to end these harmful ideologies through identity politics, so long as capitalism remains intact these ideologies will remain as well, grounded in the same material conditions.

Finally, let us conclude by discussing the capitalist’s perceptions of freedom. Capitalists often inevitably conclude that freedom comes from being able to buy and sell, or to work and employ as one pleases. But is this truly freedom? And to what extent does this “freedom” actually occur in capitalism? Truly, in capitalism, only the wealthy can have real “freedom.” The working class sells their labor power in order to have freedoms, but these are always restricted: It ultimately boils down to the freedom to sell yourself to whichever employer you choose, thenceforth having no access to the means of production, no democratic management in the workplace, and so on and so forth; work or starve. Capitalism’s notion of freedom is merely wage slavery, and yet the capitalists continually assert theirs is the system of perfect liberty. Workers have no say in their work, their products belonging to their employer; the workers pay their boss in products! Surplus’ are therefore stolen from the working class and put into the hand of parasitic bourgeois in order to fund imperialism, and as Lenin said: “Can a nation be free if it oppresses others? It can not.” Capitalists also naively assert that having the right to private property equates to freedom, but as any Marxists knows, only through the abolition of private property can individuals retain freedom. Private property referring to productive forces of capital such as factories, land, and most importantly the means of production; when these are privatized inequality ensues, and the potentiality for monopolist tyranny does as well. The abolition of private property is the emancipation of humanity from exploitation. The bourgeoisie already retain a large amount of private property at an extremely disproportionate level to the working class, so why should the working class fear the abolition of private property? Through “socialization,” property and the means of production can be put into the hands of the people themselves, and can be organized from each according to their ability to each according to their needs and work. On the other hand, in capitalism, society is organized from each according to his ability to each according to his greed.

Art by Glowstick.

Results of Laissez-Faire and Capitalism.
Capitalist Perspective: Why Laissez-Faire Capitalism Doesn’t Work.
The Essence of Neoliberalism.
Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR.
Perestroika.
Glasnost.
Conservativism.
The Vice of Selfishness.
Criticisms of Objectivism.
Capitalism and Racism.
Capitalism and Homophobia.
Capitalism and Women: An Anarchist Perspective.
Identity Politics.
Women and Marxism.
Capitalism is a Disease: Anarchist Perspective.
Marxism and Freedom.
Explaining Wage Slavery.
Private Property and Communism.
On the Origin of Inequality.

~Written by Glowstick.

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