Wednesday, September 5, 2012

After Capitalism

In the vein of becoming the change we want to see in the world, The Guardian is hosting a forum called "After Capitalism."
In the following animation, George Monbiot takes on something of what we mean by "capitalism" and what a different future might hold.
video

Mr. Monbiot has taken the time to post the text of the video.
To answer the question of what the world will look like after capitalism, we first have to decide what we mean by capitalism. If it means a system that arises from lending money at interest, then there will be no “after capitalism”. Even when usury was banned on pain of execution or excommunication, it continued, so powerful was the profit drive. While executing bankers has much to commend it, it’s likely to be ineffective. Lesser measures would produce even poorer results.
If on the other hand capitalism means something like the current dispensation, which allows a few people to seize much of the wealth generated by everyone, which blocks social mobility, which re-engineers the political system to serve the economic elite, then, yes, there’s a lot we can do about it.
For the past 200 years, men and women have fought stoicly for political democracy. Now we should fight for economic democracy. The natural wealth of the world, its land, its soils, its crops, minerals, water, forests, fish, is limited. The wealth arising from its use and multiplied through all the complex layers of the modern economy, is also limited, bounded ultimately, as the subprime mortgage crisis showed us, by the real value of assets in the physical world. Just as it was wrong for monarchs and aristocrats to concentrate so much political power in their hands, so it is wrong that billionaires and corporations should be permitted to seize so much of the common treasury of humankind: the wealth arising from the use of a finite planet.

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