Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:18 PM
RKP5637 (33,753 posts)
Cannibalistic Capitalism - where we are now and have been!
Very interesting and frank appraisal of what we call capitalism ...
Cannibalistic Capitalism and Green Resistance
But globalization and growth only constitute capitalism's expansionist phase, powered by abundant fossil fuels. As energy becomes scarce, boom turns to bust. But profit-hungry capitalism doesn't die; it morphs into its zombie-like, undead phase. Growth-less capitalism turns catabolic. The word catabolism is used in biology to refer to the condition whereby a living thing feeds on itself. Thus, catabolic capitalism is a self-cannibalizing system whose insatiable hunger for profit can only be fed by consuming the society that sustains it. As it rampages down the road to ruin, this system gorges itself on one self-inflicted disaster after another. Unless we forestall it, catabolic capitalism will leave its survivors rummaging through the toxic rubble left behind.
Capitalism is adept at exploiting human weaknesses, especially greed and fear. During the period of rapid expansion, greed propels the most lucrative money-making opportunities, while fear comes in second. People are encouraged to take risks, go into debt and spend beyond their means. Speculative bubbles grow rapidly as people try to make it rich on the next big deal. But when boom turns to bust, fear replaces greed as the easiest sentiment on which to play to make a killing. In these troubled times, the most profitable ventures capitalize on scarcity, insecurity and desperation.
So far, governments (taxpayers) have reluctantly contained this crisis by bailing out failing banks. But bailouts rob governments and taxpayers of revenue, drive them deeper into debt and retard growth even further. In essence, we're doubling down on a sure loser just to put off the day of reckoning, while parasitic banks grow larger and continue robbing us with impunity. Soon, what is currently a slow-motion financial emergency may lead to a sudden, cascading paralysis of daily life.
When the banking system finally implodes, credit freezes, financial assets vaporize, currency values fluctuate wildly, trade shuts down and governments impose draconian measures to maintain their authority. Few Americans have any experience with this kind of systemic seizure. They assume there will always be food in the supermarkets, gas in the pumps, money in the ATMs, electricity in the power lines, and medicine in the pharmacies and hospitals.
How people respond to this systemic disintegration will be pivotal. Who will be blamed? What "solutions" will gain support? Who will people listen to, trust, and follow in this time of extreme hardship, insecurity and unrest? Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" clearly exposes how those in power can exploit the trauma caused by major catastrophes to rally support for their own disastrous agenda (like invading Iraq after 9/11 or expelling the black community from New Orleans after Katrina). Each time they succeed, life becomes more miserable for everyone but them.
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