Global Capitalism

What will the world look like in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Economics is being rewritten by the day it seems, and new precedents and long-term strategies are being put into place which override the old systems. Individual success has been replaced by success via being a ‘team player’ and not causing any waves. This requires transforming ones mental as well as physical self into a perfect image of the desired employee. Clean cut, neat, obedient, witty and charming, able to entertain, can adjust an opinion or sentiment on the dime without needing ths boss to be overly direct about what he wants you to change it to. But not without the convincing appearance of moral convictions. In short, subtlety. Immersing within communities, within and without the office networks, as these are all becoming intertwined. And allowing the work persona and mold to seep into home and leisure life as well. We are being rewritten by new demands and necessities. Culture marches on.

Capital flows more freely now than ever. Entire nations’ worth of GDP is swapped in seconds on high-tech market systems, or fabricated out of thin air. The fate of countless millions shifting from one stock portfolio or risk analysis to another. Everything becomes compressed, digitized. Becomes information. The system becomes mesmorized by its own glowing spinning majesty, never stopping. A new reality. Autohypnosis to make Freud blush.

Walls between government and business dissolve. What was once done behind closed doors is now flaunted openly, to a starving and snarling public eager for blood. Media smiles and feeds them raw flesh in thousand dollar suits. Everyone playing the part, benevolent and serene, passive. So much power intertwining and merging, flowing into new streams and channels. Magnifying. Growing. Separation has been a check against exponential growth far too long. Merger completes the augmentation of unending personal influence and power. Money is changing, no longer real but a symbol of acceptance. Tags on our clothes, our food, our animals. Bar codes. One standardized system with power flowing in the same direction. Whoever sits at that far end is God, and we all know it.

War waged not for political, religious or survival reasons, but for a stock point. For influence, clout, buyout power. For profits. Turn humanity into one big pool, indistinguishable and miserable all, and its easy. Align with the system, attune your senses to its needs and subtleties. Let it guide you, immerse yourself within its designs. Do not resist. The rest comes easily, then. Eventually you forget that you ever had a soul at all.

The dollar falls, while it still lives, perverted by global international hegemony and a self-righteousness of militant pragmatism. The end of the Ideal. Free exchange, mutual gain are abandoned as fictions. Someone always loses, and if no one can be found, then a spotted owl, or a fish. Or the earth itself. Or the children, the next generation. Without a scapegoat and a victim the entire circus grinds to a halt. Global capitalism needs sacrifices. And we all clamour and climb over each over to be that sacrifice. Insurance becomes a lottery system, and we dream of getting injured at work, or read-ended by a rich CEO in his limosine. The body is nothing more than a means to an end. What’s worse than no soul at all is the soul that we have created in its place.

Collective hallucinations and hysteria. Buy buy buy buy buy. Honest desire for a better life and to provide for onesself and ones family turns dark, corrupts into something perverse and animalistic. Once we were fueled by greed; now in its absence, we act as if on greed even more, to hide its absence. To hide the Void inside, which grows as it feeds on our sentiments, our memories, our hopes, our meanings. The less that is inside, the more we fight and scream that we are not empty. The more we stuff inside, hoping to fill the emptiness. And the more the emptiness consumes us. Eats us alive.

New money, electronic. The divorcing of mind from reality, work from reward, merit from effort. Numbers on a computer screen mean nothing. Just wait until they stop printing money altogether. Wait until the personal banking assitants show up, download right to your cell phone. Scan, purchase. Every transaction and exchange of value through the computer servers, through the eyes of Big Brother. No longer possible to pay someone without the system. Money all in the computers, carefully coded and protected. No escape. And then watch them smile, so compassionately, so full of pity, as they turn the power off.

Global capitalism, a gross contradiction in terms, bringing prosperity and easy wealth to the far corners of the world. A TV and a car for all. Food on the table, McDonalds down the street. All that was healthy died long ago. And you knew it, too. You knew it just like I did, and did nothing. But really, what was there to do? How does one make the world? How does one fight the whole world?

Exactly. Game over.

Your post seems to be an argument more a return to the stone age than against capitalism. But then such advocacy would be pretty much the same as advocating socialism, or it would have the same result anyway.


Your post seems to understand absolutely nothing at all.

Don’t just call me pessimist
Try and read between the lines.

Your argument seems to to be that people are empty, have a need to fill a void etc… That is more a argument against advertising/propaganda and the way they link products to self-esteem etc… I agree with that. People have to give meaning to their own life. Trouble arises though when people don’t buy crap they don’t need, exactly what people were saying in the 30s. What jobs will people do? Capitalism has created such an efficient system that people are not needed that much to make stuff to service only needs, so are artificial wants required?

Global capitalism does revolve around ‘false’ need, or wants. Though in truth the distinguishment between true and false needs is mostly arbitrary, as upon closer biological and psychological scrutiny they tend to merge into one.

Efficiency is still touted as an achievment and grounds for capitalism, but it has ceased to truly be a necessary commodity. The unhindered flow of resources, the maximization and concentration of power along prescribed pathways which enhances institutional structures and further entrenches them, has becomes more important. Global capitalism is much more a system of sustaining and growing the status quo, all the while changing every moment so as to disguise its consistent lines of growth and growing hegemony. Global capitalism is the logical result and secondary byproduct of 18th century classical capitalism, as the old system grows to the point of pushing past its own boundaries, to the point of nullifying and inverting those boundaries. Global capitalism succeeds where other economic systems failed in that it can satisfy wants while making most work useless; it can increase efficiency while thriving off of and depending on inefficiencies; it can increasingly entrench political power systems while giving the appearance of indeterminacy, unpredictability and radical change.

And not only this, but it flaunts its own grotesque appearance, its own thirst for growth and power. It presents itself as an open target, appologizing for nothing while accepting constant attacks from all sides. It gives people the public enemy they need in order to feel empowered, entitled, morally outraged. Global capitalism justifies and defines us with regard to our opposition to it. And all the while, it succeeds in preventing these attacks from ever altering its funamental essentials or premises. Conflict rises to the superficial, and the system survives by the virtue of its own sancimonious self-mockery.

Advertizing is the least of our worries, really. Advertizing itself is becoming unnecessary, is becoming its own product. We want the chance to associate our self esteem with products, with the prestige and glamor of other people and things. This is just another example of global capitalism satisfying human desires.

The real problem is in the nature of humanity itself. Within each of us. We have previously been safe from ourselves, in an economic sense, in that it has been impossible to truly free our inner motives and drives, to release destructive energies in any broad economic sense other than a short-term burst-and-bust. But now we have an economic system that is so good at giving us exactly what we want, that we find it is not good for us to get what we want; we find that our wants are self destructive, harmful, degrading, unpredictable and unnecessary. Irrational and emotional and artificial. We find that now, at the age of plenty, the satisfaction of human wants and needs is exactly what brings us full circle and face to face with our own ultimate peril.

. . . and as for people being empty, what do you think? We arent empty per se, but we are not really full either. Somewhere in the middle. But we are all able to be filled, to some extent; some more than others. In this respect we act the part of the medium through which global capitalism moves and grows, via such factors as propaganda, memes, peer pressure and conformity pressure, rewards and punishments, education (indoctrination), emotional manipulation and blackmail, etc. I do not mean to imply that people are a “void”, just that we do possess some aspects of a void, typically that ability to be filled from outside influences. And the imperfect nature of our internal worlds does lend a large part of our psychology to behavior and intention modification centered around “filling needs”, if we can call it that. Really, we, or what it is to be a human being, are the fuel that drives on global capitalism, as well as other competing or coextending social forces.

Political or economic systems, ideologies or groups take all the blame, and likewise all the credit as well. But truly it is in each of us, individually, where global capitalism survives and finds its nourishment; and within each of us that those things which we despise, fear or fight against are actually located. Self-awareness and a communal increase in consciousness is probably the only way to stop this global machine from continuing to devour humanity, and to stop it from further altering the human race, turning us into minions and slaves to emerging living systems that we cannot even see, let alone control.

I’m not sure if I got your points but, you’re attacking capitalism and then giving real world examples. We don’t live in a Capitalist society and so the divisions between government and companies is blurred and so a concentration of power appears. Capitalism says nothing about morals, those are defined by the people. for example Adam Smith capitalism talks about rich people giving more than their fair share etc…

My own view is Capitalism in the current form needs advertising, why else would people upgrade their phone every year if not to satisfy their self-esteem? I agree though that humans need to take responsibly for their own life. This is easy to say but hard to do, billions are spent getting you to think in a certain way that I understand why people are what they are.

People are only empty because they think that promotion/gadget will make them happy but it rarely does so they find something else to make them happy in a never ending story. You can’t blame them for thinking that, like I said people are manipulated to a point where it’s difficult to break out. The decline in religion needs to be filled with something, aliens, conspiracies etc… For some reason people want to think there is something greater than them.

The first world does live in a capitalist society. If we understand capitalism as the private control of wealth, private ownership of “the means of production” (corporations and business in general), and the ability to buy and sell freely from one individual to another, then yes the first world nations are capitalist. There is really no other good way to define capitalism. And its not an all or nothing; I am sure that we could be MORE capitalist, in that we could have more private freedom to earn and dispose of our wealth than we do currently, but this just means that we are somewhat capitalist, and are not at some sort of theoretical maximum. And since capitalism needs the existence of government to secure the conditions in society which allow the free control and exchange of private wealth, the fact that divisions are becoming blurred, as you put it, doesnt say one way or another as to how capitalist we are or are not. That would seem to be an entirely separate issue.

Morals are defined by people, that is true. But our morals, culturally and individually, are also expressions of the economic conditions that we live in. Morals are not created in a vacuum, but also they do remain very distinct from economic and political life. I am just saying that they are influenced by the overall conditions that a person lives in. Everything is interconnected, and affects everything else.

I am also not “attacking” capitalism here. I am just pointing out the way it is. Economic systems are what they are, and they are not definite or unchanging or rigid, or able to be easily defined. The first world economies operate with a mix of elements from various economic schools of thought, and with elements that are totally brand new to our modern technological era. That is why we live in the age of global capitalism, and not classical capitalism. I would contend that the difference between these two is huge, and that we should think of them as two separate economic systems with some overlapping elements; or better yet, as one system which is the outgrowth of the other, retaining some elements, changing or inverting others, and negating still others as it begins to define itself apart from traditional norms and expectations.

Yes, but advertising only works because we all have the inherent human desire to tie our self esteem with larger entities, as well as the inherent ability to be self-deceptive. The human condition comes first, and is what allows advertising to work at all.

It isnt about “people ought to do this or that”, it is about how things are. It is not impossible to assert your own individuality or independence from ads or cultural conditioning, but I agree that most people do not do it very much. Spending billions of dollars to sway public opinion works. Because we are human, and thus are impressionable, apathetic, needy, and self-deceptive. But we also possess the opposite qualities of these, and so are able to ‘break out’ individually.

Global capitalism isnt “to blame” for anything. Individuals are not to blame either. The entire concept of blame is meaningless in this context, and tends to cloud the issue and skew our perspectives. Right and wrong do not apply to global capitalism; there are simply natural forces interacting with other natural forces, and right in the middle is a spread of human consciousnesses, individually and collectively. Rather than try to point fingers or divide up an “us versus them” mentality, I think it is more effective to seek an understanding of what is happening, why/how it is happening, and what the likely effects will be in the future. As you said yourself, capitalism is not about morals.

We need to think that there is something greater than us because our human meaning is not grounded in anything but our own experience. Without this sort of belief, our mental frameworks tend to become unstable, and our emotions erratic. Typically we either cling to an external meaning such as religion, or we cling to an external meaning which is an empty set, the negation of other meanings such as religion. Atheism would be an example of this. Merely setting the value of the placeholder at zero does not do away with the existence of the placeholder itself. The equation must always have an ‘x’ on the other side, even if we tell ourselves that x=0. It is the existence of the x that counts.

And I am not blaming people for being “empty”. We are not really empty at all, we are just not full. We are like a glass that is half full of water, but much of that water is mixed in with various conditionings and beliefs that we have absorbed from society and from other people. The glass can become more full over time, either with our own individual experiences and insights, or with the experiences and insights of others. We are definitely manipulated by many things in life, but this is inevitable. It is not manipulation so much as just natural influence. Causal interaction in a near-infinitely complex and deep world. Such ‘manipulations’ have always happened, and will continue to always happen. Perhaps you could go become a hermit in the forest or on a mountain somewhere and live with no contact to culture or other people, but that is about the only way to isolate yourself from such influences. And even if you did this, you would still be heavily influenced by natural elements, as well as by the memories of culture and of other people that you retain from your past experiences.

Perhaps if you’d condense and restate your point within the lines.

Mass consumerism for goods/services that benefit society… sure, but that gets lost in the innane that we are exposed to on a daily basis.

What exactly is unclear to you about what I have said so far here?

We should think of the overall economic system as perfecting itself, in that it is becoming indestructible. The more able an economy is to weather changes, hardships, disasters, wars, human error, etc, the longer it will survive. Eventually the conflux of such factors serves to bring an end to economic systems, but those which are more stable survive longer. With the interconnected nature of our economies across the world, and with the aid of speed in communication due to telecommunications technologies, information is able to be transfered almost infinitely faster than in the past. The economy therefore receives an enormous boost to its ability to adapt to challenges. Imbalance or chaos in one area of the economy will find immediate outlet in other areas, and will eventually stabilize.

The facts of 1) near infinitely faster exchange of information via telecommunications, and 2) the interconnection of all world economies into one single global economic system, have created conditions which are allowing the overall economic system to adapt at a record pace. It is changing itself as influences large and small affect the overall economy, and conditions adjust automatically to keep the entire system going. The problem is that it seems unlikely that the current global economic model is infinitely sustainable; assuming it is not indestructible just yet (it is still quite young, after all, having just been born within the last 50 years or so), it stands to reason that at some point conditions may converge which cause severe imbalances, and the collapse of the economy as a whole. However, an economy never completely disappears, it only changes. When one economy leaves it actually transforms into another model.

So we will likely see global capitalism continue to change and transform as it automatically adjusts to instabilities large and small, as well as to natural and man-made challenges. Over time the system will seek to become indestructible in that it finds a form which is impervious to failure, regardless of the stresses that are placed on it. This might happen only with the total collapse of the current model, or the current model could change into an indestructible form without collapse. But we should nonetheless see global capitalism as an economy-in-progress, for better or worse, evolving over time and by trial and error towards a state of “perfection”, perfection here defined as indestructible. Once the economy finds a form that will exist indefinitely and is able to handle any and all possible changes or threats, large or small, it will become a truly Global Economy.

Global capitalism is probably just one more stage in this process of growth. Likely global capitalism will give birth to a newer economic model which is better at handling instability and crisis, just as classical capitalism gave birth to global capitalism precisely because global capitalism is better at surviving hardships and preserving its form into the future.