The only possible system

Capitalism, we are told, is the only possible system. Anything else is impractical dreaming. Capitalism delivers prosperity, stability, growth… except when it doesn’t. The credit crunch is nothing new – remember the Asia currency crisis, the Russian debt crisis, Black Monday, Black Friday, Black Wednesday and all the rest? The March edition of New Internationalist had a nice article summarising the various crises that have hit – they count 45 since the early 1970s, or more than one a year.

If we were all living in anarchist communes and I proposed a system that produced prosperity for some, starvation for most, and went completely disastrously wrong about once a year, I bet most people would say “Er, no thanks.” But because it’s the status quo, and well-paid, respectable people in suits tell us it’s the only possible way to run things, we assume it’s the only possible way to run things, and happily pay billions to keep the banks in business while stepping over the people sleeping on the streets.

Sometimes, when I look at the state we’re in, I just want to laugh; other times, I want to cry.

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There are 3 comments

  1. Very refreshing and well articulated. I have a hard time getting people to understand this concept and question the economic status quo. Capitalism is built on inequality. It couldn’t survive without it.
    have you read Margaret Atwood’s book, “Payback”? It’s an interesting meditation on the nature of debt and credit and how it also drives the capitalist machine.
    Haven’t been around here for awhile, but I hope you are well! – G

  2. I cry about this every day. It’s all about perspective, and sadly, that perspective is so screwed up that bad things look good and people who could change things for the better don’t.

  3. I like capitalism that supports entrepreneurship for small businesses – writers have to be mini capitalists. I don’t like to think of state sanctioned artistic endeavours – haven’t we “been there done that?” except in places like North Korea and China. However, when you take away freedom of expression everyone wants to read what you’ve written – you just don’t profit from your readership…Ruth 🙂

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