October 2, 2011

A note about capitalism

In the minds of many people, capitalism is a system essential to individual freedom and happiness. But it is not. It is so much less.

Capitalism is nothing more than a system of banking to accumulate ever more money so that it can be loaned, with interest. The charging of interest is key, since a secured loan is already virtually risk free — when you get a mortgage, the bank owns your house until the loan is paid off, and yet you pay back almost twice as much (or more, depending on the interest rate) as the loan is worth.

That is capitalism. It does not mean trade, the use of money, or any other exchange of goods or services. It means usury.

To justify usury by claiming risk is only to underscore its inappropriateness, since risk is the realm of insurance, i.e., the socializing of expenses due to chance or probability. (The revocation under Clinton of the Glass-Steagall act keeping insurance and banking separate was so destructive because banks were then able to socialize their own risks: a "win-win" for them and a "lose-lose" for society.)

Capitalist banks are the modern means of maintaining feudal power relationships in society long after such power hierarchies have been supposed to have broken down. The banks consolidate the wealth of the people, and to the banks we must apply to use it.

Capitalism is the enemy of freedom and happiness for the vast majority of people. It shares its pleasures with just enough of a "successful" cohort of the population (particularly those selected as the people's representatives in government and those in the media) to protect its dominance.

A society centered on capitalism is a dictatorship. All of its institutions — legislatures, courts, schools, military, media, etc. — methodically enforce and defend its logic.