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Capitalism has failed the world: Socialism is the viable alternative

Public Policy

The latter question carries much more weight compared to the former question as the system of capital accumulation has been in existence for more than 500 years.

The socialist system, in contrast, was only experimented in the 20th century. Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, socialism was exported in various nations in the world. Even during the existence of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), capitalism continued to be a powerful economic system in the world. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 almost gave a blank cheque for imperialism – the highest stage of capitalism – to thrive.

While some nations, amongst them Cuba, China and North Korea, still pursue Marxist-Leninist policy positions, most nations of the world, South Africa included, are still predominantly capitalistic in policy outlook. So if we all agree that capitalism is the oldest system, and that it remains in existence in the majority of nations of the world, must we then not answer the question; “Where has capitalism worked?”

The failures of capitalism

Any attempt to search for the failures of capitalism, anywhere in the world, is equal to searching for the horse you are riding. In fact, those who claim not to see the failures and challenges of this centuries-old system display the highest form of political and economic absentmindedness. By its very nature, capitalism is a challenged system. It thrives on the exploitation of the sellers of labour power (workers), by those who are not really working, but who actually steal from workers by virtue of them being owners of the means of production.

Because the primary mandate of private firms is profit maximization, bigger and more powerful owners of firms are always looking for ways to grow their capitalist interests and have greater market shares. Smaller, emerging entrepreneurs are either forcefully removed from the market, or are simply swallowed by these economic sharks. Bourgeois economists tell us that this is normal. We are told that this shows that market fundamentals are at play.

Below are some of the grave failures of capitalism:

–       Financial inequality continues to rise unabated and more wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the few.  According to Forbes, the world’s 10 richest billionaires own $505 billion in combined wealth. This sum is greater than the total value of goods and services produced by most nations on an annual basis. Bourgeois economists tell us that these people are entrepreneurs and, by virtue of them being “risk-takers”, they deserve this amount of wealth, at the expense of the world population.

–       The crisis of poverty is deepening. Almost 50% of the world population (3 billion people) live on less than $2.50 dollars a day, while more than 1.3 billion live on extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day). The United States, which is host to 46% of the world’s population of millionaires, has more than 550 000 homeless people. These poor, desperate people, who sleep on the streets of major cities like New York (home to the New York Stock Exchange), California, Los Angeles etc., often build structures that clearly expose the contradiction between greedy wealth accumulation and exploitation of the poor by the capitalist class. The above picture is a reality in most capitalist nations, South Africa included.

–       Nation states are captured by private capital. The challenge of corporate state capture, unlike many believe, is not a South African problem. It is an inherent characteristic of capitalism. In the current context of global imperialism, powerful multinational corporations act like global economic cartels to influence the policy and legislative decisions of nation states. It is because of this arrangement that the wealthy Rothchilds family, amongst others, has stakes in almost all central banks in the world. These are real examples of state capture, brought to us by capitalism, and not incidences of alleged nepotism, fraud or corruption which are sometimes elevated to state capture.

–       Commodification of essential services. Capitalism is very ruthless. A dying patient, whose chronic ailment has been caused by the gas emissions by a firm mining in his locality, is chased away from a private hospital because he does not have money to pay for healthcare. Because of economic crimes of collusions and price-fixings, the state, whose resources are limited, depletes her budget by paying exorbitant amounts on medication from pharmaceutical companies. The state is then unable to employ more nurses and staff. By the time the ailing patient mentioned above gets through a long queue at the public hospital, his body may have given up on the fight against disease. In short, capitalism literally kills people through commodification of health, education, etc. as well as evil collusions and other methods.

What needs to be done?

In the short term, progressive nations must collectively introduce wealth taxes in their countries. In the context of South Africa, there is a need for the nationalization of, amongst others, minerals and banking sectors. The South African Reserve Bank must be owned by the state. There must be a creation of a state pharmaceutical company. Collusions and price-fixing must be criminalized. But all these need a decisive and capable state, with a strong and effective party giving direction and providing oversight. And, lastly, workers of the world must unite to destroy capitalism, and bring about a socialist world order!


27 Comments on "Capitalism has failed the world: Socialism is the viable alternative"

  1. deadlykillerbeaz on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 7:52 am 

    The New Socialist Man speaks from his toothless wonder. Wants to be Jesus.

    What is socialism?

    The state realizes all of the gain at the expense of the many serfs, the useless eaters and useful idiots, in other words, state capitalism. Capitalism by another word, socialism, quacks like a duck. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

    You become jaded by bullshit socialists who don’t know if they are afoot or horseback. They’re capitalists from the word go.

    If not for me, then who?

  2. Darrell Cloud on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 8:44 am 

    On a long enough time line, capitalism and communism wind up in the same place with a very few people running command economies. Capitalism devolves from a sea of entrepreneurs and innovators into a corporate monopoly managed by a handful of robber barons who in time capture the state. Innovation and entrepreneurship perish and a command economy takes over. Production drops and people starve. Under communism, the moral mantra that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few cloaks a million misdeeds as the state makes every effort to become omnipotent and omnipresent. Innovation and entrepreneurship perish and a command economy takes over. Productive enterprises are seized by party apparatchiks who have little understanding of the enterprises they control. Production drops and people starve.

  3. Cloggie on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 9:08 am 

    Capitalism has failed the world: Socialism is the viable alternative

    Communism was a useless leftist economic system that dominated Eurasia throughout most of the 20th century (not in the least because America volunteered to give it a helping hand, had something to do with “kosher deep state”), until it fell apart under its own weight. In Russia and China nobody wants to see that disaster return, even though China is nominally still “communist”, in reality it is authoritarian socialist-national (without the swastika’s).

    Only in countries that never had to endure that rotten system, there are still some voices determined to get communism right this time. Rear-guard fight.

    Capitalism was wildly successful in setting up a production machine that increased its output with every passing year.

    Capitalism is less successful in distributing wealth. Reason: the capitalist production machine requires ever more specialists to keep the machine going; for unskilled labor the demand is getting ever smaller.

    This will lead to significant problems in the future: division of society into a competent technocrat overclass and an ever growing underclass of have-nots, who are not needed in the economic process.

    There is only one way out to avoid social revolution: basic income.

  4. joe on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 9:57 am 

    I stopped after they wrote that the Bolshiviks spread socialism. Seriously I don’t know what the rest of the article says because I know it has to be ignorant of all political thought.
    Bolshiviks spread BOLSHIVISM, which was like atheist ISIS (yes the craziest isis muslims were/are chechens, go figure)
    Socialism already exists, like the UK NHS, many French companies and so on. It’s not any more stable or better than any other form of fiat currency backed crapitalism like
    US free market system. Communism was worse again because it stymies free expression and the right of people to vote with their money.

  5. Sissyfuss on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 10:04 am 

    Overshoot and collapse override all economic systems. Capitalism worked til it didn’t. The hybrid system of China looked amazing until its debt became transparent. Trading beads for real estate might become popular again but beware of the smallpox infested blankets, they’re a bad deal.

  6. Outcast_Searcher on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 11:31 am 

    As if socialism magically doesn’t require resources.

    If you can believe in the Marxian nonsense “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”, you can believe anything.

  7. Outcast_Searcher on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 11:36 am 

    And Cloggie, after the whining dies down, I see nothing nonviable about a basic income, as long as TPTB don’t overdo it.

    If robots/automation take over, then an appropriately sized robot/automation tax ought to do the trick nicely, for raising the needed revenue.

    Producers can still produce and are incented to produce better than competitors. Low skilled people that can’t get jobs lost to automation don’t starve and live in the streets.

    Though this might not meet the hard right’s principle of “If you don’t work, you don’t eat”, that ship sailed in the US decades ago. (To the tune of over a $trillion spent annually on about 100 “anti-poverty programs”.

    With modern technology, a basic income is perfectly compatible with capitalism, as long as it is done sanely. (Whether the US can do that remains to be seen).

  8. Bob on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 12:59 pm 

    There is no system that will work as long as corruption exists. I don’t see how corruption can be eliminated except, maybe, at the family, tribal level. Beyond that governments have to be corruption free and we all know how that is working out. So there really is no solution for Man that is viable at a national level.

  9. Antius on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 1:55 pm 

    I will ask the simple question that almost never gets asked in this type of debate: What is capitalism?

  10. Cloggie on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 2:35 pm 

    Capitalism is the system where capital is contstantly on the lookout for the best returns.

    Entrepreneurs have ideas and try to convince the “capitalists” (banks) to fund the scheme. If the banks are convinced, they will fork the capital over.

    Mortgages are another opportunity for smart money.

    The capitalists invoice interest, the rest works.

  11. Jef on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 2:35 pm 

    Capitalism is a board game with a beginning, a middle, and an end. In the end capital concentrates in fewer and fewer hands.

    Socialism has an element of sustainability in it but no ism can maintain infinite growth with finite resources.

    Money is claim on future resources and all of them are already claimed several times over. As everything is pretty much past peak, everything will become available only to those with money so get rich or get dead.

  12. Cloggie on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 3:28 pm 

    As everything is pretty much past peak

    Wind and solar are definitely not past peak.

    Energy-wise we merely scratched the surface, pun intended:

    But hey, by all means, keep talking yourself into the abyss and declare simple reasoning as “hopium”.

  13. Bloomer on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 3:29 pm 

    It is possible to have the best of both worlds. Capitalism works best when there is checks and balances. When left to its own devices the result is bank failures and other disasters like the Deep Horizon spill.

  14. peakyeast on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 3:40 pm 

    Capitalism together with the promise of state violence and taxation forces the populace to destroy its natural base and expend its resources as fast as possible in order to pay off imaginary debt to largely parasitic entities.

  15. boat on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 8:41 pm 

    Socialism might work if only those without work and no children get fed but are genetically bread out of the system. If you have skills and work, breed away with no government programs. Those that cheat and have children can deport Germany, they love immigrants.

  16. boat on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 8:45 pm 

    Socialism/immigration just encourages breeding. If the goal is to cut population, don’t subsidize breeding.

  17. GregT on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 8:46 pm 

    The U.S. became a socialist country when the government bailed out the TBTF banks with taxpayers’ dollars.

  18. boat on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 10:03 pm 


    And they were paid back at 12 percent interest rates. The mortages fannie and fredie took on have made over 100 billion. The gov would have done much more but the Reps blocked more bailouts that slowed the recovery.

  19. GregT on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 10:07 pm 

    It’s been 7 years now boat, the economy still has not yet recovered, and U.S. Federal debt alone has over doubled. That 4.3 Trillion, paid back at 12% interest rates, would have gone a long ways towards countering that extra 11 Trillion in debt since 2008.

  20. antaris on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 10:24 pm 

    Socialism never works. They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work. God forbid, British Columbia now has a Socialist government in power, I hope they don’t Fuck the Province up to much before getting kicked out again.

  21. antaris on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 10:27 pm 

    You in the States think the Dems are left. They are the middle. NDP are the left. You guys have never experienced such Assholes.

  22. boat on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 10:33 pm 


    That debt came mostly from huge wasteful spending for wars and bloated military budgets. Another big chunk goes to immigration education, healthcare, infrastructure etc. Lastly the baby boom generation is getting a lot more in benefits than they paid in. The US economy is fine and better than ever.
    Cuts to the military and elderly healthcare could easily take care of the deficit. A simple flat tax would end 400 billion per year in unpaid taxes. I could go on and on but the bailouts were net insignificant.

  23. Makati1 on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 10:55 pm 

    boat, the US is socialist, heading for communist. That will happen AFTER the next crash when Capitalism is killed by the massive debt it has amassed these last 10+ years. There is nothing of real value backing up the dollar. Nothing but debt.

    Denying it doesn’t change the fact. It just makes the pain much higher when that 2X4 of reality hits. Be patient. It’s coming.

  24. Makati1 on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 10:55 pm 

    BTW: Run for prez if you have all the answers, bost. LMAO

  25. Anonymouse on Mon, 7th Aug 2017 11:17 pm 

    boaty is retarded guys, seriously. How much more proof does one need….

    I mean besides everytime he opens his virtual piehole, or ramenhole in boatytards case that is..

  26. anon on Tue, 8th Aug 2017 12:03 am 

    Who writes this garbage that it gets posted here?
    socialist world order?
    goddamn, we don’t need ANY ‘world order’, and anyone who calls for such things is himself a daydreaming little dictator wanna-be imagining himself emperor. What we need, and what we’re going to get as we slide down the net energy curve, is a re-localization of everything. What we need, and what we will get (after a probably messy and painful transition) will be no power structure bigger than a village or small town. How people in each place choose to organize themselves is their business.

    So, everyone calling for even more centralized power, everyone calling for even more Empire (no matter what label they slap on it) , do all of us a favor and go away.

  27. Davy on Tue, 8th Aug 2017 4:30 am 

    “The U.S. became a socialist country when the government bailed out the TBTF banks with taxpayers’ dollars.”

    Looks like someone else is close to a post 08 bailout after becoming an economy based upon Chinese money laundering.

    “China’s Minsky Moment Is Imminent”
    “Crescat Capital’s Q2 letter to investors shouold be retitled “everything you wanted to know about the looming bursting of the world’s biggest credit bubble… but were afraid to ask…” Don’t say we didn’t warn you…History has proven that credit bubbles always burst. China by far is the biggest credit bubble in the world today. We layout the proof herein. There are many indicators signaling that the bursting of the China credit bubble is imminent, which we also enumerate. The bursting of the China credit bubble poses tremendous risk of global contagion because it coincides with record valuations for equities, real estate, and risky credit around the world. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has identified an important warning signal to identify credit bubbles that are poised to trigger a banking crisis across different countries: Unsustainable credit growth relative to gross domestic product (GDP) in the household and (non-financial) corporate sector. Three large (G-20) countries are flashing warning signals today for impending banking crises based on such imbalances: China, Canada, and Australia.”

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