Capitalism isn’t working and it never has.
Correction, Capitalism isn’t working for 99% of people and it never has or will. A correction was needed because clearly some people are doing fabulously under capitalism. Hundreds of billionaires inhabit the United States including the worlds richest person; Bill Gates.
Most people don’t interact or even see the capitalist class as they live in a different world, one free from anxiety over paying bills, choosing between the mortgage or medicine and the like. The reason these people live in a different reality, is because the rest of us do not. In order for there to be this privileged class, there must be an exploited class, i.e., the vast majority of the world.
America is the richest nation on Earth, yet we send millions of children to bed hungry every night.
America’s "great" cities are lined with corporate offices bearing names such as Raytheon, Boeing, and IBM: companies which make millions selling weaponry ensuring misery around the world. These offices are mere blocks away from the tattered slums filled with victims of this diseased (cy)stem.
It should be clear: Capitalism is a system that has run its course, much like slavery and feudalism. The future however is optimistic and a new system is on its way to being established, that system is Socialism.
Oxfam recently released a study that hypothesized that by the year 2016, the worlds richest 1% will have more wealth than the bottom 99% combined. This again is a symptom of Capitalism: rampant inequality. This is inconsistent with the idea of Democracy, a concept we supposedly invade other nations to provide.
It is impossible to have such inequality and still maintain a form of Democracy. Democracy is the voice of the people, but if you asked the average American, they would not be in favor of such draconian inequality. Danny Katch a comedian and writer for SocialistWorker.org made this stunning analogy, “Since a billion dollars is thirteen thousand times what the average American owns, a billionaire could give you thirteen thousand dollars to do that undesirable thing and it would cost him the equivalent of one dollar. By the same scale, for a hundred dollars, a billionaire can spend $1.3 million in regular people money, which can buy the support of both candidates in most Congressional races, or pay the salaries of a dozen people to promote his agenda in a think tank or bogus grassroots organization.”
If you ask the average American, many would say that Socialism is a good idea but they will also refute it by saying human beings are naturally too greedy, or that it never works in practice. This could not be farther from the truth. Humans are naturally co-operative beings and to suggest that exploiting each other for valueless paper is somehow embedded in our genes is ludicrous. Others may say that Capitalism is more “efficient”, but this too is a farce. Extracting rare materials to make phones and other frivolous items designed to break is not efficient.
Look around, clearly there is work to be done in order to make the world more livable and prosperous, but the work is not being done because there is no profit in doing so. That is not efficient and not wise or moral.
Critics also point to examples like China, or the USSR as proof that socialism is not possible. However upon surface area examination, it is clear that these arguments are logical fallacies. North Korea is called a “peoples republic” America is called the “United” States. Simply saying something does not make it true, and the same applies to the “United Soviet Socialist Republic”. These states are bureaucratic, repressive, top-down places that had potential but were co-opted by many different factors. However, Socialist elements of the USSR and Cuba, have led to the launching of the Sputnik and the eradication of homelessness and hunger. Imagine what the potential of Socialism is in a nation as rich and developed as the USA.
During World War Two, the governments of the world went into full overdrive in order to defeat whoever they perceived as a threat. Millions of people were put to work in factories, community gardens and public works. That is an example of governments directly taking action to achieve a long term goal. Under Socialism, the vast amounts of wealth, resources and labor in the world would be put to use meeting peoples needs instead of delivering a profit to shareholders. If we can mobilize to employ people to kill Germans, we can put people to work building schools, hospitals, roads, green energy, housing as well as recruit teachers, nurses, doctors, firefighters, social workers and community oriented police. Nobody would go hungry or be homeless. It would by no means be a utopia as no matter what decision making problems would persist etc, but the ills of Capitalism would be no more.
Socialism is simply about doing what is best for everybody and the planet, not for those who have already seen enough benefit for millions of lifetimes. Optimism is flooding the earth. From the presidency’s across Latin America of Cristina Kirchner, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa, etc to the peoples uprisings in Greece, Spain, Ferguson, Zucotti Park and the Arab Spring.
Millions are rising up to the global elite class of the IMF, WTO and the hegemony of the United States. Hopefully sooner, rather than later, more workers will realize that they have nothing left to lose but their chains.
Dakotah Lilly is a 17 year old radical gay socialist who lives in PA. Lilly is the leader of Lehigh Valley Youth Democratic Socialists. Dakotah's first mass action was joining Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox and other organizations in March in WDC for Spring Rising; in his spare time he likes smashing patriarchy, imperialism, capitalism and defending the oppressed.
Although, not a self-identified anarchist, Dakotah Lilly is helping to organize a left wing anarchist action known as Mid-Atlantic Anarchist Collective MAAC,