capitalism defn

via wikipedia small:

Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits in a market economy. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets and wage labor.  In a capitalist economy, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which assets, goods, and services are exchanged.

The degree of competition, role of intervention and regulation, and scope of public ownership varies across different models of capitalism. Economists, political economists, and historians have taken different perspectives in their analysis of capitalism and recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire capitalism, welfare capitalism and state capitalism; each highlighting varying degrees of dependency on markets, public ownership, and inclusion of social policies. The extent to which different markets are free, as well as the rules defining private property, is a matter of politics and policy. Many states have what are termed capitalist mixed economies, referring to a mix between planned and market-driven elements. A pejorative characterization,crony capitalism, refers to a state of affairs in which insider corruption, nepotism and cartels dominate the system. This is considered to be the normal state of mature capitalism in Marxian economics.

Different economic perspectives emphasize specific elements of capitalism in their preferred definition. Laissez-faire and liberal economists emphasize the degree to which government does not have control over markets and the importance of property rights. Neoclassical and Keynesian macro-economists emphasize the need for government regulation to prevent monopoliesand to soften the effects of the boom and bust cycle. Marxian economists emphasize the role of capital accumulation,exploitation and wage labour. Most political economists emphasize private property as well, in addition to power relations, wage labour, class, and the uniqueness of capitalism as a historical formation.

Proponents of capitalism argue that it creates more prosperity than any other economic system, and that its benefits are mainly to the ordinary person. Critics of capitalism variously associate it with economic instability and an inability to provide for the well-being of all people. In contrast to both perspectives, socialists maintain that capitalism is superior to all previously existing economic systems (such as feudalism or slavery) but that a new form of economic organization, superior to capitalism, is possible or likely to emerge in the near future.


one of the top googled words in the us.

Richard Wolff and Steve Lambert join efforts to bring the conversation/word to the forefront..

Steve is putting up signs in cities.. that simply say – capitalism works for me – then people push a true/false button.

Steve’s site:

his site (showing the capitalism project):

steve lambert site

Does Capitalism Work? w/ Steve Lambert

when you are confused you look for something that makes sense.. and questioning makes sense..

the question isn’t if capitalism works in my life, or does it allow me to make money, but whether capitalism works

i’m much more interested when i think its something i can do, and when the economic situation is given as a given..

1 of 5


pope francis on capitalism

In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.

To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.

The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.


via Charles:

The terms capitalist, socialist, post-capitalist, and so forth, because they draw on ownership as an elemental concept, are therefore a little bit obsolete.  


via David, in debt:

What was once an impersonal mechanism that compelled people to look at everything around them as a potential source of profit has come to be considered the only objective measure of the health of the human community itself.

It is the secret scandal of capitalism that at no point has it been organized primarily around free labor.

This is a scandal not just because the system occasionally goes haywire, as it did in the Putumayo, but because it plays havoc with our most cherished assumptions about what capitalism really is—particularly that, in its basic nature, capitalism has something to do with freedom.

..because both the relation between master and slave, and between employer and employee, are in principle impersonal: whether you’ve been sold or you’re simply rented yourself out, the moment money changes hands, who you are is supposed to be unimportant; all that’s important is that you are capable of understanding orders and doing what you’re told.

more from David here:

All Economies are Ultimately Human Economies (may – 2015)

28 min ish…


capitalism is just a bad way to organize communism


fan\d0m ing to betterness..?


Paul Masonbook to read – postcapitalism


Caputalism: Will Capitalism Die? – jan 2016 by Robert Misik
Reduced growth is, for various reasons, a systemic problem. To understand this we must examine a decisive factor in capitalism. What made it so successful and prosperous was investment credit. In other words, it needs debt. Firms take out credit, run up debt in order to invest but these investments only pay back if there’s adequate growth; if not, there’s a wave of bankruptcy.
..image I have of the end of capitalism — an end that I believe is already under way — is one of a social system in *chronic disrepair” is how the German social scientist Wolfgang Streeck put it two years ago. A permanent quasi-stagnation with at best mini-growth rates, explosive inequality, privatization of all and sundry, endemic corruption and plunder, where normal profit expectations get ever lower, a consequent moral collapse (capitalism is more and more linked to fraud, theft and dirty tricks), the West getting weaker and weaker, staggering along as it foments disintegration and crisis in trouble spots on its periphery.
*chronic – the need for siddhartha’s RNA.. biden’s
and the need to quit framing thinking.. quiet having and agenda.. no matter how hidden/kind/good intentioned..the tricks ie.. Dan Myers last post
..economist Robert J Gordon has also investigated in a much-discussed paper whether – at least in the USA – “economic growth is over.” Growth rates took on dynamic pace in 1750, reached breakneck speed in the mid-20th century and have since gone down in successive periods. The great innovations that bring both productivity progress and growth – they may be history: “The growth of productivity … slowed markedly after 1970.” The third industrial revolution, with computerization and concomitant labour saving, also demonstrated its essential effects between 1960 and the late 1990s but has practically come to a standstill since the noughties. Despite superficial impressions, the past 15 years may have produced practically no more genuinely productive innovations. “Invention since 2000 has centered on entertainment and communication devices that are smaller, smarter, and more capable, but do not fundamentally change labour productivity or the standard of living in the way that electric light, motor cars, or indoor plumbing changed it
never nothing going on ness.. ie: centered on communication devices getting smaller/smarter… but not fundamentally change labour.. or standard of living?
rev of everyday life.. via app chip.. ginormously small…

a nother way.. for (blank)’s sake

In his latest book The End of Normal, economist James K. Galbraith plays a similar tune and even goes one step further. The era of prosperity between 1850 and 1970 has anchored in the economist fraternity the unspoken certainty that constant growth is “normality” but stagnation and crisis “the exception.” Galbraith now suspects: “Whatever worked in times gone may well no longer work today.”

indeed. if we’re dealing with alive ness.. no?


Even if Robert Gordon’s thesis about a declining dynamics in innovation is not entirely right it might well be the case that today’s innovations no longer serve the prosperous nature of capitalism as a whole but have rather *ambivalent effects. Above all, one of their effects is that jobs are destroyed without new ones replacing them. The new digital technologies mainly serve the purpose of reducing costs and winning new markets at the cost of older firms. Here the current period is distinct from earlier phases of innovation: whereas, in earlier times, ‘creative destruction’ in the process of innovation got rid of old and often poor jobs (as in agriculture) **but huge amounts of new and often better ones arose (as in the car industry), so now innovations bring higher joblessness for one part and, worse, more ***precarious jobs for the other part of the labour force. The cumulative income of the man on the street thereby comes under increasing pressure and heads irredeemably downwards.
*ambivalent effects – whoa. – above all – jobs destroyed w/o replacing them.. ?
**car industry.. better ones..?
***precarious ones.. ?
You’ve only go to look around the world with open eyes and, straight away, you can see *at every turn that there are all kinds of initiatives, NGOs, companies and coops that are altogether building a kind of network, the nucleus of a new type of socialism. A socialism or a form of sharing economy, of communal economy, founded on the initiative of small groups and wholly decentralized – a socialism that has nothing in common with the bureaucratic beast of earlier state-run economies nor with those we know from communism and not with state capitalist societies as they existed close to home 30 years ago. And, of course, these are so far just small islands, around a new hundred initiatives, but their weight and value cannot be estimated highly enough – we could barely survive this crisis without them. “I believe,” writes the British economic author **Paul Mason in his book Postcapitalism about projects like these, that they offer “an escape route – but only if these micro-level projects are nurtured, promoted and protected by a fundamental change in what governments do.

*at every turn – siemens glue law.. but no glue.. nothing yet .. deep enough..

there are pools

**Paul – offer an escape route.. true.. two loop ness as hospice – a way out – et al .. but.. perhaps.. for (blank)’s sake….. we need to leap to a nother way.. rather than escape. be\cause we can. and be\cause it won’t work unless it’s all of us..

Perhaps, all we need to do is learn to look at things properly. Do you know these famous picture puzzles which, when you look at them one way, seem totally chaotic and blurred and only when you look at them the right way does an image appear?

fractal ness…get pivot (z dance)..

It could be that’s the same with our economy: We think we’re living in an economy which turns solely around trade, profit, money, material wealth and the resultant social status. And all other economic actors, be they self-help groups, file-sharing circles, coops, creative ideas for firms, altruistic aid projects, therefore seem to us to be somehow extra-economic, like the activity of a few mad people who have comical idées fixes, like work therapy for good men and women. But perhaps that’s utterly the wrong way to see the world. Perhaps we’re already right in the middle of the post-capitalist transformation – and simply don’t notice it.

notice the unlikely.. quiet enough..


money ness


jan 2016 – on capitalism – via Kevin Carson

Corporate Capitalism As a State-Guaranteed System of Privilege | P2P Foundation…

no system of exploitation,including capitalism, has ever been created by the action of a free market. Capitalism was founded on an act of robbery as massive as feudalism. It has been sustained to the present by continual state intervention to protect its system of privilege, without which its survival is unimaginable.


may 2016 – Kevin Carson – who’s confused about capitalism

The spin-meisters are quick to frame this as Millennial confusion about what capitalism and socialism are. But it arguably reflects, rather, the obsolescence of the old definitions of “capitalism” and “socialism” themselves. For that matter, the conventional definitions used in the 20th century never made much sense.


The other problem is that there’s never been a form of capitalism in practice that wasn’t at least as coercive and statist as what we have right now.


“capitalism” and “socialism” are terms with long, nuanced histories, and the conventional dictionary definitions are — at best — extremely time- and perspective-bound. And treating the dictionary definition of “socialism” as though it trumped the actual history of the socialist movement is — if you’ll excuse me — the very definition of “dumb.”


Today the most interesting subcurrents in the socialist movement are those like the autonomism of Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, which sees the path to post-capitalism as “Exodus” — the creation of a new society around counter-institutions like commons-based peer production.

Erik Olin Wright, for example (“How to Think About (And Win) Socialism,” Jacobin, April 2016), sees “socialism” as a system in which democratically organized social forces — as opposed to either states or corporations — are the dominant means of organizing activity. Societies throughout history have been a mixture of such institutional forms — but under capitalism the for-profit business firm became the hegemonic institution, or kernel of the entire society, with other institutions defined by their relations to capital. As capitalism evolves into socialism, new democratic social institutions will become the hegemonic form, and the state and business will be reduced to niches in a system characterized by the dominance of the new democratic institutions.


And something like this, by the way — a vision of transformation based on prefigurative politics and counter-institution building — has been at the heart of many versions of socialism and anarchism since their first appearance as organized movements two hundred years ago.

So maybe when Millennials say they hate capitalism and like socialism, but oppose state control of the economy, it’s not they who are confused. Maybe they have a better idea of what “capitalism” and “socialism” mean than people like Frauenfelder and Ekins.


more from many (that i can’t even capture/remember here.. why i/we need chip ness)

Ayesha, Fabiana, ..



Original Tweet:

Pope Francis: Capitalism is ‘terrorism against all of humanity’


Ian Welsh (@iwelsh) tweeted at 6:05 AM – 30 Sep 2017 :

How Capitalism keeps going, and what will augur its end. (

A capitalistic relationship is one that is determined by money.

In a capitalist society people do what gets them the most money.

What is important about this is that in capitalist society, money = power, much more so than in other societies.

Money in a capitalist society buys people and their time. It buys virtually everyone: it allows you to decide what those people do. (Read: The Tyranny of Money.)

What is important about this is that it means that people who do what the system requires are the ones who get power.

If you don’t respond to monetary incentives in a capitalist society, you usually don’t get power. Not only that, you are generally deprived of power.

So a capitalist society ensures its continuation by making sure those with power are those who do what a capitalist society requires: pursue money.

Capitalism perpetuates itself as long as power goes to those who pursue money first..t

making up money.. killing us


gabor on capitalism

richard on capitalism


Fabiana Cecin (@fabianacecin) tweeted at 5:55 AM on Mon, Apr 09, 2018:
The main difference between Capitalism and Aristocracy is that in Aristocracy, rulers reproduce biologically, i.e. in an hereditary system. In Capitalism, rulers reproduce by a transfer of money, which 9 times out of 10 is also hereditary, but it is more flexible.


Umair on why capitalism is most unnatural

 (@umairh) tweeted at 7:14 AM – 24 Nov 2018 :
“(Why) Capitalism is the Most Unnatural Thing in the World” by @umairh (

Nature operates by a very different principle than capitalist greed, brutality, and dominion. It takes only as much as it needs..t

have/need ness – only works in an undisturbed ecosystem.. let’s get back/to that

Nothing in nature takes more than what it needs to survive. Not a single thing.. No living beings hoard, profiteer, plunder, or pillage, to the point that some grow billions of times more than others do — except us — and the only reason we do it is because our ideologies justify it. That is because nothing else in nature derives pleasure or gratification or meaning from violence — because, of course, these are acts of symbolic intelligence, or maybe, and more accurately, human vanity and folly. 

Only we are different. We are the ones who take more than we need ..because we must feel deeply inadequate, insecure, and hope that more, more, more will give us security and safety in what we perceive as a hostile universe..

The universe is not hostile..t.. we, perceiving a hostile world — what do we do? We feel a sense of menace, threat, inadequacy. So we take more and more and more than we need..

We build systems of violence and domination, hoping to control the hostile universe we perceive ourselves to be in..t


“—what is our time worth? To be free is to be able to give your own answer to this question.” Another essential read from @JedediahSPurdy via @newrepublic  | The Spiritual Case For Socialism
Original Tweet:

capitalism denies us the power to make important choices, since we are each to varying degrees compelled to spend our time on things that we do not choose and that don’t carry meaning for us.

book on hold


Shoshana Zuboff‘s age of surveillance capitalism

7\ a movement that aims to impose a new collective order based on total certainty;


Astra Taylor‘s democracy not but miss:


sheldon wolin in politics and vision: ‘the compulsion arising from a system of property’

commerce alone is not capitalism; rather, capitalism, or a ‘system of property’ emerges when the possibility of trade becomes the necessity

capitalism ness and hardt/negri property law


What can we do about the climate emergency?
1. Eat less capitalism
2. Don’t have any capitalisms
3. Give up capitalism
4. Consume less capitalism
5. Ride a bike, don’t capitalism
6. Avoid capitalisms
7. Switch off your capitalism
8. Don’t buy capitalism
9. Never use capitalism
Original Tweet:


Jacob Wren (@EverySongIveEve) tweeted at 12:18 PM – 3 Dec 2019 :
Capitalism is a way of people living together while not actually living together. And therefore we will need to learn to live together again. (

Jeremy Stewart (@jeremydstewart) tweeted at 12:44 PM – 3 Dec 2019 :
@EverySongIveEve as much as I admire the sentiment, remind me of that time when we knew how to live together (

a nother way – not yet tried

via 2 convers as infra


Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 9:30 AM on Tue, Jan 21, 2020:
“Capitalism will always be racist and sexist, because it has to mystify its core contradiction – the promise of prosperity vs the reality of widespread poverty – by denigrating the ‘nature’ of those it exploits: colonial subjects, women and the dispossessed.”
-Silvia Federici


via jason hickel rt

Can’t remember the last time I really liked the best picture winner

Original Tweet:

‘essentially we all live in the same country .. called capitalism’

Bong Joon-ho..director of parasite


from Erich Fromm‘s the sane society:


econ system which has become dominant in west since 17-18th centuries is capitalism.. in spite of great changes.. there are certain features which have endured throughout its history.. common features: 1\ existence of politically and legally free men; 2\ fact that free men (workers and employees ) sell their labor to the owner of capital on the labor market, by contract; 3\ existence of the commodity market as a mech by which prices are determined and exchange is regulated; 4\ principle that each individual acts w the aim of seeking a profit for himself..  yet that, by the competitive action of many, the greatest advantage is supped to accrue for all

biggest unsettling from these words.. 1\ existence of free men

no one’s ever been free.. that makes all data/talk/history/definitions/et-al.. non legit.. like data from whales in sea world


intro’d to the body in pain here via Jean Russell:

There is a passage in Elaine Scarry’s book, The Body in Pain, that haunts me: a narrative version of capital and workers.
Original Tweet:

@NurtureGirl: In this narrative, one person touches an object and becomes profoundly embodied, including wounds. This is the worker. The other touches and becomes immaterial. The capitalist.

@NurtureGirl: This embodiment being magnified versus the evaporation of the body into abstractions is such a crucial insight. And thus the abstraction tract escapes pain, and the privilege that brings is also made invisible to most.

@NurtureGirl: Once you see capitalism as the unequal distribution of pain… well, if you are an empath instead of a sociopath, it haunts… But it also makes it clear why the capitalists that rise to the top of the heap have to be narcissistic sociopaths.


gabor on pain

when body says no

et al


Try this: England got the capital and many of the raw materials for the industrial revolution by pillaging India for $45 trillion (roughly) and what we call “capitalism” was always colonialism – and never stopped being colonialism.
It’s a *product* of colonialism not the reverse
Original Tweet: