Neil's Noodlemaps

Capitalism

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1 What it is

Capitalism as a way of organizing economic activity has three critical components: private ownership of capital; production for the market for the purpose of making profits; and employment of workers who do not own the means of production

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

Capitalism is not only about economy. It is about resources, it is about nature, it is about how we organize and live our life. Capitalism is colonization and centralization, is monopoly and monoculture, is domination over life and nature. To implement this domination, capitalism has learned to hide itself under different masks, and today is dressed up with different costume.

About the climate strike and the dark sides of the “green new deal”

Other non-capitalist forms of economy exist in pockets around capitalism. So not everything is capitalist, but it hegemonic.

Existing economic systems combine capitalism with a whole host of other ways of organizing the production and distribution of goods and services: directly by states; within the intimate relations of families to meet the needs of its members; through community-based networks and organizations; by cooperatives owned and governed democratically by their members; though nonprofit market-oriented organizations; through peer-to-peer networks engaged in collaborative production processes; and many other possibilities.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

We call such a complex economic system “capitalist” when capitalist drives are dominant in determining the economic conditions of life and access to livelihood for most people. That dominance is immensely destructive.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

with ever increasing concentrations of wealth in fewer and fewer hands, with capitalism roaming the globe in search of profits, with a deepening contradiction between the colossal growth of production and the failure to distribute its fruits justly.

Howard Zinn on How Karl Marx Predicted Our World Today

2 Where it came from

Feudalism morphed into capitalism. AFAIU it was a long process (decades/centuries). Not a global rupture out of nowhere. Started in England, then was exported with colonialism (and maybe also started of its own accord elsewhere?)

This process may have been punctuated by political upheavals and even revolutions, but rather than constituting a rupture in economic structures, these political events served more to ratify and rationalize changes that had already taken place within the socioeconomic structure

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

2.1 Primitive accumulation

Comes as this point of transition to capitalism from late feudalism, when land is enclosed etc. Land property wealth into hands of capitalist class, that's what made them capitalists

3 Why England?

Theory that the use of money for rent as tribute in England was one of reasons capitalism started there. Plenty of other places had a tribute system, but was it the use of money and rent relations that kicked off capitalism?

4 The problems it causes

Capitalism is an inequality-enhancing machine as well as a growth machine.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

free market […] relentless drive to colonize every aspect of human existence, glossing over its incapacity to effectively manage common resources and its structural tendency to externalize a range of economic, social and environmental costs.

Future Histories

4.1 Externalities

Moore's Law, for example, was fuelled by underpaid workers working with toxic solvents. As the transistors got smaller, the solvents got more toxic. (Note: haven't verified this, just heard it on the radio. Could do with a proper source…. )

5 In crisis

Capitalism keeps on fucking up, with crashes and depressions.

6 Anti-capitalism

7 Post-capitalism

What exactly is post-capitalism? Guess I'll have to read Paul Mason's book on it. But it seems like an odd phrasing. Value-neutral. If it's just meaing 'whatever comes after capitalism', then what says that that is necessarily going to be better? I think we should apply some indication of what we expect to be after capitalism; if not, what's to stop it becoming something else in the vacuum?

8 Neoliberalism

9 Backlinks

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