Contrary to what many seem to think, Obama is not, I repeat NOT at fault for any part of the economic meltdown. Neither can he, or his government, do a damn thing about it. Neither could a Republican government. Or a “Green” one. Or a Nader one. Or even a Ross Perot one. The fact is that capitalism, as it is practiced in the world today, is melting down. It is NOT melting down, as was predicted by Marx, because it is unworkable, it is melting down because it brought forward with it, as the world moved from feudalism to capitalism, some of the ‘parts’ of feudalism. Those ‘parts’, while necessary to feudalism, and “systems” prior to feudalism, have festered in the core of our particular form of capitalism and this infection has grown over the years to the point where it has, today, rotted the heart out of the whole economic system.
These parts of feudalism prevent our form of capitalism from operating as it should. And by that I DO NOT mean “free market” or “laissez faire” capitalism. In order for capitalism to work properly it must, contrary to “Republican” and “Libertarian” thinking, be STRICTLY and TIGHTLY regulated so as to ensure every citizen a truly equal opportunity to advance his own interests and meet his own needs. With 96% of the wealth of North America (Yep, Canada is in this too) being owned/controlled by only 6% of the population, there is NO fair competition, and NO real opportunity for a majority of individuals to prosper. True, there is that small number who manage to do so. Some more by good luck than by good planning and some because they are the brightest of the bright. A proper capitalist system should offer good solid opportunities for ALL citizens without them needing to have IQs in the 130+ range or needing to inherit a huge fortune.
The biggest problem we face is that people have come to believe that our “present system” of capitalism and ultra-right, unregulated, laissez faire capitalism are all that capitalism has to offer. With it becoming more and more obvious that our system is breaking down people are turning towards either laissez faire capitalism or towards socialism in greater and greater numbers. They look at countries like Sweden and Norway and Denmark as examples of successful socialist nations.
They are right. Those countries ARE successful socialist nations. BUT, even though those countries are, INTERNALLY socialist, they operate INTERNATIONALLY as capitalist countries in a capitalist world. In other words, they are socialist ships floating on capitalist seas. Without world capitalism, they’d founder and die in damn short order.
Because we citizens don’t realize that there are OTHER capitalist systems available to us, we appear ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. We are on the verge of destroying our chance to design a capitalist system made-to-order to suit our needs. Until we realize that this is possible, far too many of us will listen to the siren song of world socialism. Too late will we learn of our mistake.
Don’t get all in a knot over the 2012 elections or any other elections. Neither the Dems nor the Repubs (in Canada: Liberal/NDP and Conservatives) have any answers to the problems we need to solve. They are both 100% committed to the present system. The differences between them are minor and more of a cosmetic nature than of a fundamental nature. The big dust-up between them is only for show. It keeps people focused on their “Punch & Judy Show” instead of paying attention to the REAL problems and becoming involved in a search for REAL solutions.
The goal of the main political parties is to preserve the status quo for the benefit of those who “have all the marbles” already and who want to remain in their positions of wealth and privilege. (Can’t blame them for that – if I were at the top of the heap, I’d want to stay there too!)
The goal of the rest of us should be to make real capitalism, which is the Rolls Royce of systems, work for everybody. Not for just a few at the top, but for everybody. It can be done. Capitalism can do it far, far better than socialism could ever dream of doing it. But it has to be a designed form of capitalism; not the mess we have right now.
I have designed a capitalist system that I think might do the trick. In my next blog I’ll begin to introduce it.