1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The end of American capitalism October 15, 2008

image by axinia

Those of you who know me can easily imagine how glad I am about the recent crash of the capitalistic system.
In my earlier post on capitalism I wrote that I was trying to introspect and understand what is actually irritating me so much? Why does capitalism seem to be so unnatural, unhealthy and even anti-human? There are many critical points that are rather well known. But in my meditation on this topic I got a very interesting answer, which explains everything to me: Capitalism is driven by the weaknesses of people, not their strength. Lust, greed and envy are the driving forces of the modern consumer-society. And that will never help people to evolve!
The process of the global transformation of the humanity is taking place NOW and logically the system that works against the human evolution is ought to collapse, sooner or later. As we observe today – sooner.
The results may be rather hard for all of us, and no one can forsee the true impact of the value shift. Only one possible version:
We are in the world’s worst crisis, in the history of European civilization, since the Middle Ages. 
There is no crisis in modern European history, or related history, which compares with the crisis 
which is striking now. The nearest comparison is the general collapse in Europe in the 14th Century,
which is called the New Dark Age. 3 October 2008, Lyndon LaRouche

Today I found an interesting anecdote by one Russian men telling how he was trying to explain to his 8 year old daughter the modern macro-economy. “I give an example of a free cheese in the mousetrap. The girl thinks a bit and replies, reasoning:  But, Daddy, this rule will not work for the next mouse!”
Funnily enough, it works. And has been working since ages.
 
It is the time to break out NOW and follow the simple child`s logic?
 
LOVE, axinia
 
The anecdote in Russian:
“Объясняю дочке некоторые тонкие ньюансы макроэкономики и иллюстрирую их
широко известным тезисом о бесплатном сыре в мышеловке.
Осмыслив эту непреложную истину юное создание (8 лет на минуточку) вдруг
резонно возражает:
“Папа, а ведь это правило для второй мышки уже не работает!”
 

28 Responses to “The end of American capitalism”

  1. joshlux Says:

    Establishing and qualifying issues gets us no where, we need suggestions to ‘buck’ back (see what i did there?).
    Perhaps you could suggest that a Communistic Dictatorship would solve the impact of greed, lust and envy traits, and I would educatededly agree. Just need to find suitable leadership.

  2. radha Says:

    i am also so so happy and i am witnessing this crash in one of the most capitalistic-based city-system in the world. it s so amazing to watch everything is happening here in hong kong, i wish everybody could also watch it!

  3. swaps Says:

    Not so soon. Capitalism is not dead until the capitalists admit it.
    Besides,
    1) we don’t yet have a alternative in place, socialism has failed, now if capitalism to perishes, what next?
    2) Rising India, China, Russia and Brazil badly want to taste ‘prosperity’, they won’t give up anytime soon.

    See this is only a financial crisis, the real crisis would be ‘food crisis’ and energy crisis. They are still on their way. So please wait 🙂

  4. axinia Says:

    Thank everyone!
    I believe that even it is does not look good now, and even if it will become worse, the mankind will find right powers to rise and finallly do something appripriate. It is like a sick person, but one day it get cured.

    What the future system will be like, no one knows… But it must be for sure something more human and elevating.

  5. radha Says:

    swaps, next step is to become the self, which never happened before in our History. and then, who are these “who wont give up anytime”? the government? the masses? everybody? if somebody’d go to live and study or work just for one year NOW in a highy capitalistic place,he will immediately see the sickness, big in front of the eyes like a gigantic monster and also the solution, huge in front of the eyes, of the dimension of Uluru rock, automatically.

  6. swaps Says:

    Radha, you area rare exception. Everyone around me want to possess symbols of prosperity…you know over 500 Nano cars have been booked in my small city alone!

  7. axinia Says:

    Swaps, that is clear for the developing countires, and the ones that have not tasted the Big Apple 🙂

    Radha, you are very right, even one year to live in the West is enough to understand the sickness of that. So many get fed up…why is the suicide rates are so hight? The level of “hidden violence” in the small materialistic paridise like Austria are horryfing…
    AND THEN PEOPLE START SEEKING. Seeking the TRUTH.

  8. Nita Says:

    capitalism is certainly not dead and I don’t see what we have to be happy about when thousands are suffering.
    Also every system has its flaws. In America despite the crash is still richer than a lot of other countries.

  9. axinia Says:

    Nita, thank you, I was wondering whether you will comment on that 🙂

    Sure, capitalism is not (yet) dead, but the title says “American capitalism”, and that is important. Even in Europe people find Americal capitalism very agressive and “materislitic”, and that for many good reasons.

    What I can see from hear and learn from financial experts (my friends) is that the present system will have to change, this crisis is not by chance and will force the mankind to find better forms of coexistence.

  10. Upstate Says:

    I hope that Lyndon LaRouche is not right. During the Thirty Years War, armed bands pillage and despoiled their way through Europe. We are not there yet.

    But, we are trying to solve a crisis brought on thru greed and credit by nationalising debt and offering more debt to people driven by desperation and corporate induced greed. It is a seemingly endless cycle.

    How much longer can businesses depend on government resuscitation? The last really big capitalist crisis was only ended by global war. How will these” endless” cycling end?

  11. swaps Says:

    Yes, America must accept that its resources are not endless. And Europe is certainly different, for example, I read that in France, getting a home loan is very difficult and people are thrifty.

    Unfortunately, for most developing countries America is the model they try to emulate. Hope that will change.

  12. Axinia,

    Wonderful post! 🙂

    I have so much to say that I don’t know where to begin! Let me begin by pasting a comment from my blog here. This was written by an NRA (a Non-Resident American):

    It appears to me that under the Bush administration that the United States is turning into a third-world country (and by that I mean that the super-rich are becoming richer, while the middle classes are shrinking from 60 percent of the population down to 30 percent, and the poor are increasing). Those in the middle classes are just barely hanging on, and many people are falling out of the middle classes into the upper poor class.

    I don’t know if I could have summed it up any better! I completely agree with her. The least developed countries in the world have extremely high levels of inequality. Unlike in Europe, where the filthy concept of “free market capitalism” was kept in check by democracy and humanity (enabling European countries to top the world in terms of development), in the United States, the vile forces of “free market capitalism” were allowed a free run, pushing the U.S. out of the world’s top ten developed countries. Now those forces are determined to make the U.S. a third world country.

  13. Axinia, I would have been delighted if the concept of “free market capitalism” was wiped off from the face of the Earth just like nauseating concept of feudalism was abolished in most countries. But you are underestimating this nasty monster. It is not so easy to finish off this vile creature. When it senses that it is in trouble, it just socialises its losses. It feasts on the soul-blood of human beings during normal times and when humans are sick of its blood-thirsty nature, it just shrinks itself and begs for its crimes to be socialised so that it can preserve itself. Then it begins to grow again by sucking the soul-blood of humans. I am not half as optimistic as you are 😐

    By the way, I did not understand the meaning behind the Russian story 😦

  14. lol lol just today morning in the bus i was reading an article on how ‘car sales’ is strongly increasin in India and China!

  15. axinia Says:

    swaps, we will definitly see what happens – and very soon!

    Raj, thanks for that extended comments, I can understadn what you feel. Still I believe it would be much better if you could see it with your own eyes…How it really works in the west.

    As for the Russian story, it is based on the expression ! free cheese in the mousetrap” – if wonder if you never heard that?

    nirmalamagazine, than you, it looks like the crisi did not reach out there 🙂

  16. Swaps,

    I don’t know if the Nano can be called a symbol of prosperity 😕 Unlike those huge, ugly, humungous, fuel-guzzling and fume-spewing SUVs, pick-up trucks and cars that litter the streets of North America, the Nano is an extremely fuel-efficient, eco-friendly vehicle that does the least amount of harm to planet Earth and one’s pocket, next only to electric vehicles. We had the makers of those ugly, gargantuan SUVs mock and trash the Nano until the fuel price crisis forced them to shut down their plants making the fuel-guzzling fume-spewers. Unable to quickly switch to making decent cars, they are on the verge of bankruptcy. Oops, not so soon, I guess. The hard-working American taxpayer, who has just been robbed of his home and cash, will be threatened with martial law 😯 so that (s)he can be robbed again to bail out failed, incompetent corporations. A thief robs a few dollars by pointing a gun at one’s head. The criminal corporations rob a few trillion dollars by pointing a gun at humanity’s head.

    Axinia,

    No, I haven’t heard of the expression before 😦 But I guess I understand what it means now. One mouse gets trapped by its tail due to the free cheese on offer. Other mice, instead of learning from the trapped one, still fall for the “free cheese” on offer.

    Talking of mousetraps, Indian mousetraps (atleast the ones I have seen) have a far better design than the Western ones because they don’t cause extreme pain to the mouse. The mouse gets caught in a cage-like device. But still, there is no substitute for a cat when it comes to catching mice 😉 🙂

  17. Peter N. Says:

    One intresting article for the discussion:

    Financial Crisis May Diminish American Sway

    WASHINGTON — The financial crisis could further undermine the U.S.’s role as the world’s only superpower and affect the reshaping of international institutions such as the United Nations Security Council that have defined the post-World War II era, officials say.

    America’s historic economic shock in the past month came as its ability to project influence globally was already being challenged by emerging powers such as China and India, as well as oil-producing Russia and Iran.

    The limits to U.S. power have become apparent in the Bush administration’s final year, as it has struggled to end Tehran’s nuclear program and failed to safeguard Georgian sovereignty during the Russian incursion in August.

    U.S. intelligence agencies are fine-tuning a governmentwide assessment looking at America’s position in the world in the coming decades. The report is planned for public release after the November election, but the government’s top intelligence analyst, Tom Fingar, previewed it in a recent speech. Intelligence analysts expect that “the U.S. will remain the pre-eminent power, but that American dominance will be much diminished” between now and 2025, he said.

    Even before the current crisis, U.S. intelligence agencies had begun projecting a significant diminution of U.S. power over the next 15 years. That is a key assumption in the long-range assessment of global trends — known as the 2025 Project — that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has been preparing for the next administration.

    Mr. Fingar, the intelligence analyst, said in his speech that the post-Cold War period of overwhelming U.S. dominance was “anomalous.” America’s elevated status on the military, political, economic and possibly cultural fronts “will erode at an accelerating pace, with the partial exception of the military,” he said.

    That will affect the restructuring of institutions such as the U.N., World Bank and International Monetary Fund. U.N. diplomats are discussing expanding the Security Council, whose five permanent members were set after World War II, to incorporate emerging powers. There is also talk of creating regional institutions to supplant the IMF.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122420560915843313.html

  18. Axinia,

    I hate the concept of “free market capitalism”, because just like you do, I feel that it is inhuman. “Free market capitalism” is all about freedom for the markets to do what they want without any kind of regulation or accountability or transparency or ethics. In a “free market capitalist” society, the markets and capital are free but humans are not free. “Free market capitalism” goes against the spirit of democracy, liberty, equality, fraternity and human rights. The repulsive concept does not even accept that humans have rights. It is all about the rights of markets and capital to earn profit at any cost, even if it means looting and exploiting humans and destroying the planet. Instead of humans controlling the markets, the markets control humans. Instead of money being the commodity and a medium of exchange, humans become the commodity. It is very similar to slavery, feudalism and other sordid concepts.

    Just like in a dictatorship or a single party communist society or a theocratic society, humans in a “free market capitalist” society have no freedom to decide what they want because it is those who control the markets and capital who decide the policy by covert and overt means and by hook or crook.

    As in a theocratic society, a cabal controls the society. Actually, dangerous cabals like the Bilderberg Group are trying to take control of the world by nefarious means. In fact, “free market capitalism” and organised religion have so many things in common. Just like the Church in mediæval Europe that set the policy and committed crimes against humanity, the markets set the policy and commit crimes against humanity now. Just as the mediæval Europeans were asked to have blind faith in whatever was dished out by the Church, even if it included non-sensical things like the Earth was flat and the Sun revolves around the Earth, modern Americans are asked to have blind faith in whatever is dished out by the profiteers and their boot-lickers in the so-called “mainstream media” even if it includes non-sensical things like rewarding greedy, corrupt profiteers by bailing them out with public money instead of punishing them. Just as dissenters were branded as “witches” and “heretics” and burned alive on the stakes, dissenters are branded as “commies” and are trashed by the “mainstream media” that is firmly under the control of the profiteers. “Free market capitalism” does not tolerate freedom of humanity, freedom of choice or freedom of expression or freedom of thought!

    He . . . he . . . he, isn’t it strange and funny that I sound like a “communist” just because I am a free-thinker who is repulsed by the concept of “free market capitalism”? 😉 😀

  19. On a lighter note, Axinia, don’t you think it is women who fuel a capitalist society? Consumerism is focussed on women and girls. Walk in to any clothing store and you would find that women’s sections are atleast twice the size of men’s sections. You would find many more women shoppers than men. Diamonds are supposed to be a woman’s best friend while poor men have dogs as their best friends. 🙂

  20. swaps Says:

    Raj, I learned one thing..never to mention ‘capitalism’ in your presence 🙂 I think women must not be blamed….they are born to enjoy, let them enjoy.
    You know, I love SUVs …because that is the only thing I can fit into.

  21. Nita Says:

    These financial crises happen (like Odzer pointed out), that is how the system corrects itself if it is going to the extreme. A tree needs to bend, adjust and then it doesn’t break. Capitalism is here to stay, whether people like it or not.

  22. Upstate Says:

    swaps

    Women are at their best when exercising their peaceful, spiritual and nurturing traits. At this they are much better than men. But, capitalism encourages their materialistic side and urges them to be as agressive as men. Witness Sarah Palin. I support women’s freedom to do whatever they aspire to, but is that freedom to just be dupes of the capitalist system, lured on by shiny baubles? I hope not.

  23. Swaps,

    I’m quite biased against “free market capitalism”, aren’t I? 🙂 But you are welcome to support it, though from your comments I guess you are not exactly a fan of capitalism.

    No, I don’t think women should be blamed either. They have every right to enjoy whatever they want. But I believe they are being victimised by the capitalist system. Unlike men, the needs of women are quite endless 🙂 “Free market capitalism” targets this weakness in women and exploits it to the hilt.

    I’m not a fan of SUVs and not just because they guzzle fuel and spew fumes. The front seats are no more spacious than normal cars. The middle row may have more room due to the boxy design. But many SUVs (not all though) have a severe design flaw. They have a high-floor (this means one has to climb into them) and a low-seat combination and this is like sitting on the floor with the knees pointing towards the sky. It is a real pain in the knee, more so if you are long legged.

    Axinia,

    Here are some common economic jokes:

    FEUDALISM:
    You have two cows.
    Your lord takes most of the milk 😡

    FASCISM:
    You have two cows.
    The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk 😡

    REAL CAPITALISM:
    You don’t have any cows.
    The bank will not lend you money to buy cows, because you don’t have any cows to
    put up as collateral 😦

    GERMAN CAPITALISM:
    You have two cows.
    You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk
    themselves 😐

    HINDU CAPITALISM:
    You have two cows.
    You worship them ❓

    BRITISH CAPITALISM:
    You have two cows.
    Both are mad 😀

    AMERICAN CAPITALISM:
    You have two cows.
    You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
    You are surprised when the cow drops dead 😯

    ENRON CAPITALISM:
    You have two cows.
    You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
    The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
    Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release.
    The public buys your bull 😆

    WALL STREET CAPITALISM: (added by me)
    You have two cows.
    You loan them to those who are not eligible for normal loans at sky high rates of interest.
    You create securities based on the loans.
    You trade the securities back and forth among yourselves and raise their value.
    You then sell the securities to everyone.
    The cows don’t yield much milk.
    The borrowers are unable to repay the loans after a few months.
    You threaten to declare bankruptcy.
    You ask your stooges in the Congress to bail you out.
    Everyone is taxed a trillion dollars to buy your worthless securities.
    You seize the cows from the borrowers.
    So now you have your cows, a part of the loan repayment, the money you earned by selling the securities plus a bonus of a trillion dollars!

    Can there be a better example of corruption, greed, usury, lies, fraud and day light robbery all rolled into one??? 😡

  24. volodimir108 Says:

    Intresting discussion here.
    Today I found a good article on Washintonpost, showing the will and the possbile solution:

    “Sarkozy Calls for Revamping of Capitalist System”
    BRUSSELS, Oct. 16 — European leaders on Thursday urged that a pending international summit carry out an urgent overhaul of the world’s financial architecture and impose new controls on freewheeling bankers and traders. U.S. officials pledged that all good ideas would get an airing but hinted of opposition to giving new authority to international regulators.
    …………….

    Sarkozy said Thursday that continued nervousness in the markets showed all the more clearly that speed and audacity by the world’s leaders are precisely what is required. “We do not have the right to let the luck and the opportunity to create the financial system of the 21st century get away from us,” he told reporters after the conference.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/16/AR2008101604020_pf.html

    I really like the way things develop, at least in Europe.

  25. swaps Says:

    I have a story too.

    Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and
    announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys
    for Rs10/-.

    The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys
    around, went out to the forest and started catching
    them. The man bought hundreds at Rs10/- and as supply
    started to diminish, the villagers stopped their
    effort. He further announced that he would now buy at
    Rs20/-. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and
    they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply
    diminished even further and people started going back
    to their farms. The offer rate increased to Rs25 and
    the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an
    effort to even see a monkey let alone catch it.

    The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at
    Rs50! However, since he had to go to the city on some
    business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of
    him. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the
    villagers. Look at all these monkeys in the big cage
    that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at
    Rs35 and when the man returns from the city, you can
    sell it to him for Rs50.” The villagers squeezed up
    with all their savings to buy the monkeys. Then they
    never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys
    everywhere!!

    Welcome to The Stock Market!!!!!!!!

  26. Upstate Says:

    volodimir108

    There will be little change in the way financial markets, national or international, are regulated while W is still president. He is desperate to preserve “democratic capitalism” (translation the Chicago school model of unregulated capitalism) which has worked so well for his cronies and his relatives, but not so well for the natives of the third world countries that they love to exploit.

    This is why the Europeans favor Obama, who is much more reasonable and open to change.

    Meanwhile McSame tries to scare us by saying that Obama favors “European style socialism.” That is we should be scared that our next president will want to give working people a break. Oh gee, the sky is falling! Not.

  27. axinia Says:

    Dear All, thank you for that brilliant discussion and intresting examples.

    Raj,
    the expression of “free cheese” is almost biblical here in the West, because it is the essence of capitalism 🙂
    Thanks for this nice point on Indian mousetraps.

    Peter N.,
    thanks for the article. I believe it is definitely a healthy process if America will loose its “anomalous” monopoly on power. Seeing from the glabal point of view, there is no worldwide democracy possible under the domination of one nation.

    Raj,
    your hate for “free market capitalism” is understandable, but sill it is better not to hate anything! It is the process of human evolution and we all have to ge through it. You do sound like communist 🙂 But funnily I meet many well educated Westerners who appear to be communists at heart!

    Raj and Swaps:
    regarding women and capitalism…I think you are both right! Women tent to enjoy the material wealth probably more than men, this is true. Even me, I love quality things and still wait for my husband to buy me a fur coat 🙂 On the other hand, women have the power to evolve men and to bring about the subtle, but more sustainable changes all over.

    Odzer &Nita,
    you are right, what is happening now is a mere correction. Even in my dreams I can not imagine a global change towards a better system in the recent 100-200 years…I am pretty sure it is finally happen, and capitalism will die out, but it is a long, long way…

    Upstate,
    well said!

    Raj,
    thanks again for your extention of the famous “cow” joke. Well done!

    Volodymir108,
    thanks for the article! I do hope that they will use the chance for the transformation.

    Swaps,
    what a brillinat story 🙂

    Upstate,
    thanks, I too hope for Obama.


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