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Re: capitalism run amuck by Korton

Vladimir Z. Nuri wrote:
Your Mortal Enemy

Faceless bankers now move two trillion dollars around the world every day,
searching for quick profits, breaking national economies and putting ever
more pressure on natural wealth. What's to be done? Slay the beast of
capitalism, says David C Korten, and return money to its proper role.

Faceless -- oooh that sounds creepy.  National economies -- by all means, we must maintain our favorite 19th century institutions. Natural wealth - sounds like an oxymoron. The beast of capitalism  -- we all know that beasts mean you harm, while good decent socialists are only twisting your arm for your own good. Money is any form of token used to communicate value, from bricks of gold to bricks of cocaine. What has seriously gone wrong with the role of money, is that it has been divorced from any intrinsic value -- largely due to the meddling of the various stripes of do-gooders, collectivists and distributivists.  What this guy can't seem to grasp, is that there is a distinct difference between capitalism in a free market, and the kind of corporate-capitalism that the world is enmeshed in now. The former allows for the free exchange of value based upon the participants understanding of that value.  The latter is all bound up in nebulous concepts such as "natural wealth", "legal tender", "zero sum economies" etc.

An assumption is made that I fundamentally disagree with -- democracy is the holy grail of human social intercourse.  Never, in recorded history, has democracy existed without the support of client slave states/populations.  Democracy is nothing more than a rationalization for the majority to oppress the minority.  It has always lead to the creation of a ruling class of administrators, switching it to a minority oppression of the majority.  With this kind of thinking, the KKK is a thoroughly democratic assemblage.  The majority have decided that you should be hanged, so you should go along peacefully and place your own neck in the noose. I've said this before, but its a whisper in a propaganda hurricane,  The US is not a democracy, it is a republic. For those of you who don't know the difference; a democracy puts everything up for grabs, including your life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, while a republic provides 'certain inalienable rights', similar to those  currently being alienated by the Klinton Kongressional Klan.

This polemic is filled with all kinds of emotive language typical of the new-liberal, correct-think agenda. Look out for words like must and will and should, hallmarks of the unseen coercive central planner.

For those of us who grew up believing capitalism is the foundation of
democracy, market freedom, and the good life it has been a rude awakening
to realise that under capitalism, democracy is now for sale to the highest
bidder, the market is centrally planned by global mega-corporations larger
than most countries, denying one's brothers and sisters
Strange,  why would my brother and 2 sisters be talking to this guy?
 a source of livelihood is now rewarded as an economic virtue, and the destruction of
nature and life
How exactly,  can natural beings - humans - destroy nature?  Does he mean change the expected outcome in some way that him and his brothers and sisters disapprove of?
 to make money for the already rich
The enemy is identified.  This is socialist rant #1 -- 'soak the rich until there ain't no rich no more'.
is treated as progress. The world is now ruled by a global financial casino staffed by faceless bankers and hedge fund speculators who operate with a herd mentality in the shadowy world of global finance.
Shadowy people in a shadowy world -- sounds like Washington D.C.
Each day they move more than two trillion
dollars around the world in search of quick profits and safe havens
So slow or no profits and unsafe havens are better?
sending exchange rates and stock markets into wild gyrations wholly unrelated to
any underlying economic reality.
This is the underlying economic reality.
With abandon they make and break national economies, buy and sell
corporations, and hold the most powerful politicians hostage to their
We do have an answer to that last one ...
When their bets pay off they claim the winnings as their own.
When they lose, they run to governments and public institutions to protect
them against loss with pronouncements about how the poor must tighten their
belts and become more fiscally prudent.
Simple, lets close the public trough and dismantle the gravy train.
In the United States, the media keep the public preoccupied with the
details of our president's sex life and calls for his impeachment for lying
about an inconsequential affair. Meanwhile, Congress and the president are
working out of view to push through funding increases for the IMF to bail
out the banks who put the entire global financial system at risk with
reckless lending.
IMFs are the ultimate in fiat currencies, backed only by political will.
They are advancing financial deregulation to encourage even more reckless
financial speculation. And they are negotiating international agreements
such as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment intended to make the world
safe for financial speculators by preventing governments from intervening
to regulate their activities.
The governments, of course, are the tools of the people, and can be trusted to regulate wisely.
To understand what is happening we must educate ourselves about the nature
of money and the ways of those who decide who will have access to it and
who will not. As a medium of exchange, money is one of the most useful of human inventions. But as we become ever more dependent on it to acquire the basic means of our sustenance, we give to the institutions and people who control its creation and allocation the power to decide whether we shall live in prosperity or destitution.
Repeal legal tender laws and their handmaiden, taxation. In laissez-faire Hong Kong in the '70s, banks printed their own 'banknotes' - all different sizes, colors and denominations, and all acceptable Hong Kong dollars.  The security of each such currency, was the security of the institution and the amount by which it inflated its money supply.  It was common for people to have accounts in several banks and to move their money between banks based upon the relative value of the bank's currencies.  In such an economy, fiat valuations automatically cause the currency to diminish in its usefulness, and to ultimately go out of business.  If you control the forms of acceptable money, there is little option but to use a fiat backed currency.

The chimaera represented here, is that accumulation of wealth necessarily expresses itself as a desire to wield power over others.  On the contrary, the creation of a common political currency of power necessitates the exercise of power in order to keep accumulated wealth.  Solution:  abolish the common currency of power as wielded by the state.

With the increasing breakdown of community and governmental social safety
nets, our money system has become the most effective instrument of social
control and extraction ever devised. The fact that few of us think of the
money system as an instrument of control makes it more powerful and
efficient as an instrument of wealth extraction.
Personally, I would't trust any assemblage of more than 7 human beings with my welfare. The anonymity provided by such concepts as 'community' and 'governmental social safety nets', encourages, and probably mandates, corruption.
What of capitalism, the self-proclaimed champion of democracy, market
freedom, peace and prosperity? Modern capitalism involves a concentration
of wealth by the few to the exclusion of the many; it is more than a system
of human elites. It has evolved into a system of autonomous rule by money
and for money that functions on autopilot beyond the control of any human
actor or responsiveness to any human sensibility.
I must have missed that proclamation.  Probably too busy paying taxes and otherwise knuckling under to the democracy.
Contrary to its claims, capitalism is showing itself to be the mortal enemy
of democracy and the market. Its relationship to democracy and the market
economy is now much the same as the relationship of a cancer to the body
whose life energy it expropriates.
Notice he says market, and not free market. How he can use democracy and market in the same sentence eludes me.  Democracy means people get to coerce the behaviour of others.  The market defines how people interact with each other.  I can only infer he suggests people coerce how people interact. Capitalism is the cancer on this noble ideal, because it expresses the notion that human interaction can occur without the need for any noble tinkering.
Cancer is a pathology that occurs when an otherwise healthy cell forgets
that it is a part of the body and begins to pursue its own unlimited growth
without regard to the consequences for the whole.
The whole what? cancer?  He obviously doesn't approve of those not in lock-step with the 'body politic'.  Perhaps the cell doesn't forget, so much as it chooses to break free of the unhealthy body to which it belongs.
The growth of the
cancerous cell deprives the healthy cells of nourishment and ultimately
kills both the body and itself. Capitalism does much the same to the
societies it infests.
Mutation is the basis for evolutionary advance.
One reason we fail to recognise the seriousness of our predicament is
because we fail to see how capitalism is destroying the world's real
wealth. It destroys social capital when it breaks up unions,
Like we need another layer of government in the work place. This is the mantra of the rainbow coalition, isn't it? Unions as in sexual union, you come together until you achieve 'le petit mort', then you roll apart. Its pathetic to try to prolong it any further. Once you've achieved your goal, why do you need the union?  Perhaps the dominance game is the goal?
bids down wages, and treats workers as expendable commodoties,
In a truly free market, there are no wage slaves that don't choose to be.
leaving society to
absorb the family and community breakdown and violence that are inevitable
consequences. It destroys institutional capital when it undermines the
function of governments and democracy by weakening environmental health and
labour standards, and extracting public subsidies, bailouts and tax
exemptions which inflate corporate profits while passing the burdens of
risk to governments and the working poor.
Institutional capital? hasn't this already been replaced by IOUs?
We arejust beginning to wake up to the fact that the industrial era has in
a mere century consumed a consequential portion of the natural capital it
took evolution millions of years to create. It is now drawing down our
social, institutional and human capital as well.
The old zero-sum equation again.  If I make a profit, it had to have been made at someone elses expense. Humans have, quite literally, only scratched the surface,of the 'natural capital' of this planet. A bacterial culture on a bowling ball.
Democracy and markets are wonderful ways of organising the political and
economic life of a society to allocate resources fairly and efficiently
while securing the freedom and sovereignty of the individual.
"Those who would sacrifice liberty for increased security, deserve, and will receive, neither".
But modern capitalism is about using money to make money for people who already have
more of it than they need.
According to who?

There's more, but I can feel the bile rising ...