I don't - at least not as the fundamental organizing principle of the world it is today.
I think if it's the best
we've got - well, my friends, we're toast. I don't think
capitalism is going to survive this century - because it's already
making everything more or less self destruct.
Imagine the world fifty years from now - maybe a hundred years from now. Don't add any kind of amazing technologies, like free energy for everyone, or magical reinventions - no miracles allowed:
Just extend now gently
and slowly fifty years forward, and then a hundred, if you like.
What's a middle class job? Life? Income? Mind? Values? All relics of a bygone age...
Instead, in the new caste
society, what safety there is is found in patronage. Get on a
billionaire's good side - maybe he'll toss you enough pennies to
eke out a decent living for a while.
As a result, knowledge,
insight, thinking - all these things, which have always been great
luxuries, grind to a halt. And with them go gentleness, decency,
Extremists are always blaming all these problems - a dying planet, not enough jobs, money hoarded at the top - on the most vulnerable, the other, the weak.
Who are those?
They're the ones fleeing
into zones of safety from elsewhere, usually. They find themselves
put into camps, farmed for profit - or maybe just starved to
They offer these broken societies protections of three kinds.
You're right to say, thought, that my portrait feels incomplete. Even amidst all this - societies collapsing, economies ruined, planet dying - there will be islands and oceans of prosperity.
What will they be like? Let's think about it.
What will people do in those organizations?
Their work won't be like today's work. Today's work is delineated and defined by all the above - there's a board, made up of "shareholders", who appoints a CEO, who decides how to maximize profit, this nanosecond… and off everyone goes to do it.
In our economies, mostly, everyone's a profit calculator - whether they know it or not, and I mean everyone, including (sadly) doctors and teachers, even when they don't want to be.
But tomorrow's organizations, because they'll be made for truer and bigger things than merely earning "profits" which "add up" to "GDP" - and managed for it by boards and governing bodies not merely made up of "shareholders" in said profit - will then do very different work, too.
Imagine human impact designers and eudaimonia architects and so on. Places that can make all these shifts will prosper.
We'll call them something like,
Because they will have done something vital and crucial, which too few of us - especially those of us in (North) America - understand or consider yet.
The portrait I've sketched for you above,
...that's a portrait of
This is capitalism, in the real world - outside the fairytales and fantasies of American economists and libertarian pundits.
In the real world, capitalism devolves to a system of exploitation for profit - and what's exploited is everything, from the planet, to minds, to bodies and democracy.
They're left chewed through and imploded - while money piles up in the coffers of the profiteers.
But money's just a way to say that,
And yet not enough money to go around - ironically - is exactly where capitalism ends. Of course, without enough money, people's lives begin to fall apart, too, because they can't then acquire the basics they need to live.
If you doubt any part of that story, just take a look at America today, where 80% of people live paycheck to paycheck, 70% can't raise $1000 for an emergency, almost nobody will retire - while billionaires grow ultra rich.
Could a shortage of money
be any more obvious? And yet it also means (North) Americans live
without decent healthcare, education, food, childcare, and so on.
Can you imagine a country where people are perpetually short of money - and hence the basics of life - surviving all that? I can't...
I can only see such
societies imploding, perpetually, into fascism, authoritarianism,
theocracy - all the forms of collapse which people embrace when
times grow lean and hard.
You've been failed by your intellectuals and thinkers for too long - they've fed you a strange, delusional fantasy - that capitalism can go on forever.
That doesn't mean business, trade, commerce, etc will go away - they existed long ago, but we didn't call them "capitalism", because ancient market stalls selling jugs of wine weren't.
Capitalism won't be around a hundred years from now.
It's ashes - fascism and feudalism and neo-peasants serving neo-lords - will be, if we stay this foolish and this deluded.
The troubles we face now
are just a small, small taste of the devastation and ruin to come,
as the planet begins to die, as societies fracture, as economies
dwindle - as our shattered, exhausted resources run out, having
been squandered by capitalism in the first place, on mega-yachts and
palaces in the sky for billionaires, instead of societies that
work for all, instead of lives that flourish, instead of
things that endure.
It is what did all that
destruction in the first place - by exploiting everything
for profit, without ever really paying its just, true, or
full price, always taking, never giving, always preying, never
Societies that rely on capitalism most will be the first to implode - in fact, they already are:
Asking capitalism to be the organizing principle of the world it ruined, is like asking the fire that burned down your house to rebuild it.
You can ask, sure - but
the fire will laugh, and just keep on burning you right down into