I think your analysis of the current situation and the current pain and silencing it is producing…
Cindy Rizzo

I have two reasons why I say it is coming to an end. The first has to do with a convergence of factors having to do with economics and politics — things like destabilization from extreme levels of inequality, the systemic nature of institutional corruption as a networked system across the globe, and the progression toward “zero marginal cost” production of goods and services. Recent books by Paul Mason and Jeremy Rifkin explore these topics in detail.

The second reason has to do with planetary boundaries and the ecological crisis. The combination of accelerating technologies, runaway consumption that is eating through natural resources, chronic deterioration of every major “ecological commons” on Earth — what ecological economists call entropic transfer as social complexity increases within a community and energy, nutrients, symbiotic species, etc all go into decline.

There are two long-term outcomes possible here. One is the collapse of civilization (think Easter Island). The other is evolution to a new socio-economic paradigm (think of the Nordic countries post-WWII). Or some combination of these two outcomes distributed around the globe.

It is helpful to keep in mind that capitalism is design to extract and hoard wealth. Economic prosperity has improved in the last few centuries NOT because of capitalism but through a combination of scientific advances leading to new technologies, the rise of representative democracies that recirculate wealth as investments in societal infrastructure (countering the behaviors of capitalism), evolving social norms that elevate universal values like fundamental human rights and protection of nature, and multilevel governance systems that are responsive to changing environments.

We can do so much better than capitalism — by transitioning to integrated market + social democratic systems that are increasingly designed according to ecological principles.

In the long term, capitalism will go away and a better adapted form of political economy will take its place. Either that, or we drive ourselves extinct.


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