Messenger Ever heard of drug war capitalism?
What is capitalism which has failed? Economists appear reluctant to define explicitly key economic terms such as capitalism. For example, whole books on capitalism e. Marx, ; Baumol et al.
One has to guess what they mean. This proxy definition is also consistent with that of Piketty who also views the economic history of Western countries as the economic history of capitalism in his study on the cause of wealth inequality. This association and implicit definition of capitalism create noise, muddled thinking and outright errors.
As will be shown below, socialism to be defined has been a significant component of Western economies for many decades. Definitions As a valid universal concept, the definition of capitalism cannot depend on time and space — it has to be applicable to any time and at any location.
Otherwise, no general statement about capitalism can ever validly be made. What has been evolving in Western economies is not the essence of capitalism itself, which must be space-time invariant, but actually changing ways of exploiting the freedom of private property, alternative political agendas and varying levels of adoption of socialist policies.
Capitalism should not be defined by the changing economic systems of Western countries — instead, a scientific definition is needed and is given here. Capitalism refers to an economic system which allows individuals privately to own and use capital. Capital is the means of production including resources, property, technology, knowledge, goods and services which are useful for production.
In the twenty-first century, all countries are capitalist to some degree, because most individuals can own private capital. But no country is purely capitalist, because some private properties are usually confiscated by the state, to a greater or lesser extent, through taxation and inflation.
Socialism is an economic system where the state or the society as a whole owns and controls capital and its uses. Since the state acquires most of its capital from its citizens directly or indirectly through taxation and other means, socialism involves coercive acquisition of individual capital and is a partial denial of private property — it is a contradiction of capitalism.
Hence socialism is opposite to capitalism. Note that state ownership of capital is different from collective ownership, because the latter allows the individual rights to shared ownership of collective capital, but the former denies any individual rights to the property of the state.
Note also that these definitions of capitalism and socialism are purely economic and universal, unencumbered by ideas from politics or finance.
Clear definitions do not restrict, but help, the development of other ideas. When economists discuss capitalism, they usually by association confound the essence of capitalism with all sorts of other extraneous ideas from management, finance and politics such as competition, markets, democracy, etc.
For example, Baumol et al. The qualifying ideas are not essential or universal attributes, because they are merely current ways of exploiting the freedom of private property and their conceptual addition may involve logical contradictions. For example, does state-guided capitalism imply restrictions on the private use of capital?
By identifying capitalism with changing Western economies, as done by Kaletsky and Pikettycapitalism becomes a mixed bag of shifting ideas even including socialism, its antithesis as defined here. Given our definitions, the following passage Piketty,p.
By our definition, the key ideas in capitalism are private and capital. State capital has legitimate meaning as capital owned by the state. But state capitalism is an oxymoron.
What we would probably say instead is that, during the thirty glorious years after the War, France was essentially a socialist country. If this is the case, then the period should not be included in the history of French capitalism.
Indeed, all countries are socialist to some degree where the state expropriates capital from its citizens directly or indirectly through taxation and other means to use according to its priorities. The main uses of state capital are public administration, law enforcement, public infrastructure, welfare and warfare.
Capitalism requires at least one function of the state which is to enforce laws protecting individual property rights. Hence capitalism cannot be entirely free of the state or some other protective agency.
A priori, capitalism or socialism is neither good nor bad in itself. It is only better or worse, in practice, relative to certain economic objectives.
Economic objectives evolve in time or space i. From the start of any science inquiry, it is inappropriate to assume that capitalism or socialism is either good or bad.
Such a dichotomy leads to adoption of left or right prejudices which compromise the integrity of any scientific inquiry and plague virtually all economic theories.
Metric for Capitalism To be able to decide objectively whether a particular country is more capitalist than socialist and vice versa, we need a metric for capitalism or socialism.
The data for countries are lagged generally by a few years.Immigration under capitalism: Life and death along the US-Mexico border Part Two By Eric London 2 March In part one, the WSWS spoke with Victoria, a young migrant woman who was detained with.
Laura Carlsen is the Director of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy in Mexico City. She focuses on US policy in Latin America and grassroots movements in the region. Just a few years ago, Toys 'R' Us was an iconic American retailer.
Six months ago, it filed for bankruptcy. Two days ago, it announced that . Once again, Mexico hosted a world-class international event: the World Robotics Championship, the FIRST Global Challenge, which was held for the first time outside the United States.
Feb 27, · Greedy capitalism has led to decades of downward mobility as U.S. business interests exploit workers at home and abroad and automate jobs out of existence in search of greater profits, according. Mexico’s Carlos Slim, the world’s richest person according to Forbes magazine, is a full-fledged member of the transnational oligarchy.
(Photo: Agência Brasil) This is the ninth article in the Truthout on the Mexican Border series looking at US immigration and Mexican border policies through a social justice lens.
Mark Karlin, editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout, visited the border region.