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Capitalism and the Naive Spirit for Building the Future

Convincing capitalists to abandon the logic of growth that


leverages profit-making would require them to consider hara-kiri
as a business opportunity

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Summary

A – Capital’s structure and operating mode


1 – Capitalism’s essential objective – The accumulation of capital
2 – Main instruments of capitalist accumulation
3 – Side effects of the capital accumulation model
B – The insufficiency of any piecemeal approach to capitalism

A – Capital’s structure and operating mode

Capitalism loves profits, above everything else; and to ensure them, it looks at every
means to achieve them, assessing the costs that must incur to achieve that goal,
performing what is technically called a cost-benefit analysis.

That analysis is subsumed on a purely technical and accounting approach in the case
of small businesses. The same doesn’t happen when it comes to big business,
involving huge financial, human and capital resources; in the last cases, in addition to
those trivial approaches, the surrounding variables, such as economic, social, political,
ideological and, more recently, ecological are brought into perspective.

Let us now look at an essay on defining the global organization of capitalism.

1 – Capitalism’s essential objective – The accumulation of capital


 This accumulation feeds on the production of goods and services, for
consumption or investment, based on human labour;

 And, in the form of speculation in the financial market, is based on decisions


made by algorithms.

2 – Main instruments of capitalist accumulation

 Consumerism is the masses’ psychological capture; it is a vice, an addiction


that feeds the "market". This capture makes the very victims of capitalism
interested in its continuity.

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 Debt is a lever of consumption and for the commitment of future incomes.
Through it, the financial system seizes peoples’ wages and assets; it ensures a
share of the tax burden levied by governments on the people; and, through
debt, conditions public finances ad aeternum.

 Military spending animates the economic activity of producing countries; they


are elements of containment of external interventions although, in general,
there is little they can contain; or they are instruments for actions abroad, based
on an illegitimate right to intervene. In all cases they support parasitic military
castes.

 Transnationals, the financial system and the crime capital intertwine themselves
in a complex matrix and changing array of collusions and conflicts, the ends of
which justify all means, including an enormous procession of dysfunctions and
suffering of relations between and within peoples. These are the structural
elements of capital reproduction.

 Nation-states are geographical units of division and differentiated management


of the human herd, an inheritance of colonialist and competitive capitalism of
the past centuries, currently framed, in their majority, by the transnational
corporations and the financial capital that structure today’s globalized world. It is
within that context that national political classes carry on with the proximity
management of peoples’ meekness.

 Several international organizations act as sector managers with planetary scope


– WTO, IMF/WB, WHO, UNCTAD ... – or by aggregating several countries in a
broad regional context – OECD, EU, NATO, ASEAN, OCX ... Of course, these
organizations show the hierarchy between nation states, many of which do not
even have the ability to follow up on matters, due to either financial or technical
difficulties, confining themselves to voting along with the stronger ones, be that
because of belief or vote purchase.

 The national political classes are the caretakers of the national capitalists’
interests and of their integration and compatibility with the global capital; they
hierarchize the interests of national groups that know well how to co-opt or
corrupt influential members of the political classes. As a rule, they are divided
between government and opposition, a sort of Dupont and Dupond1 but with
more of a penchant for the theatre. On forums such as the Bilderberg, the local
mandarins – taken as promising candidates to supranational positions – are
annually called to take their tests.

 Nationalist ideologies, patriotic-like or xenophobic, cross the national political


spectra as instruments for division, diversion and control of the peoples. The
enemy becomes globalization – although it has been around for centuries and
its depression crises have promoted nationalisms and apocalyptic wars. The
national capitalists are exempt from responsibility and the culprit for the
misfortunes is the Other – immigrant, refugee, Islamite, black, foreign; a speech
that ignites those people lost in a world they do not understand, and that the TV
does not explain.

1
Reference to Herge’s fictional characters in Tintin’s adventures, the incompetent and undistinguishable twin
detectives. (NT)

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 The great media combine several characteristics – opinion manipulators,
through concealment or misrepresentation of facts – propagandists of social,
sports or political futilities, and translators for the great global media. Those
characteristics push people into social networks where, in the midst of a great
emptiness, some free expression is possible, with a smaller margin for
censorship; although the counterpart is the mass exploitation of data. Those
platforms belong to corporate groups which have intimate relations with big
business and the political classes.

 The state authority carries on activities in the area of police or legal repression,
very discriminatory from a social point of view, and also through taxation within
the context of reverse redistribution of income. It is the state that seeks to
combine benefits that meet the competitiveness of the capitalists with a fiscal
burden that becomes compatible with the unions capability for social restraint;
and also to produce legislation which provides in a discreet way elements
conducive to entrepreneurship, the movement of capital, and the exploitation of
workers.

 The symbiosis between the state and capital, notably the financial one,
corresponds to a capture of the former by the logic of the latter; these are the
cases of the health, education, social action, and social security systems, of the
abandonment of a housing policy, of public transportation, of roads, of public
supply of water, electricity, communications, etc.

 The educational system – public or private – is commercialized, extremely


parcelled out (as opposed to the meaning of universality), especially at the high
education level. It is the great indoctrinator of individualism, of competition and
of technocratic entrepreneurship, of preparation for the labour "market", the
bureaucratic machinery of enterprises or public institutions, and also to the
shaping of the political classes.

 The market democracy commonly known as representative (despite only party


gangs being represented) is nothing more than a placebo for a real democracy.
It establishes a gap between the elected and the electors, which are placed
beyond any possibility of representation; it eternalizes the members of the
political class as "representatives"; it excludes, in fact, any referendum or other
popular initiative, especially for the withdrawal of the mandates of those who
demonstrate their incapacity or unworthy behaviour.

3 – Side effects of the capital accumulation model

1 - An ongoing bitter commercial, political, military struggle – between companies


and States – for the material resources of the planet, and for the control of the
so called consumer markets.

2 - Faced with the environmental damages generated by the competition inherent


to the capitalist groups and their states, two attitudes emerge on the capitalists
and the political classes’ side – one being the mercantile management of such
damages, as if they were another business opportunity, and another of their
actual devaluation as a problem, as can be seen in Trump and Bolsonaro’s
positions.

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3 - In the absence of a holistic and sufficiently consensual narrative policy for
overcoming capitalism, technocratic or politically innocuous formulas for facing
the social, political, economic or environmental issues become dominant; and,
recently, fascist-like narratives, picked-up in the attic of unsavory
grandparents, are showing up.

4 - The increase in the share of national incomes pocketed by the rich – as well
as the wealth in their possession – pushes populations into economic
difficulties that generate stagnation or reduction of their standard of living
which, however, have not been the source of popular uprisings; faced with the
systemic crisis of low capital reproduction rates, the state is mobilized to play
a supplementary or preventive role of the effects of economic, social and
environmental disruption caused by capitalist accumulation. This role is also
embodied in the support of capitalist groups, particularly banks, or in
supporting the unemployed to launch themselves into individual
entrepreneurship adventures, which in the majority of cases end in
bankruptcy, debt, and frustration.

5 - The role of propaganda promoted by political classes has been increasing, in


order to induce meekness into the crowd — with the judicious use of various
instruments such as manipulation, threat and repression. The idea that the
current active models — economic and political — are the best and the most
efficient of all — there is no alternative — is prevailing, contrarily to other
epochs, given the absence of a noteworthy anti-capitalist left, alien to the
tangles that wrap up and make all the political classes look the same.

6 - The great goal of accumulation has been leading to the drowning of humanity
in debt2 – public or private – with regular financial crises that the peoples’
inaction allows to be temporarily overcome. Debt, in general, serves to
anticipate consumption and, above all, to capture debtors. Seen from this
angle, debt is not payable, with or without paltry restructuring actions. On the
other hand, the cascades of debt securities that fuel financial speculation
serve this purpose and are not to be payed up; even because the initial
debtor, the real one, quickly becomes unknown after successive
securitizations.

7 - Some of the technological innovations are aimed at social control through


emptiness and manipulation – social networks, media, the focusing of time
and attention in smartphones – in addition to the generation of fast-paced
businesses that accumulate capital; a social control much more intense and
effective than at the time when the press was dominant.

The growing share of capital accumulation that comes from the financial delusions
associated with current and future advances in information management or automation

2
How the Financial System Captures Humanity Through Debt
http://grazia-tanta.blogspot.pt/2017/02/debt-inbecoming-perpetual-is.html
http://grazia-tanta.blogspot.pt/2017/03/how-financial-system-captures-humankind.html
http://grazia-tanta.blogspot.pt/2017/03/how-financial-system-captures-humankind_26.html
Restructuring public debt has nothing to do with our lives
https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fgrazia-
tanta.blogspot.pt%2F2016%2F11%2Freestruturar-divida-publica-nada.html&sandbox=1

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brings to the top capital spheres – and their think tanks – the medium term issue of a
drastic reduction of the human resources needed.

As a system, global and integrated, capitalism can be seen from several angles –
economic, social, political, technological and environmental, among others; and
because of these characteristics any sectoral measure or event per se interacts with
other sectors, improving performance in some but negatively affecting others. The
Second World War caused enormous material and human destruction, resulting in
profound changes in the global, technological, economic, social, and political orders.
The celebrated 30 glorious years led, in Europe, to the establishment of the European
social model that was later adulterated and extinguished by neoliberalism, which, in
turn, generated new paradigms in the labour field. The collapse of the USSR and its
state capitalism facilitated the integration of Eastern Europe into the EU and pushed
Russia to strategic alliances based in Asia... However, globally, it can be said that only
readjustments were made to the capitalist production mode.

Another readjustment case, which is obviously less deep and more strict, is that of the
ban on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons in 1987, which contributed to the
reduction of the ozone hole, although the agreement for such a deletion was facilitated
because its production was centered in a large company, DuPont; ... and also because
substitutes were soon found, no damage having been caused to the capitalist system.
Incidentally, CO2 helps increase ozone in the stratosphere as opposed to methane, a
net effect that is possibly under study.

While the contestation groups – despite having technical and political merits in
circumscribed matters – restrict themselves to the adoption of a piecemeal approach
lacking a strategic profile, capitalism will know how to manage concessions, co-
optations and repression, necessary and convenient for its continuity; above all,
because it has available to it several organizations, think tanks, and consultants with
powerful means of a technical, financial and knowledge nature, capable of carrying out
political, tactical, geographic, and social syntheses, more specific or broader in scope,
more truthful or more falsified3.

The more circumscribed – in space and in scope – the contestation is, the more
facilitated the repression will be and the more difficult the congregation of popular
support in the face of the attitudes of power will be. If the protest groups, each one with
a circumscribed basis of action – environmental, social, political, economic ... – agree
on their action or federate their objectives against capitalism as a blocker of peoples'
well-being, their performance will gain strength, consistency, resources, visibility, and
breadth of combat. On the other hand, this integration, through the exchange of ideas
and the interaction between the various thematic groups, will contribute to a greater
maturity of the awareness of the necessary suppression of capitalism.

3
As an example of the typical manipulations produced by consultants recall, in the 90s, that EDP
(Electricidade de Portugal – Portugal Electricity – NT) intended to build a dam on the river Coa, but the
discovery of ancient rock paintings came to raise barriers to that initiative. Expeditious, EDP’s
management used a "reputed expert" who denied historical value to the findings, which he ascribed to
the work of shepherds of the… XIX century. It was found out that the specialist was a swindler and, with
the change of government, the construction of the dam was abandoned.
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The failure of the anti-capitalist struggle – even in their distinct areas – is guaranteed
as long as it won’t have behind it the lifeblood and the express and militant will of the
multitude of human beings, stripped of nationalistic, ethnic or religious complexes; or,
furthermore, if they incorporate vertical and authoritarian institutions, as are the States
or the political parties which, incidentally, are becoming discredited, as has been seen
in France with the revolt of the Yellow Jackets. States were born at the dawn of
capitalism to give cohesion to the nation-states, as hunting grounds for restrict
capitalist groups, seeking to establish in “their” people, through school and military
service, the difference to and antagonism towards other peoples; causing us to forget
that on both sides of a border there are only human beings with the same essential
purposes in life.

In this way the nation-states4, with their instruments for repression and plundering of
the crowd, are becoming, in their majority, subordinates of globalization, giving rise to
two trends. A cosmopolitan one, inclusive, of crossing of bodies and cultures, of
building the common; and another, fearful of the future and retreating behind
xenophobia, the borders and antagonism towards the Other, always seen as a threat,
and hoping to recreate the paradise within the nineteenth-century narrative of "to every
people a nation."

Thus, in the global struggle and on all fronts in which capitalism exerts its dominion or
influence, its suppression5 must be exercised by swarms of rhizome-like networks6 with
a democratic, horizontal decision process, participated by everyone, since the
existence of hierarchies and privileges facilitates situations of betrayals, cooptation or
collusions coming from institutions that serve capital – especially the political classes.

This and other texts in:

http://grazia-tanta.blogspot.com/

http://www.slideshare.net/durgarrai/documents

https://en.scribd.com/uploads

4
https://grazia-tanta.blogspot.pt/2018/04/the-precarious-future-of-nation-state-1.html
https://grazia-tanta.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-precarious-future-of-nation-state-2.html
https://grazia-tanta.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-precarious-future-of-nation-state-3.html
https://grazia-tanta.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-precarious-future-of-nation-state-4.html
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