CAPITALISM VS COLLECTIVISM : THE ADVENT OF NEW ECONOMICS
To understand what is collectivism we will start with the concept of HOLISM which was pioneered by Jan Smuts who also wrote the preamble of the United Nations Charter of 1945 and the Charter of its precursor the League of Nations.
His great contribution to humanity was understanding the principle of the quotient or product of the WHOLE entity rather than the sum of its individual parts. Translated that means what a group can do together is greater than what the sum of its individual parts can. In fact the greatest success of any economic system must be based on its realisation of the interconnections of the whole. It goes to the roots of capitalism and to the roots of nationalism as two ideologies that illustrate this principle.
Holism (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) is the idea that natural systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) and their properties, should be viewed as synergetic wholes, not as collections of parts.
“The entire universe must, on a very accurate level, be regarded as a single indivisible unit in which separate parts appear as idealisations permissible only on a classical level of accuracy of description.” David Bohm
„(Holism is) the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution …“ — Jan Smuts Holism and Evolution (1926)
The world in the last year has been turned upside down in almost every way. The Covid 19 crisis has clearly shown us as human beings that the current way of thinking that capitalism is the best form of self empowerment known to humankind…is FLAWED!-
Indeed this still remains the mainstream way of thinking in the power circles because it is the few , the 1% who benefit the most form unbridled capitalism. I would propose the key to understanding creators of wealth and consumers of wealth is not in what they make , but what they create together. And each has its own value. Capitalism has enjoyed an unchallenged hegemony of the best argument since the fall of the Berlin Wall in1990.
But this is and has shown unequivocally in current events not to be the case. Concepts such as Universal Basic Income ( UBI) were until the crisis regarded as pipe dreams by mainstream economists. When one of our members of our cooperative in Switzerland brought this to a referendum through years of petitioning, it was rejected. Only 23 % voted in favor of giving everyone 2500 euro a month. That was in 2016. Andrew Yang a 2020 presidential candidate endorsed the concept in his election bid. People laughed at him. Then the corona virus came and everyone was FORCED to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus… and suddenly everyone was receiving a universal basic income by default. It prevented looting and rioting for food and stabilised the economy. Just as when the banks were bailed out in 2008… the people were bailed out in 2020.
This was a part of a paradigm shift in economic thinking. One in which we hope will lead to major changes in how we do business in future. And how we treat each other as human beings all over the world.
The time has come to try something new. The time has come to look at what we are doing to each other and what kind of human society are we building for ourselves and for the next generation.
“Buy when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.” Baron Rothschild
Capitalism has over centuries in all of its many forms produced great progress for humankind. It has driven innovation and invention. It has made things happen. It has used the power of centralized wealth to create action on large scales.
But in recent times as in the past it has also brought a GREATER inequality and disadvantage to the majority of the population – we have seen it in the industrial revolution with child labour in coal mines…or slave labour in sweat shops in Vietnam or Cambodia… and most telling is that while everyone has been SUFFERING due to joblessness or lockdown…taking wage cuts and cutting corners… SOME industries and some people who were ALREADY rich… got RICHER…now you might say they were lucky..or they planned ahead… or they were just placed correctly within the system to take advantage of the new paradigm…
But when 95% of the worlds population is struggling to feed itself… to keep itself sheltered… safe… well… how can this philosophy justify itself as being just and good for all?
When the richest man in the world…jeff bizos …who fairly provides a good service… makes 10 billion dollars on top of what he normally earns… per month… because of the suffering of others… then theres something wrong with the system. When giant companies like microsoft , google and facebook start acting like governments and publishing empires… because they have the power.. because they have the money… then we have a sincere problem that attacks democracy itself.
So what is the solution?
Capitalism works to make profit through free enterprise … but the more capital you have ..the more power you have to make change and to defeat your competitor through sheer buying power. Google is what it is because it has a bigger computer. Facebook is what it is because it has bigger servers…capital makes things happen.
CAPITALISM centralizes control and power in the hands of a few, and disproportionately disadvantages the many. Its history has shown us all that it is a system that functions but doesn’t work and certainly doesn’t work to future proof our globally integrated economic system as we experience it now.
So what is the solution?
Why has marxism failed ? Why has communism and socialism in its extreme form ..failed? What are we all missing? What new economics do we need to implement based on a more digitalised and decentralised and international economy? How do we give everyone a fair crack at the dream of self determination and sovereignty?
What is the solution?
Collectivism is a value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness among individuals and prioritization of the group over the self.
Individuals or groups that subscribe to a collectivist worldview tend to find common values and goals as particularly salient and demonstrate greater orientation toward in-group than toward out-group. The term “in-group” is thought to be more diffusely defined for collectivist individuals to include societal units ranging from the nuclear family to a religious or racial/ethnic group.
I have over many years of study and research and activism determined that a new economy is necessary to future proof the world we live in. We cannot continue to destroy ourselves , our health, our security and our environment for the sake of rampant unbridled extortionate greedy and irresponsible capitalism no matter how well intentioned that is that simply benefits the lucky few.
My philosophy has evolved over many years and has been influenced by many different ideas and systems of doing things. I have travelled the world and experienced all kinds of different ways of producing economic activity. In successful and fair and just economies that implement the rule of law and also provide safety and security for its citizens we see something curious… the people TRUST their government. They PAY their taxes willingly. But in countries where this trust is not there… they dont. Because this is the nature of capitalism. It is for the individual… first… it is all about acquiring power and dominance of your environment and others. Like in the days of old when you had a big stick or sword to beat your neighbor with or bigger muscles .. you could get the best food..the best women..and the best shelter.
Modern collectivism is not socialism. Not communism. Not marxism. Not Leninis…not anarchism. It is the decentralisation of economic power structures for the good of the whole. It is holism in action. It is contributionism. It is where everyone can participate freely in our common economy and can share innovations in an open source way. It is permaculture. Fair to the people, the Earth and fair share. It is symbiosism and it is synergy.
Collectivism is giving EVERYONE an equal share in our COMMON economy. Do we get paid to moderate facebook groups? no. Do we get paid to be clickbait for google and other search engines ? NO. we are all just ADVERTISING SPACE… data . We are being used and our information and privacy and lives are being monetised by these giant leeeches on society. These parasites.
There is a line which has to be drawn where a company becomes too big. Even if it breaks up into smaller companies. They are all interconnected with a dominance of capital. They force out the little man and dont give him a chance.
So what is the solution?
In South Africa we had a freedom struggle against apartheid and racism. During this struggle a document was written. It was called the Freedom Charter. In it it says something interesting. Here it is:
The national wealth of our country, the heritage of all South Africans, shall be restored to the people;
The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;
All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the well-being of the people;
All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.
To give you some kind of context here South Africa had a company that controlled the entire worlds supply and pricing of diamonds, gold and platinum although that has somewhat changed due to competition but it has not been changed radically. Not in any way shape or form of what the people of South Africa demanded in the Freedom Charter. De Beers – Anglo American not only controlled a majority of the wealth that was the birthright and inheritance of ALL the people of South Africa… it divested those proceeds and invested them in other industries such as beer and concrete which they then dominated and controlled and excluded and marginalised any smaller and sometimes BETTER competitiors… making the overall quotient of the products… non competitive and non productive. So in the context of Jan Smuts holism… this economic system cannot work either way.
What the proposal was and still is remains a radical concept for some. But it is in today’s world… a NECESSARY ONE.
Big companies like facebook , AMAZON and google need to distribute shares to all or break up. They are too big to fail but they are not to big to be curtailed. How many hours do you spend on facebook? Or google? Or how many times have you bought on amazon? And does it matter?
In 2019 UBI was considered a pipe dream. In 2019 breaking up big tech companies was considered impossible. In 2019 implementing a new economic system that is stable and fair to all was considered socialism.
In 2020 UBI is an adopted formula to counteract mass unemployment, recession and depression… In 2020 universal health care is considered vital to the national economic health of the country. These were concepts that until recently were laughed at by right wing extremists and even left wing liberal capitalists like Bill Gates.
But lets look even deeper into the core issue of WHY capitalism is WRONG for the 21st century. I’m not going to even talk about exploitation, greed, ego and selfishness…these are mans traits since the dawn of time. Amazon started its business using the US postal system.
Jeff Bizos could not have built his empire without the infrastructure of the US postal system. And who paid for that? YOU. You paid for it.
Anglo American built its business off the backs..the sweat..the blood and the tears of the miners who mined the gold in the darkness and danger of the Kimberly hole. One man was in a position of power and influence and connection… he took advantage of those advantages and bought up all the small claims and created the company that would make him the worlds first SELF MADE billionaire… as rich or richer than Rockefeller.
And the injustice of it all is that the people of South Africa did not enjoy the bounty of the wealth under their feet… and indeed were sent to prison if they had uncut diamonds…due to the monopolisation and centralization through the justification…of capitalism. It is an evil system that has not the good of the whole at heart… of the many… but sees them as slaves and serfs to be used and abused for the sake of advantage and power which leads to control and political and even legal control through unjust laws.
This creates conflict and even war… and in a situation as we are in right now… it can lead to chaos and confusion and lack of forward planning because nobody who isnt in a position of power can make a decision on their own future. They are reliant on the benevolence of those who are in control of the capital.
But even this becomes nothing …even this falls. Because in a situation of great disparity and economic injustice and disadvantage capitalism is only as strong as those who manage it. If money becomes worthless and no one is working or consuming… the bugger they are..the Harder THEY FALL!
And who bailed out the banks in 2008 ? YOU. YOU DID!
Not Amazon or Google or Facebook or Microsoft… because they pay little taxes or disproportionate levels of taxes compared to what they earn. They do that through clever off shore accounting and not dividend manipulation. In capitalist thought or “mindthink” ..this is regarded as being “ clever” …because your profits are being maximised.
PROFIT AT ALL COST AND SCREW YOU!
It is atavism at its best and along comes a spider called CHINA… to disrupt and destroy the old world paradigm so johnny boy cant play like he used to anymore… and hes pissed off…SHAME!
So what is the solution?
The solution is a new economy with new economics. An economy that gives the people a fair shake at the American dream. It is sharing in the wealth and bounty of these government companies ruling from their ivory towers in Seattle and California.
It is collectivism. Decentralisation and sharing the public wealth of a nation. No company can be allowed to exist in a situation like this where one man or a few lucky individuals have all the say.
Imagine if each of us were given that right to be a free man or a free woman who is able to educate themselves or empower themselves through free enterprise… so they can feed their families and become sovereign individuals.
Imagine if we can repair this broken unjust economic system by changing not only the way we consume , but also the way we conduct our business. If large tech or multi national companies were collectively owned by the people through the shares they collectively owned… how much better would that be for humanity?
Can it work? Can UBI work? And do we have a choice if we want to future proof the global economy?
I believe so.
COLLECTISM is in essence is the economic alternative of the mycellium. It is the NEW ECONOMY. Because who benefits ?
- WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,