Click here to buy this book!
Buy your copy!
Barnes & Noble.com
Click here to buy!
This is a profound new look at an old system, Capitalism. It has changed the world,but is it for better or worse.
The world of today is shaped by the concept of Capitalism. From north to south, east to west this concept is the dominant economic model for nations. What is Capitalism? Where did it come from and why has it spread so prolifically all around the globe? These are some of the questions one must ask when looking at this dominant model of global economics today. The other, and perhaps more pressing questions are; where is it taking us and who is in control? We often tend to view Capitalism as a man made concept, but recent developments surrounding the studies of natural systems would indicate that it is a natural system and not man-made. If this is the case we're forced to ask where is it taking us, and how will it shape the world of the future. Capitalism is much like the weather; dynamic and unpredictable. Will it lead us to greater success, or into areas of increasing instability in the global marketplace? How will it affect you as an individual and shape your future? This dynamic natural system will have significant impacts on each of us, whether nations or individuals in the world of tomorrow. The important question remains; is it an old friend, or a new enemy?
What we cannot ignore is the reality that the world needs Capitalism. We have become so intertwined with the system that it is unthinkable for the world to continue without it. As Dawkins pointed out in his discussion on memes, there is a proponent of the survival of the fittest when we look at cultural systems. Capitalism has earned its place as a survivor. More importantly, the system is irreplaceable in today's economic scheme. The creation of market-driven systems are fundamental to the economic well-being of all societies. Countries that are poor look toward Capitalism as a way of reversing the poverty and entering the global marketplace successfully. There are numerous examples of that as pointed out earlier. However, there is a growing trend which looks away from Capitalism and toward other models for the creation of successful economies.
In South America, there's a growing trend away from globalization and market-driven economies. Venezuela is one such society. There, the government has begun an aggressive implementation of social reform to combat that nation's crippling poverty. Despite having large reserves of petroleum, Venezuela has been one of the many nations in South America that has yet to realize economic prosperity. It has chosen to align itself with countries such as Cuba and the philosophy of managed economic systems rather than Capitalism. A number of other countries in South America are beginning to follow suit, including Bolivia, one of the poorest nations in that region. Although the governments of these nations look away from globalization, the underlying system of Capitalism still exists and flourishes within these countries. What we have here is a debate about agrarian Capitalism verses the market-driven form of Capitalism created by industrialization and intensified by the spread of information systems as the system evolved into globalization. In its present form, globalization requires extreme competition between countries for markets. Poor countries are at a disadvantage in that they have few commodities they can bring to the table to gain access into this global arena. When they find viable commodities to gain access to the global stage, they often run right into the brick walls of trade restrictions and barriers imposed by the developed world. For these countries, the more leisurely and less competitive version of Capitalism drawn from the time of agrarianism is preferable. In that system, they would have an easier time of moving into the global marketplace with their farm products. However, we cannot turn back the clock, so I am afraid their efforts to opt out of the global system will prove fruitless. The present form of Capitalism is too well-entrenched to be displaced. The system will continue to distribute surpluses of products and ideas despite the best efforts of some countries to withdraw from the system. In real terms, no single government can withdraw from the system they can only force Capitalism to become an underground system as occurred in China and Russia during the early days of Communism. Where there is surplus, the natural system will come into play and establish itself to distribute that surplus. It is immaterial to the system of Capitalism whether this is done officially or unofficially; the system will continue to work.
The primary flaw in Capitalism, the stratification that occurs within the system, will be a problem for some time to come. As we saw in the early days of industrialization in England, there was a stratification of haves and have-nots. Governments modified this into a system of classes for their own purposes. In either case, the net result is the same: there will be people who are lacking in the skills necessary to compete effectively in the modern environment created by globalization/Capitalism. The government of India has perhaps hit upon the single most important factor for countries to be successful in this global environment: education. The creation of a viable educational system designed to take a portion of the population and to create within it the technical, scientific, and professional skills that the global marketplace requires is the only effective way to succeed. For countries such as India and Cuba, who have recognized that their schools can be a viable global commodity, they have been successful. In countries where this realization has not yet come into being, such as Africa, there has been less success. Capitalism has moved to the lowest common denominator: the human being. This was where we started at the very early stages of farming. Although industrialization moved our perceptions away from the individual, just as globalization has moved our perceptions away from individual countries, individuals within this system have a value, but that value is based upon the tools and capabilities they bring with them. The present form of Capitalism is a knowledge-based system. Those with the greatest skills and knowledge will have the most to trade. In the early days of farming, not every individual would be a successful farmer, yet there were individuals who were able to survive in this system because they brought other skills to the table.