Human fuel for the capitalist fire.

200 years ago, at the end of this past March, I talked about some of the ways in which capitalism is making the COVID-19 crisis as bad as it is. Today, Cody at Some More News released a video talking about some of those same issues, plus a great deal more. Cody’s show is always worth your time, and in this one he draws attention to some of the ways in which the resources of the U.S. government are being used to benefit private corporations and Republican cronies. It’s worth noting that there are several layers of “externalizing” going on here. The military “air bridge” is taking on many of the costs of sourcing the materials. They are also putting some costs onto other countries in the form of worsening their crises by seizing shipments they needed, and they are forcing American state and local officials to bid against each other for life-saving resources, all for the profit of corporations selling materials obtained, often through a form of piracy, at the expense of American taxpayers.

If, by chance, this is the first time you’re hearing some of this stuff, I highly recommend adding The Majority Report to your regular news diet, as they were reporting on this at least a week ago. They also tend to have a great deal of important news and analysis that reaches farther, and digs deeper than any of the standard corporate news outlets.

I just want to add in a note at this point: It’s often said that the problem isn’t capitalism, it’s “crony capitalism”. This is a distinction without a difference. Capitalism, in all of its forms, is designed to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few people, who then use that wealth to get more. Wealth also means power, and they use their concentrations of wealth and power to influence the laws and systems in which they operate, for their benefit. Any system that concentrates wealth and power, as capitalism is designed to do, will always result in monopolies, and what some call “crony capitalism”. Things like regulation, wealth taxes, progressive income taxes, and shifts like The New Deal are all efforts to slow or reverse the natural progression of capitalism, but they will also always fail in time, as the capitalist class gains enough power to change the laws and regulations. It’s what happened in the leadup to the Great Depression, and it’s what started happening immediately after the New Deal took effect. Capitalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, which is part of why some folks on the political center and right have been talking, recently, about how democracy isn’t actually very good. When it comes down to it, they value the right of a fraction of the population to accumulate unlimited wealth and power, over the right of every person to have a say in decisions that affect their lives.

We might get something like a Green New Deal, at some point, but without fundamentally changing major elements of how our economic and political systems are designed, capitalism will always return us to this point. Infinite growth on a finite world is impossible. Infinite accumulation on a finite world means artificial and unnecessary scarcity.

This image is text of a conversation between

Hey everybody, I am once again asking for your assistance. I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!



  1. says

    I have often wondered why people who are at the mercy of this system are such fans of it. I have come so far as to think of two things. The first is the fantasy factor. That is, it’s fun to see people living free of most of the restrictions most of us live with. How cool not to worry about whether you can afford to live where you are! How cool that you can read or learn to dance or go fishing or travel the Continent, without having to earn the money that will make it possible! A second-order fantasy is added, in the US of A and related countries: You know, Anyone Can Do it! So if you don’t Do It, you are a schlump or something.
    The second idea that I have seen operating in some people’s thinking is very different. It’s the confusion of “capitalism” with “having a business.” The essence of capitalism is the creation of *wealth*. The essence of other kinds of business is the creation of *value*. I know this sounds unbearablly old-fashioned, but there’s a big difference in the impact on the world and the health of society when a person operates, let’s say, a farm in order to grow food, rather than create excess wealth to be invested in, say, an oil company. If I have a carrot farm, in a carrot-loving society, then I invest time, expertise, soil-care, and money in a complex negotiation with Nature, and grow and harvest a pile o’ Carrots. It’s not capitalism to ask people to pay you enough for their carrots that you can recoup your investment, catch up on your sleep in the winter, and afford the necessities of life, and even some comforts. A capitalist approach is to see carrots as an instrumental means to create the real product, profits. But very often people hear critiques of caputalism, and instantly think of centralized “gathering and sharing” systems, with no room for individual creativity or choice or inventiveness. So they fear an inefficient, inescapable, impersonal system that will crush them if it’s convenient, but dones’t mind keeping them mostly functioning, since labor is a factor of production. Unlike the system we have now, which oddly shares many characteristics with that dystopia.

  2. StevoR says


    That last graphic with the various disciplines.

    Says it all really.

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