Characteristics of our today economic system worldwide:
In principle, the capitalist economy which unrivaled dominates humankind on our planet, is a marked absorption, enrichment and exclusionary economy favoring few at the expense of many – and so provokes the mentioned systemic aberrations of our civilization. Accordingly, economic sectors and their structures are being mutated, inter alia:
– into a property regulatory system that turns commonly created values into private disposal, increasingly privatizes common property, and where land and large properties can be used for performance-free absorption and returns;
– into a financial system that enables speculative money trading with absorption functions in banking and facilitates a performance-free accumulation of money through interests;
– into market rules that allow pushing the social and environmental costs onto taxpayers, nature and future generations; the Principal of Externalization: pushing all loads and subsequent costs to the general public – privatizing profits, socializing risks and costs;
– into a remuneration system that allows top wages far above any performance capacity (the 50-1000 times or more the average wages) and forces other into economic activities from which they can hardly live;
– into neoliberal deregulation of markets that favors the rich nations compared to developing countries (agricultural export subsidies, unilateral protectionism and others) and driving parts of the world population into impoverishment or leaving them stagnating in relative poverty; the Deregulation Principle: Pushing out the state and regulation efforts from the economy as much as possible.
This system keeps ongoing and works so far mainly because many people trust in deeply rooted beliefs, ideologies and half-truths of the capitalist economic mode. The most important ones are:
- The interplay of self-interest, market and competition would „guided by an invisible hand“ lead to the prosperity of all.
- The market being the only appropriate instrument for producing a generally accepted justice because here everyone has the opportunity to prove himself.
- The liberalization of the market, the withdrawal of the state from the economy would bring the best economic development.
- The privatization and commercialization of all goods in life would bring about the highest efficiency and the greatest prosperity.
- Capital accumulation and wealth in the hands of a few would pull the lower classes upwards.
- Continuous growth of the economy is possible and without growth no economy can work.
These belief statements are grounded in a social-Darwinist people image: Human beings are guided by egoism, material enrichment, competition and aggression; only in acting out these gifts they can survive and the economy thrive. The gifts of solidarity, sharing and renunciation, charity, responsibility, spiritual meaning giving are devalued and deported at best to the purely private. The combination of this image of humankind with the economic ideology described above makes selfishness and the pursuit of wealth, outwitting and overcharging of others, competitive thinking, elbows mentality, aggression and violence at all levels of life and society to become the obvious vision and lifestyle. This becomes evident in the ruling mainstream, in media and advertising, in the „fight for jobs“, in the entertainment industry, in child education etc.
As long as this people image and conception of life remain dominant and are propagated, an economy marked by selfishness, competition and irresponsibility for the common good and for the ecosystem is the logical consequence.