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Predatory Capitalism: From Embracing It to Replacing It!

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Terminology

  • - Political systems: authoritarian/totalitarian or democratic/republic led by socialist or capitalist political parties.
  • - Economic systems: predominantly authoritarian controlled by either the state or privately.
  • - Predatory Capitalism: a replacement/improvement of feudalism. Still an authoritarian (employer/employee) economic system that endeavors to maximize inequality even during periodic crashes.
  • - Socialism: critically reviews capitalism with over a hundred years of trying to control/replace predatory capitalism.
Nation Building

Nations are an amalgamation of many elements. They all include some combination of specific political and economic systems. History shows most fail with age or with intervention of others. Some lead to world-wide economic disasters. Most combinations have been authoritarian in one or more ways and have abused citizens to differing degrees. Some nations have been more egalitarian and better at equally protecting and empowering their citizens. Some have created greater inequality. By examining mankind's historical attempts at nation building, we can see how to "build a new model that makes the existing model[s] obsolete."

The dominant political systems reviewed below are either democratic/republic or totalitarian/authoritarian and are led by capitalist or socialist leaders. The dominant economic systems are historically authoritarian: slavery (owner/slaves); feudalism (lords/surfs); capitalism (employer/employee).

In many nations, the authoritarian and democratic political systems try to control/regulate predatory capitalism. The degree of regulation varies from total to almost none. With the rise of the industrial age, regulation of predatory capitalism became critical to nation saving. A few political systems experimented with democratic economic systems in place of regulation.

Totalitarian Socialist Control of 20th-Century Predatory Capitalism

In the early 20th century, predatory capitalism was wreaking havoc around the world. In response, both socialist and communist parties became serious threats for ending capitalism's abuse. The Soviet Union opted for total political and economic control to stop the corporate abuse.

The Soviet Union created one of the largest socialist-led authoritarian political systems ever known. Their political system totally controlled the economic system with the government as the employer. The Soviet Union was a full-blown authoritarian socialist state. They effectively banned predatory capitalism. They forbade private ownership and kept workers and consumers out of the decision process. Eventually, this completely totalitarian empire failed.

Total Embracement of 20th-Century Predatory Capitalism

On the other hand, some countries responded to the threat of 20th-century socialist and communist efforts to control predatory capitalism by doubling down with predatory capitalism.

Nazi Germany combined a capitalist-run authoritarian political system, fascism, with predatory capitalism, to fund, maintain and build their malevolent war machine. Nazi Germany was a full-blown authoritarian capitalist state. However, a group of more democratic, capitalism-limited, nations defeated this completely authoritarian empire and ended WWII.

Similarly, Italy and Spain attempted this authoritarian, predatory capitalist combination and eventually failed.

21st-Century Democratic Socialist Regulation of Capitalism

Decades later, modern-day Germany has a newly elected, socialist-led democratic political system. This socialist-led government is using/regulating a slightly more democratic, but still capitalist-owned, economic system. Union reps are members of corporate boards of directors. The socialist government maintains and protects public services for citizens like national health care.

Portugal is much like Germany - a socialist-led democratic political system that provides national public services. It also maintains strong control over their authoritarian, capitalistic economy to minimize its predatory nature.

Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom also used socialist-democratic governments to regulate of their capitalist authoritarian (employer/employee) economic system. They also had a greater focus on equally protecting and empowering all their citizens. These nations limit the power and influence of capitalist billionaires.

Other nations, like Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Chile, have governments run by socialist parties. These nations strive to protect their natural resources from capitalist ownership. They prefer to use their resources for supporting their people. The socialist nature of these nations is used to distract us from learning and reevaluating our struggling nation and its failing systems.

Hybridized Authoritarian Socialist Control of Predatory Capitalism

China's socialist-led authoritarian political system has learned from the failure of the USSR. They implemented a hybrid authoritarian economic system. Some of China's economic segments are privately run yet government-regulated like European socialist-led nations. On the other hand, some segments are totally government-run for their public nature as was done in the USSR. The Chinese authoritarian socialist government runs the political system and totally controls their hybrid economic systems.

Decades of Democratized Capitalism under Fascist and Socialist Political Systems

In the Mondragon region of Spain, they established the best example of a democratic economic system. It has been in use since the end of WWII. This region is a large coalition of worker-run co-ops. They have eliminated the authoritarian employer from the employer/employee capitalist model and democratized the workplace. Workers in Mondragon own and manage the means of production. They democratically determine the distributions of their profit among the other profit makers and the business.

Mondragon workers won't send their jobs to other countries. The workers of Mondragon won't pollute their own communities. Mondragon workers refuse to pay slave wages to themselves. The workers of Mondragon don't let profits accumulate with oligarchs - oligarchs who would destroy their democratic economy for the sake of maximizing economic inequality.

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Vietnam Vet, UT El Paso Grad, Retired Aerospace Engineer, former union rep, 60's Republican now progressive, web admin, blogger

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