Why Create A New System?
Democratic Capitalism (DC) Isn’t That Bad Right?
Yes DC is pretty good. In fact it is better than any system we have had before. DC offers equal legal rights regardless of one’s race, gender or sexual preference and abolishes outright servitude. Technology under DC has undergone explosive advancement and in terms of most metrics eg. life expectancy it is far beyond the systems that came before it.
If so, shouldn’t we just stick with DC?
DC was the answer to a specific point it time
DC was an answer to feudalism. It was the next iterative step to take once feudalism crumbled around the world and it was a better system.
However, that was 300 years ago. Since then a massive amount has changed, not least of which the explosion of technology. It almost goes without saying that of course now if we start from scratch and factor in modern knowledge and technology we can devise a better system.
DC has been getting worse
DC improved in terms of wealth equality leading up to the 1970s and since then it has steadily gotten worse. Productivity is continuing to dramatically improve and yet only those already very rich are seeing the benefits. The wealth is not trickling down and the global middle class is constantly shrinking. President Obama has called wealth inequality ‘the defining challenge of our time’.
On a global scale as well, DC is destructive in that it exploits poverty for cheap labor. Poor nations employ their people for global corporations for minimal wages. Meanwhile workers in developed countries are losing their jobs due to this offshoring and can no longer afford to buy goods that stimulate their own countries economies. On the global level there is now a startling level of wealth inequality. The wealthiest 26 people in the world have more wealth than the bottom 3,800,000,000.
DC is causing repeated financial crisis in a boom bust boom pattern that is quite destructive for everyone but those already wealthy. All the while it is proving to be highly destructive to the environment which is totally unacceptable for our generation to be doing. The worst example of this is of course man-made climate change. Elon Musk sums up what we are doing very well in this video.
Democracy is also compromised with big money corrupting politics via the lobbying system. President Obama on some of the issues with democracy in the USA.
In short DC has had some good years but at the moment it is very inequitable and unstable. Yes, the USA is particularly bad example, but all DC countries are following the same trends of wealth inequality and a manipulated democracy.
Requiem for the American Dream is a fantastic film and a deep dive into the fundamental issues. It is focused on the USA which is one of the worst examples of DC, but as mentioned the same trends and issues are seen in all DC countries.
Check out thisistheworld.net which drills into the global capitalist system more.
Even a recent president of the USA recognizes the issues, but why is no one talking about alternative systems?
This is the startling thing. Why is there no talk publicly about alternative systems when DC, a 300 year old system, has all these problems. Why aren’t you looking at this going ‘Oh not another person with a new political system’ but are instead probably thinking ‘Oh wow, some DC alternative? Hmm but we know that communism doesn’t work right, what else could there be? Democracy, equal rights, freedom, these are all great things?’.
A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realization of Utopias. Oscar Wilde
Shouldn’t we be looking for the next Utopia? Or at least look to take big steps to achieve a better world?
Utopia for realists is an excellent book on large strides we can make with the existing system. It is also a rare example of media that strongly questions the current system. However, even more remarkably there are no current compelling examples of proposed alternative systems. With the number of highly educated people in the world this is quite amazing.
There is value in considering what a modern utopian society would look like
Even if we can’t suddenly switch to a new system at least documenting and iterating upon such a system can have a lot of value. Once there is a compelling and superior system a strong case can be made for change. Even if that change is not a complete switch over it is still valuable if DC can learn from other better systems.
The time is ripe to construct an advanced, highly productive and equitable society
There is amazing technology available that can allow for totally new ways of organizing people. For example through technology a referendum could be a trivial matter to run. Society could be run by every decision being voted on by anyone in the population who wants to. That would be an extreme democracy! The point is that so much is possible now and at the very least it is worth considering options that weren’t available 300 years ago when DC started.
Business and more specifically technology companies have advanced methods of organizing people and making decisions. These techniques have proven to be highly sophisticated and productive. This is a lot of the reason why companies like Google are so effective. This video goes into a bunch of these practices used at Spotify without too much technobabble. Additionally, free software, known as ‘Open Source’ which is created by remote volunteers has created the open source model for managing teams which is also highly advanced and productive.
We have the technology and the knowledge to make ambitious new systems for managing people and society. Let’s work together on taking a big stride forward as a species.