JR'S Free Thought Pages
Why Capitalism and Christianity are Antithetical to Democracy and Morality
Gangster Capitalism is a Corrupt Culture of Vipers, Vultures and Thieves Transmogrifying every State on the Entire Planet into an Oligarchic Kleptocracy
By JR, February 2023
Every state has been an instrument by which a privileged few have wielded power over the immense majority. And every church has been a loyal ally of the state in the subjugation of mankind. Governments throughout history have used religion both as a means of keeping men in ignorance and as a “safety-valve” for human misery and frustration - Mikhail Bakunin
God told me to Invade Iraq – George W Bush
We’re doing God’s work at Goldman Sachs – Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of GS following the 2007-09 global financial meltdown and trillions of dollars of bailout money to greed plagued Goldman and several other US mafia bandit banks and financial vipers. May the Lord Lloyd be with you all!
I spent thirty-three years in the Marines, most of my time being a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I had a swell racket. I was rewarded with honours, medals, promotions. I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three city districts. The Marines operated on three continents – Major General Smedley D Butler, most decorated soldier in the US before WW II, from his book War is a Racket
Rich Kid: What do you do for a living Daddy?
Rich Daddy: I’m the CEO of a Hedge Fund.
Rich Kid: Yes, but what do you actually do?
Rich Daddy: Don’t Ask!
Democracy’s Common Misconceptions and Non-Existence
As demonstrated in Russia and numerous other countries, when faced with a choice between democracy without capitalism or capitalism without democracy, Western elites unhesitatingly embrace the latter – Michael Parenti
Designed to leave the world's economic destiny at the mercy of bankers and multinational corporations, globalization is a logical extension of imperialism, a victory of empire over republic and international finance capital over democracy – Michael Parenti
The system tricks us over and over and it’s always the same people who come up with the “solutions” for problems they have created. The pattern is obvious, yet we are forced to play the rituals in this capitalist death cult. Why? - Hiroyuki Hamada
Democracy is typically depicted as either freedom and, to a much lesser degree, equality. The stark reality is democracy does not and never has existed except perhaps in some North American indigenous societies. This of course was before the real savages - the racist murderous Christian white men - who arrived at their doorstep and began their five centuries of rapacious theft and genocidal rampage. Some writers, even lefty liberals and those on the genuine left stretch reality by referring to our “capitalist democracies” in countries such as the US, Canada, Germany and even Sweden which has regressed dramatically since the still unsolved assassination of socialist Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.  Capitalist democracy is at best an oxymoron. Are these people, including those on the left, serious about claims of losing democracy they’ve never had? Don’t these deluded people and others, especially conservatives  and many free market liberals, understand that democracy has little to do with the state and farcical elections, but are rather acts of moral imagination. Democracy is the ability to see in another human traveller in life a shared compassion and empathy, no matter what the differences in status or socio-economic background might be. It’s the capacity toward fairness, justice, egalitarianism and interconnections that bind us all to the notion that “we are our brother’s keeper” (one of the few moral adages in the bible that are not command ordinances from god), that we are this increasingly fragile and damaged planet apocalyptic quagmire together. As indicated in the title, these challenges and many other ethical matters are antithetical to the authoritarian exploitive ideology of capitalism.
The reality of our undemocratic capitalist socio-economic systems is that you have freedom – the freedom to be a slave to capitalist accumulation and exploitation. One of the ideas for which Vladimir Lenin is best remembered is his understanding of freedom, particularly his distinction between formal and actual (real) freedom. For Lenin, we can never escape the questions of (1) freedom for whom and (2) to what purpose. Actual or real freedom is the ability to actually choose the range of coordinates themselves, altering the goal posts one might say, and not merely a preset predetermined set of options within given parameters; that is, those imposed by the ideology of neo-liberal state capitalism. One is reminded of Anatole France’s famous quote, La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain or in English “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” One might add wage slave or homelessness to the list. In our phoney democracies we are informed by corporations and other wealthy icons of the capitalist oligarchy that we are free because we have the non-choice of voting in farcical elections every four years for two or more platinum spooned wealthy capitalists who will protect your interests. We are also told that the equally farcical free market is merely an exchange between equal subjects who meet in a benign marketplace as if the exploitive relationship between employer and worker represents an even playing field of equal partners.
Whatever you think of Lenin, he was, along with his brilliant Bolshevik colleague and revolutionary cohort Leon Trotsky, a highly intelligent bona fide intellectual and indeed right in pointing out that capitalism is not synonymous with democracy or real freedom. Today’s neo-liberal mutation of capitalism is not based on the free exchange of goods and services but rather crafting arcane complex financial instruments and betting against each other with fictitious capital on ever-increasingly rigged and manipulated stock and futures markets which now do not need bullshit jobs such as market analysts, accountants and lawyers as software, algorithms and AI are replacing them all. This casino atmosphere has now been extended to another colossal waste of money, time and intellect with the legalization of online betting on sports which has been marketed endlessly on the cultural wasteland of television. This is perhaps merely another way of forcing the working classes to focus on trivia rather than their exploitation and oppression under a cancerous capitalism. Moreover, the much-touted claims by the ruling elites and business classes and the boot licking political sycophants who serve their interests with endless blow job bailouts. Moreover, “freedom” and “democracy” are clearly conditioned by their own conceptions, careerism, pathological desires, unmitigated greed, acquisitiveness and neo-fascist fixations. Their notions of freedom and democracy are inextricably tied to the interests of their own parasitic class and thereby constrained by a whole series of limiting conditions such as the freedom of corporations to buy and sell at whatever price will elicit maximum profit, the fraud of intellectual property rights, plundering resources, pay little or no taxes, imperialist wars to augment opportunities to resource extraction and to exploit their uninhibited access to cheap labor (slavery being wage labor taken to its minimalist logical conclusion in capitalist economics) and increased profit before all else - including all life on the planet. Costs and other unpleasant externalities such as air pollution and contamination of soil and ground water are offloaded onto the people according to the principle of “privatizing profit and socializing costs”. But the question arises; what about the liberty of labor to move about freely and their right to a livable wage, safe working conditions and benefits? For Marx, Lenin and Trotsky, workers are mere commodities or resources that are objects of exploitation by the bourgeoisie and their right to rob them of their real wages (the infamous surplus value) and autonomy.
And what about freedom of the media which under capitalism’s hegemony, it is merely the freedom for the wealthy and privileged rich to own and control the various forms of media, including the press, television and now the internet in order to indoctrinate the masses into their demented class views (false consciousness) and create a docile uncritical populace of worker ants and drones that can be easily manipulated and controlled? But what about elections, parliaments and what we call “representative democracy”? Are these not merely another scam in which parliamentary politicians are merely pawns and instruments of wealth and power, like the laws, courts, police, military and surveillance apparatus? The ultimate determining factor is the dominance of capitalist ideology, which generates its devious forms of political representation and set of laws that further its own agendas; that is, “democracy” as we know it operates within strict parameters defined by capitalist ideology. The only comparable parallel for deceit, propaganda, manipulation, false promises and never-ending hot steaming bullshit is religion, namely Christianity, with its carrot-stick “morality”, sacred pre-scientific bronze age book and superstitious mumbo jumbo (like capitalist economics). As the brilliant 20th century economist and intellectual, John Maynard Keynes remarked, “Capitalism is the theory that the worst people, acting from their worst motives, will somehow produce the most good”. I submit that capitalism is a death cult, not unlike Christianity and its current mutation that embraces capitalism proclaiming that “God wants you to be rich”. This is the new slogan of what is called the “prosperity gospel”, a hypocritical theology that contaminates mainstream Christianity, voiding it of any ethical content it may have once had. If Jesus was to actually rise from the dead as many deluded Christians have been proclaiming for the past two millennia, his first act would be to throw up as he is arrested as a revolutionary enemy of the capitalist state – as he was during the Roman Empire that executed him. Christianity as a revolutionary liberating movement was annihilated when it was declared the state religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century CE. Christianity’s moral decent was rapid as it became as tyrannical as the authoritarian states it originally opposed. The embrace of capitalism by the Christian mainstream – the former of which has been on life support since the Great Depression - is perhaps the most authoritarian, dogmatic and destructive socio-economic system in human history. The marriage of capitalism and mainstream Christianity is merely another nail in both of their rotting coffins.
Professor Robert Jensen who I admire a great deal gave a lecture several years ago with the title Capitalism v Christianity: A Tale of Two Cults. Check it out here.
Classical Liberalism v Neo-Liberal Gangster Capitalism
It is important to mention the earlier ideological conceptions of the current neo-liberal narrow notion of freedom and how they have been expropriated by the extreme right wing neo-fascist capitalist contingents of the ruling elites such as the Republican Party in the US and Conservative Party in Canada. The contradictions of liberalism can be traced back to even one of its sacred icons John Stuart Mill, author of the classic On Liberty who was a supporter of the British Empire’s brutality, racist colonialism and genocidal policies. Then there’s former UK Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister David Lloyd George who in the 1930s during an interview with the News-Chronicle said, “Chancellor Adolph Hitler is one of the greatest of the many great men I have ever met.” On a trip to Nazi Germany he remarked, “I have never seen a happier people than the Germans,” adding that the Nazi system is “a great achievement.” He expressed himself as impressed by the “universal adoration” throughout the Third Reich of Hitler and referred to him as the “greatest living German” and that it is “a pity that there are not more like him in England”. There are many examples of this attitude both in politics and big business, including Winston Churchill who admired both Hitler and Mussolini – at least until the Battle of Britain. There were many conservatives and liberals who admired Benito Mussolini and praised Hitler for their political and economic programs. This included Canada’s Liberal Party Prime Minister Mackenzie King during the 1930s and 40s who in 1937 called on German foreign minister Baron von Neurath. Neurath claimed Hitler was opposed to war, and spoke of the “good work” Hitler had done since he took power and then spoke with disdain of the Jewish population of Berlin. “He said to me that I would have loathed living in Berlin with the Jews, and the way in which they had increased their numbers in the city … He said there was no pleasure in going to a theatre which was filled with them …. They were getting control of all the business, the finance …. It was necessary to get them out to have the German people really control their own City and affairs.” They also discussed the Germans’ dislike for the Americans. Neurath then agreed with King’s suggestion that everyone should try to overcome prejudices and promote goodwill. He found Neurath to be “very kind and pleasant.”
Neither Christians nor Capitalists had any ideological or moral objections to the Nazi and Fascist takeovers in Germany and Italy respectively and few in Europe, the UK and North America had any opposition; in fact their unabashed authoritarianism garnered support from most Capitalist and Christian ruling elites. Yes, one can add the support from Christian mainstream Protestantism and Catholicism for Hitler in Germany (Hitler being a Catholic is surely a factor) in addition to the military and big business enterprises, the leaders of whom were typically devout Christians; most of the Gestapo for example were devout Christians. The ruling capitalist classes had no problem with either Hitler’s Nazis or Mussolini’s Fascists, the latter of whom was supported by the Vatican which facilitated the escape of Nazi and Fascist war criminals out of the country to the popular safe destinations in Latin America with their so-called rat lines. Big business was enamoured with Hitler and Mussolini because they were instrumental is crushing the leftist unions, socialists in communists that were becoming very popular during the Great Depression. Moreover after the formation of the American CIA in 1947, many recruits came from former Nazi war criminals and the Gestapo. The tyranny of Capitalists with their philosopher king Adam Smith’s mystical “invisible hand of the marketplace” differs only qualitatively from the Christian guru Jesus Christ’s supernatural tyrannical sky daddy that, not unlike capitalism, controls and orchestrates all life on planet earth. Both Capitalism and Christianity rely on mythology and the magical to promote their fairy tales in addition to endless carrot-stick morality, con games and delusional solutions to the problems of humanity. The hucksterism and duplicity of both Christianity and Capitalism have their nefarious salvation plans for us all. In the 21st century fascism is back and spreading throughout the so-called “liberal”, “democratic” and “enlightened “polluted landscapes and waterway wastelands of our dying planet.
In our contemporary world most liberal politicians embrace the tyranny of cancerous corporatist gangster capitalism called neo-liberalism. By the way, I have a dislike of and ongoing philosophical problems with both the labels neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism in the sense that there is nothing new about their alleged conservatism and liberalism. Certainly in the traditional Enlightenment sense, there’s nothing liberal about neo-liberalism. Together with mainstream Christianity for the past two millennia and corporate capitalism as it currently exists in its neo-fascist form, they are surely the two most authoritarian, exploitive and manipulative ideologies that have prevailed. Political conservatism I’ve always considered repugnant but traditional liberalism in the John Stuart Mill and John Rawls conceptions have many fine points of democratic ideas critical of capitalism that are worthy of consideration. Consider one of the most visible and well-known self-described liberals, the multi-billionaire George Soros. Soros’ mentor is philosopher of science Karl Popper who wrote a political tract on liberalism called The Open Society and its Enemies. I’m familiar with Popper’s work, having read him several decades ago in graduate courses in both the philosophy of science and mathematics. Bilderberg Group member Soros perhaps misunderstood Popper since his conception of a liberal “open society” for Soros seems to be “anything goes”. This has become the amoral dictum of any means can be justified by the end which has become the demented mutation of capitalism. This is not unlike the discombobulated Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell who at the onset of the covid-19 pandemic declared, “I will do whatever it takes to save the markets”. Any human mask that has been placed on capitalist exploitation and greed in the past has been removed beginning in the late 1970s. Capitalist accumulation has been reduced to the pursuit of money and profit in any manner whatsoever, totally removed from any moral or democratic oversight. Soros, a sociopath financial speculator and parasite, is the quintessence of this vile “shock therapy” modus operandi when he said during his presence in the illegal and brutal US/UK/NATO invasion of Yugoslavia in the 1990s said:
I am basically there to make money. I cannot and do not look at the social consequences of what I do and I don’t feel guilty. Because I’m engaged in an amoral activity which is not meant to have anything to do with guilt…As a market participant I don’t need to be concerned with the consequences of my actions.
These are strange words from a man who describes himself as a “liberal” when “fascist” would be a more apposite label. Soros has his own organization called the Open Society Institute which was influential in the kidnapping and Hague kangaroo court trial of Serbian Slobodan Milošević, the elected President of Yugoslavia. Another of Soros’ organization is an elitist version of the Hitler Youth, called The Soros Youth Movement. Conservatism is an amoral empty vessel but the contradictions and hypocrisies within liberalism and its history, especially the capitalist plague that infects it, are numerous. One only need examine the history of colonialism, racism, intolerance of leftist alternatives, slavery, imperialism, theft, genocide and war which went hand in hand with the so-called enlightenment liberal project.
The source and philosophical roots of this extreme reactionary form of neo-liberal capitalism can be traced to the robber barons of late 19th century United States (called the Gilded Age by Mark Twain) and more recently, creepy despotic ghouls such as Friedrich Hayek, a highly influential Anglo-Austrian economist and neoliberal-arch theoretical dogmatist who in the early 1960s proposed the ludicrous notion that freedom of the individual can only be construed as the freedom of the market. Freedom in this narrow sense accepts the notion that our liberties can be detached from moral oversight and responsibility whereby social justice, real democracy and ethics are irrelevant, if not a threat, to the capitalist market which thrives on authoritarianism enforced on the working classes and the corporate model of hierarchy and bureaucracy. Freedom is thereby separated from notions of either social responsibility, the common good or community values. Collective freedom and compassionate solidarity with others either disappears or is considered superfluous, pathological or a threat to capitalist accumulation. Reduced to the radical individualism and interests of corporate oligarchs and financial elite, neo-liberalism declares war against any collective notion of political and social agency, ethical sensibilities and the institutions that enable them. And related to this doctrine is the harsh neo-liberal view that no activity should be concerned with collateral damage and externalities that include social and economic impairment to the natural environment and communities. As one of the American disciples of neo-liberal theology, Milton Friedman, once stated, without remorse or irony, the call to social responsibility is tantamount to “preaching pure and unadulterated socialism and that the use of the cloak of social responsibility and the nonsense spoken in its name by influential and prestigious businessmen, does clearly harm the foundations of a free society.” Under neo-liberalism, the fusion of human capital and unfettered corporate interests are all that matter. Neo-liberalism has mutated into a form of fascism that strips democracy of any content other than the profit motive – or in the case of organized religion, prophet motive. With the ongoing crises of capitalism, its boom-bubble-bust-bailout iterations and the rise of fascist politics in the US and throughout much of the West, moral, social and ethical considerations have become objects of intense derision, promoting a culture of anything goes if profit is involved - like the recent online sports betting fetishes promoted relentlessly on TV by idiots such as Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky – and the cruelty and violence which have risen to unimaginable levels as a political tool and organizing principle of society.
And the unpleasant unvarnished truth is this: Political conservatism is little more than a short step to the left of fascism, a grand authoritarian illusion of elitist state control. Recall how Hitler came to power; with the support of every conservative influence in Germany that included big business, wealthy family elites, Christian churches and military. But the most recent ideological mutation of traditional liberalism is a corporate capitalist dominated ideology now universally referred to as neo-liberalism. This corporatist ideology which has morphed into a dogma akin to theology has evolved during the past four to five decades. It has been described as techno-feudalism by more than one contrarian economist and is every bit as undemocratic and authoritarian as any intrinsically autocratic variation of conservatism, whether monarchical, religious or capitalist that has existed in the past. You keep a nation of citizens in a child-like state captivated by endless patriotic indoctrination and nationalistic bullshit, marketing, propaganda and surveillance that they fail to realize that every door leads to the same undemocratic condition of total state control and multiple forms of coercion, bureaucratic bullying and what is generally referred to as structural violence. It’s just the ugly face of fascism dressed up in a variety of appealing smiley face power of positive thinking capitalists directing you to an online gambling site, the latest of endless corporate con games to anaesthetize the already alienated unthinking indoctrinated docile masses. At the end of the day, it is always the same cartel of elitist banking mafia and corporate parasites perched at the top while we the masses of compliant sheep are free to decide to either live under a viaduct, work at a wage slave job at Skip the Dishes and freely choose from a diverse array of superfluous consumer items and pre-selected bootlicking politicians at each and every elite financed farcical election.
Capitalist ideology and practices are brilliantly encapsulated by the sleazy psychopathic character Gordon Gekko in the Oliver Stone 1980s movie Wall Street. Gordo the lizard was delivering an ad hoc pep talk to fellow hucksters, con men, pump and dump stock traders and “entrepreneurs” (aka capitalist crooks) proclaimed, “Greed is good”. For an ethical civilized society to prevail, greed and the profit motive must be abolished. But don’t hold your breath waiting for this system to implode or be taken down; after all, these slimy sacks of dog shit are “too big to fail”. Notwithstanding the fact that most multi-millionaires and billionaires were born with a silver spoon, to families that were wealthy and had connections, there is a false perception among many people that people like Musk, Gates, Buffett, Bezos and Trump are simply smarter than the rest of us. These people had a 50 meter head start in the 100 meter dash in life and appear to have an aptitude (little or nothing to do with their reasoning abilities, superior intelligence or high IQ) for making boatloads of money. Intelligence is not of course, a singular quality since there are many people who know how to do one thing well - such as hit a 100 mph baseball, trade the stock and futures markets, crypto currencies or who are real estate developers greasing the palms of municipal politicians - know precious little else. In fact, if someone has devoted their entire life to the pathological pursuit of wealth, they are likely to be very ignorant of a lot of the world’s knowledge, because much of it simply won’t have been any advantage relevant to their pursuit of mammon that dominates their every waking minute. And of course they live in a system of anti-meritocracy where if you are rich enough, the state will bail you out when you screw up. When you read the memoirs of various billionaires, you will likely be surprised as I have been by how little they appear to know about mathematics, science, literature, history or any intellectual pursuit outside the world of business but nevertheless create an aura and confidence that there is nothing else they need to know.
There are of course countless moral alternatives to capitalism; only our barren imaginations prevent us from considering other options. For example, there are many alternative variations of socialism from anti-state libertarian styles to the social democratic Scandinavian models of the four decade post World War Two era. Socialism as a socio-economic philosophy has certain bedrock characteristics whereby sectors of the economy and basic aspects of human society and interaction are motivated by ethical notions of caring, community, solidarity, compassion and egalitarianism outside the greed driven market system that tolerates widespread deceit, exploitation, environmental degradation, poverty and homelessness, the latter two of which are international scandals and moral abominations. As Norman Finkelstein rightly stated in his recent book, "Human dignity is not possible without the ability to pay for a roof over one's head, clothes on one's back, and food on one's table." The self-righteous so-called “woke” ethos reminiscent of the political correctness hysteria of a few decades ago, identity politics with its atomization and the erosion of free speech and political “cancel culture” and other freedoms of traditional John Stuart Mill liberalism in his classic On Liberty are not only misguided, but toxic. Recall the two major Red Scares following the two horrific World Wars of the 20th century in which great radical icons such as Paul Robeson, the great singer and athlete who was doubly “cancelled” and hounded by the FBI for his two crimes of communism and speaking out against injustice and racism while being black. Let’s face an ugly fact; cancel culture by the corporate controlled media has been a fact of life for anyone on the political left for at least a century. Without solidarity on the issue of stark class divisions (which even hyper-capitalist reptiles such as Warren Buffet admit) the left will continue to stumble and fail.
Worker Control of the Workplaces
The process of the people taking ownership and self-management of the workplaces, basic human needs like housing, health care, education and food is precisely what we call socializing the public good. These criteria are non-negotiable minimalist conditions of a genuine democratic socialist society. The philosophical literature of Marxism is vast; indeed, arguably no political tendency has ever produced a more widespread body of philosophy. The essential elements of Marx’s system are delineated in Marx and Engels The Communist Manifesto, a revolutionary socialism that assumes power through the struggle of the working class masses against the employer-renting classes, which result in a post-capitalist, post-state society defined by mutual need and organized into decentralized democratic bodies that act according to the needs of the vast majority. This philosophy is moral, materialist, atheist, anti-capitalist, anti-state and anti-authoritarian, although communism is often associated with what evolved following the death of Lenin following the Russian Revolution and subsequent capitalist-monarchist reactionary induced Civil War in Russia - a vast bureaucratic state apparatus, thanks to the Stalinist authoritarianism of the Soviet Union which must have had Marx and Engels rolling over in their coffins. Ironically the Soviet State from about 1923 to 1989 resembles the neo-liberal proto-fascist dystopian Singapore style capitalist managed surveillance technocratic neo-feudalistic state we endure today whereby an unaccountable managerial political elite rule by expertise serving the interests of the financial oligarchy, multinational corporations and wealthy power elites. The attempt to put a human face on capitalism by FDR’s New Deal and other copycat attempts have ended in abysmal failure. It’s been a downward spiral for the 99% during the past four or five decades and a system that cannot and will not be fixed despite the fact that ecosystems are failing and all life forms except humans are in extinction mode. But our day will come.
Permit me to digress slightly by referring to the anarchist thought of the late anthropologist David Graeber who died suddenly at 59 in 2020 In one of his earlier books among many, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, he cited a passage from the great Russian Peter Kropotkin’s anarchism article for the Encyclopedia Britannica. In it Kropotkin stated that, in an anarchist society, peace, community and harmony would be obtained, not by submission to law or by obedience to any authority such as the state, but by free arrangements concluded between the various territorial, working groups, trades and professionals, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption with the object being the liberty and satisfaction of the countless variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being and moral society. Anything by the brilliant unassuming and humble David Graeber is worth reading. There is online a fascinating article by Graeber on bureaucracy, the police corporate capitalist surveillance state and its various forms of structural violence and coercion with the title Dead zones of the imagination: On violence, bureaucracy and Interpretive Labor that can be read here:
The interesting thing about Graeber’s people centred caring anarchist philosophy is that it could serve as an accurate description of virtually any genuine future democratic society including the libertarian communist sort favoured by Mikhail Bakunin, Kropotkin, Emma Goldman or Errico Malatesta, the mutualism of both Pierre Joseph Proudhon and Kropotkin or the brand of anarcho-syndicalism favoured by Noam Chomsky and the IWW ( Wobblies) or CNT unionism and collectivism of the anarchist groups during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). As Graeber convincingly argues, at its fundamental level, anarchist philosophy is grounded in two elementary premises. The first is that human beings are, under ordinary circumstances, about as reasonable and decent as they are allowed to be, and can organize themselves and their communities without needing to be told how. The second is that power corrupts. Most of all, anarchism is just a matter of having the courage to take the simple principles of common decency that we all live by, and to follow them through to their logical conclusions. Odd though this may seem, in most important ways you are probably already an anarchist; most people just don’t realize it. There are numerous examples of everyday decency and what goes on in most loving functional families in addition to societal interest groups such as clubs, sport teams and other voluntary organizations. These are not like the top down structures such as the totalizing capitalist state, military styles of organization such as police and other authoritarian bureaucracies such as organized religions such as Christianity or Islam, corporations and even most medium size businesses based on exploitive chains of command.
To summarize: anarchists believe that for the most part it is power itself, and the effects of power, that make people stupid and irresponsible. Are you a member of a book club or sports team or any other voluntary organization where decisions are not imposed by one leader but made on the basis of general consensus?
If you answer “yes”, then you belong to an organization which works on anarchist principles. Another basic anarchist principle is voluntary association which is merely a matter of applying democratic principles to everyday life. The only difference is that anarchists believe it should be possible to have a society in which everything could be organized along these democratic conciliatory approaches whereby all groups based on the free consent of their members, and therefore, that all top-down, military styles of organization like armies or bureaucracies or large corporations, based on authoritarianism, coercion and usually some form of tyranny, would no longer be necessary. People are inculcated to believe by the churches, schools and mass media in our authoritarian societies that this is a chimera, delusion, simply not possible. Let’s face it; every human organization in the past several millennia beyond perhaps the hunter gatherer societies and tribal councils of North American indigenous societies has been forms of state tyranny with a monopoly on violence. Yes, there are neighbours from hell – we have one of these sociopath assholes in our neighbourhood and he lives directly across the street from my wife and me. But every time you reach an agreement by dialogue, reciprocation and consensus, rather than harassment, intimidation and threats, every time you make a voluntary arrangement with another person, come to an understanding or reach a compromise by taking due consideration of the other person’s particular situation or needs, you are being an anarchist; you just don’t realize it.
Anarchism is just the way people act and behave when they are free to do as they choose within mutually accepted moral imperatives and when they deal with others who are equally free (assuming responsibilities that are attached to it) and therefore aware of the commitment, compassion and empathy toward others that entails. Graeber’s approach to the form of a hypothetical anarchist society is incredibly simple: take away all forms of domination and unilateral unaccountable authority by some people over others and put people together in a cooperative environment and see what they come up with. Graeber was a harsh critic of totalizing and idealized visions of the state. Similarly, anarchy itself, rather than a totalizing system, is just a way people interact with the other and that it’s all around us right now.
We could start with a kind of sociology of micro-utopias, the counterpart of a parallel typology of forms of alienation, alienated and non-alienated forms of action… The moment we stop insisting on viewing all forms of action only by their function in reproducing larger, total, forms of inequality of power, we will also be able to see that anarchist social relations and non-alienated forms of action are all around us. And this is critical because it already shows that anarchism is, already, and has always been, one of the main bases for human interaction. We self-organize and engage in mutual aid all the time. We always have.
Graeber’s conception of anarchism is a simple liberating one. It’s whatever people decide to do, whatever arrangements out the countless possibilities they create among themselves, when they’re not threatened with violence:
“…a political movement that aims to bring about a genuinely free society—and that defines a “free society” as one where humans only enter those kinds of relations with one another that would not have to be enforced by the constant threat of violence. History has shown that vast inequalities of wealth, institutions like slavery, debt peonage, or wage labour, can only exist if backed up by armies, prisons, and police. Even deeper structural inequalities like racism and sexism are ultimately based on the (more subtle and insidious) threat of force. Anarchists thus envision a world based on equality and solidarity, in which human beings would be free to associate with one another to pursue any endless variety of visions, projects, and conceptions of what they find valuable in life. When people ask me what sorts of organization could exist in an anarchist society, I always answer: any form of organization one can imagine, and probably many we presently can’t, with only one proviso - they would be limited to ones that could exist without anyone having the ability, at any point, to call on armed men to show up and say “I don’t care what you have to say about this; shut up and do what you’re told.”
Graeber considers himself a small “an” anarchist, on the side of whatever particular social forms free, mutually consenting people work out for themselves when removed from the tyranny of illegitimate authority. Would there be any place for free markets in an anarchist society. Why not? Free exchange has existed throughout history but the corrupt manipulated monopolist corporate capitalism we endure today has precious little to do with democracy or so-called “free markets”.
If you would like to read Graeber’s views on what might be properly described as “everyday communism”, read this:
If democracy is to have any meaning at all within our authoritarian capitalist state incarnations, in my view a huge historical boondoggle and moral mistake, then the only antidote to the inevitable raw power (the iron law of oligarchy) is the rule of law based on moral principles such as the golden rule and created not by elites but by the citizen masses to permit them redress to the pervasive abuses of raw power that include financial grand larceny and parasitism of a hydra-headed capitalist Godzilla that we witness on a global scale each and every day. The global stock markets for example are nothing but a maniacal manipulated feeding trough for the one-tenth of 1% that has created the disgusting billionaire class and moral monsters such as Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
Anyone who has read any serious critiques of the sordid history of capitalism will not find the revelations in this paper at all surprising. The horrors of capitalism continue unabated as it adapts to any and all of its countless disasters usually bailed out by its victims and profiting from the endless calamities at the same time. Capitalism has never had a problem with fascism as the sordid history of the first half of the 20th century attests. I refer to capitalism as a seemingly infinite sequences of “boom-bubble-bust-bailout” motivated by greed, excess with no moral limits and the love of money which is what even Christianity has embraced. Forget Jesus, the ancient world revolutionary who deplored the Roman state and its empire complete with con men and financial swindlers of his own time. Self-absorbed and attention deficit people these days seem to have become so docile, complacent, anaesthetized and atomized there has become an increasing number of people who don’t give a shit. Caring seems to be on the extinction list like every living thing on the planet, save for the now eight billion humans; but their day will come. Like the ads for the shingles vaccination; “Shingles doesn’t care”. There are many anti-capitalist intellectuals out there with cogent arguments but you need to do some work to find them since the lickspittle mainstream corporate media are mere echo chambers for the status quo and would never feature the views of two of the greatest anti-capitalist intellectuals of the past half-century, Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti.
The late Canadian Oxford philosopher G. A. Cohen’s books and his online lectures are brilliant, charming, thought provoking and entertaining - one of my favorite lefty intellectuals – his colleagues and admiring students called him “Jerry”.
Professor Cohen (1941-2009) died from a stroke at age 68 but his books are still in print and he has a presence on you tube and elsewhere. This short lecture is well worth your time and provides you with a sense of his charisma, charm and first rate intellect. Against Capitalism: Part I and Part II. Those whose interest has been stimulated by the above can read his Guardian obituary here at GA Cohen | Philosophy | The Guardian. An interesting interview with Jerry on “Philosophy Bites” (mp3 file) can be heard here: philosophy bites: G.A. Cohen on Inequality of Wealth (typepad.com). We are currently experiencing another Gilded Age, version 2.0, the original era of oligarchic plunder which was described by Mark Twain during his lifetime. But during the post World War II era of levelling that was an extension of the Depression era New Deal, a levelling process was extended to mollify the heartless plutocratic inequalities that had existed until the 1930s. By 1950 the CEO of General Motors Charles E Wilson paid $430,000 taxes on his income of $586,000 as the highest marginal tax rate for the super rich had risen to 92%. But this redistributive levelling period of egalitarianism lasted for about 30 years after WW II as the reactionary neo-conservative and neo-liberal forces gradually took over. Today most of the rich and big multi-national corporations pay little or no taxes as many hide their profits and wealth in offshore tax havens. Even popular Republican president Dwight D Eisenhower stated at the time that “unions have a secure place in our industrial life” and that “any society that tolerates a fabulously wealthy class is asking for trouble”. But Ike was an anomalous conservative whose approach didn’t last long with the emergence of working class hating and war mongering imperialist ghouls such as Ronald Reagan and his ilk. Capitalism would soon return to its nasty intrinsically immoral exploitive, greedy and plundering dogmatic ideological roots reminiscent of the Gilded Age of Mark Twain.
But the genesis of this transformation arose earlier than the “old man we elected king” (to cite a line referring to Ronald Reagan from the great 1980s song End of the Innocence by Don Henley); it began in 1971 during the “Tricky Dick” Richard Nixon era. Lewis Powell, soon to be nominated to the Supreme Court by Nixon, was a high-powered corporate lawyer perched on the boards of several big corporations when he wrote what has become known as the Powell Memorandum, a letter sent to the Director of the USA Chamber of Commerce. Powell expressed deep concern that American business and so-called “free enterprise” have been under full-scale criticism and attack by what he called “leftists”. He expressed fear that American capitalism might collapse from these assaults (especially from the counter-culture assaults and widespread anti-war demonstrations during the 1960s) on the sacred capitalist system unless drastic steps were taken. Powell identified academia, the news media, television, artists including pop music, social gospel preachers, radical professors and high school teachers, public intellectuals such as Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti and specifically certain progressive politicians as being the most expressive and appealing purveyors of the widespread “chorus of criticism” designed to bring down the scared edifice of American business. Consequently, serious action must be taken forcefully and immediately.
Civil rights and anti-war activists were challenging big business and the ideology of capitalism, holding them accountable to exploitation, injustices, war and systemic poverty, demanding government regulatory oversight and the exercise of their democratic rights. To Powell, the corporate lawyer and perennial capitalist and corporate board member, this was akin to a crisis requiring immediate direct action. The anti-capitalist chorus must be destroyed and power returned to the rightful masters of mankind. The future Supreme Court Justice went on to outline in detail how the corporate world must reaffirm total control and influence over every aspect of American life, its politics, economics, education systems and culture. Academia must be populated with conservative professors sympathetic to big business and especially Marxists textbooks reviewed, evaluated and purged and conservative guest speakers deployed on campuses to counter the left leaning narrative. Powell wrote that corporations provide lucrative contracts and benefits to colleges and universities and these should be invoked to influence the histories, narratives and ideologies being taught on university campuses. We witness the upshot of these reactionary methodologies and results of this today. Many colleges no longer teach or even offer courses that believe in a broad-based liberal arts education invoking freedom of thought, but rather are technical training schools for business management, financial theology, investment banks, marketing firms, law firms, accounting firms, weapons manufacturers, and conservative or military think tanks. With the funding of buildings, research grants, and faculty chairs, the corporate neo-fascist takeover of our intellectual life is virtually complete. Students travel through four years of college without a single course in logic, critical thinking, philosophy, political science that covers the entire spectrum of ideologies including socialism and anarchism, bottom up history or even literature or creative writing, resulting in a woefully uninformed uncultured ignorant and docile unquestioning populace.
Powell made a similar argument regarding the mass media which is now controlled by a half dozen multinational corporations. News outlets now owned by these corporations need to be persuaded to realize that their profits depend on narratives favorable to American big business. Stories about anti-war, peace, consumer, worker solidarity and environmental rights must cease. The same for television, a medium Powell cited as perhaps the most effective source of information back then. The political arena must not be neglected, said Powell, because “political power is necessary; such power must be assiduously cultivated; and when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination — without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.” In other words, no holds barred, including leaning on public bureaucrats. Thanks to Powell and his colleagues, the planet now faces multiple crises, and perhaps extinction, thanks to untrammeled neo-feudalistic capitalism and creping fascism. The threats are real, including the existential ones which are scientifically measurable and validated. The dead are being counted, including the masses of homeless and hungry, the drought stricken and the war-ravaged that form a chorus of alienation and suffering. Powell’s capitalist conservative anti-working class agenda has transformed our current dystopian FUBAR world beyond his wildest crypto-fascist dreams. The dysfunction and depravity and looming denouement of what many refer to as “late capitalism” and the entire neo-fascist kleptocracy and techno-feudalistic global world order now reminds one of a turtle on its back. In other words, pending a revolution, we are screwed.
Some Recent History of a Decadent Immoral System
Violence, force and coercion, exemplified in the widespread use of slave labor, imperialist conquests of peoples around the world and ruthless extraction of natural resources are the calling cards of capitalism and permeate its entire history. The rise of capitalism can’t be understood outside slavery, other forms of exploitation, plunder and theft of land and resources. The domination of the global economy by the USA is grounded in the stranglehold Washington has over the world’s financial institutions, possession of the dominant currency and the military (consuming 50% of the federal budget) with its hundreds of military bases (same estimates as high as 1000). One of my many inspiration for this paper is my reading several years ago of John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (now in its forthcoming 3rd edition). Perkins, for those not familiar with his book, provides a first-hand account of how the U.S. government employs debt, financial entanglements, bribes, threats and finally violent coups, military interventions and assassinations of national leaders who won’t place their economies and resources under the control of U.S.-based multinational corporations. That is no surprise to anyone paying attention to information platforms other than lap dog corporate media and both conservative and liberal right wing publications. This remarkable expose of the evils of globalized capitalism became an improbable international best-seller, which implies that may minds have been opened to capitalist crimes - which is surely an enlightening development and antidote to capitalist mythology and propaganda.
But even Perkins, who is generous in revealing so many shocking facts and conclusions and under no illusions about what he and his devious fellow economic hit men were doing and on whose behalf, shows a tincture of naïveté. He cites what he perceives as the “ideals” of the American “founding fathers” (who were conservative racists and slave owners) and laments that a republic dedicated to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” has morphed into an evil global empire. Given the outstanding service he has provided in writing this book and the physical and political perils that he put himself in to publish it (he postponed writing it multiple times fearing possible consequences), least of all do I want to imply condemnation, criticism or raise any nasty accusations against him. After all, even a strong critic of US imperialism with an open mind can hold to many illusions about the immoral and anti-social nature of capitalism. The all-encompassing ubiquity of capitalist indoctrination, bullshit and propaganda coupled with its relentless dissemination across every conceivable media, cultural agencies (such as the schools and churches) and institutional outlets still leaves most people with a wistful idealization of some earlier innocent capitalism not yet befouled by anti-social behavior and violence or by greed. Much the same can be said about early Christianity before it was granted political status by the Roman Empire that executed and martyred their guru Jesus H Christ. Such an innocent Christianity or Capitalism has never existed, never could have existed and does certainly not exist today.
Horrific state-directed violence in massive doses enabled capitalism to slowly establish itself and then methodically expand from its northwestern European beginnings. It is not for nothing that Karl Marx famously wrote, in Chapter 30, Volume One of his magnum opus Capital, “If money, according to Augier, “comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek” then “capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.” Or, as Sarah Chayes writes in her excellent 2020 expose on rampant global corruption called Corruption in America and What’s at Stake, “Like a drug, money can make addicts betray almost anyone”.
The transition out of capitalism that continually fails the vast majority of people ought to have happened eons ago but today with mass social unrest and economic disparities plagued by fragmentation, alienation, rampant greed and corruption, atomization and despondency, it seems the odds are astronomically small that the petrified religion of capitalism will be destroyed and replaced by a democratic life-centered, life-preserving socio-economic system. Perkins is only one of hundreds of leftist writers who have made this point and written volumes documenting its abysmal failures and corruptions of the commons. If this transition is not made and capitalism is allowed to continue its mindless, murderous assault on all life it will destroy the natural world, including humans, the only species so fat not in extinction mode. That all humanity is not sparked with passion to demand this leap be made is due entirely to the managed ignorance and fascist police state impotence of the people perpetuated by capitalist totalitarianism. We do not have to live this way.
Capitalism has been a tool of privilege and power and a cynical, cruel, malevolent deception from its beginnings. In its simple ingenious design it has proven to be the most efficient tool for mercilessly exploiting human vulnerability and utterly debasing rational government ever devised by the perverse mind of human kind. Capitalism’s simple basis of exploitation, extraction and profit is using money to siphon off surplus value from workers paid the lowest possible wage. In situations of general human poverty graphically depicted in Friedrich Engels’ seminal work on the British working class and Charles Dickens’ novels – which were nearly everywhere, ubiquitous and read by many - capitalists paid only the mere pittance that could keep its miserable labor pool barely alive.
Marx in his prolix, and for many his academically impenetrable polished prose, clinically dissected and dismembered capitalism long ago, but only after its raging infection had armed controlling elites with a financial bonanza that enabled them to own entire governments and impose their vile quasi-religious dogma on the great mass of humanity. It was peddled as a means to generate prosperity which would benefit all justly according to their contributions to its success. That was the bullshit story, the mantra endlessly repeated and affirmed by the power of the capitalist state that allowed it to assume the magical character of a monotheistic religion with its “invisible hand of the market”.
Myths of Christianity, Democracy and Capitalism
Where there is Christian smoke, there’s capitalist fire – Elliott Miller
Of all the peculiarities unique to human species the most idiosyncratic is the recurring compulsion to collectively imagine a pure fantasy or conspiracy and then proceed passionately embrace it as fact and reality. These kinds of psycho-emotional delusions require no basis in verifiable evidence or argument. Lack of verifiability is central to their dissemination and seems to be criterion that by some mysterious process of irrationality provides their mass acceptance and credibility. These dreams, myths and supernatural fantasies have arisen in the earliest societies, from the monster of Gilgamesh to the Gorgon and Cyclops of Classical Greece to medieval Europe’s Succubus and Unicorn and finally our own cherished fables such as the deities and accompanying manufactured need theologies of Christianity and Capitalism. These latter are, of course, concepts, creeds and mythic ideas that are created in the same manner and have the same fantastic currency in the public mind as the Phoenix, Werewolf and Kraken (now the name of a new NHL team in Seattle) once did. Christianity, with its vast catalogue of supernatural entities, medieval superstitions and absurdities cannot be fully addressed here. Suffice it to say that its ponderous theology rests on the same vacuous edifice of other organized religions, many of which no longer exist when their cultures disappeared. But we still have believers in the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman, the paranormal, supernatural and that a magnetic "Q=ray" bracelet can cure cancer and chronic depression. The claim by the religious is that faith is the evidence of things unseen. Faith, by definition, is belief without evidence and in reality not evidence of anything at all except some deep demented, desperate and unexplainable undiscriminating need to believe in the absurd.
Democracy is alleged to be “the will of the people (demos)” despite the fact what we endure under capitalism (another religion) is the exact opposite, the will of the powerful, wealthy and privileged. But “money talks and bullshit walks” is a defining principle of capitalism. This egalitarian conception has never existed, does not exist within capitalist states and never will exist (in any event’ it’s too late). Our corrupt, vicious power elite con artists of the predatory capitalist system are the priests and lords of finance that control this political plutocracy. Like most priesthoods, they do not actually buy what they sell. Few, if any, in the high ranks of American governance believe in Democracy. Certainly the slave owning wealthy pimps who wrote the US Constitution and BNA Act in Canada never believed in democracy but they peddle the idea shamelessly to bully and coerce the masses and other nations in order to plunder, cheat and loot them. To hear the silver tongued Barrack Obama expound in his crushingly dull faux sincerity, on the wonders of our “democracy” for “folks” is to witness a high mass of unmitigated hypocrisy and sanctimonious hot steaming bullshit catechism is stunning in its deceit and prevarication. Americans, though, steeped in myth of Mein Trumpf MAGA when any American would be stressed to cite one example of greatness however defined. The paradoxes and contradictions of real existing capitalist democracy rival the Christian miracles of creation fables, virgin birth and resurrection. Critical thinking, courageous and intelligent people must admit that our system is a rotting fraud, dead to public will and citizen input. Call it what it is: a corporate capitalist imperialist neo-fascist police surveillance state run for the 1% who own it.
In its early incarnations, capitalism was often blood and guts competition, the kind of open warfare so damaging to so many capitalist entities that eventually slowly disappeared via the brokered collusion of industry elites and government by World War I. Socialism, ever capitalism’s Achilles heel, saw its central tenets appropriated to change capitalism’s rules and mitigate or preferably eliminate reckless competition, and to shore up the howling fraud of so-called “private enterprise”. By the end of the Great Depression, one of capitalisms biggest failures, it had become a welfare recipient of nation states - and a bad joke for its advocates, philosophical pimps and propagandists.
Economist John Maynard Keynes, one of the great minds of the 20th century, got it right: “Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of motives, will somehow work for the benefit of all.” Though both critics and oligarchs knew its fraudulence and though capitalism’s ruinous, catastrophic crashes (endless boom-bubble-bust-bailout iterations) had repeatedly rocked the world’s financial edifices and violently pauperizing working people, its propaganda prevailed as even the victimized working classes continued to assimilate the huge volumes of bullshit. That humans are for the most part credulous and ignorant is not news to some. Witness America today and its multiple recoveries from the fully metastasized systemic disease of the capitalist catechism which is pretty much universal the nation’s of its baffled, deluded people, in spite of their long suffering under capitalist hegemony. To a greater or lesser extent, the same comments can be applied to Canada, my own piece of dirt I call home, and most of the rest of the Western World. It was Canadian born economist, the brilliant and prolific writer, John Kenneth Galbraith who nailed its capitalist hucksters to the wall when he said, “The modern Conservative is engaged in one of mankind’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
But even that remark is an anachronism. People seem to no longer even search for moral direction in a deeply immoral socio-economic order. They make no effort to justify themselves and the countless injustices and crimes of capitalism. Capitalism’s hegemonic power, entrenched and reinforced by controlled governments, permits them to be smug openly and even flaunt their pirated billions. They truly believe, in the face of the social damage, economic calamities and existential chaos they’ve created that, as the Harpy Bitch Fundamentalist Christian and former UK Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher, once boasted “there is no alternative” to capitalism. This is the quintessence of arrogance and dogmatism, unsurprising from a capitalist Christian. The Douche Bag Prime Minister also claimed added “there is no such thing as society”.
There is today no continuity of what was once called Capitalism. It’s now a rotting corpse. It no longer exists. The phony artifact of classic capitalism long since ceased to be about initiative, cleverness and independent entrepreneurial rapacity, and is now a sick con artist racket on life support, relying on government welfare with no need to function efficiently or even adhere to the rule of law. Trillions of dollars are funneled into it by the government it owns to fuel the Imperial War Machine, fake the global crap game of debt and derivatives (now globally estimated to be between $ 600 trillion and $ 1 quadrillion) it runs as a casino. When bets go bust the state manufactures more fiat money with less and less real value, jeopardizing the dollar hegemony that is Welfare Capitalisms only source of support.
The Imperial State, borrowing from itself, and peddling cheapened money to financially captive foreign governments to fund its militarist follies and further enrich its billionaire owners, having raped its own country’s natural resources, fouled the whole world’s air, land, and oceans, murdered many millions of the guiltless poor and helpless, and stolen its citizens birthright and future, teeters perilously at the brink of implosion and financial meltdown. Is this what is meant by “capital punishment”?
When rational hope and justified optimism fail, magical thinking often begins because a miracle of human evolution is required for life to continue. There is no time or options left - there are no options or escape hatches such as Planet Earth B. Life forms must adapt, evolve, mutate or die. We must act now – and many climate scientists claim it’s too late - and choose life or extinction.
Are our imaginations so barren that this is the best we can do after five centuries of the Renaissance, Humanist Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution that challenges all authoritarian arrangements such as monarchy, theocracy, feudalism and our current predicament: capitalism? Is there no alternative to the immoral socio-economic world order of systemically corrupt and deranged corporate capitalism, its exploitation, predation and financial pillage? I’ll address the question of options later in this paper; the only obstacles to thinking of alternatives to cancerous capitalism would be a barren mind and vacant imagination. Many political, social and economic thinkers from the past, including communists, socialists, free market socialists, anarchists and countless other proponents of cooperative arrangements have existed and exist today. In addition to the corporate controlled media vilification and demonization of their ideas, what they lack most of all is any platform to express their anti-capitalist anti-authoritarian philosophies. Given the political and economic dysfunction, corruption and systemic failures combined with multiple existential threats to al life of earth, the question perhaps ought to be “do we have any future at all”? Many scientists argue that it’s too late to make a 180 degree reversal; we’ve crossed the tipping points and they inform us to prepare for the coming calamities. The only unknowns are how soon will we face these inevitable disasters and how devastating will they be. With unprecedented drought, wildfires and floods, we are already getting a dose of what’s to come.
Though we in the West have been indoctrinated by our government and both public and private primarily Christian schools to believe that capitalism and democracy thrive together and cannot survive without one another, the reality in fact is the polar opposite. All forms of capitalism (and Christianity) are not only incongruous with all forms of democracy whether representative, republican, presidential or parliamentary or the fascist regimes of the 20th century and their re-emergence today, they are deeply immoral. Moreover, capitalists have adopted much of Christian theology with its reward-punishment doctrines and endless promotional and marketing ethos. I will elaborate on this thesis later in this paper.
Marketing and advertising are forms of unethical practices that include deceit, hyperbole, persuasion, coercion, exploitation and prevarication. If you watch pro sports on televisions such as hockey for example, your senses will be assaulted by corporate logos plastered on the ice surface, the boards that surround it and every other square millimeter of space that is free. Not only are you insulted by the mind numbing patriotic drivel of national anthems, but even the pre-game announcements are sponsored by some vomit bag bandit bank or typically corrupt corporation that bribe and control our sock puppet political hacks in our phony “democracies”. The starting goalies tonight are brought to you by Fat Bastard Furniture Inc, referees by Big Bad Billy Online Sports Book & Betting, starting lineups by Skip the Fucking Dishes and the first goal by the official bank of the Vancouver Canucks, TD Bank. The latter is a larcenous bandit bank that a few years ago became the defendant in a class action suits by its brokerage clients. I was informed in the first of two TD cases that I was a plaintiff and a few years later named in two similar cases against RBC’s brokerage mafia RBC Direct. All four were with the securities branches and subsequently settled out of court whereby the victims were cheated again by a slap on the wrist and severely compromised monetary settlement with clients. None of these squalid sleazy cases of theft from their customers was ever revealed by our lap poodle corporate controlled media. I called the Vancouver Sun about the first two and was informed by the surprisingly candid business editor that he’d be fired if he exposed the rip-offs. But surely anyone who recalls the nauseating 2008 bailouts of criminal “too big to fail” bullshit banks word wide can harbor any illusions regarding their integrity or morals. They have neither.
The endless promotion, advertising and marketing that people are exposed to stretch’s one’s patience and mangle the brain cells. Anytime you are online on any other media platform the same promotional bullshit prevails; television ads are particularly insidious as screen actors and celebrities are hired to peddle all sorts of not only useless rubbish that also include unethical ones such as reverse mortgages and payday loan sharks. Lotteries were once rightly illegal but in today’s debauched neo-liberal zero sum game everything is a commodity for sale and pretty much “anything goes” including the recent onslaught of TV ads for online betting on professional sports. These insidious debauched wastes of time and money internet sports betting platforms are in some cases promoted by former star athletes such as lower than a snake’s belly Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky who is paid by these con artist web sites, adding to his already bloated bank account.
Reverse mortgages in Canada are flogged by a former sportscaster mediocrity Bill “Come Invest with Me” Good and former figure skater Kurt “Bullshitting Boneheaded” Browning. Is this really much worse than the superstitious claptrap, deceit and vitriol spewed out by fundamentalist Christian televangelists selling medieval gibberish and snake oil? But is not all business and church advertising in some sense exercises in deceit and delusion? Christians have been greedy capitalists for many centuries as St. Peter’s Basilica was built from the proceeds of selling indulgences that ironically caused a split from the Catholic Church after the protester Martin Luther opposed the hypocrisy of financing such luxury when so many church devotees lived in dire poverty. But Protestantism which Luther founded has far surpassed Catholicism in its embrace of capitalist greed and exploitation. And if you can endure TV ads for more than three seconds, you’ll hear great pop songs from the 1960s and 70s such as a Cat Steven’s tune hijacked to sell an overpriced Audi. Even former chart-topping counter-culture and protest songs are being hypocritically stolen to sell anything from shampoo to shoes as yesterday’s great tune creation is tomorrow’s monetized jingle. You can’t always get what you want but if you try you can sell the rights to Stairway to Heaven or designer Levi’s jeans for another villa by the sea.
Since on the topic of unmitigated greed and the revolting sucking sound of wealth navigating to the top one percent, consider Exxon Mobil which just reported a record Q3 profit of almost $20 billion on annual revenues of more than a quarter of a trillion dollars, while new figures on global warming portend even more disaster ahead. The company, responsible for massive oil spills and pollution will use much of this obscene profit to buy back its own stock, thus pumping up the shares for insiders to unload their stock options; once illegal insider trading by another name. These and other devious strategies have made a miniscule layer of people extremely rich such as Bill Gates, whose fortune depends on the government’s protection of Microsoft’s patent and copyright monopolies. It has also allowed millions of others to earn far higher paychecks than if these monopolies were diminished or eliminated altogether - or if we relied on different mechanisms for supporting innovation and creative work. After all, no one creates anything out of a vacuum.
I’m old enough to recall when the cure for polio was discovered in government labs, government scientists on salary and no profit. Compare this with the recent experience with US Pharmaceutical Company Moderna and its Covid-19 vaccine illustrates this point perfectly. The government paid Moderna $450 million to develop a vaccine; the government then paid another $450 million for its final phase 3 clinical trials that provided the basis for the FDA’s approval. It then allowed Moderna to have control over marketing the vaccine. The result was that in the United States we created at least five Moderna billionaires as its stock price rose exponentially and company book value by tens of billions of dollars. Undoubtedly, many other Moderna employees became millionaires (chi ump change today), although probably not the people who do the grunt work in the labs, serve lunch in its cafeteria or clean up the labs, offices and washrooms. Of course this money comes from somewhere, perhaps out of thin air as the trillions of dollars in the 2008-09 bailouts of corporate criminals and banking bandits. Americans pay about $400 billion a year (around $3,000 per family, each year) more for prescription drugs because the government provides patent monopolies and related protections; they also pay about $100 billion a year more for medical equipment and several hundred billion more for cell phone, tablet and computer software.
Once again, we witness the sordid hypocrisy and paucity of ethics within both Capitalist and Christian societies as money talks and bullshit walks.
Notwithstanding whether the Christian guru J C existed or not, given his contempt in the bible for money lenders and other financial parasites in his own time, if alive today would surely be a socialist. It’s no secret that despite Jesus’ teaching, contemporary mainstream Christianity embraces capitalism and its intrinsic undemocratic hierarchical structure, profit before all else business model and flagrant immorality. The Christian social gospel movement of several decades ago has now been replaced by the “prosperity gospel” whereby evidently god wants you to be rich. The probability of a rich man getting to heaven is not the same as a camel passing through the eye of a needle as cited in the bible but rather a certainty, guaranteed by the omnipotent omniscient Christian deity. Praise the lord, profit and pass the loot. In the neo-liberal dystopian disaster of the 21st century neither Capitalists nor Christians really give a damn about anything but money; it drives their every motive and act. Both are driven by the sole objective to make money by any means – the quintessence of corruption and depravity. They care about nothing else and the liberal and conservative politicians they control and manipulate like a marionette show are merely careerists whose only aim is power which of course in our ethically vacuous capitalist world is synonymous with money. Sadly, this moral vacuum spills over into the general populace, most of whom just don’t give a shit about much other than their own desperate pathetic personal lives of consumerism, entertainment, their pet cell phone and other superfluous distractions of intellectual disengagement. In any event, people are generally too financially, physically and emotionally drained to care about the political dysfunction, re-emergence of fascism and myriad of environmental and other existential threats in what is for all but the 1%, a hostile, uncaring and overpopulated uncertain world. 
Capitalism’s inevitable dysfunctions, totalitarian run enterprises, extreme concentrations of wealth and power, conflation of needs and desires, unequal distribution of goods resulting in artificial excess and scarcity and public-private partnerships creating unholy alliances between capitalists and government bureaucrats have become manifest and eventually erode any well-intended style of democracy. Thus, no matter how noble the aims of some of the American (slave owning) founding fathers may have been in creating a constitutionally limited representative democratic republic (representing white land owning men), that republic was by the end of the nineteenth century barely functioning. Granted, representative democracy may have still been almost working at municipal and county levels, but at the state and national levels it had become nothing more than an illusion. But my experience confronting city hall in Surrey, BC in cahoots with real estate developers who destroyed our community of Panorama Ridge cured me of any illusions of democracy at the municipal level, even when face to face with greased palm smarmy municipal pimps and politicians. These assholes not only violated their own zoning bylaws but could not even understand a simple moral argument about the taxpayer rights to maintain the quality of their neighborhood. Even many on the left assert we are losing our “democracy”; this statement is vacuous in the sense we don’t have democracy, never have had it and likely never will. After all if we listen to the self-righteous lickspittle liberal and sclerotic conservative, how can we achieve democracy if we have already deluded ourselves by assuming we already have it?
Today the United States’ unrepresentative republic and Canada’s pathetic constitutional monarchy and other self-described Western “democracies” are under siege by a global financial oligarchy and their hyper-capitalist theology called neo-liberalism. Intertwined with and embedded in the IMF, World Bank and WEF, its parent United Nations and military hammer of NATO, these financial oligarchs and corrupt vipers promote an austerity and privatization agenda at home and a disastrous global ideology that has all but decimated the natural world’s ecosystems and its life forms, plundered the commons, rejected notions of the public good and worker’s rights, effectively targeting all humanity but their own profligate self-serving lives. Why hordes of people are not in the streets with pitchforks and pillories continues to be mystifying. The only explanation I presently have on offer is Karl Marx’s concept of “false consciousness”, the notion that the average generally uninformed citizen tends to internalize the values of the ruling classes which are relentlessly espoused each and every day by the media, educational and other cultural mechanisms they control. Indoctrination is a powerful tool and as every Jesuit priest and other authoritarians such as the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels fully understood, if you repeat the same lie often enough, people will come to believe it. The ruling capitalist classes have almost total control over what the masses read, hear and think by either owning outright or infiltrating the various aspects of culture, including the mass media, internet, schools and universities which have been universally corporatized. 
Ironically, capitalists who provide lip service to the idea of democracy and pretend it actually exists in politics have also never allowed it in the workplaces in which they are bosses or which they own, control and from which they seek to amass personal fortunes. Why not? Surely it is because they have no moral principles, even the most foundational golden rule and empathic discernment of the common good. They have accepted the premise that the deprivations, inequities, bought-and-paid-for politicians, and ecological disasters that plague the world today are human nature, natural outgrowths of the genetic lottery, flawed meritocracy or merely the inexplicable power wielded by the privileged few at the apex of the global corporate capitalist system. Many, especially political and Christian conservatives assume that people will receive just deserts as if some cosmic justice existed in the universe. For Christians this just world hypothesis is underwritten by an omnipotent omniscient beneficent God. In the 18th century Voltaire demolished the notion of “the best of all possible worlds” proposition with his novel Candide. Any cursory observation of the world as it is can only lead to the conclusion that if one assumes the Christian God exists, he/she/it is clearly a psychopathic monster .I’ll return to this dubious theme of just deserts and the myth of the meritocracy embraced by most conservatives and market liberals later in this paper.
In addition to the surplus value of undemocratic exploitive capitalism via underpaid workers are the collateral damage and other costs incurred by corporations such as ecosystem despoilment which are merely offloaded onto the public to deal with. Privatize profits and socialize costs is the name of the capitalist game, of which the private public partnership (PPP) scam is just one swindle among many of that are deployed against the public.
In short, by not democratizing the economy and its means of production, a political system that calls itself a republic, representative democracy or any other kind of ersatz democracy can never stand the ultimate litmus tests of common decency, ethics or history. The autocratically run undemocratic institutions that underwrite our capitalist economies will eventually dominate that nation’s political, social and economic realms. The truth of successful capitalists is not working hard, although that helps in any endeavor, but getting other people to work hard for you. In a typical eight hour work day, the first two hours are what you are actually paid whereas the remaining six hours go to the employer, creating the surplus value for shareholders, bondholders, mangers and others who do not work.
Any country, without exception, that utilizes the capitalist economic system has always succumbed and will continue to succumb to the erosion in whatever democracy existed whether at the municipal, provincial or federal levels of politics. The election processes in the West are also an integral part of the pretense to “democracy”. Simply because registered voters can visit a ballot box every two or four or six years to cast a vote for either plutocrat A or oligarch B does not mean they live in a free country or have equal representation or guaranteed rights or political freedom which are merely myths of history. Citizens of Western countries are inculcated with these mythologies from childhood, to believe that they are choosing between ideological dualities when in reality they are merely choosing between two sides of the same coin minted by their masters. This is the grand deception of the grand farce of the two-party USA system or even multi-party paradigm as in Canada and most Western European countries. In Canada we once had a genuine third party, an anti-capitalist alternative originally called the CCF - or Cooperative Commonwealth Federation - with its 1933 founding document, the Regina Manifesto that borrowed much from Marx and Engels The Communist Manifesto. In the 1960’s the party abandoned the Regina document and came up with a new name NDP - or New Democratic Party. The party has navigated far to the right wing and currently resembles a 1950s conservative party with a smattering of left liberal platforms. Former Premier of Saskatchewan (1944-1960) and leader of the federal NDP, the great Tommy Douglas was a genuine social democratic visionary who held the balance of power in the Liberal government of the 1960s. With this leverage he was able to convince Prime Minister Lester B Pearson to introduce our still standing universal government operated health care system. Tommy died in 1986 and if alive today would be appalled and disgusted by his old party’s lickspittle capitulation to neo-conservative and neo-liberal corporate capitalism and imperialism.
Many are on to the preposterous money plagued rigged elections and so disgusted by the spectacle that they don’t even bother to show up at the voting booths. In the US well over 50% do not vote and in Canada the turnout is not much better. At the municipal level where corruption is at its worst, turnouts are as low as 20-30%. Perhaps we need a total boycott in which no one shows up. What would happen? It would be interesting to find out. I mention this because I vaguely recall reading a short story many years ago by Portuguese author Jose Saramago in which no one showed up for an election. We ought to try this; it may incite much needed dissidence, insurrection or even better – a full out revolution.
Clued-in contemporary authors, pundits, and documentary filmmakers have opined that we are living in a time when the leadership of many nations is not only compromised but corrupt and debauched to the core. And fascism is back in the West, in addition to parts of the global south. In saying this, they mean that individuals are placed in positions of power as president, prime minister, chancellor or mayor based on whether they can be influenced and even silenced, not based on their intellect, commendable character and morals, leadership skills, wisdom, egalitarian vision and feeling for the democratic ideal of the common good. Although I believe this to be an accurate assessment of the twenty-first century, the phenomenon of captured politicians and their bureaucratic lackeys controlled by corporation, banks, financial cabals and the billionaire class is hardly new. It has been well underway in American, Canadian and most Western politics since the end of the nineteenth century with a brief respite in the post World War II era to 1975. Prior eras held elections that were merely ceremonial in which a monarchy, theocracy or financial ruling elite was where the real power existed regardless of the farcically orchestrated election outcome.
The Russian Revolution, a relatively bloodless affair in comparison to the French six year blood bath of 1789-95, was the most influential event in the past 150 years. The two brilliant intellectuals and leaders, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, were right when they claimed that the October 1917 Revolution must be exported to the rest of Europe and the world if their new socialist worker’s democracy was to be successful. The mass slaughter of the First World War, incited by the monarchical feudalistic ruling classes, was particularly devastating to both Russia and Germany. In the aftermath of the needless slaughter and devastation, the working classes in both countries woke up and rightly blamed the wealthy ruling classes for the debacle. The same can be said for every war in history; someone benefits but it’s not the primarily working class young men who fight and die in them. The German Revolution of 1919  was therefore instigated by the utter contempt of the masses for the German monarchists, wealthy elites, business tycoons, churches and other ruling conservative power elites who were responsible for the war. World War I was even more devastating for Russia than for Germany. The Eastern Front was an unmitigated disaster for Russia in light of the incompetence of the Romanov monarchy’s decadence and gross incompetence. Many soldiers had out dated firearms if they had any weapons at all. The Bolsheviks, much to the chagrin of the British and French and a huge cost in land concessions, made peace with Germany in late 1917 and in addition had to fight a three year civil war from 1918 to 1921. This civil war was the result of conservative counterrevolutionary forces that were supported by the Western capitalist countries not only with funding and weapons but with thousands of troops to restore the decadent debauched Tsarist monarchy. Even Canada sent 4000 soldiers to Vladivostok. As if the slaughter of World War I wasn’t bad enough for the country, the revolutionary Red Army troops led by Leon Trotsky were miraculously able to fend off the Western and Japanese counter revolutionary forces. Many people don’t know this history and should do some reading, especially regarding the deceitful antics of US President Woodrow Wilson in the US who sent the vast majority of the troops that fought against the Bolsheviks. The American troops who were sent to fight had no idea what the hell they were doing in places such as Siberia freezing their asses off and therefore their enthusiasm was, to say the least, muted.
All wars are a lie and people ought to be asking similar questions about not only the biased narrative and blatant hypocrisy we are exposed to every day from our sycophantic media, but the billions of dollars in weapons being sent to Ukraine by the US, Canada, Germany and other countries in the West. They US/NATO pact is prolonging the war and perhaps risking the deployment of nuclear weapons and even World War III. This can only be described as an American proxy war against Russia, maiming and killing mostly young working class Russians. Anything Russian is now deemed verboten by our hypocritical Western elites, many who were fans of Mussolini and Hitler in the 1920s and 30s. The Nazi’s burned books but now the Western lords of liberalism are banning Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Rachmaninoff. But both fascism and Russian hating are both popular once again throughout the West which have long repugnant histories that can be traced back to the Bolshevik Revolution over a century ago. World War II was a horrific slaughter ultimately won by the Russians - at a cost of 30 million Russian dead. During the war Russia was the West’s best buddy but following the war, thanks to monarchist and rabid anti-communist Winston Churchill and other conservative fanatics, Russian hating erupted once again that continued in a long 50 year period called the Cold War. This Cold War propaganda farce caused the deaths of millions of people in countries that were attempting to liberate themselves from 500 years of colonialism. Communist parties were very popular not only in countries such as France, Italy and Greece (where Communist Party partisan guerillas fought the Nazi occupiers) but in those many former colonial countries such as Indonesia, Algeria, French Indo China and countless former colonies of the collapsed British Empire. In Indonesia and Indo-China alone, as many as 7 million people were needlessly slaughtered by the United States for ideological dogmatism as some estimates are 25 million for all US interventions globally since 1945. Most of the blame for Putin’s impulsive actions to invade Ukraine can be attributed to the actions of the US and NATO following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Real un-sanitized history and deceitful background events are always important to anything happening in the present.
Elections have become - if they were not always - merely a stamp of approval given by deceived voters to candidates who have been pre-selected for political office by an exclusive coterie of money men and privileged power elites, the same people who love the profits of war. More precisely, these silver spoon plutocrats are members of an alliance of multi-millionaire, billionaire, supranational and multigenerational families. They profess undying devotion to “free enterprise”, to their countrymen and to the so-called democratic process. But in reality capitalism is neither “free” nor “enterprising” for the masses of struggling working people while the power elite are loyal only to their own class and their wealthy privileged corporate cabals. It’s not surprising that they are beholden to money and power, for they have been taught from birth that enormous wealth and outsized influence are rightfully theirs based on their bloodlines, their genes, superior intellects and self-deluded belief in a godly status. These self-described exceptional human beings are behind Big Everything from Big Government to Big Money, Big Industry, Big Science, Big Finance, Big Military, Big Agriculture, Big Media, Big Academia, Big Entertainment and Big Everything. These capitalist con men are the so-called Lords of Capital or as the father of capitalism Adam Smith called the capitalist oligarchs of his day, “The Masters of Mankind”. They are behind anything and everything that enables them to retain their authority over the compliant credulous sheep-like masses. Any thought they have, word they utter, or move they make is to promote and uphold their will, wealth, privileges, political and cultural hegemony, decadent comforts and dominance. As George Carlin rightly said in one of his brilliant skits, "Politicians are there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses and the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets; they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying -lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want: They want more for themselves and less for everybody else."
Can anyone disagree with this rant; a comedic diatribe by an insightful observer such as Carlin is often what is required to wake people up from their systemic complacency and brain lock?
The global financial oligarchy’s lust for control has impelled them to resort to a form of technological feudalism and economic pseudoscience as a means of engineering society into a technocratic dictatorship of money. Their diabolical plan which has been in various stages of implementation since the late 1970s has resulted in denial of worker’s rights to unionization resulting in obscene levels of economic inequality. The theoretical basis for this hegemony began in the post World War II era with rabid anti-communist Red Scares combined with well financed right wing neo-fascist “think tanks” such as the Mises Institute, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations and numerous others designed to propagandize the public and eradicate even the minimalist severely compromised and corrupted representative democracy, sovereign nation-states and individual liberties, not to mention small businesses, national debt, degraded currencies and stock market manipulations. Pretty much anything is permitted if a profit can be squeezed out of it. The end goal of this global feudalistic technocratic dictatorship is to control, commodify, co-opt, corrupt, digitize, and financialize absolutely everything on earth - including the natural world and the bodies and zombie minds of increasingly dumber distracted humans.
In ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, and in many other early civilizations, the wealth of a nation resided in the hands of a few family dynasties and it has remained in the hands of these ruling family cabals ever since. In the nineteenth century, they bore exalted names like Morgan, Rothschild, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Schiff, Warburg, Loeb, DuPont, House, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the decadent parasites of the British Royal family that are a continual reminder of colonial theft and the divine right of kings. The recent display of deference, ass kissing, obedience, boot licking and worship of Queen Elizabeth following her death demonstrates that people have no problem with being obedient sheep. It’s simply one striking example of the deference to power figures and authoritarianism of silver spoon conservatives and limousine liberals by the deluded indoctrinated masses and one of many reasons why we do not have genuine democracy, justice or even political freedom. We never have had them and never will; in any event ecosystem collapse is staring us all in the face. There have been minor breakouts of ersatz democracy such as the immediate three decade post World War II era that I grew up in. But these changes were the result of decades of violent labor struggle and the fear revolution by ruling elites. The days are long gone when a young person from a working class background who was a dedicated hard working student with desire for a university education could attend for several years, earning a graduate degree, incur no debt and have multiple career options upon graduation.
The oppressive authoritarianism and dogmatism of corporate capitalism now rule the planet despite the innate resistance of people to large scale state run systems of social, economic and political control throughout the past five millennia of history. In a recent piece by Kirkpatrick Sale, called Why do we Need a State, he wrote, “In a healthy brain, though there are many major processes operating at once, there is none, either physical or psychological, that is dominant. In the words of neurologist Gary Walter:
We find no boss in the brain, no oligarchic ganglion or glandular Big Brother. Within our heads our very lives depend on equality of opportunity, on specialization with versatility, on free communication and just restraint, a freedom without interference. Here too, local minorities can and do control their own means of production and expression in free and equal intercourse with their neighbors.
Only in the diseased and malfunctioning brain does one process ever become dominant. In a healthy ecosystem the various species of animals, whether themselves organized as individuals, families, bands, or communal hives, get along with each other without the need of any system of authority or dominance - indeed, without structure or organization of any kind whatsoever. No one species rules, not one even makes an attempt, and the only assertion of power has to do with territoriality - the claim of one or another species to a particular area to be left alone in. Each community in the system has its own methods of organization, its own habits and styles and food supplies, and none attempts to impose these on any other or to set itself up as the central source of power and sovereignty. Predation there will be within such an ecosystem, and some basic wariness by the fly of the frog and the frog of the snake and the snake of the hawk, but there is no inter-special warfare, no pseudo-Darwinian war of all against all. On the contrary, there is balance and adjustment, the broad cooperation of nature’s communities with each other and with their particular environment. Independence, complexity, variety, flexibility—these are the characteristics of the healthy ecosystem, and, among all creatures, only the human has ever tried to transgress that principle.
When the crisis of “climate change” (or, as it is properly called, “overheating of the world’s environment) comes upon us in a few more years, for survival it will be necessary for humans to abandon both the political and economic systems that have characterized the earth for the last half-millennium. Capitalism, and its fundamental immoral tenets of exploitation, profit and growth-at-any-cost and a state system which supports and protects it, must give way to a world of small-scale, non-pollutant, non-aggressive societies that can exist on few resources and human-scale self-government – in short, our survival depends on living without the capitalist state and its accompanying economic resource and life destroyer.”
Hunter gatherer societies and indigenous populations in the Americas were cooperative and far more democratic than Western European Christian capitalist states. In fact Christianity has fully embraced capitalist states ever since it was transmogrified from a revolutionary movement to the state religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century CE. Their omnipotent omniscient invisible and ostensibly “moral” deity now apparently wants you to be a capitalist asshole hedge fund operator and global “entrepreneur”. Even if Christ could return from his execution by that same Roman Empire, why would he? He’d be immediately deemed an enemy of the state like Che Guevara and arrested or murdered by the CIA.
In 1945 Clement Attlee’s Labor Party in Britain defeated Winston Churchill and his Conservative Party, This victory was an extension of the popularity of progressive left wing governments that were popular and prominent during the Great Depression which was arguably the worst of many failures of capitalism for ordinary working people. There were of course many more capitalist boondoggles and disasters to come. Attlee was an Oxford graduate, but only one in four of his cabinet ministers attended posh private schools, a lower proportion than in any British cabinet since. Seven of his ministers such as Aneurin Bevan had worked as coal miners, leaving school at age 13. More ordinary working class people such as Bevan are needed in government rather than the predominance of university graduates with advanced degrees such as economics or law combined with the infamous bullshit MBA degree. Lack of representation from the working classes is one of the many serious major failures of our representative forms of parliamentary state governance we call democracy. Bevan was head of the new British public health service (NHS) in Britain that still exists today.
Attlee’s highly regarded foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, who became one of the architects of the postwar world, had left school at the age of eleven and advanced through the ranks as a union leader. Herbert Morrison, leader of the House of Commons and deputy prime minister, had left school at fourteen yet rose to prominence through local government, helping create London’s public transport system. And the aforementioned health minister, Aneurin Bevan, who had left school as a young teen and worked as a union organizer and miner in Wales. Attlee’s government is considered the most significant reformist administration of the twentieth century in Britain that empowered the working classes and according to one of his biographers, set the ethical foundations on which Britain’s new social contract was founded. All these bottom-up democratic institutions created by the British Labor Party have, with the exception of the NHS which is continually under-funded and threatened with privatization, have been rescinded by hyper-capitalist neo-conservative working class hating Margaret Thatcher and subsequent Conservative governments. The Conservatives in the UK, as in most Western countries such as Canada and the USA behave like a weapons of mass destruction, demolishing the commons and publicly owned corporations with continual budget cuts, attacks on unions and privatizations such as the government owned utilities, transportation and transit systems. What we need in government are more trades people and ordinary working people in government who are familiar with real work and the struggles of the ordinary generally underpaid working person. These are people who have common sense and wisdom from the day to day grind and experience of generations of exploitation and oppression, unlike the arrogance and pretensions of so-called intellectual and ivory tower types who spew out theoretical hocus pocus and hogwash, especially of the economic variety.
Former Harvard professor John Rawls (1921-2002), one of most brilliant philosophical minds of the twentieth century liberalism, spent the last two decades of his life trying to unravel the problem of political and economic justice which for him was equivalent to fairness. Any decision must first take into account how it impacts societies worst off. Although never depicting himself as a socialist Rawls’ theories and proposals align well with what the Canadian CCF Party of Tommy Douglas in Saskatchewan (1944-60) and Clement Atlee’s Labor Party in the UK (1945-51) tried to accomplish with their philosophies of promoting the common good and especially caring for the least privileged and the economically deprived in society. In one of his most important books A Theory of Justice (1971) Rawls introduced a thought experiment regarding the problem of “distributive justice”; what, if anything, are just deserts: who deserves what and why is far more complex that most think? Contra Hayek, Rawls’ rejected the capitalist notion of market liberalism whereby unreliable -often gamed and manipulated - market mechanisms decide pretty much everything. The though experiment by Rawls is an abstract philosophical method for determining what a group of people would rationally but impartially choose in what he called an “original position” behind a “veil of ignorance”. This is an environment in which minds have been erased of knowledge of their current social existence, status and potentially biased identifying features such as age, race, religion, talents, abilities, intelligence, wealth, physical and cognitive attributes, preferences and presumably their gender. With no knowledge of what their position will be in a future society, they then choose what society they would prefer. 
Death Wish Capitalism and Death Cult Christianity
God told me to Invade Iraq – George W Bush
Former drunk, high school “D” student, serial liar and certified moron US President George Bush II apparently had a direct line to the Christian Sky Daddy when he claimed that the Big Guy ordered him to invade Iraq and attack Osama bin Laden's alleged stronghold in Afghanistan. This was part of a divine “crusade” (Bush’s obtuse expression), a mission from God to bring “peace” to the Middle East, security for Israel and a state for the Palestinians. This second invasion of Iraq (recall the Desert Strom “turkey shoot” in 1991) was carried out by once again by bombing Iraq into the Stone Age, laying waste to its major cities and infrastructure. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, former US ally in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, was later brutally tortured and murdered. According to a BBC report, the global laughing stock clown president and Christian lunatic made this assertion during his first meeting with Palestinian leaders in June 2003.
Today, those same dominating, power-craving, war mongering status-seeking silver spoon privileged men and women and their descendants and protégés are steering humanity towards a narcissistic neo-feudal technocratic dystopia – and perhaps nuclear Armageddon as the insane US proxy war against Russia in the Ukraine rages on. These privileged individuals - and their associated societies, councils, positive thinking and self-help gurus, entrepreneurial claptrap (just watch a nauseating episode of boot licking aspiring “entrepreneurs” on The Dragon’s Den, one of many Z-grade television cultural wastelands), meritocracy bullshit, corporate news outlets, Wall Street and City of London financial vipers, marketing sleaze bags, manic manipulators, lobbyists (influence peddling and bribes) philanthropic organizations, universities and think tanks - operate, entirely apolitically behind the scenes. They lurk in the shadows of government offices and in other halls of power, always designing new ways to influence or subvert the popular vote and steal the elections, property, liberty, happiness, health, welfare and the natural moral right of all people proclaimed by Enlightenment thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Paine. When you witness the endless imperialist wars and degrading lives of thousands of homeless people in any North American city, you understand what Karl Marx meant when he wrote that “capitalism comes into the world “dripping from head to foot, from every pore with blood and dirt”. Capitalism is immoral to the core and what many refuse to see is that much of capitalist ideology and what capitalists do day in and day out have been adapted from the Christian religion’s depraved carrot and stick strategies and marketing models of fabricated needs. And they both have one more scam - the redemption and cure.
The great moral philosopher Immanuel Kant distinguished between two types of value: instrumental and intrinsic. He drew a boundary between ends and means, arguing rightly that humans ought not to be mere means to someone else’s end. But the manipulative doctrines of both Christianity and Capitalism violate both of these Kantian contentions as both parishioners and consumers are deemed means to an end. The Christian religion is a pseudoscientific superstitious fairy tale that informs us we have a problem only it can solve. It’s cynical and pessimistic understanding of human nature is based on a highly dubious unscientific based concept of “original sin”, that the second after emerging from our mother’s womb we are essentially evil, dominated by our innate animal instincts. Being of the flesh, we are by our very nature, understood as inherently weak-willed and wicked beings. A fatal flaw is built into the original design by an apparent incorruptible perfect omnipotent and omniscient god. But there’s an inane solution that the Christian hierarchy offers: We are in constant need of redemption and reform straight off the assembly line. Indoctrinated into the Christian understanding of reality from birth, billions of human beings are sold hocus pocus, claptrap and dualistic mumbo jumbo about salvation. First there is the opaque notion the “soul, an immaterial thingy that survives our bodily death. No explanation is given where this “soul” hangs out in our bodies since it is invisible, like their god. But if we have faith in certain propositions such as god and his material bastard son Jesus, we will go to a place called “heaven”, also undefined. Otherwise we go to a destination called “hell” to be barbecued for eternity. This carrot-stick “morality” is more like a bribe, not unlike deceitful corporate lobbyists or capitalist marketing, creating a need where there is none. But gods, demons and angels, like the invisible hand of the marketplace, efficient market hypothesis and stock markets work in mysterious ways - so we’re told by Christians and Capitalists. It’s an apparent clever scam whereby the same outfit that creates the disease provides the cure. Feigning profundity, both capitalists and Christians are authoritarians that require indoctrination and obedience training to attract and hold onto their disciples who are coerced, manipulated and controlled - usually for life. This condition is neither free nor democratic If you look closely at the smarmy televangelists and proponents of the prosperity gospel such as Joel Osteen, they are no better than the insider trading reptiles, hedge fund con men and stock market manipulators at Goldman Sachs and other howling financial frauds.
Notwithstanding the conceptual conundrum regarding witches, even the witch hunts and subsequent trials were as much about greed as they were about the biblical imperative, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”. The persecution of those accused of witchcraft in Europe and America was a very profitable enterprise. Though masquerading as something far more noble or “spiritual” (whatever that could mean), it was actually driven in large part by simple earthly greed and covetousness. The excessive self-interest that drove the witch hunts has been obscured by religious deceit, falsehoods, indoctrination and propaganda. Witch-hunting, with all its attendant torture, suffering, burnings and death was whipped into an obsession in part as a result of the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum. This screed served to help turn witch-hunting into a religious crusade, an essential defense of Christianity and an extraordinarily lucrative business. But the witch craze caught fire (pun intended) largely because it was lucrative. The religious authorities invested with the task of playing judge, jury, and executioner benefited greatly from the hysteria as did several peripheral participants. As Carl Sagan described in his marvelous 1995 book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark:
“Much of the witch-hunting was motivated by greed of the inquisitors, who routinely confiscated, for their own benefit, the property of the accused. … It quickly became an expense account scam, all costs of investigation, trial, and execution were borne by the accused or her relatives, down to per-diems for the private detectives hired to spy on her, wine for her guards, banquets for her judges, the travel expenses of a messenger, sent to fetch a more experienced torturer from another city, and the faggots, tar, and hangman’s rope. Then there was a bonus to the members of her tribunal for each witch burned. The convicted witches’ remaining property, if any, was divided between church and state. … Witch finders … were employed, receiving a handsome bounty for each girl or woman they turned over for execution.”
The infamous church/state sanctioned persecution and murder of tens of thousands of primarily innocent women strongly suggests that Christianity not unlike Capitalism, has always been much less interested in doing what is genuinely moral and far more interested in power, fear, control, wealth, worldly possessions and the almighty dollar.  The Catholic Church after all were partners in the 500 year colonialist genocide of indigenous peoples and subsequent plunder of their land and resources as it maintains its status as one of the richest financial institution in the world, much of their wealth being stolen real estate. This, despite the fact for Catholics and all other Christians, the only earth we know is considered merely a brief hiatus on the way to an infinite life in an obscure undefined destination called “heaven”. So like capitalists, why care about the natural world, overpopulation, species extinction, environmental devastation, ecosystem collapse or an ethos of sustainability? Rapacious white Christian men have been plundering and polluting the planet for centuries while exploitation, slavery and theft have been the norm ever since our transformation from hunter gatherer societies to voracious capitalist imperialist empires.
The brief social gospel and liberation theology  interludes of Christianity have been long replaced by the notion that contra the “poor will inherit the earth” message of JC, God “wants you to be rich”. Humans, in their brief earthy existence care nothing for the natural world and are simply piously preparing for the end times graphically depicted in the apocalyptic rapture “Left Behind” series of books by sci-fi death cultists and their pseudoscientific tales of an infinite afterlife. The late Christopher Hitchens in his many books such as God is not Great famously debunked Christianity’s eschatological feature and demented notions of believe in their deity or be tortured in hell for eternity. The golden parachute for skeptics, heretics and atheists is believe in palpable nonsense and look forward to the never explained better world beyond in a place called “heaven”. Thanks for the enticing bullshit bribe, but I’ll take the infinite dreamless sleep option.
So, what about a new and radically different option, beyond both Christianity and capitalism? The solution to our problems lie not in our long-ago past but within Homo sapiens’ cumulative and cooperative form of intelligence—our scientific, secular, rational, atheist, and humanist knowledge—and the subsequent progress that we have been making since the Renaissance, Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution. The first step is to become critically aware of the problematic nature of the pseudoscientific, short-sighted perspectives and practices that we have inherited from our past and that currently dominate human civilization. Our solutions are not in the past despite what monotheistic culture and tradition have long promulgated. Atheism is, at root, the recognition and rejection of fallacious and problematic pre-scientific beliefs inherited from the past. The path to a beautiful, positive future begins with atheism. But it does not end there.
Skepticism and atheism must be combined with the development and widespread acceptance of a science-friendly full on secular perspective. Such a change entails nothing less than a complete and total revolution in our conception of whom and what we are, of what we are doing on this overpopulated insane planet and how we should live. This process is in fact well underway as articulated by the popularity of such authors as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Steven Pinker, as well as the rising number of non-believers and otherwise nonaffiliated persons within the past few decades. The more genuinely inquisitive, knowledgeable and educated we become, the more we will reject immoral and problematic ideologies and lifestyles anchoring us in the past. The more we reject those ideologies and lifestyles, the more we will enjoy the many benefits of freedom from religion. We will be able to progress from faith to logic, reason and critical thought, religious to scientific epistemology, indoctrination to education and wasteful and destructive activities such as gambling, video games, cell phone and other addictions to a life of the intellect and inquiry. We will go from embracing the supernatural to the natural, fiction to fact and from superstition, the supernatural and ignorance to enlightenment and from authoritarianism to freedom, responsibility and real democracy.
One major step forward in this process was Charles Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859. This was a radical change in both form and content. In form, it represented a major win for scientific epistemology over religious ways of knowing and understanding. In content, it far more accurately described our true nature as evolved animals interdependent within an environmental context and fundamentally related in varying degrees to all other life forms within our earthly biosphere. Essentially, this was a “new and improved” origin story for Homo sapiens, for all life as we know it, one founded upon science and reason rather than fiction and faith.
Over 150 years ago in his marvelous novel Les Misérables Victor Hugo asked, “Will the future arrive?” He was thinking of a future of social equality, justice and freedom from the “terrible shadows” of oppression imposed by the few upon the great mass of humankind. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union some prognosticators and prophets such as Francis Fukuyama have declared “the end of history” with the only option remaining a vile neo-fascist mutation of corporate finance capitalism that renders the Gilded Age mild in comparison. We’re informed that “there is no alternative” (Margaret Thatcher’s infamous TINA principle) to this new world order since capitalism’s victory is total, regardless of a multiplicity of options that have never even been tried. All socio-economic systems throughout history have been hierarchical and authoritarian and capitalism may be most abominable of them all so far which include monarchy and theocracy. No great vision or enlightened options are on the drawing board as the proliferation of billionaires and grotesque increases in economic inequality are here to stay. Inequality is incompatible with democracy and the not very free global market is farcically immoral as the “boom-bubble-bust-bailout” iterations continue ad infinitum. What you see is what you are going to get including the surveillance and structural violence of the capitalist fascist police state - now and forever until our ecosystems now in free fall, collapse into a dung heap. This time we’re informed by the masters of mankind and lords of finance that the class struggle is definitely over because Karl Marx was wrong and there is no longer any class system, despite the admission of one of the rare truthful billionaires among them Warren Buffet admit “there’s been a class war going on for decades and my class has won”. So Victor Hugo’s quandary has been resolved: the future, as grim as it is, has indeed arrived- although not the one Hugo had written and dreamed about.
This intellectually anemic end-of-history hypothesis was hailed as a brilliant elucidation and accorded a generous reception by sock puppet politicians, conservative and liberal political pundits and the lickspittle journalists of the echo chamber corporate-controlled media.  It served the official global capitalist oligarchs, plutocrats and billionaire classes well, reflecting what the ruling elites had been telling us for generations: that the struggle between classes is a mere chimera or at best outdated notion, that an untrammeled dictatorship of money and parasitic capitalism is here to stay now and forever as our increasingly dubious future belongs to those who control the present. But the question we really should be asking about the corrupt global ideology of avarice, exploitation and re-emergence of fascism is do we have a future at all? More than ever, with the overpopulation, the planet’s ecosystems and living species themselves at stake, it becomes necessary to impose a reality check on those who would plunder our limited natural resources in the pursuit of limitless profits and the sociopathic monsters who would squander away our birthright and extinguish our liberties in their uncompromising pursuit of self-gain and profit before all else. Moreover, we have now pretty much reached the point at which “anything goes” as long as a profit is achieved. Sold at huge profit is tobacco (for at least two centuries causing cancer, heart disease and other killer diseases), fast food laced with calorie laden fat and grease, weapons of mass destruction and products that were once deemed not only unethical but illegal such as the scams of sub-prime and reverse mortgages, lotteries and waste of time and money online gambling web sites that now include betting on pro sports. The latter has been peddled relentlessly on TV by slimy unprincipled celebrities and former pro sport notables such as the lower than a snakes belly multi-millionaire Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky who lives in a lavish Californian mansion.
History has taught us -or at least ought to have - that all wealthy ruling elites try to portray themselves as the essentialist natural order of things, human nature if you will. That includes the current social, economic and political arrangements even the current one that is in a state of dire existential crises that threaten to devour ecosystems and the their environmental base in order to continually recreate their hierarchal structures of power, obscene concentrations of wealth, and privilege that are contemptuous and intolerant of any alternative to their hegemony and total control. Truth is an uncomfortable status for those corporate and financial oligarchs and their lap poodle politicians who pretend to serve our faux democracies while in fact serving only themselves at the expense of the rest of us. The truth may not set us free, as the Holy Babble claims – and certainly nor their conceptions of “truth” - but it is an important first step in that direction. George Orwell was right when he wrote that “in an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act’.
Capitalism, beginning in the 1980s has become particularly toxic and incongruous with any semblance of ersatz democracy we may have sporadically experienced. However, with the reactionary conservative counterrevolution that has been systematically dismantling the rights and concessions won by working class people for the past 150 years and the welfare state that emerged following the Second World War, conditions of obscene wealth accumulation and gross economic inequality have become the unprecedented norms. The privatization and austerity deployments by the far right had been planned long before, beginning during FDR’s Great Depression era New Deal which was more than anything a moderate reformism and desperate effort to save capitalism from its consistent failures for the masses.
The New Deal was created by the Roosevelt administration during the depths of the Great Depression after studies and research concluded that the devious machinations of capitalism will implode and that self-destruct when corporations, banks and financial blood suckers are left to their own devices. And what are those devices? They are unmitigated exploitation, greed and profit before all else, including all life forms on the planet. The New Deal solution was to not allow companies to be unregulated, that the common good was an overriding principle. In contrast, the fundamental premises and agendas of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism that were planned after the Second World War and implemented by the early 1980s are that capitalist enterprises are more efficient than government. So forget business “ethics” which was a pile of horse crap that anyone who was in business knew. This debased capitalist ideology, common to both neo-classical economics and neo-liberalism, assumes wrongly that people are rational, calculating machines who respond deterministically to variations in the prices of goods and services; but surely few human beings over the age of 12 are credulous or naïve enough to believe this claptrap. After all, where’s the evidence? Moreover, capitalism was never about competition, but rather monopolization of markets. Neo-liberalism is a variant of corporatism and technocratic worker feudalism and the corporatist jargon the corporate class – bankers, accountants, economists, lawyers, managers with bullshit MBAs, lobbyists, market analysts and other con men, shysters and bureaucratic drones who “earn” their lucrative salaries and stock options blocking unions, screwing workers out of their rights and bilking their customers.
But even these modest measures were deemed “socialism” by the ruling elites and corporate oligarchs, many of whom admired Hitler and Mussolini, even planning a coup to replace FDR with a fascist strong man. These failures have accelerated since the 1980s leading to total market collapse and massive multi-trillion dollar government bailouts of financial corporate criminals in 2008 - and 2020 when the covid-19 pandemic arose. We face capitalist hegemonic authoritarianism that has perhaps surpassed the worst depravities and gradations of theocracy and monarchy from the past.
These catastrophic is transformations are currently plagued by outright fascism that began with far right conservative demolition of unions and “trickle down theories” of economics leading to deep concentrations of wealth and economic inequality with two of its major proponents Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, finding its nadir in the spectre of Donald Trump.  Outright fascist regimes are now being elected in many countries in Europe, the most recent being Italy. The late comedian Robin Williams rightly spoofed the “trickle down” strategies, referring Reaganomics, as “someone pissing on you”. How bad is it? A Rand Corporation research study has estimated that during the past four decades in the United States $50 trillion has been shifted from the bottom 905 to a thin layer of the top 1%. The effort to create “capitalism with a human face” following one of capitalism’s numerous failures , The Great Depression, has been replaced by “capitalism in your face”.
There were several songs from the 1980s that graphically expressed these dramatic neo-fascist transformations of finance disaster capitalism. Below are just three of my favourites:
Feargal Sharkey – A Good Heart These Days is Hard to Find (Sharkey, from Northern Ireland has a unique powerful voice)
Don Henley - End of the Innocence (brilliant piano accompaniment by Bruce Hornsby who co-wrote the equally brilliant lyrics with Henley)
Bruce Hornsby – The Way it is (So good!) 
The Ancient Greek conception of democracy as “will of the people” or vast majority has never existed. As we may recall, the word “democracy” (demokratia) is derived from the Greek demos, meaning “people” (aka the 99%) and the Greek kratos, meaning “power.” Literally translated, it means “power to the people”, a form of egalitarianism which has never existed throughout human history, at least since the ill-fated creation of states. A form of democracy may have been the case with tribal indigenous societies and small groups of hunter gatherer groups, but there has never been a genuine democracy that has existed within a state apparatus.
Centuries later the members of the American slave owning ruling classes, the so-called “founding fathers, drafted the US constitution whereby it was proclaimed “all men are created equal”.  Not unlike Plato (c 420–348 BCE) and Aristotle (c 384–322 BCE) America’s ruling elites interpreted democracy as mob rule by the masses to the detriments of all minorities, particularly their own wealthy elite status not unlike today’s lords of finance, capitalist oligarchs and billionaire plutocrats. This unfavorable attitude to democracy by Plato, Aristotle and their ilk is not surprising given their elite social status within Greek society. They, like today’s capitalist neo-fascists, calcified conservative elites and most other authoritarians such as the neo-liberal mutants (aka limousine liberals) that arose over the past five decades, they all despise democracy. The ugly reality of capitalism is not only its undemocratic political and economic ideology but immorality based on humanity’s nastiest attributes; namely its structural violence, imperialism, domination and exploitation of humans and the natural environment, duplicity and unmitigated greed. The hideous template for cancerous capitalism combined with violent militarism and imperialism is of course, the United States. A recent article by Paul Edwards in Counterpunch quite accurately describes the US as “Full Spectrum FUBAR, a ridiculous, transparent, and contemptible falsity so obvious in every aspect of governance at home and abroad. I have seen the entire press converted into an organ of crude and ridiculous propaganda for the Capitalist War Machine that is coldly, inhumanly dictating our demise. The viciously dishonest and relentlessly stupid storm of juvenile horseshit disseminated by all mainstream outlets - print, television and the internet - is an ethical crime of diabolical dimensions. Our government, with its cadre of vacuous, degraded simpletons, men and women of no intellectual size, depth, or scope, profoundly ignorant yet arrogant in their smarmy inadequacy, is restricting and distorting knowingly all truth that conflicts with the malign intentions of the War Lobby to pursue nuclear war with Russia until they get it. And, of course, they need a second enemy and so must tell China what it can and can’t do. Where do these moronic fuckers get the brass to try that shameless madness with Xi and his power?” After listing his influences and favorite intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, John Pilger, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, Edwards continues his diatribe against his country with:
All of them have done honest, deeply informed work to counter the rampant imbecility and cruelty of the American government and its stenographers, the press. The one conclusion none has plainly stated, that all have suggested, is neither obscure nor complicated. It is this: America cannot be reformed or improved under Capitalism. Its corrupt, rotten burlesque faux democracy must and will be destroyed. Not by any action of the torpid, gelded, stupid people. It will come, and soon, by financial chaos and meltdown, or by nuclear war.
We are told that unless bold action is taken, unless we find the moral courage to act, unless we come together, get money out of politics, vote for better candidates, unless we do this, that, or the other thing, disaster will follow. Sadly, that is all nonsense. In fact, it makes no difference what we do: America, as a viable state, is finished. This is intolerably painful to admit. Every instinct of self-preservation, every human yearning for safety and justice rejects it. All our training, our education, our immersion in bullshit propaganda screams against it but, admitted or not, it is fact, it is truth, and collapse of America’s baselessly arrogant, obscene, punishing oppression of the compliant world, already tenuous and strained, is coming -and soon.
It is said to be easier for people to imagine the end of the world, than the end of Capitalism. This will end soon when it will no longer be necessary to imagine either, because both will have happened. In the same way that socio-political truth has been screened out by official deceit, environmental truth has been obscured and denied by our own and the world’s rulers. What Capitalism has done to humans is trivial beside what it’s done to the earth and all living things. In this, too, we are told that if we can just do this or that the world will recover and all will be well. It won’t; no matter what we do. And that will almost certainly be what we have done up to now: nothing.
Humans for the most part are credulous, dull and un-inquisitive. This is strange since most children are naturally anarchic, curious, skeptical and philosophical, incessantly asking the why questions. Most also seem to have an innate sense of justice and fairness. But these natural intellectual and moral attributes are soon beaten out of them by the churches, schools and authoritarian banalities of capitalist culture. They also have a great need to feel loved, valued, protected and forgiven; that’s one of the reasons why they are inculcated with irrational superstitious religion by either parents or authoritarian elites that have always controlled them. All organized religions are puerile bullshit by definition, their fatuous and fraudulent dogmas refuted by every advance in knowledge and science from Copernicus and Galileo to Darwin, Einstein and the Webb Telescope. I, like all humans yearn for love, compassion and peace, but I don’t look for it in a ludicrous infantile fantasy or in deluded hope where there is clearly none. The conservative Catholic poet T S Eliot apparently said that “people can only stand so much reality” which perhaps explains his silly Catholicism. Yes, reality bites but is the alternative to find refuge in a world of make believe like the song by Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson in the 1951 movie Showboat, a great movie among man my mother took me to see that also featured the great Paul Robeson. When I was in grade six, listening to the make believe mumbo jumbo of the daily morning bible readings prompted me to ask why this was imposed on us. This curiosity, like many other innocuous crimes, resulted in the infliction of ten on each hand with a razor strap in the principal’s office. It is merely one of many random incidents of stupidity and injustice that perhaps explain my atheism and affinity to anti-capitalism and anarchist philosophy.
The USA has literally dozens of creepy asshole billionaires such as the serial liars and certified jerks Donald Trump and Elon Musk. But surely the fact that any billionaire exists anywhere in the world is an international abomination and disgrace. The origins of capitalism can be traced to slavery, colonialism, and the “enclosures” in the UK and Europe that uprooted people from lands that were held in common. To pilfer Oscar Wilde’s apt expression, capitalists “know the price of everything and the value of nothing”.
The Anti-Capitalist Cooperative Model
Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are –Bertolt Brecht
In our sanitized whitewashed high school history courses I and my gullible classmates were taught that capitalism, euphemistically and wrongly referred to as “free enterprise, is a fair system of privately run for profit businesses selling products and services .We learned that whether the shares in the capitalist enterprise (company or corporation) are privately held or traded on public stock exchanges, they are typically run by a relatively small number of owners, a board of directors and managers who function as the employer. They are responsible for hiring large number of people known as employees who (we were not told this) were paid the least possible compensation (wages) for their work. In fact slavery would just fine with management if they could get away with it – and for the first couple of centuries of glorious capitalism, that was exactly the case.
The employee has no say in the operations of the company regarding quality of work, remuneration, working conditions or workplace culture. Workers have no voice in how, what, and where to produce the goods and most importantly, what to do with the profits of what Karl Marx called “surplus value”. These decisions are made undemocratically by a small coterie of employers at the top of the corporate hierarchy with workers at the bottom. The entire capitalist model is based on an authoritarian pyramidal organization whereby a small minority has complete control over the workers.
In the capitalist system, the wage the employer pays to the employee will always be of less value than the worker’s labor plus the other inputs used during the entire production process; this is Karl Marx’s surplus value. In other words, to make a profit the employer must pay the worker less than the actual value that his labor generates. The higher the surplus and lower the monetary compensation, the more competitive and profitable the company becomes, which is the primary and unitary objective. On the other hand, the employee wants higher compensation so he can not only pay his rent and feed the family, but enjoy a life beyond mere subsistence. Therein lays is the tension between employer and employee. Ever since capitalism’s inception - with the exception of 200 or more years of slavery which still exists by the way - that conflict continues to prevail.
Capitalism comes in several historical variations, slavery being just one of them. But the one constant is the grossly unequal employer-to-employee relationship. That unequal relationship exists in state-controlled capitalism such as in former communist countries of China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, and Russia (formerly the USSR before 1990. In the post World War II era for about three decades there have been what are called democratic-socialist countries such as in Sweden before the assassination of Prime Minister Olaf Palme who was a self confessed socialist. Almost all countries today have either embraced or had imposed on it the ideology of hyper capitalism called neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism, forms of neo-fascism which have created widespread privatizations, financial parasitism, pillage of the commons, austerity for the masses, declining wages and grotesque levels of economic inequality. One renegade economist has called it fascist techno-feudalism. Regardless of the various nuances of capitalism, all mutations of it have been and continue to be inherently immoral, authoritarian, exploitive and put profit before all else, including the health of the natural environment all life forms on the planet.
There is, however, another economic model that most of us never hear mentioned in high school or college and that even in our adult years we rarely, if ever, learn about: the cooperative. A cooperative is a special type of business enterprise that places ownership and control of the corporation in the hands of the majority, namely the employees. In a cooperative -and only in a cooperative -there exists, not an employer-versus-employee relationship but an employer-and-fellow-employer mutual aid society explained by the Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin in several books. What this means is that all of the workers, from manager to bookkeeper to janitor, own the means of production and share the profits among themselves. All bosses and managers are elected by the workers.
Being non-hierarchical, the cooperative system gives everyone an equal voice in the decision-making process and equal share in the profits. When it is time to make a collective decision, every employee has one voting share, referred to as a membership share. The share represents the employee’s ownership in the cooperative. Regardless of professional position or personal wealth, each employee may own and exercise only one voting share and no employee can buy or control the share of another employee. In other words, all personnel in a cooperative function as their own board of directors, each with an equal voice in the decision-making, whether they are hiring a new administrator or conducting day-to-day operations. As Alfonso Gonzales, a worker in a North Carolina cooperative created by Guatemalan immigrants said, “We are owners of our work; we don’t have a boss”. And what is a boss other than a workplace dictator issuing commands from the profit driven private business upper echelons of management who demand compliance and obedience. Selfishness and greed are vile human traits our mothers – at least my mother did – railed about, promoting fairness, cooperation and sharing, which are also human traits. If we seek out the root causes of greed and exploitation, look no further than the doctrines of capitalism and particularly the neo-liberal proto-fascist financial parasitic version that has been imposed on us during the past four or five decades. Rolling Stone magazine has described Goldman Sachs, one of the most criminalized predatory financial institutions on the planet as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”, reminding one of the 1950s and 60’s sci-fi movies that featured Godzilla and other out of control voracious beasts and monsters. But this is true in varying degrees of all banks and other financial blood suckers. And fascism has been creeping back into our phony democratic capitalist crazed governments and is back – big time.
By contrast, in a traditional capitalist model (sometimes referred to as shareholder capitalism), the workers do not own the enterprise. They may own a portion of the shares, but that right gives them neither ownership nor a major influence on their company’s board of directors. There are usually three classes of shares: Class A voting shares, held by regular investors; Class B voting shares, held by the company’s founders; and Class C shares, normally held by the employees. Class B shares typically do not trade in the open market, whereas Class A shares trade, but Class B shares have ten times the voting power of Class A shares. Class C shares have no voting rights, but still trade in the open market. For instance, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, issues Class A shares and Class C shares. Both classes trade in the market, with negligible difference between the two share prices.
In a capitalist-run corporation, if a wealthy shareholder or a group of shareholders buys up the majority of the voting shares, they will have the majority of the voting power when choosing a new CEO or electing new members to the board of directors or voting on other key issues that determine the company’s strategy and destiny. The entire process doesn’t even remotely resemble an egalitarian or democratic manner of organizing a business enterprise.
Although consolidation between two cooperative-run corporations has never taken place, it might be instructive to outline how the process would be carried out if there ever was such a merger. First, the workforce from both companies would have to vote on whether combining the two cooperatives would be acceptable to them. Unlike capitalist mergers or acquisitions, where layoffs are common- sometimes affecting thousands of workers - in a cooperative merger, all employees must be retained. The wealth from the combined entity would be distributed evenly throughout the workforce. The CEO would have no more earnings or influence after the merger than before it. The top salary would still be capped up to a maximum of four times that of the lowest base wage in the firm or whatever ratio the employees, have agreed upon by a vote. The CEO would never earn ten times - much less 10,000 times - more than the cooperative’s lowest wage earner.
Incidentally, contrary to capitalism’s structure, in a cooperative, the CEO and the other executives work for the employees, who are technically the CEO’s employers. I mention this because managers with a particular skill set or category of expertise are often imported into a cooperative from the outside. No matter how senior a manager’s position may be, if his performance is deemed unacceptable he can be removed at any time by the employees (his employers) in a vote of no-confidence.
In stark contrast, after a merger between large companies in the capitalist system, their senior managements use the combined entity’s swelled size and wealth to exert more control, more clout, not only over the remaining employees but also over their external surroundings- that is, the political, social, and economic milieu.
Put another way, companies that are capitalist behemoths are apt to flex their enlarged, “merged” muscles - often in bullying, despotic fashion. The lesson: Concentrating affluence and influence in the hands of a small minority, whether in large corporations, big banks, centralized governments, or, really, any institution, tends to widen and deepen already existing inequalities throughout the entire structure of a society.
This intrinsic tendency of capitalism to narrow the field of companies while simultaneously creating enormous enterprises - thereby reducing industry competition - is why in every capitalist economy the federal government is eventually called upon to pass antitrust laws that prevent monopolization. Small-to-mid-sized businesses simply cannot compete and thus cannot survive in such an environment.
Granted, the capitalist production system does temporarily provide more efficiency in some areas. However, that efficiency is eventually offset by a creeping accumulation of power, which serves a nation’s ruling class well while undermining all other social and economic classes. So, we have the ruling class both creating and benefitting from massive mergers and acquisitions.
The capitalist system that came to the fore in late nineteenth-century America and that rose in prominence and power in the twentieth century is so potent today that it controls, to one degree or another, all levels of government and all levers of power. This paradigm holds true not just for the American Empire but for almost all nations that are home to capitalism. Consequently, any perceived notion of democracy we once had in the West is now nothing more than an illusion. Capitalism is not some teleological historical end point, a deterministic world order that is synonymous with fate or god’s will. Capitalism is a human construct like all other political or socio-economic arrangements, almost all, including capitalism, of which have been undemocratic orders created by conservative power elites. Michael Parenti (b 1933 - ) is a brilliant progressive writer and skilled orator I’ve long admired. He wrote his last book in 2015 called Profit Pathology and other Indecencies. I end with the last few paragraphs of this great book; I have all his other books in my library and have read them all:
“Democratic action against capitalist despoilment needs to be nurtured—no matter how small and partial and seemingly hopeless it might seem at times. The people must not be satisfied with tinseled favors offered by smooth-talking oligarchs and rapacious free market moguls.
‘But they don’t care about what we think. They turn a deaf ear to us,’ some people complain. That is not true. They care very much about what you think. In fact, that is the only thing about you that holds their attention and concern. They don’t care if you go hungry, unemployed, sick, or homeless. But they do care when you are beginning to entertain resistant democratic thoughts. They get nervous when you discard your liberal complaints and adopt a radical analysis. They do care that you are catching on as to what the motives and functions of the national security state and the US global empire are all about at home and in so many corners of the world. They get furiously concerned when you and millions like you are rejecting the pap that is served up by corporate media and establishment leaders.
By controlling our perceptions, they control our society; they control public opinion and public discourse. And they limit the range and impact of our political consciousness. The plutocrats know that their power comes from their ability to control our empowering responses. They know they can live at the apex of the social pyramid only as long as they can keep us in line at the pyramid’s base. Who pays for all their wars? We do. Who fights these wars? We do or our low-income loved ones do. If we refuse to be led around on a super-patriotic, fear-ridden leash and if we come to our own decisions and act upon them more and more as our ranks grow, then the ruling profiteers’ power shrinks and can even unwind and crash—as has happened with dynasties and monarchies of previous epochs.
We need to strive in every way possible for the revolutionary unraveling, a revolution of organized consciousness striking at the empire’s heart with full force when democracy is in the streets and mobilized for the kind of irresistible upsurge that seems to come from nowhere yet is sometimes able to carry everything before it.
There is nothing sacred about the existing system. All economic and political institutions are contrivances that should serve the interests of the people. When they fail to do so, they should be replaced by something more responsive, more just, and more democratic.” (pp 148-49)
 Sweden in 1809 overthrew their monarchy and vowed to never be tempted again by the depravity of empire. On this basis Sweden, although it never lost its wealthy conservative elites and monarchists, built a social democratic socio-economic country devoted to the values of equality, fairness and social justice that made them the poster child of socialists, radicals and hippies for decades.
Nobody embodied this socialist legacy better than Sweden’s grand anti-war activist Olof Palme who served as the nation’s prime minister from 1969 to 1976 and again from 1982 until his untimely death in 1986. He served as the leader of Sweden’s dominant Social Democratic Party for nearly twenty years. Palme wasn’t just a pacifist; he had an assertive attitude that feared neither Washington nor Moscow, the latter of which was a close neighbor. He railed against Brezhnev for crushing the Prague Spring in 1968 and then turned around and antagonized Tricky Dick Nixon sufficiently to force a recall of his American ambassador in 1972 after the young prime minister marched aside North Vietnam’s ambassador protesting the bombing of Hanoi. Palme publicly compared America’s murderous savagery in Indochina to that of the Nazis in Treblinka.
But Olof Palme didn’t just annoy America and Russia with his antiwar tactics. He made mortal enemies among the champagne socialists in his own party and across Western Europe by calling them out on their hypocritical privileged bullshit posturing by declaring his solidarity with the oppressed classes of the Third World. He was the only Western European leader of his era to declare solidarity with Palestine, was the first condemn the South African apartheid regime and he went out of his way to support doomed left-wing populist governments like that of the left-wing Sandinistas in Nicaragua and Salvador Allende in Chile.
When CIA and NATO thugs helped Augusto Pinochet to crush Chilean social democracy in 1973, Palme rescued some thirty thousand refugees from being executed by CIA-trained death squads in the nation’s soccer stadiums by shuffling them through the Swedish consulate in Santiago. He even became the first Western head of state to visit Fidel Castro Cuba after the unforgivable revolution, lighting up a cigar with Castro and giving a speech praising the Cuban people for their courage to stand tall against the imperialists in Washington. Olof Palme proved that neutrality had nothing to do with cowardice; quite the opposite. It was about taking a principled stand against the notion of empire in any form and it was very likely what got him murdered.
Olof Palme was assassinated on the streets of Stockholm with a single gunshot while walking home with his wife from the cinema one chilly Friday evening in February 1986. He wasn’t accompanied by a single bodyguard and his killer has never been captured. Police collusion and cover up have been suspected as a local junkie and ex-convict was convicted for the murder in 1988 but he was acquitted a year later due to lack of evidence. The case was only formally closed in 2020 when the prosecutor in charge of the 34-year-old investigation declared a longtime witness, Stig Engstrom, who had conveniently died in 2000, to be the killer, again without a shred of solid evidence. Detectives and lawyers who had worked for decades over the case were annoyed to say the least. It would seem that very influential wealthy people in Sweden did not want to investigate the assassination of a dearly beloved socialist and national hero. And it’s quite plausible that Palme’s blood may be on the hands of some influential powerful people shockingly close to home. With the war in Ukraine, his blood may also stain the jackboots of the potential alignment with NATO that Sweden now drags their past pride across Palme’s grave.
The United States of America has not had a popular peace and socialist party for about a century with Eugene V Debs and Norman Thomas. Third parties of the left in the US have been marginalized for many decades now, ignored and ostracized by the corporate controlled mass media. Those who were even mildly progressive such as silver spoon liberals like FDR and JFK were merely protecting capitalism from its contradictions, failures and endless corruptions that resulted in endless sequences of booms, bubbles, busts and bailouts. FDR who was born into an obscenely wealthy family was depicted as a communist by those on the far right such as Nazi sympathizer Henry Ford and other corporate oligarchs and plutocrats. It’s not possible without solidarity from the masses to lead a revolution in a reactionary counter-revolutionary government by the two party corporate capitalist oligarchies of the power elite that differ only marginally. This is why genuine socialists like the late Tommy Douglas in Canada, the late Tony Benn and in the US and UK currently with Ilhan Omar and Jeremy Corbyn who will always be crushed, even by their own while wolves in doves clothing like Bernie Sanders who are elevated by the system they pretend to reject. Even a real life socialist saint like Olof Palme couldn’t save his top-down government from sinking back into the malaise of crony-capitalist austerity once some mysterious bastard put a NATO bullet in his back on the way home from a night out at the theatre.
 In the United States of Jesus the National Conservative Manifesto, published by the Edmund Burke Foundation and signed by Mark Meadows, Ken Cuccinelli, Jim DeMint and other Republican leaders is disconcerting. It declares, “No nation can long endure without humility and gratitude before God and fear of his judgment that are found in authentic religious traditions….” It’s shocking, yet unsurprising, that American citizens wrote this; after all the USA is a secular constitutional republic with a strong proclamation regarding separation of church and state. But these are Edmund Burke Foundation Christian conservatives who would prefer a theocracy, and surely not anything resembling a genuine democracy. The notion of America as a Christian nation is bogus in theory but the reality is radically different. Any US politician who admitted to being an atheist or who does not spew out “God Bless America” at the end of any speech or interview would never be elected. Putative core American values such as liberty, freedom of speech and political affiliation, equality and democracy are not only myths as the countless periods of political oppression and working class exploitation and suppression over their history have shown, but are also not shared by Christianity as practiced by the majority. This ought to surprise no one as organized religions are not and never have been democratic institutions. Rather they are coercive, authoritarian and hierarchical.
Christians have, ever since they were granted political power by the Roman Empire in the Fourth century - and from the first pope – abandoned any revolutionary moral agenda and have accepted authoritarian rule as the legitimate form of governance. The College of Cardinals apparently vote on pope candidates but all other positions of authority within the Catholic Church are assigned by decree. Protestant Evangelicals are similarly undemocratic and tyrannical. The shameless and flagrant Christian endorsement and participation in the Donald Trump incited January 6, 2021 attack and coup attempt on the White House designed to upend democracy and overturn the election is not so surprising. The United States is deemed a “democracy”, but even this is false as it, as with most Western countries, resemble an imperialist fascist police state, not a bona fide democracy. It is also beginning to take on the characteristics of a theocracy with the rescinding of women’s right to abortion as underwritten by Roe-Wade. This scandalous overturning of Roe-Wade was a recent ruling by the majority of ultra-conservative bible thumping zealots in the Supreme Court.
This incident has a long history that include denials and suppressions of science and free thought that have been primary features of Christianity since the execution of Giordano Bruno, the imprisonment of Galileo and the torture chambers of the Spanish Inquisitions for heretics, They are key features of a theocracy, robbing citizens of logic, critical thought, scientific reasoning and freedom of thought and choice. The global heating crises, ecosystem collapse, species extinction and multiple other environmental and existential threats are just a few that are denied by Christians and corporate capitalist conservatives who only care about their inflexible ideologies and doctrines, mammon and profit. And of course they will be looking to save their own miserable butts as the calamities overwhelm us, even looking for ways to profit from the disasters they created while they wait in their comfortable air conditioned mansions with stocks of weapons, food and wine.
 Sarah Chayes, in writing this book, appeals to her experiences in working with corrupt US installed regimes in Afghanistan and elsewhere and extends this to an analysis of American oligarchic government, politics and big business. After an introduction discussing the Midas touch and long history of corruption throughout history, she turns to the grotesque corruption, pillage and inequalities of the Gilded Age in America. She covers the brief interlude of democracy breakout, relative economic and political equality driven by hard won progressive policies in the years following the Great Depression that was extended for about three decades following World War II. Then in the late 70s and 1980s, the reactionary counter-revolutionary neo-conservative movement began to take a hold with the election of Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK. This was the beginning of the brutal attacks on labour the genesis of the Gilded Age 2.0. She points out that the return of corruption, cronyism, and rampant environmental destruction since then has been a bipartisan affair embraced by both conservatives and liberals. Although the book was released before the Jan 6 Mein Trump insurrection and the US proxy war in the Ukraine, they appear prophetic after reading this book. Her book compares favourably with those of Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti and promotes the same empty feeling in the pit of one’s stomach, almost to the point of feeling ill. When will people wake the fuck up and reject the two mainstream capitalist parties that are financed by big money kleptocrats. As the late Leonard Cohen said, “Everyone knows the dice are loaded” which is correct but if everyone knew this why do they even participate in the farcical money driven elections and instead head out to the streets with pitchforks and pillories?
 Absence of caring, selfishness, psychopathic behavior and “not giving a shit” hasn’t happened by mere coincidence. It has been inculcated by a political and economic agenda propounded by capitalist neo- conservative and neo-liberal ruling classes and ideologues that have cultivated an unjust socio-economic system of exploitation and a divide and conquer strategy that allows those same ruling oligarchs to enrich them beyond their wildest dreams at the expense of working people, the natural environment and the pillage of the public realm. The fact that even one billionaire exists in the world is an international scandal and disgrace. Our world today makes late 19th and early 20th century America that famous writer Mark Twain referred to as the Gilded Age, its corruption and plunder, pale in comparison. Whole societies have been conditioned into selfishness, greed and atomization; taught virtually from birth to be individualistic, competitive and ambitious and to do whatever it takes to get what they want without regard to the damage to others. This is the very antithesis of the golden rule my mother taught me.
Materialism and consumerism, two sides of the same counterfeit coin, form the ideological framework of this cynical ugly world view; a view that, via globalization has been spread far and wide, polluting every nation in every continent. Encouraging the same hollow values and cynical outlook has not only resulted in the destruction of the natural world, but has also created unhealthy economically and politically unequal societies. I’m currently about three quarters the way through Sarah Chayes’ recent book On Corruption in America: And What Is at Stake which in shocking detail exposes the systemic ruling class thievery and corporate and political corruption of the American capitalist state, but also revealing the sickening state of affairs that also exists on a global scale. And the magnitude and scale is daunting, far worse than anyone can imagine without a careful reading of this well-researched book. The neo-liberal global capitalist system is a deeply immoral predatory bottomless pit that cannot be fixed, only taken down and destroyed. Capitalism with a human face has been briefly tried briefly following World War II and it was an abysmal failure as any progressive democratic gains for the 99% have been taken away. We live in one of the most oppressive and authoritarian periods of history combined with a natural world that is dying very quickly. Soon there will be a lifeless planet as humans up to now are the only species not in extinction mode.
 Read the Counterpunch article by Paul Edwards: Manufacturing Coma - CounterPunch.org
 The Russian Revolution the first workers government and the first successful bottom up revolution that survived reactionary counter-revolutionary forces of reaction, in this case, the monarchists and other conservative forces within Russia and the capitalist/imperialist counter-revolution. There were several progressive parties in Russia that wanted to replace the tyrannical decadent incompetent Romanoff Tsars that had ruled the country for three centuries, such as anarchists, bourgeois liberals and socialist variants such as the Mensheviks who were for the most part social democrats. The Bolshevik Party (Russian Communist Party) was part of a united front of parties that seized power from the feudal Tsarist monarchy in February 1917. Then, in October 1917, the Bolsheviks more or less filled a power vacuum that arose and overthrew the forces of capitalism and seized state power from the social democratic Kerensky regime. The Russian Revolution came to power first as an anti-war movement against the forces in Russia that wanted to continue World War I with Germany, a war in which they were being decimated. World War I was started by ruling capitalist and wealthy elites to serve their interests and stave off the social unrest and revolutionary movements that were afoot. It became one of the most deadly imperialist bloodbaths of all time in which more than 18 million workers of the world were sent to their untimely deaths by the capitalist governments of Europe.
The day before the successful October Revolution, the world was ruled by American and European colonial and imperialist powers. But the day after the Russian Revolution the communists created a new political order of “soviets” (worker councils) that inspired momentum that inspired the imagination of workers and anti-colonial movements throughout the world. This was reflected in the German Revolution of 1918-19, Indian independence victory of 1947, the Chinese revolution of 1949, Cuban revolution of 1959, African independence movements in Ghana, the Congo, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, and Tanzania, Vietnamese revolution from 1945 until its victory in 1975 and South Africa independence movement against apartheid, which culminated in victory in 1994. Once in power, Lenin and Trotsky were able to broker a separate peace with the Germans but at a huge cost in land and resources.
There have been several excellent books written on the failed 1919 German Revolution. A recent insightful analysis excellent analysis is provided by the young articulate philosopher Jonas Čeika, author of the excellent book How to Philosophise with a Hammer and Sickle:
The German Revolution of 1918: How it All Began - YouTube
The German Revolution of 1918: Revolutionary November - YouTube
If the German revolution had been successful, the world today would most certainly be different from the world we tolerate today.
British Prime Minister, Conservative Christian and hyper-capitalist Margaret Thatcher was famous for claiming “there is no such thing as society” and that there is no alternative to capitalism as if capitalism is this is some cosmological law of physics rather than an invented ideology. The latter, deemed by her as axiomatic, is known as the TINA principle. Her assertion that there is no such thing as society is in fact correct within the context of capitalism for which notions of caring for others, ethics, the common good, community and real democracy do not exist. Each day 8 billion people are scrambling to exist as we reproduce irresponsibly and consume ever diminishing resources, further destroying the air, soils, oceans, fresh water dying ecosystems and species, including insects that are in extinction mode. Global heating and other existential threats are creating a giant heat dome over the planet as capitalist imperialism creates endless wars of exploitation and profit for the ruling elite. Our so-called fraudulent “democratic” societies have never been more destructive and barbaric as everything on earth has been transmogrified into a commodity, including humans.
 John Rawls was born on 21 February 1921 in Baltimore, Maryland. His father William Lee Rawls was one of Baltimore’s leading attorneys, and his mother Anna Abell (née Stump) was active in politics and a branch president of the League of Women Voters. Rawls youth was marred by a double tragedy. When he was seven he contracted diphtheria and when a younger brother Bobby visited him in hospital the disease was passed on to Bobby who subsequently died. Two years later, the tragedy was repeated when Rawls developed pneumonia and passed the disease on to his other young brother, who also died. The irrational conviction that he was somehow responsible for their deaths haunted the young Rawls with guilt for many years.
After primary school in Baltimore, Rawls attended Kent School in Connecticut. Gaining entrance to Princeton University in 1939 he graduated BA summa cum laude in 1943 and soon thereafter enlisted in the US Army as an infantryman. While at university, Rawls had been a devout Christian and composed a deeply religious thesis; he even considered becoming an Episcopalian pastor. But the horrors he experienced in prolonged and bloody combat as a foot soldier, where he witnessed the random contingencies of brutality, horrific wounds and death of war that contributed to trauma and psychological dysfunction on his comrades, he abandoned the Christian faith. The further horrors of the Holocaust and later the Vietnam War led him to analyse the political systems in which such catastrophic events were allowed to occur. He asked himself the fundamental questions: How could democratically elected governments ruthlessly pursue unjust wars and murder millions of innocent people? And how could citizens tolerate and not resist their country’s abominable immoral policies? Seeking answers to these questions set the course of his future life.
When Japan surrendered at the end of World War II, Rawls was promoted to sergeant and became part of the occupying army. On refusing to unfairly discipline a fellow soldier he was demoted to private. Severely offended and disenchanted he resigned from the military in 1946, returned to Princeton and studied for a PhD in moral philosophy.
Earning his doctorate in 1950, Rawls taught in Princeton until 1952 at which point he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to attend Oxford University. While there he was deeply influenced by Isaiah Berlin and the legal theorist H.L.A. Hart. Returning to the United States he became an assistant, then associate, professor in Cornell University. In 1962 he was made a full professor, combined with a tenured position at MIT. Soon afterwards he moved to Harvard where he taught for almost forty years and trained a generation of political and moral philosophers.
Rawls’ unshakable analysis of social institutions based on a concept of fairness has shown that science has no monopoly on the desire to shape our future in a better world. Rawls demonstrated how a broad, more inclusive approach to the human predicament can be developed on a basis of mutual understanding, reasonableness, tolerance, through creating societies of free citizens who hold basic rights, and who, despite widely differing views, could cooperate within an egalitarian economic system devoted to the common good. So far this is merely a dream and in the year 2022 and for the foreseeable dubious future a dystopian nightmare.
Rawls combined a profound wisdom with an equally profound humanity. On presenting him with the National Humanities Medal in 1999, a hypocritical President Bill “Blow Job” Clinton said that Rawls’ work had helped to revive faith in democracy which of course then as now remains a pipe dream. We surely need to build on Rawls’ vision to secure our future in an increasingly economically unequal, uncertain, intolerant, politically corrupt unstable, undemocratic capitalist world of authoritarianism that includes fascism and multiple existential threats to all life forms.
 Christianity and capitalism both encourage the notion of people as things, as objects to be manipulated and controlled. Coercion is a fundamentally disrespectful form of human relationship. It devalues human beings. The entire premise of manufacturing needs, so essential to both, rests upon this dynamic, demeaning the autonomy of the “other” and devaluing their capacity for self-determination.
The Ten Commandments, so crucial to the Abrahamic worldview, are highly problematic, both in form and content. The form, training in obedience to commands, seriously misses the whole point of moral agency. The bottom line is that Christianity places the devout near the very bottom of such models of moral development as illustrated in the illustration below.
Christian morality places us near the bottom of Lawrence Kohlberg’s moral hierarchy, his six “Stages of Moral Development”: “moral reasoning, based on reward and punishment.” Kohlberg’s model needs not be understood as authoritative but merely representative of the plausible psychological concept of “stages in moral development.” https://pmhealthnp.com/pmhnp-topics/moral-development/
In terms of content, four out of the Ten Commandments focus entirely upon proselytizing, conformity, coercion, and intolerance of religious diversity. There is truly nothing “moral” about any of these four. At the same time, some really important things, things that are famously tolerated in the bible, are entirely missing from the Ten Commandments. You won’t find any commandments such as:
Being bound in chains is an obvious denial of our freedom. But the impingement upon personal autonomy through coercion and manufactured need is insidious and problematic in its own regard. It is because the egregious wrong is itself compounded by a sweet sounding lie. When you are in chains, you know you are a slave. You generally have some idea of who enslaves you. But when the more subtle means of coercion is in play, people are not necessarily aware. Those who are coerced often believe they are free. They may have no awareness whatsoever of the chains that bind them, of what or who is pulling the strings, or of how they might hope to become free. Coercion may be more subtle, but it can be equally immoral.
Coercion demonstrates indifference to human autonomy, our right to self-determination. It is the bedrock upon which modern American corporate capitalism is founded. It has grown to become an accepted norm of social relations in America. Coercion in service to sales or profit as intrinsic goods, with the concomitant reduction of human beings to mere means-to-an-end, is a doubly wicked moral wrong.
Americans are famously proud and protective of their much vaunted “freedom.” No other buzz word will whip Americans into a defensive frenzy or patriotic fervor with greater alacrity. But when they are coerced into buying or consuming, they are not free. When they are pressured into needing a newer, bigger truck or more and more pistols and rifles, they are not free. When fashion determines what they buy, which in turn determines their social status, they are not free. When their purchasing power defines their sense of worth or they work at meaningless and unfulfilling jobs to live according to the dictates of consumerist propaganda and social pressure, they are not free. When their life has no greater purpose than to consume and produce, they are coerced. They are not free.
In the same manner, when Christians are taught that sex is defilement or that forgiveness comes from “beyond,” they are not free. When they’re told that justice will be meted out from “on high” or in the coming afterlife, they are not free. When they learn that they are forgiven for atrocities great and small while the rest of us are bound to burn in hell—regardless of the good we do—they are not free. They are coerced into believing that humans are inherently sinful and that experiencing lust, sloth, or gluttony makes us dirty and evil and bound for eternal hellfire and damnation. They are coerced into believing that God will heal our alcoholism or addiction if we just allow him to. When they’re told that education and knowledge are sins or that evolution is “just a theory,” they are coerced and manipulated. They are not really free.
 In the 1980s Archbishop Romero of El Salvador was a member of the Salvadoran aristocracy; after all, he could not have risen to the top of the church hierarchy otherwise. But after witnessing the American incited atrocities and grinding poverty in the country he began expressing his embrace of liberation theology with its support for the poor, anti-American radicals. Following aligning himself with the masses of poor and critical remarks about the brutal American induced imperialist war, he was assassinated by the US CIA trained goon squads, torturers and butchers.
 Problems with both conservative and liberal elites are that truth and reality are intrinsically radical conceptions that they must keep concealed, especially prevent exposing them to the credulous indoctrinated masses. The post colonial Third World has been is exploited, oppressed and impoverished by American imperialism as it installs compliant neo-fascist tyrants who allow for plunder and pillage, the tax system is regressive and favours wealthy corporate oligarchs, the very richest than includes billionaires, tens of millions of Americans do live in poverty, the corporate sector does plunder and pollute the environment, real wages especially for blue-collar workers definitely have flattened and even declined, the superrich really are increasing their share of the economic pie and global warming is real and becoming catastrophic and apocalyptic. Conservatives are fond of telling us what a wonderful, happy, prosperous nation is the United States of America. The only thing that matches their mindless patriotic love of country is the remarkable indifference, disrespect and generally utter contempt they display toward the 95% of people who struggle to thrive in it. The irreparable damage to the earth’s non-human species, waterways, land and ecosystems are too disturbing for capitalists to contemplate. They are more devoted to profit at any price, their vulgar wealth accretion and decadence than to the only earth upon which they depend. Capitalists are more concerned with the fate of their fortunes than with the fate of humanity as even the multiple environmental disasters such as global heating are deemed opportunities for exploitation and profit.
 In the United States, one of the most unequal in the Western World, the one-tenth of one percent (.1 %) has more wealth than the bottom 90%. Read the recent shocking analysis of the top one tenth of one percent in the USA here: The Wealth of the U.S. Wealthiest One-Tenth of One Percent - CounterPunch.org
French economist, statesman and writer Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) wrote, "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." George Orwell in his novel 1984 depicting futuristic dystopian totalitarian state said, "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it". The brutal incarceration of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden’s exile that expose the crimes of the USA are two graphic examples of what happens to whistle blowers and truth tellers in our so-called “democracies”. But Orwell, writing in the late 1940s could not have predicted the techno-feudalistic surveillance state that underwrites the corporate oligarchy, financial vipers and nauseating parasitic billionaires that exist today.
The peaceful highly moral and intelligent aliens that visited earth in the powerful 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still warned the bellicose and greedy earthlings that they were a threat to the cosmos and if they did not find a way to live peacefully, they'd be obliterated. This movie is timeless, but in the stupidity and atmosphere of fear during the Cold War, it was especially relevant. And now we have a new Cold War that could end all life on earth as the NATO and US proxy war against all things Russian in Ukraine continues unabated.
If there are highly intelligent deeply moral beings on other planets, it's highly likely they have not contacted us because they are well aware of our distinctly immoral global capitalist system with its selfish sociopathic exploitive, manipulative dismissive and abusive behavior towards our fellow humans and other sentient beings. Why would any moral group of intelligent beings from another galaxy even want to meet such creatures as us?
Here in Chilliwack, BC as of today October 14th with 10-12 weeks of drought and no rain in sight the Chilliwack River that has its origin in a huge mountain lake looks like a trickle as many creeks connected to it are drying up. Moreover with forest fires out of control in Southern BC and Washington State, one cannot venture outdoors without a mask. With the severe drought spawning salmon are dying off as they are trapped in the dried up creeks. This is global warming with a vengeance; and conditions are only going to get much worse as anything, even ecosystem collapse and mass extinction, as anything that impedes the drive for profits will be ignored. And contra Sleepy Joe Biden, the pandemic is not over and one would be ill-advised to not wear a mask when venturing outdoors to protect against not only the virus (even with my four vaccination shots, the most recent Sept 30th) but the toxic and apocalyptic levels of smoke so bad you cannot even see the mountains across the river (now morphed into a trickle) that are about 500 meters from our home.
 The statement by Donald Trump’s former economic advisor Stephen Moore ought to surprise no one. Moore said, “Capitalism is a lot more important than democracy.” This is the view of all contemporary authoritarians whether fascist, mainstream conservative or so-called “liberal” capitalists. In a documentary back in 2009 Moore admitted, “I’m not even a big believer in democracy.”
 Songs from the 60s and early 70s when hope and optimism for a far better world were still alive. Since the 1980s it’s been a steady downhill slide to unavoidable pessimism from the masses combined with a zero sum game of disaster capitalism, corporate greed, financial predation, atomization, toxic individualism all combined with species extinction, global warming, ecological collapse and a return of fascism and other forms of authoritarianism:
The Young Bloods - Get Together
The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother
Bill Withers – Lean on Me
Guess Who –Share the Land
Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Waters
 This of course excluded women, indigenous people, blacks and other people of color – or those who were not landowners (land stolen and plundered from native peoples).