Blog Post: UNBRIDLED GLOBAL CAPITALISM IS A POWERFUL SOCIOCENTRIC FORCE IN HUMAN LIFE

Linda Elder
Sep 07, 2020 • 129d ago
UNBRIDLED GLOBAL CAPITALISM IS A POWERFUL SOCIOCENTRIC FORCE IN HUMAN LIFE

{"ops":[{"insert":"Capitalism is the predominant economic force on the planet. Almost all humans and other sentient creatures now experience implications of capitalism. Even countries with socialist governments are intertwined with capitalism. In his book "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"A Theory of Global Capitalism"},{"insert":", William Robinson (2004) argues that we are now living in a new economic system of global capitalism, the theory of which he details:\n \nGlobalization is the underlying structural dynamic that drives social, political, economic, and cultural-ideological processes around the world in the twenty-first century. … Global capitalism has generated new social dependencies around the world. Billions of people who may have been at the margins of the system or entirely outside of it have now been brought squarely within its confines. The maintenance of the system is very much a life-and-death matter for millions, indeed billions, of people who, willingly or otherwise, have developed a stake in it. (p. xv)"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nThough capitalism has its strengths, the many negative implications that result from unrestrained capitalism are largely passed over or played down in today’s mainstream western cultures and beyond. In developed countries, people tend to assume capitalism is the best economic system; those who argue for public ownership and cooperative management of the means of production, through what are frequently stereotyped as “socialist” programs, are often marginalized and even demonized. People in capitalist countries generally fail to see capitalism as one choice among several viable economic systems. Born into capitalistic societies, they tend to uncritically accept capitalistic ideology.\n \nAnd capitalism represents a tremendously powerful sociocentric force in human life today. One problem with capitalism, according to Robinson, is that it naturally expands. “In order to survive, capitalism requires constant access to new sources of cheap labor, land, raw materials … and markets” (p. 3). In his concluding chapter on the contradictions of capitalism, Robinson (2004) points to some of its far-reaching problems:\n \n… as capitalism produces vast amounts of wealth, it also generates … social polarization and crisis … workers produce more goods and services than they are actually able to purchase with their wages … at some point capitalists as a group … are left with more goods and services produced by their workers than they are able to market. … This is the point at which economic recession typically sets in. … The polarization of world income, downward mobility, and declining purchasing power among broad swaths of humanity make it impossible for the world’s majority to consume all the goods being churned out by the global economy … two processes germane to capitalist development have intensified through globalization. One is the secular process by which the spread of capitalism uproots precapitalist classes such as peasantries and converts them into members of the working class. The accelerated incursion of capitalist production into the countryside around the world in the second half of the twentieth century uprooted hundreds of millions of peasants and threw them into the capitalist labor market, often as unemployed or underemployed workers. (pp. 147–149)"},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nOne implication of unbridled capitalism is the growing disparity between the rich and the poor, not only in the United States, but across the world. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (June 25, 2010) reports: “The gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007. … [T]he new data suggest greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928.” The United Nations reports that “around the world more than 2.5 billion men, women and children live in grinding poverty on less than $2 a day. Such extreme poverty results in chronic hunger and malnutrition, preventable diseases such as malaria, measles and tuberculosis, environmental degradation, low literacy rates and countless other social, public health, economic and political problems.” According to the United Nations Development Report (1999), “Global inequalities in income and living standards have reached grotesque proportions.” The report goes on to say:\n\nThe richest countries, such as the United States, have 20 percent of the world’s people but 86 percent of its income … 82 percent of its exports and 74 percent of its telephone lines. The 20 percent living in the poorest countries, such as Ethiopia and Laos, have about 1 percent of each. The three richest officers of Microsoft—Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer—have more assets, nearly $140 billion, than the combined gross national product of the 43 least-developed countries and their 600 million people."},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nWhen the market goes too far in dominating social and political outcomes, the opportunities and rewards of globalization spread unequally and inequitably— concentrating power and wealth in a select group of people, nations and corporations, marginalizing the others."},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"The challenge is … to provide enough space for human, community and environmental resources to ensure that globalization works for people, not just for profits."},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"One result of globalization is that the road to wealth—the control of production, patents and technology—is increasingly dominated by a few countries and companies … this monopoly of power is cutting poorer nations off from a share of the economic pie and, often, from decent health care and education."},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nApproximately 150 years ago, in a private letter, President Abraham Lincoln (1864) predicted that the wealth of the U.S. would increasingly fall into the hands of a few; in essence, he anticipated the term “überwealthy,” now in almost common use. He could see powerful and unethical forces, emerging through capitalistic thought during his lifetime, and hence predicted what has in fact come true.\n \nI see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country … corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands. … I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war."},{"attributes":{"indent":2},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nGiven the increasing gap between the rich and poor, and the consequent inordinate power now in the hands of the wealthiest few, Lincoln’s fears, again, have been realized. The question is how can we change what now seems inevitable – the continuing thirst for more things - for more to buy, the growing disparity between those who have too much and those who suffer from not having enough, and the many other continuing problems in unbridled capitalism? Is there a more just, and at the same time feasible, economic system that could be embraced by human societies? What are your recommendations?\n \n \nThis blog is adapted from my newly release book: "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Liberating the Mind"},{"insert":" by Linda Elder (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"References:"},{"insert":"\n \nRobinson, W. (2004). A theory of global capitalism. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins\nUniversity Press.\n \nThe Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (June 25, 2010), taken from the website of the United Nations, "},{"attributes":{"color":"#954f72","link":"http://www.un.org/works/sub2.asp?lang=en&s=17"},"insert":"http://www.un.org/works/sub2.asp?lang=en&s=17"},{"insert":", December 19, 2010.\n \nThe United Nations Human Development Report, found at http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr1999/\n\n \n"}]}


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Posted by: Preston Smith

{"ops":[{"insert":"I wish the quote was real. \n\nwww.snopes.com/fact-check/abraham-lincolns-capitalism-prophecy/\n"}]}



Posted by: Joseph Halter

{"ops":[{"insert":"UNBRIDLED GLOBAL CAPITALISM IS A POWERFUL SOCIOCENTRIC FORCE IN HUMAN LIFE\n\nThe heading of this blog is accurate but misleading. Unbridled \"anything\" can lead to extreme responses and the word sets the tone for the blog, unfairly.\nGlobalization has lead to sociocentric forces for good and bad. The blog appears to support some of the harmful affects of globalization. For a more complete understanding of globalization, please refer to the article on "},{"attributes":{"link":"https://www.piie.com/microsites/globalization/what-is-globalization"},"insert":"What is Globalization?"},{"insert":"\nInteresting, 2020 has seen a significant change in reversing globalization to nationalism. Both US candidates are cautiously frowning globalization. From a political point of view, it serves their purposes, but from an economic point of view, is this a good trend?\nCapitalism and Socialism are simply concepts. Taken to its purest sense, neither one is useful. Capitalism's simply means economic freedom to use our capital as we see fit. Socialism simply means economic fairness and each of us are in the production and consumption of goods/services together. These are simply definitions and can be taken to \"unbridled\" points of views. There are many variations between the two. If you ask many people what type of economy people have for their country, it would surprise them to find out it is mostly mixed between the two economic systems. Please review the "},{"attributes":{"link":"https://www.heritage.org/index/"},"insert":"Economic Freedom site "},{"insert":"on were your country is on the continuum.\nBoth economic systems have benefits and flaws. The point made in the blog about unequal distribution of wealth and income for capitalism is true. Is this a problem? Many arguments can be made for both sides.\nRather than go on with these comments, my conclusion is this. Economic systems are creations of the human mind. Both capitalism and socialism have been practiced for centuries. A mix of both systems is usually the answer for most countries depending on the resources, political systems and customs of the culture. Both concepts are needed in the allocation of limited resources for the unlimited needs and wants of people and their societies. It really comes down to this "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"simple truth"},{"insert":": "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"The leadership of society and the citizens need to be fair-minded critical thinkers to effectively use the concepts of socialism and capitalism"},{"insert":". That is the huge challenge for all of us on this Community for Critical Thinking.\nQuestion: How do we as a community help ourselves to understand the Paul-Elder model for critical thinking to help us and others to implement the concepts for free and fair economic systems?\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n"}]}



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{"ops":[{"insert":"Hi Guys,\n\nGreat read Linda and enjoyed your breakdown on the concerns being brought about through Global Capitalism.\n\nOpen Question: Is a mix of Socialism and Capitalism something you believe can co-exist? I ask this due to the unfair distribution of these economical systems in different areas of our society currently; socialism for the few (corporate/financials) and capitalism for the many? It could be possible to claim they work efficiently if enforced to everyone, if so do we require more regulation or is this a weakness of the balance between these ideologies?\n\n\nI would be interested to hear any opinions on some of the work of Yanis Varoufakis an Economists/Politician, in specific his recent \"Another now\" book? Attempts are made in his work to distinguish theory and practicality in the real world for another Economical system (democratic socialism). Often the critiques are in favor of a movement away from free markets and Capitalism, it seems a logical step if we are to treat some of the fundamental flaws pointed out with the dangerous concentration of power and wealth? He makes a case for one person, one share and one vote which I found very interesting. It maybe a fair chance for democracy but is it too far removed from recurrent patterns of egocentrism to be practical without large social change? I would propose we require a large scale social movement towards critical thinking for us to be capable to elect a democratic system even if we had been presented with one.\n\n\n\"Question Joseph: How do we as a community help ourselves to understand the Paul-Elder model for critical thinking to help us and others to implement the concepts for free and fair economic systems?\"\n\nThe answer for myself has always been to try to debate concepts and learn from others. Looking at history with intellectual humility. Daily battles with egocentrism and sociocentrism. I am learning to become an Accomplished thinker myself thanks to this foundation. \n\nI would agree in order to see substantial change we need leaders who embody these values but more importantly a society ready to accept them. This requires more comments, larger conversations and in particular more well informed individuals. Ideas have to be nurtured and grown from great forums like this and helpful blogs like yours. Hope my participation has been helpful. \n\nAll the best, Nathan.\n"}]}