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Is American Capitalism
Doomed To Fail

By G Asgar Mitha

13 October, 2007

This is what Evo Morales, President of Bolivia had to say in the United Nations on September 24, 2007 regarding capitalism:

Capitalism has twins, the market and war. The market converts life into commodities; it converts land into a commodity. And when capitalists cannot sustain this economic model based on looting, on exploitation, on marginalisation, on exclusion and, above all, on the accumulation of capital, they rely on war, the arms race. If we ask ourselves how much money is spent on the arms race — we are never concerned about that.

Evo Morales, an indigenous Bolivian, was speaking from experience. He knows how capitalism and the capitalists plundered and looted his country of the wealth that rightfully belonged to his people. No wonder he is such an outspoken critic of capitalism. One has to read how John Perkins in his book, The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, has exposed the capitalistic cunning of the World Bank and the IMF which are, in fact, western creations, in reducing the simple folks of Bolivia and Ecuador to abject poverty. They took away all and have left them nothing. Those countries are just two examples--victims of runaway greed. Take all and give nothing.

It is not that capitalism is anything new. It’s been around for ages but it’s never developed so many ugly heads since taking a rebirth in the US only a mere century ago. There is nothing wrong with capitalism so long as the objectives are honest to benefit mankind. The objective of American capitalism, as it now has become, is to create wealth in the hands of those few who are greedy, have no scruples, principles and conscience, who tap market forces to loot the unfortunate many and finally go out and indiscriminately massacre and murder anywhere and everywhere so that they can exhaust their inventory of weapons of mass destruction and replenish these with even more deadlier ones. If anyone has watched the movie “Lords of Wars”, it makes it known that the five permanent members of the UN lead the world in selling billions of dollars of arms to those countries who can ill afford these.

The American empire is on a rampage, very similar to the bull elephant that has gone raving mad in its last dying days. And the madness is due to the greed factor typical of American capitalism. It wants to control energy resources and lanes so that it can dictate who gets the oil, how much and at what price. It has to manufacture wars on the most flimsiest of pretexts so that it can continue to churn out weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The empire, led by its capitalistic masters and authors, even goes to the extent of fabrication if it cannot find the pretext for a war. Iraq and Afghanistan are recent examples of war fabrication. Now IAEA has quite categorically reported that Iran has no program for developing N-weapons. It is against the Iranian ideology and interest to develop WMDs but the political arm of the capitalist system is devoid of reasoning. Its psyche chooses to ignore warnings.

American capitalism manufactures needs through the medium of advertisements and, also through banks which fuels capitalism by the credit mechanism. So here we are in the twenty first century caught in the credit crunch. Consider these few noteworthy items published in the July 2007 issue of “The Philadelphia Trumpet”. 1) The average American spends $21,000 a year on consumer goods—from fast food to laptops. 2) The ads tell us that spending money is actually saving money. 3) Research shows not only that purchases made by 4-to-12-year-olds exceeded $30 billion in 2002, but also that children, thanks to the “nag-factor” directly influenced $330 billion worth of their parent’s purchases. We succumb because we do not want our children to be unhappy but in that due process of fulfilling our children’s desires and lusts, we all become unhappy as we take on debt that cannot be repaid. Depression sets in, two ends cannot be met, tempers flare between the husband and wife, children are adversely effected, court battles are fought over custodies and lawyers walk away with sacks full of fees.

So alright, this can happen only in the capital of capitalism? Not so. American capitalism is not content at destroying its own citizens. The authors export it also. I was in Doha, Qatar---a small country filthy rich by any standard---that boasts the second highest per capita income in the world. The local newspaper The Gulf Times of December 13, 2006 reported that “the lure of loans offered by the banks in Qatar on very easy terms with the least of hassles has turned to be something like a fruit that is very sweet to eat in the beginning but too sour in the end”. Super malls and expensive stores have been built in Doha and Dubai to empty the pockets of the medium class nationals but not the rich who shop in the capitals of the capitalist countries paying exorbitant sums of money for the latest in designer goods. No matter where one goes, it’s the same story. American capitalism has been exported to every nook and corner of the earth. Even China. The handfuls of countries that are not touched are its potential future victims.

Historians agree that the one thing which unravels an empire is due to its economic decline. In the past century, the Soviet and the British empires, and no less the other European and even the Turkish empire, all met their decline by the process of slow economic wastage. The Soviet and Turkish empires may possibly not be classified as “capitalist in nature” but the economic model was based on looting, exploitation, marginalisation and above all reliance on wars and territorial expansion, not really any different than the American model.

There is a limit to any expansion be it territorial or economic. Its like a balloon. Keep filling it with air and if the elasticity is not understood, the balloon bursts. The global economic expansion is an on-going phenomenon with just too many bubbles or balloons being blown whether they are commodities, credit, real estate or stock markets.

All it will take is a disastrous war that America might start on some pretext. That would surely end capitalism. The process of moral wastage is on-going. That one ideology, democracy, on which the United States was founded, is dead. It exists only in name and not form. It has been the victim of American capitalism. Likewise demise of capitalism might be at the hands of the war it fabricates. Iraq and Afghanistan were cake walks but will every other country be thus?

1) Bibliography: July 2007, The Philadelphia Trumpet, How to be Rich, page 4, weblink:


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