Capitalism is the problem

The worldwide “banking crisis” now dominates the front pages of newspapers. Capitalism is in its worst crisis since the 1929 world economic crisis

By Bernd Drucke

[This article published in: graswurzel revolution 333, November 2008 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,]

Anti-militarists could be glad that the war against Iran concocted in the think tanks of US militarism will not be carried out in the foreseeable future. The debt mountain and the trade deficit of the US are gigantic. The greatest military power of world history that spends annually $660 billion for war and weaponry is practically bankrupt. Thus the new war is cancelled.

The speculative bubble that arose in the centers of capitalism has burst. Neoliberalism totters. Is a “New Deal” approaching or a new form of “state capitalism”?

“The crisis of financial capital is the breakdown of neoliberal ideology. At its beginning as at its end, the absolute state is the guarantee that the swindle accompanying `perpetual capital accumulation’ is kept alive,” as Lutz Schulerberg said (in: DIE AKYION Nr 214, October 2008).

The financial crisis is only peripherally a reason for job. Those that caused the crisis – the big banks - profit from the crisis at the end. These banks are now on their feet again with two trillion euro from the governments of EU states and $700 billion from the US government. A “rescue plan for the hungry” could be realized with a fragment of the money spend on this “bailout for the banking system.” But the decision-makers have not thought of this.

On the other hand, politics could be done at the expense of the poorest with worldwide social spending cut to finance state bank subsidies.

The consequences of the capitalist system of rule are already catastrophic for a large part of humanity. A billion people do not have enough to eat now. In 2008 alone, 75 million people will be added, according to the Hunger Research institute ifpri. For 2007 the United Nations estimated a rise in the number of the hungry from 800 million to 925 million. The capitalist world order, the unjust distribution of resources, post-colonial trade conditions dictated by the IMF and the bio-fuel policy of the US and the EU are the causes of this hunger catastrophe. The share of bio-fuels in the higher prices is estimated at 30% according to calculations of hunger experts. Rice is hardly still cultivated as a super-food for the hungry but instead fizzles out as a fuel for the gas-guzzling luxury coaches of Daimler, BMW and Co.


Twenty years ago hardly anyone imagined the authoritarian “command socialist” system in Eastern Europe could collapse. But a short time later, that happened.

Today hardly anyone thinks globally dominant capitalism will disappear. That disappearance is a precondition for the survival of humanity.

The capitalist system does not make a mistake; it is the mistake. The capitalist system is responsible for the exploitation and contamination of the earth, that every fourth mammal is threatened with becoming extinct, that the polar caps are melting and the foundations of future generations are threatened.

Capitalism is the problem. The solution would be an independent-socialist social order whose highest principles are mutual aid, respect for nature and a nonviolent rule-free humanly just world. This is a utopia worth struggling for.