“The economic system previously known as capitalism”
September 6, 2018
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The problem with the term “capitalism” is that it tends to marginalize the discourse on the human nature and selfishness which goes back thousands of years and offers profound insights, and solutions. The issue of greed and gluttony goes far back in Greek, Roman and Hindu texts, as in the core classics of Buddhism and Daoism which offer us much we will not find in Marx or in Piketty.
But it seems that once we start talking “capitalism” and economics, all that wisdom from philosophy and literature goes out the window. We are lost in a narrow definition of production and consumption.
In addition, technological evolution, the emergence of computers and the transformation of money and the perception of reality by the advancement of means of reproduction (AKA Benjamin) have promoted accelerated cycles of exchange which are increasingly virtual and increasingly imaginary and ideological. We find ourselves in a system profoundly different from capitalism and industrial production finance in the 19th century, when Marx wrote, or the 20th century, or even in 2000. So perhaps we would do better to suggest that just as we are now in the Anthropocene age (and not the Cenozoic age) so also we are in something quite different than “capitalism ” as described in 1850, or even in 1980.