The End of Capitalism

Roland Stahl
January, 2023

     Thomas Jefferson observed long ago that, no matter how you deal out the cards, sooner or later any population will stratify into levels of wealth and power; and the longer a system remains in place, the more extreme the difference between the higher and the lower levels, and the more deeply entrenched those differences become.  

     The whole Republican Experiment was conceived as a massive reshuffling of the deck, in which everyone were to be, more or less, equal in wealth and political power to everyone else (at least relative to the ancien régime).  But what has happened ever since 1776 has inexorably followed Jefferson’s prescient playbook exactly.  The wealthy and powerful have become progressively wealthier and more powerful, while the Little People find themselves with less and less.  Much of the losses of the Little People are obscured in the shell games being played with money, in which inflation massively destroys the wealth of the poor, while greatly enhancing the advantages of the rich.  When the price of housing goes up, who benefits and who loses, between the landlord and the tenant?

     By now, of course, the game is over; they have won, and they negligently take off their gloves, like Netanyahu in Israel, who blithely assures his people that only Jewish people have rights, that they have all the rights to the entire Historic Land of Israel (never mind that there were other people living on the land when they seized it from them, then and now); that Palestinians don’t have any rights at all; and that now they will begin the process of finalizing that implicit reality into formal law, in pursuance of the “final solution.”  (“Subsequent to the Islamic conquest of the Middle East in the seventh century, Arab peoples began to settle in the former “Palestina.”  Apart from about 90 years of Crusader domination, the land fell under Muslim control for just under 1,200 years.  Although Jewish habitation never ceased, the population was overwhelmingly Arab.”  ~, History of Israel and Palestine.)

     The present Robber Barons of the world have no intention ~ none whatsoever ~ of allowing the slightest deviation from their program of accelerating the rate at which they absorb the wealth of the world, due to any other consideration (e.g., such frivolous matters as the survival of life on earth).  Climate change be damned ~ talk to Exxon about Climate Change, circa 1974 . . .

     Republicans talk openly about setting aside the Constitution in order to set up a new Government designed to perpetuate this cabal of robber barons, so that the acceleration of the pace of their takeover of the world’s assets can be increased still more flagrantly, in order that they can achieve uncontested world dominance within their own lifetimes.  Then they will be able to do anything they want.  Perhaps every year they can painlessly euthanize the bottom 10% of the population, in terms of their relative wealth and power.  Or should it be 15% ?  That would be so much less messy than the current system of grinding poverty wearing people down gradually.  

     Today, we are not just rambling in our dotage.  The conclusion is inescapable ~ Capitalism is irretrievably flawed.  When you let people do what they want without oversight, the present world is what you get.  The same thing happens everywhere in the world, not just here.  What the Chinese have done in Tibet, and to the Uighurs of East Asia, and to Hong Kong, and what they threaten to do with Taiwan; what the Turks have done to the Armenians and the Kurds; what Hitler did to the Jews; what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians; what the Russians are doing in Ukraine; what the Americans have done to the indigenous people of North America, and to the hapless Blacks, dragged to their country in chains; so Big Oil is doing to the planet.  It’s all wrong.  

     For over forty years now, ever since The World Union Company, 1980, San Francisco, we have been advocating an institution that would hold the Earth in Trust, for its Trees and its People, as an alternative to this international game of King of the Mountain that’s been going on for the last thirty thousand years and more.  Instead of the Robber Barons dividing up the spoils of the earth for their benefit, the Trustee would tax all those at the top of the wealth and power pyramid (in addition to fining them for any infraction of rules against environmental degradation), and use that wealth to finance services for the rest of the population.  (We have not digitized that very early presentation of the idea, but here it is again in New Solutions, 1992.)

     This idea has always recognized the Thomas Jefferson Principle, but simply suggests aggressively progressive taxation to return wealth back to the people (in contrast with the present system, in which the wealthy and powerful use their wealth and power to increase their wealth and power, at the expense of everyone else living on the planet).  This whole idea, of course, including the whole new basis of Money, as issued and taxed by this Trustee, advocates nothing less than the most radical social, economic, and political transformation of the planet of all time, so it is not surprising that there might be a certain measure of resistance to the idea in some quarters [understatement alert].  It is radically new, from the roots.  But the mounting political and ecological emergencies of our time demand that we either end the rule of the Robber Barons in favor of an impartial Trustee for the Trees and People of the Planet, or we allow the destruction of our planet to continue unabated to its (and our) ultimate ruin.

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