Capitalism, the Root Problem (leaflet)

click here for videoFor 10,000 years markets have caused bullying, wars, poverty, plutocracy, corruption, and more recently ecosystem collapse, which is killing us all. All of that can be explained in terms of alienation and inequality.

Alienation. Capitalism alienates us from work. Privately owned workplaces are dictatorships. A few of us – nurses, teachers, firefighters – find meaning in our jobs, but most of us take home only a paycheck. That, not laziness, is why we hate Mondays.

Capitalism alienates us from side effects of our actions. For instance, oil’s buyer and seller don’t pay for global warming. Wars, poverty, and ecocide will continue as long as someone profits from them.

Capitalism alienates us from each other. Separate property creates separate lives. Seeing the homeless beggar on the corner reminds us that no one cares. Competition destroys empathy, leaving racists, sexists, and other bullies, some of them killers. We’ll only be safe in a caring, sharing community that leaves no one behind, so no one wants to hurt us.

Inequality. If we don’t share, we trade. But that gives greater profit to the trader in the stronger bargaining position, making him stronger still. Inequality increases, creating poverty and plutocracy, reinforcing hierarchy.

Hierarchy corrupts, as the Stanford Prison Experiment proved. We see that all around us: Authoritarians beat their families, bosses bully workers, police shoot the poor, and presidents lie to start wars. Hierarchy and property feed each other, so they must be ended together, replaced by egalitarianism and sharing.

The first step is to get more people talking about it.


2018 Mar 6, version 5.07. Underlined blue phrases are links to related materials. The leaflet takes two sides of 1/3 page.