WHAT IS CAPITALISM
“In a nutshell capitalism is a legalized form of theft or corruption by the elite”.
It’s a privilege based system in which a few, select, individuals get the license to own public resources: human labor, time, freedom, choice, thoughts, dreams, ideas, water, seeds, trees, human beings, animals, birds, minerals, land, health, food and any other public goods that can be harnessed at the expense of the majority for the profit of those few individuals.
Many writers have advanced the argument that economics practice by its very definition of it being the science concerned with the control and distribution of scarce resources. Was the major instrument used to institute this system of inequality, in order to create conditions where the majority have no other means [resources] to survive but to sell their labor to owners of capital and industry.
Such a reality gives credence to the theory that a few people run the world and we are all but slaves to make them profit. In essence capitalism the expressed manifestation of legalized oppression and corruption.
Where Did Wealth Come From?
Unfortunately, what most economists fail to address in giving their definition of capitalism, is how the capital class acquired the initial capital to start their enterprise in a world where at some point, all men were equal freemen on land where no individuals had ownership or title.
Most economic theory mischievously skips this question to start its postulations on the premise that previously accumulated capital/wealth accumulates more wealth by being invested, without outlining the origins of that original wealth that is being employed. Yet without a full understanding of the origins of capital, capitalism’s claim of being an axiomatic progression of the free market becomes questionable.
How Did Poor Men Accumulate Wealth
The hesitation to clear this point is simply because historically capital was not accumulated by means of economic science but shear brutality or primitive accumulation by violence, war, politics and the same biased laws used by the corrupt elite today. A process that was greatly influenced by economists to give their noble sponsors control over resources that belonged to the public or community for private use and their enrichment.
This period of violent expropriation was the window through which, the powerful accumulated public resources for free, depriving the masses of the ability to provide for themselves, forcing them to become cheap labor for those who had accumulated the capital.
During this time, the economist ascended in status to the position of nobility, because they had successfully driven the development of a new social and economic order by transferring billions of pounds of wealth and economic power from self-sufficient farmers, artisans and hunters to turn them to cheap labor for industry.
Economist Ascend In Occult Order
In the forefront of this cult were political economists like Adam Smith, Beacon and Francis Hutcheson, who were used to push the creation of industry and to ensure that industry had a steady supply of cheap labor and captive customers with no product substitutes.
It therefore comes as common cause, that this industrial economy would never have been possible had the masses continued to cultivate their own crops, raise their own animals, fishing and hunting for their survival, while those with artisanal skills persisted with producing their own tools, equipment and clothes.
The Beginning Of Industrial Employment
In seventeenth century European society, people didn’t go to work formally. Instead, they worked the fields of their landlords for a few hours a week, then worked their own patches for a few hours, harvesting enough to spend the reminder drinking and living relatively comfortably.
Those who lived in the commons stayed home where they had lots of time on their hands to cultivate their patches, think, innovate, hunt, fish, drink and use some of their output from the fields or animals to produce clothes, shoes, wood work, tools and other valuables they could batter with others.
All this was inimical to the industrial and capitalist economy that was being birthed. So to ensure that labor was constantly available for industry, laws and political economic theories to deny people access to land, game and water rights were formulated by the leading intellectuals and implemented in short order.
End To Hunting And Artisanal Jobs
The first move was to put a nail at the heart of self-sufficiency by the outlawing hunting, fishing, gun ownership and confiscation of commons (communal lands used by the commoner). This was designed to push peasants into landlord owned properties in the city, while land owners were encouraged to fence off wild animals as private game and to raise rents to force peasants into cities where they would work in industry for long hours to earn enough for rent. To enforce the system of employment, those without work and accommodation were summarily criminalized, rounded up and imprisoned.
With this, peasants could no longer feed themselves by growing their own food, fishing or hunting. They now had to buy their food from farmers markets and stores. Products like shoes, woodwork and other artisanal products, now had to be bought from the factories that were producing them as peasants no longer had time to produce them. This was the end of self-sufficiency for the peasant and the destruction of many artisanal skills.
Fraud By Economic Theory
To bring this system into effect, economists wrote rims of theories and philosophies on the virtues of a hard day’s work and dangers of idolness to influence policymakers and nobles. They even encouraged the employment of children as young as 4yrs of age and for people to work up to 12 hours a day in industry and landlord fields.
Once the normal work hours were done, peasants were to be given tasks to accomplish at home like knitting, weaving and tapestry to keep them occupied and productive to prevent indolence (laziness).
The truth of the matter is capital owners and the nobility wanted to stop peasants from thinking of creating their own products or fighting the political changes coming into effect, so they kept them occupied.
The whole concept was designed to keep people occupied, get them accustomed to working for a living, producing output for industrialists and not for themselves.
Africa In Capitalism
By the time capitalism came to Africa in the form of slavery and colonialism, it had been sharpened and perfected in Europe for almost two centuries to a point of ruthless efficiency.
European economists and politicians had turned primitive accumulation into an established science through policies, institutions and systems that expropriated generally abundant resources from the poor and put them into the control of elites who created scarcity to generate higher returns.
It’s for this reason why there was no remorse in the way Africans were treated during the primitive accumulation of slavery and colonialism because as resources their efficient exploitation for profit superseded their humanity.
Capital Over Innovation
Over time, as industrialists got richer, capital became more important than skill as capital and technology allowed cheaper products to be made in industry. This then became a barrier to entry for competition, leaving only an opening for other capital owners with the capacity to compete.
Yes products became cheaper but the market lost variety, innovation and creativity as a lot of really creative minds were put to work in rudimentary, monotonous production.
Another trend emerged in this period. Capital consolidated in banking, stopped competing and started working together through cross shareholding, investment, loans, cross directorships, banking and industry combines.
Very little has changed between 1600 and 2017. In fact the capitalist system is so well entrenched and capital has become the critical success factor that the masses have no chance to compete with the oligarchies and their monopolies unless they create combines (cooperatives) against industry.
Article Written By Rutendo Benson Bereza Matinyarare Marketing & Brand Strategist For Frontline Strat & Frontline Studio.