Global Capitalism: Definitely Not a Vaccine against Social Injustice

Whether through divine inspiration or deep insight about fellowmen, Jesus Christ promised mankind during the Sermon on the Mount that the meek would inherit the earth. Social injustice was patent at that time, and it continues to be today. Hope for social justice could only be conceived then as a reward earned for temporal suffering… to be cashed-in after death.

After centuries of growing enlightenment, and some progress towards social [and economic] justice, we seem to be backpedaling to the ultimate spiritual cure of old: resignation, or maybe hope. If man is incapable of bringing social justice to this world, there’s always a “next world.”

But for some, global capitalism is a now-hope, a now-cure to economic injustice.

In bottom line terminology, global capitalism will not prove to be a panacea to help us all, nor will it be a way for redistributing wealth from developed nations to the third world. The system will not benefit the people in Monrovia, London, Jakarta, Lima (Peru) or Lima (Ohio). Global capitalism will not hold prejudice, or bring benefit, on account of race, culture or geography. The benefits are likely to be restricted to the capital-holding class.

Perhaps clarity is needed in defining global capitalism. To many it might solely imply the advocacy throughout much of the world of a for-profit (capitalist) system. But it’s much more than that; a for-profit system, yes, but one that relies on the more or less unrestricted transnational movement of capital. This system goes far beyond the free trade in goods and services, allowing capital holders to have inordinate power, and the key role, in determining the fortunes, or misfortunes, of individuals, communities and nations… plus a fortuitous lack of governmental control.

Global capitalism’s virtuosity comes to us refracted through the prism of politicians and others holding the reins of power. It’s presented to us as a magic elixir with the power to multiply the world’s productive potential, and become the all-purpose tool, the economic Swiss army knife, capable of carving away and possibly eliminating poverty world-wide.

Although it’s reasonable to assume that the sum total of wealth created under global capitalism is likely to be greater, indications abound that the distribution of wealth created will be disproportionately made; and poverty will increase, not decrease, with many existing fixed resources, and infrastructure, being wasted in the process.

Economic justice cannot be truly achieved unless all participants to wealth creation are equitably empowered to determine how wealth is both created and distributed. Under global capitalism, the importance of society (community labor) is minimized; since in the short term, unlike the other components of wealth creation-capital, natural resources and technology- it lacks mobility. The labor in a community cannot be simply wire-transferred elsewhere… nor can a community’s fixed resources and infrastructure be neatly crated and shipped away. Capital and technology can move anytime to and fro any location at the speed of a cyber-click. Not so labor.

And as if mobility weren’t enough to give them the upper hand, capital holders diminish the value of technology and natural resources by absorbing them. A future in global capitalism that takes us back to the past, the warring between capital and labor, except that capital no longer has the accountability to community or nation it had in the past.

In a society that aspires to fairness and an ever-improving human condition for all, capital, natural resources and technology must remain, to a reasonable degree, subservient to society and not the other way around, as the globalists would have it.

Global capitalism is not proving to be the vaccine that can aid against, much less prevent, economic injustice. On the contrary; it seems to be bringing a pandemic of high expectations and meager results. But just as the system will prove itself a failure in providing economic and social harmony to the world, there is little likelihood that it will encounter an economic collapse in either the capitalist or the Marxist tradition. It might even thrive in a two-class society with a continuing redistribution of wealth… the haves, becoming fewer in number as time goes on, graduating to the have-more class; the have-little, augmenting with time their number, eventually joining the world masses of have-nots.

“Laissez-faire” capitalism spread throughout the world, and carried to a maximum lack of societal control, will soon evolve transforming global capitalism into the rabid mercantilist monopoly of old, where the rich get richer and the poor stay poor, or even become poorer. Predatory capitalism in its purest form.

By undermining social values, superimposing economic considerations and making money as the unit of measurement in determining man’s worth, global capitalism has become the scourge of democracy… but that is a topic that merits a treatment all its own.