Monday, September 8, 2014

Capitalism = Blasphemy, Theft, Rape and Murder.

John Courtneidge

8 September 2014

A while ago a Facebook friend asked that I write about my view that capitalism is, "Theft, Rape and Murder."

First some definitions:

1) I take capitalism to be an economic system that relies on private (ie not state or municipal, or other) ownership of economic resources/the means of production/means of human survival and the use of those resources for private income and accumulation.

Note that I restrict the discussion of capitalism, here, to the economic sphere - while I leave the philosophical and religious spheres (eg that capitalism ignore 'the Creator present within the Creation', as one aspect of the latter and the concepts that, for example, economic resources (or anything) can be owned, or that personal advantage is possible or that accumulation is socially-permitted - and that the two aspects, one passive, one dynamic of ownership and use, may be actively promoted via 'education', training, the law and other forms of concept propaganda.

2) Secondly, I see four economic resources that are not-human economic resources.


  a) Land (including frozen land such as buildings, roads, ports, etc) as encompassing solid, liquid, gaseous and not-tangible aspects - fields, the sea, the atmosphere, the electromagnetic spectrum, etc) - which use provides Rent.

  b) The Law (ie human, 'socially' or sectorally-determined 'rules of permissible and not-permissible' modes of behaviour) - of which use provides interest and other forms of 'permissible' theft.

  c) Knowledge (ie frozen knowledge in the forms of tools, machinery, equipment, etc and non-tangible, but possibly written-down knowledge such as patents, agreements, business 'know-how', 'intellectual property', etc) - from which use flow profits (often distributed as share-holder Dividends.


  d) the 'ownership' of Position, the ownership of which provides higher-than-average paid-work incomes (usually in the forms of salaries, perks, fees, bribes, etc)

Note from all this that I consider that capitalism encompasses the ownership of economic resources not only by individuals, families, tribes, corporations, etc, but also states, municipalities, etc and not-for-profit entities such as co-operatives, charities, churches,  cults, trusts, etc.

So, to:

There seem to be (at least) two possible ways at this: history and personal.

1) History

  A) Theft:

In terms, say of history, let's take English history as indicative:

The events of 1066 in England and of the subsequent conquests (thefts) by the Norman empire surely are thefts - appropriation by violence.

Subsequently, the Law was stolen - say by Henry VIII's Act of 1545 'In Restraint <sic> of Usury' - which unilaterally 'legalised' usury in England (and thus made interest charging and receiving 'legal' in England for the first time), or the invasion in 1680 by William and Mary (on behalf of the City of London) that created, via the 1684-established Bank of England, fractional reserve banking - by which money is created as interest-bearing debt).

  B) Now, as to Rape:

Rape seems to me to be an act of violence, often with penetration.  How else would you describe, say, the ecocide of the whale populations, the Atlantic Cod populations, the Canadian Tar Sands, Fracking, mining, generally.

  C) And, finally, murder.

While Theft and Rape both leave the victims alive (albeit dramatically harmed), murder is the ultimate 'appropriation of the victim's future'.

How else might you call wage-slavery, or debt-bondage, or the Highland Clearances, or the ethnic cleansing of western Ireland in the 840's or of the Beothic people in Newfoundland, or of the Acadian expulsion (Le Grand Derangement) . . . ?  All are the murders of the futures that the victims might have chosen.

And 1914-18 and 1939-45 as the deliberate murders of millions of (mostly men) the unemployed - just to keep capitalism going.

2)  Finally, the personal:

We came, each one of us into this world 'owning' nothing and we depart (thanks be!) with nothing.

Thus, what-ever we 'have' has been placed into our hands - by Thieves, or taken ap - and self-appropriated -  from the commonwealth/The Creation by ourselves or placed in our hands by God.

In the former case, where's the justification for receiving stolen goods? In the latter, God hands to us economic resources in order to make our contribution to 'the wellness (rather than illness) of all'.

And to 'His' glory.

So, rather than capitalism ('ownership and use for advantage' - Theft, Rape, Blasphemy and Murder) I prefer the concepts of time-limited, socially-agreed 'Co-operative Care-ship', underpinned by a Living Income for Everybody - so that we, all, can make our greatest contribution to the wellness of all.

Hope this helps!

ps The above leads me to the plan for Co-operative Socialism - in the papers at

Best = for all! = equally! = co-operatively!



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