How can we transition from ‘Global-Billionaire-Greed-Capitalism’ into and Authentic ‘Caring-Capitalism’? The first step is in becoming aware of the many internal contradictions in Global-Billionaire-Greed-Capitalism (hereafter GBGC). GBGC has actualized historically an increasing inequality of wealth. 1,810 billionaires in 2016 control $6.5 trillion dollars of world wealth. (http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/).
Forbes top 10 Billionaires in 2016
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders (2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-koch-brothers_us_55d9ca6ee4b0a40aa3ab3642) was critical of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and some other billionaires who “corrupted” political and economic system of “greedy” billionaires destroying American democracy by infusing huge sums of cash into campaigns and election.
Among Forbes list of 1,810 billionaires), a few of them (Warren Buffett, Mohamed El-Erian), according to Time,
“… have begun to speak out publicly about the need for a new and more inclusive type of capitalism, one that also helps businesses make better long-term decisions rather than focusing only on the next quarter. The Pope has become a vocal critic of modern market capitalism, lambasting the “idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy” in which “man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption” (May 12 2016 Rana Foroohar, http://time.com/4327419/american-capitalisms-great-crisis/).
Forbes 2nd 10 Billionaires in 2016
The Walton brothers and sister each have 30 plus billion, from keeping Wal-Mart workers begging for Medicare, while forcing Third World supply chain contractors to globally engage in slave labor tactics.
The purpose here is to develop a new kind of ‘Caring-Capitalism’ as viable and dialectic alternative to the Gospel of Greed of the vast majority of the 1,810 billionaires. Ronald Glassman (2016) argues for a kind of Caring-Capitalism is the new middle class alternative. It is not the kind of Ben & Jerry’s Caring-Capitalism that asserts that it’s possible for ‘free market’ entrepreneurs to to make lots of money and still provide employees with an unusually high quality of life. Rather, for Glassman, the old ‘free market economic system’ with its high-tech efficiency, and fluctuating business cycles (boom & bust) is still the path for the middle class to take to becoming super rich. Both Glassman and Ben & Jerry’s Caring-Capitalism argues the free market, in its ‘neoliberal ideology’ will take care of people better than any elected government (Chun, 2009; Vrasti, 2011).
There are many kinds of capitalism which are not sell outs to neoliberal ideology, not just the one of Ben & Jerry, an apologetic narrative for the GBGC that most of the 1,810 billionaires of capitalism subscribe to and treat as a TINA (There Is No Alternative) narrative.
Uncovering Caring-Capitalism My purpose is uncover a counternarrative ‘Caring-Capitalism’ that is more ‘real’ and more ‘authentic than the neoliberal versions. It is a dialectical concretion of the ethic of care, an ‘Antenarrative Generative Mechanism’ (AGM) that is already before narrative and counternarratives, and before living stories still in the middle, without end or beginning. AGM is what Heidegger (1962” # 301) says “must already be presupposed as a whole when we distinguish between theoretical and practical behavior” otherwise the dialectic of Caring-Capitalism opposing GBGC is baseless and existentially ungrounded. Caring-Capitalism must be “the authenticity of care itself” in its potentiality-for-Being able to oppose the many internal contradictions of GBGC (IBID.). The GBGC internal contradictions have an entire history of concealments, how the Gospel of Greed is a reincarnation of Herbert Spencer’s Social Darwinism. We are witnesses to what Robert Reich (2011, http://robertreich.org/post/13567144944) calls the Rebirth of Social Darwinism. That legitimated robber barons like Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockerfeller to widen the chasm between rich and poor, in a free market survival of the fittest struggle, where only the billionaires are fit to survive, as the products of natural selection.
Social Darwinism offered a moral justification for the wild inequities and social cruelties of the late nineteenth century. It allowed John D. Rockefeller, for example, to claim the fortune he accumulated through his giant Standard Oil Trust was “merely a survival of the fittest.” It was, he insisted “the working out of a law of nature and of God” (Reich, 2011).
In 2016, 1,810 billionaires have a death grip on global capitalism, in a reincarnated Social Darwinism, free market greed justified by a TINA narrative, where Ben & Jerry’s brand of Caring-Capitalism, is an inadequate counternarrative, just more free market greed apologetics.
The consequence of the GBGC TINA narrative is it rationalizes and legitimizes our current global capitalism that enslaves most humans, destroys the planet ecosystems, while being praised as rational ‘free market’ business sense. Piketty’s (2014) solution is to tax the 1,810 billionaires who have amassed wealth into fewer and fewer hands, and living off the rent of inherited money that in the case of globalization is destructive to democratic society and has created an inegalitarian downward spiral.
What are the signs that the top 20 billionaires in Forbes list are mostly Greedy? We are watching 24,000,000 children go hungry to avoid inconveniencing the 20 billionaires. “It’s an unthinkable trade-off, but it’s happening. Although the 2013 SNAP (food stamp) budget of $78 billion is less than the 2012 investment earnings of 20 wealthy Americans, SNAP is being cut while not a penny extra is taken from the multi-billionaires” (Salon, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/06/23/4_horrible_ways_capitalism_is_slowly_destroying_us/). Hanson Drew (Forbes, 2016), says “Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050.” How bad is the extinction crisis?
- Species are going extinct at a rate 1,000 times faster than that of the natural rate over the previous 65 million years
- Since 2000,6 million hectares of primary forest have been lost each year.
- Even in the U.S., 15% of the population lives below the poverty line. For children under the age of 18, that number increases to 20%
- The world’s population is expected to reach 10 billion by 205
Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg (2015), book: Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations argues that businesses are locked in a cycle of exploiting the world’s resources in ever more creative ways. Celebrity billionaires Richard Branson and Bill Gates, say the only way to reverse climate change is for entrepreneurs to make money from it.
GBGC has the internal contradiction that the ultra-wealthy billionaires are disrupting global capitalism, throwing it into one crisis after another. We can say that GBGC’s internal contradictions, its growing gap of Haves and the Have-Nots is bringing about its own demise, its own negation. GBGC is mutating in ways that are destroying the planet ecology, its ability to be inhabitable. .
You would think, given its internal contradictions, that GBGC would collapse, and out of its ashes a new, perhaps more Carin-Capitalism would take root in the cleared space. However, this is not the case. Naomi Klein (2007a: 49), for example, describes the resoluteness of Disaster Capitalism using each new crisis as a way to advance its ruthless vision of greed:
“After each new disaster, it’s tempting to imagine that the loss of life and productivity will finally serve as a wake-up call, provoking the political class to launch some kind of “new New Deal.” In fact, the opposite is taking place: disasters have become the preferred moments for advancing a vision of a ruthlessly divided world, one in which the very idea of a public sphere has no place at all. Call it disaster capitalism.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961 warned us against this sort of disaster capitalism, in his critique of the military industrial complex that would replace the State with its own ‘corporate’ enterprise for “waging war, securing borders, spying on citizens, rebuilding cities, treating traumatized soldiers” (p. 50).
Chun, C. W. (2009). Contesting neoliberal discourses in EAP: Critical praxis in an IEP classroom. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 8(2), 111-120.
Glassman, R. (2016). Caring Capitalism: A New Middle Class Base for the Welfare State. Springer.
Klein, N. (2007a). Disaster capitalism. Harper’s Magazine, 315, 47-58.
Klein, N. (2007b). The shock doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism. Macmillan.
Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the twenty-first century. Belknap Press.
Vrasti, W. (2011). ” Caring” Capitalism and the Duplicity of Critique. Theory & Event, 14(4).
Wright, C., & Nyberg, D. (2015). Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-destruction. Cambridge University Press.