Between ‘crapitalism’ and ‘conmunism’

Opinion  |  Dean Johns
Published:  |  Modified:

The state of global power politics these days seems to pretty well illustrate the truth of John Kenneth Galbraith’s famous remark that “under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.”

In other words, capitalism at its crappiest, in the form of so-called neoliberalism, is devoted to the greater enrichment of the rich and the further impoverishment of the poor by any means, including the process of privatising profits and socialising losses.

This is shown most spectacularly in relatively recent times by the splurging of public monies to prop up the predatory profiteers that precipitated the global financial crisis of 2007-8.

While communism – having already been revealed as a monstrous con by decades of murderous Stalinist and Maoist totalitarianist rule and the collapse of the USSR in 1991 – has been spurred by its failure to achieve world domination by military means, it is finally embracing money as the way to beat the “crapitalist” West and its allies at their own game.

This strategy looks like a winner so far for “communist” and now also “crapitalist” China, as it already has the US deeply in its debt, and is busy making countries like Australia as dependent on it as possible through trade, while outright buying those with ruling regimes allegedly for sale to the highest bidder, like Malaysia.

And, in recognition of the well-known fact that crapitalism is driven by fear as well as greed, China continues supporting the Kim regime in North Korea to keep its competitors nervous.

Meanwhile, the exponents of crapitalism everywhere else seems to imagine that it’s business as usual, and continue to try and excuse their execrable excesses by quoting the observation by Adam Smith in “The Wealth of Nations," that “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

But they take care to selectively ignore the fact that, while he identified self-interest as the motivation for capitalist entrepreneurship, Smith deplored self-interest so excessive as to constitute neoliberal-style crapitalism.

Stating, for example, that “our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regards to the pernicious effects of their own...

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