Capitalism Quo Vadis?

South Africa’s dirty secret is finally out. Capitalism is evil and all who engage with the capitalist system and its offshoot of evil, the capitalist state, are equally disagreeable individuals – corrupted prisoners of a licentious corporatised economic system which refuses to die.

Okay, okay, I’m getting a bit hot under the collar, what with President Zuma sounding like the pope delivering a sermon on the pleasures and pains of hell before the South African Communist Party Youth League — all to dispel the rumours that his administration and party is in reality, a party of market fascists intent on killing workers, who would have him and his henchmen at the throat if it were not for yearly promises of a wage increase.

Really Mr President, Capitalism, quo vadis, where are you going? The range of choices being rolled out by South Africa’s political parties are truly astonishing. From those who would have us all subsumed under the World Bank in an entirely business and capital friendly environment, at the expense of workers rights and a living wage, to those who would have a radical worker-lead government in which the tyranny of the banks and markets are tamed by an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-embracing state in a dictatorship in which the economy is somehow commanded to perform in the same way male porn stars are expected to deliver their manhood in the interests of an audience of sex-starved adults.

It really all comes down to how one defines capital accumulation and the rather prickly idea of human rights and consent of the individual. Clearly, participation in the capitalist economy has never been voluntary, workers are forced to seek employment or starve, what little social security that exists in our country is geared towards the elderly, children and the disabled, the result is invariably the same as rape, as both men and women are forced into the economy, either seeking employment when it is available, if at all, or ending up in the ranks of the discouraged who have given up looking for work and the opportunities work provides.

It helps matters not that like sex, capitalism is neither inherently good nor bad, rather it, (and by that I don’t mean capitalist sex), signifies something in us all collectively and together as a species. We have yet to evolve from dog-eat-dog, to a voluntary society based upon cooperation and mutual aid. As the anarchist Kropotkin reminds us, competition and entrepreneurship are not the only games around. Nor is survival of the fittest the only evolutionary logic behind nature.

Yes, there is such a thing as capitalism between consenting adults, (and one should also add, planet-friendly capitalism, flea-market capitalism, and capitalism based upon the principle of first do no harm) it is a hallmark of those anarchists who prefer black markets and counter-economics as well as leftist libertarians who tend to focus on the rights of the sovereign individual viz. vi. the state, but rarely, if ever, are we given freedom of choice, freedom from the burden of having to seek employment and a living wage. Institutional rape is not the corrective to rape by and on behalf of capital.

While those who advocate that all women’s work should be tax deductible paid labour and those who wish to legalise sex-work for whatever reason, the problem of the Zuma administration and its ideological failures are so numerous that one cannot help but wonder if the party has always been on the rape side of life? Instead of seeking out a choice in authoritarianisms, a crap shoot between capitalists (and their capitalist state) and the flipside, the dictatorship of the proletariat, we would all be a lot better off considering ways to eliminate the structural violence and aggression inherent to our society by providing alternatives to capital markets.

Instead of demanding a dictatorship of the proletariat by a revolutionary vanguard, a one-size-fits all ‘banging together’ of society, the group sex of the party rank and file, we should rather be demanding access to friction-free economic services like the digital commons —  participation in the emerging global collective that is embracing our planet in an ‘ubuntu without borders” — a post-scarcity economics of abundance which may be achieved by open sourcing, not simply the economy which is bound to whither away, but also our currency ( in the form of bitcoins) in the same way that crowdfunding has freed entrepreneurs from having to beg for finance.