Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Capitalism, Nature, and Socialism

O’Connor is trying to point out in his article that capitalism is on a non-sustainable base to operate effectively in the future. The exploitation of labor and the commoditization of natural resources have led to a “crisis ridden system;” we have set goals to enhance the amount of profitability with disregard for the raw material extraction and overuse and use or the exploitation of labor.
This process perpetuates the downfall of the capitalist system, the exploitation of labor eventually becomes evident to the laborers causing crisis in productivity, the availability of resources is eventually surpassed by the demand for it, and the inevitable outcome is that of further disguising of bourgeois capitalist practices as being more egalitarian and the non- manufactured materials of production to become another source of capital. These processes include nationalization and conglomeration, the presupposition is that in those forms of capitalism that there is more of an egalitarian structure when in all reality it just centralizes bourgeois power.

The crisis O’Connor refers to is the self defeating structure of capitalism. The profit is the main goal in capitalism and in this process the costs of production must be kept low to increase profits, thus further lowering costs of labor and raw materials. Increased demand causes the commoditized raw materials to become cheaper increasing the amount that production can buy, eventually degradation of the materials is created due to capitalist expansion in the name of profitability. This will eventually lead to the imbalance of supply to demand causing prices to increase, but in order for industry to maintain profitability they must lower costs of labor leading to wage decrease or layoffs (e.g. G.M./Chrysler). The ultimate self defeating part of this is that in the process of profitability the people who buy the product are essentially the laborers, with decreased income or lack thereof they are not able to buy the produced goods. Marx suggested an eventual move to socialism but in the current state the capitalist form mutates rather than transforming, disguising the poor practices of capitalist enterprise.

The commoditized material is the connection to environmental issues; the capitalist structure creates unsustainable industry around raw materials leading to degradation. The other portion he brings up is that in the name of profit environmentally responsible practices are left out because of the cost from business to participate in such practices, and governments do not want to hinder the activities of industry and therefore the process is slowed down.

Sorry for the extremely late post everyone.


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  2. Hey all, please take a sec and sign my petition, which is linked on my blog, asking the Canadian government yo include animal rights in the constitution.