Capitalism rules the world we live in today. It is an economic system in which the wealthy few oppress and exploit the many. But it is also much more: a system of social relations in which we all play a part, and which touches almost every aspect of our lives.
Why are we focusing on capitalism? Because if we are to have a chance of making a better world to live in, we need to see beyond our individual problems, and beyond scapegoats offered us by the media, and unite our different struggles. We have the same enemy. Austerity and the cuts in Europe, poverty and inequality, colonialist wars, murderous borders and prisons, the brutal oppression of people living in the “third world”, the destruction of the planet we all share : all of these crises, and more, are connected to the wider capitalist system.
Capitalism isn’t just a few “bad bankers”. And it can’t be made better by a few reforms here and there. We need to put an end to a system in which everything – even our lives, our dreams, our dignity, and our futures – can be bought and sold for someone’s profit.
We can’t go looking for help from Governments. Governments are the enforcers and managers of capitalism. They police our lives, making sure we respect the property of the rich and the smooth running of capitalist markets. They send in air strikes and troops to secure oil supplies, “open” new markets, and enforce “free trade”. The G8 is one place where the leaders of the most powerful States plan together to make sure they can keep business running as usual.
If we are going to create futures for ourselves, we need to see how our many struggles are inter-connected. We need to join up the dots. We need to know our enemy, understand their strengths, and their weaknesses.
Also, we would like to collect good reading ideas, links and other resources. Here are a few links to get started — please send us more suggestions. We are especially looking for stuff that explains how capitalism works in straightforward terms, avoiding dogma and academic jargon.
corporatewatch: research on corporations and the global capitalist system
kaput: introductory workshops on the economics and politics of capitalism