Predatory capitalism: A state and market love affair.



Present day capitalism has been referred to by some as predatory or crony capitalism. Even devout believers of the capitalist system reject the current form capitalism has taken. The form in which success in business depends greatly on an unhealthy relationship between business (people) and state officials.

Proponent of pure capitalism or what some might call genuine capitalism are fundamentally opposed to predatory capitalism. The unholy matrimony of the state and businesses has resulted in a political economy which operates around finance capital and is based on a savage form of free market (or corrupted form of capitalism) processes. It has produced global economic oligarchies that have the undue influence to shape policy making on a global scale.

On the other hand, it is debatable who hold the power in this relationship. Does the buying of policy makers means the market holds the power or the states (policy makers) hold the power that can only be purchased by the market to gain favours. Over the years, the public at large has been fed the narrative that, the day to day problems they face in cases of jobs, rising prices corruption and government inability to perform are as a result of capitalism. The questions is, is that the case?

Modern so called advanced capitalist societies are plagued with issues such as wealth and income inequality, mass unemployment, under-employment, crumbling infrastructure, increase poverty rates and a shrinking social welfare. At the same time, we can observe the state (public office) actively enabling and supporting the efforts of few multinational corporation and financial elites move (attack) on public goods and services provision and the attempt to convert them to private goods and services provision.

According to Noam Chomsky, the irregular partnership needs to be sustained by a few businesses, state official and elite. The video below, Chomsky gives his perspective about predatory capitalism which is a very interesting observation and summary. He also states that, he does not think those that advocate for this form of capitalism even understand what they are advocating for and the impact on their lives.

So, after reading into predatory capitalism, a lot of questions spring to mind.

1) How does this affect the commons and are the current evaluation of the impact of predatory capitalism underestimated?

2) Does the commons have a fighting chance in countering predatory capitalism?

3) Is the commons (people) immune to the influence and power of predatory capitalism?

4) How can the commons win back the power of the state and turn it into a force that works for them?

5) As predatory capitalism spreads, how can developing countries in the global south protect themselves from its destructive claws?

6) Is predatory capitalism nature or nurture?

Noam Chomsky – Predatory Capitalism


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