Economics in Transition: Beyond capitalism and communism

The prevailing economics systems in the twentieth century were capitalism and communism.  Both systems were hypothetically aimed at creating a means of providing people with comfortable, safe and secure life.

Along the way, in the process of attempting different forms of economics from capitalism to communism, we have managed to pollute and contaminate our own environment to the extent of causing environmental change to the point of quite possible catastrophe for people around the world.  Neither the capitalist system nor the communist system – nor the various fascist systems attempted in such as Germany, Spain and Italy – lived up to their promises.  Communist and fascist systems became infamous for mass murder.  The Western capitalist was less murderous. Overall, capitalism was able to produce a much larger middle class of people between rich and poor, and has gained precedence due to making safe and secure life possible for more people.   But, it’s various methods over the past 100 years left millions of people to suffer and die more indirectly than outright murder.  Those people were dismissed as relatively unimportant, mostly left to die from deprivation rather than outright execution.  In all systems, some rationale was created to either dismiss people and leave them to die, or, kill people outright.  In the end, for the victims, the result was identical.

In that context of disposing of people, by all economic systems, and with capitalism having become predominant, financial profit came to rule the day.  Profit, the bottom line, was master of all else.  People and the environment we live in were secondary considerations.  The vehicle of Western capitalism was, and is, corporations.

Corporations are legal structures created as legal entities to carry out the business – financial – objectives.  Under US law, corporations are a legal person.  What sort of person?  According the psychological assessment measures in the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) used for personality assessment, corporations meet the strict clinical definition of a psychopath.  “Psychopath” is another word for lunatic, or, someone who is legally, criminally insane.

–  From the presentation on Economics in Transiiton at the 2009 Economics for Ecology Conference in Sumy, Ukraine  P-CED’s contribution in 2009 and 2010 included a study guide of the conditions leading to the economic crisis of 2008 and the 2010 paper on people-centered economics.    

In Reimagining capitalism: The new bottom line, I describe how a people-centered system of economics reasoned for an economy which serves people rather than the other way around.  

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