Capitalism cannot exist without poverty, oppression, war, and ecological destruction. It ensures massive wealth and power for very few by impoverishing billions. We already understand how to construct a superior system that would end poverty and create a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable democracy in which everyone truly has an equal voice—but we have never successfully replaced capitalism with such a system because those who benefit most from capitalism are the most powerful people in the world.
• Capitalism allows one to use one’s money to make more money, and thereby tends strongly to increase the concentration of wealth into ever fewer hands while most fall steadily farther behind. (source)
• People who receive money for owning capital tend to enjoy it, and they tend to be surrounded by others who also own capital. In truth, the vast majority of mainstream society’s high-status individuals own capital and receive money for it. For these reasons, people who own capital tend to believe the system by which they receive this money is just and fair.
• As a result, those who own a great deal of capital, the very wealthy, tend to support political, economic, and judicial policies that protect capitalism and make it more profitable.
• Wealth is power, so the very wealthy and their pro-capitalist ideologies control virtually every government and corporation in the world as well as most other major organizations and institutions. Through their control over institutions such as education and the media, they have even found ways to exert a heavy influence on which beliefs mainstream society considers to be common sense. (e.g.)
• The working class consists of everyone who must work for someone else for a living because they don’t own enough capital to live on. This includes the vast majority of humanity.
• Capitalism is a system in which the owners of capital receive a profit because the working class is systematically underpaid, so the survival of capitalism depends on the working class not fully understanding or at least not successfully challenging this exploitation.
• Because the most powerful people in the world support capitalism and want the ownership of capital to be as profitable as possible, policies are held in place that keep the working class (to varying extents among our various sections) poor, oppressed, isolated, distrustful, fearful, desperate, distracted, overbusy, uninformed, misinformed, and generally miserable—and therefore exploitable and strongly discouraged from fully understanding and uniting against capitalism.
• What’s more, a small fraction of workers in the world, known as the labor aristocracy, have a privileged position among the world’s workers. These workers are located overwhelmingly within imperialist countries (e.g., the United States) or developed-world allies of imperialist countries (e.g., Denmark or South Korea).
These privileged workers have access to very well-paying jobs as well as lower-than-normal prices for goods and services. They often also receive small amounts of capital, for instance in the form of retirement accounts. The success of this small group of workers confuses the global working class by creating the illusion that all workers can have such well-paying jobs, and it also functions as a kind of bribe to the labor aristocracy to disunite them from the rest of the world’s workers and align them with the political interests of the wealthy. The existence of this small upper layer of workers is a major obstacle preventing the rest of the working class from uniting to end their exploitation.
• Not only that, but because capitalism is a system in which the short-term profitability of owning capital tends to trump all other concerns, capitalism cannot help but accelerate both global warming and shortages of oil, water, and other resources—and for this reason is rapidly bringing humanity toward a global catastrophe.
• In order to end this misery and avoid disaster, we must replace capitalism with a fundamentally different system.
• Capitalism is a system that, at its deepest root, is driven by what is profitable for a few at the expense of everyone else. In its deepest logic, capitalism must always behave violently toward the laborers in society, and toward nature as well. Capitalism is an inescapable universal war—often literally—for profit.
• The system we replace capitalism with must avoid competition for profit. The only way to restructure society to eliminate competition for profit would be to eliminate private ownership of capital and instead move to a planned economy that is truly democratically run.
• For a society—and therefore its planned economy—to be truly democratic, with a government truly made of and run by the people, it would have to truly guarantee the nurturing of all individuals and the fostering of their abilities to their full potential, and guarantee equal resources to everyone. Such an arrangement of society would foster the development of a real and broad spirit of cooperation, trust, and goodwill, since there would no longer be, as in capitalism, an economic need to compete with the rest of society for one’s own well-being, nor the stress-inducing constant threat of impoverishment and violence.
• Such a society would give everyone a large amount of ability, time, resources, and desire to engage in the cooperative running of society, including planning its economy.
• In order for capitalism to be replaced with such a true democracy, those with the motivation and ability to accomplish this—the oppressed and exploited people of the world—must come to power.
• In order to come to power, the oppressed and exploited people of the world must create organizations that will allow them to do so.
• We must work to create democratically run mass organizations of oppressed and exploited people that can and will bring about the replacement of capitalism with a true democracy.
• The current largest and most successful democratically run mass organizations of the exploited and oppressed that intend to replace capitalism with a true democracy follow a political-philosophical guide to action called Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Here is an accessible and useful step-by-step guide to learning more that requires no prior familiarity or other reading.
In addition, below are links to two more very good resources that respond to almost all of the most common questions and claims about capitalism, socialism, communism, Communism, and Marxism:
1. /r/communism101’s Frequently Asked Questions
2. The "Debunking Anti-Communism" Masterpost
It should be noted that these two particular resources occasionally offer analysis that conflicts with the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist understanding, and in this way they are flawed. They are nevertheless excellent resources, even given this fault.
If you have any questions, objections, claims, etc., please send an email to anticapitalismfaq -at sign- gmail.com