Our critical human needs are not being met by our capitalist economy that is now pervasive throughout the planet. We humans do not have adequate medical care. A very large percentage of us humans cannot get enough food at a price we can afford, so that millions are dying and millions of others are malnourished. We are spending billions on foreign wars, while billions of people are hungry. It seems obvious that so long as our economic engine is fueled by greed for short term profit, and that the profiteers from this economic engine control our government, we shall never deal with Global Warming or planetary ecological damage. We face the three coinciding crises: Peak Oil, Fragile Economy, and Global Warming. We still have much freedom, but our effective democratic voting power is thwarted. What has gone wrong?
The basic question of political economy has always been: How shall we human beings organize our productive and creative abilities so as to work together to meet our needs?
The current critically important questions are: Is our present day economy meeting our human needs? Are there alternatives? To answer these questions, and even to understand what our economy is, we must analyze its dynamics, the way it really works.
It is critical at the outset that we state our own values. We seek, insofar as is possible, to meet the reasonable needs of all humans. No person should have more than he needs when others are needy. We seek caring, sharing and cooperation. We seek a sustainable civilized free existence for all humans on this planet. Only this sort of a Political Economy will be sustainable, consistent with our values, and consistent with the wisest values of our spiritual traditions. We are radical in the first dictionary definition of that term: “one who seeks roots or root causes.”
In considering the following analysis, please try to suspend conventional wisdom, and your present beliefs and opinions. Like most of us, you may have never known of an analysis like this one or you may have learned to regard it negatively. Therefore, please evaluate the following on the basis of your own personal experience, your personal judgment, and what you personally observe that seems to be happening.
As Doug Page understands them, the following are some of the main dynamics of capitalism: