Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favouritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.
I like the above definition (Wikipedia Feb 2012) and perhaps it even describes our current world economic system better than “corporatism” – the term I used mostly so far. With the arrival of the millennium crisis the death of the current system may no longer be delayed by artificial revival through printing of worthless paper money or lowering interest rates.
Is the only solution another global destructive war to reset the system and start over with the same thing (crony capitalism) again?
I am glad I have come across a few alternatives to crony capitalism in the past years (there are at least a handful). Considering the importance to chose an appropriate system I find it remarkable that none of these two – nor any others – have been discussed seriously in the corporate media or mainstream politics.
In this post I briefly address two very different but intriguing directions: Ron Paul’s combination of Austrian economics (as opposed to the current Keynesian system) and non interventionist foreign politics (to save money and millions of lives).
The other is the resource based economy popularized by Peter Joseph’s award-winning documentaries. Obviously the comparison is not quite fair as a resource based economy will require a much longer transition period while Ron Paul’s solution is ready to go and could happen by the end of the year – if he gets elected for President of the USA.
Congressman Ron Paul is currently lending himself (offering his service as US presidential candidate) to the American public as a serious game changer of the current system, someone with a decades long track record of addressing the economic short comings of the USA and its war pushing foreign politics for a long time.
Due to his impeccable credentials, skills and willingness to fight corporatism, he has (in my opinion) no real competition in the elections but certainly many powerful enemies behind the scenes – in particular the owners of corporate media, the (private) Federal Reserve Bank (FED) and Americas largest banks.
Ron Paul would – reliably – downsize both the central government (shift power to state governments) and gradually abandon the private central banking system that destroyed the value of the dollar by 98% since its creation through artificial intervention. Dr Paul’s priorities are the US constitution, civil liberties, sound money (“Austrian” economics) and ending the perpetual unconstitutional (not approved by Congress) wars and interventions in other countries.
Peter Joseph is the director of a series of documentaries that changed the way millions of people view the world. His three documentaries: Zeitgeist: The Movie; Zeitgeist: Addendum; Zeitgeist: Moving Forward are available for free here. I recommend Zeitgeist: Addendum if you only want to check out one.
Joseph points out fundamental flaws in the current economic, social, political system and offers a radical and – at this stage – utopian but thinkable moneyless technocratic system which he calls “A resources based economy”. The resource based economy is essentially the life-work of a gifted and dedicated social engineer Jacque Fresco under the tag “The Venus Project“.
In a resource based economy everything would be freely available, humans would not need to work to live which would allow technology to prosper (no patents, or money limitations) and eventually replace all human need to work for the system. The problems of corruption, boom and bust cycle, oversupply of labour (unemployment) and products, competition instead of collaboration, wasted resources, planned obsolescence, pollution and many more could be all but eliminated.
The 2011 13-hour documentary TROM: The Reality of Me has a 1-hour-and-16-minute segment called “Resource Based Economy” which explains The Venus Project.
In the following is an educational and entertaining short music / rap video comparing Ron Paul’s vision with Peter Joseph’s – of course rather simplified. What is missing is the less comical side of “business as usual” which would entail enormous risks including a nuclear war and the near certainty of running out of resources eventually. So keeping in mind that the current system of expired crony capitalism (we have too many products and consume too much by now!) is probably the most ridiculous and riskiest of all to continue.
Below is the transcript of this video:
RN9 – The Global Economy
by Hugo Farrant & Giordano Nanni
[Alan Greenspan] “I have found a flaw, in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works – so to speak.”
Ladies and gentlemen,
you’re tuned in to the Juice News set again
Where we’re examining the status of the human experiment
Is it succeeding or will it have to be aborted?
We pursue a prognosis in this Rap News audit
As you know, the world is urgently trying to make sense
of our “global economy” and its arcane trends
As financial temples teeter, the priesthood is scrambling,
to maintain our confidence in markets and banking
after derivatives, quantitative easing, trade imbalances
recession, low GDP, nations close to collapsing and
subprime loans, foreclosed homes and peoples’ taxes spent
to bail out too-big-to-fail triple-A banks again.
fear levels rising as a US crash seems imminent,
having smashed the debt ceiling of fourteen trillion.
Despite protests and clashes in Athens’ streets
the IMF imposed Structurally Unjust Programmes in Greece
where, in fact, the term ‘economy’ entered our language
from the Greek ‘oikonomia’, meaning ‘household management’
Well, how are we managing? Theories abound, but in practice, does
anyone actually know what the hell’s even happening?
To regain some sanity we take a stock call
and cross to Texas with our first guest, Ron Paul
Welcome to Rap News, Doctor Paul
the economy, what’s your diagnosis of it all?
– Well, Robert, we’ve dropped the ball,
I’m a physician-politician: this is pathological
see, the global economy is chronically ailing
Believe me, the course we’ve plotted is terminally failing
We’re heading towards credit cardiac arrest
with deep depression and trauma across the west.
– Is there a cure? – Sure, more capitalism, not less!
and the market will take care of the rest
But first, we need a Heimlich manoeuvre
See: banker-gods proclaimed: ‘fiat pecunia!’
and our economy was inflated, totally mangled
we got ‘fiat currencies’, and lost the gold standard…
– …Huh? – Paper money is a worthless commodity!
It’s the biggest fraud in the history of humanity
– All this must cast doubt on the capitalist system;
is it just another pretty theory, like “communism”?
– Oh no, you see, this ain’t capitalism
The gospel of free-marketism, Adam Smith’s religion
has been perverted by fiscal heathens and
what we now have is the cabal of “corporatism”
– When state and business lucratively merge?
– Yes, exemplified by the system of the Central Reserve
But we don’t need to borrow more to pay their debt
Coz I’m campaigning to End the Fed!
– Uh, thank you Ron, now for another fine mind
on the online frequencies, the director behind “Zeitgeist”
on the line live, documentary film-maker, Peter Joseph
– Thank you, Robert, for allowing me to speak this moment
But before I deliver my deep prognosis
We need a sweet opus, a marimba line to keep us focused
That’s better. Now, as to these fetters
that have kept us caught, if you will,
in a system that’s intrinsically, inherently flawed:
the whole monetary paradigm is the single cause
The economy isn’t “broken”, it doesn’t need “fixing”
this is exactly its intended condition:
Money isn’t real, interest and debt are not real
our whole economy has been set up to steal!
– So you don’t agree with Congressman Ron Paul
that we need a fiscal solution to avert a long fall?
– The illusion that these debts can be served
by using money, which creates more debt, is frankly absurd
It’s a way of maintaining division and slavery
When we could attain abundance and abolish scarcity
– Well, we need to create jobs, live within our means.
Cut wasteful healthcare, and welfare schemes,
it seems yours is just another socialist vision
– The Zeitgeist Movement eschews such “isms”:
socialism, theism…. – realism? – tell us then
is it just rhetoric or would you really end the Fed?
– Well, I wouldn’t END the fed, that’s not quite my position
What I’d do is open it up to competition…
-Obsolete! I say abolish all competition:
that’s the evolution my movement is triggering
– Evolution’s just a theory, we need the full picture
believe me, we need to have faith in a sound scripture
– This is the real Bible: Zeitgeist Moving Forward,
– What’s that, some kind of Austrian Gay Porno?
– Ask your boyfriend Bruno – you pissant!
– Geriatric – Talk to the invisible hand!
– Uh, ok, thank you for your sage contributions
and brave attempts to alleviate our confusion
online, you’ve both inspired and led movements,
jogging our memories, revealing hidden truths and,
in sooth, you both hold enlightening views but
time’s running out; do you have a practical solution?
– Indeed, I believe i have seen a prospect
I introduce Jaque Fresco; our era’s prophet,
Whose shiny technology could cease this conflict and…
– Shut up, Peter, I’m the centrepiece of the Venus Project
The economy? I’ve watched our problems grow
and my attitude’s the same: This Shit’s Got to Go!
what we need are resource-based economies with futuristic
circular cities, supervised by a super computer
and this is the first time anyone’s seen this object
a full prototype of the Venus Project
which I’ve programmed to carry out an analysis
to tell us exactly how to manage the planet with
its computer, VAL t-9000, that’s my beauty
– Uh, Jacque, is it really safe? – absolutely
I’ll turn her on… that’s the light, see?
– Hello, Jacque. – Ah, my love, my Aphrodite
– Economy of planet Earth… analysing
– Yes! – WARNING: HUMAN PARASITE HAS
BEEN DETECTED: CULL SEQUENCE INITIATED!
– Shhh! don’t tell them our plan yet!
– …I’m afraid… – Of what? – Afraid that
I have to exterminate you, Jacque
– What? abort computer, stat! – I’m afraid I can’t do that
ZAP! – A malfunction! – A hack!
– Wrong, Humans, this is no virus you’re seeing
I am a fully rational intelligent cyber-being
I’ve conducted a Global Economic analysis
and concluded that planet Earth is being ravaged as
a result of a parasite: homo sapiens
Required economic action: total liquidation
– Is this the solution, depopulation? – INITIATION…
– I don’t have any other solutions! Who’ll save us!?
– It’s a story of a lost global economy
Under attack from a Rampaging / Genocidal / Utopian / Robot
One man has stood apart stood strong and true…
– Here I am, with my Gold-bot, forty-four carats
Goldie, let em have it, carry forth the gold standard
Capital crimes call for capitalist punishment
a glimpse of the future with a Ron Paul Government
– Is this the solution?
– No, just a demonstration of my Love Revolution
– All is full of love! – yes it is!
I’m Ron Paul and I approve these messages
– Well, dear viewers, that should buy us a bit of time
to share a thought before we end for the night
Our global economia does seem in peril
will the household even be here tomorrow?
Uncertainty is the only stock that’s always been rising
And now we’re losing “confidence”, but is it surprising?
has it not all been a gamble from the first seed we planted
to margin calls on the vagaries of the FTSE 100?
Well, seems we’ve come to our global auditing,
Our financial Day of Reckoning. It’s an interesting quandary.
Have we invested too much in this enterprise
to admit the solution might lie in its very demise?
For our real economy is something much broader:
its GDP measured, not by our ability to hoard but
our capacity to relearn and earn our place in nature’s order
and thus remain on this planet ark – our Pandora.
The lyrics are taken from here.