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Demystified: 11 myths Capitalism feeds on   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-4-6 02:54:39 |Display all floors
Demystified: 11 myths Capitalism feeds on
An anti-Capitalism rally in the US (file photo)

Thu Apr 5, 2012

As anti-Capitalism protests sweep across societies in the Western world, a Portuguese economist has catalogued a list of propagated myths that the Capitalist order survives on.

“Capitalism in the neoliberal version has exhausted itself. Financial sharks do not want to lose profits, and shift the main burden of debt to the retirees and the poor,” Guilherme Alves Coelho wrote in an article appearing on the Global Research website.

He added that, to manipulate public opinion, there are many ways, on which the ideology of capitalism has been grounded.

“These myths are distributed and promoted via media tools, educational institutions, family traditions, church memberships, etc.”

They were designed “to represent capitalism as credible and enlist the support and confidence of the masses,” Coelho said, proceeding to enumerate the most common myths surrounding Capitalism.

Myth 1: Under capitalism, anyone who works hard can become rich.

According to this myth, the capitalist system will automatically provide wealth to hard-working individuals. Thus, workers unconsciously form an “illusory hope,” and if their efforts do not come to fruition, they will only have themselves to blame.

However, Coelho argues that “under capitalism, the probability of success, regardless [of] how much you may have worked, is the same as in a lottery.”

Wealth, with rare exceptions, he adds, is not gained through hard work, but is a result of “fraud and lack of remorse” and is reserved for those who enjoy “greater influence and power.”

“This myth creates the followers of the system who support it.”

Myth 2: Capitalism creates wealth and prosperity for all.

This myth states that wealth, accumulated in the hands of a minority, sooner or later will be redistributed among all.

“The goal is to enable the employer to accumulate wealth without asking questions. At the same time the hope is maintained that sooner or later workers will be rewarded for their work and dedication.”

Coelho, however, argues that the ultimate goal of capitalism is not the distribution of wealth but its “accumulation and concentration” and cites the “widening gap between the rich and the poor in recent decades especially after the establishment of the rule of neo-liberalism” as evidence.

Myth 3: We are all in the same boat.

Otherwise stated, Capitalist society has no classes, therefore the responsibility for the failures and crises also lies on all and everyone has to pay.

“The goal is to create a guilt complex for workers, allowing capitalists to increase revenues and pass expenditures onto the people.”

Coelho begs to differ, saying the responsibility in fact lies “entirely on the elite consisting of billionaires who support the government and are supported by it, and have always enjoyed great privileges in taxation, tenders, financial speculation, offshore, nepotism, etc.”

“This myth is implanted by the elites to avoid responsibility for the plight of the people and oblige them to pay for the elite's mistakes.”

Myth 4: Capitalism means freedom.

The myth alleges that true freedom is only achieved under capitalism with the help of the so-called "market self-regulation."

“The goal is to create something similar to a religion of capitalism, where everything is taken as is, and deny people the right to participate in making macroeconomic decisions.”

Coelho states that in a Capitalist society, decision-making freedom, the ultimate form of freedom, is “only enjoyed by a narrow circle of powerful individuals, not the people, and not even the government agencies.”

“This myth has been used to justify interference in the internal affairs of non-capitalist countries, based on the assumption that they have no freedom, but have rules.”

Myth 5: Capitalism means democracy.

According to this myth, democracy can only exist under capitalism and all other models of social order are dictatorship.

“This myth, which smoothly follows from the previous one, was created in order to prevent the discussion of other models of social order.”

This is while, a Capitalist society, according to Coelho, is divided into classes and the rich, being ultra-minority, dominate over all others.

This capitalist “democracy” is nothing but a disguised dictatorship, he says, adding, “As the previous myth, this one also serves as an excuse to criticize and attack non-capitalist countries.”

Myth 6: Election is a synonym of democracy.

“The goal is to denigrate or demonize other systems and prevent a discussion of political and electoral systems where leaders are determined through non-bourgeois elections, for example, on the virtue of age, experience, or popularity of candidates.”

In fact, Coelho says, it is the capitalist system that constantly “manipulates and bribes, [and] where a vote is a conditional term and election is only a formal act.”

Myth 7: Alternating parties in office is the same as having an alternative.

Bourgeois parties that periodically alternate in power have alternative platforms, this myth tends to suggest.

“The goal is to perpetuate the capitalist system within the dominant class, feeding the myth that democracy is reduced to the election.”

Coelho says the two-party or multiparty parliamentary system is in fact a one-party system, and these are two or more factions “of one political force”, where they alternate, “mimicking the party with an alternative policy.”

“People always choose an agent of the system, being sure that this is not what they are doing.”

“The myth that bourgeois parties have different platforms and are even oppositional, is one of the most important, it is constantly discussed to make the capitalist system work,” Coelho adds.

Myth 8: The elected politician represents the people and can therefore decide for them.

“The purpose of this myth is to feed the people with empty promises and hide the real measures that will be implemented in practice.”

In fact, Coelho says, leaders elected in a Capitalist society do not fulfill their promises, or, worse, start to implement undeclared measures, often contradicting the original Constitution.

“The systematic practice of falsification of democracy under capitalism is one of the reasons for the increasing number of people who do not go to the elections.”

Myth 9: There is no alternative to Capitalism.

Capitalism is not perfect, but it is the only possible economic and political system, and therefore the most appropriate one, so the myth goes.

“The goal is to eliminate the study and promotion of other systems and eliminate competition using all possible means, including force.”

“This myth is intended to intimidate people, to prevent the discussion of alternatives to capitalism and ensure unanimity,” Coelho adds.

Myth 10: Savings generate wealth.

The economic crisis is caused by the excess of employee benefits. If they are removed, the myth promises, the government will save and the country will become rich.

“The goal is to shift the liability for capitalist debt payment onto the public sector, including the retirees.”

Another goal, Coelho says, is to make people accept poverty, arguing that it is temporary. It is also intended to facilitate the privatization of the public sector.

Myth 11: The current crisis of Capitalism is short-term and will be resolved for the benefit of the people.

According to this myth, the current financial crisis is a normal cyclical crisis of Capitalism, not a systemic plight and will not lead to its collapse.

The goal, Coelho argues, is to continue to plunder the resources of the Capitalist country and exploit people. It is also a means of staying in power.

However, he says, what is happening today is “a systemic crisis of the capitalist system, i.e. the growth of the contradictions between social production and the private character of appropriation of profit, and is insoluble.”

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Post time 2012-4-6 03:24:08 |Display all floors
The first one made me laugh

This is probably the capitalist fat cat's favorite bit of propaganda.
The vast majority of the filthy rich in the U.S. have been that way generation after generation.
They spotlight a few exceptions to make their point but that is exactly the same as the marketing
people for the Lotto putting the spotlight on the few winners of the lotto.
Either way, your chances of becoming rich by working hard is about the same as winning the lotto.
This is the classic 'carrot on the stick'. It's sad that so many people fall for it.
If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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Post time 2012-4-6 03:33:43 |Display all floors
robert237 Post time: 2012-4-6 03:24
The first one made me laugh

This is probably the capitalist fat cat's favorite bit of propagan ...
Either way, your chances of becoming rich by working hard is about the same as winning the lotto

amen to that

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Post time 2012-4-6 13:10:30 |Display all floors

vanwilder  i always said, if working hard made you rich, then why arent Mexicans who mow lawns for 10hrs a day rich. instead who you see rich are "investors" who do little to no work  Post time 2012-4-6 08:21

good one vanwilder , yes poor Mehicans mowing the lawn never had fair go , they never had a chance.......................

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Post time 2012-4-6 13:21:03 |Display all floors

I have seen documentary from CNBC recently and i was surprised how honest they were , story is must see for anybody who doubt in corrupt US legals system that protect rich beyond reason.

In Nevada they showed on TV man with good house private residence like , house is registered company with one man in it , they went in and had interview with a chap , he told them he have 270 shell companies that he registered for his clients with trivial fee of $170 US dollars

Most important part of it shell companies registered do not have to provide owners name he does that part of trick for them and it is all legal.

They ask him do he know how did they clients obtained billions and he said no and i don't care!!!!!!!

So from corrupt thief state official that took money from some poor country in Africa till Bin Laden wealthy family in construction business from S. Arabia ...............anybody can register shell company and nobody will be able to find who own that company.

This is corrupt as it gets , disgusting and immoral.


Ranch House Near Reno is a Thriving Tax Haven, and It’s Not Alone | February 21, 2012

Shielding assets from the tax man or from overly inquisitive regulators is a time-honored strategy for the wealthy. Some turn to secretive financial havens like Switzerland or the Cayman Islands.

Or there’s always Fernley, Nevada. That’s right, Fernley, Nevada—a small community of about 20,000 residents located 30 miles outside Reno.

Drive down Wedge Lane, the winding road that gets its name because of the golf community it runs through (near the corner of Dog Leg Court and Divot Drive), and you will find the unassuming home of businessman Robert Harris, 65, who describes himself as a former bartender with an eighth grade education.

The house is also home to some 2,400 Nevada corporations, all registered to Harris’ address.

For as little as $174, Harris will set you up with your own Nevada corporation. And he promises he won’t ask too many questions.

“I don’t do any investigative work on the people,” he told CNBC Investigations Inc. in an interview in his small home office. “If they want to spend money, I take their business.”

Harris does say that if he learned a terrorist or a corrupt politician was laundering money through him, he would report them right away—“if I knew. That’s the thing. If I know.”

For a little extra money, Harris offers what he calls “Ultimate Asset Protection,” which includes a “virtual office with phone message and fax forwarding,” according to his web site. More important, Harris’ name and address appears on the official corporate documents instead of the owner’s.

“(T)here is no better way to cloak your assets from public view,” the web site says. “Moreover, it is far better than taking your assets out of the country.”

“It’s not everybody’s business what everybody owns,” Harris said.

Not only is Harris’ business perfectly legal, there are hundreds like it across the country. Known as “registered agents,” they help individuals, entrepreneurs and investors—or more frequently their attorneys or representatives—establish corporations. Their services include filing papers with the state, and sometimes even taking in their mail and answering their phones.

Some states, like Nevada, have been particularly aggressive in courting businesses to incorporate there. Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller says the benefits go far beyond secrecy.

“We have very favorable business law statutes that many companies want to take advantage of, we’re a very efficient filing jurisdiction, and we’re a very low tax state,” he said in an interview. “So those three advantages combined make Nevada very attractive.”

Miller says with 320,000 corporations, Nevada is second per capita only to longtime corporate haven Delaware in the number of businesses based there.

But critics say the thriving registered agent business in the United States makes this country one of the best places in the world to launder money.

“In the United States, most states do not require companies to list who actually owns them—who actually controls them,” said Robert Palmer of the anti-corruption group Global Witness in London. “There’s been research done by academics where they’ve gone round and they’ve tried to set up anonymous shell companies all around the world. And they found that the easiest place to do it was the United States.”

Palmer says the United States is facilitating “corrupt money and dirty money flowing around the system.”

Federal authorities say arms dealer Viktor Bout—convicted last year in what authorities said was an elaborate scheme to aid terrorists and kill U.S. citizens and officials—financed the operation through at least a dozen shell companies formed in Texas, Delaware and Florida.

The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, has used at least five U.S. shell companies to amass a fortune that the Justice Department claims was obtained through bribery and corruption. Through his attorneys, Obiang maintains he obtained his assets legally.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., says terrorists and foreign officials should not be allowed to hide behind anonymous shell companies when moving their money.

“We have, I think, some kind of moral responsibility there,” Levin told CNBC in an interview. "But it’s also a national security issue when corruption affects foreign regimes that can directly affect us and our security interests.”

Levin has introduced legislation that would require states to identify who is behind the companies they register.

“Our law enforcement community is pleading with us here in Washington to require states and their incorporation laws to list the beneficial owner, the real owner of the corporations, so that these are not shell corporations which can then evade our money laundering laws,” he said.

But the bill is stalled in committee, under intense opposition from business groups including the United States Chamber of Commerce. They argue there are legitimate reasons some business owners prefer to remain anonymous. And in the case of some complex business arrangements with multiple shareholders and creditors, determining the “beneficial owner” is easier said than done.

“We agree with the intent of the Levin bill that you need to combat money laundering,” said Vice President Tom Quaadman, who heads the chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness. “But what the Levin bill starts to do is it creates regulatory burdens on 28 million companies and businesses throughout the United States. It’s overly broad. And it also creates unfunded mandates upon the states.”

Nevada’s Ross Miller agrees.

“We currently don’t collect or maintain any of that information, nor are we in the business of licensing formation agents, which this legislation would require. We’re not in the business of continually collecting updated information.” Miller says it would cost millions for his state to comply with the law, and while the bill would provide some funding to the states, he says it is not nearly enough.

Opponents of the Levin bill say information about companies’ ownership is already available through the Internal Revenue Service, but Assistant US. Attorney General Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, says IRS records are difficult to obtain.

“IRS records are very discreet, and they should be,” Breuer told CNBC.

Back in Nevada, Secretary of State Ross Miller says he is sensitive to the critics. He says he is working with law enforcement authorities to make certain Nevada’s registered agents are following the law, and are not promoting Nevada’s statutes inaccurately.

“The trick is going after those individuals and holding them accountable,” he said.

For his part, Robert Harris says he is not worried that Nevada will require businesses like his to collect more information their customers, “because incorporating is big business in Nevada, and they’re not going to put the trap on, you might say, to stop business if they don’t have to.”

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Post time 2012-4-8 09:05:23 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2012-4-7 09:46
You need to make an adult decision, li'l boys: Do you at all want to get RICH?

If yes, say No to So ...

I see you took the bait.
If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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Post time 2012-4-8 09:10:07 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2012-4-7 09:49
Capitalism doesn't promise anyone they will get rich; this is what Communism and Socialism do, the l ...

Since when does socialism promise everyone will be rich?
That is the carrot at the end of the stick the capitalists use to keep subjects working hard.
The fact is, you have about as much chance of winning the lottery as you do becoming rich
by hard work alone. To have a good chance at being rich you have to have rich parents.
Otherwise, good luck with your million to one shot.

If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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