To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. - Sun Tzu

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Imminent Death of Moloch

Capitalism is fundamentally about profit: Those who make more profit are rewarded; those who make less or none are punished. People who are better at increasing profit are rewarded more. All this profit taken together is called Capital and I have named it Moloch because it is a superintelligence: The common view is that entrepeneurs are in charge of their destiny; but actually Capital gravitates toward the people who are best at making more Capital. Capital is like a virus or a fungus, with the sole purpose of expanding itself. Its agents have been called Bourgeoisie, Entrepeneurs, or Planners. It selects them based on the laws of economics, rather than the other way around. Think in terms of Game Theory.

Capital is generated in several ways. A new type or deposit of resources is found (Oil). A new technology is formed (The Internet). Resources are pillaged by a group that is not part of the dominant economic system (Imperialism). These are called Primitive Accumulations of Capital. Most recently, your retirement fund was taken.

In any closed system, infinite growth is impossible. Resources run out or an economy tends toward equilibrium. However, Moloch demands ever-increasing profit. When profit begins to stagnate He becomes unhappy and demands a Sacrifice: When the Capital generated by the previous Primitive Accumulation is used up, Capitalism has a Crisis that is only remedied with another Primitive Accumulation. If there is not an Accumulation, Capitalism collapses. A Primitive Accumulation is what keeps Capitalism from decaying in a closed system.

Today, there is nothing left to Accumulate. The Great Depression was cured by the Oil age, but that's nearly used up. The Oil Crisis of the 1970s was made up for with massive government and consumer debt, but now we're all tapped out. Computers and the Internet has made everything as efficient as it's going to get. The interesting thing about the Internet and Oil is that these Accumulations are not only resources in their own right, but they also increase the rate of resource consumption- so the more resources like this we acquire, the faster we'll use up resources... so much that Moloch might have lasted longer if they hadn't been found at all!

So today there are no more Primitive Accumulations possible. Everything has been stolen... actually, that's not true; there's one Accumulation left: Moloch can put the screws on American and European workers in the form of Structural Adjustment Programs (or whatever name they will come up with). So say goodbye to health care, education, infrastructure, rights, and freedom; they're not profitable enough!

Or, we can organize, raise the black flag, and scream, "DEATH TO MOLOCH!"