After years of ill health, capitalism is now in a critical condition. Growth has given way to stagnation; inequality is leading to instability; and confidence in the money economy has all but evaporated.
In How Will Capitalism End?, the acclaimed analyst of contemporary politics and economics Wolfgang Streeck argues that the world is about to change. The marriage between democracy and capitalism, ill-suited partners brought together in the shadow of World War Two, is coming to an end. The regulatory institutions that once restrained the financial sector’s excesses have collapsed and, after the final victory of capitalism at the end of the Cold War, there is no political agency capable of rolling back the liberalization of the markets.
Ours has become a world defined by declining growth, oligarchic rule, a shrinking public sphere, institutional corruption and international anarchy, and no cure to these ills is at hand.
As always in evolution, people will change only when their survival is threatened. There is a cure at hand: human nature, as E.O.Wilson has it described. There is the only way: a system, compatible with human nature and based on it. This means private property, but restricted, possibility to confirm, to witness oneself, but restricted, to have attachment and love, sense and sanctity, but restricted, to have longer life, but restricted. And, at least, to have a possibility to receive forgiveness, but restricted.
Democracy in its simplest form (voting for people or decisions) is non-viable, impossible. For long-term survival of humanity only one step of democracy is necessary: voting for survival. The following steps and decisions are to be made by the AI program, specially designed for this purpose. A program, an intelligence, that is far above current average human intelligence, that can avoid the current shortcomings of human nature.
Contemporary societies are far away from such a system, it still waits its realization. This means deaf penalty is a must, like it is used not only by the evolution, but also by humans themselves (in their wars). The reality is camouflaged by slogans about human rights. And a system of ‘regulatory institutions’, using penalties in accordance with the trespassers damage to the society. Such a system will rise, will be gradually created on the ruins of our society. I.V.