Commercial corporations make little attempt to hide their motivations to make giant profits at the expense of workers and consumers. The more powerful they get, the more profit they can make. And the more profit they make, the less money is left for their workers and consumers to enjoy their lives. Although many corporations now appear to start acting more responsibly, most of their act is just a facade. Their only motivation for this facade is in keeping up appearences, pretending to care for environmental and social problems, in order for the people to continue consuming their products.
The free market
Most economists believe in the power of the free market. The free market, they reason, will force competitors to provide great quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices. In a truly free and competetive market, profits would be modest, while efficiency gains from technologic innovations would render products to get ever better, and costs to go down. In a truly free and competetive market, this would also lead prices to go down. The variation of goods and services would be abundant, their quality would be outstanding, and their prices would decrease steadily. Now take a look around you. Do you see any of this in the societies we live in? Are we supposed to believe that the capitalist market system resembles this picture of a truly free market in any way?
The capitalist market
Let's analyse this. In a free market, thousands or even millions of small entrepreneurs would compete each other for the money of the consumer, offering a great variation of outstanding quality goods at ever lower prices, to make a modest profit. In our current system, we have a few powerful corporations, making giant profits by offering us a small variation of goods of mediocre quality and poor service at ever higher prices. It should be clear that the capitalist market model that we live in does in no way resemble a truly free market system. In order to heal the system, and start enjoying the great benefits of a truly free market, we must find the element that makes the capitalist system differ from a truly free market.
Accumulation of power and wealth
The only way to understand how the capitalist market system has come to deviate from a truly free market system, is by studying its history. We should understand that in history, our societies have never known a truly free market system. From the earliest seeds of civilization, the hunger for power and wealth has appeared stronger than the ideal to create a fair and sustainable society. As our societies developed, so did the tools to accumulate ever more power and wealth into ever fewer hands. This process of centralisation and monopolisation of power and wealth continues to this very day. It is the prime reason for every single event in history, and the dominant force that shaped our current societies.
A history of colonisation
When we think of colonisation, we usually think of countries like England, Holland, Portugal and Spain conquering and exploiting African, American and Asian Colonies. What we fail to see is that these countries were colonised themselves, prior to initiating their own colonising efforts. None of the royal and aristocratic families were natives to these countries. These foreign families conquered these countries to exploit their people, and have them assist in conquering and exploiting all other nations in the world. But they did not act on their own initiatives. They were instructed, financed and protected by a central power that has always shown a clear ambition for world domination: the holy Roman Empire.
Cruelties like slavery
When we compare the cruelties committed by the English, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish colonisers, and we compare them to the cruelties of the Catholic inquisition, it should be easy to see how these cruelties were invented by the same force. Treating people like animals has become their trade mark. The people in the colonising countries were treated a bit better, so that they felt privileged to assist in the suppression of all other people. The better they served the colonising efforts to enslave and degrade the rest of humanity, the more they were rewarded with power and wealth. This is how our political and economic systems have developed, and this is how they still function to this very day.
The feudal system
The feudal system of landlords and slavery preceeded the capitalist system that we inherited. By studying both systems, we can see their clear resemblances. It is easy to see how landlordism automatically renders slavery. All people need food, water and shelter to survive. Therefore all people need access to land in order to grow their crops and build their houses. By stealing their land, the landlord made sure these people became completely dependant to him. They could still use the land to grow their crops and build their houses, but only after they ceded him most of their crops. Privatising and monopolising the land was the simplest and most effective way to enslave the people living on it, and make them work ever harder for their landlord, who demanded an ever larger share of their crops.
The landlord never needed to work in order to accumulate power and wealth. All he had to do was to make the people pay tribute to his generosity of allowing them to work his land. This tribute was called usury, later rent. The people were required to pay the landlord this tribute if they were to use his land. It should be clear that this landlord had no right to steal the land from the people first, only to let them use it after they paid him usury for using his land. All income he received from this, was the result of his crime of stealing the people's land in order to exploit them and demand the fruits of their labor. Rather than being put in prison, the landlord became the wealthiest and most powerful of them all. Of course the landlord had to pay tribute to the king in the form of taxes, if he were to continue his corrupt business and still feel protected. And the king, in his turn, had to pay taxes to the emperor of the holy Roman Empire, the pope, in exchange for his approval and protection.
The end of feudalism?
What we learn from this, is that all earthly power and wealth of the Vatican, the king and the landlord, had been accumulated by crime. The entire system of human exploitation we now call feudalism was based on the monopolisation of land, which allowed large amounts of usury, or rent, to be demanded from the people who worked for it. In school we learn that the feudal system has been abolished many centuries ago. But has it really? Was the power of the landlord abolished by returning ownership of the land to the people? Has the land since then been equally divided over the people, to allow us all to grow our crops without paying usury or rent to the landlord? On the contrary, never in history has so much land been owned by so few people. The monopolisation of land, resulting in the exploitation of those willing to work for a living, by charging them large sums of usury, or rent, has continued to this very day. The feudal society has never ended. Rather, it's devious ways of stealing all wealth and power from the people by means of law, have been intensified and perfected to include many new kinds of human exploitation, like interest and inflation.
The start of capitalism
Feudalism is capitalism in its most primitive form. Feudalism helps us to understand what's wrong with capitalism. Like feudalism, capitalism is a system built on exploitation of the common people's labour. It uses the same toolbox. To understand capitalism, we need a better understanding of the word 'capital'. Most people have some vague idea about the meaning of this word, without actually understanding its true meaning. This is due to our educational system that intentionally fails to explain correctly even the most critical concepts to understand our society. Capital is anything that provides an income without having to work for it. Owning capital is required for earning usury. For example, in feudalism, the land was the landlord's main capital to acquire an income without having to work for it. By lending his land to the working people, the capitalist landlord was able to acquire most of the fruits of their labour, without having to work for it. This makes clear that capitalism is nothing more than legalised robbery and institutionalised human exploitation or slavery. Any person defending or promoting capitalism either has no idea what he's talking about, or actually has a malicious intent to cooperate to robbing the people of their freedom and wealth.
Usury is the collective word to describe legalised theft, by acquiring an income without working for it. In many cases this income is acquired by lending property. When the property is land, or a house built on the land, or any other material possession, like a car, we call the income gained from lending it, rent. Historically, rent was the first type of usury, and caused the first city states to appear, legalising usury in their feudal laws. The rest of history should be read as a continuous effort to monopolise all land and wealth, by inventing ever more variations to the concept of usury, or legalised theft, as well as illegal theft and war. One type of usury appeared even more effective and destructive than rent. With the invention of trade, an income could be earned by forestalling the payment of the goods sold. This type of usury was called interest, emphasising the positive value of time between the moment of purchase and the moment of payment (Latin: inter est - that which is in between). Later, after precious metals like copper, silver and gold, and precious stones like rubies and diamonds had become the preferred medium of exchange, and the use of money had become custom, charging interest on lending money became standard practice, and the legal basis for trade. The legalisation of usury (rent) became the basis for the feudal society of legalised slavery and landlordism. After slavery had officially been abolished, and the interest charging money powers came to control the old landlords, the capitalist society was born. People were fed the illusion of freedom, while their dependance to their interest charging overlords kept growing into a slow but steady debt spiral.
Capitalism vs. freedom
Usury is an income flowing from the poor to the rich, who automatically get richer without having to work for it. If they own money, usury allows them to earn more money without having to work for it. If they own land, usury allows them to acquire even more land. The system of charging usury was designed to gradually monopolise all wealth and power, by allowing the haves to automatically gain ever more, while forcing the have-nots to become ever more productive, while slowly sinking in ever heavier debts and taxation. While the have-nots are competing each other in a rat race for existance, the haves can lean back and wait for their wealth and power to automatically accumulate. This is the essence of the capitalist system, that so many people erroneously confuse with a free market system. The capitalist system is based on legalised theft and hidden enslavement of the people by monopolising the land, the legal system, and later the money system, forcing the people to serve their capitalist overlords. While this was obvious and open for everyone to see during the feudal system, the capitalist system managed to hide our slavery under a veil of 'freedom'. This deceptive notion of capitalist freedom is used to motivate us to become ever more inventive and productive, while our productivity gains are systemically transferred to benefit our capitalist masters.
Competing for survival
Besides the obvious moral aspect of being legalised theft, usury also poses on us an ever growing dependance to our capitalist masters. While they continue to perfect their laws for the continuation and exploitation of our hidden slavery, usury automatically gives them more wealth and power over us. After paying our masters our tributes of rent, interest, taxation and other property rights, we only get to keep a fraction of our produce. But who is going to buy all the goods we produced, when our incomes allow us to buy only a fraction of our produce? Certainly not our capitalist masters, who seem more interested in investing their usury to produce ever more usury. This is one of the main causes for our economies to struggle like they do. When you pay the people only a fraction of the income earned by producing goods, they will never be able to buy all goods they produced. Their purchasing power just doesn't suffice to buy all goods they produced, many of which remain unsold. A fierce competition results, causing marketing efforts to become pivotal. Only the most aggressive and powerful sellers will survive this ugly competition. This explains our monopolised economies of large multi-billion corporations, who spend more money on marketing efforts than on the actual production of their mediocre and even poor quality goods and services, while charging us their monopolist prices. In this hostile competition for survival, those with the easiest access to money will always be the winners. Note that this rigged competition for survival does not resemble in any way the 'healthy competition' economists use to promote their so-called 'free market'.
Wealth and power
Who wouldn't like to be rich? I think everybody would love to live their lives in wealth and abundance. I believe there is nothing wrong with the desire to become wealthy, when you earn your money in a moral way. When you serve the people by producing great quality goods and services for them, why not charge them a reasonable price to allow you to live your life in wealth and luxury? The problem in our society is not in accumulating wealth to enjoy luxury, but in accumulating wealth to gain power over others. The more wealth you own, the less satisfactory it becomes to accumulate even more luxury for yourself. For example, the queen of England owns over 300 palaces. Do you think she would actually care to have even more palaces? Probably she hasn't even visited all these palaces anyway, as she will have a few favorite ones. Giving her more palaces will not make her a happier person. However, unlike the love of wealth, the love of power is unsatiable. When wealth becomes abundant, it becomes ever more attractive for gaining power over others. Therefore, an equitable free society would never allow any of its citizens to accumulate wealth to gain power over others. In contrast, most wealth in our corrupted capitalist society is accumulated for that very purpose.
Fractional Reserve Banking
If you have power over others, you can force them to hand over their wealth and freedom to you. If you own money, and others don't, you can ask them to do virtually any job you need to be done, while paying them only a fraction of the job's value. If all people had equal access to money, people could never be exploited that way. Therefore the elite have created for themselves a money system that leaves most people flat broke, while automatically accumulating ever more money and power for the elite. In this money system, the elite bankers are allowed to create as much money as they like. Although they are not allowed to keep this money for their own private use, they are allowed to lend it at interest, profiting into eternity from the interest charged on money they never owned. This system is called 'fractional reserve banking', and is at the fundament of our capitalist society.
Making the people dependant
Many people seem to understand this system of fractional reserve banking to be morally wrong, but most fail to grasp the essence. They try to convince us that the problem of this system is in using worthless paper money rather than silver or gold. They fail to see that our paper money is a far cheaper exchange mechanism, and therefore much more efficient than any silver or golden money could ever be. The problem is not the material of which our money is made, but the terms to which it is brought into existence. Every single dollar, pound, yen or euro has come into existance by means of lending. Therefore interest is charged on every single piece of money we use. Charging us to repay our loans plus additional interest, means that we need to pay these bankers more money than they originally created. How are we supposed to pay for this difference, if the money to pay for it was never created? In other words, our money system promotes debt over wealth, since total debt will always outweigh total money. And since we pay interest over our debt rather than over our money, interest causes our economies to spiral downward, leaving most of us flat broke and heavily indebted (dependant) to the banker elite. It is not the fractional reserve banking system that is to blame for our debts to spiral out of control, but the interest charged on it.
Usury causes inflation
Every year we are demanded to pay a larger sum of usury, like rent, interest and taxes. This means every year we need our incomes to grow, only to remain at the same level of economic prosperity. If we are able to push our productivity and create more and better goods, we can earn this additional income. But if the growth of usury charges outweigh the growth of production, the only way to get this additional income is by charging higher prices for the products we make, and using lower quality materials. This is exactly what we see in our crippled economies. Prices go through the roof (inflation), while quality and variation become ever poorer (disposable goods). We should learn to understand that inflation is caused by making our usury charges rise faster than our productivity gains. Inflation is caused by usury, and can never be stopped by charging us even more usury, like most economists would have us believe!
The quantity theory of money
To explain the steady rise of most prices in our economy, economists point to a theory they call the 'quantity theory of money'. This theory would have us believe that the rise of most prices is caused by an abundance of money in our economy. If people have more money to demand goods than suppliers can produce, a shortage of goods will result in their prices to rise. In theory, this could be very true. However, in reality we see the opposite happening. Rather than an abundance of money, the people in our crippled economies are always confronted with a shortage of money. Their purchasing power does not even allow them to purchase the goods they produced, leaving many goods unsold. Despite the lethal competition that follows, prices are still going up, simply because their costs of production keep rising.
Presenting usury as the cure
Which costs of production keep rising, you ask? It is the usury we pay to our capitalist owners, the rise of which outweighs our productivity gains, resulting in the steady rise of prices we call inflation. For example, if yearly usury charges rise by 5% of our income, and we can have a yearly productivity gain of 2%, we will see a general price rise of about 3%. Productivity gains cause prices to fall, while continuous usury rises cause prices to rise, continuously. Charging even more usury can never help to fight inflation. Yet this is what the central banks in this world would have us believe! It is what almost every person on this globe appears to believe. It is what the governments demand the schools to teach to our children. They present the cause of inflation, usury, as the ultimate remedy.
Presenting debt as the cure
In analogy to this, we can look at how governments and banks try to cure heavily indebted countries, like Greace. Obviously, the problem of these countries is they have too much debt. So how do they help them? By granting them even more interest bearing loans (debt), to make them sink even deeper into the spiral of eternal indebtedness and slavery.
Presenting government as the cure
Presenting the cause as the cure appears to be a great way to deceive the people into willingly accepting their own slavery. I can give you more examples, like government sponsored terrorism, which makes people cry for protection from even bigger and more powerful (totalitarian) governments. But this example is beyond the scope of this economic chapter to the so-called freedoms of our capitalist system, and will be elaborated upon in a later chapter about government sponsored terrorism. However, big government is also presented as the cure to our economic problems. With the introduction of socialism, governments have managed to convince the people into willingly giving up virtually all their wealth and freedom, in order to protect them from economic distress. And as we can all see, this has never resulted in society becoming more equal, equitable, fair, let alone prosperous. Big socialist governments always reside in heavy taxation and a steady deterioration of our freedoms, secretly benefittiing their capitalist masters, while keeping the people numb with countless unkept promises.
Presenting socialism as the cure
If socialism had honestly been designed to end the exploitation of the labor class, it would have abolished all income generated at the expense of the laborer (usury) rather than profit. In some cases, usury is presented as profit. For example, holding stocks in a company will give you a dividend income, which is said to be part of the company's profit. But since all you did to receive this income was purchasing some stocks, the income is not a reward for your entrepreneurial effort, but for the money you granted the company to use. These dividends represent usury income, and are always earned at the expense of the people who worked to generate this income. But an honest entrepreneur, who created great value for people by creating honest goods and services for them at a reasonable price, should always be allowed to make a profit. Abolishing profit, like Marx suggested, and taxing the crap out of people, guarantees the economic destruction of a society. Abolishing usury, on the other hand, will reduce our economic miseries like indebtedness and unemployment almost completely, and thus the need for big government. Abolishing usury will guarantee us a spectacular rise in prosperity for all people, to a degree we have never imagined to be possible. There would hardly be any need left for the deceptions of governments and their heavy taxation, bankers and their interest, insurance companies and their premiums, stocks and bond brokers, casinos and lotteries, and so on. With little labour effort, people could earn a decent and secure living, while great richess would become obtainable to many. All we would have to do, is end the legal status of all income that is derived from the systemic exploitation of fellow humans, thus allowing only an income derived from producing valuable goods and services.
The end of human exploitation
To abolish usury, it is necessary that existing monopolies on land, money production (banking) and many others are abolished as well. Monopolies always intend to earn unreasonably high profits at the expense of the consumer. Therefore monopolies will always tend to overcharge consumers, which is another type of usury. Exploiting economic power almost always results in exploiting the people. With a few small exceptions, the formation and exploitation of economic power should always be discouraged, while existing monopolies should be given back to the people.
This includes the payment of rent, interest, taxes, dividends, patents, copy rights, and all other types of 'return on investment', which are all income from lending property, or capitalising on ownership rights in any other way.