Is anti-capitalism exclusively left

What is capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system in which most of the economy and work are geared towards profit. It is not produced directly for human needs, but only for a solvent need (bread is not baked because there is hunger, but to sell it.) Since under capitalism the means of production (such as factories, land or access to raw materials) are privately owned, a large part of the population is not allowed to have a say in what and how is produced. Since these people normally have nothing else, they are forced to sell their labor in order to be able to live. They are dependent on wages - and as such are completely at the mercy of the job market.

All people are in competition with one another in capitalism - for jobs, money, school grades, etc. This is euphemistically called competition, although it is about nothing less than one's own life. Companies are in constant and direct competition with one another. For this reason, in order not to go bankrupt, they have to make more profit than their competitors. If you do not do this, the competitor can soon push you out of the market with the help of the additional profit. That is why - whenever possible - wages are cut, breaks canceled, people laid off or production facilities relocated. There is also no shrinking from environmental degradation if it saves costs. Since products are only produced for those who can afford the things, moral appeals to the economy are of absolutely no use (e.g. to make medicines available cheaper or free of charge for developing countries). The competition would sweep any morally acting company out of the field.

The laws of competition and profit maximization must be followed so that the company does not go bankrupt. That is why the destruction of man and nature is not based on particularly inhuman decisions, but arises from the very own laws of capitalism. This constant hunt for profits develops enormous, destructive forces - and subjects people to an elbow society in which performance and consumption determine everyday life. As a result, selfishness and social coldness often dominate our society. People are only interesting as consumers or as “human capital” as it is cynically called in business.

A capitalist economy can exist in dictatorships and also in democracies, but in the latter it is much more stable. But capitalism and democracy are not inseparable twins. And that doesn't mean anti-capitalism is necessarily anti-democratic. In a democratic state, people are formally free, equal, and power should emanate from them. But that's only at first sight. Because indirectly they are forced to take any job, no matter how bad, just to avoid falling below the poverty line. There is also formal equality, but great material inequality. The richer ones have an advantage in many respects, e.g. in education (tutoring, elite universities, etc.) or in court proceedings. Most people also have neither the time nor the energy to pursue, let alone influence, politics because of their everyday work.

What could another society look like?

In many respects capitalism is directed against the interests of humanity. It is anti-social, unecological and inefficient. It is based on coercive laws that the market dictates to people. Even the demand for higher wages, for example, would not change the basic capitalist principles of competition and profit maximization. Likewise, more democracy in politics and other areas of life makes sense, but is not yet sufficient. What is needed above all is the democratization of the economy. What is to be done with the means of production is not just for a handful of people to decide, but is the right of the whole population.

The goal can only be the socialization of the means of production (not just nationalization) so that all people can determine what and how to produce. Not only can they then determine this independently and on a grassroots basis, but also distribute the necessary working hours sensibly among everyone, since the principle of competition would be eliminated. Thus technical progress would no longer lead to layoffs - as in capitalism - but to relief and working hours could be reduced for everyone.

The meaning of work would then be reduced to what it is. Namely the necessary evil to produce and do things that nature does not offer us, but we need for a good life. Instead of building tanks or calling call centers, we could then use our time sensibly, regardless of material need. Overcoming capitalism towards a cooperative economy that tries to satisfy needs and is planned and regulated by all people would be a liberation that would finally allow societies to think and act freely. Nobody would have to starve, die of curable diseases or work all day. A lot is technically possible - we have to fight to make it a reality! That - and not China, dictatorship or scarcity - we mean by communism.