Reference Guide to Capitalism
The series is a comprehensive guide to capitalism first and foremost. It is not a propaganda series designed to agitate, it is a well sourced ‘reference video series’ that can be thought of as a textbook of sorts.
This is a 9 part series about Capitalism. Try not to get too hung up on the title, it’s more of a rhetorical question than a serious attempt to overthrow the economy.
What is it?
Capitalism is a huge part of our everyday lives, there are those who support it and those who try to tear it down, it doesn’t matter which side you are on, they both have something in common – no one really knows what capitalism actually is and to what extent it affects our every action in society. It appears as though it is a given of every time since passed. In actuality however, it is relatively new and we are under the illusion that it is eternal, natural and the ‘only way’ to manage wealth and private property because ‘competition’ is natural.
Why would you want to destroy it?
This question comes up a lot. I responded to this question on one of my channels and this is what I said. I have posted it here so that I don’t have to keep on repeating it.
The title is rhetorical. I can’t answer that question in a YT comment, that’s why I compiled a nine part series. The main problem with capitalism is that it has many untenable positions, it encourages consumption rather than conservation, it requires inequality and exploitation to function and it assimilates with opposing forms of life and recuperates itself by destroying cultures that try to operate in ways that don’t suit it’s requirements to function.
The idea of competition as a natural inevitability is blatantly false, once you look into modern understandings of ancient cultures, markets have in some ways always existed, but they were never a centralised operation to our lives, until around 300 years ago.
Finance is far outgrowing manufacturing, wages for manufacturing in the far-east are so low, it is impossible to compete with and not only that, but the east is becoming so powerful and robust, that it is vendor financing the west. If the east decides it can support itself as a core and periphery, then the western markets will collapse like dominos.
China has been very conservative, they have saved lots of money over the years and are on the cusp of becoming the dominant economy of the world.
When markets collapse and austerity measures override prosperity, wars break out in order to open new markets in arms manufacturing. If new forms of life develop that can offer alternatives to capitalism, they are quickly assimilated and enclosed through force and invasion. In order for it to keep going, we all have to keep wanting more and more stuff, but in order to do this, people have to get into debt, which could be a dangerous opening for a new market of debt labour contracts – people will be forced to work for next to nothing because the markets will come before human rights.
States have already become more and more privatised, social services are receeding and people are getting deeper into debt, which means there are massive bubbles ready to pop any time soon. You will have to watch the entire series in order to make up your own mind about capitalism, the first three episodes focus more on what capitalism is, rather than how or if it can be destroyed.
The fourth episode looks at the role of the state, the shift from Keynesian to neoliberal economics that have caused many financial crises over the years.
Then episode five shows the eternal recurrance of hundreds of years of bubble and crashes that capitalism has always been a heart of. Then the final 3 episodes focus on how capitalism breeds desires to consume more and more stuff, how we incorporate cultures around us, what other cultures are out there and why they always fail, then finally in the last episode I tackle some possibile ideas of how we can cultivate ways of life here and now that can offer an alternative to capitalism.
There isn’t a plan, or THE plan, it’s a matter of accepting that capitalism can’t coexist with anarchy, as it needs state power to back up claims of private property, no point taking over a state either, or supporting workers unions, syndicalist movements etc, as these quickly become hierarchical and swallow whole the capitalist ‘work ethic’.
If capitalism will fall, it will be because of many people acting in ways that counter its desires. It will be gradual and happening in small pockets of reistanace over time, but there will be no overnight revolution. That’s about all I can summarise here, you will have to watch the whole series in order to grasp my position further.
Read the book!
I waited until the final episode to disclose the source of the content. An author who goes by the pseudonym ‘SHAHIN’ wrote the book. You can obtain the pdf from here, or you can view the web ebook version here.
The book specifically states that it is copyright free and that it may be reproduced in any way within the first page.
I will not disclose any further information about the author.
We have very similar views and shared interests, there are a few dozen anti-capitalist books and documentaries out there, but the author of this particular book shares a passion for Nietzsche and Foucault that I can personally relate to.
Discussion group on Facebook
You can join in the discussions in the Facebook group ‘Project Phoenix’ here :
Tune in every Saturday!
You can catch every episode on Saturdays. You will be provided with links to further reading and sources in the description.
There are 9 episodes in total, with 1 introduction video. Each video is between 30 minutes to 1 hour in length. You can hear the brilliant music soundtrack, in this playlist:
Not monetised and copyright free
This series is copyright free and you can reproduce or share with or without accreditation. I have not monetised the series on YouTube. Some episodes are not possible to monetise, as copyright claims can block the videos in some countries or disable monetisation on videos. This allows the owner to monetise the video themselves. I have no control over this, I would not want to compromise the quality over something as trivial as copyright.
No donations or Patreon
My opinion of the relationship between YouTube contributors who use Patreon, or donation buttons of any kind, is that many ‘prolific’ contributors have created a form of clientelism on YouTube. This leads, more often than not, to a kind of tribalism and exclusions based on political backing from patrons to thier clients. For this reason, it is of my opinion that clientelism stifles creativity and originality and I will never ask for contributions toward any of my online projects.