Step aside capitalism, how about leverageism

December 1, 2009

Our recent post on the End of Capitalism triggered much interest and comment.  There were plenty of diverse views, as one would expect. But one thread that came out was that what we are now seeing is not true capitalism (nor, of course, is it old-style communism). Ok, but what is it?

Anthony Conforti suggested in a comment that we need a name for what is happening,:

The first step in defining a new economic paradigm is coming up with the proper terms…new words to define a new economic environment. As words, “capitalism”, “communism”, “socialism” may now be inadequate to describe the emerging economic reality. We need new nomenclature. Any thoughts?

Here’s one suggestion. There seems to have been precious little capital building going on is the last few years, so even in a free market, capitalism sounds a bit inaccurate. How about “leverageism”? Borrowers of the world, unite. You have nothing  to lose but your shirts.

Time to pick up the challenge. What should we call the dominant economic system?


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It is and has been clear for some time to anyone paying attention that we are devolving into fascist corporatism. The current oligarchy is just a stepping stone to get there.As the elite and the privileged merge with the ‘elected’ governments of the world to provide resonant feedback to their financial gains, the cycle will be complete.As people finally come to terms with their new economic reality and that they are now enslaved by the affluent and politically connected, they will likely begin to revolt and we will see history repeat itself as in Argentina, Peru, El Duce’s Italy, and the grandaddy example of them all, Nazi Germany.

Posted by J | Report as abusive

It is perhaps better not to have a name for this “system”. People get caught up in definitions and loose sight of the thing itself.Perhaps it would be better to first look at exactly what is going on. We should examine our current system. From our perspective it will be easy for many to see the “strengths” of our system.But we also need to take a long honest look at the problems our system is causing. Right now what we have, is a slide down a pit from which there may be no escape. We live in a time when our “leaders” will think nothing of spending money we don’t have to send our children to the killing fields. They tell us it’s important. They tell us we are fighting to “liberate” or to “spread democracy” etc…But we worry about “cost” when it comes to providing for the needs of the people. Let’s take a good honest look at what our system is really producing. Shakespeare wrote that a rose by any other name smells just as sweet.The same can be said for the smell of dung. The name is no where near as important as the action. Let’s fix our actions and the problems our actions are causing. Then we can come up with a name.

Posted by Benny Acosta | Report as abusive

New, are you mad?The system we live in is an oligarchy.

Posted by Dafydd | Report as abusive

The information on this site will give one some excellent insight into what “This system” really is. And how it is contributing to every problem we now face.

Posted by Benny Acosta | Report as abusive

“leverageism”? The exact opposite Jeremy. “De-leverageism”.This is nothing more than busting up the crap that was created as jewels only recently.Now governments of the afflicted countries own much of the craps. They will so do their de-leverageism act soon.This is not capitalism, not even close. Capitalism is to take savings as capital, invest in useful work, which creates more savings to build a net wealth. It has little to do with greed. It has everything to do with prudent planning for a more secured future.America, UK, Japan, and a few other delusional countries did no such thing the past 2 decades. Instead their central banks and banking systems created free money and gave it to just about everybody for the good life. The good life became a culture of addiction, with waste by-products big enough to sink entire economies. For every real buck of real wealth, 30 to 40 fake bucks were printed – Leverageism. Zero capitalism. Time to pay for the good life with some real money – also called Debt.

Posted by The Real Deal | Report as abusive

J, you are absolutely correct. Mathew, Oligarchies and plutocracies are merely a form of fascism. Or to some a precursor of rule by a dictator. Ultimately the interests of large industries and corporations are paramount as they project financial and military power. Mussolini and Hitler’s rise to power were facilitated by the wealthiest industrial interests.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

The system we have now is still capitalism.To say that because markets are regulated in some manner it isn’t capitalism, seems to me a bit flawed. After all, there has always been some form of economic regulation of some kind. Even in America, the land of the free market.Capitalism is based on the actions of both corporate and personal individuals. And while America has always favoured strong capitalism, it has always insisted that individuals must respect the rule of law.And where it is found that individuals are not respecting the rule of law, or acting dishonestly, it is only natural that more regulation might result. Even in capitalist economies.To say that what we have now is not capitalism? Then what can it be? With the general failure of socialism there is very few options for what our system can be. So I think the system we have remains capitalism for now.And because there are many nations who approach capitalism in different ways, the only real variation is the extent to which the government and courts of that nation regulate and protect the economy.All capitalists are regulated. But some capitalists are more regulated then others.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

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Posted by PhilFeed › Fresh From My Twitter today | Report as abusive

A good name would be “Kejserens nye Klæder”.(The original Danish title for the Hans Christian Andersen childrens’ fairy story “The Emperors New Clothes”.)

Posted by Peter H | Report as abusive

Capitalism, at least the way it started in this country carried with it the implication that everyone has the same opportunity to become wealthy.But this is not the case. The very wealthy families in this country have found their way into government. There are no congressional term limits and this allows these ultra wealthy families to secure seats in government that allow them to pass laws that benefit them and their “friends”.The “trickle down” effect is nothing more than those families pissing on you and yours. If the American citizenry would finally wise up and force congress to enact term limits, it would then be possible to flush these career politicians out.The terms should be as short as the presidential term. This would ensure that new ideas found their way into the capitol, and would also help clear the way for change by removing entrenched ideologies.The legislature is supposed to be made up of citizen servants and not corporate yes men. Also there should be a prohibition against comity members working in any business sector their comity has jurisdiction over for the next ten years. That way conflicts of interest can be avoided because there would be no incentive to favor one industry over another since they would be prohibited from earning income from those industries.Of course there will always be ways to cheat in any system. But for people who are basically honest this will make it easier for them to stay that way.

Posted by Benny Acosta | Report as abusive

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Posted by PhilFeed › Fresh From My Twitter / Favorites from PhilBaumann today | Report as abusive

What good will a new name really do for this fascist ugliness that the global elites are trying to unleash on the world. We need to return to an actual free market economy rather then this over regulation of every small aspect of life. Governments would do well to remember that governments serve the people, not the other way around. To see what happens when this advice is not heeded google “french revolution”. As for the corporations they have far too much say in government policy and clearly having the kind of money they do and the ability to out lobby and out lawyer any opposition has made them corrupt in their greed. The separation of church and state worked great, now we need a separation of industry and state.

Posted by Orgizmo | Report as abusive

Looking back one thousand years to today. It will be called the DARK AGES of primative Economic understanding ( organised Slavery based on Money). The economists Rickardo and Malthus will have more Weight, Robots will do all the Work and humans free to happyness and the Study of All Things conceptional word and matters with NO Exception. Yes humans will be at Home on this spinning but not yet worded name thing.

Posted by Eden and Apple | Report as abusive

Anon, Glass/Steagall, Breton Woods and other agreement were broken to further capitalist gain. What was forgotten was that this regulatory framework was put in place as a response to a similar crisis that unfolded in the 1930s.

We made the mistake of not regulating and keeping banking separate from investing 80 years ago. We changed that. Shame on the bad bankers. We repealed all of that and the bad bankers went at it again. Shame on us!

Posted by eddieblack | Report as abusive