At the heart of capitalism’s impressive economic dynamic there is a dirty secret. And it’s a BIG secret.
Capitalism comes into the world “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt”. So concludes Marx after a lengthy account of the transition from feudalism to capitalism near the end of Capital, Volume I.
Do you ever feel undervalued at work—like you contribute much more than your pay packet suggests? Karl Marx gets you. In the mid-nineteenth century, he argued that the whole working class is exploited by the capitalist class. This isn’t just a hyperbolic flourish, but an economic fact. The entire point of capitalist enterprise is to accumulate more wealth by systematically stealing a portion of the value workers create. This process is called exploitation.
The New York Stock Exchange is perhaps the premier institutional expression of the capitalist economy. It’s hard to conjure an image of American capitalism without including the Wall Street sign at the corner of Broad, or the stone streetscape of the exchange with its US flags, or the bronze “charging bull” statue at Bowling Green.
Australia is in the biggest inflationary episode since the 1970s, and major newspapers are sounding grim warnings about that decade—none of them grimmer than those in the paper that most speaks to and for the bosses, the Australian Financial Review.
The world is in the midst of the biggest inflationary episode since the 1970s. The costs of goods and services have gone up across the board, with increases concentrated in the most essential sectors of food, energy and housing.