Capitalism Is A Planetary Pyramid Scheme

August 12th, 2021 - by Indi Samarajiva /

Capitalism Is A Planetary Pyramid Scheme
d the ‘Developing’ World Is Holding the Bag

Indi Samarajiva /

 (August 2021) — The entire defence of capitalism is that it works, that it delivers wealth, but so do pyramid schemes. They work for a while, delivering wealth for a few, then they collapse. This is precisely what capitalism is doing to the entire Earth. Capitalism is bringing the whole planet down, and we’re all left holding the bag.

In a pyramid scheme, early ‘investors’ are paid out with the resources of late suckers. It can only go on for so long before the wealth has all been siphoned up and it collapses. In our planetary pyramid scheme, early capitalists have gotten paid by siphoning up the planetary resources of every future generation on Earth.They’ve made suckers out of children that haven’t even been born. They’ve made suckers of us all. 

As I’ve discussed before, the developed’ countries are actually poor. If you subtract their assets minus their climate liabilities, they’re worth less than nothing. Their wealth is in fact fraud, looted from the planet, stolen from other people, and borrowed against the future. Their billionaires are just the hucksters at the top of a pyramid scheme. They’ve bilked billions of people and sold them a lie. It’s not just the oil barons and 100 companies profiting from most of this collapse, entire countries and populations have bought the idea that endless growth is good, sustainable, and attainable and not, in fact, planetary cancer.

The penultimate suckers here are western consumers, who have accepted consumer culture as a substitute for a culture and consumer goods as a substitute for good. They’ve bough the idea that resources are inexhaustable, greed is good, and that anyone saying otherwise was just a dumb communist. 

Western people have accepted ever-increasing inequality and irresponsibility since at least the 1970s as just the only ‘workable’ way to get ahead. Degrowth is still considered magical thinking by even rebel economists. The idea that GDP wouldn’t just keep increasing is economic sacrilege (and economics is just a bad religion). They have prioritized endless growth (which does not benefit human beings after a point) over public goods. Then they have exported this idea abroad as neoliberalism, and bombed or couped most alternatives to death.

‘Developing’ countries are just the ultimate suckers in this pyramid scheme. If we followed the actual western model we’d invade our neighbors, steal their shit, and sell them into slavery. Instead we were sold some bullshit about institutions, fiscal austerity, and ‘freedom’ that the west never followed in their own development

The actual western development model is colonization, war, and debt peonage, but they’ve sold us some neoliberal bullshit that really just amounts to us doing all their work. So we stay on their passport plantations and make them richer, on the promise that we can move up the pyramid someday. But it’s all bullshit. We were given a check we cannot cash by people who were taking real cash and resources from us the whole time. 

Now the whole pyramid is on fire. We can see who these people are. Besides climate change, these fuckers chose to hoard and extend a pandemic forever because it was profitable for them, because the world can go down as long as their stock market goes up. This is their development model. Always has been since the Dutch East India Company created the modern stock market in the 1600s. Colonialism came for our bodies and land and it never stopped taking. Now it has taken everyone’s air. And they call this a model. It’s a massacre.

If every country were to develop like the decadent west, our great-grandchildren would be living on Venus, floating on clouds of CO2. We are already causing mass extinctions and tipping entire ecosystems into oblivion. We are already setting into place chain-reactions that we cannot understand. The western development model never led anywhere except more money for them and doom for everyone else. They sold us the promise of refrigerators and new clothes and color TV, but we just ended up making those for them. What’s left for us is a hothouse Earth, poverty, and conflict.

It’s just a pyramid scheme, and we’ve been left holding the bag. These crooks launched something completely unsustainable (which they’ve known was unsustainable since the 1970s) and kept finding suckers for as long as they could. And they’re still out there, people are still talking about ‘hustling harder’ while floods rip through our cities. We have yet to wake up, which is unfortunate because we’re going to die in our sleep. The western development model was always this one simple dictum: f— you, pay me.

We cannot follow these people. We cannot trust their endless data and reports and hand-wringing and guilt. Forget denial, even ‘well-meaning’ westerners will delay us to our death. They have turned our entire planet into a pyramid scheme and we have kick them out of power now. Climate change was caused by this rapacious global minority. It will not be solved by them. The global majority has to wake the fuck up and tip this pyramid over. The scheme is over. The bricks are coming down. We have to find our own way out.

For a way out — I.e., an indigenous way out of climate change — I recommend theThe Red Deal. It costs $12. Also if you like this newsletter I invite you tobecome a paid subscriber.

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