Home > Uncategorized > Capitalism vs. impact science

Capitalism vs. impact science

from Ikonoclast (originally posted as a comment)

There is clearly a strong correlation between science denialism and COVID-19 case rates in developed and semi-developed countries. Capitalism has an ambivalent relationship with science. Capitalists love production science and technology, including of course mining, industrial, consumerist, military, security, control and persuasion techs but they hate impact science. The impact sciences of course measure the impacts of science and technology (and natural events) on the biosphere, environments, plants, animals and humans. Capitalism does not want any interference from impact science knowledge getting in the way of profits for the few.


When it comes right down to it Capitalism is anti-science. To accept only the answers you want (from production science) and to deny the answers you don’t want (from impact science) is unempirical and not in the spirit of the proper holistic (complex systems) application of science. Cherry-picking evidence and science disciplines for promotion and demotion on the basis of ideology is not a characteristic of a science-guided or an ethics guided society.

Capitalism is also anti-democratic. The few with great wealth control the direction of our civilization more than any others. Capitalism is anti-ethical. It destroys environments and humans for elite profits. That, as we would say in Australia, is the trifecta. Capitalism is anti-democratic, anti-science and anti-ethical. It’s a maladaptive system now in collapse. The proof is in the outcomes. All serious impact scientists know to high degree of probability (99% plus) that we are on the path to complete global collapse. It is one minute to midnight in terms of the urgency for change. The COVID-19 challenge is the last chance to change our path. Returning to business as usual (that is the continued destruction of the biosphere) is NOT an option. We must use the crisis to entirely remold our political economy. Decisions to save the biosphere must take precedence over decisions to make the rich richer.

  1. Ed Zimmer
    June 25, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    The problem is not capitalism, but unregulated capitalism. When we don’t enforce anti-trust law and over-enforce patent law, we get what you complain about. Capitalism without competition is totalitarianism – see http://tenonline.org/pure-capitalism-is-unworkable.html .

    • June 25, 2020 at 11:55 pm

      Capitalism regulated by expert cronies from academia, foundations, corporations and government is crony capitalism.

      Recognize that representative democracy is a capitalist system of crowd control and herd shopping management.

      Where ever you live; Surf Big Bang at life speed. Declare your independence. Write in None of the Above.

  2. Ikonoclast
    June 26, 2020 at 2:23 am

    Ed Zimmer,

    I agree that under-regulated capitalism is a problem. There really is no such thing as pure capitalism and all attempts to institute it will fail, and indeed are failing now. The same could probably be said of pure socialism. No such thing so far and all attempts to institute it would fail in the current era. We are left with attempts to make a hybrid or mixed economy system work. Making policy in the opposite direction to neoliberalism would be the guide. And then see how far we can take that process before empirical outcomes from the systems (real economy, real people, real environment) tell us we are running into problems in the other direction.

    An interesting thought is “Let the real systems tell you what to do without considering theory at all.” I could expand on this thought but not now. Time presses on other matters. Reality is telling me what to do right now and it’s not “make theories”. ;)

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