by Miki Kashtan
(Below is an excerpt of the article that you can find on Medium)
I have a very friendly relationship with Adam Bendell, who is very deeply involved in the world of impact investment and who has also been very interested in the work I am doing around gift economy. Over the years, he has come to events of mine and we have had some very significant conversations that have enriched both of us, including one that was open to those involved with the Nonviolent Global Liberation community.
After that conversation, he invited me to a reverse event: to have a conversation with members of Toniic, the impact investment group he is the CEO of. I decided to be brave and offered to engage with people on the topic of why capitalism cannot be redeemed, the title of this piece. My offer was accepted, and I had about two months to prepare. This piece is the result of my preparation: forty-three reasons why capitalism cannot be redeemed, in seven categories. I was quite nervous going into what I anticipated being the lion’s den of people deeply immersed in capitalism. The conversation was surprisingly engaging, open, and revealing for many of us. Only parts of it are viewable, those parts that show only me or Adam himself. You can view those clips here.
In the traditional Passover Seder, there is a ritual called “Dayeynu” (translated loosely into “that would have been enough for us”). It consists of a long list of all the things that God did for the Israelites in the story of Exodus, all laid out in this form: If God did this and didn’t also do that, that would have been enough for us. And then there is one more, and one more, and one more, for a total of fifteen, implying that God’s bounty and grace were overwhelmingly beyond what would have been enough. For me, the list I am providing here has the same felt sense: more and more reasons for accepting that capitalism must go and cannot be redeemed. What I mean is that capitalism is inherently problematic rather than simply a good system gone awry that can be tinkered with and fixed. I try to point out, with each of the items on the list, how the logic of capitalism and how it functions, and not this or that specific excess, is creating the impacts.
I don’t believe there is a future for humans with capitalism still around. It may look to others like there is no way that capitalism can ever go, and that a system based on global gifting and integrative decision making is simply impossible and naïve. My claim is exactly the opposite: that anything that retains the ways in which capitalism functions is doomed and that the notions that there is no alternative to capitalism and that a better future awaits us with capitalism are both illusions, two of eleven illusions that are in the last category of this piece.
Full article to be read on Medium