Charles please write about literally anything else than capitalism. that shit is fucking tired and a waste of your and our time.


Charles, this phrase grabbed me: "a very small group that owned capital but could not survive without continually cutting costs. This is your motor of progress." This circumstance is my lived experience, so I know it to be true . . . but I can't quite get my head around it! Could you point me to a previous post that speaks to it in more detail? Or, in a future post, could you elaborate on this economic circumstance. Many thanks.


So Charles, I would be curious how you feel about Trump's trade war with China. Though it is clearly being executed ham-handedly it is an actual attempt deliver on campaign promises to slow the erosion of American Hegemony that past administrations have ignored.

Not that the pandora of Chinese competition could have been held back forever by opium, western-backed cronyism, and revolutionary own-goals, but would you agree that Trump's base did correctly identify Bill Clinton (and his successor Democrat machine) as being pivotal in greasing China's entry to the WTO and kicking off the supercharging of China's economy?

And while you're outspoken on the faults and suffering caused by American imperialism, I wonder how you think the Chinese era is going to compare, keeping in mind The CPC's bloody history and the recent revelations of the mass incarceration in NW China and social credit system/big brother state (or is that just American Lügenpresse fear mongering).


This was an excellent article and very insightful, Charles. Discussion ensued amongst actors in California and how this also intersects with the MeToo fallout in the entertainment industry.


“The second ended in 1914, with the beginning of WWI.”

Actually, American capitalism had already passed British capitalism long before WWI started:

“Data from analysts Oxford Economics shows the fast-growing US economy first outstripped that of its former colonial power in the early 1890s,”

By 1913, per-capita GDP in the US was firmly ahead of that in Britain:

“1913: US - $5,301 UK - $4,921“

And it wasn’t exclusively from American enterprises being more efficient than British (although they were). The huge economy of scale in America helped, as well.


Other than the premise of Charles’ post being wrong, it’s an entertaining read. (And if historical facts matter less than do movie-set decorations to Charles, why should we care, either?)



@6 Don't bother. Charles proves time and again that facts don't mix well with his "writing" on economics. I think he uses astrological charts or something.





China's GDP didn't surpass that of the US in 2016, either.

You've made the mistake of uncritically accepting Our Bumbling Mudede's drunken premise that there are some sort of nation-based "phases of capitalism" to begin with.

At best, Charles is scrawling a "phases of capitalism" graffiti-tag over the places where historians have written "empires," and it's commonly stated (if endlessly and tediously debated) that the British Empire ended with the beginning of the WWI, and the American Empire began with the end of WWII. The end of the American Empire, of course, has been declared every five minutes since Nixon resigned, but none of the various proposed successors (Japan? Europe? China?) have managed to displace the supposed corpse just yet.

Charles has shuttered his mind inside a dark little box named "Capitalism," and he can no longer perceive anything outside of it. If he could, he might see that he's right about one thing at least:

Rapid technological advance does tend to coincide with Empire, or at least some Empires, but not just with Early Modern capitalist ones, of course. See: Ancient Rome, the Egyptian Old Kingdom, the Ottoman Empire, the Tang Dynasty, the Yamnaya, etc etc.


@9: ‘You've made the mistake of uncritically accepting Our Bumbling Mudede's drunken premise that there are some sort of nation-based "phases of capitalism" to begin with.‘

Heck, I didn’t even get that far. I merely noted that his facts were wrong, which, as noted @7, doesn’t really even matter. It’s not that so much of what Charles writes on economics is just plain wrong; as you’ve implied here, much of what he writes on economics isn’t coherent enough to rise to a level where it can be wrong.

When he was growing up in Rhodesia, he was told racist white capitalist colonialism would be overthrown by heroic comrades of international socialism. Not much remains of that dream, but since Charles rarely allows his worldview to become tainted by fact, his desire to disparage capitalism totters ever onwards. China used to be some kind of formal socialist state, and so to Charles, it is superior to the system which actually feeds him. Details don’t matter.


Tensor, you are wrong because you have clearly not read a damn thing about the Bretton Woods conference (i have, and lots), what was at stake there, and why the british government sent keynes there. also, recall britain was an empire that was essentially dismantled by the US empire. READ BOOKS PEOPLE!



There is a vast difference between reading a broad range of books and engaging with them, as opposed to casually skimming through lots of really rather similar books and plucking out a passage here and there to heave onto your own shambling pile of preconceptions and prejudices.

People who tend more to the former generally don't give much credence to sweeping single-cause historical narratives, nor do they attempt to repackage and promulgate such stories.


@11 Aw, I was just thinking that it was remarkable that you made it through a post without rambling on about Keynes, and now you go and bring him up in the comments,


@11: An economic conference in 1944 somehow moved the decline of British capitalism back twenty years, from WWI to the late Victorian period?

Here’s a tip for you, Charles: even in the dismal science of economics, effects tend to happen after their causes.

Thank you for validating one of my points @10: much of what you write about economics isn’t even wrong.


Charles' has experiences in two countries, and that is valuable. However he doesn't understand China well (not that there isn't a lot to criticize) or even acknowledge the coming rise of India with their growing population of young and productive. As for the 4 phases, yes it's over simplified if not outright wrong, but it sets up an interesting narative or point of view. You don't have to agree with an opinion piece.

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