Landlordization of Capitalism and Extinction of an Economic Species
Nineteenth-century economist David Ricardo, as a defender of rising bourgeois class interests, inveighed against rent-seeking by landed classes of the day lest monies be diverted from profit-making investment in industry to the detriment of economic growth. John Maynard Keynes, writing during the Great Depression, similarly castigated financial rentiers of his time for drawing wealth from capitalist investment, even advocating the euthanizing of the rentier class. Yet today, between rents accruing to holders of patents, trademarks, copyright, brands, and so forth, and interest or financial rents flowing into hands of individuals and institutions in the burgeoning speculation economy, Ricardo’s and Keynes’ nightmare of diminished profitable investment and income generation leading to sustained deflation has materialized as an historical fact. A combination of the hypertrophic force of indirect costs of intangible assets on vestiges of capitalist production operating alongside predatory expropriations of financialization is tantamount to the “landlordization” of capitalism.
KeywordsIndirect costs Intangible assets Rent-seeking Neoliberalism Debt Creditism Post-capitalist society Capitalists without capitalism
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