Capital is resources that drive social and economic growth: finance, machinery, land, technology, labour, skills and management. Those who control capital and how capital is managed rule society. If Virgin Islands residents want to know the people who rule, simply look at those who own the wealth. Governments come and go, but the wealthy remain on top of the economic and social ladder.
The interesting thing about capital is that it remains constant no matter the type of society, governance, ideology, economy and culture. One reason why inequality is growing worldwide is the ability of those who control capital to use that power cunningly. The capitalist rules even in socialist states.
‘Capital has triumphed’
The history of the 20th Century was the conflict between capital and peasantry, between the upper and lower classes. In the 21st Century, capital has triumphed. The fear of artificial intelligence is simply the fear of capital that no longer needs the human element to control society. Whether this horror story becomes reality is to be seen.
Waking up to the reality that capital rules offers us all a compass pointing to where a society is presently. It tells us who really is in charge.
Government controlled by capital is the norm in most countries. Those who control capital decide the direction of politics. This is especially so in countries that deem themselves free and democratic.
However, pop the bonnet and look under the hood at the engine that drives the society, and there are silent men and women who control the levers. These people own and manage capital. They control the resources. In today’s power matrix, they are termed “investors.” These investors control the global corporations that drive daily life.
At the end of the day, the man who controls the purse rules. In other words, the man who controls the direction and management of capital holds the power. He or she pays the wages, sponsors charity, drives financial policy, directs the economy, and manages the businesses that control everyday life.
When citizens wake up to the reality that capital rules, perspectives change and delusion disappears. Only when you face reality is social change possible.