The human race has quite a few clever and inventive members. They can invent new technologies and machines to convert raw natural resources into consumer product readily. If the entire solar system were a vast Dyson Sphere with more natural resources than 10,000 Earths, new technology could be invented to consume those vast natural resources much faster than anyone could protect those natural resources and ecology. Economic practices need be adapted to the planetary resource paradigm instead of driving with Mr. McGoo on meth intensity chasing after marginal productivity of capital increase.
If the Earth’s natural resources were limitless and the space to live without end the present economic system called capitalism that seeks after increase of the marginal productivity of capital might not be too harmful. At least if the economic system that seeks profit as an end in-itself without concern for vague philosophical issues like the global ecosphere limit had no capability of exhausting the ecosphere it would be understandable. Unfortunately the ecosphere has very definite limits and the economic activity commonly called capitalism is exhausting the ecosphere; keeping the ecosphere intact and healthy simply is not a concern of capitalism. Capitalism is just a license to go about business largely without regulation. Some have gamed the system and indexed funds and investments to make purely abstract profit without actually creating real business; that practice is rather devastating to the ecosphere. In a better version of free enterprise public capital would be available to finance start up businesses of ecological benefit or of compelling scientific or social interest.
One example might be a Department of Defense perception of the need to defend the citizens against Covid 19 casualties so they put out to bid modified clear plastic Halloween masks with replaceable filters and eye protection that will stop people in congested social areas from being infected with that virus. D.O.D. also might adapt Star Wars storm trooper helmets to survive biological war and stockpile a half a million. D.O.D. seems pathetically ill-equipped for practical survival of pathogens from terrorists or nation-states.
If capitalism is blind to ecosphere health of planet Earth it has got the loyalty- blind loyalty as it were- of most of the people of the united States and perhaps the world. The antipathetic Orwellian foe reinforcing the urge to capitalize is the smitten Communist system aka ‘Marxism’. That greatest ism specter is of pure bureaucracy for itself.
Pure bureaucracy administering equal portions of capital for all citizens except communist party members that get quite a bit more than an equal share has a mirrored anti-political partner, like so many particles of the quantum world, in corporatism. Corporatism concentrates wealth for the one percent; whom may be considered the communist elites of the west. In communism and corporatism elites had a higher standard of living (I refer to the former Soviet version of communism 1.0) than the proles or masses. Concentrated wealth coincides with concentrated power in both systems. In the west ordinary citizens have an illusion of democratic power, yet the facts of concentrating wealth and tax cuts to increase the marginal productivity of capital for the most rich speaks for itself.
As more machines, science and technology are added to the inventory of things owned by the most rich and millions of investors in the capitalism market it is the ecosphere that is the primary victim of ‘development’. Mass extinction of species occur while sophisticated ant-like in coordination societies process the natural resources sometimes converting it into heat-absorbing cities and skyscrapers that collapse with the first few aircraft stolen by uneducated sand people. Wars occur over resources, water, and more reasons that comprise of anthropology of regional wrong human ventures. If a protracted war in S.E. Asia or Central Asia occurred, that was a blind desert storm and fire in a portion of a planetary ecosphere itself being cut down in a variety of ways that follow seeking a marginal productivity increase of capital return on investment as an abstract good. Sometimes it can be better to seek particular material constructions beneficial to the ecosphere or society rather than abstract profit even if the marginal productivity of capital is less.
Free enterprise is different than networked capitalism. Free enterprises can be regulated to work in particular ecological niches beneficial to restoration of a health ecosphere while vast corporations and the networked capitalist market is a bull in a china shop that everyone wants to ride. I once met a fellow that had started riding bulls for pay when he was a teenager, and frankly, he was a physical wreck as a middle aged adult; humanity should not expect its future on Earth with a degraded ecosphere to be better off.
Some day science may learn to produce mass from virtual energy and create new planets, stars and ecospheres nearly instantly where nothing existed before. I suspect that day is quite a way off and that it will not arrive before human society has destroyed most free wildlife on the planet and endangered its own social survival because of ecospheric insults perpetrated by a blind ecosphere victimizing economic predator named capitalism.
Capitalism at its core isn’t really a system of economics. Capital in the most pure sense is anything of value; those things that support life, that cohere in the integral ecosphere of the Earth are the most vital capital of all (I don’t believe it reasonable to consider Christian merit as spiritual capital since no one deserves to be saved and all salvation is a result of the grace of God). Free enterprise can continue to build technical and scientific capital as well as to advance the quality of life for all of the people of the world if it is put to work within an actual reformed democracy that has maybe 50% public capital and 50% privately held capital, and several other reforms.
People should not be allowed to own shares of more than three corporations to prevent deleterious networking and pursuit of marginal productivity of capital increases anywhere simply for-itself without concern for the harm to ecosphere in the means of production.
Corporations should have no more than 30,000 employees. If larger projects need be done then several corporations would need to work together. It would be good to prevent formation of too large to fail corporate and financial structures that corrupt the political system.
No citizen should be able to earn more than 300 times the average annual income. If a fellow cannot live on 300 times the average man’s income he is a really pathetic creature, wasteful and pitiable.
Society should set criteria and objects for new enterprises of value to the ecosphere and society. New enterprises would need to cohere within those criteria.