Capitalism as a Criminal Enterprise

Capitalism Resistance

Capitalism operates as a system that many argue is akin to a criminal enterprise, one that exploits both labour and nature in pursuit of ever-increasing profits. This economic model thrives on a hierarchical structure, resembling a pyramid, where those at the top reap the most benefits while those at the bottom bear the heaviest burdens. Laborers often find themselves subjected to low wages, precarious working conditions, and limited rights, all to fuel the relentless capitalist pursuit of profit. Similarly, nature is treated merely as a monetised commodity or resource to be exploited for financial gain, leading to environmental degradation and ecological imbalance. The insatiable demand for profit drives this capitalist cycle of exploitation, creating a perpetual cycle of inequality and environmental destruction.

Capitalism fosters various forms of criminal behaviour to establish a securitised state that primarily safeguards property interests. Under this system, there exists a legal framework that disproportionately criminalises individuals for minor acts of survival, such as shoplifting, while simultaneously shielding systematic crimes, such as wars justified under the guise of exporting democracy or combating terrorism. The real intensions are to capture the natural resources for the corporate plunder. This dichotomy underscores a fundamental injustice within the legal system, where the pursuit of profit and the protection of property rights take precedence over the well-being and survival strategies of marginalised individuals. In essence, capitalism perpetuates a skewed notion of justice that serves to reinforce existing power structures and inequalities, further entrenching the cycle of exploitation and oppression.


Capitalism has not only given rise to crime syndicates but has also legitimised them under the guise of credit-led banking systems and insurance industries. These sectors, which are integral to the capitalist economy, often wield significant power and influence, shaping the economic landscape to their advantage. In doing so, they effectively domesticate labour and control the distribution of wages. The banking system, through mechanisms like predatory lending and debt bondage, exploits individuals and communities, trapping them in cycles of financial dependence and vulnerability. Similarly, insurance industries capitalize on fear and uncertainty, profiting from the misfortunes of others while offering limited protection to those in need. This intertwining of capitalism with criminal enterprises not only perpetuates inequality but also erodes the fabric of social trust and solidarity, further entrenching the dominance of corporate interests over the well-being of individuals and communities.

The privatisation of healthcare services has led to the emergence of what can be characterised as a crime syndicate, consisting of pharmaceutical corporations, private healthcare providers, and health insurance companies. Under this system, the pursuit of profit takes precedence over the provision of quality care, resulting in a business model that thrives on business of sickness rather than wellness. Pharmaceutical companies, driven by profit motives, often prioritise the development and marketing of profitable drugs over addressing genuine health needs. This pursuit of profit can lead to practices such as price gouging and the suppression of cheaper, generic alternatives, further exacerbating healthcare inequalities. Private healthcare corporations, similarly, motivated by financial gain, prioritise treatments and procedures that yield the highest returns, sometimes at the expense of patient well-being. This profit-driven approach can result in overdiagnosis, overtreatment, and unnecessary medical interventions, all of which contribute to rising healthcare costs and patient harm.

Health insurance businesses, operating within this framework, seek to maximise profits by minimising pay-outs and restricting access to care. This can manifest in practices such as denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, imposing high deductibles and co-payments, and excluding certain treatments or providers from coverage. As a result, many individuals are left underinsured or uninsured, unable to afford necessary medical care, while others face financial ruin due to exorbitant medical bills. Together, these agencies, processes, institutions, and structures form a powerful alliance that perpetuates a system of healthcare injustice, prioritising corporate profits over the health and well-being of individuals and communities. This arrangement not only exacerbates existing health disparities but also undermines the fundamental principles of healthcare as a human right.

The military-industrial complex led by defence corporations are undeniably intertwined with the criminal enterprises of capitalism and its securitised state, as they often promote and perpetuate conflicts in pursuit of accumulating wealth, regardless of the human cost. These industries thrive on the production and sale of weapons and military equipment, which are utilised in conflicts around the world. In the pursuit of profit, defence contractors frequently lobby governments to engage in military interventions and wars, sometimes fabricating or exaggerating threats to justify increased defence spending. The consequences of these actions are dire, as conflicts fuelled by the defence industry result in immense human suffering, loss of life, and displacement of populations. Civilians bear the brunt of these conflicts, facing violence, destruction of infrastructure, and the breakdown of societal systems. Meanwhile, the defence contractors responsible for supplying weapons often profit handsomely from these conflicts, further incentivising their continuation. Furthermore, the defence industry’s influence extends beyond direct conflict, as it also plays a role in shaping foreign policy and perpetuating geopolitical tensions. Arms sales to authoritarian regimes and conflict zones perpetuate instability and human rights abuses, all in the pursuit of profit. In essence, the defence industry represents a particularly egregious example of capitalism’s capacity to prioritize financial gain over human lives and global stability. It underscores the urgent need to reassess our priorities and advocate for a world where peace and diplomacy, rather than war and violence, are the primary means of resolving conflicts.

The pursuit of peace, cooperation, solidarity, the recognition of health as a universal and fundamental human right, the role of states and governments, the importance of just laws, impartial courts, and ethical banking systems for the benefit of people, as well as the utilisation of science for the welfare of humanity and the planet, all constitute a collective struggle against capitalism. Anti-capitalist struggles based on scientific and secular consciousness can only ensure peace and prosperity in the world.

Bhabani Shankar Nayak, London Metropolitan University

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