In its process of development, monopoly capitalism evolves into state monopoly capitalism, which is characterized by the interlocking of the financial oligarchy with the upper echelons of the bureaucracy, the increased role of the state in all spheres of social life, the growth of the state sector in the economy, and increasingly active policies aimed at mitigating the socioeconomic contradictions of capitalism. When associated with imperialism, this engenders a profound crisis in bourgeois democracy, an intensification of reactionary tendencies, and the increased role of force in domestic and foreign policy. It is inseparable from the growth of militarism and military expenditures, the arms race, and tendencies towards the unleashing of aggressive wars.
Advanced capitalism is characterized by contradictions, namely the emergence of conditions, through the very success of capitalism, which are fundamentally antagonistic to capitalism itself, intensify with time, and cannot be resolved within the capitalist framework. The development of capitalism produces changes that call into question the social desirability of the drive for profits. It becomes incompatible with the further development of human potential and capacities. Such contradictions include: (a) Capitalism promises to meet basic needs but is increasingly unable to meet that promise, especially in developing countries. By its very nature is creates unequal development and is unable to institute economic reforms that would coopt burgeoning anti-imperialist struggles for liberation. (b) With continued economic growth, especially in the industrialized world, consumption fades in comparison to other dimensions of well-being, such as the availability of creative and socially useful work and meaningful individual development. But because capitalism must continually expand, the realization of these needs is incompatible with capitalist relations of production. (c) Capitalist economic growth becomes increasingly predicated on irrationality and production of waste ([eg] military expenditure and planned obsolescence of consumer goods), thus exhausting natural resources and threatening the ecological balance. (d) The expansion of capitalist production draws an ever-increasing share of the population within a country into alienating wage and salary work, sensitizing them to the oppressive conditions under which they are being called upon to function. (e) The internationalization of capitalism creates a corresponding world-wide proletariat which becomes progressively sensitized to the way in which the capitalist mode reinforces exploitative relations between countries. (f) Through its increasing need for a more educated labour force, workers become increasingly capable of grasping the essential irrationality of the system, the inequitable distribution of power within it and the associated social division of labour.
The capitalist world-system is not confined to those parts of the globe which can formally be designated as the capitalist countries. Some observers see the existing socialist countries as part of the capitalist world-system to the extent either that their internal organization follows capitalist criteria of efficiency and/or they participate in the world economy on terms set by capitalist competition and the law of value. In this sense they are not only victims of those ominous military, ecological and social developments and threats propelled by the dictates of capitalist accumulation, but they also bear their due proportion of responsibility for hampering social transformation. The deterioration of the conditions under which the mass of the population has to live in many areas of the world, the increase in conflicts between and within countries, the intensification of the world economic crisis, are demonstrating that unequal and uneven development, with all the forms of immiseration and alienation which it creates, cannot be surmounted within the capitalist world-system. The extent of the problem has been highlighted within the USA itself by a report from a conference of Catholic bishops stating that the distribution of income and wealth in the USA is so inequitable that it violates minimum standards of distributive justice. In 1982 the richest 20% of Americans received more income than the bottom 70% combined.
2. Everything that humans currently need to live is locked up tightly under the control of investors who accumulate capital, namely people who can deny everyone else access to "survival goods". Because they have this power, they can force as many people as market conditions will allow to work for them, at rates they set low enough to allow them to profit from their investments. This is also true if the state does the investing and controls the capital. The owners and controllers of capital monopolize the production of virtually everything useful or enjoyable, otherwise known as "goods and services". This monopolization creates two classes of people: capitalists and workers. Workers alone produce wealth, and employment thus becomes an evolved form of slavery.
3. In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the l990s it triumphed over democracy (David Korten).
2. Capitalism is an exceedingly broad and somewhat vague term, covering societies as variously organized as Sweden, UK, Japan, France and the USA, in each of which the mixture of public and private enterprise, the legal rules governing the pursuit of profit, the approved market structure, the permitted accumulation of income and wealth, differs significantly from all the others.
3. The unjust nature of the global economy and the inappropriateness of development can be explained by the exploitative nature of exchange, market forces and distributive effects between nations and classes. However, these effects are only incidentally due to capitalism. They occurred under other imperial systems before capitalism emerged, and even if all nations were suddenly to become socialist they would still participate in a global market system with the very same distributive effects that currently produce underdevelopment.
4. The collapse of the USSR has given the clearest proof that capitalism organizes the material affairs of humanity more satisfactorily than socialism: that however inequitably or irresponsibly the marketplace may distribute goods, it does so better than the queues of a planned economy; however mindless the culture of commercialism, it is more attractive than state moralism; and however deceptive the ideology of a business civilization, it is more believable than that of a socialist one.