As we begin to incorporate AI technology and automation becomes more integrated into society, problems like unemployment in a capitalist system will likely escalate. But today we also face bigger ethical questions that capitalism cannot address effectively, such as climate change. The open market does not take into account big moral or environmental issues such as this. Capitalism cannot offer effective solutions to this as the idea of not using certain resources in the name of a greater good is completely beyond the scope of capitalisms law of supply and demand. Capitalism cannot continue on the path of endless growth on a planet of limited resources.
Where conflicts such as these have come into play in the past, some form of Socialist policy has been used to bridge the gap. This patchwork capitalism is becoming increasingly redundant as we move forward technologically, and seems superfluous when we consider social change. Throughout the developed world we can see a decline in birthrate as society is less constrained by mortality and individuals have become more focused on their careers and personal goals. This trend could potentially reduce the amount of overall consumers and cause a recession. But on a large enough scale, with the rest of the world developing to a similar point, a declining global birthrate threatens to break capitalism completely.
Another difficulty is capitalism’s clash with ethics as industries are formed around harmful technologies such as weapons. Capitalism has no moral compass, so where money can be made it is within an industries best interest to boost revenues by any means necessary. In a world so steeped in political lobbying, this has lead to a situation where arms companies seek to influence political parties in order to serve their own interests. This is not just limited to the arms industry and has be seen with the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and oil and gas industries also. It is argued then, that this practice encourages imperialism and war, and has a tendency to promote government oligarchy.
These institutions are looking increasingly obsolete as we progress to become more open and informed, thanks to advances in communication and the dissemination of information through the internet. As a result industry is actively evolving in a similar way, and we are seeing the proliferation of open sourcing, and crowdsourcing of funds and skills. So we are already seeing movements that promote social good rather than monetary gain, and the popularity of blogging and social networks is aiding this shift and changing the way in which we communicate.
When technology advances to the point of allowing innovations such as AI and automation to bring production costs near zero, peer to peer trade could become a reality without needing a regulating body. Trading money for goods or services would be mainly to accommodate the amount of human time invested into production and the amount of currency traded would reduce. We have needed monetary institutions for hundreds of years to maintain trust in a currency when trading. But if trust can be supplied through the currency itself, as can be seen with cryptocurrencies, and transactions are smaller, and between individuals, trust would no longer be an issue. A more open and functional, however smaller, economic environment could then emerge, with no need for a regulatory authority.
As a global society flourishes people will be less tolerant of capitalisms ills and will ultimately move towards a more social economy. Social good will become more valuable than money or commodities, and people will realise that collective sharing of ideas and resources is of a greater good than private ownership.