Let me begin with the contentious statement that Capitalism has failed. That isn't entirely true, of course, but it is true in the most important sense. To understand this failure, and what can be done to correct it, we must first understand Capitalism itself.
The sales pitch for Bitcoin could be; "money without banks". Not only can you conduct financial transactions without some regulating authority (and by implication do so anonymously), but you can also mint your own money from nothing. It's an economic utopia which liberates us from both corporate and government control, whilst eliminating poverty.
The reality is very different, both in principle and in practice.
# Bullshit generator
# Version 1.1
# © 2010 Homer, Slated.org
# License: GPL3+
It surely hasn't escaped anyone's attention that motherboards based on AMD's G34 socket and Opteron 6100 processors are, putting it mildly, a bit scarce. In fact it looks like they've disappeared completely.
So what happened?
Scenario: Millions of people are suffering from [some arbitrary disease], most of whom are poor people living in the Third World. A pharmaceutical company spends billions on R&D to find a cure, and eventually makes a breakthrough. The company calculates that, in order to recover its investment, and make a reasonable profit, it must guarantee the sale of X number of units of the drug, at Y cost per unit - anything less, and they cannot justify the investment. However, this necessity presents two problems:
a) The price (Y) is prohibitively high for Third World patients
b) The company must use the exclusivity of patents to ensure sufficient sales (X), so cheaper alternatives cannot be made available to the poor by other companies