There are alternatives to the present capitalist system but that largely depends upon the working class to decide what their own best interests are. Capitalist work in their self interest and believe me they used political government. Take the recent bail out at our expense. Most Socialist and Social Democrats want to patch up the current system. They believe that people would want socialism if enough reforms are made in the present system. I think they are in error. What is socialism? I have never really found an answer to that except in the use of propaganda which tells people that it is government owning everything and controlling everyone's social life. Religion would be banned, the family abolished and dissent punished. Instead of adhering to the preconceived ideas of what socialism is I would tend to think we would have a more cooperative society with a technical framework without interfering with people's social life or freedoms.
The only concept that made the most sense to me--and this is an opinion--is for workers to own the means of production and distribution through an organization of labor. Each industry would be divided into departments and each place of production and distribution would be an industrial union. Each person would have the right to elect managers to orchestrate production and distribution. That is different than what is done today since managers are appointed by the capitalist class. Representatives would also be elected for the All Industrial Congress which would plan out what productions has to be done including technological research and development. This one big industrial union would be a new economic system using electronic labor time credits which measure labor and determines prices. Of course most Socialist and Communist look at workers owning the means of production and distribution as being part of their principles. In other words, they want government to nationalize everything so that the State owns all industries. We all know about the historic abuses in Russia and Germany.
The organization of labor I am writing about is not government owned or operated. But it would have to use the political process to become legal. In using the peaceful and legal process a Constitutional Amendment could be proposed:
Section 1. Exclusion of the workers from collective ownership and control of the means of production and distribution shall not exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. The workers have a right to organize into industrial unions which shall control and operate the means of production and distribution and allocate the products of labor as the workers at all times democratically determine.
Section 3. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Now the Industrial Union won't own everything. There still would be, for example, Joe's Garage, Aunt Tillies Restaurant, Smith's Shotokan Karate School, Bill's Computer Repair Shop, Clara's Dance Studio, the small farmer who specializes in organic foods, etc. The changes in society should project a social system, as much as possible, based upon personal freedom. If you work for some labor credit you should be free to in principle, among other things, 1. turn it in to the industrial economy for materials/services of equal labor time content, 2. barter those credits for materials/services outside of the industrial economy. The political government as a sovereign entity under the Constitution may issue its own currency, or simply extend the current currency. So continuing from the above paragraph I would add a 3. that the holder of a labor credit may choose to sell it for the political governments currency in return.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song
above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- J. R. R. Tolkien