OTTO ~ Capitalism and Objectivism
It has become readily apparent that capitalism is the most blatant excuse for bestial actions by humans. “It’s just business.” becomes the catch all for destruction of property and person. This experiment only works because of the central foundation of the system which is marketing, capitalism would not survive without intense constant marketing by the few folks who truly understand its essence.
This is one of the largest religions in the world, it has many offshoots and many different interpretations but it is very much a faith based system. The worst of all its itineration’s is the “Free Market”, the idea that people will not succumb to the vacuum of the Monkey sphere when presented with great reward and distance between them and their actions. To call it vile would be to do a disservice to all things vile, this is much more deceptive and destructive.
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)
To become truly wealthy you must almost always do truly harmful things. Things that require justification, deception, and -bluntly- general dickery. The exceptions are few and may not exist at all. While Bill Gates now uses his wealth to do a great good he gathered it originally through terrible practices. I’m sure with a short amount of research that Warren Buffet is not clean either (though I do like both these men, it is not to say they themselves are bad people).
At a certain point wealth escapes us, the brain was not designed to deal with this kind of reward structure. Capitalism feeds on this weakness and breeds a monster that spans the surface of the earth. It is at its core everything that is wrong with the world, that is not to say that capitalism is literally everything that is wrong but that it is fueled and prospers because of all the wrongs.
Ayn Rand I think was probably the best example of these bestial and destructive thing. At least in philosophy this was a person whose views can only be accurately described (in my opinion) as fetid shit. I imagine she understood this as well and this is why her productivity utterly tanked after she finished Atlas Shrugged.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day, to say that all her ideas were fetid would be unfair. But the concept of “rational self-interest” is moronic and is the core of capitalism. It is the underling inference when someone says “just business”. The idea that any industry exists for the primary reason of “raising revenue”. This is one of the darkest concepts of our modern world and even stretches into the field of criminal justice and armed conflicts. We distance ourselves from the damage that is done and hide behind shields, bibles, businesses, or sheer distance itself.
There is no such thing as rational self interest because there is nothing rational about being self interested. In a population as large and as a powerful as the human race you cannot think merely about yourself, doing so leads to the worsening of not only your own life but the lives of everyone around you. This is not figurative or fantasy.
An immense amount of wealth is required to deaden the blow to ones self when they act only in self interest, this however creates more distance between them and those they harm and only accelerates the damage that is dealt to others. It breeds distrust, economic instability, and environmental destruction. Forests wiped out wholesale in Brazil, Prisons for profit in the state holding more people per capita than anywhere else in the world, Wars for no greater reason than to generate revenue.
It is unsustainable and the longer it goes on the more unsustainable it becomes. More wealth is required to distance oneself from the reality and then the reality grows worse and even more wealth is required, this problem balloons until it is utterly out of control. With more revenue also comes more avenues for marketing and for perpetuating the falsehood that this system works, that it is just, and that it is the best. These lies are pushed hardest against the people who are hurt the most and unfortunately it is the nature of many people to be had.
The nature of many to be had and the nature of some to capitalize on this, those that do tend to become greatly wealthy.
There is no greater route for prosperity than concern for all, and there is absolutely no reason that this should require sacrifice on any reasonable level. Any person left needing to sacrifice likely is owed sacrifice, they have done some thing at some level that has left them out of balance with true prosperity.
It should be the greatest goal of every living person to better the world around them. The citizens to pay taxes to fund the government which will in turn use that money to protect its people mentally, physically, and to improve the state of the nation they live in. It is the duty of each person to not introduce danger or harm to their neighbor.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? (Matthew 5:43-47 )
I quote the bible for this because of the deep irony with the US being a self proclaimed capitalism nation. I quote this for the humor that the “beloved” VP pick of our next election in the ‘Christian’ party loves himself some Ayn Rand and that she would most certainly come to blows with Jesus had they ever met.
There is only one path to personal prosperity and that is by being concerned for your fellow human beings. Everything else requires remarkably more effort to begin, to sustain, and to promote. Every other self obsessed path requires incredible amounts of resources just to keep afloat.
This is what we see unfolding in the US now, self absorption and the ‘cult of me’ has hit its ultimate boiling point. These are the failings of capitalism, the failings of heartlessness, and I will be glad to see them grumble before the feet of those who have hidden behind them like cowards.
The only positive thing I can think of to say about capitalism is that on its surface it paints a picture of a humanity that makes rational and just choices if given the freedom to do so and no oversight as a failsafe. It was designed by people who smartly knew otherwise but the message itself can at least be respected as being a hopeful future.
Until there are many planets colonized there can be no room for Objectivism nor for Capitalism. These both only function properly if the negative impacts of their existence can be avoided. The problem now is that you cannot simply leave Earth. Oil spills, clear cutting, mountain top mining, all these things leave scars that cannot merely be walked away from. Selfishness is the most surefire path to destruction. I will sometime discuss selflessness as well, that extreme is equally dangerous.
At the end of the day the most important thing is that you can go to sleep soundly without requiring a bed laden in ivory to keep away the demons.