Enjoy Capitalism

Thank You, Capitalism. It Could Be Worse…

My readers know all too well that I’m no fan of capitalism. Throughout the past years I’ve attacked several attributes of this economic system (consumerism, the stock market, income inequality). This year, I’m about to step it up a notch, going into how capitalism has facilitated the slow and insidious rotting of most democratic countries. I intend to write about how a broken economic system can drag down education and create immeasurable suffering on a planetary scale, most of which is hidden from sight by the mainstream media so that the machine can keep marching.

But this doesn’t mean that I lack appreciation towards the enormous benefits that have burst from the minds of countless entrepreneurs who, thanks to a free market, succeeded in advancing our culture and civilization. After all, I write these words using capitalist products!

Capitalism is just another system that evolved from others before it. Perhaps it’s not the fairest, but it’s definitely more efficient than some that existed before. The gradual development of economic systems that has given birth to capitalism also implies that capitalism will not be the last economic system. And that’s precisely why I’m writing about its flaws. It’s not because I hate it, it’s because there are things that I believe can be improved.

Ethical Economy

Ethical Economy

If one would be to chronicle the history of illegal or unfair use of economic practices, one would probably need to fill ten tomes of at least a thousand pages each. From rich to poor, almost everybody has, at least once, suffered due to our misshapen financial system.

There are many reasons for this, such as perfectly healthy and natural human greed. The problem is that greed and other evolutionary adaptations have been allowed to spiral out of control by a broken educational system. Insufficient education allows profit-seeking entities to exploit evolutionary weaknesses. They profit by making individuals invest into items and activities of no real value (no increase in happiness and no profit for the individuals or their families).

What I advocate is ethical everything. The implementation of such a system concerns the fusion between an ever-evolving ethical framework and a super-fragmented decentralized financial system. Let’s see what these terms mean.

Consumerism as Religion

Consumerism as Religion

A certain sense of achievement can arise following the break with organized religion. Many people rightly feel they have been freed from a prison of outdated practices and mentalities. Yet, the human need for belonging and confirmation has not disappeared. Neither has the inventive human spirit, always ready to prey upon its own in the quest for profit.

Consumerism is defined as a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. The way this behavior spreads and elevates its status in society is surprisingly similar with religious traditions. This text is about some rather amusing parallels that all but indicate that consumerism is taking advantage of the power void left by fall from grace of organized religion.

This is not to say that consumerism has any of the spiritual virtues that religion often promotes. That’s exactly the problem – consumerism is an economic tool that is capitalizing on an intimate need. It’s the wrong cure for something that isn’t even a problem. And it’s proving to be increasingly costly for the future of our ecosystem and thus, our quality of life in the coming decades and centuries.

Christmas as Avatar of Consumerism

Christmas as Avatar of Consumerism

Cultural war is tricky business. As a living entity, culture needs mechanisms of protection from external threats. But intellectual defensive systems can become an obstacle for evolution especially when a culture has fallen in love with itself to the point where criticism is no longer seen as a mechanism for progress. For all its merits, Western culture is affected by a plague of intellectual rigidity.

There is no need to generalize. There are many Westerners who are quite open to change and new ideas, perhaps more-so than any other major culture on Earth. This is only sufficient if these people can trigger an evolutionary step forwards by reaching a critical mass enough to spread a wave of change throughout society.

What does all this have to do with Christmas? It’s quite simple really. Changing the way we interpret Christmas is probably a litmus test for cultural evolution. Why do we need to reinterpret this cultural event? Because it is the avatar of a way of doing business that may have made sense in the 20th century, but will only lead to worsening the quality of life on this planet for future generations of human beings.

Stock Market Drives Companies Insane

How the Stock Market Drives Companies Insane

In the past decade, we’ve witnessed countless cases of companies breaking the law or harming the environment in their frenetic quest for profits. The most recent high profile case is Volkswagen’s cheating in the emissions scandal. Or was the toxic spill from a mine in Brazil worse? In case we’re undecided, perhaps the disastrous explosion in China can take the prize? All of these happened in the space of four months in 2015.