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Capitalism

Here is another interesting comment from a reader in response to this post:

Unfortunately, this is the result of the capitalist society we all 'buy' into. Essentially we are entering into an era that will reveal the ill-conceived notion that a free market economy could become so intricate, so scientific, as to affect every aspect of our lives. Think about it. Really step back and think about the possibility that our very lives are becoming more and more encompassed in the 'neo-American dream' of making money. Not houses with picket fences, not 2.3 children, for these have been 'discovered' to be the result of having, and making money. In the rational society we live in today it should come as no surprise that we, as a whole, have evolved into capitalist savvy consumers. After all, now that religion was 'discovered' to be a hoax, what else are you going to attribute the meaning of life to?

This is not to say that free market economy/society is or will be detrimental to our ever-expanding western society. One may even argue that it was/is a vital piece of the puzzle that is global democracy. It seems we have passed the point of no return on the road to a true 'global village' so the issue of global democracy will no doubt become a topic of world leaders. If we must now become members of the global economy/society it could be argued that the most congruent cultural symbol among the millions of formerly independent worldly cultures is the idea of money. In order for any society or economy to survive the players (i.e., everyone!!), must have their goals and objectives aligned. What other 'entity' exists that can objectively ensure everyone is ‘on the same page’?

It could also be argued that capitalistic societies/economies can better ‘control’ (for lack of a better word) certain social issues that are fast becoming epidemics. The solution to virtually every complex problem in recent history can be attributed to, in a capitalistic sense, the allocation of resources. Whether human, monetary, or knowledge, the solution to a capitalistic problem is resources. If the pervasiveness of capitalism is becoming so great as to effect our very way of life, then, logically, wouldn’t it be in the common interest of the people (as meant in its most general of terms) to harness the power of capitalism and use it to create the picture of the so called ‘utopian society’? Whether or not capitalism is the “ideal” basis on which to form a society or economy is not being contested in this argument. Merely it is professing that capitalism has become a dominant force in our lives and shows no signs of slowing. In capitalistic terms, this represents an opportunity to develop a tool that will put the organization in better position for future profits, after factoring the social effects into the NPV (Net present value).

And thus… I get to my point. In order to prevent negative capitalistic outcomes, such as the news media’s need for power or the mockery that is Canadian government, there needs to be capitalistic ‘punishment’ in an opposite and equal direction. Take for example the modern stock market, where every aspect of business is down to a science that theoretically revolves around information. If all information is known, no party is worse off or better off for reasons without merit. If we can adapt this capitalistic ‘science’ to society we may be able to better understand, and thus solve, the social/economic problems that plague the capitalistic ideology.

Until we solve the inherent problems in our capitalistic society we cannot expect the government or economy to be without them. After all, isn’t a democracy meant to reflect the will of the masses?

DB
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5/23/2005 05:26:00 PM

This thing has more holes in it than a Liberal policy paper. The stock market has all sorts of players claiming their system works, usually it works for them if they can use your money. There are no inherent problems in capitalism or any other "ism". There are only human beings with their problems and attitudes. Otherwise communism would be the ism of the whole world. Capitalism is the system that best deals with the problems if the individual. There is a classic carrot and stick approach to encourage the most out of each one of us. The problems we are seeing in the last sixty years are a result in the drop in religion which was a social force to encourage correct actions by individuals, e.g. work hard, be good, all the usual stuff. A newspaper blog will live or die on its own merits. If you are truly concerned about it start your own paper. You can then automatically increase the supposed value of your blog    



5/23/2005 06:48:00 PM

I don’t think any reasonable person would argue that the stock market is perfect. The reason being that it currently relies on individuals who may, or may not, have congruent interests. Theoretically, if all parties involved were removed of their instinctive need to benefit more than they deserve the model would approach an equilibrium whereby no party could profit at the expense of the other. The motivational premise for this behavior would likely revolve around the notion that, in the long-run, it is better to make an average profit in a lively market, than it is to make a substantial profit in a declining market. Given this, a parallel argument could be made that our money-driven society will inevitably succumb to similar pressures.

By no means am I saying that this could, or will happen in the near future. Though, one could argue that if this is the natural progression of a capitalist model, and if we truly believe in equality, then wouldn't it be in our best interest to embrace this notion and use it to formulate a greater 'meaning' for society?

The reason why communism has failed in the past is that it required everyone to 'believe' in an ideology that opposed our need for personal identity. Looking to Maslow's hierarchy of needs it can be shown that the formation of personal identity is the most senior of our human needs. Thus communism essentially 'caps' our development as people. However, if everyone in society can associate with capitalism we may have a basis for developing some of the communistic ideals. That is, if everyone is aware of the economic value of all aspects of their lives (be it leisure time, salary, or a meaningful marriage) then they will seek to maximize it. Thus, if we assume the stock market model exists and holds, we will have created a society that synerginistically benefits all, while still allowing for individual interpretations of the pursuit of happiness.

I am the first to point out that a lot of assumptions must hold true if this idea of a capitalist society is true. I only bring it to the forefront in order to exercise some ‘mental masturbation’ regarding the evolution of our society. I would like to believe that capitalism will continue to promote innovation, not just in an economic sense, but in a political, cultural, and individual sense. To me it seems inevitable as capitalism continues to expand into every aspect of our lives. Soon we will be placing a cost/benefit on everything from global warming to media without bias.

DB    



5/26/2005 11:46:00 AM

Capitalism's Truths    



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