Is Capitalism the problem? What’s the solution?
I received a question about squaring capitalism with the problem of some people having so much and others having not enough… I thought this was too good a question to ignore, but also too big for a quick written response. So I shot a video.
Text of reader question:
I would love it if you’d cover how to morally square a capitalist
system, which is based on hierarchy and some people having more than
enough while others have nothing (two sides of the same coin), with
creating a new system of enough for everybody. I have an abundant flow
in my own life, but it’s not about me, it’s about the highest good for all.
I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer to this question from any
“changemakers”. When I asked Lisa Schrader, her answer was that
there’s more money to give to charities when you’re wealthy.
Obviously, charities are not cutting it and barely make a dent in the
problems of our society! Stephen Dinan’s answer was that I was
obviously blocked (even though he knew nothing about me! Like I said,
my own life is full of abundant flow, but it’s not about me).
I don’t think money is evil. I know it is neutral, and can be used for
good or evil. I do believe that capitalism is inherently problematical
because it’s based on hierarchy and some having more than they could
ever use in a hundred lifetimes while others live in impoverished
misery, so when we propagate and perpetuate capitalism, we are
supporting an immoral system.
I believe the people who grow our food, for instance, should be making
as much or more money than Wall St. “gamblers,” politicians, lawyers
and just about anyone, since we have to eat everyday. But if all the
farmers, gardeners, trash collectors were millionaires, who would do
the work that better-off people don’t generally do?? And since not
everyone can be a millionaire, as it is unsustainable for our planet
(multiple homes when there are homeless, flying from place to place
and adding more pollution to the atmosphere, etc.), shouldn’t no one
be a millionaire? Wouldn’t the moral goal be that everyone have
enough and then a bit extra? I’m curious as to what your take would
be. I find this confounding.
Thanks for any moral answers to this conundrum!”
And the Buckminster Fuller quote on work:
“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”
Wanna reprint it for your blog or e-zine? Cool! Just post a “written by Morgana Rae” credit, and tell your readers to get my FREE Money Magnet Video Gift at www.morganarae.com. Thanks!
As a lifelong student of history I’d like to ask a question. Can anyone name one time in history when the fall of a civilization didn’t occur as follows;
A great civilization rises
The government steps in and begins to take more money and more power.
The people rise up and demand more entitlements
The ratio of makers to takers begins to shift. More and more people get in the wagon and we get less and less people pulling it.
It all goes downhill.
No system in history has ever offered more opportunity to more people than capitalism. We should start by addressing all the corruption in government, the medical industry, insurance, industry, etc. We must find intelligent ways to address human nature’s lesser qualities, like greed. By any rational person’s standards, our education system is failing us miserably. Lots needs to be done, but history has clearly shown that handing out entitlements is not good for society or those receiving them. I grew up really poor and lots of girls in the apartments where I lived we”e on welfare. When they wanted a raise they got pregnant again so they’d get a larger ‘grant”. Obviously we need a safety net for those who really need it, but when Nancy Pelosi stood up and said, “some people don’t want to work, they want to stay home and paint”, I say so who gets to stay home and paint and who has to go to work and support themselves and the painter? Everyone should be contributing to the good of all, by earning it. The problem with socialism is that inevitably we run out of other peoples money to confiscate. The last time I checked there are no money trees. We need to teach people to be self sufficient and ask lots of questions about why they aren’t. Also keep in mind that in socialism the ones at the top always live large while everyone else gets by.
First Morgana, I congratulate you on your comments and agree, in general, with all you said.
Interestingly, in the last 2 weeks I’ve had about half a dozen people mention this very thing to me. And here are my thoughts.
1. Most definitely, the greatest problem is with broken people needing power, and needing to compete and so forth.
But it’s important to dig much deeper. Why are they broken? That comes back to our current culture born of broken systems. Look at the attitudes, values, and culture you spoken about with the Scandinavian people. A different system, with a different culture.
2. Apart from broken people, the major problem is not capitalism as such, but what capitalism has become due to our outdated neo-classical growth economic system of which capitalism is a part.
In essence, our current neoclassical system of economics was introduced as a temporary measure over one-hundred-years-ago. How many things that were invented one-hundred years ago are still appropriate in our fast-paced, ever changing, complex 21st century world? Where would we be if we were still trying to use 100 year old transportation systems or 100 year old communication systems?
Our current system doesn’t take into account the costs incurred these days in generating profits. Costs such as environmental costs, through to the costs of mental and physical ill-health born of inequality, and beyond. All of which are costing the tax-payer a fortune.
When spending on welfare goes up, spending on health goes down, and vice-versa. And the dollar costs of inequality will dramatically increase as our environmental and social situations get worse.
COVID is just a practice run for what the full force of Climate Change will be like. So be prepared or start making Conscious Changes Today.
Yet our political leaders and our economists seem incapable of thinking in any other terms but a growth economy and the greed of a few instead of the needs of the many, including the planet.
I have a book coming out at the end of the year that goes into all of this in a very down to earth way. It’s called “Conscious Economic Sustainability”.
Meanwhile here are a couple of quotes in my last book, “Conscious Change Today: From Me to We ~ COVID, Climate Change, and the Rise of Feminine-Energy. ”
Even John Maynard Keynes, considered the founder of modern macroeconomics thought capitalism was a failure. He said:
“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wicked of men will do the most wicked of things for the greatest good of everyone”.
And then in 1933 Keynes also wrote:
“The decadent international but individualistic capitalism, in the hands of which we found ourselves after the War, is not a success. It is not intelligent, it is not beautiful, it is not just, it is not virtuous—and it does not deliver the goods. In short, we dislike it and we are beginning to despise it.”
What a wonderfully important topic. Thank you for raising it.
Kashonia Carnegie PhD
nice reply! bringing it back to empower us to be the change we want to see.
the root as you say its the insecurity we learn and other deficiencies you mention as the money monster. understanding is always first, cultural learned tendencies are as burdens we carry that need to be healed. emotional and thinking deficiencies are set as templates from childhood, not our fault, not the fault of our caregivers, but there they are, needing to be understood and corrected with compassion and skill. It has to start by backing up to reflect with tenderness our own experience, our own outlook, our own misleading assumptions. working from the inside out is the solution. blaming the system, is giving up our power to the outside. not that the outside does not have deficiencies and ill workings that certainly reflect overt materialism, patriarchal inequalities and cultural racism handed down through generations as burdens on all of us. loved that you show other countries being an example of what is possible.