Monday, February 14, 2011

Strange how the Right has rebranded capitalism

Instead of saying that it's about greed and money values predominating over all of life, it's now about individual responsibility and hard effort. Excuse me, but hard effort and individual responsibility predated capitalism and will out live it. Simply trying to be an upstanding, independent, individual is not the essence of capitalism any more than being a good person is the essence of Christianity. Capitalism, to the extent that it does reward individual responsibility and hard effort, is about training those features to making money, to making lots of money. The maxim that if you do a good job the money will follow does not totally apply.

The process of commercialization ultimately destroys the same values that capitalism professes to uphold, in that short cuts to making money trump honest effort and the easy way out of the low road trumps individual responsibility. What capitalism teaches is that if what you can do can make a buck, you don't need real effort, you don't need individual responsibility, you don't need education, you don't need awareness. All those things may or may not be helpful, but the bottom line is the bottom line, and if you can meet it and exceed it without any morals so much the better. You'll be promoted in no time. Short term gain triumphs over long term stability and the common good.

So much of the disaster that is American society comes from the strangle hold that short term values put on life, a hold that is only broken with great effort, and then only temporarily. The shit that adheres to our culture prevents honest to god solutions from rising to the top, and holds us hostage to market values.

Capitalism encourages Cacocracy, the rule of the worst. There is no particular group to blame for this, however you conceive of that, just the profit motive itself. In point of fact, the worst of the worst are often from the most mainstream groups of them all.

Marketers and promoters of unregulated capitalism are often the true parasites, feasting on the bones of productive values, and on honest producers themselves. The producers should run society, not the marketers and impressarios, who should be demoted to serve the process of production itself, not to be its master.

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