FROM MY CORNER
We are facing today a philosophical confrontation of opposite beliefs playing out as political battle. Our Left vs Right, Liberal vs Conservative struggle is not hard to understand.
One side essentially believes that acquiring individual wealth is the main goal of life. That this idea frequently requires unethical behavior does not appear to concern many of them beyond word service to the concept.
The other side essentially believes that all people working toward insuring every person acquires a sustainable share of existence is the main goal of life. To this end, this side too wants its fair share, but is agreeable to the idea of sacrificing a degree of personal wealth for the good of all.
One side tends to be essentially motivated by the long-term longevity of the human race. One side tends to be motivated by short-term personal financial grain. In broad terms, we often connect these two sides to the political words: Capitalism and Socialism. That is an oversimplification, but it serves our purpose, which is to explore the concepts.
Does an organized corporate conspiracy exist to create and manage unethical Capitalist scams? I don’t know the answer to that. It is so frequently prevalent that one is tempted to think so. Personally, I suspect the corporate scam ethic is an acquired cultural taste.
Money creates power, and power has always been identified with corruption. Wealth is apparently a near spiritually heady experience. When you can buy off problems, and you learn how much easier life is without problems, the temptation is surely hard to resist. It is particularly so if you connect a religious motive to the fascinating subject of greed as you bilk other people’s pockets.
Singularly, the concept of superstitious religion might conceivably be a unifying tool to meld Capitalism and Socialism into a functioning alliance. It is hard for Corporate scams to justify the Christian religion with their schemes that cheat poor people.
Personally, I would prefer that religion be kept entirely out of politically supported financial plots. This is difficult because politicians and preachers have tightly hung together for years, during their schemes, and sometimes by ropes at their eventual discovery by slightly more righteous authorities.
The addiction to profit is, however, a mesmerizing phenomenon. It leads otherwise rational people to inordinate extremes. I note always that one always has a hard time finding poor politicians. Once one is on the inside the belly of the money machine, one finds it masterfully easy to justify acquisition of wealth under the guise of unselfish public service.
The occurrence of money is tangible in both preachers and politicians. They commonly attribute their wealth to their selfless natures. They profess this character trait on media all the time. We appear to believe them for we continue to vote for them as they acquire their wealth.
But, I’m avoiding the real subject of this commentary. I want to propose that we Americans consciously and proactively promote publicly the idea of mixing well-designed Capitalism and Capitalism into our economic system in 50/50 measure.
This is not an unusual idea. Western Europe has been doing it for a long time. A close friend of mine who held both German and American citizenship, and who lived in both countries, always told me that he got a lot more for his Deutsche Mark than he ever did for his American Dollar.
The mixture of striving to lengthen the longevity of the human race, he professed, always paid off more than seeking to acquire personal wealth. He was a smart man, a PhD Theoretical Physicist. So prominent in his field was he that upon his death 300 worldwide physicists attended his funeral.
So, I took him at his word. The marriage of Capitalism with Socialism makes a lot of sense. If one retains private ownership of capital but moderates it with tangential management tools that socially expand profits to all citizens, one’s society as a whole tends to stick better together.
Fewer people live in the streets. Crime is frequently moderated. Turmoil is tempered. Human health is improved. It’s not perfect, but it creates a middle ground upon which all – rich and poor – may meet and more peacefully coexist.
I think that if Bernie Sanders, or his successor, can temper his Socialist love affair with Capitalism; and if Capitalists can temper their love affair with themselves, we might eventually find we can create not a Utopia, but a sensible country out of the USA.
It is sorely needed. For the present situation is a laughing stock worldwide, except for us living directly under it. I’m not laughing. Are you?
I know I’d rather identify with a nation motivated to lengthen the long-term existence of human beings, than with a bunch of ethically disgusting millionaires with multiple houses, cars, jet planes, boats, and their ubiquitous gold plated bathroom fixtures.
I’ve always been a personality riding on the edge of society, watching it continuously shoot itself in the foot. It’s a unique position from which to observe the foibles of humans. And I have always found it makes me optimistic for us all. As Mr. Lincoln always said (I paraphrase): “The Almighty must like ordinary people; he made so many of them.”
The same for the poor. I have always found they have more sense of propriety, compassion, and intrinsic good will than those whose pockets are full.
Give me a man or woman with little every time. They know the real value of life. And if, as they commonly believe, there is a real God, that mystical Pal of humanity knows it too.