Why Capitalism is Bad
Capitalism seems absolutely the best idea in an economic perspective;
It pits one against another in the effort to find the best product at the lowest possible cost so in the end, the user gets a product or service of the highest quality possible, at a price that is theoretically affordable.
Great advancements are made in the quest for improving products and services in the face of making more profit.
This all sounds wonderful, but that is based solely on the economic perspective, and not reality.
Capitalism pits one another in a race to reach a fictitious goal – that of wealth. In order to succeed in a purely capitalist society (Dealing with humans, and not ideal robots), one has to compete against others, and thus a conflict arises between people or groups in the pursuit of money.
Money is the obvious driving force of capitalism, yet it has been shown time and time again that rarely does money actually bring happiness, in fact, it always puts happiness just a few steps ahead of you. Capitalism is basically the dangling of the carrot in front of the donkey.
A survey asked people whether they were content with their income – the overwhelming majority made the claim that they would be happy if they made their boss’ income. Which you would expect, but it doesn’t matter how much money you make – you desire more, and have the illusion that once you hit a certain amount, you will be OK with that amount, but again, we are human, not robots, and we do not work like this.
Capitalism, in a growth-society, demands the majority of one’s waking life to be put to work, but usually not ‘natural’ work in which the body has been evolved to fit into – but rather work done behind a desk, or using odd machinery, or repetitive tasks that burden the mind.
Here is where capitalism stops being an ideal heaven of advancement and growth, but rather destroys that in which it claimed to improve – the life of the worker.
Specifically in our capitalist societies, growth is not optional – it is obligatory – but we all know that infinite growth on a finite planet is impossible. Thus our “Business As Usual” paradigm will, at some point, necessarily slow, or come to screeching halt. For the destruction and use of natural resources is unsustainable, and growth not only of wealth but of population is impossible forever.
Not only does all this raise the eye-glass to the problems of what seems a great economic practice, but it is also a fact that happiness is not dependent on money, wealth, or advancement in technology. In fact, it seems to be the opposite – the more advanced and reliant we become on technology, the more separated we become from each other, and such is the emergence of the big-pharma anti-depressant boom.
Next time you think something like capitalism is so simple and make a claim ever of “What could be wrong with that”, please – nothing is so simple.
@ijesuschrist, nice post, you captured a lot here- definitely not a topic that can be over simplified. I appreciate the fact that you also included the blip about ‘great advancements’ being made in the pursuit of improving products and services; which at times seems like a side effect rather than the objective.
If America was found on selfish beliefs then, that tells you what our country is about and what it’s meant to be.
@ijesuschrist, It’s the logic of intellectuals who committed their lives to freedom. Intellectuals who truly felt the power of an oppressive government. The intellectuals who spent their lives developing a free world. To totally disregard the founding fathers’ efforts by insisting we take away an element of our free society is rubbish. However, you’re allowed to believe whatever you want because this is a free state focusing on the power of the individual. If you don’t like it, Scotland is always an option. They’re a democratic socialist state.
@lougrey, Please re-read the above.
You could say Hitler was an intellectual that wanted ultimate freedom of his race.
“Freedom” in a capitalistic society isn’t so simple – and true freedom is an ideal that cannot exist in nature with a population of more than 1 person.
@ijesuschrist, “Capitalism, in a growth-society, demands the majority of one’s waking life to be put to work, but usually not ‘natural’ work in which the body has been evolved to fit into – but rather work done behind a desk, or using odd machinery, or repetitive tasks that burden the mind.”
Nice one. Working is good. But I think it’s really bad when people have no time for self education or culture; when the work place molds people into a drama filled robot, it becomes their world. Worse part about it is they see it as real personal progress, chasing tails. I think that’s what i hate about it most.
Apparently the islands of scotland score higher than the UK in happiness.
@ijesuschrist, Without the carrot dangling in front of the donkey, we don’t get anywhere. The competition against others for success and wealth you talked about is what drives innovation. Without that motivation, people wouldn’t create better products, inventions, technology, etc.
In socialist country polls are easy to come by as everyone has the hive mind mentality.
@alexishungry, Look at the science of what motivates us. It’s not a carrot and a stick. It’s a combination of autonomy, mastery and purpose – look at the work of Daniel Pink on this.
Innovation is higher in more equal countries, amongst a broad range of other beneficial categories. Look at the work of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
Competition is inefficient and out-dated. Look at the work of Alfie Kohn.
@alexishungry, wouldn’t people just create stuff because they want to? Saying people only make stuff for money is kind of like saying the main reason guys want to be in bands is to get girls instead of a passion for music. For everyone who’s mostly in it for the money there has to be people who are in it mostly for the passion
Also, necessity drives innovation. For example, we need to create an alternate fuel network and clean energy cars before oil runs out, or else we will all receive a one-way ticket to the stone age.
I think the whole money thing as a reward definitely applies to workers, I’ve talked to plenty of workers and it’s clear that nobody really wants to be there, hence, the compensation. But I don’t think success is a zero sum game, Bill Gates or Michael Jordan being successful does not take away any of my own success i may achieve and vice versa.
I feel that a competition-based worldview like capitalism, which is essentially dog eat dog, is primitive and outdated. But I also recognize that it is the situation like it or not.
@alexishungry, “The competition against others for success and wealth you talked about is what drives innovation.”
Yeah sure too some degree, but they actually degenerate whatever they “innovate”, using techniques that minimizes authenticity and maximizes profit. Doesn’t exactly mean they are actually making the best out of the circumstance. The idea is we’re at a point where over production has become destructive.
“It is hugely ironic and hugely significant that the one thing on the planet most closely resembling the forgoing conception of the divine is money. It is an invisible, immortal force that surrounds and steers all things, omnipotent and limitless, an “invisible hand” that, it is said, makes the world go ’round. Yet, money today is an abstraction, at most symbols on a piece of paper but usually mere bits in a computer. It exists in a realm far removed from materiality. In that realm, it is exempt from nature’s most important laws, for it does not decay and return to the soil as all other things do, but is rather preserved, changeless, in its vaults and computer files, even growing with time thanks to interest. It bears the properties of eternal preservation and everlasting increase, both of which are profoundly unnatural.” – Charles Eisenstein
What comes after money –
Technological advancement is not a bad thing, but rather with the world population being as it is it become more of a nessecity. The problem is with the direction technology is going and in the capitalist disposable consumerist society, that direction is freefalling into a blackhole of destruction.
What we need is a system that encourages high quality products that are cheaper to repair than they are to throw away to buy a replacement. Naturally this system is driving hard and fast away from this quality product trend, that is bad about the current setup of capitalism, other than people earning more or less than what is humanely rational or deserved according to their actual contribution.
@alexishungry, Did you read the post, lol?
“If you don’t dangle the carrot… you don’t get anywhere”
The place we have gotten doesn’t seem to be, in reality, all that much better, save for living longer. But living longer, but less happy, is this where you think we should be?
@lougrey, “Socialism already has the hive mentality”
And it looks like they are happier than the individualistic “Dog eat Dog” mentality.
In a capitalist society, GDP is supposedly the indicator of the state of health of a country. What a load of shit. Take a look at the U.S. – one of the biggest contributors to our GDP is healthcare.
But if healthcare is a major contributor of GDP, then how can we consider ourselves a healthy country? If anything, this is a sign of sickness. We make our people sick from the foods we eat, which is perpetuated by the almighty dollar, because it’s cheaper to buy shitty food than it is to buy healthy whole foods.
We’ve fucked ourselves into a cycle of sickness, in which the “value” of the dollar leads to an unhealthy lifestyle, which in turn causes health problems down the road which must be addressed by healthcare professionals. So you go to the doctor and spend money to be cured of the shit you made yourself sick with. There’s literally a huge incentive to continue providing shitty food and shitty services to our people. When one of your major GDP contributors is healthcare, you can’t afford to lose that. So the incentive to keep people sick is huge.
It’s really fucked up.
For god’s sake! Do any of you capitalism condemners believe in reality? We don’t live in a damn utopia! We never will! Would you rather have freedom, opportunity, and an unequal amount of shared blessings or an equal amount of shared misery?!?! I guarantee 100% of you have never lived in a pure capitalist society, so most of your examples come from mixed-economies without enough capitalism.