Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beings of the world unite

The world's great nonviolent revolution is taking place at a global level and its in all the news, but its not being named and its not being labeled because its SOCIALIST.  We are witnessing a transnational, multinational, international BELIEF in humankind's social responsibilities towards one another and to all life rise up and overthrow systems of dominance and control which have infiltrated religion, politics, and economics - the social foundations of civilization.

Our contemporary social foundations have been infiltrated and contaminated by the profit motive - the 'what's in it for me?' mentality, which spells disease for the soul and catastrophe for the society.  A profiteering society is doomed to trade its inherent humanity for something less.  The value of a human being is priceless and cannot be measured, but a profiteering society measures the value of human beings and forces them to compete with one another as a means of lowering their price.  Such a commodification of the sacred, if you will, reminds us that both 'number' and 'nemesis' are from the same Greek root - 'Nomos'.  We have allowed our numbers to replace our human values and in so doing we have created ecological and eco'nomic' crises which threaten our very survival.  The profit motive has become our nemesis.

Human beings are not meant to chase after our own fleeting desires; it brings out our worst and leaves us always wondering what our best might be.  Human beings are meant to serve others; it brings out our best and fills us with a happiness that selfishness cannot hope to provide.  Don't take my word for it, just ask a half-decent parent.  Our economic, political, educational, and even our religious institutions have been coopted by selfish interests who consistently foil our collective efforts to end poverty and war, social and environmental inequality, and injustice.  We must purge ourselves, individually and collectively, of our indoctrinated sense of money as the arbiter of wealth.

He who dies with the most toys dies.  The toys go to someone else.  As shameful as it is to acknowledge, generations of young people are being raised with the notion of 'dying with the most toys' as the actual purpose of human existence!  We are told that accumulating material wealth and celebrating excess is worthy of emulation, and much more insidiously, we are denied opportunities to serve out of fear that we'll like it so much we'll abandon the almighty dollar to the fate of Rome!  Such is the weight of this monstrous propaganda we are indoctrinated with.

Humans have a social impulse, and capitalism taken to its natural extreme violently represses this impulse.  Extremist capitalism buys everything and sells it back for profit, and there is no commons, no social framework, no civic responsibilities, no social order, no dharma.  Capitalism must be tempered with human values.

This tempered, ethical capitalism is socialism.  It works just like capitalism, with a floor and a ceiling.  The floor helps out those with basic human needs, and this floor is paid for by the ceiling.  Anyone can get rich in socialism, but no one can get filthy rich until everyone has their basic needs met.  This satisfies our real free-market desire - the desire to live in a society built on serving others.

Albert Einstein, arguably the world's smartest man, calls capitalism 'the predatory phase of human evolution' in his seminal paper entitled, "Why I am a socialist"- viewed here:  http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism.  The nature of competition is such that in the end there is only one winner and a wide field of 'losers' - think of sports playoffs.  Lots of contenders, but only one winner.  It only makes sense that this years winners will have an edge next year - being winners, they will have more revenue from more fans.  This has necessitated the salary cap in sports - otherwise, the winners will make more money, hire better, more expensive players, and never ever lose.

In other words, without a salary cap, competition ends up being very anticompetitive.

Capitalism has no salary cap.  The biggest corporations make all the money, hire the best talent, bribe the government with campaign financing, and never ever lose.  Main street is at a structural disadvantage to Wall street.  Competition is the foundation of capitalism, but extremist, number-centered capitalism without a salary cap ends up being anticompetitive.  Just look at the corporate takeover of main street and you'll see what I mean.

Think of socialism as capitalism with a salary cap.  There will always remain plenty of room to be ambitious and acquire more stuff to die with - or, rather, play with before dying.  But the salary cap prevents capitalism's 'winners' from subjugating the 'losers' - in this case, the weak, the old, the young, the poor, the unfit, the environment, the public commons - in short, socialism defends our social responsibilities towards one another in the face of a selfish drive to care only for ourselves.

Capitalism is built on the rational self-interest of the mind, while socialism gives precedence to the irrational wisdom of the heart.  We are witnessing the pendulum swing away from the terrible extreme created by our selfish and miserable minds as it swings towards our selfless and giving hearts.  Millions of people all over the world are protesting greed, corruption, and the selfish capitalist ethic, because people know that happiness comes from caring for others, and being cared for in return.  Capitalism doesn't need to be thrown out - indeed, all attempts to do so have failed disastrously - but it must be tempered with social responsibilities  if civilization is to endure. 

The real joy of life is found in giving.  What the filthy rich refuse to accept is that acquisitive greed is the source of tremendous misery, not the path out of it.  Jesus says, 'it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven,' and also says, 'the kingdom of heaven is within you'!  Rich people can't access the kingdom of heaven within them because they are reluctant to experience the joy of giving - the joy of sharing - the joy of caring, and being cared for. 

Lets grow out of the predatory phase of human evolution.  The shared human belief in our social responsibilities to one another and to all life is rapidly garnering the momentum needed to assume the shape of a political vehicle, and socialism is that vehicle.