Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Observing, pt 2

In my earlier post, which was called "Observing The System," Friday, July 22nd, the question is basically, to what do we owe our freedom? We do not owe our freedom (apologies to those in jail/prison) to the theories, to the ideals that certain persons in powdered wigs may have entertained; and, nor do we owe it to the "planners," who it seems to me would be smoking their pipes, in pin-stripped suits in, for example, the 1930s.
    Our society's language always calls it, "freedom." It was not me who picked the word; it is used in American culture, so I use it.
     As for "freedom," then, why do we have it? I think it is due to the fact that, in the long course of time -- this is to say historically or in historical fact -- capitalism proved to be the more effective system. This is etched into history, part of the record of historical fact. Any survey of history will likely bring out just this transition. And so, everyone agrees. Capitalism replaced the earlier systems, which we may call the hierarchical or aristocratic (and therefore also, at the other end, serf) societies. This is my view of where this "freedom" of ours comes from, then.
    This points to a broad trend in history, which is that it moves from pre-capitalist societies to capitalist societies. This is historical, and visible. It is my practice to call the current human reality/society "capitalism." I don't think that is unusual, since many call it that. This word "capitalism" means something broader that "the economy," of course, when by "the economy," we mean "only" the aggregate of all business deals.  (Or maybe we are right back to it----something like "business civilization," as R. Heilbroner has it in his short book.)

    If we desire a further way to define capitalism, let's call it: a society with a strong economic component.

    Following the above considerations, I think that it is economics, not politics, that is driving things. My "economics," however, links with the idea of "society." I mean to say that economics is society, not individuals. The rise of economics ushers in a new society. These ideas work out very nicely: and the kind of analysis I am making can help us can understand what is going on in the world. Based on these ideas, we can see that, with economics the main factor, government eventually loses its grip. Society loses its grip on itself and we get carried away into capitalist anarchy. Society fails to regulate itself, to plan. Government loses its footing and its correct function. The link between the people and the government is broken. Based on my thinking, I can see how this could have happened but that doesn't mean I like it. I don't like total disorder. This abdication of government to the rich just leaves a power vacuum, since the rich really don't want to govern in the first place, and, of course, it is not their job collectively. So capitalism is not government, despite all we've said, and it is poppycock to think that "the market" will just take over. That was the worst theory ever. Economics is non-sentient, it is just a non-conscious historical force. It is quite astounding what a huge force it has become, but the "market" cannot make policy. It cannot think. Only people do that. So at that point everything collapses. We have out-of-control capitalism, non-government by the rich. We get a world of no order at all, many deprived, needy countries, the money-makers creating all kinds of wealth, but with no good coming out of it. What kind of "wealth" is that anyway? It isn't social wealth, it is greedy wealth for a few. This is the greedy "super-capitalism" without values, and, on that, there are certainly books to read.
     What we needed to understand was this. First, economics does kind take over things, which I suppose corresponds somewhat to what the right says about things, but then we also needed to take things over at some point, to get politics back in control and guide the system. That's called regulation, governance, intervention, whatever it is exactly the correct idea. We did not understand that we needed to be in control, instead we believed this rubbish that the market (whatever that is) controls itself. We needed to get back control, and govern capitalism. And that is why, even though there is a certain principle that functions, this economic monster is now getting ready to eat us all up, which means, curiously, that it is eating up the same society it helped create.
     Always at the back of things there was man, there was intelligence. But we listened to right-wing poppycock. Intelligence refused to do its job, and we seem to have failed. We were not able to bring our intelligence into play, as regards this phenomenon of economics that we in some sense created (although not intentionally, or by ideals).
     We fail to understand that we do need to regulate. Now is the time but no one is doing it. Actually, there are perils to controlling the economy and there are perils to not controlling it. We would have to strike a balance. It is difficult. You need need some brains, and you need to have a plan, but we didn't even come close. But if we ever want to do it, here's my humble suggestion. The first thing I would suggest we do is feed the needy. This would not just help the needy but would help everybody; I am talking about the most needy in the poor third-World, who stand to benefit from directly appropriating food, water and health-related products, out of the existing economy, and deploying it somehow, redirecting that wealth to the "account" of those who really need it. That would be a good first step, in the area of "regulation." It might help the world poor, a little, but, really, it would help create a new kind of capitalism.

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