The problem with Capitalism and the beginning of a new dawn

Americans don’t understand. They say “What’s wrong with liking money”?

Capitalism is a monotheistic religion. Everything boils down to money, just like everything boils down to God for the God-followers. Worship of the “bottom-line” is like a religious fundamentalist who lives every moment for God.

Money is a single entity like any other. So let’s say instead of worshipping money we worship love. Americans might then say “What’s wrong with liking love”?

Money is fine. God can be ok. Love is fine. However, it’s obsessive and self-destructive to raise any of them above everything else in life.

Capitalists destroy billions of human lives in the same way that God-followers destroy those who do not follow God. However, unlike God-followers Capitalists are always at war. They are a Crusade that never ends. Or rather, that ends only when they are destroyed.

Poor People are to the Capitalist as Satanists or Heathens are to the God-follower. Their life has no value, and to whatever extent the Capitalists have power the results are precisely as expected.

It’s not so much that Capitalists like money that’s the problem – it’s that they like nothing else. They worship one god and everything else are false idols. That’s what it means to “maximize profits” – to not let any other interests factor in – to shun all other gods. If love gets in the way of profits love is discarded. If humans get in the way of profits humans are discarded.

Socialism must also be rendered non-monotheistic. There can be no god placed above other gods.

Democracy is the promise of a new dawn. In a democracy there is a god on every street corner, many gods within each human. Love, money, humans, compassion, can all be honored because none are raised on high.

We need to stop arguing over what god is better than another. It’s a tragic argument with only bad resolutions. It’s not our place to argue that – it’s every human’s place to decide that for himself.

It’s time we built a world of gods instead of a world of emptiness. It’s time that none of our gods wants a world where only he exists.


4 Responses to “The problem with Capitalism and the beginning of a new dawn”

  1. Pope of the Church of Capitalism Says:

    Right back atch’a:

    “So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

    “When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor–your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?

    “Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions–and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

    “But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made–before it can be looted or mooched–made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.’

    “To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss–the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery–that you must offer them values, not wounds–that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade–with reason, not force, as their final arbiter–it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability–and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?

    “But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality–the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.

    “Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

    “Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth–the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

    “Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

    “Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?

    “Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

    “Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

    “Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

    “But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich–will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt–and of his life, as he deserves.

    “Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money–the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law–men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims–then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

    “Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

    “Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, ‘Account overdrawn.’

    “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world? You are.

    “You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it’s crumbling around you, while you’re damning its life-blood–money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men’s history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves–slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody’s mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer, Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers–as industrialists.

    “To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money–and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man’s mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being–the self-made man–the American industrialist.

    “If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose–because it contains all the others–the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity–to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.

    “Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters’ continents. Now the looters’ credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide– as, I think, he will.

    “Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other–and your time is running out.”

    The above is an excerpt from Atlas Shrugged, © Copyright, 1957, by Ayn Rand.

  2. briankoontz Says:

    ““So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?”

    That’s a strawman. Capitalism is no more about money than socialism is. It’s about the rule of capital and the enslavement of labor. In terms of critiquing money though since you brought up the issue money is a tool of power… to the extent that money is a motivation for behavior it’s a method of control. The kind of value-neutral proposition you are making about money is nonsense. The people who produced the clothes I’m wearing are living on starvation wages, while those who exploit them, who don’t produce, are rich. Those with a religious bent can accurately call that “evil”. The world we live in is not a place of equal transactions between equal producers, but of the exploited and the exploiters. Rich people are not those who produce, but those who control those who produce. Rupert Murdoch isn’t wealthy because he produces newspapers… he controls the people who produce them.

    I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to build a competitive society where production is tied to wealth, but it’s an academic issue because the world will never attempt that model. You know, the “laissez-faire” model economists and other fantasizers like to dream about and what propagandizers like to make us believe exists. Unlike socialism which can exist whenever the people have power, laissez-faire capitalism can never exist because there is no sufficient power-source for it. Capitalists don’t want it because they are greedy and the idea of working for money is anathema to them. Socialists don’t want it because they don’t want to tie wealth to production. The only people who claim to want it are those who are serving as a propaganda tool for capitalism… notice that they don’t claim to *want* it, they claim it already exists and has existed for centuries. No amount of evidence dissuades them because they are producing propaganda.

    In terms of what I think about laissez-faire capitalism, I think it’s a very sterile and clinical way of allocating wealth. It caters to the Calvinist doctrine of morality whereby a good worker gets a good wage. But frankly, all humans do is work. The first error of the Calvinists is to divide life between work and non-work. It’s all the same – only under this false conception things like child rearing are said to be “valueless” because it doesn’t produce wealth, but the only reason it doesn’t produce wealth is that it is claimed to be “not work”. It’s a circular argument. According to this way of thinking anything is work that makes money and anything is not work that doesn’t. But of course that’s absolute nonsense. Blogs are a good example. Producing a blog is work that pays zero, and thus is not defined as “work” by Calvinists.

  3. jlk Says:

    what a bunch of hogwash. putting the cart before the horse. america and capitalism were built on a foundation of brutality and force.

    the reason europeans (or any other ethnic group) are richer than others during different spans in history is not because they smarter or more intelligent race, but because, and solely because, they use force against other ethnicities – stealing of land, resources, and the life from other groups. Then guarding these territories resources.

    this provides the space for them to think of new concepts, and trade “freely” amongst themselves. By no means is this trading, or capitalism, honorable because people were murdered (Native Americans) in order for it to come to fruition.

    europeans SPECIALIZE in war and destruction. that is the FUNDAMENTAL difference between this type of human species and the africans or asians.

    while other species do fight to protect themselves, europeans have an even higher capacity to war. it is because of their geographic location in the world: cold temperatures, short harvests, minimal food supply.

    this has produced a ravenous treacherous animal. in contrast to other human species (africans, asians, etc.) who live in warm climates, have year round harvests, greater food supply, which does not require an adaptation to more intensely fight and compete for food and resources.

    this is why europeans are more violent. their violence against other human species has allowed them to dominate other human species during the last 500 or so years. this has allowed the, the space to contribute to the advancement of technology for the last 200 years also.

    that warring gene is their “edge” or advantage in the game of survival and human advancement.

    But that is their only edge. this is not sustainable. other species will adapt to this threat (africans achieving dominance in their countries, asians dominating the economy and trading). big guns and intimidation do not create power. collaboration does. as the world becomes more informed – globalization – power and wealth will be increasingly achieved by more ethnic groups around the world through collaboration.

    this community of sharing and trading will allow the space for other ethnics groups to think of new concepts and to contribute to the advancement of technology, as they were prior to the “european invasion” and european barbarianism.

    the warring approach of europeans is quickly coming to an end.

    other ethnic groups are quickly and increasingly rising above and advancing. china and india are next.

    these countries possess (for now) a more sharing communal ideology, hence their focusing on trading and economy and not physical violence or war.

    this is a major threat to america – hence the promotion of “faulty chinese products” once america really realized that china is the next world power.

    the old tactics simply do not work anymore. – hence the desperate and failed attempt by bush to overthrow an innocent country by physical force (Iraq). – to obtain oil. it would have been more effective to continue to trade oil and suck it up if they charge you more.

    but americans want to force out their ideology and way of life, KILL THEM, and take the oil. not gonna work this time and era in history.

    people are hip to america’s and europe’s tactics, and future generations will not trade with america or europe if they don’t start behaving in a civilized manner like the rest of the world, with humility and respect for others – by trading, not through dominance and brutality and the threat of using a ballistic missile or nuclear warhead, but through healthy competition and economic collaboration, maintaining a respect for others cultures and ideology, and learning from each other. This is the ONLY way the human race will advance.

    And human advancement will be ensured by future generations.

  4. briankoontz Says:

    Your analysis is simplistic and incorrect. India is becoming Americanized as we speak, and China is a free market capitalist economy.

    There were several points to the war in Iraq, most of which succeeded. Perhaps the most important point was to funnel vast wealth from the American taxpayers to a few American multinationals. Mission accomplished. Another point was to establish a new ground for American military bases. Mission accomplished. Another point was to seize Iraq’s economy and oil wealth. Mission not yet accomplished. Another point is to increase conflict in the region, thus perpetuating war and serving those interests. Mission accomplished. Bush is not a failure as a president. He’s served the interests he set out to serve very, very well.

    The American way is not “kill them” but rather “control their economy”. Economic manipulation and domination is the American Way. Only when they can’t achieve that do they whip out their guns.

    Your analysis of war is ridiculous. War is typically generated by rulers, who hardly do so for reasons of “lack of food”. The biggest factor in differences in the degree of war is the political system – for example the Native Americans had minimal wars not because they lived in a certain climate (they lived in the same one as the Americans) but because their political system was anarchic – with merely local rulers (no kings, emperors, or presidents) and even those with highly restricted power.

    The Chinese with their Emperors had massive wars, not over the food supply. The Europeans with their Kings had massive wars, not over the food supply. The Africans, much like the Native Americans, had only local rulers, and the outcome was as predicted.

    The more arbitrary the reason for war, the more frequent and more all-consuming wars will be. If an unaccountable King, sitting on his throne, bored to tears, decides he wants a war, he’ll get a war, and maybe, just maybe, it will last forever.

    Or said another way, when Kings are the ones with power, then war is NEVER over the food supply, since Kings hardly care about that. They care about their own grandeur, their own power, their own glory. They need no *other* reason for war and typically have no other.

    There’s a phrase that you may have heard: “Democracies don’t go to war”. Likewise, Monarchies *always* go to war.

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