Sunday, May 31, 2009

Capitalism's Forgotten Moral Responsibility

Communists forgot that economies rest on individual choices. Forgetting that one simple truth left Communism relegated to the trash pile of socioeconomic theories.

In the United States, Capitalists gloated over Communism’s demise and spent the last two decades touting the power of individual choice and the wonders of economic freedom. And along the way, the Capitalists became forgetful, too.

Capitalism’s advocates have forgotten that no individual choice stands alone but rather stands in relationship to every other choice by every other person. Taken together, the individual choices that drive economies form communities. The freedom to attain wealth of immeasurable portion carries with it the moral obligation to address the needs of those who cannot succeed in a system in which success is the product of competition. At its heart, Capitalism produces great wealth, but it also produces an inherent economic disparity between those who thrive on competition and those who don’t.

The American economy moves on two trends. On one track, the trend is toward greater and greater efficiency, empowerment, and access. Yet the same things that promote those qualities – technology, information, and complexity – take the economy on a second trend toward exclusion of those with less skill, less ability, and limited access to education. The kind of Darwinian Capitalism promoted today would see no problem with grinding up those who cannot or will not pull themselves up to the required level of competition. That lack of moral imperative will be the end of our capitalist system.

In the 19th Century, pro-slavery advocates used state sovereignty arguments in an attempt to defend the immoral practice of slavery, and sacrificed the Tenth Amendment doing so. Segregationists of the 20th Century used a similar argument to defend the equally immoral American Apartheid, and sacrificed what remained of state sovereignty in that effort. Now, Darwinian Capitalists are sacrificing the remains of American Capitalism to defend their devotion to materialism. Capitalism can rouse itself to remember its moral obligation, or it can die. The liberty that grants to some the means of attaining great wealth comes at the price of caring for those who cannot, for whatever reason, exercise that liberty.



To claim something as moral, one has to first disclose the nature of his derivations, source if you will, of such morality.

There is no one source for morality; not everyone's morality agrees; one man's moral is another's sin. It's a moving target that cannot be invoked in a society that lives free.

Equality is opportunity, but has nothing to do with ability.

To attempt to level a playing field is merely attempting to give entitlement, selectively & subjectively, because of emotion.

If ability is to be equal, then Michael Phelps owes me money because I will never swim like him given opportunity, irrespective of my ability.

Disparity occurs by personal choice – one choice over the other. The woman who chooses not to educate self but have children, made one choice over the other. In later years when a divorce is eminent her lacking ability was due to her choices made earlier in life – they still belong to her – individual empowerment.

It is through society’s grace & generosity that much is given to charity, not forced entitlement government programs, but charity.

However, this charity does little to evolve the individual who does not develop personal responsibility in life for each choice made which forges the life he lives.

Let each care for self and all will be cared for; those who cannot care for self were born from those that were caring for self, thus such burden belongs to them & not the society they thrust such dependency upon.

Freedom in choice is all that will ever matter, upholding one’s desires of how life should be lived to impose it upon all others, is not free – it’s control & manipulation

Doree said...

I would disagree with you on one point. Our society is not made up of heartless people. We are, in fact, the most generous society the world has ever known. If government would stop trying to "help" people who can't or won't help themselves, the generosity of the wealthy, affluent people in this country would make sure help was available. And it would be administered far better than it is by the government.

The problem is that people have become so reliant on government that they don't feel any need to continue to try on their own. The wealthy and affluent, who have always generously supported charities and even formed trusts and other forms of support for those less fortunate, have been hated and reviled for a very long time, thus contributing to the belief in a great chasm between classes in our country.

Not all wealthy, affluent people are kind and generous, but not all poor people try to reach their personal potential. Not everyone can be rich, but I'm glad there are those who have reached that level of comfort. It proves to me it can be done so that I will continue to try.

We mustn't make people who have feel guilty for that. Most of them have worked very hard to get where they are and many have sacrificed years of their lives and gone through more than the rest of us ever would choose to go through. I don't begrudge anyone what they have. I simply keep trying to better myself and encourage other not to give up. We all have the right to fail. But we all have the right to keep trying, too. In other countries the opportunity to try isn't available. Success isn't what makes capitalism work. It's the opportunity to try again and again.

But I do agree with you that "of he who has much, much is required." We should all be aware of those around us and assist them, but never deprive them of the right to fail and try again. When we fail, we learn the most.