Friday, December 03, 2004

How capitalism has ruined the world

In high school I was on the debate team. I remember that the debate topic for the entire tenth grade year was competition vs. cooperation (you had one topic that you researched for and debated at different "meets" throughout the year). I also remember the vast amount of information supporting the notion of competition as healthy and essential. I recall thinking that it was right, after all, without competition we wouldn't have achieved all the we have achieved, right?

Hmmm....
competition serves as the very backbone for capitalism; its governing ideal, its paradigm. In America we hold up capitalism as the paradigm for the rest of the world -- "Be free. Start your own business and make tons of money!"

The American Dream.


An American Success Story.


Only in America.

The problem that I now see (and see clearly) with the capitalist spirit is that it encourages everybody to make more, achieve more, spend more, sell more, build more, and do whatever it takes to get more. The latter is the worst part: do whatever it takes. Early Europeans are a perfect example. Christopher Columbus, for example, systematically murdered over 7 million indigenous people in his search for the gold that he promised the Queen of Spain (Zinn: A People's History of the United States)

Early Americans, in the interest of Manifest Destiny (the white man's best interest), relocated, re-educated, cheated, lied to, swindled, and massacred Native Americans. Our Native Americans, who lived as one with the earth, are still living (in most cases) in impoverished conditions on reservation land. (I think that it is brilliant that more and more tribes run very successful casinos that take money away from greedy Americans and reinvest it into their communities. )

Of course Americans aren't the only ones to commit such heinous acts, simply look at the Aborigine of Australia, look at India's history, etc., etc.
We have all profited from these atrocities. If human life is so invaluable, then America and other capitalist nations, our way of life, and all of the achievements of man are not worth the loss of one human life. Think about it: What if it were you and 7 million of your family, loved ones, and peoples, that were going to be killed in the interest of progress (someone else's of course)?

Would it be ok then?

The capitalist spirit is the reason why we are in Iraq, but not Sudan. It's the reason why our focus shifted from Afghanistan to Iraq in the blink of an eye. Eleven thousand troops in an area the we know is the haven for terrorists and 150k + troops in a land where there have been no ties to terrorist -- but there is lots of oil folks -- lots of government contracts for companies with Vice Presidents as their former CEOs.

Step right up and get your piece. And after you do, when your conscience starts to bug you, drown it out with sitcoms and alcohol. Or you can beat your wife and kids because you feel like a failure for not having a bigger house with more useless shit.

Go ahead, get your piece.

I think that native people had it right all along:
Live with the earth.
Live simple.
The village raises the child.
Battle, but don't war.

Unrealistic? Naive? That's the kind of attitude that allows our world to perpetuate itself into an endless, downward spiral.

5 Comments:

Blogger shyloh said...

Everything you said here resonates deep within my very soul.
I agree 100%.. This is great! I wish I has written this.. (smile)

December 8, 2004 at 11:43 PM  
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October 13, 2005 at 9:03 AM  
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