February 18, 2007 : Sunday
THE PROBLEM: CAPITALISM OR GREED?
I write this article for people much like myself, idealistic and desiring a fairer, more stable world with less violence, less starvation, equal rights… you get the picture. Throughout the quest of searching for solutions, I evolved from being purely idealistic, and more often than not counter-productive, to finding practical applications based on successful models that have actually been implemented and utilized around the world. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? Not just to fight for “something” but to actually improve “something” for the greater good of mankind.
It has been capitalism that brought liberty and freedom to the masses, to the poor, to the unequal class systems. Human greed has given capitalism a very bad reputation when in fact greed is the problem. And greed, unfortunately, is part of human nature. Greed is prevalent in any model of society, whether it is communism or capitalism. If we recognize the core of the problem we can address the issue with emotional intelligence.
It was the entrepreneurial spirit of the middle classes that gained economic independence beginning with private property rights inthat first removed some of the power of rulers. These were the first beginnings of democracy as we know it in the Western world today
Without capitalism, we could very well still be living under a feudal system were peasants worked for nothing and the lords and aristocracy kept all the money. Capitalism for the first time gave the peasants a way to determine their own destiny if they worked hard and used ingenuity. It was the economic success of the middle class that applied pressure to the political system that forced the institutions to introduce fair and equal rights throughout society.
Although no society could ever possibly be totally equal, what we have today in America ,, England , and , to name a few countries, is certainly not perfect but definitely exemplifies the fairest societies in the history of mankind. This is essential to recognize and defend. Although life may not be perfect for everyone in society, children are not dying in their mothers arms from starvation and civilians are not being tortured by some mad dictator. Women are allowed to vote, drive, and wear what they choose. Tolerance of race, religion and creeds is what we stand for.
All movements in society, including capitalism, evolve in basically the same manner… first there is a real injustice. Thankfully and gratefully people fight to correct that injustice. The injustice is corrected, but the people who fought to win do not acknowledge the victory and have their lives so absorbed in the cause they do not want, or know how, to stop. At this point it becomes a detriment to the delicate fabric of society. Transparency is the essential element once the battle is won and, of course, tweaking the system for improvement. It is like watching a pendulum swing; at first it swings too far from one side to the other. The optimum scenario would be a gentle back and front in the middle without setting off a cause and effect that instigates another movement to defend their rights. For example, I am very grateful for the men who fought for all the rights I enjoy today.
It is the capitalist model that has proved time and again around the world to be most successful for a fair and balanced society, taking into consideration real human attributes rather than an idealistic theory such as communism, which does not account for the true nature of human behavior and motivation. Although not perfect, as no model ever will be, if you research the history over the past century you can clearly see a direct correlation between capitalism, a free market economy, democracy, and a better quality of life for society.