In a recent post I stated that Capitalism isn't evil, whereupon it was put to me that I was wrong and that Capitalism is evil, not only by one but by several individuals. To prove their points they quoted formal definitions, and profound statements made by others, which quite frankly seemed rather narrow minded. The sort of thinking that comes from the indoctrinated mind of a fundamental extremist. The kind of binary processing one gets from a programed machine and not that of an evolved self aware individual.
For a Socialist to say Capitalism is evil is being no different from a capitalist saying that socialism is evil. This is not the talk of an open mind, it is the talk of two narrow minds conflicting. We need to rid ourselves of these conflicting black and white concepts of good and evil. There is no black and white, there is only an infinite gradation of gray. What you call black I call an extremely dark gray. And what you call white I call an extremely light gray.Black white, good evil, these are concepts of a dualistic existence and to me, the human equation and the universe are an infinitely complex balance and harmony of colors, of light and of shade and so much more. The concepts of good and evil as opposing dichotomies are limiting concepts. And a society indoctrinated with such concepts is an easily malleable society for it limits the abilities of a society to think conceptually closing it off to all kinds of possibilities.
No idea in and of itself is evil and equally no idea in and of itself is good. Left upon themselves they do nothing. Combine that thought with action, well that's a different question all together.A horse of a different color, so to speak. Having two ideas at war will keep us from coming to an understanding. It is ideological conflict and certainly not a means to logical resolution. And that is what I believe we are supposed to be here for.Coming to a resolution to answer the question, what is a fair and just society? We ask this question because we are universal in the awareness of not having a fair and just society. And a big part of that problem is the way capitalism is being used to funnel wealth into the hands of the few. Does that make capitalism evil? No. How capitalism has been used does not confine it to what it could be used for, in a fair and just society. The way capitalism is being used is certainly evil. But capitalism itself is not.
What is democracy? Has it worked so far? Many say no.They have even given up on voting. Does that make it evil? Should we give up on it? No and no. It would be like giving up on a baby just because it stumbled on its first steps. Democracy is an idea that is evolving. It is an idea that humankind has been working on for some time yet is still quite young for it has far to go before it becomes an ideal democracy. And as for Capitalism. It is even much less evolved than democracy and has even further to go.But socialism. That has been a part of the human equation and evolving for what seems forever. We are at a our very nature social creatures, it is where the idea of socialism could be said to evolve from. Being social has been an important aspect to our survival as a species.To be cast out from the tribe was to be given a death sentence. Our survival depended greatly upon our ability to be social creatures.
It has also been put to me here that we need to look at this situation from outside the box, and I so certainly agree with this. To do this one must be able to conceptually remove themselves from all boxes, and look at each of them equally, without prejudice. To do so is to have an open mind. An open mind does not begin with a statement such as something is evil. As I said before it is extremist propaganda, and does not belong with one who considers themselves self-aware. An individual with extremist ideologies is like an individual with an unbalanced load. Wherever he is trying to get will take him longer, than someone with a balanced load, he'll tire himself out faster and he'll also be easier to tip over. You'll notice that extremists tend not to use words like balance and harmony. Yet when it comes to the human equation it is balance and harmony that is needed. Without balance and harmony there is a friction of forces at work just waiting to explode.
Socialism does not balance the human equation on its own. Its simplistic ideal is that all people are equal and as much as I agree with it . All people are not equally the same, and this is where I believe it requires a form of capitalism to balance the equation. This is not the capitalism of a consumer society. It is a capitalism as a means to distribute wealth in a Socialist Ideal. My ability, my knowledge my experience my productivity are a part of what I call human capital. In today's society someone else profits from that capital. In the Utopian society I should profit from it in a reasonable and just manner. Another consideration is social-capital, the capital one earns doing good for others. Alleviating pain and suffering for others. Nurturing and educating others. Solving problems for others. Bringing a benefit to society should bring greater capital wealth for oneself.
Socialism, capitalism and now a third element in the equation, and that is Democracy. The weakest link in the chain. And the truth of this we are seeing today , with the marriage of the corporation and government and the military industrial complex. Where if military is your industry then war can only be seen as boom times for the economy. Where scarcity and deficit economics can cause inflation which funnels wealth into the hands of the few. Leading to greater disparity of wealth and rising crime rates and a greater need for more police and bigger prisons. 'Democracy requires constant vigilance', says Thomas Jefferson. The present situation is proof of that. So who shall provide that vigilance?
To create a fair and just society one must include the human equation which will require a balancing act of ideas and concepts that keep evolving, as we strive towards the Utopian ideal. 'Be the change you want to see in the world',says Gandhi. To me that means to be a just and fair individual. It requires balance and an open mind.
Capitalism is not evil, and neither is Socialism but perhaps insisting that either is evil, is the true evil instead.