Capitalism Vs. Natural Selection

I’m more of a Socialist than anything, though that economic model doesn’t work either, as it falls short of keeping citizens motivated. I stress here, Economic Model. The Right Wing purposely confuses Socialism with or presents it as a government model to scare people, reminding them that Russia and Germany and China were/are all communist dictatorships, that as an economic model it's easily exploitable in terms of the state instigating social control, failing to acknowledge Capitalism's faults in that very same arena. And the Left Wing doesn't seem to know anything about it, either, because it always submits to Right-Wing opposition rather than following its conscience. It could simply be the Right and the Left are completely ignorant of what they say, and only parrot the talking points of their respective pundits and party leaders.

Communism is, according to Marx and Engels, the end result of Socialism, a stateless society in which all government is abolished in favor of the masses. This should sound familiar, because it's what the Right Wing advocates: Less government. The only reason we’re taught to fear any breed of Socialism is because those in power, the upper 1% of people in this country who own approximately 40-50% of the wealth, will lose money as it becomes redistributed back into the economic engine: The Workers: Us. Without us, they wouldn’t exist. Without a large population to exploit, they’d have no power.

Socialism is more democratic. And because it's more democratic it's also more Christian, as it doesn't leave any of 'God's children' behind. This is where Church and State should combine forces (not that I at all advocate either). The Right Wing should be all in favor, though, but, of course, its power would diminish if wealth was redistributed and the population as a whole weren't purposely disregarded or completely omitted from the political decision-making process. (Where would religion be without people to oppress and suppress?) Still, Socialism is an economic model, and its main flaw is that it's not an incentive-based model, and, since people are generally lazy and greedy by nature, if there’s no reason to do anything, no means of profiting from the work you do or goods you produce, then why work or produce anything? For the mere enjoyment of it? People want the most reward for the least amount of effort contributed—this is known in sociological terms as the 'Mini-Max' principle.

Upward mobility, in our current capitalist incarnation (the logical result of Adam Smith’s theories, as well as Benjamin Franklin’s insistence that Americans be industrious), is pretty much an illusion for a huge portion of American population who are self-reliant but still can’t achieve a higher social or economic status because Capitalism is designed to keep them glued to the lower rungs of its ladder. The financial collapse last year showed us just how illusory our system is, based as it is on pretend numbers, theoretical values of goods and even the theoretical value of money itself.

Wall Street has nothing to do with us, yet involves us directly. Wall Street traders playing games with money they aren’t earning, money we’re earning for them, those of us lucky enough to have jobs. And by not working to abolish these companies or Wall Street itself, by failing to realise the problem is systemic, we’re complicit in our own exploitation. As rational, self-interested people we should be concerned about this. We have yet to break the rational/irrational barrier, as the Right Wing has been working toward for years now. Basing their campaigns on emotional issues, they’ve mobilized large groups of irrational people unwilling to listen to reason or attempt any compromise regarding issues which actually do effect/affect us as a society.

Marx—for as wrong as he was about his prediction of the inevitability of the workers’ revolution due to poor working conditions in factories during the Industrial Revolution— was spot on regarding the essential contradictions inherent in the Capitalist economic model. The three main aspects of Capitalism are, as Marx put it: 1) Private Ownership 2) Competition and 3) Profit. Marx felt private ownership would automatically not favor the masses, but he also noticed the following contradiction: How can you make profit if you have competition? A brief explanation:

Competition drives the economy, keeps it healthy. (It’s how evolution happens, how natural selection weeds out species which no longer support the eco[nomic]-system as a whole.) Competition ensures environmental conditions, wages and benefits for workers will improve, if companies are competing for workers, trying to lure them to their company for employment—this means more money spent to ensure workers’ standard of living. With competition, those workers would then have to produce better quality goods—this means more money spent on higher quality materials and more technologically advanced factories and machinery to aid in production. Competition would also ensure lower costs for consumers looking to purchase higher-quality goods for the least amount of money possible (echoing the 'Mini-Max' principle). The company would also seek innovation to stay ahead of the competition—this means research and development, which means more money spent on technological advances and quality.

The contradiction is that all of this money spent to out-do the competition reduces profit—the more money spent working toward keeping the company afloat the less money there is to live off the company, in a sense. Competition favors the people who work to produce and purchase a company’s goods and services, whereas profit favors the company’s owners and shareholders. Somewhere along the line, competition is inevitably wiped out—along with regulation such as anti-trust laws ensuring a monopoly is not allowed to form—in favor of more profit, favoring the company's owners and shareholders. The people working to produce and purchase the company’s goods and services are then irrelevant and expendable.

There is of course a parabolic expansion period, but it can only go so far before there are no markets left to liquidate. That’s when, to save profit, the company must eliminate sectors of its own workforce, cut benefits, reduce quality of goods and services, move overseas for cheaper labor, resulting in innovative and technological stagnation, etc. The question then becomes: If no one in this country is working to produce the goods and services the company’s trying to sell in this country, who’s going to purchase the goods and services? Perhaps this species of economy needs to go extinct, replaced by a more amiable species which doesn't hunt its prey to satiate itself but works for and protects the welfare of the entire population.

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