Ending Capitalism is Not Enough (Jan 2019 version)

ending capitalism is not enough by Eric Schechter the economy the ecosystem and our social fabric are all collapsing and if we just lock up the crooks in charge but we don't change the culture that generated them it will quickly generate a new batch of crooks reforms might clean things up if our society had merely strayed from good principles but actually our society is based on bad principles which need to be replaced altogether when I need a short explanation I just say we need to end capitalism that's a good start because whether people agree or not at least they know approximately what I'm talking about but pursuing the matter further requires a more detailed explanation and then it becomes evident that end capitalism is too much of a simplification not everyone agrees how to define capitalism by most definitions capitalism began only a few hundred years ago but we've had war and poverty much longer than that and in the 20th century some countries freed themselves from capitalism at least nominally but they still weren't utopias so ending capitalism is not enough our root problems include authoritarianism hierarchy property competition productivism and separateness as I'll explain those mutually perpetuating evils began 10,000 years ago but for two hundred thousand years before that we were free of them and that's still our nature we can be free of them again to change our culture we just need to see it more clearly people are corrupted by power and corrupt people are attracted by power we see the abusive power in workplace bullying domestic violence police brutality torture army atrocities and the money in politics power gets concentrated in hierarchy and property so we should end those hierarchy is how we organize government and most of our workplaces but it doesn't have to be we should replace it with horizontal networking also known as anarchism or friendship and as for property if we don't share we trade that favours the traitor in the stronger bargaining position making him stronger still increasing inequality which is now huge in our society money is influence so the rich rule that's called plutocracy the USA has been a plutocracy thinly disguised as a democracy ever since its founding in the enslavement of Africans and slaughter of Indians the only way to end rule by the wealthy class is to not have a wealthy class that is we must replace property with sharing automation is accelerating that would mean more leisure if we were sharing its benefits but instead it means more layoffs as its benefits go to just a few owners this trend cannot continue indefinitely whether our transition to a new system is rough or smooth depends on our planning for it people at the top get there by chasing short-term profit and only pretending to care for anything else they don't care what lies they tell or who gets killed by the disastrous unmeasured side effects of their actions they don't care because in the past their wealth has always protected them they block news or legislation about those side effects to protect their short-term profits thus the market really is not efficient and governments aren't doing what they could to end war poverty or climate change and climate change if continued will kill us all sooner than people realize because they don't understand that feedback loops cause exponential acceleration productivism is the belief that we measured the well-being of society by how fast it produces goods and services that philosophy has been disastrous instead teach ecological awareness it is not technology but unwise technology that is poisoning the world we are all downstream and there really is no away where you can throw things we need to redesign everything to be reusable recyclable biodegradable organic and carbon neutral but individual efforts won't suffice we need society wide changes in our culture and infrastructure whatever can be done competitively can be done better cooperatively but Property separates us and our society worships competition the market makes us rivals thus killing empathy we become commodities to be exploited or discarded building friendships and labor unions becomes hard so our rulers easily divide and conquer us the wealthy competing against each other put the screws to their employees wages are low jobs are scarce and temporary and Pensions are stolen a really strong social safety net will never be implemented by capitalists because that would permit low paid workers to quit jobs they hate homeless beggars on street corners are constant visible proof that our future is unsafe and no one cares about us thus we come to fear the other anyone we don't know where control we seek control over our own lives wherever we can find it so the strong bully the weak through sexism racism austerity imperialism and other forms of hate and once a week some desperately lonely man shoots a school or a church but we don't shoot our friends can we all be friends that's our true nature but it's crushed by our present socio-economic system the first step to a better world is talking about it you can read more at lefting math profit org

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