Yesterday we saw how the habit of making profit can eat away at a person’s personal morality.
Today we will investigate more broadly how the Myth of Capitalism presents a distorted picture of reality, of our interactions with one another, and of human behavior generally.
The Myth of Capitalism provides a faulty portrayal of human behavior
Theories of human behavior cannot be acceptable if they do not include some account of the reality of benevolence. Capitalism, rooted as it is in the Myth of Self-interest, and relying as it does on divine Providence to repair the damage done by Self-interest, leaves no room for altruism in its description of how humans relate to one another. This alone makes it a false theory.
It is no surprise, however, that vehement proponents of the Myth of Capitalism go even further in the direction of excising altruism from their view of things. They rail against Government, which is the most conspicuous institution based on the human faculty of benevolence. Extreme capitalists want to escape government control and regulation in order to maximize profits. They regard Government as an enemy, and because they venerate the Myth of Self-interest, they cannot understand why they should be restrained in any way from pursuing their self-interested designs.
Government, however, exists for the sake of justice, which demands a great deal more than self-interest: it requires benevolence and altruism, and it enforces citizens to behave as if they possess those virtues. That is what Law is: the behavior everyone would show toward everyone else if everyone were virtuous.
Because of their adherence to the Myths, extreme capitalists don’t understand the role of benevolence and altruism in holding society together. This is just another way of saying that they are not concerned about justice. No wonder they find Government so onerous: they chafe at being required to act justly when they see no need for it.
Why should the rest of us accept this warped view of the world? We don’t have to. Once we understand the tremendously harmful effect that the Major Myths have had on the modern world, we can begin to break free from their tyranny, and we can begin to develop more rational, more humane, and more just economic systems that can rise from the ruins of Capitalism.
Tomorrow we will discuss possible alternatives to Capitalism that are made possible by recognizing and correcting the distortions of the Myth of Capitalism.
Until tomorrow, then.
9 January 2013
by Alfred George filed under