Yesterday we showed how the Myth of Capitalism gives us a distorted picture of the reality of human nature and societal interaction.
Today we will complete our treatment of the Myth of Capitalism by considering the possibility that Capitalism may not be the best the only solution to the problems of economics, and by suggesting some possibilities for the creation of a successor to the Capitalist model.
Alternatives to capitalism
The baby boom generation grew up in the shadow of communism and socialism. As a consequence, the only alternatives to capitalism they can think of are communism and socialism. Furthermore, as a consequence of their adherence to the Major Myths, they hold an almost religious reverence for capitalism, as if it were God’s ordained mode of economic activity.
Just as there were other economic systems before capitalism (which earlier systems, unfortunately, depended in large part on indentured servitude or slavery, and are therefore no longer acceptable to decent people), there can be other economic systems after capitalism—if that time ever comes. The state of economic affairs in the world is so dire, however, that the time needs to come soon. If young people are to have a future that is worth living, a future in which they can pursue their dreams, raise their families, and pass on even more opportunity to their children, they themselves will have to define the new economic realities. They cannot expect the previous generation, sunk deeply in the delusions generated by the Major Myths, to find the way out for them.
This means that young people have to be clear about what they want. It is not sufficient to be clear about what you don’t want. It’s easy to determine that. We all have our list of complaints: I don’t want to be out of a job, I don’t want to mortgage my life just to get an education, I don’t want to live next to a toxic waste dump.
But to be clear about what you want requires some thought. It requires you to decide positively what you value, and to imagine positively what you want the world of the future to look like.
Would you like to see a world in which preferences for social goods have at least as much weight as preferences for individual goods, so that people could demand that governmental resources first be used to provide healthy, livable, easily navigable living space for everyone?
Would you like to see a world in which people paid the same proportion of their income for the same items, rather than a fixed price that allows those with the greatest resources to become insulated from the struggles of those with the least resources?
Would you like to see a world in which broad-based, decentralized cooperative decision-making replaces the top-down organizational structures that place a few well compensated individuals at the top to make decisions for the many below them?
Would you like to see a world in which people are rewarded for their creativity and for the contributions they make to their societies, rather than for their skill at making profit?
Would you like to see a world in which cooperation replaced competition as the principal mode of human interaction?
Answers to questions like these will generate a positive vision to pursue, not just a list of complaints to whine about. And once the vision is clear enough and attractive enough, everyone who isn’t shackled by the Major Myths will begin to be drawn to it, and will want to see it become reality.
This is how revolutionary change happens: first, the creative vision; second, the desire to see the vision realized; last, the reality. And this is how the successor to capitalism will depose capitalism. When enough people clearly see that another way more desirable, then they will bring it about.
It is time for the young people of America to create this vision, and start showing how attractive it is. No one else is going to do it.
This completes our consideration of the seventh and final Major Myth, the Myth of Capitalism.
For the past several months, since the day after the 2012 election, this blog has been devoted to understanding how the Major Myths have distorted society’s apprehension of reality. Under the influence of the Myths, my generation, the baby boomers, have made life very difficult for their children, today’s young people. By preserving and creating institutions and societal structures based on Fear, Self-interest, Competition, Individualism, Religion, Tradition, and Capitalism, my generation has brought America, and almost the whole world, to brink of disaster.
It is past time for my generation to be pushed aside, so that the Fear which dominates its thinking and its sensibilities can be replaced with Creativity and Cooperation.
My generation will never do it. They wouldn’t know how, even if they wanted to.
It’s up to young people, the new generation, to create the change you need.
Tomorrow I will say a few words about what it might take to do that.
Until tomorrow, then.
10 January 2013
by Alfred George filed under