The Myth of Capitalism 9

The Myth of Capitalism 9

Yesterday we saw that the profit motive stands in conflict with the Good.

Today we will show how the profit motive can erode the moral sense.

The profit motive can degrade personal morality

Thinking like a profiteer long enough can skew your perception of right and wrong, just as any bad habit can warp your natural responses. Can you resist giving in to bad habits? Of course you can. Human beings can resist any temptation, provided that their character is strong enough always to choose the Good over every other temptation.

But how many people fit that description? Do you have a character that strong? Isn’t there some desire or craving or weakness that you will give in to under most circumstances? Or are you a person of iron willpower who will never succumb to temptation?

If you answer that question honestly, you will probably have to admit that you don’t really know how you are going to behave until the circumstances of temptation present themselves. If you are being really honest, you must confess that you are not one of the very few who have passed beyond all temptation, someone who is utterly impervious to being cajoled by flattery, seduced by sex or money, corrupted by the notion that you can do something immoral without being caught.

And nearly everyone is like you. So you can be sure that given the pressures of living in the world of business, the profit motive will begin to eat at most people’s sense of morality. If you can resist, more power to you. But it would foolish to expect that of most people. And it would be far safer for you to expect them to submit to the temptation rather than resist it.

Tomorrow we will see that the Myth of Capitalism, because of its distorted notions of human behavior, gives us a very warped picture of the world.

Until tomorrow, then,

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