I have included this section on Government and Economy, although not strictly a part of the Philosophy of the GOOD, because like it or not, government and the economy, which were originally created by mankind to foster their societies, have in this time become the actual antithesis of the principles that society was founded on. Of course, these principles are Cooperation and Equity, the very same principles the GOOD fosters.
I am including this special preface to the following set of essays to prepare the reader for what I consider the most disputatious essays on this web site. Implementation issues are always the most disputatious or argumentative part of any system of theory, simply because they affect people according to what his or her particular situations are at the time. People will tend to “write off” something because they’ve already made up their minds before they read on. I warn you before time that this may cause you to simply say “I don’t believe that” and skip the reading. Don’t do it. Before you read on, you may think this way: “Capitalism has treated me pretty well, I have everything I want. My family has what they want. I don’t believe this crap.” Now I want you to think about what Democracy and Capitalism are:
All societies are based on fairness (equity) and cooperation.
Government is a way to perpetuate the society it was created to order.
Democracy does this through the responsible freedom it upholds through the laws that it creates.
It further guarantees the rights of every individual through this responsible freedom.
All citizens share the right to have an equal say in the process of government (the creation of laws) through this democratic process of local representation.
Capitalism, at the present time, promotes the gain of the capitalist through competition in the market place.
Capitalism therefore, in its present form, allows the destruction of competitors for the betterment of the individual capitalist.
The arbitrary fate that Capitalism imposes, through the above process, on the citizens of society causes an unequal and inequitable distribution of the necessities (food, jobs, etc.), which society needs to function.
The results of Capitalism are prosperity for some citizens and misery and privation for others.
Then say to yourself, “Yes, capitalism has been pretty good to me and mine, but suppose I were suddenly thrown into the inner city, in some project slum where my children had to grow up surrounded by cockroaches and peeling lead-based paint. And I were forced to leave the baby in some hell hole while I eeked out a penurious existence of a few dollars a day to raise my family because I couldn’t find a descent job.” Then read the essays with these thoughts in mind, and tell me that capitalism doesn’t need to be reformulated. *
I don’t say it’s going to be easy. I don’t even say I know how to do it, although I give suggestions. But all must at least contemplate doing it. All must start to realize that something has to be done. Why? Because the capitalism that exists today has created entities that are actually negating the democratic process itself. These multi-national corporations and monopolies are becoming super citizens that exist outside the laws of all nations and exert tremendous power to control the democracies of every nation in the world through the power they exert on elected officials. If we want to keep the rights and liberty that democracy has bestowed on us, through local representation, we must do something to break the influence of these foreign powerbrokers before we end up the same way that every other democratic society before us has ended up. I firmly believe that we can create a capitalism that actually benefits society, and does away with the poverty, and the other ill effects you will read about below. If you think I don’t have the answers – your absolutely right – I don’t. But unless we probe the problem, and give it some serious thought we never will have the answers. So read on…
* I will give you two examples of the nefarious hypocrisy that capitalism practices on societies through its monopolies to create harmful products in society; and instead of correcting the problem actually finds a way to make more money by allowing the problem to continue, yet at the same time gives the illusion of corrective action. First is the tobacco industry.
Tobacco has caused more health problems in society than any other major disease or even group of diseases. There is absolutely no doubt as to the harm caused by smoking, or the effects of cigarette smoke on the human. Anyone who has dissected a body of a smoker and sees the effects of smoke on the human lung knows that this is a foul and vicious habit that destroys the body. Yet have we stopped cigarettes and cigars from being produced? Or tobacco from being grown? No! Why … because of the power of these super-citizen monopolies over our government and its politicians and the court systems. If anything the products of this industry have absolutely no value to our society except producing jobs; but if cigarettes were stopped being produced ... period, these jobs could be replaced easily in another field, because of the beneficial effect this would have on the health care industry, which would free up billions of dollars of taxpayers money to create other industries and jobs. Instead capitalism has created another industry, to break the cigarette habit, with drugs, patches, whatever that now relies on cigarettes continuing to be produced. So instead of ridding society of this poison, it actually has created more incentive for it to be produced, and in the process has gained the illusion that it is doing something to stop the habit!
Similarly in the software industry, the operating systems produced are full of bugs that allow hackers and other criminals to steal the privacy of users and perpetrate crimes against them. Instead of ending this by putting the burden of creating a hacker-proof system on the manufacturers, capitalism, through its monopolies and lobbies on our government, has created a whole industry that relies on the continuation of the problem, with anti-virus programs, anti-snooping programs, whatever, which actually makes the user the victim of another racket to further the manufacturer, and creates an actual need for the hacking to continue, while giving the illusion of correcting the problem. See further comments in ERRATA
Originally Published:January 9, 2008
Revised:June 26, 2014