The Rot at Capitalism’s Core

The Rot at Capitalism’s Core

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   Let’s explore the rot at capitalism’s core. Now, friends, this is only one trip to the heart of this darkness. There have been many before and, gods swilling, many more to come – though one never comes back from a contemplation of capitalism unscathed.

    Even PBS (In USofA Inc, the least corporate major channel – one on which you could see someone playing a violin), even PBS which aspires to a soul and a heart only has Business Week. It has no Labor Week show which would on-goingly examine labor concerns.

    Let’s guillotine the iconic false idea, brayed at every opportunity by the HaveAlotMores, that we wouldn’t have an engine of invention without money-competition. Pick your interjection: Crap! Balderdash! I have done all my creative work deliberately as a passionate amateur because I can give my whole untrammeled soul to it – to the zigs, the zags of mischievous, demanding creativity. I would say that whenever I did forays into doing my stained glass or my political organizing or my Rhapsodic Life TV shows for money, I lost the astonishing compression of passion that I had had as a pure amateur, a lover of the thing. I still did them extremely well, but the real Zone of Zones is amateur. You think your gift or passion will be ratified or improved by the money, but do you really think Mick Jagger wants to sing Satisfaction again? The Muse loves the lover, not the Banker.

    This whole idea of Follow Your Bliss so rarely works out creatively that I would radically amend it to Follow Your Bliss except for Money.

    So capitalism is constructed as a Religious necessity on an entirely false idea – that people will only excel for money, then more money for more excelling. Nonsense. My life and a zillion others disprove this utterly. The best people I’ve known have labored with unflagging diligence and discipline for pittances or no money at all. For the beauty of, the fascination of, the rightness of the project itself. So the idea that competition is a necessary fuel to effort and excellence is a dangerous and stupid and enslaving knee-jerk slogan. (Ask the FattHogggists, for an instance, whether they play golf or bridge as well as they possibly can – and nobody pays them for it.)

    The whole stock market is a something-for-nothing scheme. That short-term, short-sighted, so-called profit is stolen from the real labor — by entitled people who do nothing for it whatsoever. Our economy is hideously organized around bank-worth which can be obscenely unequal, not human-worth which is fabulous-creation-of-the-universe equal.

    Trust me, I too am blinded and blinded by the horrific tonnage of societal baggage and judgments we all haul around – we and I are argus-eyed-blind so many blindnesses do we ignorantly and worse, often stubbornly, inhabit. (The peacock’s tail has dozens of brilliant ‘argus eyes,’ any and all of which can be blinded.) I too am blinded. But I fight for sight.

    If we can (some day) agree and grok¹ and funes² that each person’s life time is as exactly valuable to them as yours is to you, then we begin to build the equal-worth fellowship world and to feel shame over the cut-throat world.

   We should not reward the pirates and the pillagers and the corporate looters who rape, pillage, and maraud with the nod-&-wink pass wearing a business suit gives. We gotta quit applauding these suckers. “You have a staggeringly huge bank account? Ick, how sad for you. How unimaginative that you allow all that money to fester.”

    The Navajo insist on a collaborative model. If they have a footrace, the young buck who would clearly cross the finish line ‘first’ in our individual cut-throat vision only ‘wins’ there if his strength is brought to bear to get the old people and the little children to the finish line too with him. It is how many people you bring with you that is the victory.

    To call ourselves “the richest country on Earth” as we so bloatedly and gloatingly trumpet is bizarre if not evil when we ignore and worse condemn the appalling numbers of poor. (I would suggest to my christian brethren and sistren that every poor person is Jesus or Jesusia testing your eyes of kindness. Do you see sweetly? Or do you deny, your vision blurred by Covetousness and Greed? The eye of the needle awaits you and narrows day by day.)

    I constantly hear the poor condemned. As a teacher for 40 years, it is never the fault of the student. It’s our job to teach them motivation, to be ingenious enough to engage and nurture their talent. A sane and wholesome economy – our national household — would require figuring out how to encourage and engage these disheartened folk in our fruitfulness which cannot be called prosperous until they join the parade.  

  A human experience is utterly precious and unrepeatable – dare we allow any life to tarnish?

   The poverty-stricken are the collateral damage in an economy structured like a war. Just as I refuse to accept the mutilated child in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Iraq as ‘collateral damage tut tut shrug,’ I refuse to accept a poor person as a necessary casualty of necessary capitalism.

    Until we become both aware of and sickened by the lives diminished by our opulence, we cannot begin our recovery from our unholy addiction to Money.




¹  grok .. indispensable Martian for ‘understand in a way that you utterly drink deeply’; from Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein, an very interesting old sci-fi, sadly steeped in an appalling misogyny, but there it is. 


²  funes .. Funes is the borges character who remembers everything in a blakean heart-exploding honor of universe-in-a-grain-of-sand detail. The key image is that Funes cannot understand not only how any 'dogs' can be lumped together, but even more, how dog, Puffy, asleep in the idle sun-blasted afternoon street at 2:13 pm can be considered the same dog as that dog at 2:14 pm.

    We smear and lump and clump stuff to a dimmed degree of dullness that we surely live in the back broomcloset of Plato's cave, unalert and unillumined. Anyhow I add funes to grok as a more whole and paganly holy embrace of perception. I will, thus, give myself this credit: te funes — I 'get' rather a lot about you, tho I forlorn of painting your portrait as it really deserves in any medium except my curiosity and devotion. 



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4 thoughts on “The Rot at Capitalism’s Core

  1. I'm really glad, pogblog, that you put your famous icepick into this notion that initiative and “money-competition” are in any way inherently related.
    This unexamined and ultimately ugly idea causes no end of wrongheadedness and wrongheartedness for that matter.

  2. It is amazing the number of nostrums or bleating cliches that actually control our policies and end up moving massive sums of money and lives around.
    How is it, esfera, that we are not Manhattan-Projecting & MoonShotting Education is this country? It would be, like the GI Bill, a fabulous investment.

  3. I'm not religious, but it says a lot about Medieval society that they made sure the biggest building in their community was a cathedral.
    today in the US it's a shopping mall.
    Cathedral vs. 8 zillion Walmarts and Gaps….
    which is the better legacy?

  4. I'm not against having more than one burlap hairshirt to wear, the garb of the cathedral era — IF the people who warped & wefted them made a fair wage.
    I want our Schools to be the cathedrals of OUR time — sans Religion COMPLETELY. (People can go to church or cathedral for Religion. I fear the loss of separation of church & state more than anything else. I have no interest in your hallucination.) Nor do I fuss about your peculiarities of belief as long as you don't put them on the money and the buildings &c.

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