Any form of Oppression is a form of violence; we are slowly learning that people exposed to various abuses cannot help but internalize this behavior and perpetuate it. What goes around, comes around, and the ripples of violence spread and beget more violence, as the tools of the Oppressor are “reactively” adopted by the Oppressed.
Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, and even Dictatorships all have their flaws for sure, but the real problem within any system has always been the Oppressor. No system is safe when it has an Oppressor in charge of it. As the future emerges—however it emerges—we cannot use the tools of Oppressors to build it. We can certainly keep this hammer in our toolbox, for when we need it, but it is time to use some of the other tools in our possession.
A Word to All the ‘Fighters’
Take a deep breath. There is absolutely no chance people will ever grow ‘non-violent’. Violence is the foundation of all existence. When violence volunteers its services (and it always will), we will be sure to say “thanks, we’ll think about it”.
A Word to All the ‘Flighters’
Doing NOTHING is not a strategy, or at least not a good one. Whatever action we choose will also likely not be perfect, but it will be our job to make sure it is better than NOTHING. We are in a process of evolving, which is defined as going from crappy to less crappy. We will take the best evidence we have, and move forward, and more than we have previously, be ready to make adjustments along the way. All progress must be achieved through a process of first failing, followed by getting up and trying again.
“Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much”
Some of us invariably act butt-hurt when others even slightly criticize Capitalism, as if we are talking crap about their spouse or something. We the People are not married to Capitalism. The word “Capitalism” was never mentioned in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, so there is no need to get patriotic about it. Adam Smith, the alleged ‘founder’ of Free Market Capitalism, never mentioned the word ‘Capitalism’ in any of his writings, either, but did mention that all people should be provided with basic needs, and that the measure of the Wealth of a Nation is based on how well the laborers get paid, even if income inequality did result from the “invisible hand” of the market. Capitalism is mostly just the fabrication of con artists; anyone who sings the praises of Capitalism too loudly is either a liar or too ignorant to know they are a liar.
The Bottom Line, however, is that WE ARE NOT GETTING RID OF CAPITALISM. It would not exist unless there was some need for it. Per our mandate to provide Democratic Equality, though, we can no longer let it in charge of our well-being or the distribution our most essential needs.
Capitalism: The Game of Life Made into an Actual Game
The object of any game is to win it, and in Capitalism, the object is to somehow reel in and capture “consumers”, in order to obtain coins, which can be exchanged for lots of cool toys. To reel in consumers, Capitalists must figure out each consumer’s weakness, which usually falls into one of three categories: survival needs (necessities), benefits (conveniences), or addictions (desires). A survival need, like housing or health care, gets jacked up in price because people cannot survive without it. ‘Conveniences’ need to be marketed, in order to convince people that these benefits are necessary. Addictions are the biggest payoff. Consumers with Addictions could potentially give up all their coins.
Capitalists have always existed; they were only waiting for a place to call home. Pontius Pilate, who stood before the mob and offered people a choice—crucify Jesus or let him live? —was a Capitalist, and just like Capitalists, was able to wash his hands of whatever consequences resulted. He was only supplying what the mob demanded. Playing to the mob is one of the Capitalist’s Greatest Hits. The Serpent was, of course, the original Capitalist. Just a friendly door-to-door snake trying to make an honest living selling Apples.
Beware of False Profits
Capitalists are really good at selling stuff, even Capitalism. It’s called Marketing. Capitalism is analogous to that shitty-looking outfit you wore that one time. You know the one. It’s hanging in the closet next to all your other bad choices. Everyone’s closets are full of stuff we never really needed. Perhaps there is some stuff in Capitalism’s closet that we never really needed as well. Again, take a deep breath. We are not getting rid of the stuff we like, and for everything else, we would simply apply a Warning Label: “Capitalism has been known to cause inequality, division, corruption, war, pollution and dry mouth”. Something like that.
Economists: It is So Hard to Make a Prophet These Days
When it comes to Economics, it seems like any of us could flip a coin and make a better prediction about financial outcomes than an economist. Weather forecasting is an exact science compared to Economic forecasting, and there is a really good reason for this: Science is, in every other case, the study of something mankind did not make. Most scientists look at plants or stars or even weather.
Economics is a social science, and currently social science is simply a pastime or hobby. It is of little worth because its subject —people—are of little worth. Hopefully, social science is slowly building up enough resentment that it will finally join forces with the rest of the social science community, utilize its accumulated knowledge of people, and fashion an economics based on people. A great working title might be to call it ‘Economic Democracy.’
Death and Taxes (and Don’t Forget Work)
Capitalism carries with it at least 3 Certainties that are apparent to everyone:
- You will be forced to work (possibly for the rest of your life) in order to survive.
- You will be forced to give some of your earnings back to the Government for the right to work (in order to survive]).
- You will die at some point. You might get shot by one of your own citizens. You might get hit by a car. You might get sick. You might die of stress, or from the drugs you take to relieve the stress, or from the “comfort” food you overeat to relieve the stress. Ironically, you are unlikely to die from some “evil” entity outside the United States, though $1 Trillion of our taxes each year goes to the military, whose job it is to protect us from our outside “enemies”, rather than the exponentially more dangerous enemy within each of us.
These are the “self-evident” truths of this existence; all roads lead to Death and Taxes and Work in between, so let’s be honest: The Third Option cannot do a damn thing about you dying, or working, or paying taxes, but here is what we can offer:
- We can make it so you work less, and retire sooner [if you wish]. We can also attempt to give you the Certainty of employment throughout this time period, in return for your consistent effort.
- We can take your taxes, invest the money, and give it back to you with interest when you retire, meanwhile using it to provide all your basic survival needs along the way, at an affordable cost.
- We can reduce the chances of you dying from preventable causes. You will still die, though, and by the way, this is probably the root of all our Uncertainty, but we didn’t want to keep mentioning the ‘D’ word over and over, so we always use the word Uncertainty instead.
It is crucial for everyone to understand that Capitalism is not a destination. Capitalism is simply the road on which we have chosen to drive. If you open your eyes and look out the window, you cannot help but notice some of these familiar sites along the way:
- Inequality (because Fairness is not a goal of Capitalism).
- Division (‘everybody for themselves’ forces factions or ‘tribes’, because humans at their core will still seek cooperation and belonging to survive, neither of which is a goal of Capitalism).
- War (ever since God took off, it’s been a free-for-all for whatever is or isn’t tied down; as all claims of ownership are arbitrary, force becomes necessary to maintain Control. It was a nice touch, though, putting God’s name on both the Money and the Deed of Trust, in case God ever came back).
- Greed (in the Give and Take of human interaction, Capitalism invariably leans toward the Dark Side of the Force).
- Oppression (extracting profit from the Earth’s resources requires labor: cheap labor. Ironically, hard work is the crucial element in this equation, while “private ownership” is completely expendable – this arrangement can only have been achieved through glorifying the past ‘traditions’ of Oppression, which is the true lynchpin of Capitalism).
- Incarceration (Inequality, Division, Greed, Uncertainty and Oppression naturally lead to “not playing by the rules”, as one may be forced to survive by any means necessary; because people tend to ‘protect their own’, those on top usually forgive the Greedy and punish the Desperate).
- Big Government (necessary for several reasons). Capitalists have always:
- forced the “subjects” to pay for the army,
- forced the “subjects” to pay for the infrastructure, ironically built in order to utilize mostly Capitalist goods and services,
- created more poor people while ignoring them at the same time, forcing Government to mitigate this unfixable externality,
- refused to pay labor a living wage, forcing Government to secure Medical Care and Retirement Income in old age,
- needed help from Government, who set up the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture and Treasury, for example, to run interference for the Capitalist and make sure he succeeds,
- left Government to clean up any of the negative externalities Capitalism causes. NOTE: when ‘giving’ happens within Capitalism, the credit should all go to people, because giving happens in spite of Capitalism, not because of it.)
- Welfare (necessary when people fall through the cracks. There is no back-up plan for “losing” at the game of Capitalism. And besides, if too many people were to “lose”, civil war would eventually result; better to pay people off, to keep the game alive. Translation: Why do you think the Libertarians own so many guns?)
- Corruption (with money as the driver, and We the People in the back seat, those with the money can steer the vehicle any way they wish: “pay off the refs”, gerrymander the voting districts, change “restrictive” rules, and rig the game so that accumulated wealth can even outlive the Capitalist himself.)
Face it. Capitalism has forced us all to be “on the take”, except perhaps for those people Jesus labeled the “Meek”, who believed it was better to give than to receive, and who would someday inherit the Earth. Capitalists have a different name for the Meek; they call them “suckers”, and one is born every minute.
We need to ‘Begin with The End in Mind’ and choose a collective destination, and if we need to go a little “off road” to get there, we will make sure things do not get too bumpy for the timid among us (we all hate Uncertainty, so we will avoid it at every turn).
Everything is about Certainty. Whether you realize it or not makes no difference. This is why most of us will remain a long time in the same crappy existence, because something Known is always better than the Unknown. It may be crappy, but at least the crappiness is familiar. The worse things are, the more we feel ‘unlucky’, and therefore are less likely to take chances, and lose what little we have. Ironically, it is those that have it good who feel ‘lucky’, and feel unafraid to take risks, believing that nothing bad will ever happen to them.
In Capitalism, the utility of all things is measured in financial terms. A tree has both wood and fruit. A sheep has both wool and meat. Choices must be made. That man is both young and strong, and this one here is older and more frail. It’s just business, and the “language” of business is clear-cut. It’s all about the “bottom line”, and the need for empathy is conveniently eliminated. As you can imagine, this kind of thinking wreaks havoc with Certainty.
We must inject more Certainty into the system. The Third Option plan is to take ‘survival needs’ (or Necessities) off the table and provide them to ourselves through the National Public Bank. Capitalists would be left to sell us our ‘Conveniences’ and our ‘Addictions’, but as addictions lead to poor health outcomes, and The Third Option has taken health care over as well (because it is a ‘Necessity’), Addictions would come with taxes attached, to pay for the inevitable health care costs they will generate.
Summary: Three STEPS to Save Capitalism
- Step one: remove any Oppressors from the driver’s seat.
- Step two: tweak the “game” of Capitalism to include Certainty, Fairness and Inclusivity, because some parts of life are NOT a game, and should not be decided by competition.
- Educate people from the beginning to better take care of themselves.
- Offer people physical, mental, and emotional health care as a way of providing constant support.
- Offer everyone affordable essential needs, plus a job in these fields to ensure employment (if necessary), in order to reduce as much stress as possible on the workforce.
- Step three: allow capitalism to continue in providing any modern conveniences and all the addictions we refer to as our ‘pursuit of happiness’, with some contingencies:
- All money creation must be done through our National Public Bank.
- All essential platforms, such as communication, energy, transportation, education, shipping, etc., can no longer be owned by a private entity. Because they are essential, the people who own these platforms and resources are among the richest people in the world, but this concoction of ‘rent’ + necessity + agglomeration, if not awarded to the people who caused it, is simply exploitation and extortion.
- Laws must be altered to make sure the power of communities cannot be infringed upon by any outside minority or political agenda.