I wasn’t in a good mood when I was answering comments yesterday. I’m probably in a worse mood today. Everyone is depressed and we all deal with it in a different way. But I’m not saying anything I haven’t been saying over the last seven years I’ve been running this blog. It’s telling that I missed our seventh year anniversary given that it came right after the election and I was, well, preoccupied with the election results.
I’m not a liberal in a technical sense. For example, I think that capitalism is a failed system. It is a government dictated “law of the jungle.” People see it as “natural.” And I suppose that’s true. It’s natural in the same way that gangrene is natural. But there is nothing natural about it in a sociological sense. Humans have survived these tens of thousands of years because we are able to work together. If the world really were bellum omnium [everyone against everyone] then we would have gone extinct long ago.
Does Capitalism Make Sense?
So I ask you: why do we continue to base our society on an economic system that is modeled on what we know to be a myth? I don’t know what your answer is. Mine seems incredibly simple: the “winners” set the rules. It isn’t the people volunteering at the soup kitchen who make the rules. It’s the people with all the money who dictate the soup kitchen exist.
Oh wait! I forgot: the Soviet Union proved that the only viable economic system is capitalism! That was decided in the 1950s here in America and no one has given it a second thought sense then. Because just as America represents the Platonic ideal of capitalism, the USSR represented the Paltonic ideal of socialism. The fact that there are endless forms of capitalism and socialism doesn’t matter. Capitalism is the ultimate system and we can never question that.
There is one little thing I learned in college though: all modern economies are actually a partitioning of capitalism and socialism. Now if you believe that (And why would you given it is only based on facts?), then you might notice that countries that tend more toward socialism do better. They are more democratic. They have more equality. Their economies work better. The United States — perhaps the most capitalist of the mixed economies — resembles a kleptocracy more than anything else. We aren’t moving up. We are moving down. Let’s fact it: we are on our way to being a banana republican, except that we don’t have much in the way of bananas. But maybe we can carve up Yosemite to allow us to get along for a while.
Time to Shoot Democrats — Metaphorically?
Yes, I’m angry. I want a better system of government and a better economic system. But I’m willing to accept marginal progress. I may be a radical, but I’m no revolutionary. But we are now facing a political catastrophe that was unthinkable in 1990. But the Democratic Party’s turn to the right brought us the president-elect today. Because when the liberal party because conservative by the standards of the world, it is no surprise that the conservative party goes full-tilt fascist. So I want to see things move along at a fast clip on the left.
The most American film ever is They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? It has great lines like this one our president-elect might say, “I may not know a winner when I see one, but I sure as hell can spot a loser.” And the ultimate line, which should be on our flag, “These wonderful kids deserve your cheers because each one of them is fighting down pain, exhaustion, weariness — struggling to keep going, battling to win — and isn’t that the American way?!”
They shoot Democrats, don’t they?