I once had a conversation with a wicked smart attnorny online about my views on capitalism.
We were talking about why I started Copiosis. I think she wanted to understand what motivated my desire to change the system.
I told her I didn’t see anything necessarily wrong with capitalism. Indeed, it has benefited humanity in major ways, ways that are well documented.
My perspective seemed puzzling to her. As it seems to many. Why, after all, am I offering an alternative to capitalism if I think capitalism is a good thing?
The answer is: Because I think we can do better.
Does something need to be crappy before we make it better? Does something have to be failing before offering an improvement?
I don’t think so.
Take cars for example. They’ve gone through a long series of improvements whereby today, we not only have highly fuel-efficient cars, we also have more comfortable ones, less expensive ones, safer ones and now, cars that can nearly drive themselves.
Did the people who had cars in the 1950s think their cars were pieces of poop compared to what we have today? I don’t think so. How could they? They had no idea what was possible in 2018. All they knew about cars back then were those that came before.
So when I look at capitalism, I don’t think it’s doing a crappy job of managing resources. Most people on the planet who want something can pretty much get it. Most things we want to do, we pretty much can do.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t create a new way of managing resources that is a massive improvement on today’s economics.
Another reason I don’t condemn capitalism is very simple. When you criticize or otherwise attack something for its negative aspects, you’re inevitably setting yourself up to be attacked.
In other words, when you lambast capitalism for all its failings, you can’t help but cut yourself off from capitalism’s benefits.
Note for example that people who most hate capitalism (or money) don’t enjoy living in capitalism (they don’t experience benefitting from it) nor do they have much money. You don’t see a lot of people who have a lot of financial success complaining or criticizing the system that provides them their massive income streams. That same system, for these people, has been the conduit through which they have created a lot of value. Thus their wealth.
When a person attacks the system, it attacks back: by making your broke or otherwise lacking in its bounty.
Those who do criticize it, who are also wealthy, be sure to acknowledge its finer points along with their criticisms. This is an important approach. Nothing is all positive or all negative. Everything has aspects of both.
Especially people. Especially capitalism.
But if you continually focus only on the crappy parts, you eventually become blind to the good parts. Then you come to hate. Then you become a misanthrope or a radicalized individual.
And at that level of negativity, you can’t really accomplish much of anything of value, other than becoming an attractor for people who agree with you.
And in my opinion, that’s miserable company.
I don’t know if the attorney understood where I was coming from. But I do. As far as I’m concern, this approach is working. So I’m sticking with it.