Last summer, Peter Buffett, son of venerable father Warren, published a NYT piece declaring an Imagination crisis. Where were the innovators working to tear down ossified structures and replace them with something better? he asked.
Specifically he criticized his contemporaries who launder their wealth-guilt through the “charitable industrial complex” while noting the $316 billion industry hardly has put a dent in humanity’s major problems. He writes:
“As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to “give back.” It’s what I would call “conscience laundering” — feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity.”
His next paragraph hits the mark:
“But this just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place. The rich sleep better at night, while others get just enough to keep the pot from boiling over. Nearly every time someone feels better by doing good, on the other side of the world (or street), someone else is further locked into a system that will not allow the true flourishing of his or her nature or the opportunity to live a joyful and fulfilled life”.
We don’t need to wait until capitalism completes its slow-motion demise before seriously examining sound alternatives. Too long now, status-quo missionaries, using that consideration-ending concept “Utopia”, continue blocking public regard for alternatives.
That’s a shame.
Systems governing commerce were invented in the middle ages. Our governments harken back to Roman times. I agree with Buffett:
“It’s time for a new operating system. Not a 2.0 or a 3.0, but something built from the ground up. New code….There are people working hard at showing examples of other ways to live in a functioning society that truly creates greater prosperity for all (and I don’t mean more people getting to have more stuff)…Money should be spent trying out concepts that shatter current structures and systems that have turned much of the world into one vast market.”
There’s simply no reason for modern civilizations to continue depending on such antiquated innovations.