“As a species we’re fundamentally insane. Put more than two of us in a room, we pick sides and start dreaming up reasons to kill one another. Why do you think we invented politics and religion?” — Stephen King. Well that is Americans for you.
Our ancestors before they learnt how to make tools for catching animals for food worked co-operatively to catch those animals. Because we could sweat to get rid of heat from our exertions we could keep after animals until they were so exhausted we could catch then. We needed plenty of food because our big heads were high consumers of energy. We were naturally pack animals that could achieve common goals because of ability to work as a team. Our modern creations are the result of very large groups that do not know each other, work together to build them. Americans have adopted a philosophy of individualism that goes against our co-operative instincts. To day they are full of friction with each other, are impolite with each other, and seek faults in each other. They are consumed by the ‘other’ that they do not know and even fight wars to destroy them.
This is also seen in the American antagonism to the idea of taxes. They cannot see that taxes are the way to finance common goals and rather proclaim that taxation is theft. They do not see that high tax societies are the ones that are happiest and well adapted. Taxation is the way that we collect resources to create things to benefit the community as a whole. The most efficient use of resources is when everyone benefits equally.
People also combine their resources to benefit just themselves by a system of capitalism whereby the collection of assets is used to create goods or services to sell and enrich just themselves. Governments assist this process through a legal fiction of a limited liability company which can walk away from a business failure with consequences for those that do not benefit from the proceeds. The operation of such a company for the exclusive benefit of the shareholders encourage the business to exploit local conditions to withhold benefits from workers, suppliers, customers, and their local community. Harm that falls on the local community is called an externality cost which they like to ignore from their finances. The more these costs can be avoided, the greater the benefit to the shareholders. This attitude can extend to the practice of selling goods and services that are not in any way beneficial to the deluded consumer. When it comes to making a profit by commercial capitalism, any care or morality can be dispensed with.
Taking a scientific view of this system of capitalism which is only for the benefit of the capitalist, it can be seen not to provide benefits for everybody. The theory of a beneficial system of capitalism is falsified by many failures. The capitalists that continue to profit from selling harmful and addictive cigarette products are immoral because they know their goods are harmful.
The awareness of capitalism’s faults has led to many efforts to rehabilitate capitalism with books and language such as ‘compassionate capitalism’, ‘conscious capitalism’, ‘ethical capitalism’, ‘ecological capitalism’, ‘progressive capitalism’, etc. While capitalists say they love democracy, there is no promotion of democratic capitalism where everybody connected with the business has a democratic say in its management affairs such as determining where the profits will be distributed. That is the co-operative form of a business enterprise. It contains the essence of human instincts to co-operate for the benefit of all.
The extension of basic capitalism from the early days of the formation of limited liability into the ‘neo-liberal’ form of capitalism has accelerated the relative impoverishment of those who have been excluded from the rentier economy. The ideas of minimizing government activities, the deregulation of business activities, and the privatisation of government activities has been proven by multiple failures to scientifically falsify those theories.
If business is not democratised, then capitalism must go and its faults overcome by a new system of co-operatively achieving a more egalitarian and economically efficient way of satisfying human needs.