This is the second Capitalism Q&A from Discord post I have written to answer a great set of questions and comments posted to my Discord server from one of my long time followers on my Twitch live stream where I talk leftist politics a few times a week. I was originally going to post my comments to Discord, but my response became too big (just like my last one) to just post there (due to the character limits of Discord), plus I would like to add some links, quotes, and other stuff in there too, so here we go!!
If you want to read the first Discord Q&A post here it is: Capitalism Q&A from Discord (Dec 2020).
This post is still going to be rough because there is never enough time. =)
Questions and Answers on Capitalism
A. Nordic Countries?
First, I have no clue if you are doing this on purpose or not but you keep referring the Netherlands as “Nordic countries”. Please don’t do that. … Probably you are referring to the Scandinavian countries which we are not a part of.Discord Question Quote
Yes, I am doing it on purpose. =) Here in the US, the term Nordic is used colloquially to refer to these 4 countries:
Contemporarily, here in the US, I think this was started primarily by Bernie Sanders and his presidential campaign, and it has been picked up and used by the news, politicians, and me. =)
If not Nordic, then what collective term do I use for those 4 countries? If you can give me a better term to refer to those 4 countries collectively then I will definitely consider it.
B. Monetary Systems as a System of Reward
1. But, Money is Just a Reward System!!
You basically blame money, which is a strange thing in my opinion.Discord Question Quote
Money is a rewarding system.
Money is a REWARD system. Right!! What do reward systems do? They encourage, modify, or determine behaviors through their system of rewards? But, what sort of behavior does this reward system promote and bring out through its system of “rewards”? Monetary Systems/Capitalism, as a reward system, powerfully rewards competition, sociopathy, and exploitation because that is where the real profits are. This is the core problem to which my very important Tension post talks about. Please, really take the time to read this post (~9 minute read) several times if you have not already done so.
This fact creates a positive feedback loop – the more you profit from competition, the more sociopathic you become. The more sociopathic your become then the more exploitative and violence (immediate and structural) you are willing to enact or allow, which reaps you tremendous profits and the devastating circle of sociopathic capitalistic exploitation continues.
This fact, which is historically very evident, is entirely why the global Labor Movements as well as the movements for Socialism and Communism have sprung up – as a means to fight the exploitation and psychopathy inherent to the system and its completely broken “reward system“, and this is why these movements are still active today over a 100+ years later.
I fully believe in the reward system that monetary systems and Capitalism is. It is working exactly as intended. It is a reward system which powerfully rewards exploitation and sociopathy as a means to maximize profit regardless of the consequences to Humanity of the Natural World, and this is why Humanity and the Earth will never know peace until we evolve beyond it and into a system which rewards different behavior – such as protecting Humanity and the Natural World as a fundamental philosophical tenet to society, culture, and economics.
Here is a quote from my Tension post:
How can we create a world based on cooperation and peace between Humanity and the Environment when then core driver of Methods of Exchange is based on Competition which powerfully rewards the exploitation of Humanity and the Natural World?Tension Within Methods of Exchange
2. The System Rewards Work and Contribution
If you do something in favor for me then it is fair that somehow I reward you.Discord Question Quote
What I see in your work is that you don’t believe in such a reward system.
First, you must get rid of the word “favor” which is a euphemization for exploitation and coercion. People are coerced to work, or you and your family will die in the streets. There is NO choice. Those in lower socioeconomic demographics have even less choice and less power, and more coercion to work in those jobs which are soul destroying, back-breaking, and unsafe.
The world we see today in the US and globally, especially in the Global South, shows us all of the evidence we need to see that this system of “favors” is horrifically broken. If this reward system rewarded compassion and altruism then there would be no war, poverty, and global suffering. Some of the poorest people work the hardest and have the least amount of money. Why do these things exist? Because, within Capitalism, there is A LOT of profit to be made in murdering and exploiting people and the environment.
Historically, this “reward system” is consistently abused because the more they do so then the more profit they can make. If I can exploit and steal the excess wealth produced from your labor then I can be rich and you will be poor, so who cares because I am doing just FINE, right? Those who have the capital have the wealth, power, and influence to ensure that the system stays rigged to benefit them. The workers have a very difficult time to make changes or to protect themselves because they do not have any real political or economic power… and so the sociopathic circle of exploitation continues… unabated by global suffering.
This reward system of Capitalism is working just as intended… rewarding sociopathy, exploitation, and inequality.
b. The Disease of Separation
Capitalism which requires competition sets individuals (and nations, etc) against each other creating tribalism which is an abject rejection of our mutual interdependence. This is that Humanity’s Terminal Disease – The Disease of Separation that I talk about in my stream on occasion. We cannot forge a globalized human civilization based on interdependence, equity, sustainability, egalitarianism if our socioeconomic system is diametrically opposed to these values, especially in its reward system.
The fact that a reward is expected or required is also part of that problem, because, again, it sets us against each other by creating an “exchange“. I have done something for you so now I expect payment. How much will that payment be? What is the expected reward by one party? Maybe I can reward them less and keep some of it for myself? Maybe I can work to get more of a reward? The very existence of an exchange creates an antagonistic relationship, and is in-and-of-itself violence.
Its values are not set up to have people be truly altruistic or moral because continued altruism will most likely lead to poverty and homelessness. If you work and then NOT require payment for your services then you will die in the streets. This sets a person against others for survival, which itself breeds sociopathy because survival and competition is the game.
Why should society be setup this way when we do not need to? There is plenty of housing, food, clothes, energy, transportation, etc…, right? But, why are we not setting society up to take advantage of that so that no one suffers when they do not have to? Why do ~30 million people die each year due to completely preventable reasons (poverty, disease, homelessness, lack of water, pollution) [and this number is not even including the war, violence, and active genocide that is going on globally]? Where is that altruism, that moral decision, that right decision to do that which benefits Humanity the most? Why do we not see it? Because there is no real profit in doing so. Because the system does not reward such things.
3. Who is to Blame then?
So, what is then to blame you ask. Well, simple, we are to blame for the decisions we make. If we create a system that let people work to death then we are to blame. If we create a system that ruins the environment then we are to blame. If we create a system that makes slaves of people then we are to blame. Money can’t make decisions and therefore you can’t blame money. Not even if that money is used in a system to reward people for their work.Discord Question Quote
Sure, we are to blame, but the question the you continue to refuse to ask is “What has us make those shitty decisions or at least not being able to effectuate change or make lives better for ourselves and others?“. Could it be that the social and economic environment that monetary systems creates is one in which harmful and exploitative decisions are rewarded, and that getting yourself ahead is very difficult without hurting others? Environmental Determinism is powerful. If you have a socioeconomic system which powerfully rewards sociopathy and the exploitation of Humanity and the Natural World then what sort of decisions or world should you expect from it? People are the sum total of their environment and their experiences, and the environment that monetary systems provides is an antagonistic one at every level.
What does the current economic system (Capitalism) reward? Those decisions that humans make to exploit and murder people and the environment are not made in a vacuum. The system powerfully rewards the systemic and structural violence – exploitation, destroying people and the environment – for fun and profit. If the system did not so powerfully reward sociopathic actions then the world would be a very, very different place.
It is very, very difficult to get a positive outcome from a system that powerfully rewards negative sociopathic actions and decisions. As a globalized civilization we have to continuously fight against the negative tides of monetary systems in order to get a positive outcome. The 4 Nordic countries stand as a bright (although still imperfect) light against the background of the other 191 countries who are in much larger and varied forms of struggling, especially the Global South which is being continuously exploited by the Global North.
This is the sort of analysis that you have not taken the time to do. I need to you take the time to ask yourself what drives people to make these shitty psychopathic decisions to kill people and the environment for fun and profit? When you finally understand that answer then our conversations will drastically change.
Why would we continue to use a system (Monetary Systems/Capitalism) so hell-bent on a rewarding and forcing a negative outcome, when we could shift to a different one where a positive outcome is the point (RBE)? This is much the point of my The Domestication of the Velociraptor (Commentary on Capitalism) writing.
C. Everyone Must be Forced to Work or there will be Chaos!!
You have the feeling that people will do things because they want to it.Discord Question Quote
If I don’t get rewarded then I am not going to do things that I don’t like to do and that means total chaos.
1. False Dichotomy
“Either everyone works or there will be chaos!” is a false dichotomy. There are definitely other potential options and outcomes available. This ‘everyone has to work’ thing is part of that brain-damage from Capitalism which was created in order to ensure that people will continue to support the exploitation of people and the environment while the very few benefit. This is a powerful result of capitalism’s sociopathic propaganda machine.
We can do better.
We must do better.
2. I will not work if I do not want too!!
You not doing what you do not want also speaks to a level of privilege that you have. On Earth, for most humans, either you work or you die in the streets, even if it means working a shitty and soul sucking job. What are the biopsychosocial ramifications of a person working in a soul-sucking job? How does this effect the person, his family, or their community? By not asking these questions you are contributing to the problem.
“But, I have investments?” you may say. That is your privilege again to which a majority of Humanity does NOT have especially when 80% of stocks are owned by the top 20%. The majority of the people on this planet do NOT really have a choice, or any level of privilege. The only option is to work or die in the streets. This is coercion and NOT freedom. The only real chaos here is exploitation and sociopathy which is rewarded by the system which results in poverty, war, racism, and global suffering, and then there are people who are actually defending that system.
3. Productivity and Motivation
With high levels of automation, the right values shift such as through my 8 Philosophical Pillars for Peace, and high levels of education ‘people not working’ will NOT be a problem because at least 40% of the population will not have to work at all. All of those shitty soul crushing and unsafe jobs NEED to be automated so Humanity can concentrate on things that matter – friends family, traveling, research, learning, and growing.
You will have the time, resources, and education (and access to as such) to be able to concentrate on those things that you are really passionate about. Such freedom would not be chaos in any way. For the first time in 12,000 years Humanity would know TRUE freedom again.
D. Democracy and Compromise
1. Eventually, We Have to Make the Right Decisions
Eventually you have to make the right decisions.Discord Question Quote
Well, no… and our current world is the prime example of this. The right decisions – to be humanistic, compassionate, egalitarian, and sustainable – is not inevitable, especially when there is too much profit and power to be made in sociopathic business practices as we so obviously see globally, and especially when the system rewards exploitation. On Earth here, where we have known about Climate Change since the 1830’s and are currently staring into the eyes of oblivion with the inevitability of extinction because it has been far beyond time for that eventuality of the right decision to be made globally. The eventuality of a moral human civilization is NOT inevitable within a globalized civilization whose socioeconomic system rewards the opposite decisions. Those countries which make the right decisions to benefit of Humanity and the Natural World are the exception and NOT the rule.
2. Good Decisions are Harder in the United States
…and that is very hard in a system like the US has. It has a system where the winner takes all. This means only the majority is heard. Not only does that mean that a large portion of the population has no power but it also means that it is very hard to cooperate with each other. 4 year long, which is most of the time 8 year unless you really screw it up, you have the power and you don’t have to take the other parties into account.Discord Question Quote
I agree which is why Electoral Reform was the first policy page that I wrote. This is a large part of the problem, although fixing these electoral things will barely start solving this issue. I talk about this phenomenon here:
But, do you really want to know what the core driver of all of Humanity’s problems? Inequality. The US has the highest level of income inequality in the developed world which means the people (99%) have no effective power as the top 1% holds like 80% of national wealth (and 30% of global wealth). Attacking inequality at every single level is the primary way to solve most global problems which is the primary goal of ALL of my policies. If you want to learn more about the global harms of inequality then read the first, second, and fourth books (in that order) from my The Books You NEED To Read on my policy site.
3. You Just Have to Compromise
That is why I repeated several times that you have to cooperate, even with your worst enemies. You simply agree that you have different opinions and different interest and you start to search for common interest and compromises, which there always are. Most of the countries with the happiest people work like that.Discord Question Quote
What reason is there to compromise when the system rewards them for never compromising? They have the money, power, and luxury. Congress here has given pay raises and benefits to themselves consistently over the years and almost all of them are millionaires, while denying the people a minimum wage increase and many other benefits decade after decade. Why would they cede their money, power, and luxury when it is their sociopathy and psychopathy which got them their riches and power, and the system powerfully rewarded them for it? How do you magically undo the systemically created psychopathic brain damage to somehow get them to reclaim their humanity, their compassion, and their empathy when the system punishes these traits, and doing so will have have them lose their power and affluence? The system rewards sociopathy and exploitation, and NOT compassion, cooperation, or compromise.
4. America as a Democracy?
I know you don’t think that way but most American’s believe they are part of a true democracy.Discord Question Quote
Their delusion in believing America is a democracy is just that – a delusion. The American people have NO representation in Congress and there is plenty of evidence of that. Anyone who thinks the US is a Democracy is, well, deluded. I cover plenty about these issues in my posts on elections and voting in the US.
- Systemic Suppression with America’s Two Party System
- Lesser of Two-Evils Voting is Antithetical to Democracy
- Why you need to vote in EVERY… Single…. Election!
- My Policies for Electoral Reform
E. So, Don’t Blame Money?
So in short, don’t blame money. It is just a tool and that can be used in a good way and in a bad way. People make the decisions and it is very hard to make the right decisions if people are not forced to work together and if the politicians are funded by corporations instead of people.Discord Question Quote
So, in short… the political, social, economic, and electoral environment forged by a socioeconomic system which rewards exploitation and sociopathy will yield a world of just that. Monetary systems rewards inequality which is the core driver for ALL of Humanity’s problems – poverty, war, and suffering. We can never get beyond all of that poverty, war, and suffering, while we cling to a socioeconomic system where those are ALL features of the system.
Let us just revisit a quote from Tension within Methods of Exchange:
How can we create a world based on cooperation and peace between Humanity and the Environment when then core driver of Methods of Exchange is based on Competition which powerfully rewards the exploitation of Humanity and the Natural World?quote from Tension within Methods of Exchange