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Friday, August 15, 2014

Capitalism: Heading for a Cliff

Throughout human history great civilizations have come and gone.  Why is it that we have been unable to establish societies that can be sustained indefinitely?  I believe the answer is simple.  We have always been dominated by a few powerful people who dictate the structure of "the system."  No matter how bad things get for the masses, those in power will remain the last to suffer.

Eventually, when the masses have suffered enough, they will revolt.  Unfortunately, when the masses revolt, there is little left but death and destruction until gradually a new system emerges from those who are strong enough to seize power...and the cycle begins again.  Just look at what is happening in countries like Syria and Ukraine.

So, why is capitalism doomed?  The principle of capitalism is simple:  people make or do things and other people buy them.  For the economy to be solid, more people must buy more stuff.  For that to happen, we must NEED more stuff.  The problem with more stuff is that it requires more energy and more material -- two things our little rock in the universe cannot sustain indefinitely.  We are wrecking our planet with our current strategy.

I have an old pair of wing tip shoes that still look great after more than 30 years.  My newer shoes are lucky to last a 10th of that.  We need obsolescence to continually prime our system.  This problem is compounded by the fact that automation is reducing the number of jobs required to make and do things.

So, we can either wait for the revolt, or we can hope that our leaders will cede their power in the name of the greater good.  Good luck with that!  Our current government does almost nothing.  Instead of getting more aggressive about attacking our social problems, our leaders offer us polarization and gridlock, even though we all need essentially the same things.

I have some ideas about what to do about it.  More on that later.

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