“A Third Word on the Capitalist System,” by Andrew Schatkin
In two previous essays one entitled “Why Capitalism is a Failed Idea” and another entitled “Why Capitalism is a Failed Idea,” once again I examined what I see as a failed capitalist system with its emphasis on wealth acquisition. I point out in the second essay that we do not live in a free market at this point but in fact live in a monopolistic or oligarchic system where the market is run by global business entities. Thus, for example, we have no more independent hardware stores but Home Depot and non-independent drug stores but Rite Aid and CVS.
I would like not to offer a third criticism of the capitalist system. Since the capitalist system is based on wealth acquisition, greed, and money alone, the result I think is that the society is transformed into pitting people against each other on the basis of one person’s getting more and outdoing other people. The result is that the society becomes hostile and divided and others in this system seek to hurt everyone else in the economic race. I think a better system, if possible, is a system with a degree of cooperation and mutual help. I do not know whether a socialist system is the answer but I can say that the system I see operating now is soulless and cold and lacks human feeling and connection. I do not think most people want it this way or like it but I think the present capitalist model has brought this about. Perhaps a better way to analyze this issue is that there should be other thought systems and values than merely earning money. Money is necessary for all of us. It is purpose is not fur us to enrich ourselves and devote ourselves to ourselves but I think it could and should be used as a great tool on behalf of other perhaps less fortunate than ourselves.
A raw-edged capitalist system such as presently exists in the United States makes us robots without feeling and without thought other than for ourselves. I think the present system results in divisiveness, separation, and even alienation. It is significant to me that people feel the need to go online to find simple friendship and human companionship. It should be within all of us to form relationships and friendships that should be part and parcel of us all our lives. I think the capitalist system in the United States in its harshness and coldness makes authentic human relationships virtually impossible or at least hard and difficult. This is due to the system’s creating in all our minds the idea that we must get more and more and outdo more people around us, thereby not bringing about a loving society. Rather, what is created is a society where people have no souls, or at least they cannot express to others what is in them or what they are capable of.