Tuesday, September 27, 2011

BBC news anchors gobsmacked.

After viewing the short video at the above link and upon brief consideration, we can see that capitalism is a conscienceless activity. Is this not the very definition of sociopath? Without conscience. Thus, the system that occupies much of the human and non-human resources of this planet is sociopathic. There are two tricky bits here. The first is, when we use the term sociopath, as applied to a human, we assume (and rightly so) an almost one-to-one correlation with sociopathy and, what we will briefly refer to as, evil. The other problem is our difficulty seeing the otherwise obvious fact that the game can be without conscience while many or most of the participants in the game are not sociopaths. For my money, (excuse that little tehehehe moment) this is a clear demonstration of both emergent properties and unintended consequences. That is to say, the finished product (capitalism) adds up to more than the value of the individual components- but not necessarily in an optimal way. Also the behavior and outcomes of the system do not reliably result in net enhancements for all the parties concerned.

Now, are there variations of capitalism where constraints are placed on certain behaviors and it is, to some degree, regulated? Sure. Can such constraints and regulations blunt the negative effects of the conscienceless system? Often. Can humans apply policies that take advantage of the system's positive traits and apply the results for the benefit of societies? Arguably. There are places in the world where this is done with varying degrees of success. One could argue that a thoughtful observer might learn from the more successful examples and bring some of this knowledge to bear in places that are currently experiencing difficulty. 

No comments: