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Crises of Capitalism September 16, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, People, Sustainable Living.

Sidey’s Weekend Theme, Competition, seems a perfect conduit into this RSAnimate video about the problems inherent in a Capitalist Economy.

Capitalism spawned GREED on Wall Street . . . and rampant FORECLOSURES and FINANCIAL COLLAPSE around the World.

Capitalism led to the misplaced power of the MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX and raging wars around the World.

Capitalism resulted in the denigration and poisoning of the FOOD we eat, the WATER we drink, and the AIR we breathe, putting our health and the health of this planet in jeopardy.

We are slowly awakening to the realization that competition and capitalism are NOT the panacea we need.

It’s time for a change . . . a more cooperative and collaborative form of life.

If not NOW . . . when?

Thoughts to Ponder:

* Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. ~ Mother Teresa

* The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968)

Related posts:  Jail Wall Street Crooks! * Food, Inc. * King Corn * Why We Fight * Good Night & Good Luck * Take Charge * Annie Leonard & The Story of Stuff * Granny’s Friday Fathomings * Cost of Living (NOLA Girl) * Life Flows (Adee) * Competition (Pseu)


1. spilledinkguy - September 16, 2011

I’m afraid we might have to agree to disagree on this one…
but varying opinions is what makes the world go ’round, right?!
(Well, that and… physics… stuff.)

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

Disagree about what?

Are you saying that there are no problems? Or that the problems don’t stem from competition and capitalism?

Or that we don’t need a paradigm shift ~ that a few nips and tucks are all that’s needed?

spilledinkguy - September 16, 2011

No, no I didn’t mean to imply there aren’t problems that can arise under capitalism. Unfortunately, I believe there are problems that stem from any ideology. I just feel history proves capitalism outshines other political philosophies. I would need to know which alternate system(s) you are referring to in order to provide specific examples / a more in depth argument (although I’m not sure that’s what you’re after here and that’s not what I intended with my original comment… I’m not trying to be disrespectful or judgmental of your argument, I just happen to disagree on this one…)

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

Most global problems we face stem from a market economy that is “out of control.”

I’m not suggesting one system over another at this point . . . but I do feel that capitalism, as it is currently being practiced, isn’t the panacea we need ~ it rewards GREED and puts PROFIT above all other considerations. It leads to exploitation of resources and people at the expense of the planet and endangered species.

So, what changes should we make? Is there something that “we the people” can do to improve matters?

Leaving it to the politicians and the bankers doesn’t seem to be a viable option since they’ve made matters worse, not better.

spilledinkguy - September 16, 2011

For want of specifics I feel like I’m almost getting into rhetoric here, but…
‘collaborative form of life’ brings to mind (perhaps wrongly so) a bent towards market socialism which (I believe) is inherently flawed because without ‘greed’ there is no incentive for individuals to produce… to create… technology stagnates (as in the former USSR or Cuba). When people create (even if out of self-interest) their efforts also benefit others and new opportunities follow.
I also feel that government can not create resources… only (re)distribute them. And, without a market’s direction (I feel) there is not even a sufficient means of allocating those resources – leading to wide-spread shortages, inflation, etc..
I also feel ‘misplaced military power’ is by no means a direct result of a capitalistic ideology (as illustrated by the history of absolute power found in monarchies and/or dictatorships – or as can be seen in the history of the middle east – yes, even pre-US involvement.
I think our hearts are in the right place… clearly we both want the most good to come to the most people… we just disagree about which path(s) will get us there. 🙂

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

According to recent research on Motivation . . . there are many reasons for production other than greed and profit motive.

Among them: Autonomy . . . Mastery . . . Purpose

Once we take money “off the table” . . . our innate desire to create flourishes.

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

Before the rise of the Military Industrial Complex (that Eisenhower warned us about), the US fought in wars for all the “right reasons.”

Now, we rush to war because it’s a money making machine for arms manufacturers.

I recommend the movie Why We Fight:


nrhatch - September 16, 2011

spilledinkguy - September 16, 2011

I’m not denying there are other personal incentives to create beyond profit motive – I do so (rather poorly) all the time, but this does not mean that profit is pure evil, is not necessary, or is not a motivator.
That quick blurb about paying employees ‘enough to keep money off their mind’ is a sticking point for me. Supporting employees requires profit – profit from goods or services produced – the supply of which (I believe) is most efficiently dictated by market demand – capitalism.
Even before Eisenhower’s administration money was made off conflict (the argument can be made that WWII did more to stimulate the US economy than did the New Deal). But clearly there were just causes at play there. I suspect you are referring to Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan. These actions could not have been ‘sold’ to people without some other underlying justification. How specific operations were/are conducted is an entirely different story.
I don’t think either one of us are going to change the others’ mind here. I’m going to go back to my original argument… I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree (if you’ll allow me back in the future, that is)! I had a lot of fun thinking about/discussing this with you… I hope you aren’t too upset with me… I’d like to visit again… next time this topic comes up I’ll just leave you one of these 😉

spilledinkguy - September 16, 2011

I’m very sorry… I do apologize for all this, it’s just that when I talk to someone who is so sincerely passionate in their beliefs (whether shared or not) I find them very interesting… and I tend to ramble on, and on, and on.
Did I mention I’m sorry about that?!

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

No worries, mon!

If I had a better approach to propose, I would do so. I just see something that is broken and would like to address ways to fix it.

I’m delighted that you were interested enough in the topic to discuss your POV with me.

Thanks for that! 😎

2. Cindy - September 16, 2011

You make perfect sense, Nancy, but – unfortunately – the world at large ain’t going to buy into it anytime soon 😦

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

The “world at large” probably would, but those in power want to remain in power and will not readily shift the reins to the population at large.

It’s unlikely that those raking in the big $’s from greed, wars, raping the earth, polluting the planet, and exploiting animals and children will encourage politicians to make radical changes any time soon.

So . . . we do nothing? Keep shopping? Keep spending? Keep acquiring?

And what do we tell our kids and grandkids . . .

3. Chad - September 16, 2011


nrhatch - September 16, 2011

Sorry, Chad.

We’re outnumbered by people who view capitalism not just as the “right” way . . . but as the only way worth considering.

Most people are not even interested in discussing it.

The world is asleep. We spend far too much time worrying about trivial concerns and not nearly enough time addressing the issues that really matter.

As a result of our distraction, those in power stay in power . . . and “we the people” pay the price.

4. SidevieW - September 16, 2011

there are people working to be different, but in the face of the rempant greed of the multinationals not much will change i fear

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

Well, then, that’s that. Nothing to be done . . . so let’s turn our attention elsewhere.

Sports? Shopping? Weather?

Trivial issues and frivolous distractions compete for our attention . . . and what do we do? We act the ostrich ~ sticking our head in the sand whenever a big issue looms into view.

That’s cool. Let’s all roll over and go back to sleep.

Aah . . . that’s better.

5. Pseu - September 16, 2011

those cartoon You tube clips are pretty impressive!

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

I love watching the cartoonist weave his magic . . . building on what’s been said to create a visual depiction of the main concepts while reinforcing the thoughts shared.

6. nrhatch - September 16, 2011

I confess to being disappointed that we didn’t get a rocking discussion about capitalism and its shortcoming going today . . . but it is my own fault.

What the hell was I thinking posting this on a Friday ~ at the end of a long hard work week???

My bad.

Enjoy the weekend!

7. brainrants - September 16, 2011

Could not open the netflix link. Obviously I have a vested interest in this discussion, and sorry to say it may be well counter to yours. I’ve heard all this before, how can I contact you outside here for further talk?

nrhatch - September 16, 2011

I’ll shoot you an e-mail at your earthlink’s account.

8. granny1947 - September 17, 2011

Good Morning NR.
This is a real hot potato.
I am not anti capitalism but I am against the new rich who have obtained their wealth through corruption.
I am talking abouth South Africa.
I can’t talk about the rest of the world.
Corruption is rampant here…starting with our highest leaders.
If you have obtained your wealth through honest hard work then good on you.
In other news we have just won the rugby.
Knew that would interest you!!!!!

nrhatch - September 17, 2011

I am not anti-captialism.

What I am is anti-greedy-bastards-who-are-out-of-control-and-in-control-of-the-cash-registers.

* I am tired of politicians who suck up to the rich and powerful to get re-elected and do NOTHING for “we the people.”

* I am tired of finger pointing between the Republicans and the Democrats ~ neither party is doing the country any good.

* I am tired of corruption and exploitation.

Or maybe I am just tired.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a republic, a dictatorship, capitalist, or socialist . . . Power Corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Those “in power” in this country, today, are corrupt. They have too much power and “we the people” can’t effectively exercise our power at the polls because the 2 party system has taken over . . . and both candidates suck.

I vote GREEN . . .

Will one of the GREEN candidates ever win? I doubt it. But I refuse to vote for Republicans and Democrats who are beholden to polluters and exploiters and who place the power of money above every other consideration.

9. You Were Born To Succeed - September 17, 2011

Right on, Nancy. I know there are solutions, and it’s up to us to create them. I believe our system can work if everybody participates. And is open-minded about possible solutions. Ultimately, it’s about inner solutions. The greedy bastards would have no power if each one of us acknowledged his/her own power and made our own decisions. We are led around by the nose because we are not paying attention to our own integrity.

I love this post and would like to put it on my blog, but I don’t know how to. If you have no objection, please help. Guest post, etc.?

nrhatch - September 17, 2011

Great points, Nancy. We can vote with our wallets. If we stop buying what they are selling, the tide will turn in time.

The easiest and fastest way to put it on your blog is to click the “like” button on the banner at the top of the page (not the “like” buttom below the post), and then click “reblog” this post.

To see what a reblogged post looks like:


Another option would be to write a brief introduction (perhaps using the points you make in your comment here) with a link back to this post.

Thanks for spreading the word!

10. Team Oyeniyi - September 21, 2011

Nancy, did you see the research done that blamed ……… wait for it………… MALE HORMONES for much of the GFC. The balance of testosterone and cortisol in the male, driven by the short term remuneration strategies. Makes for very interesting reading, especially when it is us women that are usually accused of being “hormonal”!

nrhatch - September 21, 2011

I think the difference is that they’re “hormonal” all the time . . . the levels don’t vary much ~ so some men portray consistently bad behavior (agressiveness, greed, etc.) every day of the month. 😛

Women, in contrast, are a delight for 90-95% of their time on the planet and become screaming banshees for just a short time each month during their reproductive years. 😆

11. Money – Stuff « Numerology – Find Your Life Purpose in Less Than An Hour - September 30, 2011

[…] we’re in the soup, and looking for a way out. What can we do? Read this post I found and get an eyefull and a mindfull wakeup to possibilities, and perhaps some  inspiration. […]

nrhatch - October 1, 2011

Here’s hoping that we all wake up in time. Thanks, Nancy.

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