The Biggest Fight For The Future by vagabond ©

Capitalism: The Theft Of Human Potential


Capitalism vs. Imagination by vagabond ©
Capitalism vs. Imagination by vagabond ©

“Here comes the juggernaut
Here come The Poisoners
They choke the life and land
And rob the joy from us
Why do they taste of sugar?
Oh, when they’re made of money
Here come the Lamb Of God
And the Butcher’s Boy Sonny”

– Elvis Costello “Dust” 

“Babylon system is the vampire,
Suckin’ the children day by day,

Me say: de Babylon system is the vampire, falling empire,
Suckin’ the blood of the sufferers,
Building church and university,
Deceiving the people continually,
Me say them graduatin’ thieves and murderers;
Look out now: they suckin’ the blood of the sufferers”
– Bob Marley “Babylon System”

Capitalism is the process of turning a financial profit at any and all cost and it’s the single driving motive of capitalism. It doesn’t matter how this financial profit is created or the cost of destruction it may leave behind, only that at the end of the day there is a profit that can measured in financial terms. If the destruction of human beings is deemed necessary to create this profit then let the wars begin. If slavery or indentured servitude of labor creates a pretty profit then get the whip and open a sweatshop. If the annihilation of the planets ecosystem makes a beautiful billion then drill the oil and let it spill. This is capitalism and it’s a waste of time, energy and most of all human potential.

A parasite is an organism that attaches itself to another organism simply to benefit itself. You would be hard pressed to find a more fitting definition of capitalism. In order for capitalism to work it needs to be present in everything and have an influence everywhere. It attaches itself to every relationship we have, our relationship with our families, friends, partners, communities, even our spiritual relationships have a capitalistic elements attached to them. There is not a single association to anyone or anything in this world that is not infected by capitalism.

The cheerleading squad for capitalism would have you believe that everything we have we owe to capitalism. That capitalism is responsible for all the scientific and technological advancements in the world. That capitalism is an engine that drives innovation and fuels creativity. i would argue that these advancements all came about in spite of capitalism. i would argue that capitalism stifles innovation and suffocates creativity. Why? Because capitalism isn’t concerned with advancement or innovation and creativity. Capitalism is only concerned with turning a financial profit. True advancement is concerned with using innovation and technology and creativity to solve a problem, it doesn’t care if it turns a profit.

The only reason we have any of the technological advancements we have now is because they were able to turn a profit. Someone or some corporation found a way to monetize that advancement and that’s how it went forward. What about the advancements that came about that couldn’t turn a profit? What about advancements that threaten capitalism’s ability to turn a profit? If an inexpensive abundant cure for cancer were found in a plant that grows on the bottom of trees in the Amazon jungle how much financial profit would be threatened by such a cure? Pharmaceutical companies would be out of billions of dollars for cancer drugs, hospitals would be out of billions on hospital stays, and the lumber companies deforesting the Amazon would be cut out of business. Cancer is a multi-billion dollar business. A cure for cancer means a huge loss of financial profit for capitalism. If capitalism is only concerned with financial profit then what incentive does capitalism have in finding a cure for cancer?

Imagine a world in which capitalism, had no place. Imagine a world in which food, water, shelter, education, medical treatment were not a part of the capitalist system. Imagine the paradigm shift that would take place. So much of our time, energy and potential is wasted on this relationship that capitalism has with our means of survival that it leaves little time for anything else. It leaves very little time towards placing our energy, our time and our resources into advancing on some of the larger issues that require our attention. The parasite that is capitalism has overtaken human potential. So much of the world’s potential is so busy feeding it, that capitalism is stealing the world’s human potential. The destruction of capitalism levels the playing field for everyone to explore their individual potential gifts and talents and instead of exploiting that potential for either financial gain or survival it can be put to better use in making the world a better place. Removing the ability for capitalism to steal our human potential would immediately make the world better.

In a world in which capitalism has no place, at the every least, in monetizing and profiteering our means of survival, that human potential could be put towards advancing solutions to the worlds problems. i believe that capitalism is robbing us of people who could be doing some real good in the world. A scientist with the potential to solve the energy crisis who takes a job doing research for a military contractor because he has two children in college. Without the profiteering of capitalism in war and the profit derived from higher education his ideas that could solve the energy crisis are snuffed out.

On a road side a child in a third world nation sells trinkets to help feed her younger brothers and sisters instead of going to school to become an engineer that will solve a major hurdle in designing a more efficient high-speed railway. The poverty in third world nations means limited opportunities for education. A poverty directly related to capitalism’s high interest loans on those nations that require payment of their debt before a school can be built. Meanwhile that hurdle that needs to be overcome in creating a more efficient high-speed railway lie dormant on the side of a road selling trinkets.

There’s a carpenter who would like to donate some of his skills and labor to build homes for the homeless but he works two jobs in order to pay his mortgage. The value of his home has dropped because of the artificial housing bubble created by bankers who made a quick killing in real estate for themselves. Meanwhile the carpenter tries to keep himself and his family from being homeless. Instead of being a solution to the problem capitalism is on one level threatening to make him a part of the problem and on another level has already made him a part of the problem by keeping him from helping.

So while we work towards feeding this global parasite by trying to educate and feed and house ourselves and our families, the problems that really need solving go unsolved or will only gain the attention of capitalism to solve when capitalism finds a way to turn a financial profit for itself. If we could disengage from capitalism and it’s financial profit at any cost then we could redefine profit in new ways. Ways that incorporate the health of people and planet as profit. Profit could be re-understood to be what has been given as opposed to what has been taken.

In the meantime the champions of capitalism reinforce the illusion that without capitalism to drive people, people will not be driven to do anything. What these champions of capitalism really mean is that we will no longer be forced to do what they want and be free to do what we want. That kind of freedom is dangerous for capitalism. If people had the freedom to explore their potential gifts and talents then the world would be a very different place. Contrary to what the capitalists would have us believe our productivity would increase because we would be doing what we do because we want to and not because we have to feed the parasite.

It seems that nowadays people have given up on trying to imagine alternatives for capitalism. A kind of hubris has been ushered into the times we live in. A hubris rooted in the fact that the world we live in is the best possible outcome. No one imagines what the next step might be, no one imagines where we can go from here, as if capitalism where the pinnacle of human potential when nothing could be further from the truth. The real battle has now become imagining a world without capitalism. Imagination costs nothing. From daring to imagine what the world will be like without capitalism, ideas will begin to percolate and ruminate and ferment into action. Action that could lead to alternatives to what we have now which works for the few at the expense of the many. To not imagine how to make the world better is a kind of suicide. To not imagine alternatives to our problems is to abort our own potential before it’s even been realized…

“For what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
– Mark 8:36

FVK by Bad Brains

The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me.
All throughout this so-called nation,
we don’t want your filthy money,
we don’t need your innocent bloodshed.
We just wanna end your world.
Well my minds made up.
Yes, it’s time for you to pay,
better watch out for me.
I’m a member of the F.V.K. (Fearless Vampire Killers)

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-aQ

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18 thoughts on “Capitalism: The Theft Of Human Potential”

  1. Great post, you really nailed it!! Thank you for your insight and wonderful essay on the utter uselessness of capitalism. An economic system that has sucked the soul out of this country to feed a greedy elite ruling class who consider the middle and lower class “useless eaters”. Who are only here as slaves to serve the system that supports their endless thirst for power and control, as they continue strip mine the planet of her resources and drive countless wildlife species into extinction.

  2. Let us re-design democracy and expose modern liberal democracy.
    I see capitalism in many acts and in many places even in my own family and myself.

    Any country must not be hostage of one ideology and all of it painted with the one color whatever it is. Capitalism, socialism, and all other ****isms must coexist and this is the beauty and challenge of life.

    Let us not be judgmental and understand Ron Paul political positions on different issues. Definitely any group or individual will disagree with many of his stands. But this is not enough to give up any negotiation and attempts to discover middle grounds and viable program.

    The government system is not in the White House or The Capitol; but it is in the bigger establishment. And no real changes may come fast, easy or complete.

    I still insist that bringing Ron Paul to power is the best way for all the different lovely mosaic of Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Let me end with a smile: Courtesy: Alan Scott, http://maureenholland.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/we-know-who-broke-this-but-can-anyone-fix-it/
    3 reasons form a disgruntled right winger about why the Tea Party is better than OWS are:
    [With all due respects, the Occupy Wall Streeters are not fit to carry the tea bags of the Tea Partyers .

    Tea Partyers do not block traffic and pick fights with cops . Tea Partyers shower .]

  3. The only problem is that the world is now governed by one ideology and that is capitalism… If you don’t remove capitalism from the planet then you will never make room for anything else to grow… Capitalism by it’s very nature doesn’t for anything else to exist… Capitalism must exist in a vacuum in order to work… It monetizes every part of our lives…

    As for Ron Paul… no thanks…

    As for 3 reasons why Tea Parties AREN’T better than Occupy Wall Streeters…
    Tea Partyers don’t block traffic
    They don’t pick fights with cops
    They shower themselves in ignorance…

    1. Ron Paul is implementing a good strategy. If things keep going the way they are he is going to force the neo-con Republican party to reject the Constitution out in the open where all can see.

      Then his forces can start new drive to elect Dr. Paul as the people’s Independent candidate, putting the burden on the phony left and the phony right to not only attack one another but the Constitution and the people at the same time.

      No matter what lies they try to put forth through the mainstream propaganda machine they cannot change the fact that the protesters are united as individual free citizens fighting for the re-institution of the Republic under the Constitution and as such they cannot be defeated.

      As for the joke I re-posted it shows the irrelevance of the tea partyers.

      In short, Dr. Paul is using the Republican platform and the exposure it offers to get the message out for as long as possible.

      1. i see what you mean about Ron Paul and the Tea Party i see where your thinking is headed… They make things worse by taking things to their ultimate conclusion and then a massive paradigm shift can happen…

  4. You’re saying the word capitalism, but what you’re really arguing against is the United State’s political system. Economic systems don’t start wars, governments do. Capitalism is a voluntary exchange of goods and services, so in a true capitalist system slavery would be impossible.

    Also, if the market doesn’t set prices, then who would? The government? The Soviet Union tried that and well, I don’t have to tell you how that turned out. North Korea eliminated the profit motive from their country and how has that turned out? However, South Korea does have a profit motive, but nobody there is starving to death. Without a profit motive we have no iPhone, no advanced computers, no commercial air travel, and much less art. If an artist can’t make money on their drawing, sculpture, movie, or music, they are going to provide society with a lot less of it. These are things that make people’s lives better, and if you take away a profit motive you will see less innovation.

    The most innovative country the world has ever seen is the United States. Why? Capitalism. It’s not perfect and won’t create a utopia, but I’ve yet to hear a better idea.

    1. i have to respectfully disagree with you… The only rule in capitalism is financial profit… How one gets or makes or steals or exploits that financial profit is fair game… Capitalism was the excuse that Columbus used in colonizing what was for him “the New World”… Capitalism was the excuse for the trans-atlantic African slave trade and subsequent genocidal holocaust that followed (not to mention the genocide that took place with indigenous peoples before the trans-Atlantic African slave trade)… Human beings were expendable to capitalism in 1492 and human beings are expendable in 2011…

      The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Pakistan are not about terrorism they are about capitalism… They are about making a financial profit by any means necessary… The hunger crisis that arose in the third world a few years ago due to the exorbitant rise in prices of grain like rice is a perfect example of that… Haiti used to provide Latin America 80% of it’s rice… When Haiti needed loans from the IMF and the World Bank they were forced to open their markets to grains that were subsidized by First World nations… The subsidized grains of the First World were cheaper than what local farmers were producing… It drove Haitian farmers out of business… The lack of rice production in Haiti caused the price of rice to rise across the globe and a hunger crisis was born… It was born for financial profit… It was born out of capitalism’s desire for profit at any cost…

      Capitalism is evil… It has been nothing but evil… It has nothing to offer but evil…

      The equitable exchange of goods or services is not capitalism… Capitalism is not and has never been concerned with equitable exchange… It’s very nature is one of market domination… The equitable exchange of goods or services is “trade” not capitalism… Trade is about an equitable exchange… Capitalism is about the exploitation of people and the planet…

  5. Thanks for the reply.
    I guess we’re just arguing semantics here. Everything you just listed is a product of government, is it not? I’m against all types of force which is why I advocate for a system based on voluntary trade. Maybe I should describe it as free market instead, but whatever word you want to use it doesn’t change the idea behind it.

    Just curious, what sort of economic system would you advocate for?

  6. No problem on the reply… it wouldn’t be “social” media if we didn’t reply to one another…

    Yeah we are arguing semantics… i’ve been on something of a crusade to completely define capitalism as a means of gaining financial profit at any cost… Capitalism as a word has come to encompasses too much in order to hide it’s atrocities… So i want to narrow it down to what it is…

    And yes you could argue that these situations are implemented by governments but governments are just the handmaidens of corporations… Governments simply facilitate the desires of corporations, they simply make capitalism possible… As an anarchist i’m no fan of government…

    The free market is a term that frightens me as well… At least in the way that many capitalists have been using it… Again it’s all semantics… i like the word trade… Trade is something that connotes a sense of equality… Maybe Fair Trade which is a term that has been cropping up lately… This is more semantics…

    i’m not sure what kind of system of economics i want but i know what i don’t want… What i don’t want is exploitation of people or planet… What i want is a system of economics that isn’t based strictly on financial profit but expands the definition of profit to include doing some good in the world… i’m not sure if that system of economics has a name… and we’re back to semantics again… 🙂

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