Notes on Capitalism

The audacious dreams and relentless striving for acquisitions of capitalism are nourished by the conception of the ‘I’ (the individual), and because of that, as an ideology, a worldview or a doctrine, it is fundamentally selfish and narcissistic. It is a narcissism that presides over capitalism’s work ethic, which is a cult of initiative tightly wrapped up in the endless search for novelty and pleasure.

If it has an aim beyond the pleasure of the eternal search for the next acquisition, it is for the absurd dream of an eternity of growth and the establishment of dynasties.

If it has commitments it is toward those aims and for assuming the responsibility of ensuring the well-being and success of its descendants. Nevertheless, in general, the capitalist is worried about the future, or at least concerned with the future’s influence on present day reality. For the capitalist, the future threatens to break up the uncontested equilibrium that the capitalist imagines existing in the capitalist-created world, and which capitalism believes is fully controlled by itself, or can be fully recuperated if antagonistic forces manage to interfere. This gives the capitalist an essentially conservative character, although it is also an anxious conservatism.

The capitalist is preoccupied with business and sees reality according to the acquisition of profit and the pleasure that brings (either through enjoyment of the commodities it buys or through the mere excitement of the acquisition itself).

In the large part, capitalism sees science as a tool for the creation of innovation and novelty which is desirable in the marketplace, as well as providing a defence against the unforeseeable. Nevertheless, it is quite willing to deny science when it itself becomes an enemy, as in the fight between fossil-fuel producers and ecologists.

The instinct for acquisition gives the capitalist an appearance of being open to integration, although that openness is just a necessary part of the capitalist’s mechanism of acquiring more.

The capitalist has a paradoxical attitude towards the world. It loves the world’s resources, and it believes it has an inherent right to exploit them. It loves to luxuriate in ideas of how the natural world can be turned into a generator of vast profits, but it ferociously disdains nature’s complexity and is constantly trying to make the planet a flatter, simpler environment that is easier to manage. The paradoxical effect of this, however, is that the process of making the world simpler in order to make capitalism’s communication lines shorter and straighter, actually increases the complexity of nature and opens the door to chaotic climate conditions that threaten to destroy what has been created.

The capitalist is unscrupulous in his or her willingness to abuse nature, while retaining a shameless posture of ‘inner peace’ in the wake of their pillaging. Rather than envisioning a better future, the capitalist hopes to carve that future out of the present in order to perpetuate the present order and guarantee an ever-rising spiral of accumulations for the generations to come.

The maintenance of the status quo is guaranteed by what the capitalist has, i.e. his or her capital. The capital of capitalism is its future, i.e. the insurance against risks and its guarantee that no matter what befalls, no matter how complete the next crisis and collapse will be, it will always be able to pick itself up again and build the present world again.

Of course, these narcissistic ideas are a dangerous threat to humanity. Its time for humanity to realise and act against the monster that is driving us toward the dystopia of all megalomaniacal visions. This has to start by seeing beyond the individualism of the ‘I’ to the greater picture of ‘us’ and the totality of the partnership between ‘us-and-the-world’. Capitalism needs now to be sterilised because another generation of a capitalist-dominated civilisation will be fatal for humanity.   

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s