Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Economic Crisis

The current economic disaster shows just how rapacious a system capitalism is. Why are millions of people having their lives destroyed? Because a minority of people thought only of themselves and satisfying their lust for money. It's really just that simple. The central idea of capitalism is that the individual is more important than the group, and that the highest principle is the satisfaction of greed. And nothing is going to change until these precepts are overturned and replaced by ones that say the individual and the group are of equal importance, and the highest principle is compassion.

By definition, capitalism appeals to our most narrow self-interests. Capitalism makes a virtue of selfishness. Capitalism makes greed sacred. Capitalism preaches that it is better to be in debt than it is to save. Capitalism makes us crave THINGS, and we go into debt in order to buy THINGS. The economy needs us to BUY THINGS. And, worst of all, perhaps, capitalism has convinced us that this is the best way to live, and dammit, we seem to be convincing the rest of the world of this.

Maybe out of the current economic debacle, more and more people will begin to see the capitalism primarily benefits a minority and pacifies the majority with THINGS and dreams that one day members of the majority can join the wealthy minority.

Tomorrow, I'll pass on an economic plan someone passed on to me from someone who passed it to her. I hope you'll pass it on to others.

And even though Barack Obama believes in capitalism, as of 2 A.M. (EST), I'm still happy that in 49 days, 10 hours and 1 minutes, he will become the 44th president.

© 2008 by Julius Lester

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