When people argue about the negative effects of capitalism, they point to the pollution and corruption of large corporations and say “look at that, there’s what your capitalism does in its ultimate form.”
The mentality behind such statements is that,
-anything with a label of “corporation” or “business” is the child of the capitalist ideology, and so
-any actions that these corporations take are congruent with capitalism.
So when the heads of a large corporation spends a lot of money sending lobbyists to the government to skew legislations or when they give government officials kickbacks, these are considered to be part of the capitalist agenda.
What these corporations are doing is not capitalism. Capitalism is when you play by the rules of the game and you succeed based on how well you play. Lobbying and kickbacks and the unhealthy marriage between business and government isn’t playing the game, it’s trying to change the rules of the game.
But the rules of this particular game cannot be changed or short-cut. The economic game is just a small aspect, or a mirror, of the game of life, of nature. It is the same game that is played biologically when the fittest survive. It’s the same game that is played chemically when atoms bond to form compounds.
So when there is an attempt to cheat nature, the cheaters are pulling themselves out of nature. But nothing exists outside of nature because nature is just an aspect, or a mirror, of reality. Hence there is a breakdown in the system and things begin to fall apart. And the cheaters will soon find themselves facing non-existence.
So why then do the CEO’s of these corrupt corporations go scott free with their golden parachutes and offshore accounts? Why don’t they just cease to exist like they are supposed to? It’s because they are able to fill the void that they create in existence by leeching reality from other systems.
Take for example the recent banking crises. These banks, through government help, tried to cheat the game by creating value that didn’t exist. They in essence took debt, which is negative money, and sold it as an asset as if it was positive money. When this ponzi scheme finally cracked and the banks began to break down, they borrowed positive money from tax-payers (you and me) to fill in the empty space that they created.
So what do we do about this? We could stop letting the cheaters leech off of us after they’ve eaten themselves up. But this requires a dispassionate cold-heartedness that most of us have difficulty with. What happened in the banking crises is that we thought of the all the jobs that will be lost, all the lives that will fall under hardships, most of them innocent, if we allow the banks to collapse. So we bailed out the banks so that the companies that you and I work for can still continue giving us our paycheck and we can still go to the store and buy food.
What would be a better solution is to prevent this sort of cheating to occur in the first place. This prevention can be achieved on two fronts. On one front, we can increase education in the ramification of such behaviors. Just like you teach your child to not steal because of the consequences it will have on the people you steal from and etc, we can also begin to teach our children to honor the rules of nature due to the consequences it will have on themselves.
But that alone isn’t enough because there is an almost inherent need in human beings to do what we know is harmful to ourselves and to others, just a little bit. What is also necessary, the other front, is a system of checks to police such behavior. Just like we punish the thief, we need to somehow punish the cheater. To be able to punish, we need laws that define the boundaries of what is allowable and what isn’t. We basically need to outlaw lobbying. We’ve already outlawed bribes, but there are so many other forms of kick-backs that fall through the cracks of the laws. It’s no wonder since the people receiving the kickbacks, the legislators, are the ones writing the laws themselves.
One thing that a democracy tries to achieve is the separation of biases. In a contest, the coaches aren’t allowed to judge on performances because the coaches will be more biased towards their own, this is practicing democracy. Currently, we have too much bias in our government system. It isn’t democratic enough. There is an unhealthy relationship between corporations and governments.
What we need is a separation of business and state. We’ve had 1500 years to learn that religion and government shouldn’t mix too much, lets not have to go through another 1500 years to learn this lesson either.