Capitalism, Heaven, and Hell

It is said without the threat / promise of heaven and hell, humans would have no reason to be moral. Worse people than I have pointed out the flaws in this. Standup comedians, skeptics, and more. One: laws and society enforce moral norms – not religion by itself. Two: if you need divine law to keep you from committing rapes and murders, you should probably seek counseling. Humans care for each other; it’s what social animals do.

It is often said that without capitalism, there would be no motive for labor, for innovation, for anything besides laziness. If you need greed and the suffering of others to motivate your every labor, you should probably seek counseling.

There are a million good motivations to labor that have nothing to do with the carrot of wealth or the stick of poverty. Again, caring for each other. It’s what social animals do, and what we could do a lot more effectively, if our lifeblood wasn’t being congealed into the foundations of castles.

Besides that, leisure. You work to minimize labor, conserve energy and resources so you can enjoy life. Building a house keeps out bears and keeps in heat. Less labor and resources spent building fires every night and guarding against bears. Let the fucking robots take our jobs, we shouldn’t need as many jobs in this world.

And there are plenty of jobs that need doing that are being left undone because they don’t generate gold bricks for the aristocracy. So much human need, infrastructure, education is being left to rot or straight burned to the ground right now in the name of greed.

Kudos for achievement, looking good, pride of accomplishment, basic executive function for self-maintenance. What are your reasons to labor? They don’t have to be dollars and cents or the fear of the economic abyss.

Belief in hell is one of the chief moral failings of the abrahamic religions. Belief in the necessity of poverty is the exact same fucking thing. Fuck capitalism.


  1. lanir says

    Thugs. Historically it looks like they hired the best thugs and told them to keep doing the same things but think of themselves as not being thugs. Now the population and communication levels between people have risen to the point the thugs don’t have to be nearly as overt.

    I don’t have a barracks full of assholes down the street ready to come by and steal from me whenever they want something. But if I stop working or even start working a job with bad enough pay, that wouldn’t stop me from being thrown out of my house by force and having all my stuff stolen. I’m calling it stolen because it’s not like I’d get value for it or anything.

    And even if I wanted to, I can’t just go find a cave somewhere and live like a hunter gatherer. Someone somewhere has a claim to every inch of land, even if it’s just the government.

    I’ve seen some of what it takes to live off the grid and go as far as possible to have no ties or financial entanglements. From what I saw, you basically don’t get to own much and you probably have to get friends to drive you around – a car is too large of an expense. Your home will be a very simple affair. Something like an old bus or a modern rendering of some native dwelling most likely. You need to own the land you’re on or have the owner allow you to live there for free. The former tends to mean it would be difficult to fall into this lifestyle from this lifestyle, so I don’t think it’s very sustainable. Should you find a way to have kids (a huge expense) and teach them without going to jail (difficult if you stand out as anything other than Christian religious kooks), they’ll be in a real bind when they become adults with no money. And there’s always some fee somewhere like property taxes or buying groceries to require you to earn money. You probably need to be a craftsman or artist to pull this off, and be at least moderately successful (feeding into the hermit artist trope here). I’m not sure etsy would be enough.

    So hey, there are options! You just have to find ways to give up almost all the benefits of modern society to do it, then find ways to contribute in a limited fashion so someone doesn’t show up and again force you out of your home and take your stuff.

  2. says

    What’s interesting in a sort of hopelessly daunting and terrible way is how the thuggery has been spread out until it suffuses almost every level of society. A hell of a trick, achieved with no plan at all. It’s just bad societal values + everyone fucks everyone until the fuckpile is as tightly interlocked as the fossils in the Morrison Formation. How does one untangle that?

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