Capitalism Rocks

At times I wonder if my lefty ways have been a mistake.
Pretty much everybody says that capitalism is the only
route that is concordant with human nature.  You might
imagine that’s just using an Appeal to Nature, so it’s
lightweight thinking.  But it has a deeper truth.

For how can we motivate anyone to do anything without
obstacles to overcome in the form of poverty, and with-
out the rewards of bourgeois creature comforts?  Life is
less meaningful without real travails, without a metric for
success.  That’s what capitalism gives us, and I’m grateful.


  1. says

    And yet a large amount of freely given labour underpins our society, without which the world would be even nastier.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    So far, people have come up with three different ways to motivate excess labor.

    Totalitarianism is based on motivating people by Fear. That tends to work pretty well, until it doesn’t.

    Various forms of communism motivate people by Altruism. That works great at a local level — the problem is simply that it doesn’t scale. People will work incredibly hard and make all kinds of sacrifices for their immediate family. For a loose association — as in, say, a commune — then maybe, if there is some ideological glue holding them together, or maybe not. For neighbors, unlikely. And folks in the next town over? Screw ’em.

    That leaves the third motivational force — Greed, the driving force of capitalism. And it turns out, peoples’ greed is boundless. That’s why capitalism tends to work well at a societal (if not an individual) level.

  3. says

    In case it wasn’t obvious, and I’m not saying either of you didn’t catch it, April Foolz y’all.

    Lofty, ya damn right and I think I alluded to some of that in my last post before this one.

    brucegee, but does it work on a societal level? We have pretty dysfunctional societies, and a species hurtling toward a (previously) quite avoidable extinction. At the macro level, things may be worse than on the personal. I’ll only die if I get cancer right now. If the world keeps on under the principle of boundless greed, the whole species may die.

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