Nature Can Sometimes Be Cruel, Capitalism Always Is
Nature can be quite unforgiving. When life and death are on the line, nature will grant you no extra chances, show no pity, make no exceptions. Nature can be cold, uncaring, indifferent to your survival. At such moments, people have to put aside excuses, realize there is no point in asking for pity, and do whatever they have to in order to survive. Because nature simply does not respond to our wish for a kinder, gentler, world. Nature can often be a jerk.
It is for this reason that humans have created societies and civilizations, in order to provide some sort of cushion against unyielding, unforgiving, uncaring nature. Sure, being tough and sucking it up is one way of dealing with the harshness of nature, but there are a lot easier, less taxing ways of surviving. It may be manly to learn how to sleep in an igloo or eat squirrel, but it’s a lot more fun to be civilized and sleep on a nice warm bed in a climate-controlled house. The civilization we’ve created offers many perks such as this.
But nature is not always heartless. In fact, nature often gives humans — and all other species — wondrous blessings from her bounty. Primitive humans were as likely to come across a field of berries or a grove of apple trees as they were to come across a period of hunger. They were as likely to be blessed with more food than they could hope to eat as they were to go without. Indeed, any primitive human being would have had frequent instances when they were blessed by the generosity of nature: a time when the river ran thick with salmon, the fields rumbled with the hooves of bison, the boughs of trees hung low from the amount of fruit they bore.
For primitive man, all that nature gave, it gave for free. Though effort was sometimes required to harvest or prepare what was given, no price was placed upon what nature gave. Primitive houses might need to be built, but there was no charge for the lumber. Water might have to be carried from one place to another, but nobody had to go into debt to acquire essentials.
And when it came to the non-necessities, those things we do not need but which make life truly beautiful, nature gave without asking for anything in return. A person in nature did not have to pay to go to the beach, nor were beaches deprived them because they were not in possession of a piece of paper proving ownership of said stretch of waterfront property. Man could wander where he would without paying tolls, could sleep where he wished without paying rent, could eat what he wanted without having to pay for the privilege. Camping out beneath the stars and hanging around the campfire did not require a park permit or a lot site.
Nevertheless, man realized he could purchase an insurance policy of sorts against nature by creating societies and civilizations, and in so doing, reduce the risks of being eaten by a cougar or being undone by a failed crop. By working together, humanity could absorb the overall costs that would sometimes be too much for individuals and smaller groups. Groups in areas experiencing the excess nature often provides would be able to share from their excess with those experiencing a drought or other misfortune. When this is working well, humanity is able to thrive.
But somehow it is going all wrong. While society is still capable of providing wealth and comfort for many, it not only does not give freely, it no longer allows nature to do so. Visit any place where great populations of humans are assembled together, and you will soon find that nothing is available without cost. Whereas nature was often quite generous in providing food, humanity has replaced that abundance with qualifiers. Yes, you can have all you care to eat, if you can give something in return. Otherwise, perhaps you will be able to find something in the garbage of others that will give you strength to live another day. Yes, you can sleep somewhere, but only if you can pay for the privilege. Otherwise, police will rouse you from your sleep upon the cold pavement and send you on your way. Yes, you can live wherever you like, if you can pay rent to those who have claimed ownership of the land that once belonged to no one. Your choices of beverages are virtually endless. If you can pay. Otherwise, even life-giving water is becoming something which society can no longer provide to all.
You see, capitalists have taken all of nature’s blessings, of God’s blessings, and claimed them for their own. Your very existence depends upon your ability to increase their wealth. Whether you live or die does not matter to them, only whether you can increase their bottom lines or not.
You are now living in an artificial world created by capitalists. Your connection to others and to the planet is dead. They want you to think that capitalism is a natural extension of nature. They are very big on reminding people about the natural law of survival of the fittest and how merciless nature can be, but they are quite mum when it comes to reminding you of how nature is often quite free with its gifts. No other species but our own is required to pay for what they acquire. Even today, there exist cultures living close to nature for whom such a capitalist system would appear quite unnatural.
The society we created in order to protect ourselves against the savageries of nature has now become feral as well. It has devolved from a way of allowing people to work together for the benefit of all into a jungle in which the strong prey upon the weak.
The lesson the capitalists would have you learn is that it is up to the parents to protect their children from the dangers the capitalist system thrusts upon them. It is the parents’ responsibility to shield their children from the vulgarity and immorality that passes for culture in a capitalist society. It is the parents’ responsibility to keep their children away from the unhealthy foods created by corporations, foods that are causing record obesity and diabetes in children. Short of kidnapping your children, the capitalist advertisers do everything in their power to insure your children spend their (your) money on things that are neither good for them nor for society. But the blame is all yours should they succeed.
But this is not the way our primitive ancestors would have dealt with this threat. They would have taught their children to stay away from danger, yes, but when there was a dangerous beast lurking nearby, they understood something had to be done about it. They set traps, or they hunted it down and killed it. Primitive man did not hesitate to neutralize a problem that threatened their children. Not so in a capitalist society. Children of a primitive culture were never threatened by the dangers of obesity, diabetes, corporate branding, and a host of other ills foisted upon them by corporate marketing. But the answer is always to blame the parent, never the corporations.
There are very few threats we face from nature, nowadays. Humanity has created technology that has allowed us to grow more food than we know what to do with, to provide shelter and clothing to all. The main threats to our children now are the ones created by us, by people looking to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Predatory capitalism is the most prevalent manifestation of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. We must learn from our ancestors how to protect ourselves, our children, and our very species from the threat of such predation. We must create civil structures strong enough to defend against predators, and we must do whatever it takes to remove such threats from prowling around wherever our children, our elderly, and ourselves are potential prey.