Simplistic Philosophies Are Bad For Us

Death seed blind man’s greed

Poets’ starving children bleed

Nothing he’s got he really needs

Twenty first century schizoid man
-King Crimson

When the Soviet Union fell, the capitalists were ecstatic. Capitalism had triumphed over socialism. At least that’s what the story as they saw it was. And since the capitalist class was the most influential voice, that was the story that was primarily told.

What actually happened was a blended economy with strong unions won. A blended economy that had been historically building towards a more socialistic and Democrat way of doing things. But the capitalists were high. They figured if some capitalism was good, more was better. They thought if a fire in the fireplace would keep us warm, why just imagine how cozy we would be if we lit the whole house on fire.

And they did. Slowly at first, but quickly the flames spread. The forces of capitalism were not content to remain one aspect of our society but THE dominant force and power. Whereas the market was one part of how our society functioned, those with money who wanted to make more money insisted that the market was not only the most essential aspect of our nation but should be THE ONLY arbiter of human interaction.

It was a simplistic philosophy, and simplistic philosophies are always bad. Simplistic philosophies are unable to grasp the subtler realities of life and so they use lies, sloppy logic, and brute force to put forth the fundamentalist mindset. Show me a simplistic philosophy, and I will show you ignorance and hatred.

Simplistic philosophies always end up concentrating power and wealth into the hands of a few. Societies where a few have immense power and wealth are miserable for the vast majority living in it.

That’s where we are now, and I think it’s safe to say the vast majority of us are basically unhappy with our lives, especially politically speaking. Everybody is angry even if we find different political parties or politicians to feel angry about. Like I said, simplistic philosophies breed hatred.

They breed ignorance too.

No side of the political spectrum is interested in figuring out what is wrong, they’re only interested in who to blame. We have become children complaining to mommy and daddy that the other side started it, the problem being that there is no mommy or daddy to sort things out for us. Those who are willing to step into the role of parent are demagogues and fascists, not very nice people at all and definitely not looking out for your better interests. They feed upon your childish needs and their greatest fear is that you might achieve a level of maturity and so not need them anymore.

We live in a society with a simplistic philosophy, and every idea or observation that does not fit within that narrative must be mangled in order to fit that philosophy, ignored, or attacked in the strongest of manners. Christianity was once a major force in American society, but now it has been mangled to fit the overarching narrative of the market economy in the same way it was mangled to fit the government’s narrative in Nazi Germany. The Democratic party has been mangled to accept the idea of market uber alles, just as it has been mangled to accept whatever war is proposed by those who stand to profit from it. Anyone suggesting limits on the power of the wealthy capitalists is either attacked or ignored.

We once had a nation with a relatively influential working class. Democrats needed union support and they knew it. Hell, even Republicans proudly supported unions.

The very fact that labor had a degree of power made it necessary that more voices were heard, more perspectives were considered. But now the voices of labor are silenced, as are the voices of all who do not echo the official narrative given by a media that is concentrated in a few hands of like-minded people. The official story is for the government to stay out of a system that will police itself, that every other consideration be removed from the simplistic philosophy that is their religion.

Capitalism and market theory states that we are in competition with every other person and that nature exists to be exploited. That’s it. All else is explanation or rationalization. To see things any differently is to see beyond the parameters of capitalism. To that end, religion must be co-opted from the teachings of Jesus to the teachings of the capitalists. To that end, the lives and messages of great statesmen and leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King must be neatened up and abridged in order to fit nicely with the capitalist narrative. Nice, simple, stupid.

The religious fundamentalist is so convinced of his simple creeds that he believes any action is justifiable in its defense. The free market fundamentalist, too, believes anything is excusable in the pursuit of profit. Widows evicted, children starved, rivers and lakes polluted, it is all absolved in the greater good created by the free market.

Of course, the proponent of a simplistic philosophy, in the end, reveals himself to be not a true believer after all but merely an opportunist. It was the wealth and the power obtained in the support of the cause, not the cause itself, that was the true goal. Rare is the proponent of the free market who isn’t willing to act against the principles he espouses when there is money to be made. Likewise, there is not a single corporation unwilling to go to the government for help when it is needed.

The belief that anything is permissible in the pursuit of profit and that anyone successful in this pursuit is a person to be admired has given birth to abominations. Look at this:

Our founding fathers would weep at this, our forefathers cry out from the grave against it. But it has become our new normal. And this, this is the obvious result of a society that basis all its decision-making on what the market dictates, no consideration for religious, political or cultural leaders. No interest in art for art sake but merely for what sells. Am I wrong? Let us see if the free market has an answer for the spiritual rot that exists deep in our society.

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