Sunday, August 21, 2005

Capitalism: The story of {a,my} life

Driven by ambition, shaped by competition, and mesmerized by greed; the story of my life is the story of a pawn. A pawn in the sense that my movement has been limited to one square at a time or two squares in the first move. From my life-long dreams to my daily academic hobbies, I have fallen victim to a deadly train of though, ie capitalism. Not a mere economic system, in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market (capitalism), but a lifestyle which is obsessed with value and the individual.

We should understand capitalism as a stage in our lives, a lesson we need to learn from. A friend of mine, g.eof(), said "Competition was fun to learn the game, but now that we can play it so well we ought to all be on the same team." Even though this is a very valuable statement, I don't think the world is ready for a new paradigm shift, ie "being on the same team." I believe that we will not be able to transcend capitalism until we all "learn the game." Even though capitalism is here in the United States, it is not yet everywhere. I think that we need to nurture this beast until the entire globe is covered by its muscular wing span before we can trample it. In some sense, the two complementary beliefs that we can one day undermine capitalism and that the entire world has to first learn how to play the game make me a vehement capitalist. If there are parts of the world as of August 2005 that are not passionately pursuing capitalist ideals, then what good is it being an anti-capitalist?

What's next? What new paradigm will usurp capitalism? Whatever the new system might be, it must utilize capitalism as a stepping stone.