“Communism is the exploitation of humankind by humankind. Capitalism is the opposite.”
— Coluche, a French humorist.
Capitalism is king today. If history is written by the victors, the era from the late 1970s to the earlier 2020s is the half-century of capitalism.
Whether we believe in climate change or not is not the question today.
As we are burying our loved ones for Covid-19, dozens of other pandemics are waiting in the line of globalization to come and knock us out.
As we are closing our borders, our hearts are closed simultaneously. As we are working from home, we all are lingering for getting back to the old world.
Yet, the old habits are what got us here in the first place.
Why are we so eager to dwell on being hostages of our own demise?
I don’t have the answer to that question. I just believe that we, humans, love the ways things are.
We have built a world around those 6 fragile following concepts:
1. A world of COMPETITION — Capitalism in a globalized world is the heaven for a competition where the end always justifies the means.
From the cradle to the grave, from every location on Planet Earth, we have been told that it is all about eating or being eaten.
2. A world of EXCLUSIVITY — We eat patents every single day. If some people could put a patent on the air we breathe, they would have put an exclusivity on it.
We believe that exclusivity makes us special, part of the happy few. Unfortunately, all it does is make us part of the happy fools.
3. A world of ELITES — We love to build circles with those who are similar to us and we call them a circle of influence.
We only build elite products for elite people. For the rest, well, they will have the crumbs as long as they crawl on the floor of life.
4. A MARKET-DRIVEN world — Every commodity is driven by supply and demand. The prices of every human life on planet Earth are just another commodity on the stock-markets of life.
We develop products to satisfy the unquenchable needs of a never-satisfied market. We cut trees to make paper. We print in those papers: “Let’s save the trees.”
5. A FACTORY-CENTERED world — We build factories, and we produce just to maximize our margins while squeezing the locals to minimize our costs.
Each factory is only here for its own sake. We prefer to dump our overproduction into the ocean or burn it to the ground to maintain our margins.
6. A TECHNOCENTRIC world — We are in this frantic race of always building technical solutions for each and every issue we encounter in life.
Often, we provide so-called solutions that only address a part of the world’s needs and generate many issues down the lane.
We have built a colossus with clay feet. We are far from having built resilience or sustainability into the system.
The schematics of life in the old world are not the right ones for what is to come. We are at the edge of capitalism and the benefits behind it.
We need to build a more inclusive, more resilient, more sustainable, and more fair world.
We can do it easily by moving from:
1. COMPETITION TO COOPERATION — Life is an infinite game. Yes. Yet as humans, our time on this big rock is limited.
We can compete against each other and lose. Yet cooperation is the way to go, the sustainable path where we might all lose a little of our ego and win more of our echo.
2. EXCLUSIVITY TO COMMON GOOD — Exclusivity is just an artifact of our mind. Nothing in this world is truly exclusive. Where there is exclusivity, there is exclusion.
We are in the same boat, literally. If we fart in Europe, the smell will reach the shores of Africa. We need to aim at preserving our planet as one humanity for our sanity.
3. ELITES TO INCLUSION — We all have some elite light within us. It might not be the fame light, the material wealth one, or even the beauty one.
Inclusion is the hidden energy, the dark matter that is linking us all together as one humanity.
We feel together. We heal together.
4. MARKET DRIVEN TO SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC MODELS — The market is like the wind in the middle of the storm. It will never be satisfied, no matter what we throw at it.
We need to play the long game with our limited resources in an infinite game. We need to shift from dogmatic markets to sustainable economic models.
We need to care. We need to share.
5. FACTORY-CENTERED TO HOLISTIC APPROACH — Being self-centered might make us think that we are solving our issues. Yet, the best-case scenario might just be that we are shifting the responsibilities to others.
We might think that we are unique in the issues we face. Yet, some other people might have the same issue. Therefore, we need a holistic approach in all we do.
We need to be a whole. We need to overhaul our humanity.
6. TECHNOCENTRIC TO DEMOCRATIC AND DESIRABLE — THe best technology is just that a technology. It cannot solve issues on a global scale. However, it will always serve its masters well.
We need to shift from technology to democracy in our approach to the solutions that will solve the issues of humanity.
If we want it to last, we need to make it sustainable and desirable. Only then will it last long enough as a solution.
We need to decentralize. We need to move from command and control to come in hand to hand as a whole.
Capitalism has won just because it was the system of the winners. It could have been communism.
Yet that win was just for a half-century. As we are looking back, it feels more like a false win.
Because if only 10% of people on Earth are having a hell of a ride, we might ask ourselves if we did not bring hell down on them.
We will never find a perfect system where we all will thrive. Yet, we can set things in motion to aim at a higher part of people enjoying the ride of life more sustainably and fairly.
By setting the right system of gears, we will shift from competition to cooperation, from exclusivity to common good, from elites to inclusion, from market-driven to a sustainable economy, from self-centered to a holistic approach, and from a technocentric to a democratic and desirable world.
Are we creating a more resilient world?
How sustainable is the system of the old world?
Is there a better system to shift toward a better direction?
Leave a comment below.
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You can read my previous article on Don’t let those skills slip away through your fingers; you will regret it for the rest of your life. (Friendly link)