Anything can be used for good or evil.
For instance, information technology, when used for good connects us across distances, saves us from having to go places by enabling us to do errands, and even work remotely. For businesses, they have more ways to reach us, pitch us their product, and with the data collected by our IT usage, they can identify our needs and wants, even create them for their own profit. But people and companies can also breach security and confidentially beyond the laws for their own gain.
Any group, small or large, can and do do the same thing for their own advantage.
Capitalism … The Idea and the Reality
In a capitalistic-driven society, individuals are encouraged to be independent, to generate wealth, especially vast amounts of wealth and to be admired for their their accomplishments, many of which have little or no regard for the many who have not or have not been driven as they have. However, not paying wages at or not above the poverty level, not providing benefits, and not paying their fair share of taxes based on the profits they make reveals the dark side of capitalism that has little or no moral conscience.
Socialism Is Not Communism and Was Designed For Good, But …
Socialism’s original intent was intended to balance the many imbalances born of rabid capitalism without a conscience that left many of a nation’s people poor, unhealthy, and abused. But as with other systems of thought or ideals, there were people who turned what was meant for good into evil by seizing all goods and dispensing it sparingly to the people the nation governed, which is now defined as communism, making capitalism an ideal to strive for, which is why, in droves, people from around the world do their best to make their way to countries, especially the United States that once most strongly represented the capitalism ideal.
Democracy … The Intent, the Experiment, and the Current Dilemma
To balance the extreme capitalism ideal of the United States, democracy, as well as capitalism are embodied in The Constitution, and to some degree also in other capitalistic-driven countries, such as Canada.
Democracy is supposed to ensure all of a nation’s people can have their say by voting, but even today that right in the United States, is being challenged by those in power who want to stay in power by whatever means, once again demonstrating clearly how something intended for good, democracy, is now being used for evil.
The Price Being Paid for Extremism Ideals
Because we have learned that anything often taken to the extreme is unhealthy and often causes great harm, we have to not only ask the difficult questions, we must be relentless in digging out the whole truth. In other words, we must as citizens with the power to vote, do what is called in the business world “due diligence” to see both the details and the big picture in order for us to make the best choices, not just for ourselves, but for our families, communities, nations, and yes, even globally … because what we choose or don’t choose does affect all of our circles of influence.
After realizing that extremism can be dangerous when it is selfish, for our own good too, we must be open to examining what has been and why it may not be working as it was intended so we can adjust what needs to be adjusted for optimal performance.
Would you run a vehicle into the ground because you choose to disregard the engine’s warning? Would you run your health into the ground because you choose to disregard your body’s and even your doctor’s warning signs? Would you put your pregnancy or child at risk because you did not want to be bothered with signs of something not being right?
We would not if we valued … respected our transportation, health, or child.
Today, around the world, and crucially in the United States right now, we have to take into consideration that rampant capitalism without a social conscience is selfish, bullish, and immoral. Immoral capitalism is no different from other forms of tyrannical concepts and people who exploited the masses for their own gain.
Does this mean socialism in its original form is desired? No. However, what it does mean is that socialism, like capitalism, can be adapted for the times because of raised awareness of the impact of the extremes.
We also have to accept that we are still learning and growing individually and collectively as a species.
For instance, we have to debunk the myth that meritocracy, the idea that with capitalism everyone has an equal chance to amass great wealth, is not only false, it is not something everyone actually wants because not everyone values money above all else. Plus, some people even see those with great wealth as money idolizers who care nothing for anyone or anything besides themselves and their wealth. Of course, there are the exceptions, but their numbers are small in comparison.
Besides, not everyone wants to get rich for the sake of getting rich … they want a rich life … a life rich with love, balance, health, and decent incomes to meet their needs and some of their wants provided by those who need the masses’ labour for their entrepreneurial enterprises, keeping in mind that anything less than providing wages at least at the poverty line is an abuse of power and a form of enslavement resulting from imbalance.
Yet there are people who fear the empowerment of people because they fear what people will do when they are truly free to choose … who to vote for, work for, buy from, and where to live. Yet this is what our western world touts as right, but once again, those who feel threatened are those who are fearful and therefore want to generate fear to keep control over people.
Enlightenment comes from paying attention, not just to ourselves, but also to the world around us. There will always be people who will need to be cared for because of intellectual, mental, physical limitations, illness or age. They need our compassion and caring as well as financial assistance to ensure their quality of life is not substandard to those who can take care of themselves. With the wealth in our free nations, there should be no outcry of paying a fair share of taxes for the benefits the wealthy … and even the middle class enjoy.
The Take Away
More than politics, religion, or any other belief system should not overpower or override our awareness that what we do impacts us as well as everyone else. And what we believe is always subject to modification as we learn and grow, not just in intellectual intelligence, but also our emotional intelligence, that when combined transforms us into not just self-seeking individuals, but individuals who realize life is so much more than just about us … it’s about all of us.
An Old Story For the Present
Once upon a time a frog stood on the edge of a pond readying itself for its pending swim. A scorpion walked up to the frog and asked, “Can I have a ride to the other side?” Naturally, the frog quickly replied, “No! You’ll sting me and we will both drown!” But the scorpion persisted and argued, “No, I won’t because then I would die too!” Against the frog’s better judgment, the frog gave in and agreed so the scorpion climbed onto the frog’s back. Not too far from shore, the frog cried out, “You promised!” As the frog and scorpion slipped below the water’s surface, the scorpion replied, “I am what I am.”
Thankfully, we are more than what we may have or still do believe because humans are a species with the ability to learn, adapt, and realize more of our extraordinary potential. We do not have to allow good ideas to be transformed into evil. We forged nations based on democracy. We can change the culture that exploits the masses for the benefit of a few. We can employ socialism’s best qualities to help others without giving up capitalism’s good qualities. We can change the culture that has come to idolize the rich and their wealth by thanking them for their entrepreneurship that created jobs and living wages by doing our jobs well, without frustration, resentment, or jealousy … even with gratitude and satisfaction.
We have the power to combine the best qualities of democracy, socialism, and capitalism for our individual benefit, our nation’s benefit, and our global nation’s benefit. What are the rewards you ask? Peace, safety, and security, plus wellness born of the development of our unique potential development for work and life satisfaction.
What happens next is up to us. We have freedom’s power to choose, so let us choose wisely and set a good example at home and around the world.
KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President
© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020
Originally posted November 1, 2020
- Re-posted January 6, 2021 in response to coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol today.