WHY we haven't achieved world peace.
HOW we achieve it.
WHAT we should expect once we get there.

Friday, November 04, 2011

From profit to profiteering

Why I’m against capitalism as an unchallenged social template -- and socialism, and any other “ism” for that matter.

The fact is that any (ANY) organization goes from supporting its declared mandate (whatever it may be) to supporting that organization’s leadership by boosting its profit margin, regardless of and at the cost of its original mandate.

The MTV cable television channel went from supporting popular music to seeking pure profit for its leadership; it now broadcasts idiotic babble almost nonstop and very little (very bad) music. Television primetime News went from supporting public information to seeking pure profit for its leadership; it now shamelessly broadcasts worthless infotainment and almost no international news. The cable television History Channel went from supporting history education to seeking pure profit for its leadership; it now broadcasts reality shows having little or nothing to do with history, many reruns of old shows, and more and more rare original history-based programming. American politics went from supporting popular democracy to seeking pure profit for its leadership; it now conducts a criminal race to the bottom to acquire the most campaign finance, and can no longer legislate constructively.

Corruption is the inevitable end of capitalism (or any other social template) as freely expressed.

In socialist systems, “social power” replaces “pure profit.” Otherwise, the equation remains the same. In any other “ism,” its original story, justification and mandate are eventually replaced by its leadership’s promotion through the acquisition of pure profit (or consolidation of social power).

This would not be so bad if it stopped there. But an organization that ceased to fulfill its mandate though its leadership’s acquisitiveness would provide less and less valuable service, would cease to extract profit/power from that disappointed client base, and would eventually be replaced by a new organization that honored the original mandate more closely and thus collected more dependable profit/power from that client base.

However, once the original mandate is abandoned and profit margins begin to slide, the organization resorts to disinformation and dirty tricks; and eventually to outright lies, violence and criminality (or propaganda bombast, secret police terrorism and political corruption) to increase its profit/power margin. This is the ultimate death-spiral of dominant social organizations: devolution into a Mafia. The greatest short-term profits are achieved by criminal activity, so the leadership eventually defaults to criminals. The best criminals are guilt-free psychopaths and sociopaths and their slaves. They eventually replace everyone else in positions of leadership.

It is thus that the government of humanity, the oldest and most evolved of social organization, is based on lies, terror and corruption carefully regulated.

The only (temporary) solution to this problem would be the regular replacement of an organization’s leadership by independent outsiders more interested in the its original mandate than in mere profit accumulation. This is the advantage presented by democracy. Only a temporary solution, as these specialists will be replaced over time by more profit-oriented generalists, and these generalists will sooner or later by dominance-oriented sociopaths.

The only solution to this problem would be the built-in, mandated self-destruction of the organization and its substitution by another of independent origin and separate manpower. This solution induces additional problems: the waste of valuable talent during the original organization’s destruction, and the infiltration of sociopaths among recruits to the new organization, more and more of them over time until they achieve total dominance.

There is no obvious solution to this problem on a permanent basis, except perhaps the universal acceptance of the idea of sociopath takeover over time, permanent watchfulness against it, and systematic efforts to suppress its effects. It might be interesting to revert from capitalism-dominance to socialism-dominance every few generations or so, society-wide, so as to eliminate one set of sociopathic profiteers (along with their source of profit/power), eventually replace them with another set devoted to a different source of profit/power, and so on.

Eventually, any form of social turbulence or replacement will be overrun by sociopaths who appear programmed to dominate any long-term social organization to the harm of everyone except themselves. Even then, most sociopaths eventually sabotage their own lives and often die friendless and broke. Everyone loses.


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