A Critical Look At Our Way Of Life
The law of the wild is “survival of the fittest”. This rule applies to all of Natures creatures, even us. In our civilization, the “fittest” are those with the most money, because money is associated with security and power. This is regardless of their true ability and ingenuity. One could be born into big money and be dumb as a stump, but they’ll still live better and have more security than the vast majority of others, and with a far better chance of success and survival.
Money is the only motivation that civilization provides for progress. And, money is the only obstacle that we - any of us - have. And, we impose it upon ourselves! We all need food, shelter, power, clothes, entertainment, health care, and it all takes money to obtain. But does it really have to be this way?
“Mother Culture” (term coined by Daniel Quinn in his book Ishmael) would tell us so. Mother Culture would tell us this is how we’re supposed to live, that no other way is possible. She says that mankind is self-serving, greedy and flawed. Even though we may preach compassion, generosity, and good will, those who are profit-driven will have an ulterior motive and a higher priority than the needs of the community or even that of their employees in many cases. Some do give to charities, yes, but the powerful ultimately only seeks to become more powerful. Power is as much an addiction as alcoholism. Companies will sacrifice quality for cost reduction, drug companies will discontinue medications (that are valuable...even precious to those that need them) because they don’t feel they’re making enough money off of it to justify production. Health insurance companies refuse to cover expensive medications because they’re so expensive. Meanwhile, NASA was forced to shut down its shuttle program because of money, and Solyndra (a solar power company...clean energy, yay!) went bankrupt. It's no wonder there is far more “bad” in the world than “good”.
Yet, we have all the knowledge, skill and technology we need for a better world. There’s enough food in this country alone for everyone in it and then some, we have medicines to stave off disease, the labs and scientists to discover more, we have the ability to produce clean, reusable energy…the ONLY thing in the way of true progress is money.
Mankind is no more flawed than any other species. We all have the seeds of greed and generosity, callousness and compassion, but monetary systems fertilizes and fosters our negative traits and largely ignores the positive. It was an invention of convenience in a world of scarcity. And this system has served us very well, as we are the most successful species on the planet. But environments change, and evolutionary theory suggests that those species that fail to adapt to those changes will eventually die off. Well our economic environment has changed. And since a civilizations economy is it's life's blood, this is pretty detrimental. The best adaptation I can see would be based on the abundance we have created in the world, on a resource-based economy. It would instead foster the positive side, tipping the scale the other way. It would allow for more good to manifest in the world.
A monetary system is man-made... not a natural one. You don’t see any form of currency used elsewhere in the natural world. Its value, in essence, is “virtual”, so it's not even real. And I think psychologically we may think we’ve become more civilized and separate from the savage rest of the world by using this system. But looking at the deceit, violence, and gross imbalance of things in general, it’s fairly obvious we’re not. And if we could create this system for ourselves then we can certainly institute something better at this stage in the game.