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July 15, 2008

capitalism

Growing up in a commune probably should have given me an odd view on our capitalist democracy. Indeed I've never been able to get my head around our economic structure. It always seemed like it was based on something shaky that I couldn't quite define.

However, thanks to David Loy and the financial crisis of the past year I think I've figured out how to define the bizarre premise of what makes our culture tick (money).

So as I've always understood it, capitalism is the premise that he who owns the capital, owns the profits created by the capital investment. Communism is the premise that everyone owns the capital (just like we all own the air, water, earth, etc) so instead of the investors reaping the profits, we all should. And perhaps socialism (not sure) might be considered a mix of the two with no one (or everyone, or at least the community impacted) owning the capital and the workers (and maybe the entire community impacted) reap the profits. I totally made up those definitions - hopefully I didn't butcher them too much.

The weird thing is that they are all based on this idea of profit - of a future being better than the present. This idea that if I give my money, my labor, my investments, my life, I can end up with something better than we had before. It is highly risky and all based on a dream. Sometimes this dream drives us to amazing things (pro-capitalists love to tout this) including inventions and discoveries.

However, it is all based in hope and fear. All this hope and fear can make us do weird things.

As Loy points out in "Money Sex War Karma": "A capitalist economy is an economy that runs on debt and requires a society that is comfortable with indebtedness. The debt is at least a little larger than the original loan: those who invest expect to get more back than their original investment. When this is how the whole economy works , the social result is a generalized pressure for continuous growth and expansion, because that is the only way to repay the accumulating debt. This constant pressure for growth is indifferent to other social and ecological consequences. The result is a collective future orientation: the present is never enough but the future will be (or must be ) better."

Hope and fear - and it is all centered around debt, earnings, cash. This is the first I've come to this conclusion about how our capitalist society has shaped us into the culture we are - indebted to our children, the environment, other societies, and the past.

Can we find another motivator? Another currency? Is there an economic system that both encourages learning and growth (innovation) without discouraging death (recycling)?

July 02, 2008

Fixed!

I can't believe I finally have my blog back! Now I am at a loss wondering what to say.

Ha!

As if that ever stopped me for long.

Things have changed. I've moved. I have my own space and now it is time to shape my own thoughts into words. This won't be the most enlightened inspiring blog but it will be a reflection of my observations and inspirations. There probably won't be much more on travel - I'm pretty settled (and broke) these days.

However, hopefully there will be lots under learning new things and the triple p categories. Additionally I plan on adding a category on weather because I find the stuff fascinating - if you don't you can skip over those entries. And one of these days I aspire to create a political commentary section where I can sound off about what I read in the paper and see in the world.

A girl has gotta express her opinion and where better to do that?

A thousand blessings and thanks to my friend Steven who helped me get this show back on the road.