In today’s interconnected world, we are surrounded by great advances in technology. From the internet that allows us to share information globally and instantly to smartphones that are more powerful than supercomputers from two decades ago, and even to the modern conveniences, we have such as fine coffee, which is mass produced at a great price, thanks to technology!
We can thank capitalism for this! Thanks to capitalism, we have become ruthlessly efficient as a society and species. As time progresses, we can make things cheaper, better, and in greater quantities. Capitalism has become a dirty word lately by those who misunderstand it as an economic system. Capitalism uses human nature to push for economic good. Built into our human psychology is love, hate, greed, jealousy to name but a few. Many will argue that greed is bad as a human behaviour, but love it or not, it is a behaviour that is built into all of us. Greed, like all our emotions, is simply a biological impulse that is required for self-preservation.
But why money?
As societies and cultures have matured, power, money, and status have become a signal to show strength and success. Success today is money in the bank, and money leads to freedom! The freedom to do as you please and own what you wish. A nice house, car, and early retirement from the 9 to 5 rat race all comes at a cost. No one wants to be on the rat wheel until death do them part. For that, you need money! But why money? Money is simply a store of value and means of exchange.
You work to earn money, and money allows you to store value for future use. This value can be squandered or used wisely. It is your choice of freedom as a human being. Without going off track, we can see that money is important, as it gives you choice and freedom. Freedom to do as you wish! Now that we have established that money is important for individuals and societies, we can understand why people will want to acquire more money out of greed, want, and desire.
If you do not greedily want a better house, car, or standard of living, you would not want to get out of bed in the morning and work hard and smart to fulfil your desires. Without this greed to drive you, actions would not be taken, and things would not get done! Business and commerce would not push forward, and standards of living would drop like a stone down a quarry. If you do not believe me, please feel free to look at capitalist-based countries vs. non-capitalist-based ones (South Korea vs. North Korea).
Capitalism is based on a form of greed.
Capitalism is not a perfect system, but it is the best that we have. It sometimes knocks out of balance, and we have governments and regulators to keep things in check. You can argue for and against this, but that is perhaps for another post. There are good qualities of greed, and we can harness this for the good of society. Therefore, we have capitalism. Capitalism is based on a form of greed.
Could today’s first world countries function without greed? I highly doubt it as most societies in a first world country function with profit motives in mind. What drives today’s financial systems and businesses depends on earnings and profit. Without profit, there is no purpose, and without purpose, there is no progress for society and humanity. You must only look at the progress made since the birth of capitalism, which has pushed humanity into an upwards trajectory of wealth, health, and abundance. As an everyday man of centuries gone by, I would have lived under the rule of a supreme leader and subjected to a substandard living in piss, shit, and squalor.
I, for one, feel lucky to live in a pro-capitalist society, and you should too! Thank your lucky stars for being born in a first world country full of opportunity and liberty that were in the past reserved just for royalty. And if you don’t believe me, feel free to live in an anti-capitalist country where you will have fewer rights, wealth, and health. There is a reason people are mass migrating to westernized countries, and it is not for less opportunity! An opportunity that was born from capitalism. One day, a more efficient and fairer system may replace capitalism (perhaps one run by AI?), but for now, capitalism is the best solution for our needs and desires.