Invest Today – In The Demise Of Mankind

The indoctrinal effects of our capitalist society were brought sharply into focus tonight by an NBC Weekend News report on hybrid vehicles. The thrust of the segment was whether hybrid vehicles were an economically viable alternative to conventional automobiles.

As it transpired, the report concluded that hybrids were undoubtedly money-savers, and that continued improvements would make them even more so in the future.

At no time was there any mention of the environmental benefits of a hybrid, which as the writer understands it, was the primary reason for their introduction in the first place – certainly in Europe, where hybrids were relatively common long before one ever set wheels on a US highway.

The concept of the capitalist society, like the communist theory, is all fine and good. Unfortunately, both fail to account for the one great variable: human nature. Human beings are the greediest animals on the planet, which accounts for their success, and the evolution of a society reliant on the amassing of one certain elusive substance will unfailingly result in a few having much, and most having insufficient. Indeed, the success of the system relies heavily on most not having sufficient, and constantly striving for more. It is the striving by the majority that drives the system and fuels the wealth of the few.

The process of capitalism has, over years, been refined to a high degree. Being a patriotic American demands allegiance to the capitalist system. Fifty years ago, capitalism was eloquently portrayed to the people as a benevolent Christian alternative to the evils of communism. The message went out that communism was intent on enslaving the world; capitalism would free the planet.

It worked. People fell for it, hook, line and sinker. The eventual crumbling of communist Russia was displayed as a triumph of Good over Evil.

No-one realized then, and most won’t accept even now, that American capitalism is doomed to follow the same fate as Soviet communism. America, indeed much of the world, is moving more and more towards a USSR-style of communism where total power rests in the hands of a few who control the rest – where they shop, what they eat, the clothes they wear, the vehicles they drive, etc.

This is achieved by the simple process of removing choice. It still has some way to go before arriving at corporate nirvana, but the end is nigh. Of course, nirvana, is only for the few. For the rest of us life will get progressively less satisfactory.

One of the offshoots of America’s ongoing capitalist propaganda is the fundamentally flawed idea that every human need can be resolved by the application of a potential money machine. The sad state of American healthcare alone proves that to be a myth. Yet no matter how serious – even life-threatening – the situation, it is likely to be left unresolved until the day someone can decide how to make a profit from it.

For years our planet has been surreptitiously rebelling against our excesses. Only in the last twenty or so years have some scientists detected changes in the way our global home is behaving. Only in the last two or three years have skeptics from the science fraternity become convinced their cynicism was misplaced. Without doubt, global warming is both reality and a serious threat to the human race.

Once that fact became common knowledge – when politicians, world leaders, finally had to admit to the truth – what was their first reaction?

“How much is it going to cost.”

Their second response, once they stopped reeling from the projected financial impact, was to tell us not to worry, technology would find a way to combat the effects of global warming – and make a profit!

Money has become more important than the fate of our world and ourselves. Such is the greed of the human species.

Purchasing a hybrid automobile as an investment was lauded by the pundits of NBC Weekend News. A capitalist success story. It would be, but only if everyone could afford to scrap their conventional, planet-polluting, automobiles and purchase a hybrid today.

Just like the idea of “equal healthcare for all”, the capitalist system has made that an impossibility.

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7 Replies to “Invest Today – In The Demise Of Mankind”

  1. Well put, R.J. This reminds me of a conversation I had with friends last week about alternative sources of energy for consumer vehicles. I was arguing that the slow adoption of alternative fuel sources was due to big businesses not having an established infrastructure to make money off of these alternative sources.

  2. Two things the open-ended practice of capitalism has always required; slavery, and the availability of limitless and preferably free resources. Otherwise, how’s a businessman supposed to make a buck?

    Even in the face of impending doom, capitalists are sizing up the mess and our inability to escape from it, and making the most of our fear. At least chaos is free, and vast!

    I just wonder what store they’re going to spend all their booty in, if everything is gone. Uh?

    No, really. That was a chuckle, not a sob.

  3. It all boils down to saving energy at home. There is, believe it or not, enough excess electricity in the off-hours to power electric vehicles for over 80% of the current fleet. If that ouldn’t do something to change our course, nothing will.

  4. Most of our electricity is provided by burning coal which is almost a worse polluter than gas engines. Brazil’s alternate fuel program is interesting.

    Good post RJ. The big guys will kill the little innovators everytime. When you read any books about inventors, you see that they are almost always screwed out of their patents, unscrupulous bankers steal their money, whatever. Money is the one addiction that is lauded by humans. Any other addiction gets you sent to prison, AA meetings or to a therapist, but not greed.

  5. Mike – business is the greatest producer of pollution throughout the planet, and if business refuses to take responsibility for cleaning up – or governments don’t act to make them – our future is precarious, to say the least. Alternative technology takes time to develop. As usual, it’s likely to prove too little, too late.

    Anan – I can only agree. “How can we make money out of global warming” is the greatest cry from the corporates right now.

    Brian – using off-peak electricity to charge our hybrids is fine – only if that electricity is produced from non-polluting power stations. If fossil fuels are used i.e. coal or oil, then the hybrid becomes environmentally useless. This is why all the “tips for saving energy” directed at individuals are pointless…..the savings are a drop in the ocean. Business is where the truly substantial cuts must be made. If we all drove hybrids we’d be no better off environmentally unless the electricity we charge them with is cleanly produced.

    Flimsy – a nice comparison. Greed is, indeed, the only lauded addiction. Brazil’s love affair with ethanol is, I believe misplaced – as is George W Bush’s, though in his case the romance is with Dwayne Andreas of ADM rather than ethanol. Ethanol stands to make the Andreas family even more than the stinking great pile of money they’ve already accumulated. ADM presently is expanding its ethanol production plants for all it’s worth. While ethanol does burn more cleanly than gasoline, the production of it most definitely doesn’t. See this research for the reasons why. George’s side-bet, the hydrogen fuel-cell, is a more promising alternative – though not for Mister Andreas.

  6. I knew that corn cost more to produce and refine than it was worth – (plus the transportation costs are higher than gasoline) but I thought sugar cane or beets was better. Guess I was wrong. I live in an area that grows sugar beets and they are very labor intensive.

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