There are a scant few who would defend that money works. If you are one of the lucky ones for whom it is working, than you would also be one of those who are quietly doing the defending. For the vast majority though, money is as dysfunctional as it gets. It would be nice if we could give Capitalism that little blue pill to overcome Economic Dysfunction. For Economic Injustice that lasts over four hours, consult your economist. Those money defenders argue that consumers and investors have done very well. However, most souls need a decent paying job to afford the products to buy and to afford the investments they want to make. Most souls also want a healthy planet and a government that is really for and by the people. Eventually, even the ones who it is working for will be dragged down by a system that cannot sustain itself.
Most of us know that both the economy and the political world offers very little for the vast majority. The economy has shifted year in and year out so that it is no longer a case of economic boom and bust taking its cyclic toll but rather it is the whole damn system itself. For years, we have all been racking our brains to figure out how to handle globalization, unemployment, and those who have to live paycheck to paycheck. The time has passed, however, when we can take an ice pack to the pulled muscle that is our economic world. The time has come to take an ice pick to the thing we call Capitalism.
Here is a list of just some of the shameful things that money now offers us:
Money anesthetizes. While money can take credit for a certain amount of motivation in our world, money is what should provide vitalization to our world. Money should help each society to grow, progress, and renew. That system is failing. What should be the oil to the gears is ending up putting a wedge between those gears. What a society depends on in any system is to provide an actualization to each of us which is interdependent with well-being and fulfillment to its inhabitants. There should be a feedback loop where individuals make the society better and society makes individuals better. The real oil of the system is our connection with each other. It is the social fabric working to connect anindividual to the group that makes more than the sum of its parts, which then offers the great strength that comes from a working system. That is not how things work in fact. While we have some motivation and an individual success here and there, it only amounts to a “yin” that has lost its “yang.” No one is to blame. No group, no set of individuals, no party, no corporation. It is the very system itself that is the failure. It must die or we will see grave consequences. It is not just the values offered by community that makes the social a better world but, in practice, community makes everything better for all manners of what society can provide: better healthcare, lower crime, better jobs, more self-worth, more fairness, and more hope for the future.
All of this dysfunction has just become acceptable to everyone. Very few are fighting for a better world and even fewer know what to do. We accept injustice and unfairness as just part of a “we-they” world that we are on one side of. We call it Wall Street verses Main Street. Consumerism sedates us to what is really out there for us. Arguments for effective government center on whether the emphasis should be on the public side or the private side. The public side puts us into a welfare state and big government, while the private side puts us into a free market and small government. Think about what small government did for the last subprime mortgage economic collapse or what government control did for Communist East Germany, each way of handling things has failed in their own way. Neither government nor the private sector manages to hit the mark. Neither can help us with the dilemma we now find ourselves in.
We do not need greener policies or responsible corporations or better regulations or more effective politicians. We have gone beyond all that. The system is the problem. We have forgotten that people come before everything. We are not organizing our world to allow for progress. Social costs just keep piling higher and higher. Narratives should allow for actions to bring about progress and stimulate strong values. You cannot reform something when the narrative is unhealthy, moral values have given way to preservation of the few, and the fecund few have lost the way for barren masses.
There is such a thing as well-informed futility where there is so much knowledge and it seems too much to sort it all out, and so it seems insurmountable to try and change it. Small groups can start change though and a snowball effect can keep bringing more and more participants onto that snowball as it gathers speed. With the internet, groups can form widely and quickly. It is just the right set of story and chord that can prompt action.
Millennials as a generation have seen lousy jobs, lower paying jobs, or no jobs. With that in mind, they have not bought into the consumer identity game. They also are more educated and have more to gain from change. It is time for their activism along with anyone else that is sick and tired of the injustice to rebuild the world where everyone has hope for moving things forward for the better. It is time to envision a world where power works for the good of all and love and care have not been bought off. It is time to rekindle a love of our culture and society where participation brings the hope for an improved world. So take up the call to financial arms and create a movement where more and more of us are working together to give us a society that works and one that we are all proud to be a part of.
The next blog post will go over some of the discussions and possible new stories that can be the new money.