By Eleison Comments in Eleison Comments on December 18, 2010
Selfishness cannot make a society. Now money represents essentially its owner’s claim upon the services of the rest of his society. If then capitalism be defined, in anything more than just economic terms, as a way of organizing society whereby every citizen is to be left free to make as much capital, i.e. money, as he can and will, then capitalism is riddled with contradiction. It is trying to make a society requiring selflessness out of encouraging everybody to be selfish.
Thus capitalism can only survive for as long as members of a capitalist society still have pre-capitalist values, such as common sense, moderation in the pursuit of money, and respect for the common good. But capitalism as defined above does nothing to promote any such pre-capitalist values. On the contrary, it works against them, as selfishness works against selflessness. Therefore capitalism is a parasite, living off a social body whose pre-capitalist values it works to undermine.
This internal contradiction of a society built upon the pursuit of money is reaching its devastating conclusion in the present state of world finance and the world economy. Since the end of World War II especially, the peoples of the world have more and more sought money to provide the material comforts they now prefer to the spiritual comforts that formerly gave purpose to their lives. Admiring and seeking money, they have been happy to let the money-men take power over their societies. Admired and sought after, the money-men have taken to themselves more and more money and power. After all, what intrinsic brakes do money or power have to limit their own further acquisition? None. The bankers turn into veritable gangsters.
Hence, for instance, the invention 10 or 15 years ago of “derivatives,” financial instruments which make a fortune in fees for the banksters who purvey them, but which act upon the delicate mechanisms of world finance like weapons of mass destruction, because they easily fabricate an unreal world of colossal and unpayable debt. In this destabilized and fraudulent world of unpayable debt, a semblance of order is maintained by one government after another fabricating out of thin air vast quantities of “money” to “pay” the debt, but this process can only end up in an inflation which empties of any usefulness the currency involved. Thus all the world’s paper and digital money – for years it has had no other – is now doomed.
But money is to a society what lubricating oil is to an engine. Without oil, an engine seizes up and is killed dead. Without money in a society, exchange becomes much more difficult, and commerce can be slowed to a standstill. If for any such reason the food-trucks (or lorries) could not run, and food ran short, especially in the big cities, what could a politician do to head off the food riots, and to stop the peasants from coming after him with pitchforks? Start a war!
World War III may not be far off. Lord, have mercy!