On Profit: Some Questions
This piece of writing has not been pre-planned. I decided to write it when I noticed a comment left by a blogger in response to a comment of mine which asked if there is a possibility for people to move past the economic system which relies on profit. I asked that question because I was curious if people can simply imagine themselves moving into a new socioeconomic system.
The blogger Breakfastpop wrote that: “Wow, what an interesting comment one of your followers made...moving past profit.. I think that perhaps thy have much in common with those people sleeping all over Wall Street.”
I am glad that my comment was at least noticed, even though it seems that it was viewed as a pretty ridiculous suggestion. At least we can discuss things – I do appreciate that.
Another blogger whom I respect but I do not fully agree with is Mr. Wayne. He claimed that:
“As bad as it sounds to some, profit motive is the magic which stimulates the creative of the American mind in such a manner as to provide us with goods and service of a superior nature and allow us, the consuming public, the opportunity for choice in our selection process. That is the beauty of a system awash in capitalism and democracy.”
There is no democracy Mr. Wayne, when only those who are either wealthy or tie themselves in with the wealthy (like President Obama) can get in office. Lobbyists control politicians. As you can see, that is why politicians are giving away bail-outs even though most people are against hand-outs to big corporations. The politicians have been bought-out - what democracy?
I do realize that my thoughts and ideas are very often quite unorthodox. This makes me think of a one-liner I heard not too long ago: “If nobody challenged the status-quo, people would still think the world was flat.” I do think it is important to ask questions. I do not pretend to have the perfect answers or perhaps any answers but I cannot stop myself from asking if there is not indeed another way we can do things.
Humans have been around for thousands and thousands of years. I do not think profit has been around for that long. Thus, we have lived without profit. Logic tells me that if we lived without profit, we can live again without profit. That does not mean we go back to climbing trees. No, in my mind if we lived without profit at one time that means we can create a new system perhaps which does not rely on profit.
I for one do very little work for profit. Most of my meaningful work is for free. The endless hours I put towards writing is done out of love and not for profit. I also work with a volunteer group which helps at risk children. It is also done for free. I only work for profit because I was born in a society which literally forces me to use money. Yet, I do not like money. In my opinion these pieces of paper are not worth the ink on them.
Yes, I am searching for new ideas, for a new system. Why? Because I see a problem in the way business happens. All that matters for many is to make the most amount of profit with the least amount of risk. There is no mention of ethics, morals, or anything of that sort. Profit comes before anything in a capitalistic society. Everyone chases profit at any cost. Everything has a price. In reality though, nothing has a price – things are really price-less.
What is money really good for? Can you eat twenty dollars if you’re hungry? Can you drink a twenty dollar bill if you’re thirsty? Can you put it in your gas-tank to make the car go? Why do people put money first?
Money and thus profit are just symbols. Yet, people kill each other for these symbols. Is that not insanity? To me that is a sign of moral decay. Many of us have no morals left although pretending is still in fashion.
Take banks for example. Banks exist because people chose to deposit money. Now, the money deposited by people in a bank, is used by the bank as lending material in order to make profit. In simple terms, we give money to a bank, sort of like lending until we ask for it back, and they use it as they wish. Yet, we do not get much interest on the money we give to the bank – our savings accounts do not really make us more money but when the tables turn and the bank has to give/lend us money, they rape us with interest fees.
How is that fair? I give the bank my money and I don’t get much back but when they give me money they want a lot more back than what I got to begin with. That is the problem with profit and capitalism: there are no morals, no fairness, and no justice. It is like the law of the jungle: the strongest wins – in business the bully wins ... So, in business being ferocious, cold-hearted and greedy is good, profitable … but what does that do to our societies, to our character? Has anyone asked themselves those questions?
When we are willing to kill the last blue whale for profit; when we are willing to cut-down the whole tropical forest in Brazil and we are willing to invade the land where other people live to take their oil, for profit … what kind of world are we creating? Is this a good path? Do we feel good or righteous?
These are some of my questions and frustrations and they are not only mine. Many people share my feelings and that is why we have begun taking our words to the street. Italy, Greece, Spain, Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Chile, Puerto Rico … and many, many more countries are showing signs that people are beginning to awaken.
We stand united against unfairness, injustice and corruption. We say enough is enough to corporate greed, to profit at any and all costs and we are looking for a new way forward. We are looking for a socioeconomic system where people and this planet are put first, before money and profit. We are peaceful and are open for discussion.
“Occupy Toronto” start this weekend. We will be on the street – join us!