Wednesday May 22, 2013
Capitalism 1by Daniel Johnson, Deputy Executive Editor
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells--growth for the sake of growth, to the point of killing its host.
(CALGARY, Alberta) - "Capitalism is the best system ever devised," said George W. Bush when speaking to the right-wing Manhattan Institute.
Despite its faults, failings and inequities, almost everyone basically agrees uncritically with that sentiment.
What I’m going to do is briefly outline how our capitalist system came to be and show how capitalism is, in actuality, an anti-human system that in the next few decades—it’s that bad—may destroy the earth as we know it and, in doing so, make the planet unlivable for many species, including any humans who may survive.
Capitalism has one primary imperative: growth for growth’s sake. We are bombarded by the news every day. The Dow Jones is up or down. The GDP must grow a certain percentage—too low and the economy goes into recession or depression, too high and inflation becomes a destroyer of wealth. Corporate success is measured by quarterly numbers—are compared to the previous quarter and the quarter of a year before. It’s all about growth.
We don’t think of it quite the same but there is one other system we know that works the same way. Cancer. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells—growth just for growth’s sake to the point of killing its host.
Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22 was at a function hosted by a hedge-fund billionaire with his friend science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut told him that the billionaire earned more in a day than Heller had earned in his entire career from his book. Heller responded, saying that he had something the billionaire would never have. Enough.
And that’s the story of capitalism. The entire earth can be consumed and it still won’t be enough.
No one seemed able to articulate it, but that, in a nutshell is what the Occupy Wall Street movement is about. Trying to save mankind from himself.
(Continued in "Capitalism 2")
___________________________________Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Daniel Johnson as a teenager aspired to be a writer. Always a voracious reader, he reads more books in a month than many people read in a lifetime. He also reads 100+ online articles per week. He knew early that in order to be a writer, you have to be a reader.
He has always been concerned about fairness in the world and the plight of the underprivileged/underdog.
As a professional writer he sold his first paid article in 1974 and, while employed at other jobs, started selling a few pieces in assorted places.
Over the next 15 years, Daniel eked out a living as a writer doing, among other things, national writing and both radio and TV broadcasting for the CBC, Maclean’s (the national newsmagazine) and a wide variety of smaller publications. Interweaved throughout this period was soul-killing corporate and public relations writing.
It was through the 1960s and 1970s that he got his university experience. In his first year at the University of Calgary, he majored in psychology/mathematics; in his second year he switched to physics/mathematics. He then learned of an independent study program at the University of Lethbridge where he attended the next two years, studying philosophy and economics. In the end he attended university over nine years (four full time) but never qualified for a degree because he didn't have the right number of courses in any particular field.
In 1990 he published his first (and so far, only) book: Practical History: A guide to Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” (Polymath Press, Calgary)
Newly appointed as the Deputy Executive Editor in August 2011, he has been writing exclusively for Salem-News.com since March 2009 and, as of summer 2012, has published more than 210 stories.
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