Article #2: Is This The Kind Of System You'd Like To Live Under?
In this country we have what is called the capitalist system. Its sole motive is to produce for profits. The other day we received a brochure from LITTLE FREE PRESS that points out some of the inhumane drives of our present system. LITTLE FREE PRESS advocates a system that involves a non-money non-credit economy...a very challenging concept. I have embellished their points somewhat but they areas follows:
- The establishment (capitalism as a system) is rapacious and indifferent to human welfare. It places private profit above peddling of pernicious products by the tobacco industry, the drug industry, the junk food industry and the recent mass manipulation of fuel supplies to jack up the prices of petroleum products—price hikes that bore no relationship to costs...charges all the marketplace will bear.
- Polluting air, land and water is more profitable than recycling wastes in most cases or in installing equipment to prevent its release into the ecosphere.
- In nuclear energy human safety and welfare have been subjugated to the quest for profits. Nuclear wastes are a legacy that can boomerang very quickly on us and keep posterity on the hook if not, indeed, outright suffering, for perhaps thousands of years.
- War and war industries are more profitable than peace.
- Planned obsolescence is more profitable than quality. Goods that will wear out faster are thus put on the market. Things are made for use, yes, but industry needs repeat customers to keep sales and profits high. If an automobile lasted in great condition for 50 years (as Rolls Royces do), the automobile industry wouldn't come out nearly as well as they presently do. Deliberate waste of human and material resources is built into a system geared to the profit system.
- Discontented and unhappy people can be exploited for more profit and happy people.
- Sickness and disease are the bases for profitable industries. Healthy people are not customers for disease treating business. Inasmuch as the petroleum industry, the drug industry, the hospital industry and the medical trades need diseased people for their profit-geared operations, they will fight tooth and nail steps that
threaten this cushy racket of trading upon suffering and misery.
- Cultivating an atmosphere of fear, mistrust, ignorance, confusion and nurturing outright lies and myths are a basis of great profit whereas an informed people shun the whole thing.
- Overconsumption, overbuying, needless buying, ostentation (keeping up with and ahead of the Jones) are encouraged that the beneficiaries of the system might realize more sales and profits.
- People who think for themselves and who get off the commercial treadmill are a threat to the system whereas those who unthinkingly accept the system and who bask in the superficial "roman circuses" designed to mislead and allay human intellect are the raw material from which much profit can be derived. In short the thrust of all commercial endeavors is to create a populace that accepts the status quo of the profit system, glossing over its injustices, its inhumaneness and its predisposition to churn out human wreckage rather than dignified humans.
- Disposable products are more profitable than durable ones. Even though it is wasteful of our resources forest by forest, we cite as an example the use of paper towels versus fabric towels. Fabric towels can last years. One towel represents perhaps a $2 value. Over the same period one individual might use fifty or sixty rolls of paper towels that cost $40. The use of the one conserves resources, the use of the other expends them prodigally. America is geared to a "built-in wasteful system."
- Making things unduly complex, mysterious and inscrutable is more profitable than making things simple.
- Monopolies and controlled markets are more profitable than free trade.
- When people have accidents, suffer from illness, catastrophe, etc. there is profit to be realized. A content and happy people are a poor market.
Thus you can see how inverted and perverted our values are.
I'll end quoting Ernest Mann, author of the piece:
"If we don't switch our method of "economic motivation" soon, our striving for profit may ruin our life-support system beyond the point of no return."
What is your role in this great play? Are you a tiny gear that helps to keep this juggernaut rolling? Could you find a way to survive without working for a company that is destroying our environment? Are you adding to people's distractions, to keep them from becoming aware of viable alternatives? Or are you helping others to become aware of our problems and turning them onto the solutions?
Reprinted from The Health Crusader, October 1979