I am inclined to believe that the idea of Capitalism is subject to a provincial discourse. One succumbs to the established definitions; Socialism, Communism and Capitalism. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The concepts inadvertently associate themselves with vicarious ideologies in our minds, and we seldom acknowledge the culpability of these defining the layman.
And now I commence with my provincial discourse on Capitalism.
Capitalism has precise implications of ‘self-gain’. And there is a Capitalist that resides in each one of us. The human kingdom essentially, is made up of two kinds, the Capitalist and the Bad Capitalist (here I am resorting to gross generalisations). Personal gain is common to them. And yet personal gain provides the crucial distinction. The former in helping himself, ends up helping others (a beautiful display of Newton’s third law of motion). The latter in helping himself only facilitates the increasing disorder in society (the second law of thermodynamics??) But what remains inherent is the constant endeavour to expedite the infusion of harmony into one’s life. And to notch up a couple of more points in the individual happiness index chart. The law of nature becomes effectively, each man for himself.
A Capitalist is looking out for himself, before he can think of doing the same for others. This, far from being selfish and unproductive, can actually lead to a sound social structure. A composition of self-appreciating individuals can only mean increased productivity and integrity. This reasoning is so fundamental, that it has to be flawed! Clauses which accommodate irregularities must be appended to salvage this basic rationalization.
Imagine a social structure with uniform individuals, their uniformity resplendent in the composite, collected mindset. This is a Quixotic thought at best. Therefore, the Bad Capitalist comes into focus. There is an effective line premeditated by an individual’s scruples that challenges this fundamental reasoning. When black mitigates the cracking and coherent definition of white. When the self assumes magnified proportions and everything else recedes into ignominy. In such a scenario, fuelling selfish motives gathers a pulsating momentum. The Bad Capitalist therefore, submits to the vagaries of the human moral discretion. ‘Fraud!’, ‘Rape!’, ‘Murder!’ scream at us from the newspapers. And the ideal social structure begins to disintegrate. The cause for appreciation and depreciation becomes one and the same.
This discussion maps the economic perceptions onto the human nature because an individual is a system in himself. And very seldom does a person put another before himself. It is difficult for anyone to be a complete Socialist as opposed to being a complete Capitalist. Everyone has a selfish streak, and this does not necessarily have to be subject to acute scrutiny and consequently disregarded as a character flaw. Everyone is motivated to excel professionally and personally. As for working towards improving society and its individuals, some undertake this professionally, while others accord to it a personal touch and contribute to society in their own small way. But this patronage also portends the ever-elusive search for personal satisfaction.
Whenever I am flying, I always peruse the safety regulations’ booklet. It is mentioned there that in the eventuality of an emergency, one must always put on their oxygen masks, lifejackets etc. before helping others. It always gets me thinking…