It’s easy to forget that Capitalism and money are a human invention. To my culture, and that of most people reading this, money was part of the background of my childhood, and its assumptions tend to fade into the background. It’s good to step back every now and then and examine your own background assumptions.
Consider this: In Canada, we are facing a time of anxiety. Cuts are being made, jobs are being lost, and whole branches of the workforce (manufacturing etc) are facing the possibility that their skills are obsolete. People who need food and shelter cannot find work.
At the same time, there is no end of work to be done that could benefit the public. Infrastructure, community outreach, or teaching to name a few. Data gathering for academic research, to name one that requires no specific skill (only time). This is not even considering all the jobs that could be done better using more labour intensive methods. Farming and food production comes to mind. Education, and Health care are fields in which the workers are always overworked.
So, we have two problems:
- A large workforce that cannot find work.
- Many jobs that need doing
If only there were some natural solution to these problems.
Of course, the financial system is the impediment. A human invention, that prevents the most natural of solutions to such wide-reaching problems.
On The Other Hand…
Capitalism in general has certainly gotten us this far. We must give credit. I don’t know anything about how to produce my own food, or how to build a house, and yet, I’m able to eat foods from all over the world, and live in an extraordinarily complicated and convenient house. Nobody engineered this situation just for me, it simply emerged as the result of many different sorts of tradespeople and importers all trying to make money.
Capitalism, as a guiding force on human cooperation, has certainly had some successes. Of course, this is from the point of view of a city-living Canadian. I suspect the gains are less tangible from other vantages.
Is there some way we can enjoy the benefits without the shortcomings?