Axel Barrett Bioplastics Chronicles Fairy Tales Self-Regulation

The Gentleman Fairy Tale (FREE)

Have capitalism and our consumption society reach a limit or is everything OK in money land? This is a FREE article.

Capitalism

Capitalism is an economic and political model with “capital accumulation” (profit) as the end goal. The following elements are central to capitalism: Private ownership (the official or collective recognition of a possession), production resources, free market …

Basically, capitalism is a system that places the “individual” in the centre of the system; with “freedom of entrepreneurship” on the supply side and the “individual’s right to consume” on the demand side.

The etymological root of “capitalism” goes back to the Latin word Capitalis … meaning “of the head” …. which came from “caput” … the head.

Communism and Socialism

Communism and socialism are economic and political models that are, to some extend, related to each other. Socialist and communist societies strive for common ownership of the production means.

Socialism wants to achieve this through the democratic way (parliament and government), while communism wants to achieve this through the “revolution”.

Some people believe that socialism is a steppingstone to communism, but then again one needs to define what a revolution is. A revolution could take place under many forms: from “physical violence” to a “disruption in mentality”.

The word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin word “sociare“, which means “to combine or to share”. The word communism finds its root in the Latin word “communis” which means “of or for the community”,

Scientism

Scientism is the opinion that science and the scientific method are the best or only way to render truth about the world and reality.

Scientism could be seen as a reaction to “theocracy” (deities are recognised as supreme rulers) and is thus related to “secularism” being the principle of separation of the state from religious institutions.

Scientism believes that science will be able to develop solutions to any challenge and problem that humanity may face.

However, this may be over enthusiastic.

Consumerism

Consumerism and “consumption society” refer to a social and economic order that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. The best way to describe consumerism is through the words of French philosopher René Desartes who said “I think therefore I am”.

I’d like to upgrade this to our consumption society “I consume therefore I am”.

Consumption is more than just the ability to buy whatever you want, whenever you want. Consumption gives us the ability to “exist” and to differentiate ourselves from others. It defines who we are in the Western world.

Why am I saying in the Western world? Well because Buddhist monks for instance, do not live under this belief.

Boudhism

Boudhism is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha. The Basic Teachings of Buddha are:

  • The Three Universal Truths
  1. Nothing is lost in the universe
  2. Everything Changes
  3. The Law of Cause and Effect
  • The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path
  1. Suffering exists: Life is suffering.
  2. There is a cause of suffering. Suffering is due to attachment. It is the desire to have and control things.
  3. There is an end to suffering. Suffering ceases with the final liberation of Nirvana (Nibbana).
  4. In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path.
  • Eightfold Path
  1. Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths
  2. Right thinking; Right Aspiration is the true desire to free oneself from attachment, ignorance, and hatefulness.
  3. Right speech: No lying, criticism, condemning, gossip, harsh language.
  4. Right conduct or Right Action involves abstaining from hurtful behaviors, such as killing, stealing, and careless sex.
  5. Right livelihood: Support yourself without harming others, avoid dishonesty and hurting others, including animals.
  6. Right Effort: Promote good thoughts; conquer evil thoughts.
  7. Right Mindfulness: Become aware of your body, mind and feelings.
  8. Right Concentration: Meditate to achieve a higher state of consciousness.

Problems

The problem with capitalism is that capital is not divided equally amongst the population.

Did you know that if you take all the money on earth and divide it by the number of people … everyone would be a multi millionaire; but if we’re all multi millionaires, nobody is going to show up at work on Monday.

So to get the system running (to find people to do the actual work), you need poor people who are going to wake up in the morning so that the subliminally rich people can “rattle their jewellery” in the meantime.

There are pervert effects in any political models including capitalism. The speculative financial markets are a good example of this. If you take the total value of what is speculated per year in Wall Street, you get a number that is approximately 11 times the annual World’s GDP and that’s just Wall Street. Imagine all the financial markets combined? However you want to call this; it’s a perversion of humanity.

The financial markets are one of the most, if not the most, influential element of humanity. Did you know that Napoleon Bonaparte didn’t loose the war because of his defeat at the battle of “Waterloo” but because he had the (Anglo Saxon) financial markets against him?

You may believe that communism and socialism are better than capitalism, but history has shown us that both political models are definitely not immune against inequalities, injustices and genocides. Greed and stupidity are compatible to all political systems.

But for the sake of it; which one is worse?

We could place the following tyrants and genocides under the socialist / communist ideology (the list is not exhaustive):

Adolf Hitler (Austria) and “Nazism”: many people believe that Nazi and anti-semitism are the same thing but this is not etymologically correct. The word “Nazi” refers to “National Socialism”. And then we have Jospeh Stalin (Georgia) and Mao Zedong (China) with their communist and anti-bourgeois revolutions, regimes and genocides.

We could place the following genocides under the capitalist ideology (the list is not exhaustive):

The slave trade … to ship over African people to do the actual work in the American plantations. The American Indian genocide to make place for the plantations, the Congo genocide to obtain natural resources such as “rubber” to feed the Western industrial revolution.

The problem doesn’t lie in the ideology but more in the human nature … or shall we say in the animal nature of men. The big fishes eat the small fishes and the lions eat the gazelles. Although it seems unfair, this “law of the jungle” is detrimental to sustain the natural ecosystem. In the same line of thought, it is is detrimental to our civilisation that the “wealthy” exploit the “poor”.

Eating, killing or exploiting the poor and weak, is part of the natural world. This is probably a universal law because you need to break many “eggs” to create a star or a planet.

But this is where human evolution should bring us to another stage in “civilisation” whereby the good old fashion underrated “wisdom” may help us overcome this universal law of the jungle.

Our planet is the only known liveable habitat that we have; and we cannot live without “nature” so it should be a priority to protect it. And I’m not talking about the climate here, I’m talking about whole shebang … the fauna, flora and ecosystems.

More important than saving our planet; we need to save humanity.

Why the hell do we want to do that? Well Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelt because here comes the “piéce de résistance” … because we’re lost in the middle of the universe.

Let me re-phrase this …. We’re on a ball of magma speeding through the abysses of the universe (the earth spin on itself at a speed of 1.670 km/ hour; the earth turns around the sun at a speed of 107.000 km / hour; our solar systems moves at a speed of 720.000 km / hour; and the galaxy, ladies and gentlemen, moves at a speed of 2.1 million km/hour). What the hell? Didn’t you get the memo? We’re literally lost in the middle of the universal abysses, speeding like a Kamikaze ball through the abysses of space and time.. and we’re all alone … nobody there to help us. So, humanity is all that we have.

So people in Wall Street, your greed is an insult to humanity and to our evolution. You’re perverting humanity … and humanity is all that we have. And believe me, there’s no “universal” handbrake or emergency number.

We need a new world order: A wise order, a human order,… not some kind of perverted neoliberal dogma like the “Net Zero” and “Green deal” bla bla.

We need new prophets to achieve this; not the current corrupt political apparatchik or prophets of greed like the World Economic Forum, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Blackrock … (aka the usual suspects) because the architects of the old world are hardly ever the prophets of the new world; and greed has corrupted that self-declared ruling elite.

What about the buddhist monks? Could they become the new prophets? Well, it would be “folkloric” but to make a long story short they lack a bit of “sex appeal” to lead the disruption from the current “greed”.

In fact, here’s the major problem … there’s a lack of integrity and inspiration in our current pool of economic and political leaders … and this is a major problem because we need leadership and visionaries to bring us on the right path.

Not only do we lack the visionaries, we also lack the vision. And this won’t be fixed overnight and the problem is time, it’s 5 past midnight.

So, are we on the right path or are we aiming straight into the wall? Many believe that we’re nowhere to speeding down because we have awoken the Chinese “consumerist” dragon.

So, there’s no solution? Nope, nothing in sight.

Are you sure?

Well, in fact, we’re on a positive trend. We’re living in the golden age. We never had it so good (in the West). We have a bourgeois society and it’s good for its citizen.

But how can we finish the last straight line and reach the “promised land”? How can we get everyone on board to establish a more human and less greedy society?

it’s going to be very hard …. but not impossible.

We need some model to inspire and aspire most Westerners to lead the path of righteousness and to create a more “human” society

And here’s where the good old fashioned underrated “gentleman” concept could be very helpful.

Ze Gentleman

Many people believe that a “Gentleman” is a well educated man, but it’s not completely correct: a gentleman is a … “gentle” man … a kind man. And most western men, aspire to some extend to be a gentleman.

A gentleman cannot be greedy by nature. The traders in Wall Street …who’re making money with money … without caring about the wellbeing of the masses are greedy and not empathic. They’re disconnected from the real world and do not realise the evil they’re imposing on the weak and poor. They’re not real gentlemen.

A real “kind man” cannot thrive on exploitation of other people or the environment.

So how do you become a real gentleman? By asking yourself this fundamental question: What would a gentlemen do; how would a gentleman act in this situation?

It’s not easy. Looking at myself, I don’t consider myself to be a gentleman, but I’m trying to behave like one. This is a continuous struggle, but the more you do it, the better you become at it.

Learn from your mistakes, and try to undo them if possible. Try to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Act in a moral way. Do not impose harm on others or the environment.

It’s not easy to be a gentleman all the time; some thoughts or situations make it hard to act as a real gentleman.

It’s not because you didn’t act as a gentleman today, that you cannot act like one tomorrow.

Educate your children to be real gentlemen. Educate your children to become kind, sympathetic and empathic placing physical and mental wellbeing above greed.

Do not aim for success but for satisfaction. Try to replace greed with spiritual concepts such as soul satisfaction.

Bob Marley summarised it perfectly – Satisfy my soul … that’s what we should be aiming for.

Europe has a wild card to play in this game. We could lead this game and become real gentlemen in our actions; leading by example.

And maybe the rest of the world may follow. This may be our best chance to leave the planet and human society in a better way than we found it.

Otherwise, we may end up … to put it in a capitalistic word … caput.

Refs

Capitalism

Socialism

Communism

Scientism

Buddhism

The Buddhist Core Values And Perspectives For Protection Challenges: Faith And Protection


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