Opinion (Robert Skidelsky, a member of the British House of Lords, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University, english.aljazeera.net): “Western civilization is increasingly unsatisfying, saddled with a system of incentives that are essential for accumulating wealth, but that undermine our capacity to enjoy it. Capitalism may be close to exhausting its potential to create a better life – at least in the world’s rich countries.
“Material gains may continue, though evidence shows that they no longer make people happier.
“This is not to denigrate capitalism. It was, and is, a superb system for overcoming scarcity. By organizing production efficiently, and directing it to the pursuit of welfare rather than power, it has lifted a large part of the world out of poverty.
Yet what happens to such a system when scarcity has been turned to plenty? Does it just go on producing more of the same, stimulating jaded appetites with new gadgets, thrills, and excitements? How much longer can this continue?
“This inspired the American way of life, where money always talks. The end of capitalism means simply the end of the urge to listen to it. People would start to enjoy what they have, instead of always wanting more.
“Financial services would shrink, because the rich would not always want to become richer.
“The dishonoring of greed is likely only in those countries whose citizens already have more than they need. And even there, many people still have less than they need. The evidence suggests thateconomies would be more stable and citizens happier if wealth and income were more evenly distributed.”
My comment: No one predicted that our nature, egoism, would not develop forever, and suddenly, for the first time in history, it would begin to change and turn from individual egoism into egoism that is general, integral, and globally dependent, and people would feel emptiness in past individual egoistic fulfillment. Those who still rush for “money = happiness” quickly realize that the previous methods of achieving this “happiness” do not work because the world has become integral and global.
Posted: 17 Jul 2011 03:27 PM PDT /laitman.com