One important thing I learned about in Sociology classes is concentration of mainstream media ownership. It was not my main specialization in university but did add breadth to my studies. (Unfortunately, almost all organic and inorganic chemistry knowledge has mysteriously vapourized from my brain. This is what happens when you memorize formulas in the short term without a passion for understanding the information at hand.)
I can’t quite put my finger on when Google started suggesting three or more “Recommended by Pocket” articles under the main search bar. Often the clickbait-y headlines and article topics are either aligned with my interests or could be described as general human interest, and I reluctantly click through to read them.
Is it a mere coincidence that Bitcoin has been described as a capitalist system (by he who shall not be named) and there is an uptick in articles which articulate varying degrees of anti-capitalist sentiment? I think not. Anyone who is consuming mainstream media (or social media, if there is even a separation) these days without critical, skeptical eyes and ears is susceptible to being steered as part of a herd.
This doodle concept has been in the back of my mind for quite a while. Then I peeked into the Metanet.ICU slack this morning and saw that the topic had been addressed this week by Craig Wright himself. I think the following quote does a decent job of explaining Craig’s point of view about the loaded word and concept of capitalism:
Capitalism is a means to organise a society. As with any means of organising a society of similarly (and at times differently aligned) people it comes with social organizations, institutions and practices as well as customs and mercantile procedures. Importantly, Society is a creation based on traditional values and even the legal frameworks used to structure and order the interests and interactions between people with different goals.Craig S. Wright
Every system has its shortcomings. No system is without imbalances and disadvantages, and all of these need to be weighed.
Capitalism is a loaded concept that many people use in different ways to describe different things. The economic prosperity and wealth and even the progress of society however depends on the economic system that we have constructed and the best one we have so far is capitalism.
Capitalism is a system of entrepreneurship.
Many people complain about capitalism, but no individual, intellectual, professor or even politician let alone economist has ever discovered a better system that allows a society to be both free and prosperous.
From the time of Plato right through to Marx and Engles many have tried to develop a different system but in the development of their ideas and utopian dreams all of them lead to disastrous systems do not deliver either freedom or prosperity, but end in the absence of both.
The strength of capitalism is derived through the ability to organise and mobilize the diverse energy and intellect of the various people who make up a society.
There was another day of “climate protests” in my city today and I happened to be running errands and listening to the radio in the car (which I sometimes do to stay informed about current mainstream media narratives). The one snippet/quote, given by an “Extinction Rebellion” protest attendee, was a dramatic one-liner about capitalism being the cause of the death of our planet. Apparently there were a couple of hundred people and some props of coffins involved in the dramatization.
Sometime in the last little while, the word “socialism” has also taken on loaded meanings. Probably thanks to AOC. I noticed that many of my educated urban mom friends (some with Ph.D.s) actually think that she is pretty cool, because their teenage daughters are attending climate protests and urban Vancouver is a strongly left-wing sympathetic city in many ways. So when AOC makes claims on social media about the wonders of socialism and talks about the “climate crisis” they are not so critical.
I do think that humans could improve vastly in the way we care for our environment and the habitats of the flora and fauna which live on our planet with us. Obviously.
Interesting related discussion on the topic of mainstream media that I watched while adding colour to today’s doodle: Truth and Light Ep. 2 on Bitstocks TV.