Friday, September 26, 2008


26 September 2008

[Thomas] "Jefferson insisted that ‘every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another,’ and therefore in the United States, ‘the care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.’" (Larry J. Sabato, A More Perfect Constitution.)

America’s economic system is one of capitalism. What is ‘capitalism’? According to the American Heritage Dictionary (3rd edition), the general definition is an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in the free market.

Adam Smith established the foundation of modern capitalism in his most notable work, The Wealth of Nations. Written in the same year British colonists living on the North American continent declared their independence, 1776. I believe and Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government vigorously promotes the idea that capitalism is a solid proven economic system, perhaps the best ever organized for a free democracy or representative democracy.

Contemporary American capitalism, however, is an abomination. It is a misshapen and unnatural application of capitalism principles and theory aimed at achieving improper and immoral objectives. At the beginning of the 21st century the driving force of United States economic practice is not "free market" capitalism, but instead, it is "financial" capitalism and "disaster capitalism". What does that mean?

The over-simplified answer is that in a true "free market" capitalist economy profit and wealth are created and accumulated through one’s merit, creativity, and ability. While in a "financial" capitalist economy, profit and wealth are generated and accumulated by speculation and manipulation. "Disaster" capitalism is a historically and relatively recent wild-west bastardization of the free market profit paradigm that exploits instability, terror, terrorism and the subsequent demand for increased ‘security’. It is brilliant really. Brilliant, vulgar, cruel, and quite possibly the pinnacle of cynicism.

In the case of a true "free market" capitalist economy government assumes a very limited role in regulation and oversight. In our current "financial" capitalist economy government only gets involved when there is egregious malfeasance or wide spread harm caused by excessive greed and obviously unscrupulous behavior by financial speculators. Some examples include insider trading, fraudulent accounting practices, and inappropriate manipulation of stock prices.

As for "disaster" capitalism, government policy and agencies directly promote conditions favorable to what author Naomi Klein in her most recent work, "Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," aptly redefines as "the disaster industrial complex". For example the Iraq war and our current financial meltdown. It is when the people of a nation are thrown into a state of extreme fear and shock that government can then institute policy changes that ultimately usurp the power of the people and increase the power of the elite ruling minority faction.

I am not an economist and it is not my intention to delve into or try to explain economic theory and principles. I have no intention of rehashing old debates that are no longer pertinent or relevant. My aim is to establish that Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government economics is more like Adam Smith’s free market capitalism and is not, as many will claim, about the redistribution of wealth. Humanistic Equalism economic policy is quite simple.

Government establishes the parameters and clearly defines the terms, conditions and rules regarding the conduct of business and the market. Government defends the lives and conditions of American citizens first, and then public and private property. All government activities and functions with regard to the workings of free markets will be based on serving the interests and needs required to provide all citizens equal access, opportunity, health, and safety. In other words, the well-being and benefit of average citizens-the people-are considered more important than profit, property, power and position.

There are basically two principles underlying our nations so-called "conservative" political doctrine. First, the smallest sized government possible and very little, if any, interference or regulation by government. From the Founding Fathers through the Whigs of the 19th century to the contemporary Republican Party, less government and less regulation has been the mantra. The caveat is that whatever oversight, regulation and government involvement that is absolutely necessary must exist to support, promote, and insure "free" markets and capitalist profit.

Second, government and law must be organized in such manner that the rich can depend on it to protect their profit and property regardless of the effect on citizens. Why is it governments business to get involved beyond the rules and regulations of conducting business that apply to all in order to provide something extra for the wealthy elite? I will tell you why. Because the rich could not remain rich and the powerful could not remain powerful without government support and protection.

As we watch the current economic crisis unfold I will ask you to think about this: What our president, congress and presidential candidates are doing is exhibiting the actions and attitude of aristocracy. That is to say, while they continue to tell citizens that they need to act in order to protect "main street" their actions are designed to do nothing more than maintain the status quo. Or, as long as the rich are allowed to remain rich and the powerful are allowed to keep their power the rest of us will be protected.

I will delve deeper into the difference between what our so-called "leaders" are trying to preserve and how Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government economics will change our nation for the better next time. Until then Give Peace a chance.
James B. Tinsley, B.A.


Anonymous said...

James B. Tinsley, B.A., examines politics and poilticians, citizen's struggles, and the Status Quo.

Because the Status is NOT Quo.

--Dr. Horrible (I have a PhD. in Horribleness)

Anonymous said...

You do know that DailyKos is a blog to elect Democrats, right? Or does that B.A. stand for bass ackward?

Anonymous said...

"Humanistic Equalism" sounds great ... if you a ignore little thing like Human Nature.

You see, Human Nature has proven through 6000 years of history to be a force in every form of government ever to come into existence.

Greed, the hunger for power and self interest have been a major factor in every government in history.

"Humanistic Equalism" sounds nice enough, but, how does it deal with the historical implications of Human Nature?

I'm not sure I disagree with your self-immolating essay in DailyKos, but what do you propose should be done even if Obama has been bought by the same monied forces that currently own our government?

Personally, I think the only solution to this problem is the drastic one. The one that won't happen because our populace is so intoxicated with consumption they are blind to their plight. I am almost convinced that the only way to reverse our national plight is to tear down our current form of government and start over ... not that that could or would happen.

More likely we will slowly descend into a highly populated, but minor backwater of a nation living off it's past wealth. We will likely survive this way until some newly powerful nation(s) see us an sufficiently weak and ineffectual to take us over for the value of your resources.