Deep thoughts on Greed and Capitalism

The universe and everything in it is subject to entropy.  Simply put entropy is disorder or chaos.  One of the laws of the universe is that entropy increases through time.  An orderly mountain over time erodes to chaotic grains of sand blowing as dust in the wind.  But there is one force in the Universe that goes against entropy.  That is life.  Life creates organization out of chaos.  Life creates order and structure.  While erosion breaks all things down into smaller parts life works to collect from the chaos and create larger and more complex molecules, proteins, cells, organisms and structures.  The why question inevitably comes into play, and has been asked since the first complex organism that could put together the thought did, but the how is quite easy.  It can be answered in one simple, beautiful word.  Not “The Word” that Nancy Pelosie is so fond of in creating legislation.  That goes back to why, but the how is answered in the word “Greed”.  Greed is the one driving mechanism that assembles all life.  Greed is what creates order from the chaos.  From the simplest single cell organism greed is what keeps it alive, and allows it to collect enough random nutrients to reproduce.  The greedier the organism the more successful and more able it is to reproduce.  All larger animals when hunting or grazing seek the maximum benefit with the least amount of effort.  In that way more energy can be focused on creating order from chaos and reproducing.  Without greed all life and order in the Universe would cease to exist.  With humans also greed is the motivating factor.  No person ever has existed without greed.  Mother Theresa was a saintly woman who gave to the poor because of greed.  She was motivated to help others to fulfill her emotional needs.  Don’t get me wrong, what she did was beautiful, and she was a great example to the world, but she was fulfilling her needs.  There is nothing wrong with greed.  I am arguing in fact that greed is not only human nature, but it is in fact necessary and healthy for all living organisms.  We have come to a time that politicians are labeling greed as disgusting.  They want to label the most successful and wealthy among us as gluttonous and a danger to society.  Their answer is to take from these greedy rich people and give it to the poor.  Here is the sad fact.  The politicians are using the poor.  They are relying on our human nature for greed.  They tell the poor that they can get the maximum benefit for no effort.  The government will give you his effort.  They are creating a gluttonous lower class to use for their advantage.  Much like a virus that multiplies too quickly and kills the host before it can spread.  If the people who do not know how to create wealth are given all of it, it will be squandered.  The rich use greed to create order from the chaos.  They collect from the disorder and entropy to create wealth.  This order they create stimulates the creation of more order for all.  Their wealth is spent and creates jobs.  Life feeds on itself and thrives creating a more habitable environment.  Politicians are trying to convince us that the natural order of things is not natural.  Capitalism is the natural order of things.  Life feeds on Capitalism.  Nature is in fact a Capitalist system.  Each animal has a niche.  Squirrels eat the acorns.  If a disease wipes out all of the squirrels do you think that the world will be overrun with acorns?  No, another animal or life form will fill the niche of the absent squirrel.  Just like Capitalism.  If a vital company goes under, another person or company will find a way to fill that niche and create order from the chaos.  Nature is Capitalism.



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13 Responses to Deep thoughts on Greed and Capitalism

  1. Sweetiebv says:

    I agree completely! I enjoyed your virus simile, I sometimes do feel like we are going to be eaten until there is nothing left. I think some people get corruption confused with greed. Greed is wanting more….that does not imply that the means justify the end. It does not mean that you can sit on your butt and ask for more and more and more without putting forth any effort. Those things are something else entirely.

  2. Vigilant says:

    Sorry, I’m a Capitalist from the word go, but greed is the wrong term. Perhaps you should have looked it up in the dictionary first (BTW, greed and gluttony are one and the same).

    greed n. selfish and grasping desire for possession, esp. of wealth; avarice, covetousness.

    greedy adj. 1. excessively eager for acquisition or gain; covetous; grasping. 2. having an excessive appetite for food and drink; voracious, gluttonous.

    And, sorry again, the attempt to mimic Michael Douglas’ Wall Street speech doesn”t quite come off.

  3. Sweetiebv says:

    Gluttonous and greedy may be synonyms, but that does not mean that they are exactly the same. Greed(y) is a desire or wanting…gluttony is usually used as an actual act of overindulgence to the point of making oneself ill, unhealthly or that actually causes harm. I always think of that movie Seven with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in which the obese man eats himself to death as a clear illistration of gluttony. One can be greedy yet still have self-discipline. For example, I am always greedy for chocolate, but it does not mean I overindulge in it. Greed is a motivator, but it does not mean it makes any action compulsive.

    • Vigilant says:

      Read the dictioary definition again.

      The term normally associated with Capitalism is “vested self-interest,” not greed. A miser is greedy; a capitalist need not be greedy.

      “One can be greedy yet still have self-discipline.” Not so; one can have disciplined desires, and thus avoid being greedy. Greediness is unhealthy and abnormal; self-interest is healthy and normal.

  4. Well Vigilant, You have side tracked from the point of the article. If you wish to substite vested self interest go ahead, but I stand by the content of the article. Your point does not negate the logic I tried to present. Capitalism is indeed the state of nature.

    • Vigilant says:

      My concern was the misuse of the term. The word “greed” is ALWAYS used in a pejorative sense, and it does capitalists no good to play into the hands of the leftists who constantly use the term to put down, not glorify, capitalism.

      As for the content of the article, consider that capitalism is a byproduct of civilization and was nonexistent in the days of the hunter/gatherer societies. It was agriculture and agriculture only that provided enough surplus to give birth to capitalism. Communism preceded capitalism as it was the only guarantee of survival in a life that was “nasty, brutish and short” (Hobbes).

      Capitalism is therefore not a state of nature. Kindly read Hobbes (Leviathin) or Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government and you will understand this better. Entropy is a scientific concept, capitalism is an economic concept, and creating order out of chaos is a political or religious concept. ANY form of government creates social order, whether it be within a capitalistic or communistic economic system. The ultimate, most perfect societal order is complete tyranny.

      The state of nature, an absolute, does not change due to the imposition of an artificial economic or political model. Nature will have the final say, and all artificial paradigms will melt away long before the universe reaches steady state.

  5. Yes, it is good to read the works of past political philosophers however we are not bound to them. Read them, know them, but you have to also look at the world around you. Some things do remain the same, but much has changed since the 16th century of Hobbes. Let us take a logical analytical look at the world with fresh eyes and analyze for ourselves. Perhaps I can approach this from another angle. Capitalism is an economic force much like gravity. There are other forces out there, but underlying it all is gravity, and our universe is shaped by it. If you look at nature it runs on a capitalistic system. Rather than money, the currency is resourses. i.e. Food, energy, living space. Charles Darwin called it survival of the fittest. When Darwin went to the Galapagos Islands to study finches he noted that the beak shapes denoted the type of food each finch ate. Each finch filled a niche. Much like different business meet the needs of different customers. If a particular resourse such as insects dried up. The finches with beaks that were more suitable for eating insects either died or adapted. If there is no longer demand for a certain product, that business must either disappear or look at developing another product. It also works in reverse if there is an overabundance of insects the finches will either increase their population, or another species will move in to take advantage of this plentifull resourse. In the business world if there is a large demand for ipods and apple cannot meet the demand, the makers of other MP3 players will benefit. Greed is a survival mechanism, and no hope for a “utopia” will ever be fulfilled. The survival instinct will overide mans desires for utopias. It only takes one greedy man to destroy a utopia. People only see the public good through the lens of themselves. If the government told you that they had to remove all of your teeth for the public good, you might think that it does not do you much good. You may not be able to see how it does the public good, and your greedy nature of wanting to keep the teeth that you body has invested the energy of creating will more than likely tell you to resist.

  6. Vigilant says:

    I’m afraid we’re discussing on different planes of understanding.

    Equating Capitalism with Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” is sophomoric nonsense at best. “If you look at nature it runs on a capitalistic system.” Huh?

    Even granting that “survival of the fittest” is a law of Nature, what does that have to do with capitalism (answer: nothing). And if the comparison is analogical, are you saying that capitalists are, or should be, ruthless and insensitive in their business proceedings because that’s just the way it is in nature? That might makes right? If that’s your view of capitalism, then you are a social Darwinist, something a sight more dangerous than the statists and most certainly anarchical.

    Your world view leaves no room whatsoever for Natural Law, for if “survival of the fittest” is the economic maxim, then there are no human rights to “life, liberty and property,” let alone the pursuit of happiness.

    Ironic that you can exercise your constitutional rights, wholly based on the concept of Natural Law, and largely possible because restrictions are placed on human activity, while you appear to view capitalism as some sort of dog-eat-dog structure that leaves only the strongest standing at the end of the day.

    • Thank you for the patronage, I hope future articles are more to your liking. I do believe that “sophmoric” is the elitist equivialant of “your mom”. Let’s have a discussion, but let’s keep it civil and try to represent what we are. If you are pro-capitalist, that is great. You have not represented that. Usually if someone starts a discusion with “I am a _____ but” they are misrepresenting themselves. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, so let’s keep the discussion going in a way that benefits all who read it.

      • Vigilant says:

        Unfortunately, I have provided a number of logical and philosophical points relevant to the discussion for which you feel no need to answer or challenge.

        “If you are pro-capitalist, that is great. You have not represented that.” Then it is obvious that you have not read or understood a thing I have said.

        Do you really wish for an intelligent discussion, or is this just for those who agree with you?

  7. Jeff says:

    Greed in the animal world is somewhat different and more 2 dimensional thinking. We as human beings have the ability to discern and make a decision whether to be greedy or not. Capitalism is just a tool or means to get the things we want or need. Pelosi is using greed in the way you mention; to benefit her. She helps those that can only help her; minorities, gays, etc. So, I am a Conservative and believe in our Constitution. Cool tiger and USA Flag.

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