Why Capitalism Is Not The Problem
There is no shortage of documentaries or books on the evils of capitalism. I rather enjoy watching these films as they illustrate how a system that was touted to promote individual freedom and potential has been turned into an unstoppable corporate Hydra that is devouring humanity. Capital is generally seen solely as money or the goods used to generate income. Profit is the bottom line.
I remember my father telling me that money should make money. Why? How can an inanimate object make more of itself? Unchecked growth seems to be goal, and we all know what unchecked growth in the form of cancer can do to an organism. We live in a society where the majority of people believe that money-having it, making it and spending it are all that matter.
Yes-capitalism as it is practiced today is truly something to fear.
But what if people really saw the truth about capital? That it is not just about money and goods, but about everything that is valuable to our collective lives on this earth? What if the principles of permaculture were applied to capitalism? What if capital included the following:
Intellectual capital- knowledge, education
Social capital- influence and connections
Living capital- animals, plants, water, soil
Material capital-non-living physical objects-stone, metal, gasses
Spiritual capital-the connection to a greater whole
Cultural capital-the shared interests and stories of a community
Experiential (human) capital-knowledge gained through experiences-acting on intellectual/social/spiritual/cultural capital
Financial capital-the agreed upon means of exchange
What if the goal of capitalism wasn’t profit, but sustainability? Would that change how we view capitalism? I believe it can. I invite you to review an excellent article by Ethan Roland and Gregory Landua that was originally published in Permaculture Magazine.
Roland and Landua go on to explain the eight forms of currency associated with each form of capital. They provide an outline of how our society can begin to move from a narrow-sighted form of capitalism to a system that truly benefits and sustains all of us. Roland reminds us that:
“A truly just society requires fair and equitable distribution of all forms of capital. While financial capital is important, non-financial capitals offer pathways to empowerment for the oppressed communities of our planet. In communities I’ve visited (Kazakhstan, Chile, and Latin America), the abundance of cultural capital often outweighs the financial capital, regenerating into a wealth of experiential and living capital that I’ve never seen in my northeastern-USA home. Any of us in the over-developed world can follow this modeling, working to end oppression caused by our current financial-capital-centric systems”.
The hOurExchange Ypsilanti Time Bank is an excellent opportunity for us to build all of our various forms of capital. It is a system where everyone profits- and I am willing to bet that this is one area where “unchecked growth” will only increase our sustainability. I encouraged you to increase your net worth and join the hOurExchange Ypsilanti Time Bank today!