I have a theory on why the World is going to hell. And, it somehow relates to why capitalism wasn’t the worst idea to begin with.
At the last point of time when socialism had any shot at affecting capitalism, i.e. at the time of the Cold War, people were just beginning to appreciate their individual rights. To even suggest to such a population, standing on the brink of what looked like cities of gold, that they must necessarily share their wealth with anyone, was nothing short of blasphemous. More importantly, it was unfair. Most importantly, it seemed regressive.
“Let the people choose” was the cry of the day.
Fair enough. Had the World not seen enough of foolish kings and cruel dictators? Had we not had enough despotism to not want any more of that in the State? Of the People, By the People, For the People, cried the People themselves. Yes, the World had seen enough of force and violence and oppression. It was choice we craved, and Capitalism was the only way visible to get at it.
And, what have we chosen?
In my humble opinion, I believe humanity has underestimated its ability to evolve/adapt to situations. People, as they existed in their natural state, may benefit from a survival-of-the-fittest kind of system that is capitalism. But, as generations are born and die within this system, the more they internalize these values, these codes of behavior, this sense of what is alright, and what is not, the more our basic values and core principles shift.
What values does capitalism promote? What do we have in place of the things that even cruel kingdoms could boast of? What is it that we value if not valor and honor and intelligence and compassion and understanding and creativity and communication? What is it that we allow the system to teach our children? What does this system reward, appreciate, encourage?
No, maybe what we really need is a capitalist government with socialist people. And, I think somewhere the Indian constitution grasped this need. [Or did whichever constitution they “borrowed” the concept of Directive Principles from. Irish, I think?] The Directive Principles of State Policy, contained in part IV of the constitution of India, are not enforceable by any court, but the principles laid down therein are considered fundamental in the governance of the country, making it the duty of the state to use these as guiding principles to establish and maintain a just society.
But, as a nation what do we promote?
As a people, who do we idolize?
And, who shall our children look up to?