One should read both Rand and Marx together. As a good Hermetic practitioner, we need to recognize the fact that each of these systems, communism and capitalism in and of themselves can work if the members are free, and never work if they are not. Getting the purest idea of what the two systems are, stripped of all the "decorations" if you will, is the best way to understand what the system really is.
Ayn Rand described a system of pure capitalism, Karl Marx, of pure communism (and I lump "socialism" with communism, just as I also lump state capitalism with pure capitalism). There are other thinkers, philosophers and writers of these systems of course, and they should also be studied, but these two could not be more diametrically opposed so I use them for this discussion.
Both systems grow, and when they grow, certain individuals will become "leaders" - and this inevitably seems to be the start of the problems...
Someone always wants to be on the top. The old children's game of "King of the Hill" never seems to go away. And here is where it always begins. Someone wants the "Biggest" store, or someone wants the "Biggest Army" or someone (or everyone) wants more, more, more...
There is no system defined by humans, that will work as long as humans have a tendency to always want more than enough. More than they need. And the thing is, if people are to be free, how then are they to be free from this pernicious desire to always want more? And why do we always want more?
I suspect that the actual cause is the fear of death. Our innate fear of death means we have limited time. What we really want is Life!
But we "know" (or we fear) in some visceral way that we cannot get more time, and we also do not know how much time we have left. This, I believe, drives us to try to get "something"....anything, to fill that dark void of fear.
But many of us on this forum no longer experience that fear...because we have personally visited that void, and found it to not be the fearsome thing we have had drilled into our heads and hearts. And because of that many of us have conquered that fear and no longer strive for endless piles of money and things.
But for the vast majority of human beings, this is not the case. Look at the recent stories of Kim Jong Un, who just had his half brother assassinated along with several others - he is a little fat boy who is afraid. He seeks to destroy the thing he is afraid of, without any understanding of what it is, and his people pay the price.
I see dire things on the horizon. I read a vast array of both "conservative" as well as "liberal" blogs, books, etc as I know many of you do, and the things I am reading are really giving me pause. Look at just these few links here:
There is an interesting pattern here: Both the Left and the Right no longer seem to trust their own "leaders"! And they are both getting militant,
This is not a good sign. When we look at history and see this sort of thing occurring, where the idea of human freedom is swept under the rug, and "being in the correct crowd" of the moment is more important, things get dicey real fast for those who think deeply. In fact my writing this post on this forum with other individuals who I highly respect could get us killed real fast.
Something to ponder in a world where "pondering" things is considered a "thought crime".
I am very concerned for all of your well being as well as my own, and my family, as I am sure all of you are. I have to confess I do not know what the solution is, but my reading of history suggests that there will be much trouble in the months and years ahead...wars in the streets, governmental coups, who knows?
The thing is who can claim that the corner mom & pop grocery store is a bad thing? Yet that is capitalism.
Who can claim that a community of like minded hippies minding their own business and living communally is a bad thing? Yet that is communism. Who thinks it is a bad thing when the hippy commune makes food purchases at the corner grocery store? Or the corner grocery store buys produce to sell from the hippy commune?
These are just life philosophies that seem to work, and even work together well when they are small and when freedom is respected.
But they do not scale well, do they? When these systems get large, and "leaders" take charge (however they do) things begin to fall apart. Freedoms are oppressed. Fights begin, people are killed, grudges are solidified. "Racism" and "Nationalism" take hold in the hearts of people - and now those who once got along fine, find themselves on opposite sides of stupid fences we errected for no other purpose then to "keep them out"...
It is an interesting thought experiment to image what humans would do if we were to be attacked by an alien race from another planet. I believe all these squabbles between us would be put on hold suddenly as we came together to fight the new "Them".
But here is a deeper question. What if we were visited by a peaceful alien race? Would we still want to attack "Them"? I suspect that many would, sad to say.
Edited by SteampunkScientist, 03 March 2017 - 08:13 AM.