Think about yourself walking in a thick jungle. In a jungle where the branches, bushes, lianes and the thick undergrowth makes your progress hard. Bristling with fear and anxiety you bulldoze your way forward with a help of sticks and knives. The knowledge that there might be dangerous beasts lurking among the vegetation doesn’t make your race any easier. You must constantly be prepared to attack and protect yourself.
Now imagine, that the jungle is finished and you entered a deciduous forest. The vegetation is still lush but not stickingly thick. However you keep your knife and stick ready and from time to time you cut a low hanging branch. And you are hoping that you’d get out of the jungle one day.
You are not ready to adopt the new environment even though you are in the middle of it. You are in deciduous woods clamouring for a change in the jungle.
We are so used to live depending on one big truth. To believe in one big truth. Not necessarily because it would be the only one but because it makes our lives easier.
The world has changed from a space divided with frontiers to a boarderless web of people. Different truths and ideas can wander freely and meet people also there, where the one truth nepotism has selfishly built isolated societies.
The discussion about the morality of capitalism is a sign of the change that is already going on. A crowd of people has left the jungle capitalism and moved into a grove of new economics. Yet many cry “it’s a jungle out there”, dangerous and hard.
”Capitalism is a system of cultural, spiritual and ethical values” says professor Tom G. Palmer in his book “The Morality of Capitalism”. Yes. And the mission for the people is to create for that system a content that serves the highest purposes of the human kind. Then capitalism can be a system where the right to ownership and the freedom to make agreements in the spirit of free will can be realized.
Marc Luyckx Ghisi a professor of Future Studies from Belgium says “Truth is in the empty center of the common table around which all cultures are sitting on an equal footing. Women and men are also equal. The urgent scope of life is to care together for our survival. But the main goal in life for everyone is to reach the center, the “divine light” or the “absence of light”. And the more you approach the center, the less you can define what the illumination is. You are only able to experience it. And nobody owns or controls this “empty” truth. It is impossible.” The nature, animals and plants are part of this consciousness and thus respected.
The truth, the light in the middle of the world-table, is a common emotional experience that the value that the individuals bring to the table creates something big and meaningful when it is integrated into the common flow of values.
This is the new world we are living in. Call it transmodern or post-post modern or a world of people, without definition… I kind of a world where “… the value grows by mobilizing the energy and capacity for invention of the people in an unprecedented scale, so that wealth is created to a common man…” in Tom’s book the sentence begins with the word “capitalism”.
Why do we need words? We need ideological vehicles so that we can realize in what kind of woods we are walking in. The word capitalism is difficult to accept for many. It is loaded with heavy accusations but perhaps it is the right word when we seek for a vehicle to express the economics of this new world.
But if capitalism has made damage to people’s souls then we need to find a new vehicle to describe the system of freedom, spiritual values, the uniqueness and talent of the individuals, creative projects of societies, tribes and movements, holism without reductionism in the name of economics, wealth building without exploitation and robbery. “Substituting power with persuation and envy with achievements” says Palmer. Yes. Palmer emphasizes that capitalism does not include greedy exploitation and robbery because they lack the element of mutual free will.
My credo is ”we are built to win”. A human being is endowed with unique potential and her/his life is a work of art that we all must respect. The world is simultaneously a collection of talents and a shared, cooperative performace, “a concert of a globalized planet” *, where each and every one adds value with her own talents and uniqueness. In a cocreative process an awesome tapestry with thick value is formed combining the spiritual and the material. The economy is a part of that performance and that, the economy, must be made to serve the human kind with the understanding that everybody is important and equally valuable.
Professor Bjorn Wahlroos talked about India. He reminded that it is not that long time ago the news we heard from India were those of famine. Nowadays we are hearing more and more good news from India. About flourishing businesses, great universities and exciting innovations. When the economy grows there will be space to handle other issues as well, human rights for example.
It would be unwise to push capitalism aside because of the greediness that has ruined it’s good parts. We need creation of economic value so that we can continue to develop well being of both people and the earth. But the capitalism must change. It must see that people have come out from the jungle. I’ll quote John Mackey who was interviewed by Tom G. Palmer:
”Capitalism is a source for value. It is the most awesome tool for cooperation. This is the story we need to tell. We must change the way we approach it. From the viewpoint of ethics we need to change the description of capitalism so that we can show that capitalism is about creating shared value, not for some but for all. If people would see capitalism as I do, they would love it as much as I do.”
*) The great concert of the globalized planet”, Mario Vargas Llosa, in Palmer’s book.
Tom G. Palmer, ed., Morality of Capitalism, 2011.
“We are built to win” you can find also from Mike Babcock’s book Leave No Doubt