Imperfect Periodical

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Caterpillar Capitalism

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There is something desperately wrong with the way we’re playing Capitalism here in America. The genius- and I mean this in the “animating spirit” sense of the word- of finance capitalism is the ability to get money into the hands of people with creative ideas and then make those ideas into reality. Tangible products. Works of mass commercial art. Goods and services that people need. Experiences that people desire.

The accumulation of wealth which is then turned around and made into the seed capital of another venture brings to my mind the image of a caterpillar eating up everything in its path on the way to becoming a butterfly. Eating and eating, growing fatter and fatter until the time for chrysalis followed by metamorphosis.

It seems to me that our society is stuck in the caterpillar stage. Goldman Sachs, for example, is one very FAT caterpillar.

When the next step fails to occur, when the capital is skimmed off the top and not reinvested into the creation of something useful, the genius of the system is betrayed. This is happening at a time when we so clearly need an infusion of energy to spark our society’s transformation into its adult form. The caterpillars have transformed into leeches instead of butterflies, and as our metaphor slides out from underneath us we become aware that the host body of these parasites is in grave condition.

Profit for profit’s sake is a waste of good money.

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Written by njnelson

April 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm