September 19, 2000

I just finished a day packed solid from 10am to 10pm with classes, meetings, projects, and a bit of stress. And now I can't sleep.

The Register examines the insanity that is the Olympics. What a crock. Why o why o why is this tolerated? It's completely nuts. It's capitalism.

In another forum, someone mentionned the importance of quantitative differences. For example, in copyright law, the difference between sending a few paragraphs of a book and sending a chapter matters a lot in terms of legality.

In an abstract sense, capitalism is the same way. Money is a useful medium of exchange on a relatively small scale. It provides incentives to provide a quality product or a reliable service. However, when you try to say that money provides the same incentives on an exponentially larger scale, things tend to fall apart much more quickly. Control of the market, manipulation of demand, and the subversion of culture become economically incentivized.

From there, things just get bad. It doesn't look like it, because it seems that we're getting what we want. Problem is, society has already been set up to want tangible, profit-making items. Capitalism can't fulfill a demand for less stuff.

If culture and commerce stayed at a reasonable distance from each other, capitalism could work nicely. Except that staying away from culture is inimical to capitalism as we know it.

In other words, there have to be strict limits to what meta levels capital can affect in order for it to be beneficial to society. For instance, exclusive control of, say food distribution on a college campus should not be put up for sale. Marriott owns these rights here in Sackville.

Those are my thoughts on capitalism.

posted by dru in blog