It occurred to me this week that humans mostly start out as Communists but end up as Capitalists.
Okay, those are loaded terms and filled with enough competing ideologies and propagandized misuse that a bald statement like that cannot be left to stand. So, I’ll try and say what brought me to this observation. Anyone who’s hung around with little kids has probably observed that they like to be helpful (though this desire seems to wane at about the same rate as they begin to actually be helpful). I see that as the Communistic impulse, each person contributing to the general good as best they can. Then as they get older, they tend to care more about getting stuff, be it physical or not, for themselves, losing the impulse to help unless it also directly benefits them. I see that as the Capitalistic impulse, each person out to improve there own lot, justified by the idea that if each of us betters our own situation “the rising tide will lift all boats.”
In politics this transition from the selfless to the selfish is noted by the cynical joke/observation that if an American is not a Democrat when he is young, then he has no heart, but if he is not a Republican when he is older then he has no brain.
I talked to God about this, admittedly over-simplified, view of the two big-C ideologies and she told me I was missing an important part. It doesn’t much matter what the driving ideology is, it’s going to devolve down to yet another old joke, “Under Capitalism, man exploits man. Under Communism, it’s the other way around.” The reality is simple, no matter the official system, we need people to lead, and people that want to lead, mostly want power. And when it comes to power, it’s the people willing to do whatever it takes to grab it that have it and are, by that willingness, usually the least deserving. So it comes down to a mashup between the movie “Wargames” and the third law of thermodynamics, the only way to win, is not to play, but there is no way not to play.
You know, I started off thinking about how little kids want to be helpful, and somehow, from there, I’ve just gone and depressed myself.