Capitalism is not greed. Whenever I say this people look at me like I’m crazy. Of course capitalism is greed. It’s all about greed, it’s the greediest of all political and economic structures, but I swear to you I am not greedy, but I am a capitalist.
What is Capitalism?
Capitalism is an economic structure that’s all about making a profit. In it’s essence, this seems like a good idea. It’s all about making money and improving your stature in life, for a guy like me who started life with hand-me-down clothes and that special “brand new school outfit” every year, capitalism is just “getting out of the gutter and making something of myself.” Is this greedy? I don’t think so. In fact, I know it’s not.
What is Greed?
Greed is defined as an “Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food.” Which means that to be greedy, one has to also be selfish. I don’t consider myself selfish. Why is that? Because I know what selfishness is.
What is Selfishness?
Selfishness is defined as “Lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.” So, in essence, to be selfish you have to only be concerned with yourself.
What does this mean for Capitalists?
Basically what this means is that Greed and Capitalism are mutually exclusive entities. Meaning, you can be greedy without being a capitalist, and you can be a capitalist without being greedy. It also means that you can be a capitalist and be greedy, which we’ve seen more and more of lately. Which is why capitalism has a horrible reputation.
What can we do?
The first thing we need to do is realize that Capitalism does not equal Greed. We need to then figure out ways to use Capitalism to help society, instead of instantly dumping all social improvement into the socialist heading. There is definite evidence to support the theory that spending money helping society will actually improve your bottom line in the end. Call it monetary karma.