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Forum Post: The New Social Order (part 1 of 2)

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 6, 2011, 3:24 p.m. EST by mikolaj1kopernik99 (0)
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The existing socio-economic model has failed. I am sure we can agree with that statement. It is not just the 99% that agrees that the system has failed, but the 1% would also agree, if asked. I am in the 1% and I certainly agree that the Western world has failed both you and me.

What can be done about the failure of the Western socio-economic model? One can debate what alternative system the people want. Since we live in a democracy, if enough people support this new system, whatever it is, we will get it. Political revolutions do not have to be violent; I speak from experience and remember Poland’s regime change in 1989. The people can do it, if they are unified in what they want – and if they can express what they want as a coherent political programme.

So what do you want and what do I want? Is it the same thing?

Philosophers have debated various political systems for millennia. There is no “end of history”, to use a Hegelian term. The political set up is not something like an iPhone with new versions being designed ever so often, each version an improvement upon its predecessor. The choices we face are actually quite basic when you come down to it.

The socio-economic system we chose to arrange our affairs is an extension, a representation, of our moral values. We design the system around what we think is right and wrong, what we think people should and should not do. Man has designed politics based on the prevailing moral order. Our moral code is what shapes the political world around us. Politics is the institutionalization of our morality.

What are the moral values around which we have built our existing socio-economic system? Most would say they include some, or all of the following: equality, egalitarianism, need, liberty, private property, freedom. You can recite a longer list of the moral values around which we have attempted to design our socio-economic system. Some people will have a different list from other people. But most hard working and honest men and women would agree with the moral values listed above. Most people agree with those principles. So why has the system we designed around those values failed? Why, despite our best intentions have we reached this desperate situation where basically nobody is satisfied with the system?

The reason is that when you take these principal moral codes, and think through what they imply, how they interact with one another, you realize that they are incompatible. This may come as a shock to you. It came as a shock to me.

I have been thinking for years about what is wrong with the Western socio-economic system. Why “capitalism” failed. Please understand, coming from Poland, capitalism and freedom were ideals for me. Something members of my family gave their life for. Something we had to fight for. To see the Western socio-economic model fail so spectacularly, completely confounded me; I was at a loss. What happened? Why? I am sure many of you are asking the same questions although each of you will have your own reasons for asking those questions.



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