Right now we live with a system that allows for a small percentage of people controling the lives of the many. It could be said that the 'Out of Many, One' actually means out of the labors of the many one enjoys the best of lifestyles.

Let's think about this for a second. Isn't that already happening? They call the Upper Class 1% of the richest Americans. They live better than any 10 'average' households,maybe even 100. They have the most 'Liberty', Freedom, and 'Worth' as a human. This seems a little out of whack when we remember that some of the most depraved folks had fat wallets.

The truth is,and they don't want you to know it, Capitalism gives way to Tyranny and Corruption by it's Dominant Society. The tryanny of 'I can buy and sell you any day.'mindset. DO you hear me AIG??

Whenever a social structure even begins to suggest that all people are truly equal and that the 'wealth' of the society is in the highest of living standards being shared with all of it's people, the idiots that believe their money gives them power over you call it 'Socialism' and brings up the horror images of Stalin shooting folks in the head or chairman Mao turning his people into mindless automotons.

Fact is 'socialism' exisisted on this side of the world for thousands of years before it became a buzzword for a path to Hell. Only they called it 'Responsibility' and it was understood by all that Responsibility was how all things lived,with all in Creation performing their special Responsibility to ensure that all life stayed healthy and strong.
That kind of thinking kept this side of the World a Garden for more than 20,000 years,before Columbus crash landed here. It only took 500+ to make it a swillhole. What did it? Capitalism.

Don't get me wrong,money managed correctly can create a good life for everyone. But money feeds GREED and greed knows no boundry. That's why Du Pont could kill over 2000 people in India with a toxic gas from their chemical plant there. What was their penality? Paying a little better than $2000 American to the survivers of the family members killed by their lapse in thinking. That came to a little better than Tem million dollars,tuppence for Du Pont, crap for the folks in India and their plant still got to operate.

Capitalism allows for the poisoning of ever living thig as long as it makes money. Remember Love Canal, thousands sickened and forced to move because their land was poisoned by the industry around it. Or the thousands of folks that had to move in Virginia because an entire sud-division was built on toxic land containing asbestos.

Capitalism brought us the outragious miliarty budgets that keep us from having true healthcare fo our people, They also create the mindset that says " We built these killing toys,let's see how well they work.' Anyone who's ever been around a group of Generals when a new weapon has a successful test can tell you their faces light up like a freaking christmas tree at the thoght of using it someday. Plus..they cost a lot of 'money'. The whole reason for having a defence/Industrial Complex,to drive up the cost of killing people.

If the path to Peace be through some portal that evens out the system and suppoerts the people in all their endeavors without having to be an aggressor or militant society,then wouldn't that society by it's very nature be better than what we've been stuck with for the last fifty years alone.

Call me crazy, or a socialist but I think the good life for all would make for a better way of living for all of us. To say the least it would make us 'Responsible', something we haven't been for many generations.

Being 'Responsible' for eachother and all other living things isn't socialism. It's the common sense way of living in balance with all in Creation and as 'created' beings,it's our Responsibility to live that way and help eachother live that same 'good life' that creates 'Heaven on Earth'.

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Comment by Jeffrey Smith on July 26, 2009 at 1:40pm
gREAT PIECE, tHANKS FOR sHARING, Erich.
Peace
Jef
Comment by Safai Ozer on July 25, 2009 at 10:05pm
You may use or delete it. Here is an article of Erich Fromm about how capitalism destructed also the feeling, especially love.
Best wishes
Safai
TboneCentral's Full Review: Erich Fromm - The Art of Loving
The dire effects of capitalism have been well recorded throughout literature. Authors such as Marx and Tolstoy have given many stories, theses, and manifesto’s regarding the numerous evils that capitalism has brought into society. In his essay Love and Its Disintegration in Contemporary Western Society, Erich Fromm gives a compelling, highly debatable observation concerning capitalism’s affect on love in the western world. Through his writings, he expresses that “to love in an individual living in any given culture depends on the influence this culture has on the character of the average person.”(70) Fromm argues that it is the driving force of capitalism that prevents or strongly inhibits true love among people living in western culture. This review will focus on Fromm’s argument that capitalism does indeed have an underlying role in the relationships of people across the western world through its theft of the individual’s selfhood.

Erich Fromm saw what grim consequences could come out of the seemingly wonderful system of capitalism. He explains in his essay how the system is divided into owners of capital, and owners of labor. Fromm states that “the owner of capital can buy labor and command it to work for the profitable investment of his capital. The owner of labor must sell it to capitalists under the existing market conditions, unless he is to starve.”(71) This type of system allows for the capitalist to make a profit when he sells the final product for more money than it took to create it. Of course, the capitalist does not do this work, but uses his previous investments to fund labor to do the job. In this way, the capitalist sees not the condition of the worker, but only the end condition of the product. A problem only exists with the capitalist if the product is degraded and unable for sale. Capitalists only see numbers on a page—profits, consumer trends, etc. The human condition is never considered, only the amount of profit that can be made from each individual. The capitalist “commands labor; amassed things, that which is dead, are of superior value to labor, to human powers, to that which is alive.”(71) Capitalism focuses on the big picture, on labor, on “amassed things.” The structure of capitalism discourages any form of individuality and promotes economic success through a system of the masses. With this type of system, the individual is left behind and lost in the cold process of monetary growth. A car created on an assembly line that refuses to operate is a major problem, but an employee who is killed while working on that car is merely a casualty. This situation can be paralleled with that of an army commander fighting a war. Personnel loss in battle is expected, but losing the war is not. The capitalist world is like a war in itself, with companies trying to out deal, out fox, out sell the competition at the expense of the helpless worker. The many individuals who make this war possible are merely expendable, and their rights and security are ignored.

In order to survive in this war, the working class forms unions to protect their interests against the expanding enterprises of industry. Fromm defines the labor union quite effectively, stating that “the individual worker does not have to bargain on the labor market by and for himself; he is united in big labor unions, also led by a powerful bureaucracy.”(71) The individual worker feels lost among the massive corporations, and seeks membership in a union as a form of brotherhood and sense of self-security from the evil capitalists who care nothing about his/her condition. The worker is trying to escape the “managerial bureaucracy”(71) by ironically forming their individual bureaucracy, which is subject to the same evils and sins as the own capitalist venture they wish to escape from. Fromm is arguing that capitalism exists in every aspect of the western world. Forming a union to fight capitalism is useless, for inside the union itself capitalism can cultivate and take root through dues, bribes, and other forms of trickery. Whether one is with the union fighting the company, or on the side of the company fighting the union, the individual cannot escape the system. People, in Fromm’s words, “cease to be independent, and become dependent on the managers of the great economic empires.”(71) Capitalism robs the individual of control, and severely alters and restricts ones existence.

Central to Fromm’s argument is that capitalism deprives the individual of his/her selfhood, and without this inner selfhood, the individual is incapable of love. The reason the individual loses his or her ability to love is because of the structure of capitalism, with its many “centralized enterprises with a radical division of labor” which causes the individual to “[lose] his individuality, where he becomes an expendable cog in the machine.”(72) Capitalism crushes the soul of a laborer by throwing the person into a system where creativity, self-expression, and ingenuity are non-existent. It [capitalism] “needs men who feel free and independent…yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction…prompted without aim—except…to go ahead.”(72) The system requires “independent” men, yet they must “fit into the social machine.” What an irony! This is the heart of capitalism and why it destroys the selfhood of all who are involved. To be independent while trying to fit into a structured society is nothing but a lie, for it is impossible. The existence of capitalism spawns conformity, for the capitalist discovers that the product can be made both efficiently and resourcefully by the collective, that is, the labor force. The laborer contributes nothing but his/her minor assistance toward the finished product, and any kind of excessive individuality expressed by the worker is seen as an enemy toward the system. Labor as a whole must survive, and in order to do so they are forced to follow the society that they live in; in the west that society is capitalism. This conformity destroys the individuality that Fromm feels is necessary for real love.

When the cobbler closes his shop and moves into the shoe factory, he enters the workforce of hundreds, perhaps thousands of men just like he. Capitalism “needs men who co-operate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated.”(72) The industrial giants do not want individuals who have strong ideals, or creative, expressive tendencies. They want a worker, a slave to do as he is told, and be content and happy about his bondage. The outcome, as Fromm excellently states, is that “Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men; and from nature.”(72) The individual goes from a happy, peaceful life to a giant collective similar to an ant colony, where a queen dictates every command, and the workers follow with unwavering obedience. Capitalism is the destroyer of the self, and thus the destroyer of love, it values men not on their own self worth, but on the bankability of their labor. They have been “transformed into a commodity”, their life is an “investment which must bring [back] the maximum profit obtainable under existing market conditions.”(72) This leaves the worker “pervaded by the deep sense of insecurity, anxiety and guilt.”(72) Fromm points to Huxley’s Brave New World to show how close mankind is to a horrific fictional world when he states that man is “well fed, well clad, satisfied sexually, yet without self.”(73) One cannot love another until one loves one’s self. This is the base for all love, yet the truth is that living in a capitalist society prevents people from loving one another because one has no self to love.
Capitalism causes the disintegration of love in western society because it permeates the laborers every facet of life. Coupled with feelings of aloneness and loss in a cruel, unforgiving world, along with a damaged selfhood, the individual turns to love as a healing ointment to cure the many pains that the workplace has given him or her.

When people find love, they find peace, acceptance, and a small glint of light in the omnipresent darkness of their world. However, this love is only a mask to the fact that capitalism has in fact invaded the home. Fromm refers to love in the time of capitalism as an “alliance of two against the world”, which is mistaken for “love and intimacy.”(74) People look for love to protect them against the truth that they all in fact have no real self, no identity. It is easier to find physical and emotional comfort with another than it is to find those same feelings with ones self. Without the self, there is no real love, only a “team spirit”(74) that attempts to find happiness in a world full of mindless conformity. Capitalism alienates man, it corrupts the individuals self hood by allowing it to be governed by others. It injects the self full of desire and hope for a better tomorrow that unfortunately will never come. Love is a means of escape for people to vainly remove themselves from a society that enslaves the spirit. Without the self, without identity, without our own nature, true love is impossible because the relationship is not from, as Fromm puts it, “the center of [ones] existence.”(86) This empty love is a direct result of the harmful effects that capitalism has on western society.

True love to Fromm is something extremely rare and cherished by only the lucky few. Fromm sees how capitalism destroys the love that is shared between two people, but he does not arrogantly rule out the fact that real love can ever exist. He feels that communication is a major component of love, that love is “possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence.”(86) By “center of their existence”, Fromm stresses that in this society of capitalism, one can easily be lost in the struggle to obtain superficial success by “selling” ones self to the capitalist. He realizes that for real love to occur, the couple must put up a wall against the cold capitalistic world of materialism and wealth, and find their own pure love from within. For only in this “central experience is human reality, only here is aliveness, only here is the basis for love.”(87) Fromm stresses that in this world of the capitalist, we must fight our bondage that we have been born into, and learn to love with all of our heart. We should not learn to fall into the habit of loving in a relationship with “courtesy” and an “attempt to make each other feel better.”(74) Such methods can develop into a superficial love, a love where instead of exploring the problems of a relationship, one avoids confrontation, in fear of damaging the feelings of the partner.

Capitalism poisons love, and instills in it feelings of doubt, jealously, and anger. We begin to be constructed at a very intimate level, and capitalism affects our lives from the time of birth. The soul inside becomes a mirror image of experiences from the exterior, likewise our weakened selfhood is composed of objectification, commodification, and exchange. When we learn to conquer the culture in which we live in, only then can we experience the love that has been waiting for us, held back by the evils of society. Love, as experienced in this new and enlightened way, is not always a smooth, fluid experience, but is “a constant challenge”, a “moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the center of their existence.”(87) Fromm sees love not as a simple part of life, but as a vibrant, dynamic journey on a road full of ups, downs, crossroads, and intersections. He finally adds that people who do find this love are “one with each other by being one with themselves.”(87) This quote follows the timeless phrase: you can’t love another until you can love yourself. Fromm’s love is one of sacrifice, commitment, and devotion in the face of tremendous pressure from a society that discourages all of these things.

In capitalism, the soul is restricted from expressing what it truly should be able to express, and is unable to truly love because its selfhood has been destroyed. The masses are governed by a society that does not care about self worth, but only economic achievement. Capitalism affects us all—it knows no boundaries with gender, creed, or race. One paramount view against Fromm is the fact that culture does not affect love in any way. The question to answer this insight would be what is love? You cannot touch it, you cannot see it, you can only feel it. With this regard in mind, we have a right to voice our views concerning the nature of love and the world. Erich Fromm did not let the clutch of capitalism squeeze off his voice, and we shouldn’t either.

Work Cited

Fromm, Erich. The Art of Loving. New York: Perennial Library, 1956.
Comment by Jeffrey Smith on July 25, 2009 at 7:19pm
AHO! To both of you.I completely agree that this state of 'controled by greed' has indeed been with us as soon as we first put a value on something other than being a good human.Yes we do have people that are very good at finding their way to the top of the heap,usually upon the backs of you and I. Had we kept the best parts of the Native American way of living,these folks that are so great at piling up vast sums of money would be duty bound,just for being part of a society, to take their 'excess assets' and share them with those in need.
Buy a finer point than that, we can do this without money simply by accepting the fact that whatever power put you and I on this rock,with these other fine and wonderous beings had a plan which I'm pretty sure wasn't 'Profit and Plunder'.

If we'd all spend a few hours outside,in the true world we'd see a much different Nature. Not the one on TV where everything eats everything. That's a given,don't matter if you're a rock or an eagle. But what we do see is Nature takes care of all living things. I have personally seen an Elder blind Robin being lead around and fed by a younger male Robin. I have seen the food bounty in the National Forests that's no meat of anykind and made you feel strong because of it's high nutrient values.

We can also move towards more personal genorousity by giving away stuff we haven't wore in the last two years. We urban humans that have had the System's impact upon us,though we try hard to limit it, collect stuff. I have stuff in places i never thought I could stuff before. So we really do have it within ourselves to aide our fellow passangers that are falling down and promote a good life for all of us. I guess, Ether Eagle, we'd might call it 'Humanism' but there's that darn ism thingy again. But I do believe their Castle made of Sand is coming down and then we'll all be even again. Blessings to you Both Ether Eagle and George John Killoran.
Comment by George John Killoran on July 25, 2009 at 1:27pm
That is a great commentary on the greed for wealth and power that pervades our society. However, this is not a product of the last five hundred years. It has been going on since civilization began and probably has been going on from the time humanity learned to stand up and walk on two legs instead of four. Wars and exploitation continue to plague civilization. However in the past, wars didn’t have the potential to wipe out civilization and all life forms on this planet. Today with weapons of mass destruction, wars have the potential to do this. I think the way to avoid this catastrophe is to have a humane world government with a true Socialistic system.

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