Capitalism and Power

Capitalism is the process of using money to make more money. It needs social structures, such as banks and markets to operate in. And makes possible the accumulation of great wealth and power.

It also created another type of organization – the Company, legally a corporation. That would employ the workers – and also control them. Organizations such as the Schools and the Military also operated as companies. With hierarchical social structures, that enforced large disparities in income.

It does not provide mechanisms for the proper control of that wealth and power – and putting these controls in place is difficult. The wealthy and powerful want to stay that way.

All of these artificial social structures – came to be regarded as natural and inevitable. And the majority of people (who desperately needed jobs) would enforce these organizations.

They became, in fact, antisocial organizations – and created antisocial people to operate them.

So far, what I have been describing, happened in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. In the middle of the 20th Century – with TV and then the Computer – huge changes happened. That we have not begun to understand – and was marked by people who did not want to understand.

All they had to understand was simple enough – to put it in Biblical terms, the Idol they had been worshipping had feet of clay – and they needed to find another one, that would stand up better. The Computer would make this possible.

They needed to consider what wealth consists of, in the Information economy. The economy that is now in control – and has made the Industrial economy obsolete.

They have to give up their hard-won advantages in that economy – and learn about operating in another one. This sounds like a simple change – but for them, it is like changing their religion. The noose would have to be around their neck – with the hangman asking if they want to convert to his religion.

Absent this kind of force – they will not change.

How Wells Fargo is Doing it Wrong

And I mean really wrong – in the most fundamental way. In the way it treats its customers. It could not have a worse attitude toward them. “We are everything, and you are nothing!”

It probably feels it is typical of American companies now. But that is no excuse – just because everyone else is incompetent – you do not have to be incompetent also.

The chickens will come home to roost sometime – and that time may not be far away. The Financial Industry is changing rapidly (with FinTech) and WF may be left holding the bag.

I started out writing a much longer posting, giving the reasons for my unhappiness with Wells Fargo.

I decided to skip them – because you do not want to hear of another person’s problems. And the mess in another company.

You have been in the trenches, and have your own battle wounds.

Ethics in Latin America

The differences between Latin America and North America are many – and originated with the Reformation – that separated Northern Protestant Europe from Southern Catholic Europe. Latin America got its culture from Spain and Portugal at this time, and retained this culture – while Europe itself was changing.

The 15th Century culture they inherited from Spain and Portugal was ruthless – so ruthless it shocked their parent countries. But they tolerated this, as long as it supplied huge amounts of silver and gold. When this supply ended, they forgot about their American colonies.

They developed into corrupt, violent countries. There were attempts at reform, but they usually failed. One exception being Costa Rica, where I live.

Latin America is now inferior in almost every way – including ethically. Latinos know they are inferior (and are sensitive about this) – but have not tried to understand why. Except for their intellectuals, who understand their differences very well.

I must state also that they have a huge advantage – they still like people, and that is why I am living here. But let me return to my subject – the disadvantages of their culture.

In Latino culture in general – cheating is considered a normal part of life. In North America, it is an abnormal part of life. And this difference is what prevented their development of an advanced economy.

Their schools should be telling their students about these matters, but they are not.

Latinos seem to think they can become better, by adopting American popular culture – wearing American clothes and playing American music – at full volume.

It does not occur to them, that they have to change themselves.

People are No Longer Able to Govern Themselves

I continue in my attempt to understand the people of my time and place – Americans in the 21st Century.

Democracy assumes that people are able to govern themselves – and no one else can do this better than they can – since they understand themselves better than anyone else. But recent history is showing us that in our time (a very strange time, to be sure) – this is no longer the case.

Everyone can see this – but, at the same time,  they cannot see this. Because they do not want to. The very principles their society was built on – no longer apply.

These were: that the world is governed by laws, such as those discovered by Newton. And similar laws apply to political behavior – people behave rationally, and in their own best interest.

But it is abundantly clear, that in some situations, people are not rational at all – and are perfectly capable of destructive behavior. They are governed by their passions – not by their minds.

And these passions are easily manipulated by dictators, assisted by the Media.

I will use an example from my own family – Mormonism. Which amounted to people following (without question) Joseph Smith – and after he was killed by an angry mob – his son Joseph Smith III.

Back then, in the 1820s, the Media was the Printing Press – and when Smith published his Book of Mormon – people could see he was a Prophet of God. A role that he adopted easily.

Since then the Media has been greatly amplified – by Radio, then Television, then the Computer.

People can see they are no longer in control – something else is, and they are willing (indeed, eager) to be governed by it. Whatever it is.

Trump has stepped into this vacuum, and proclaimed himself, as its embodiment. Not all Americans believe him – but enough do to keep him in power.

The Importance of Medea in the Theatre, Psychology, and Philosophy

I am listening to The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition

Medea (Play) in Wikipedia

Professor Robinson spends a whole lesson on the Greek Tragic Theatre, which he knows very well. He has added a new word  to my vocabulary – chthonic. A world very difficult to pronounce – because the ch sound is followed by the th sound. Understanding what means is difficult also – but after listing to him twice, I almost understand what is means – at a gut level.

Medea is an example of the primitive female (capable of great good and great harm) in literature, including Shakespeare.

Physically Disabled Woman with a Sharp Mind


You gotta watch this.

This gal is so disabled she has to get around in a mechanized chair – but she is successful in every way, and travels frequently in her job.

Chuck Berry, Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneer, Dies at 90

NY Times

I had a sheltered childhood – not too far from St.Louis, in miles – but another world entirely, in terms of popular music.

We had black people, in Ft.Madison, Iowa – but they were respectable people – even more respectable than the whites.

Chuck Berry was not respectable – but was a hero for many teenagers, black and white. Something the Rural MidWest, that I was from, could not comprehend.

This Rural Midwest, as I have labeled it, contained cities such as Kansas City and Cleveland.

But not Chicago and St.Louis. They were out of bounds for us.