Is capitalism the root of our decline as a civilization? This question is vitally important: if we identify the wrong culprit, the decline will continue unchecked.
Normally it is best to ignore any trope of the Left, and the idea that capitalism is the source of all of our problems is a longstanding Leftist mantra. It seems like they say it in order to avoid looking at other problems we have.
And then there are some credible sources who say capitalism is a problem, or more clearly that capitalism and socialism are two sides to the same coin. Somewhere in here is a defense of Socialism and the assertion that the USA controls the world thanks to its victory in WWII, and that this is the root of most problems.
First, on Capitalism: (1) it is clear that this is superior to every other system of economics, and so to want socialism or any of the many variants thereof is insanity, but (2) economic systems are unhealthy substitutes for leadership, culture, morality and social order.
Capitalism substitutes for leadership through the democracy-trope that whatever creates jobs or brings in profit is worth pursuing. Thus we go off to war, or adopt brain-damaged social policies, merely because hiring might occur.
In the same way it is no substitute for social order. Western society was healthier when we choose good people and gave them the money and power, instead of noticing who had money and power and rationalizing that they must be the best. Economics is a test of randomness, luck and timing among other things, and excellence in it does not in itself signify competence as a leader.
When you have stiff-lipped upper classes running the show, comprised of the people whose instinct and intellect led them instinctually toward necessary acts in the past, a hierarchy exists that enforces high standards on its citizens by having a group of examples with discerning judgment.
In the same way, it is insane to have capitalism substitute for culture. Hollywood is not great literature, and Justin Bieber is not Beethoven. Classical music, art and literature thrived under the kings and have slowly faded away under democracy, just like genius.
What makes both capitalism and socialism dangerous is that people tend to use them as substitutes for leadership, morality, social order and culture. Why do they do that? There are two culprits that come to mind, with one evil hiding behind them.
First, democracy makes it impossible to choose a cultural path consistently. That is the point of democracy: it is constant disruption and compromise so that extreme action (Hitler!!!1!) is never taken. What is done for four years, then goes away, and so nothing timeless or optimal remains.
Second, diversity makes it impossible to have cultural standards because the many groups of the multiculture are warring it out, hoping their own standards win out, and the only strategy for the society itself is to “dumb down” standards to a “lowest common denominator” that includes all — notice how most people get wide-eyed at this word — different group, which is to say: no standard.
Finally we approach the hidden evil that exists at a lower level than even democracy. We cannot have social order at all because it conflicts with the idea of equality. Equality itself is a proxy for individualism, which is what happens when the human heart turns against reality from fear of the risk of being wrong in its conjectures.
He is correct when he refers to the governments of USA and Norway as Communist. Democracy is just an early stage of Communism; in fact, the first stage is the replacement of the rule by men with rule by laws which are then interpreted dishonestly by men, allowing the collusion of special interests that brings about full Communism. Communism is a spectrum, like infection with a militant disease, and any small amount quickly leads to a total takeover and fatal loss of the patient.
And this brings us back to what is actually wrong in the West. Capitalism is not it; socialism, as an egalitarian system, is part of it but not its only manifestation. The root of our problem is collective insanity brought on by individualism and the social pressures it creates.
The only counteraction to this is a strong reinforcement of realism, which produces a natural hierarchy. This scares people because it is beastly and lawless, without morality. The only way to survive is to adopt nature within ourselves, to recognize we are part of it and we need a “beast within.”
The following provides a great and simple example of integrating human order with natural organization:
A forest garden in the way this man and his wife created it is the opposite of equality, democracy and diversity; instead, it is many unequal things in unequal roles (where diversity is unequal things in the same role, like the “classless society” which invariably lives up to its name). This addresses the root of our problem, philosophically; we have exiled nature from within the human heart.
The cause of this exile is not capitalism but individualism, and the tendency of successful societies to produce brats. Brats are people who are both spoiled and feel their lives are pointless. The more power they demand, the more their lack of purpose haunts them. This is why brats always become abusive.
Modernity began with The Enlightenment.™ That in turn enshrined as the principle of the West the exact opposite of its founding principle, which was reality-based learning. Instead, categories and appearances — in the Asiatic way of thinking — dominated. Diversity is death and this early form of diversity cursed us.