Category Archives: philosophy

Capitalism and socialism: The third way

This called-for “third economic way” has been a subconscious interest of mine since watching Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson debate last year. I recently came across the question again, this time in the context of global sustainability.

I view the United States as a historically capitalistic nation with socialistic checks-and-balances. This transcends anti-socialist rhetoric (for example, Trump’s) in at least one instance: the welfare state’s continuation from the 20th century.

I’m a firm believer in progress adding–not detracting–from what has been accomplished prior. I view the U.S.’s recognition of our economy’s downturns and their causes to be an excellent case-in-point for how the world will establish the most balanced economic system to date.

Does the above mean socialism will rise further in my country? Maybe. But, it likely won’t (and, in my view, shouldn’t) replace capitalistic ventures. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is bad for family business!

Marx, Rousseau, Smith, and Sartre

Marx believed that capitalist working classes would rise up and revolt against the upper classes. Rousseau believed humans join society upon agreement to a “socpopial contract”. Adam Smith advocated for laissez-faire economics, believing that an “invisible hand” could correct such an economy toward equilibrium.

The Qur’an states that the oppressed have rights to defend themselves from oppressors. Are socioeconomic upper classes rightly oppressing those beneath them? Is a Marxist-style revolt justified?

Rousseau’s theory of social contract is existential (e.g., Sartrean) to the extent that being thrown into the world usually lands humans into society.

Given the above state of affairs, can lower classes voluntarily exit their (unequal, and so undesirable) social contracts? If not, and if they are being oppressed–sweatshop labor is an noncontroversial example–then they have the religious right to revolt (per Islam).

Personalism

What is “personalism”?

Last December’s series on existential humanism stated the concept of person to be a subset of human.

What does an ideology of persons–personalism–look like?

People may be said to be:

  1. Physical – People’s bodies are composed of matter. Further, people interact with other physical objects.
  2. Biological – People breathe, eat, and drink; and a great many of them fornicate and reproduce.
  3. Temporal – People are born, they live, and they die; they experience time.
  4. Cultural – People are embedded in cultures characterized by unique but shared ways of being.
  5. Social – People participate in societies consisting of concrete relations between themselves and others.
  6. Economic – People are agents who trade goods and services with one another in marketplaces.
  7. Technological – People invent and utilize tools to perform tasks they were previously unable or less able to accomplish.
  8. Artistic – People express themselves through the creation of original works such as paintings and songs.
  9. Intellectual – People aim to comprehend reality and achieve accurate understandings of it.
  10. Moral – People have unique and shared ideas of wrong versus right action.
  11. Spiritual – People seek enlightenment, wisdom, and contact with the divine or supernatural via practices such as meditation and prayer.
  12. Religious – People worship what they deem as sacred (e.g., God or Gods) through rituals and organized communion.
  13. Political – People negotiate and have interests that are in line or at odds with those of others.
  14. Athletic – Whether for fitness or organized play, people exercise their bodies and minds.
  15. Professional – People work toward particular goals, including money and satisfaction.
  16. Recreational – People enjoy leisurely activities such as taking walks and attending parties.
  17. Linguistic – People communicate via representational symbol systems characterized by semantics, syntax, and pragmatics.
  18. Psychological – People have minds and engage in behaviors. More specifically, they think, feel, are motivated, have personalities, interact with situations, sense, perceive, experience.

For the full source paper discussing the above list, visit: https://psyarxiv.com/fnjte/