There is a story (probably apocryphal, like most good stories) that when Mikhail Gorbachev tried to resuscitate the moribund Soviet economy, he sent one of his chief aids to London to find out what Thatcherism was all about, and how a capitalist system actually functioned. The hosts took their Soviet visitor on a tour of the City, of the London stock exchange and of the London School of Economics, where he had lengthy talks with bank managers, entrepreneurs and professors. After a few hours, the Soviet expert burst out: ‘Just one moment, please. Forget about all these complicated economic theories. We have been going back and forth across London for a whole day now, and there’s one thing I cannot understand. Back in Moscow, our finest minds are working on the bread supply system, and yet there are such long queues in every bakery and grocery store. Here in London live millions of people, and we have passed today in front of many shops and supermarkets, yet I haven’t seen a single bread queue. Please take me to meet the person in charge of supplying bread to London. I must learn his secret.’ The hosts scratched their heads, thought for a moment, and said: ‘Nobody is in charge of supplying bread to London.’
—Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari.
Today when you say “capitalism” your opponent says “look what happened to America”—as if America is the most impoverished country on earth. When you talk of “responsibility” you get “but Man has no Free Will”—perhaps they are alluding to how you cannot not read a word in a language you know how to, like “doggy” for e.g. However, why is then you feel a mental effort and “slowness” when asked to multiply 23 with 47 only in your head? Try it and see if you feel the effort of holding the output from the previous steps in memory as you move to the next step in solving the equation. How is you can do that, if not by using your free will. Moving on.
When you point out wealth and success of a great business, they remind you “but what about the homeless on the streets?”—as if the one with the wealth took it all at gunpoint. And if you suggest that anybody can attain wealth and success by creating value you are asked “what value has bill mark Zuckerberg’s son created?”—as if Zuckerberg writing a billion dollar check to his luckiest sperm is an impediment to everyone else looking to create value.
When you talk of freedoms—from government, off speech and thought, you are told “but people will not behave”—as if everyone alive is an colossal idiot except the one making the statement.
To weight lifting their answer is yoga—and an expectation that you will just agree and nod, how can you question this “ancient and magical practice”. Just like you are expected to act as if “women’s reservation” is the ultimate discussion of merit.
Confused, partial, emotional-thinking is how people come to conclusions about the most important matters today. And anyone who knows better is expected to nod in agreement as if life is but an facebook wall where an unlike button is simply not an option. Unfortunately for some that is indeed their reality.
But what do I know of these complex things you might ask, and my humble response is somewhere along the way reading psychology from psychologists and economics from economists and culture from cultural critics, whatever that means becomes too narrow and all the cross disciplined “connecting the dots” goes out the window.
I declare myself neither of these and hence can be all of these. Reminds me of Tyler Durden’s “it’s only after you have lost everything that you are free to do anything”.All I strive to do is but to rant in these pages what society has made impossible outside of it. So if a modern 21st century young man’s ranting on psychology, culture and economics with a lot of swearing and sex and fucking, probably some drugs and a dream of traveling (+fucking) is what you think you might enjoy (and you might just enjoy it more than you think) then stay and have a look around.