Capital - Part 1
The ultimate goal of The Nananke Iris is to shine a spotlight on exemplary expressions of passion and to encourage people to challenge the societal structures that stand in the way of individuals reaching their full potential.
As such, the inaugural post, broken into three parts spread over the coming three weeks, aims to set the stage for future topics of discussion by providing our point of view on three major issues of concern:
What are the fundamental issues with our current societal and governmental frameworks?
Who are the people most affected by these structures as they stand?
How can we resolve these issues, serve the people most negatively affected and ultimately create more stable communities?
All points are made under the caveat that we do not claim to have a perfect understanding of or solution to the problems within the systems currently in place. However, we do wish to bring some resolve to the mentalities that have been negatively influenced by the governing structures, which can be likened to Adam Smith's “Invisible Hand”, that tend to dictate how much a person can achieve in his or her lifetime.
Today we have two main systems vying for dominance as the prescribed governance models:
The hand of the free market known as Capitalism
The hand of government controlled distribution of profits known as Socialism.
The former preaches the unequivocal value of the holy dollar and focuses on continuous consumption (and often times over consumption) to drive economic Darwinism, while the latter aims to strip away individual differences to promote the balance of society though controlled growth. The line between these two systems fades, however, as the doctrines that are preached and the ones practiced by those in power follow a common trend of favoring those at the top. After a few generations are subject to one system or the other, individuals either buy into the established order to successfully gain socioeconomic upward mobility, or they fall prey to the system and struggle to earn a living on the fringes of the market.
The twist on social justice emerges when we consider what happens to the youth on either extremes of society, the friends of the powerful versus the general citizens. Many believe that no child should be left behind. However, instead of creating and preserving a solid structure to guide the growth of our youth, we make it all too easy for children to fall into the infrastructural cracks that form in a society that is propelled by an Invisible Hand whose digits favor some more than others.
As we continue to question exactly who that Hand represents, we find that it is in fact the moral outlines of those in the halls of power, guiding the flow of capital throughout society. It should be clear, however, that this Hand we refer to is not only manifest in overtly capitalist economies, but is also seen in autocratic, communist, and even socialist regimes alike. The Hand is in fact an extension of those that have the most influence over the government and military that enforces the value of the capital we use in society. Thus the Hand, more often than not, favors the leaders of the organizations responsible for controlling the largest proportions of capital flows throughout the surrounding markets. Over time a battleground forms at the heels of this fight for dominance in the marketplace with each party vying for more control over whom the Hand will favor. But as we might expect, have seen throughout history, and are experiencing in the present day, the flow of capital always concentrates on the people at the top, pushing those that should be able to offset the Hand’s power down to the very bottom where they struggle to survive. This can be seen in the vastly different growth rates for average worker pay rate, CEO pay, and the consumer price index.
Nobility versus the peasantry, corporations versus the workers, governments versus the citizens, oligarchies versus the unions – In every one of these examples, who ends up winning the battle?
At the end of the day, we all lose.
As the inequality grows, the fringes of society expand and start itching for change, or a spark to set the whole system ablaze.
Over the coming weeks The Nananke Iris will continue to investigate the issues facing society as a whole, illuminate the groups affected most notably by the inequalities seen throughout, and provide insight into the solution our group hopes to bring to the systems and peoples currently being underserved by the Hand.