We appear to be obsessed with results (further explained here)—the outcome of our activities—while we generally give little attention to the activity itself. Why?
The Process is Irrelevant
We do things for the result, the outcome—that’s it! The result is what we are after, what we care about, is it not? More often than not the result of the activity is thought to be the point-of-it-all! So much so that for many, how results are gotten is of far less importance. Though some work very hard—demonstrating commitment to improving their knowledge and skill—we don’t bring this into focused attention. Rather what a person accomplishes is the measure and determinant of his/her worth as a person, not how he/she got the result.
We all want to realize our desired results and the accompanying rewards and adulation. And if we can’t, we at least want to associate our self with those who have. Accordingly, we celebrate and hold in high esteem people who’ve realized winning results—they are our celebrities. Why not! After all, they are winners!
Being a Winner
In this either-or-thinking society, there are but two kinds of individuals, winners and losers. There can be nothing in between: that is those who choose not to play the game are necessarily thought to be losers. It follows that being competitive is considered quite a compliment. How many people you know proudly exclaim they are quite cooperative?
A competitive—dog-eat-dog—mindset is a necessity in a capitalistic either-or-thinking society wherein nice guys finish last. Who among us wishes to be last! Moreover the winners detest those who are losers; so much so that they need to punish those who are without worth and to stop them from being on the dole—hence the push for austerity.
Casting people in society as independent individuals—no We just Me—capitalism requires each individual in society to strive to maximize (his/her) material self-interest. The internalization of this goal in life by each person is essential for capitalism (to continue) to exist. Hence why else would there be so many people structuring life as if material gain is the meaning and measure of life? More to the point, capitalism is not a system that serves the people in a society it is a system that requires the people in a society to serve it—it feeds off society like a parasite.
Capitalism emerged from a mechanistic materialistic worldview, not a living systems worldview. Accordingly, its intent is material wealth accumulation, not human development. Hence people aren’t human beings rather people are mere cogs in the machinery.
Correspondingly, with consumerism being an emergent and necessary phenomenon of capitalism, people must be hard working consumers. That is, in service to the system, we must be materially productive workers and voracious consumers.
If you doubt this, just look around. What do you see? No doubt many people doing what they can in the getting-and-spending economic system (a.k.a. rat race). What is Black Friday (and the days that follow) but the time we consumers do our bit to ensure capitalism gets feed. It’s been normalized.
Moreover, absent of a ‘We’ there can be no morality constraining ‘Me’ getting mine, for all that matters is me getting my desired result, ill-gotten or not.
Everything Is A Business
In capitalism all human need satisfaction must be framed as an economic exchange. In this way capitalist can exploit and extract so much more from society.
As previously explained, far too many business executives are trained technocrats with a mechanistic materialistic worldview wherein mastery over Nature and others is the way toward maintaining the effectiveness of the profit-producing machinery. That is, effective business leaders are results oriented, who drive (others) for results managing performance by measuring it against numerical goals. Accordingly, those in authority within corporations—often referred to as the business-minded—seem to be addicted to getting their desired results quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year.
It is so much so that the attainment of profit is thought to be a right. And the rights of business must not be denied! There is no mercy shown for those (individuals or countries) who get in the way.
If this was not so, then the credibly established pattern of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), which is seriously endangering the viability of life on this planet, would be sufficient to give those in authority pause on their pursuit of year-to-year insatiable material wealth accumulation. Seemingly they can’t stop! They literally cannot see that the continued practice of capitalism is opposing life.
The press is addicted to getting their results—maximum profit—assured by serving corporate interests. After all corporate advertisers are the source of revenue! Therefore, the quality of service the press provides—news to inform, if not educate the public—is subordinated to the real intent of maximizing advertising revenue that requires being in the business of propaganda. The increasing frequent and intensified climate disasters get reported as ‘breaking news’ as a means of grabbing viewers, but the disaster’s relationship to climate change is never addressed. Clearly there can be no ‘free press’ when what is reported is constrained if not dictated by the interests of corporate (advertisers) whose business model rests upon exploitation and extraction. The press can no longer be a free press once it becomes a purely economic enterprise.
In a similar fashion, the institution of education is morphing into an education industry. The push for the privatization of public education is evidence of this. It is an industry that produces workers for other industries. Effectually, education becomes an economic activity. As such, the relationship between educational institution and student is framed as an economic transaction whereby the value in the exchange is material gain. In this business-to-customer (or is it cog) relationship, learning to think critically and learning how to learn no longer comprise education’s intent. Cogs need to be shaped to fit the machinery they have no need to learn how to learn. Seemingly, everyone is happy when each gets the desired results—forget about the process of learning!
Addiction Enslaves Us & Diminishes Life
When one is addicted to something then that something takes on so much importance in one’s life that getting/having that something can consume life itself. That is, the focus of one’s addiction becomes the focus of one’s life. Being all consuming of life itself, it can control us and make us slaves to getting/having that thing to which we are addicted. Welcome to the rat race. The effect is we are inhibited from developing our humanness; and a humanly productive society rests upon each of us doing so.
In a capitalist society, with no morality as a guide if not a constraint, it’s no holds barred competition. The result is society becomes a brutal inhumane place—think Hunger Games on steroids—comprised of relatively fewer and fewer winners and an ever increasing number of losers.
But no one wishes to be a loser! Yet we know the worst that can befall a person is that he/she comes to think ill of him/her self. Now that’s a result few, if any, can live with—except those who provide us with pills for symptomatic relief.