by Nick Andrea
Our economic system is failing because of a cultural problem called the “profit motive,” or, the desire to accumulate more than we need. At some point it became ingrained in the cultural overmind that in order to have enough we needed to get more than the next guy, to “get ahead,” as it were. This has led from one form of slavery to another. And, yes, slavery still exists today. Just go to Walmart.
Yet, the profit motive is delusional because life is naturally non-profit. What we take with us when we die is spiritual, not material. We have to give it all up, eventually, so there is nothing to gain in life but life itself. Money supports that, but is not that.
I envision a world attuned to this truth, where monetary gain is no longer the the primary motivator but more of a byproduct. Yes, we need a certain amount of money to live, just like we need food, water, and shelter. However, is having those things enough to be spiritually satisfied? If we are not enjoying what we’re doing, if we are not inspired by the people we work with, if we are not living authentically, then what will all the money in the world do for us?
No, money alone cannot buy our happiness. Is it possible, therefore, to imagine a society whose work ethic is about doing something gratifying, something creative, perhaps, that reaches beyond our individual selves? Is it possible that the love of what we do, that the creativity we embody, that our authentic expression become the values driving our vocational choices?
If we want to nurse our economic system back to health we have to change our values. No policy change is going to help us until that happens.