Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The American and a Mexican (or any "inferior" race) on Capitalism

Defining success in capitalist society ...

We take it for granted, without much reflection, that we have to materially make it as much and as fast as we could; so we work smart and hard, have 2-3 jobs, suck to the bosses, etc or we establish our own business, badmouth the competition, cut corners, maltreat our employees, etc. We join "high society" clubs, show off our big houses, dress in fancy clothes, wear eye-catching earrings, ride our nice car to church, and enjoy onlookers salivate, etc. Then we ask our generous God for more........ Then we die.

When we were younger, in the late teens or early twenties, did we ever pause to think: what is the meaning of life? To the believer, he sees his God as his everything, his crutch. To the existentialist, he finds that God is dead, or he sees life as absurd and does whatever or kills himself; or he goes out to give meaning to his life.

Sometimes, we started off early and have been completely focused in the rat race to reach the top that we rediscover (hopefully) such questions when we get more maturity and wisdom.

(BTW, above observations are based on earned wealth, not stolen wealth via corruption or other; though the objectives of conspicuous consumption, etc. are the same).

Story about the American introducing the Mexican to capitalism follows.


The American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.

The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, only a little while.The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of yourtime?"The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery.

You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

"The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years.""But what then?"

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions.. Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."--

"You show me a capitalist, I'll show you a bloodsucker" - Malcolm X, 1965"

"Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot coexist in the same man or in the same society" - Ayn Rand, 1961

"The chief business of America is business" - President Calvin Coolidge, 1925

"The glory of the United States is business" - Wendell L. Willkie, 1936

"What else do bankers do -- walk-in and turn-off the lights in the country." - William Slee, 1978

Riches (noun). A gift from Heaven signifying "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." - John D. Rockefeller, 1898

"People who are greedy have extraordinary capacities for waste - they must, they take in too much" - Norman Mailer, 1968

“There is no higher RELIGION than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.'' - Albert Schweitzer, 1875-1965, German Born Medical Missionary, Theologian, Musician, and Philosopher

"It is an eternal obligation toward the human being not to let him suffer from HUNGER when one has a chance of coming to his assistance." - Simone Weil, 1910-1943, French Philosopher, Mystic

“You know your god is man-made if it hates the same people you do.” – UseNet

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