Godel's Proof and The Human Condition - The Basic Essays

'Business' and 'Making money'

companion piece to
'Sustainable Resource Use' and
The Nature of Civilization and Government/Economy under Thus-far Human Evolution

'American free-enterprise, capitalist democracy and the right to make as much money as you can and spend it any way you choose' (as long as there's no law against it :-) is the single agency of greatest per_capita resource/environment destruction and waste in the history of man.
The evolution of tools and knowledge can generally be viewed as representative of the evolution of civilization, a 'machine that goes by itself' self-reflexively in (a) 'successively intelligencing resource/environment use' and (b) 'an easing of life'. 'Resource/environment use' and 'ease of life' are dynamically interrelated then, and they depend on 'the sophistication of humans regarding eventualities of an inevitably moribunding carrying capacity'(*1). The peculiarity of thus-far human evolution however, is that it is also that, continuing, of a new, initially primitive and fundamentally pecking-ordered vertebrate diasporating into an econiche'(*2), thus knowledge of this situation comes about only by 'ignorantly hitting the wall' -circumstances effectively precipitating and forcing observation, or thru 'forcefully intelligencing observation' -circumstantiality, and 'learning to think about things in advance'. 'Lifestyle and the quality of life', in other words, is to a great degree still pecking-order-based in spite of 'existing knowledge and tools regarding those eventualities'; civilization is, rather, then, at a stage of 'cerebratively primitive' population growth, environment invasion and resource consumption, a stage of 'diasporatively and wantonly cheap natural resources and labor'.

Distinctly apart from human cooperation then ('Note' below -*5), pecking order generally identifies what power one has for determining (a) 'superiority of lifestyle and quality of life' with respect to others of a people, and (b -implicit) what least one has to do to maintain and even expand that in addition. Thus, in modern government/economies, money is power, and power, money, and 'You make as much money as you can with least effort you can' out of (c) the nature of government and its 'expression' (influence) or out of (d -economics) 'the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services' where the how and what of 'production et cetera' ('government' an evolving service) are 'optable' or manipulable to effect the pecking order of 'whom'(*3). -Crucial here is that it is not possible to "Make as much money as I can and spend it any way I choose (as long as I do nothing illegal :-)" except out of 'diasporatively cheap natural resources and labor ' One 'makes money' and 'earns a living' in general, then, by working in either already existing 'production, distribution and consumption of goods and services' that support lifestyle-and-quality' (or so purport), or (and apart from the advance of science and technology)-

One makes money by 'conjuring' 'New and Improved!' goods and services into existence, goods and services that are 'Faster, Cheaper and Work Better!' (or 'Make you more money!)' than you already have or competitors sell' -a machine that goes by itself, inevitably, in goods and services 'YOU NEED AND DESERVE!' -anything that makes money, in other words, 'easy come, easy go', without respect to validity or merit -derivatives, eventually, making money by betting on the outcomes of money-making betting??? -*4).
-thus 'the business of making money' rarely entails any consideration of how it affects the resource/environment or posterity, the primary concerns being 'Is it doable?' and 'Does it make money?' -'carving wealth out of the wilderness' for example -strip-mining, clear-cutting, land-developing and snow-mobiling too -and necessarily then, it includes government and crime too where 'the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services' is influence, subversion and the evasion of government in favor of making money:
American free-enterprise, capitalist democracy and the right to make as much money as you can and spend it any way you choose -as long as there's no law against it! (that too, free-enterprise optable, however :-)
-and all at the mindless waste of 'diasporatively and wantonly cheap natural resources and labor'.

One day, someone of the future will ask "What did they think they were doing?"

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First posted: February 9, 2002; Last updated: December 17, 2003

*1 - Modern man is relatively unaware of the effect he has on the resource/environment of his 'whole-world/econiche' -that, for the seriousness of its implications to his existence, it can be viewed only in 'geological time-frame' sense -much the same as 'an epoch of the Cenozoic era', for example. (-from Global Warming and Other Geological Time-frame Matters of Economic Interest
*2 - The "peculiarity of ... a new, initially primitive and fundamentally pecking-ordered vertebrate diasporating into an econiche" is discussed in Evolutionary Framework Factors, Part 2 of The Nature and Course of Human Evolution as The Basis of Economic Policy.
*3 - nor should it go unnoticed that not only is money, power, and power, money, but that that necessarily means international power too -a history of wars -see Evolution, Autonomy and Aristocratization
*4 - Regarding 'validity or merit of goods and or services'-
Thruout the world, people are primarily concerned with the 'value' of an item or service where, typically -'vital necessity' notwithstanding, value is a matter of highly personal, pecking-order-based 'lifestyle-and-quality' expression in a society of related such 'assessments' that have nothing to do with what may be 'best' for a people in a larger framework. This material -'validity and merit' vs 'value', is discussed in
Unemployment and Economic Policy

A Note On Human Cooperation-
Not of concern in this essay but of the utmost importance to human existence are the congregational and cooperative aspects of 'human-being' that are inherent of almost all warm-blooded cerebrating vertebrates and without which, in fact, there would be no 'continuing evolution of the human phenomenon and things human' -civilization, 'tools and knowledge' et cetera. The only material of concern here then, is the 'substance' of 'business and making money' in civilization today, the agency (business) thru which one is a member of society by fact of doing something 'society needs done' in exchange for 'the medium of exchange' as opposed to, and not of concern here, doing 'nothing' for society and being either supported by it in some way or by 'gleaning' an existence as an outsider to it. The 'issue' then, is that because of the pecking order in our 'warm-blooded cerebrating vertebrate origins' and our 'only thus-far evolution as a new organism diasporating into its econiche', there is a mechanicalism of resource/environment use in operation that is of profoundly pejorative influence to the 'best well-being and viability of the organism-whole' -'mechanicalism'? -yes, as opposed to 'foresightedness' -see The Circumstantial Complexity of Today's 'Thus-far Pecking-Order-Based, Diasporation Economics' (appendix to companion piece 'Sustainable Resource Use') and The Nature of Civilization and Government.