Love or Lucre

“We can’t solve our problems at the same level of thinking that created them.” — Albert Einstein

Einstein’s quote rings true as we grapple with the stark realities of wealth disparity. Capitalism, a system born from lower-level thinking, has created a world where a few control wealth, leaving the vast majority to suffer. Only about 8 million people register a personal net worth surpassing $5 million, a mere 0.1% of the global population, equivalent to the population of New York City. Consider the rest, struggling with impossible dilemmas stemming from financial inequality; 99.9% of people never enjoy the true benefits capitalism promises.

Born from a specific historical context and a bygone era, capitalism struggles to address issues like extreme inequality, a direct consequence of its own logic. This imbalance exposes a fundamental flaw. This “level of thinking” for a social model fails to deliver true benefits to most. The immense wealth disparity exposes the system’s flaws. This is a far cry from progress. We need a higher level approach to tackle the problems born from capitalism’s lower level thinking.

 Capitalism breeds not humans, but an elite, kings and dictators living in a world of privilege far removed from the daily struggles of most. The true benefits of capitalism, reserved for a select few, breed a sense of entitlement rather than fostering a society where everyone can thrive.

Empathy, not profit, should be the driving force in our social model. True humanity performs in constant empathy. True progress hinges on decisions rooted in pure love, a stark contrast to the self-serving mentality associated with capitalism. Our every decision, every action, should be filtered through the lens of pure love. Compassion compels us to consider the human cost of economic decisions. Here, all humans and animal can flourish joyfully, not just a privileged few.

However, implementing such a system is complex. This is a radical shift. Capitalism thrives on competition, self-interest, and maximising profit. Can human nature consistently prioritise empathy over self-interest? Perhaps the answer lies in a hybrid approach. Capitalism, with its emphasis on innovation, can co-exist with safeguards against inequality. We can harness the power of compassion to guide regulations and resource allocation, fostering a system that prioritises human well-being alongside economic growth. Imagine if every business leader considered the human and animal impact alongside the bottom line. Perhaps wages would reflect a living standard, not just shareholder returns. Environmental practices might prioritise sustainability over short-term gains. This shift wouldn’t eliminate ambition or innovation, but would refocus its purpose toward a more balanced society. But a complete overhaul might gradually be necessary. 

Einstein’s wisdom compels us to evolve our thinking. A system that prioritises human well-being over profit margins could be the “higher level thinking” Einstein envisioned. Whether it’s a compassionate capitalism or something new, the goal remains: building a system where everyone, not just the privileged few, can thrive. Embracing compassion could be the key to unlocking such a future. While the ideal might seem utopian, the current order is producing undeniable suffering and is leading to mass extinction. So, do we vote for the forever empathy or the final empire?