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Web Letters | The Nation

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Let's work less to live better

The problem of the modern world is not America but capitalism. Simply said, capitalism has fulfilled its historic role and is not useful any longer.

Capitalism has served as the engine of economic development for centuries, but we don’t need such rapid development any longer.

Capitalism has become intertwined with the consumerism. Today excessive spending represents a deadly danger to our world.

The human population has grown so much that it is pushing our planet’s resources to the very limits.

Let’s imagine the potential consequences. Let’s imagine that capitalism managed to develop the whole world to the American level and that 8 or 9 billion people are using as much goods as an average New Yorker, for example. Just imagine the pollution, the global warming and the depletion of Earth’s basic resources like clean water or arable land.

It means that humans have to rein in capitalism and revitalize faith and its lessons—moderation, control of craving control, piousness, modesty, stronger character and morality.

We have to reverse the consumption trends until we have the chance. If we can’t do it pre-emptively, bloody wars over the scarce resources will control our future.

This means we don’t need commercials that incite us to spend more.

We need preachers, not  salesmen.

What we need are preachers willing to fight against the capitalism that completely distorted our system of values. Just compare our moral codes from a century ago to what we have today. Just compare the spending per capita. Just compare who is in control of our morality.

Why did preachers abandon their obligations without any fight?

Practically, preachers should stop being supportive of politicians who are the pawns of reckless consumerism. If preachers don’t lead this fight, nobody will…

If we as a society are far more productive than we have ever been, a single working parent should be enough to support the family. In that case, a spouse could stay home and actually do parenting, preventing the Hollywood celebrities from fulfilling that role due to our chronic job-related absence.

The less the families make, the less they would spend. The less we spend, the latter we will run out of limited resources. The less we work, the less stressful we are going to be and the better life we will have.

It would be a win-win-win situation.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Dec 15 2010 - 10:54am

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