Social Awareness


Capitalism is a system based upon greed, greed for power, for luxury, for adventure. Their proponents on the whole are not the black hearted villains old time revolutionaries loved to hate, but the system itself is of an insidious nature. Even the best hearted employer cannot ignore what his competitors are doing, whether legal or not. If everybody dumps his waste wherever possible and thus cutting costs, even an environmentally minded employer will be hard put not to follow suit. Sometimes he may find acceptable solutions, sometimes he may prefer to accept what appears to him the inevitable, generally he will do as everybody does.
  The intelligent entrepreneur will support the efforts of green groups and so while earning brownie points for good behaviour also achieve a level starting position with his competitors. If he doesn't succeed, he will join in the destruction.
Any employer will limit his expenses to the best of his abilities, wages among them. But while he will pay his own employees as little as he can, he will support his rivals' employees demands for "decent" wages. Unless idiocy prevails, most employers will go on accepting that the continued prosperity of their own companies requires adequate remuneration of their workforces.
Still, a trend of breaking the influence of the trade unions through personal contracts can be seen best in the non traditional high-tech sectors. While wages are very good for these workers as demand still outweighs supply, should this situation change, they will have to face their employers on their own and their position will be weakened.

Trade unions are vital to a properly functioning economic system. They even out the imbalance of influence between workers and management. Unions shouldn't achieve stranglehold positions, but their continued existence is imperative. Of late, many employees have abandoned membership, as they couldn't perceive any benefits resulting from it. This attitude is extremely short sighted. Many social achievements of organized labour have become law in the industrialized countries. But just as laws can be enacted, they can be abolished.

Capitalism is quite good at solving short term problems. But sometimes the feedback it relies upon, is too slow. When you have to satisfy rather short sighted stockholders, you can rarely afford to take a long term view. This must be imposed upon them by law and strictly enforced, not easy in the face of the common interest between capitalists and the consuming citizens. Capitalism has a "dog eat dog" philosophy and must be closely watched. We should never forget, that the economy and its accompanying -isms exist for mankind and not the other way around.

A return to 19th century conditions is improbable, as long as people are aware of history. With the deterioration of the schoolsystem we see a lessening in this awareness. Let us hope we won't be forced to repeat the mistakes of our past.


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