Why Pragmatism Should Beat Capitalism and Consumerism Every Time

Woody Tasch/Video screen capture

The other day, I lamented that in the upcoming Presidential Election, neither party was seriously talking about ways to work less. And yet the evidence keeps piling up that we work too hard.

In my post, I suggested that talking about working less, sharing more, or generally reprioritizing our relationship with money does not necessarily have to be an anti-capitalist stance. And it doesn't.

So long as we are talking about capitalism with a small "c".

But it does mean taking on the notion of Capitalism as a be-all-and-end-all of human wellbeing. In fact, it means taking on Socialism while we are at it. And Consumerism too.

Which leaves us simply with one "ism" worth keeping—pragmatism.

We need to refocus our attention not on what ideology we wish to follow—but rather what solutions work best. And that means we need to stop making a false distinction between "the economy" and that thing we call "life".

As I argued before in my smuttily titled missive—Why Masturbation Is An Economic Act—the real economy is not, cannot, and never will be confined to the monetary economy. From opening a door for a stranger to helping out a neighbor, or enjoying the sunset, true wealth lies in the resources and experiences available to us. Some of these, we put dollar signs on. Others, we don't have to.

As all sides in this election continue to talk about the economy in cold, absolute, and jingoistically "card carrying capitalist" terms—let's try to remember that the real economy is bigger than we realize. We don't need to wait for any elected representative to stimulate it. We just need to look around us and start helping each other out.

Not convinced? Here's a little video from the Slow Money folks that offers an alternative to all the ISMs that are out there.

I'd love to see this get some attention on the campaign trail.

Tags: Activism | Ecology | Economics