Wednesday, January 16, 2013

16 of 95: Making sense, making money - what's the difference?

16. Already, companies that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, are no longer speaking to anyone.

[Part 15]

Since this is a bit of a repetition of #14 and #15,  there is some room for going freestyle and doing something impromptu. And since I've gotten reactions to my focus on capitalism, I'm going to impromptly answer the question: what's the deal with capitalism?

Or, rather, what's my deal with it.

The thing about it is that it defines so very much of the world we live in. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the societies we live in - they are all produced by the means, methods and logics of capitalism. That is, the food you're eating isn't made for eating, but for profit. The clothes you're wearing weren't made for protecting you from the wind and the cold and the gazes of others - but for profit. And more and more of the society you live in is geared towards the making of profits rather than anything else - which makes it a big deal in the grander schemes of things.

Understanding this is key to understanding a whole range of other issues. But you can't get from a to c without taking a gander at b.

What these theses do - among other things - is to point out that the logic of capitalism has gone a tad bit too far. That there is a telos other than the "let's make money!" of capitalism. And that we can take the institutions of capitalism - companies, especially - and transform them into something better. Something that is socially relevant, rather than just of relative interest when the profit margin is concerned.

Or, to paraphrase the thesis of today: if you only speak in the dog-and-pony language of money, you're not making any sense at all. No matter how much profit you're making.

The difference between making sense and making money is more subtle than it would seem. But we will return to that as we continue forward.

I'll see you tomorrow for part seventeen.

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