I fucked with the title a bit. What i linked to was actually a mastodon post linking to an actual thing. but in my defense, i found it because cory doctorow boosted it, so, in a way, i am providing the original source here.

please argue. please do not remove.

  • TheFriar
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    5 months ago

    Some good points here.

    And I’d argue that the for-profit aspect of every single one of those institutions has corrupted and degraded the purpose and quality of each. For-profit news turned what was once a public service into what we have today: agenda-driven corporations tarnishing information for their own ends. Universities driving kids into lifelong debt. And in the case of the Covid vaccine, they took public funds and then privatized the medicine for profit.

    Profit corrupted every single one of these fields.

    Im not saying that a profit motive absolutely negates any positive outcome. But eliminating the profit motive eliminates selfishness. Profit is the end goal. And think about any example you can in which something good came out of a company’s desire for profit. Any example has immediate diminishing returns because while putting a new vaccine, say, onto the market that was driven by a company’s profit motive immediately loses the benefit for the greater good because it’s not the end goal. The end goal is profit. So access for the poor is immediately out of reach. Because of profit.

    The motivation for development might have been driven by profit, and new discoveries come about from a company’s r&d. Great. But immediately a problem occurs when access is limited to funds. So I see what you’re saying, capitalists love to say “competition spurs innovation,” but that only goes so far, if it’s even true in the first place.

    And think about public development of anything—it’s immediately sold to the highest bidder and paywalled. How about Volvo and the three point seatbelt. Did profit motive drive the discovery of that feature? Presumably, to some degree. But they immediately made it accessible to all by eliminating the profit motive for the greater good. If hey had decided to patent it and only sell it for profit to other manufacturers, it’s a detriment to he greater good.

    So again, I’m not saying that nothing good has ever been discovered or created via a profit motive, but I am saying that it corrupts the reader good by exploiting need for profit. See what I’m saying? So you’re not entirely wrong, but it’s a ethical philosophy question. When your motives are selfish/corrupt, your deeds aren’t good, even if good may come about. The motives are corrupt, so any good is nullified by said profit motive.

    We can talk about what the world would look like today if humanity was always cooperative instead of implementing capitalism, what would the Industrial Revolution have looked like, etc. And maybe capitalism was, at some point, the best thing for humanity to progress. But it always should’ve been a stepping stone TO a system for the greater good. Instead, the profit motive has corrupted humanity and made a system that exploits everyone possible. Exploitation is rewarded under a system that places profit above everything else. They say you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, and I think that maybe applies to capitalism’s place in human history. Maybe it was necessary to bring about progress in the early 20th century (although the robber barons/gilded age would suggest it was too great a price to pay), but I’d argue that, as it exists today, the profit motive is harmful and needs to be done away with. Because it runs contrary to the greater good. They are diametrically opposed.