Friday, August 12, 2016

Science and Capitalism

Many people in the business community claim that they create prosperity and that nobody else does. They are wrong. Most of what business sells is technology; and technology is based on science, which is a government-funded, majority liberal endeavor. Science is at the root of most of what business sells. And without science, capitalism would be nothing more than an exchange of basic commodities at the level it was in Persia.

Why are most scientists liberal? Because science practices the ethic of service to humanity. Most scientists work very hard at their education – and harder in their capacity as professors and researchers – and do not get very much money for it. Instead the money goes to the businesses who turn the work of scientists into profit. Business should be credited with seeing opportunity but not with authoring the work.

This means that business makes its money based on work that was done by the scientists; and it is science and not business that deserves credit for the resulting prosperity. Science being a government-funded endeavor, this means the following:

That the government – and especially the liberal “elites” - deserves credit for much of the money made and the jobs created.

I wanted to be a scientist; but when I attended the university, academic funding was being cut, and people were being discouraged from academic careers. This was especially in the field of psychology that was my greatest interest. I finished University of Virginia at age 18 and went into the computer industry. That was OK for a while; then the field crashed, and I was unemployed or underemployed the following decade. I've seen both the good face and the bad face of capitalism, as much as I've seen of socialism, having lived in both USSR and Australia. And I neither support nor oppose either system.

Instead I seek this: A positive middle path. Not just any middle path, as middle can be found in all sorts of undesirable places, but a positive path that combines the virtues of both sides while doing away with the wrongs in each. People should have the benefit of economic opportunity and prosperity that comes with capitalism; they should also have the benefit of vibrant science, affordable education and health care, job security and a social safety net.

Is it true, as some claim, that the government does not create jobs? Putting people to work to build roads is creating jobs. So is funding science and education. And then there is this little matter of business creating work that is based on science – meaning, based on the government. So that when say Margaret Thatcher says that the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money, she forgets the ultimate source of the money that is being made.

I am fully in support of people's rights to run businesses – both small and large - and pursue economic opportunity. But let us not forget whose work it is that is behind the money these businesses make. Science is the ultimate source of prosperity; and it is time that it deserve credit for it and be funded – and valued - appropriately to its usefulness for the civilization.


Post a Comment

<< Home