A Space for Conversations
I have really enjoyed connecting with the firm intellectual social innovation community in New York over the past few months. The more I think, the more I write, the more inspiration enters my life under a myriad of guises. For example, just earlier today I had a San Pellegrino Limonata with Jeff Hittner, a Carnegie Young Fellow and founder of IBM’s CSR department who is now looking to launch his top secret new venture soon!
As for me, I am rapidly concluding that the most efficient path to success given my skill set lies within a compassionate philosophy to be shared with the intelligent nodes that operate this machine–us humans–and I am committed to involving as many perspectives as possible in the creative process. Towards this end, I would like to inaugurate the Parlor. It is a space I have created in my apartment here in the East Village, New York City, to facilitate powerful conversations.
It is also a metaphysical space on this website for individuals share their strain of philosophy, bringing this discussion online.
Phillip Lentz: “I am pro Capitalism, but I am also pro human rights. This should not be a contradiction.”
This is an introduction to my philosophy. Or at least what I have decided at this time in my life to be my belief structure. I would like to start off by saying that I am all for Capitalism, in theory and in practice. The only difference between the two is human nature. Human Nature, in this case, is the flaw we all have inside of us. The tendency to be indecent. To be selfish. In my upbringing, I was taught that “all have sinned”. We are all tempted to diverge from our own moral path to achieve our own personal goals. The degree to which we succumb to human nature dictates the perceived success of Capitalism.
Capitalism is based on privatized ownership to make it more efficient to continually increase profits that lead to growth in prosperity. Everyone loves prosperity. Human Nature can dictate how we get there.
I can agree on at least one truth: Capitalism has won.
But I feel that when winning becomes more important than competing, we lose sight of why Capitalism was chosen the winner.
Despite not having a business education, I understand that what makes Capitalism work is that anybody from anywhere can start something. There is nothing holding you back from attempting to develop your own dream with the hopes of enriching the lives of others.
Except human nature.
The biggest reason that Capitalism is not working in practice in America is because human nature has corrupted the goals of economic competition. We should not be competing to win. We should not be trying to eliminate the competition or be the first to finish. Life has no finish line and the pursuit of happiness is not a race. The point of competition is to discourage laziness and encourage efficiency. It is to produce the best at the fastest rate; all the time.
While I am all for Capitalism, due to uncontrollable elements of human natur it is important to blend in portions of other economic and political theories. To make Capitalism work for the betterment of humanity, we need to be more aware of the collective.
Two important words America has forgotten. Humanity and Collective. Anything collective is considered socialist. I have friends who have a problem with paying extra taxes for welfare and social security. I have friends who could care less about their fellow countrymen. I have friends who don’t understand anything beyond what they have personally experienced. I have friends so against the idea of the collective that they will never try and understand the gravity of its importance.
It is hard to convince people to unconditionally care for one another when there are people who will never fail to take advantage of others. The unconditional bond similar to that between a parent and their child is not shared among human kind. We lack the humanity for Capitalism to work in practice.
I am not talking about the kind of humanity where we all share everything and live in small village communities where we preach love and peace, singing around a bonfire on the beach, while smoking the communal medicinal substance [Too much marijuana. That's where the hippies got it wrong! -Abeer]. I am talking about the general recognition of what is humane. I am talking about being able to identify when the gain of the next percentage of profits is not worth the detrimental effects to suffering members of society.
With social networking innovations sprouting up more rapidly than any governmental system can support, and a globalization process that has spread farther than any NGO can keep up with, it is even more important for us to nourish Capitalism with a heightened sense of humanity.
Capitalism is not about personal prosperity. It is about providing something positive to the global market at the highest efficiency. Our obsessions with profits and continual gain have tainted the original goals of success. It shouldn’t be about making enough money for a private G6, but about making enough money to provide affordable air travel for those who have contributed to the Capitalistic system.
I am pro Capitalism, but I am also pro human rights. This should not be a contradiction.
Phillip Lentz is a recent graduate of the University of Miami, pursuing a career in public relations. For the past two years he has focused on sports commentary, but with a long harbored desire to understand global patterns he has begun branching out to more international aspects of communications. His university final focused on the impact of China on the global market and what it means for universal human rights and the future of America. The research process introduced him to many brilliant minds and groups of thought that he has been able to use to defend his initial feelings of the importance of the welfare of people during the pursuit of all things greater. For any questions or comments please email phillentz [at] aol [dot] com.