The effects of the current systems [1]

This one is about something that is about a topic that is propably too big to write about in just one blog post. It is a large one.

Why is it a large topic? I want to write about the effects of the current materialistc and capitalistic system on us as humans, on our society and our lifes, feelings, motivations and goals. There is a lot of ground to cover. Thats why i will split this into several parts.

Lets start with an seemingly easy one: The effects of the current systems on our values. We humans value a lot of things in life. Everyone values something else. Many people seem to value their friends or their families. But there are other values aswell in life. And many of them, if not all, are alteast influenced by the systems we operate in when we live in this world.

When it comes to our values regarding families and friends we tend to believe that this is always just about the feelings that we have for them. This might be true for some of those relations, but many others work differently. I have seen that personally. This is often without any intention. People sometimes tend to define their relationships over the materialistic value that they can earn or that the person on the other end of the relationship already posses. In that case they seem to forget who those people are.

When it comes to the influence of the system on our values it is a bit more popular to know that they can have effects on our comprehension of what we like to have and what we need. The systems these days tend to suggest us from early on that we need certain things in life so that happiness could be achieved. The important thing there to make it actually work for a long time is that you have to move the goals. If you actually gained something in capitalism you are not done. Through advertisments and passive suggestions via social media or other media channels we see new things – and the goal is to make us want to buy those new shiny toys. Thats what it is all about. And that also defines our values as human beings. We value things that are new and freshly bought a lot more then those things that we already have bought. And we always need more. We learned it that way. More ownage means more happiness – thats how we know it, right?

But is that really true? Buying new things that we really dont need but we buy them anyways – is that bringing us any happiness at all? I personally believe this is not the case.

Surely you will be happy for a short while. You will play or work with your new ‘toy’ and you will see it as the new cool thing that you hold in high regards. But atsome point in time you will put it aside because theres the new cool thing in town that you really need. Theres a cycle at work there that got only one intention – to make you buy more so that capitalism can work. Materialism seems to be the motor to make it work here. Through materialism we value materialistic things highly. If we value those things we tend to buy them a lot. And if we spend that money to buy those things we participate in the cycle of the systems.

Sometimes we even buy things that we dont really like all that much too. What is the value in that? The value is that we think that we may need them at some point in time. The materialistic gain is important here. And after that the system strikes again – you are not satisfied with just that, right? You need to get more. And more. Its a vicious cycle and we are all part of it, including myself.

So, after all that rambling, what is the point, right? What am i trying to say?

Im trying to say that there is a cycle of the systems at work here. We are getting told that we need something, we buy it because we value materialistic things, we throw it away because it got old. Repeat.

And this is the effect of the current systems. Thats what we are expected to do to make it work. Like i wrote before, im no different. I participate too. You can try to get out of that cycle and i believe atleast partially it is possible for many for us. There can be values when it comes to friends and family that are indipendent of all materialism and capitalism. Money and materialistic worth shouldnt play any factor when it comes to the people that you love and like.

But when it comes to things like food, entertainment or things that increase our worth, it is rather hard if you dont want to live as a hermit somewhere on a mountain. Ads everywhere, especially if you are doing things on the internet. This is a problem of the fundamental values that we have. We would need to change our understanding of how our world should work. We would need to think that a lot less then that what we have right now is perfectly fine too. That it is fine to share with othes. That it is fine too that you dont have something that you personally own – maybe it is also fine to own it together with others.

This is also a problem of the ongoing seclusion of families and individual human beings. We tend to separte us from each other these days. There doesnt seem as much value anymore in doing things with other human beings. We also dont share as much anymore as we did many years ago. This is also a consequence of all of that; meanwhile it is also a reason for it. Personal materialistic gain seems to be the most important thing.

Maybe this will change again at some point. One can only hope. Surely i would need to change too. I personally am also a part of the machine. Im no different. It would also be very hard to change the way i think when it comes to certain things. My appartment is mine. My computer is mine. It seems weird at first hand to think that my computer is everyone’s computer.

This whole thing sounds a lot like communism, right? Atleast a tiny little bit. It also sounds a lot like Utopia. Things like that will be hard to achieve. As long as there are atleast 2 people on this planet one of them will want to own more then the other. Maybe it is part of human nature.

But we can hope, right? At some point in time the systems will change. They always do. When time passes things evolve to something else.

I wonder where our future will lead us.


How much freedom should people have?

This time i want to talk about another philosophical question: “How much freedom should people have?”.

This is a rather important question these days. Terrorism is everywhere, security and controls are thightening up and laws are limiting a lot of the things we can do (and rightfully so in many cases!).

There is another question that is propably related to that: “Can we be free at all?”, which is even more intriguing in my opinion since it begs a lot more the question of what freedom actually is. And that is something one can’t simply answer like that.

After a quick search on the internet there are a lot of descriptions of the word freedom, e.g.: “The absence of necessity, coercion or constraint in choice or action”. Which kinda opens up a lot more question than it actually answers. Do we really need to do things, is there any necessity at all ever to do anything?

One could argue for out biological needs as human beings here; we ‘need’ to eat, drink, all that stuff. But is that really necessary? I’d say no. It is just that we need to live with the consequences of our actions then; in this case this would mean the reduction of the functionality of our biological functions or later on death. Obviously this opinion is subjective.Everyone is free to think differently here.

Another question coming from that definition is related of the word choice – do we really chose what we do? This is heavily connected to the philosophical system you want to believe in and your pov on the matter of free will. Is there really any free will?

And really, there is no right or wrong there. A lot of things could be right here – e.g. I can try to argue from a science pov as much as as I want, but the matter won’t be resolved any time soon. Our choices could be the results of our biological body – components interacting with each other through chemical and electronical signals; they also could be the result of our personality or our consciousness as seperate entities trying to make a choice somehow. I’m not the one who will answer this and as much as others are trying to do so it propably won’t be happening anytime soon (There are of course lots of other theories, opinions and all of that to this topic out there!).

This kinda show some tiny little bits of how the word freedom is connected to various other issues out there. But of course this won’t stop us from answering the question, right?

For the sake of finding some sort of answer, let’s argue from the pov that humans actually can choose – that’s how the law does it aswell. I could never argue in court that im not being guilty because i got no free will as a being. So granted we as humans chose ourselves, there are still lots of questions left. The law is actually a good point there – where is the line when it comes to laws that limit us in our actions and how much effect do they really have?

E.g. there is a lot of talk out there regarding terrorism right now. Obviously we need to protect us against that. The question is how? In some places there is a discussion going on to change the law of assembly. Leeaving the question if that would really help aside, chaing laws like that would really limit our freedom. But maybe they do so because humans tend to do bad things sometimes if they can – one could argue for and against this for hours. The important point here is, laws limit our freedom. That leaves us as individual human beings a lot less choices to make in life. Related to that I actually believe that as long as there are 2 humans left on earth, 2 humans will argue with each other so that one of them can tell the other one what she/he should do. So even if there wouldn’t be a state and the laws of that, humans can’t be fully ‘free’ because of human nature. There are still choices that we can do ourselves, like what we want to eat and stuff like that.

So after me rambling about a lot of stuff I guess there is some sort of freedom for us humans these days; it is limited though. How much freedom everyone actually should have is something that depends on personality, beliefs and morals. It is also a question that should consider what I was going on about in this post, freedom isn’t really freedom.  And it could already limited by what we are.

Though there propably is a line that limitations and restrictions should never cross. I dont’t want to ask others what I should wear; I want to eat what I like and I want to believe what I want to believe in. As long as I don’t hurt others with it there shouldn’t be a problem, though sometimes there still should be limits. I never want to see my co-workers naked at work as a rather drastic example for that.

So, no definitive answer this time. Freedom isn’t easy – people tend to define differently what they should allowed to do and what not. So, everyone actually wants to be able to do a lot more than he/she should be able to do.