Again, The Water Thief by Nicholas Lamar Soutter is packed full of enlightened views on the condition of our civilization. Here are a few more.
But capitalism is a game of brinksmanship, survival by being willing to risk just slightly more than your competitor is. Of course the world would come to this with both sides driving themselves (and everybody else) off a cliff.
Sure, on paper competition is survival of the fittest; the smartest and most efficient corporation wins. But really the winner is the one who can appear to be the best while actually investing the least in customers or other expenses, the one who can betray the most people with the fewest knowing about it—the one who can best ignore human conscience without getting caught. Given unrestricted power, the corporation will feel entitled, even obligated, to leverage it. Unrestricted competition is a policy of scorched earth, period.
“But the only real check against corruption is vigilance. The lack of it lead to the death of republics: success bred complacency and arrogance, just like today. They thought that the system was enough to protect them, that they didn’t need to be involved. The point of a republic was to elect people to run government for you so you could live your life. But citizens just let go of the rope. Nobody voted, nobody got educated on the complexities of governing. And the corporations moved in and spent massive amounts of money on perception, promoting the people that they wanted into office, and convincing the public that the rich should get richer, so that they could employ the poor and drive the economy. They convinced people that capitalism—the god of nature—would do the oversight for them, that the free hand of the market would keep them safe. But it wasn’t true, and on that front, the corporatists and I agree—life is work.”