Open Twitter or Facebook and immediately, hordes of iPreachers instruct you how to live:
“Do yoga and meditate daily!”
Then their enlightened, bourgeois friends chime in:
COME TO MY BIKRAM RETREAT SUNDAY!!
I JUST ATE HALF AN ALMOND! #SOGUILTY
Back in reality, principle is a luxury good. Even if you can afford it, “principle” depends on our understanding of the world, circumstances, emotions, and biases.
It’s always easy to be kind with other people’s money. It’s easy to proclaim virtues when you have nothing at stake — and status to gain. But true morality is a luxury good when your livelihood’s at stake. When your family, reputation, or assets are on the line.
That’s why everyone occupies some middle ground between nobility and immorality.
Amorality is the midpoint that most corporations occupy. I’ve been tracking examples of corporate amorality in this Twitter thread. Corporate amorality cascades to all who rely on its money — employees, vendors, politicians, and institutions (like MIT and its Epstein dirty donations scandal).
In capitalism, all of us orbit corporations. We rely on them – as employees or consumers. That means none of us can drift too far towards nobility or immorality. That’s not what dependents do. And maybe we don’t want to….or shouldn’t want to. Maybe they offer us a level of comfort and stability we dare not admit to ourselves. That’s certainly what I argued in Why Monopoly Is The Future…And We Love It!
The good news is innovation and capitalism are amoral forces that make principle possible — by making comforts and conveniences scalable and affordable. Yes, even markets are slaves to our desires. What do we desire? Morality? Vice? Or, something in between? Ultimately, we choose. Choose wisely.