When I hear the talking heads on news channels quibbling about procedure, process, and wording, it strikes me that few ask the question about the morality or long term impact of what they are talking about.

Whether it is the US and North Korea, or the legal wrangling about Trump’s money laundering. Where’s the moral compass? Where’s the leadership that brings that society back to a vision of fairness and stability?  We used to use religion for that moral authority.  Now we use social norms.

Instead the commentators talk about who has the advantage, who can defend their position, who can strike hardest, what is okay because someone else got away with it before. It sounds like a discussion about the predator and the prey.

It isn’t just in the political environment.

The extreme form of capitalism we can call predatory capitalism is slowly edging in. The U.S. has always been a confrontational, predatory state since its beginnings.  So has Russia.  Or China, after their revolution.  Even England has, until it went on a non-colonial diet in the middle of the last century. They are all the predators eyeing the non-predators and looking to expand their influence, salivating, looking for opportunity.

The U.S. has been able to prey on the entire central portion of the North American continent, subjugate and consume it. Then they took Texas from Mexico, followed by their southwest.  Then they looked overseas for new lands to acquire, such as Alaska and Hawai’i.  As the leading whaling country in the 1800s, they virtually killed all the whales, then killed all the buffalo in their own territory. Consume, consume, consume. Expand, expand, expand.  The stories are similar for Russia, only they went eastward and not westward.  The consumption was great in the short term, but now we have nearly no whales or buffalo.  Soon many other species will be consumed away, either directly or through loss of habitat.

The environment of predatory countries is also being consumed and left with effluent while the apex predators in their cultures become more affluent.

The predatory theme also permeates economic systems. They object of predatory capitalism is to consume the weak.  The weakness of predatory capitalism is its short term focus when the long term costs become too high.  The cost of cleaning up after making nuclear devices is considerably higher that the cost of making them.

Preying on the weak creates social collapses when trust deteriorates so much that a society cannot remain cohesive.  This  happens where the morality of preying on the helpless or clueless is lost.  Short term, maybe aggressive capitalism works for the winner, but longer term, with no market and no reliable social structure, and possible tumult, it doesn’t.

Perhaps it is time for humanity to get out of the ” short term survive at any price” mode and start thinking about long term survival.

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