Capitalism should serve humanity, not rule us.

Mainstream Conservatives have embraced the idea that we must all serve capitalism rather than insisting that capitalism must serve us.  When there is a conflict between capitalism and humans, liberals conclude capitalism is evil and thus socialism must be better, whereas conservatives conclude that humans are the problem and must submit to capitalism.

Both are wrong.

Socialism will always fail because it is unnatural, inefficient, and requires great oppression of humanity to work even in the short term.  Capitalism is the most natural way to organize human commerce, but it cannot be unfettered.  It must be made to serve humanity, not rule us.

A prime example of this is the commercialization of childhood.  Unfettered capitalism sacrifices the well-being of children for profit.  That doesn’t mean we should utterly throw out capitalism; it means we should regulate some aspects of it.  That is actually a more traditional approach; prior to the 1980s, television regulation was in place to limit some aspects of capitalism by limiting broadcasters’ ability to pander to our basest desires in competition for our dollars:

The years of the administration of President Ronald Reagan were a time of intense deregulation of the broadcast industry. Mark Fowler and Dennis Patrick, both FCC chairmen appointed by Reagan, advocated free-market philosophies in the television industry. Fowler frankly described modern television as a business rather than a service. In 1981 he stated that “television is just another appliance. It’s a toaster with pictures.” Fowler’s position was a far cry from the approach of Newton Minow, who argued that government needed to play an intimate role in serving the public interest as charged in the Communications Act of 1934. Deregulation supporters advocated a “healthy, unfettered competition” between TV broadcasters.

Here we see conservatives insisting that all of humanity serve profit.  If television programming, including that marketed toward children, is violent or laced with sexual perversion (Glee!), conservatives love to blame liberal Hollywood but conveniently ignore how their own blinding faith in and obedience to capitalist profit above the community good makes it possible for liberals to indoctrinate our children with their filth.

On an individual level, we can all simply turn off our TVs or get rid of them altogether.  However, humans are not solely a collection of individuals; we are also families, kin networks, and societies, and conservatives would be wise to consider how capitalism can best be made to serve humanity rather than how humanity can be made to serve capitalism.