The capitalist machine lurches along, making its elite comfortable in their house of cards while maintaining their hold on political power, casually messing up every being on the planet with various pollutants, one of many predictable bad consequences of this machine, mired as it is in the muck of its own model under the male dominant value system. What gets valued by this system gives incentive to cut any corner, such as giving no or discounted value to workplace safety or quality of life or environment, as well as work done by women. People have organized to force business to pay some attention to such issues, through laws, unions, watchdog groups, and feminist activism, but big business has purchased clout in high places, providing loopholes convenient to conducting business as usual, more or less, as regulators wink, slap wrists, or look the other way. This economic model is geared to value short term profit, the bottom line, above all else.
This means the economic model is set up to encourage contortions such as fear, poverty, intimidation, abuse of women in all its forms, misinformation, patriotic fervor, conforming sheep, war, ravaged Nature, politics reduced to competing factions of the old boy network, cutthroat competition restrained only slightly by capricious regulation and a safety net, both ridden with loopholes. The medical industry profits from unwary women, with unwarranted surgery and hormone and mood manipulation. The beauty industry profits from inducing women to compete for looks, to the extent of compromising health for fashionable looks. Desperate women become sex slaves to survive. Sex appeal is such a staple of advertising. Men now have to compete with women in most fields, but rarely do women get near the credit due. Despite claims to the contrary, it is anything but a level playing field in business, one reason women have been starting businesses in droves. Women do have more opportunities and rights now than the founding fathers intended, since most women were legally male property just like slaves then, but since the glass ceiling and traditional beliefs are still around, how significantly male attitudes or behavior have changed is open to question, as more a matter of individual perspectives than law.
Everything is valued by profit potential, so an ancient tree is given no other value, such as its niche in local ecology or greenhouse gas broken down with surplus oxygen released. Agribusiness assigns no value to biodiversity, so it develops patented genetically engineered crops and douses its monoculture farms with noxious chemicals, never mind pollen and chemical drift, or loss of topsoil, minerals, and predators. Fuel efficient or low emission vehicles are preferred by certain buyers, but others buy vehicles extravagantly productive of greenhouse gas without any special need or penalty for this reckless luxury. High tech ought to mean a home system that powers all appliances, charges up an electric or fuel cell car, and sells surplus power to the grid. Once the relative price of solar collectors drops far enough, the global warming scenario could be averted by market forces, but a token tax subsidy is not enough to counteract all the propaganda telling people alternative energy is impractical or too expensive. Conventional energy looks cheaper on paper, by ignoring its consequences. Between sun, wind, tides, geothermal, fuel broken out from waste, and small scale hydropower, renewable energy could flood the earth with energy. If this potential were fully harnessed, perhaps energy really could be too cheap to meter, the promise of the early nuclear energy proponents, one of the worst jokes on what passes for high technology.
The devaluation of women takes many pernicious forms. Men blindly take for granted all the ways women take care of men and children, since the model places no value on those services. Anything qualitative like that does not lend itself to measurement, so the model depends on women cooperating with male expectations despite getting little if any compensation or appreciation, let alone fair compensation, respect due, or reciprocity. This value system is rigged to shortchange women any way men can imagine, propping up the sway of the old boy network along with the general male sense of power and pride. It has to be that way; to the extent dominance in general, male dominance over women in particular, are valued by men, women are not, or are valued in some twisted way, as eye candy, possession, sex object.
Competition is valued, but in a way twisted up with dominance, so that if an upstart company starts making waves, a big corporation can usually get away with outright hostile takeover. Free trade encourages big business to race to the bottom for cheap labor and lax regulation. Gearing competition and trade toward dominance subverts their supposed purpose, a level playing field for providing better products and services. The US navy develops earsplitting sonar to detect enemy submarines that incidentally breaks eardrums of or kills marine mammals unlucky enough to be in the area, at least disorients them for hundreds of miles around. Fish populations are gutted by high technology, which then promotes fish farms as a lousy substitute. Genetic engineers think they have the answers to all kinds of problems. Since the incentives of this system are to disrupt natural balance, what else could be expected? Science and business are out of control. That might not be a problem if scientists or companies could be trusted not to abuse the ability to alter Nature, but that kind of trust would be misplaced on most big corporations and scientists with big money and power behind them. Most rules and regulations are short term bandages, slaps on the wrist for repeat violators, not preventing much abuse.
This is no way to live, yet it supposedly represents the evolved product of the best minds and highest technology. So it may seem. Actually plenty of obsolete technology is still at work. The best of technology could break up most of the toxic by products of modern technology, except nuclear waste. Nuclear energy is one of the curses of high technology, utterly unwarranted boondoggle, reeking of corruption and cut corners, insured by taxpayers since no company would touch such a risk. But it is an easy method to harvest bomb grade material, not to mention how easy it would be to make a dirty bomb of stolen nuclear waste. The main difficulty is avoiding a lethal dose of radiation, as if survival were a concern. Chemical pollution is a cost saving luxury; most need not be produced or dumped without detoxification. Forest destruction is just plain shortsighted greed. There are ways to substitute for all old growth products, though some may cost more, but the high tech way is to clearcut old trees to make room for tree farms, likely soon to be bioengineered, or farms of switchgrass engineered for top ethanol productivity.
All these are consequences of male models of winners and losers, dominance and submission, power over, cutthroat competition. This subordination principle is supposed to be practical, the only way business and life can work. It may be the only way those in power can imagine, but theirs are not the only minds on this planet. There are always better ways to do anything, though improvement may range from minuscule to monumental. This is a consequence of the nature of existence; since nothing can be perfect, everything can be improved. The primary reason bad, stupid, destructive ways persist is that they benefit people in power. That goes from governments to big business to relationships; many men are pacified of their resentment towards more powerful men by taking it out on women who love them.
Politics reflects this value system, playing it safe so as not to offend generous campaign contributors or lobbyists, who have bought off most politicians of any consequence. Industry has found many ways to buy influence. A few politicians may be independent, but the party machinery finds ways to marginalize them. The value system does not value principles, which would get in the way of doing business as usual. So an opposition party with a fresh mandate is quick to take that mandate off the table, so as not to rock the boat too much. There will be no impeachment, no cutoff of funds to stop either lost war going on at the moment, more likely an escalation. Political parties can survive without clear principles, if competition is untrue to its principles, losing any claim to moral high ground. One reason impeachment is hard to imagine, this party that mostly voted to start and keeps voting to fund a war in clear violation of international law, as was clear all along, will have trouble making a case it was duped into it. As a matter of principle, most of Congress and the executive branch went along with much of the Bush agenda, so if Bush is impeached, what about them? Throw all the rascals out, clean house! That would be the expected outcome in a democratic republic.
It might seem this sorry state of pretend democracy is the only way things can operate, practically speaking. While the same players are in charge, that seems inescapably clear. Things could operate from a completely different basis, if the old boy network were not in charge. Men selectively leash their violence, using it when they feel sufficiently provoked. This approach may work for personal disputes among men, but no feeling of provocation can make battering or raping women legal, or justifiable. Men like to duck responsibility for their violence, blaming the target for provoking it, but that could make sense only in their own world of warped narrow minds. Unfortunately, as long as men control the world at large, such delusory thinking shapes events. This state of affairs is seen as practical, inevitable, the way things must be. This has to be a bad joke on the human race, this sorry state it has come to. Taking this approach to Nature, money to be made is sufficient provocation to destroy anything that might stand in the way, unless people take the initiative to intervene by protests or resorting to courts. Men have passed plenty of laws to regulate their rapacious behavior, somewhat aware this was trouble that had to be watched, but these laws and regulations, while better than nothing, leave open too many loopholes to protect women or the environment from male violence. Male laws assume the premises, boys will be boys, and boys must be in control.
To refuse to talk to an enemy is to renounce diplomacy, or a ploy to get friends to lean on the enemy. The war on terror is futile, unwinnable, escalating while the targeted nations deteriorate further into chaos. This approach is not the only possible way to deal with fanatical enemies. Talking to them may reveal why they are so infuriated as to resort to hostile acts. That can reveal ways to deal with legitimate grievances fairly, not just rebuilding after victory, whatever that would mean. When a friendly puppet can take over maintaining some shaky semblance of order? Diplomacy has the best potential to defuse conflict, despite being ridiculed as appeasement, but that refers to a failure of diplomacy, being outmaneuvered into conceding to unreasonable demands or grievances. War cannot solve the problem of dedicated enemies, but all such problems are created by distended male egos, and as such can be solved by thinking women. Belief system incongruity does not make people incapable of reasonable negotiation, but it can make bellicose men prefer war. Women who have sold out will solve nothing, though they may think up minor reforms, since they are part of the problem by choice of allegiance.
Boys will be boys while men wink at their rapacity. When such pathetic excuses for intelligent behavior, despite predictably bad consequences coming true, are deemed the only practical way, there has to come a time to call out all premises for revisioning. Democrats may call out a symptom here, a blatant scandal there, while leftist men may push for their ism, but neither will question certain basic premises of human relations. That is a task for radical women, since women have the least value, hence the least stake, in any belief system based on male premises. While it would be too much to expect that life be completely fair, that does not mean the brunt of its worst elements must fall on women and children. That happens by male design to perpetuate male power in general, the fortunes of the elite in particular. All that power is a bluff waiting for women to find a way to call it out. When it cannot ignore the challenge any longer, it must fold, since such a fundamentally unsound value system cannot stand once forced into open confrontation with a viable real alternative.