humanity’s morality engine

It’s markets that increase morals;
religion isn’t humanity’s morality engine.

“A society’s degree of market interactions, proxied by the presence of intercommunity trade and money, is associated with the cultural salience of (1) prosocial behavior, (2) interpersonal trust, (3) universalist moral values and (4) moral emotions of guilt, shame and anger.

What else don’t we know about our character? It’s helpful to think large when traits are on the table, to take a broad sweep of time, say 100,000 years, for example the work of the Human Systems Lab at Harvard and their report “The Evolution of Peace” [paywall dammit but there’s ample discussion on the web]. 

“How do humans create harmonious relationships across group boundaries and when did this capacity emerge in the human lineage? … Cooperation was an important component of human relationships and a selective force in our species history in the past 300 thousand years. But the preconditions for peace only emerged in the past 100 thousand years and likely coexisted with intermittent intergroup violence….” 

I’ve not heard or seen texts saying rapid post-WWII capital expansion prevents war and saves lives but I’ve often wondered what other choice was available to the overstretched thoroughly threatened free world encumbered by the persistently vicious maneuvers of rising despots?

Liberal lending ends brigand lures; Stifles the attractive nature-born rebel gathering up unhappy trolls as well as slows the sociopath entrapping millions as easily as Trump’s punks. Or Boris Johnson or Bolsonaro or Orban or the already forgotten murderer Rodrigo Duterte and dozens, dozens taking taking taking while we [foolishly] take on their harm. What else could policy makers offer post-Reich to their exhausted people but the chains of connected money, 10s of 1000s of deals per month from a fount of credit only Russia and its allies truly despise? 

That’s not trumpeting praise of so-called capitalism, I encourage criticism. I can’t count the first decade of in-flight  briefcases carrying western bank branch pitches around the world during the cold war, during Comecon’s formation, Joseph Stalin’s desire 1949 to 1991. No one criticizing bullish liberals cites they are a rare balm against brutish tyranny. What else? 

I’m egalitarian. It’s this blog’s byline, “big on love, tolerance, and the human potential” and I know this seems foolish. Tolerance, say today’s right, is the doorway of miscreants and evil. That’s silly too. If left and right weren’t stuck in their own myth we’d see rational commons and much more achieved. But I’ll stick with warmth over cold judgmental trope.

My point about the usefulness of expanding markets stands. What else? It’s the only restraint we know, so I’m tolerant and loyal to those ethically helping economies, but fer cryin’ out loud, the sloppy destruction and utter gall has to stop, just stop