Why There is Capitalism


My wife wanted to know how Brown got into this post. The image at the front of this video popped it into my head and I couldn’t get rid of it. Sorry. My apologies to all the estimable and hardworking beavers of the world. It’s just that nobody’s building dams anymore, and a lot of those nobodies are Brown alums chomping their buck teeth about climate change and evil capitalism.

The environmentalists would like us to think that we can be collectivist, like beavers. Who are determined to build dams no matter what, despite not being paid. Beavers are beautiful. Industrious, brilliant, productive, nearly blind, and friendly as hell. Also clever about family matters: kick the 2 year olds out before winter comes. Worked well for thousands of years. But times change. Think of them now as Brown graduates entering today’s job market. Or think of them as the horse at Animal Farm, who agreed that some are more equal than others. But they’re pretty sure they should be in the more equal club.

There was once a mediocre university named Brown. People went to it. They did stuff. Now they go there and do no stuff, and I’ve been there, and I swear to God everything there really is brown. It’s like a big old beaver lodge no living beaver built, though the kits sit on top smoking dope, getting a tan, and talking about global warming. I know the world thinks Brown is great. Kennedy kids who fell asleep during the SATs go there now. I’m supportive. Do my best. Try to imagine getting a resume from a Brown student. Did you ever study anything besides Obama politics? No? Aw. Not a good sign. Do you know anything about math or science or literature or history besides feminist cant? I’m sure we can make allowances for Ivy League grads who know absolutely nothing. About which you probably know everything. Lookin’ good, my Ivy compadres.

But then there’s the job market. Which is a lot like a beaver — say, a Brown graduate — who discovers that he has to defend his dam against all comers, which is pretty much the way of nature. Only the government doesn’t want beaver dams anymore. At which point he becomes a federal bureaucrat. Or… he becomes thinner, smarter, and more opportunistic.

What do you do in the latter case? You become a predator. And a killer. But small and clever.

Now you’re a jumped up weasel. Interestingly enough, these exist in varying forms on four different continents. Won’t torture you with the Tasmanian Devil. You can do that for yourself. Incredibly brave idiot mammals who will do anything to win. (Think Crimson Tide.) Because they never give up. Same thing said about both beavers and jumped up weasels. Thinking yet? Little like us maybe? The way we used to be? Before we got so fat and lazy and stoned and stupid? Hardworking, relentless, and courageous. We’re us but nature still shows us what’s underneath our flaccid pretensions.

Hard-wired, folks. Try this. The mongoose are nothing compared to the honey badgers. Nothing. Who can take the balls off a hyena at no minute’s notice? Meet Stoffel, the smartest mammal you’ve ever met. And the meanest. (Think Fight Club.)

Which makes the Ann Arbor team the wimps we always knew they were. Kidding. There are no more wolverines in Michigan, but the ones we have left are still North American. Therefore nicer than the tiny monsters from Africa. (You didn’t watch the PBS honey badger piece yet, did you? Give yourself a break. DO IT! You’ll laugh your ass off, I promise.) Why in the hell hasn’t Stan Lee created a female superhero Honey Badger character? Chauvinism, I suspect. Not really. Just a want of knowledge and imagination. Honey Badger would completely kill Wolverine of the X-Men tales.


But wolverines are cool too. They’re not even scared of bears. 30 lbs isn’t big.

Think about civilization. It’s programmed in. Most mammals are conscious. Probably most life forms are conscious.

Even Michigan Wolverines. Hopefully, Ohio State Buckeyes don’t suffer from the same frailty.

Life consists of beavers and honey badgers. Capitalism consists of arbitrating between cooperation and aggression. Beavers are ambitious if not aggressive and even honey badgers are cooperative to a point. Life is like that. Capitalism is both these things. No conflict. Just a stretching synergy.

What part of this don’t you get? Maybe this part.

Sredni Vashtar. Do one thing for me. Save my country from Brown. And Harvard.

  1. Instapunk’s avatar

    It’s funny how the posts I work hardest at and spend the longest time on and regard as my most interesting never draw any comments. Not complaining. Maybe I should get with the times and quit working so hard. What’s the urgency anyway?

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