An Open Letter to the Captains

08/12/2010 02:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Back in the day, when I transferred my doctoral study from Northwestern University to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a nomenclature not prevalent at Northwestern dominated the Institute. Beavers are more foreboding than Crocuses I suppose. Notions of "high or low probability events" filled the air at MIT. At that time, these concepts formed the lingua franca of science. Those were the good times where the "mathematique" determined much of the direction and focus of the formal world.

Certain notions prevailed and dominated all areas of investigation there. One major question asked whether technology was moving at a pace faster than the human capability to comprehend that march. The affirmative answer was implicit in the question. It formed the backdrop for much research and helped re-cast conceptions in what had been to that point in time the conventional wisdom. Another such theory questioned the probability of infinite universes. The idea roughly held that infinite universes might abound where in each locale everything existed exactly the same as ours with only slight variations. In that the universes were infinite, the possible permutations were infinite as well. Only a slight variation like a different hand placement for a microsecond might be the difference for any given scenario--nothing more than that.

Assuming for the moment that this theory has merit, there may be trouble ahead for the Captains of Industry and the businesses that dominate this planet. Also assuming some sort of natural balance, (which empirical observation tends to support) it is reasonable to presume that not only are our actions slightly different someplace else, but that there may be an "obverse" or "altered" state playing out someplace else in time and space. The introduction and application of moral imperatives represents another jump-leap in thought. But for now, let's believe that these multiple dynamics are also in place. If all the predicates listed above are possible (and certainly if they are probable) then there is a cosmic and decidedly moral form of comeuppance to be dealt with by the Captains in power on this planet.

Like all things, the current corporate penchant for profit has its "costs." Because at least five more "Captains" post TARP can now commission the construction of two hundred and fifty million dollar boats, tens of thousands of individuals are likewise deprived of needed health care. A fifty percent rise in certain portfolios means that thousands of people now go hungry, and can no longer afford heat or dental care. The hopes and dreams of a nation are now forced "on hold" because someone received a bonus from monies that never should have gone to him. Obesity and diabetes levels will rise and quality of life will diminish, all because some faceless and well-placed bank employee suggested another odious fee to be charged to the captive audience that is also the bank's unwitting hostage clientele. And this is no time for "rising tide" theory! We all know that banks and brokers, who produce no tangible product, take their "winnings" and invest them in cheap labor operations in other nations around the globe. The data is "in" on this one. American business is not investing in youth, unless they are under twelve and working nineteen hours a day for pennies per hour in inhumane conditions.

Young men and women all over the world however have had their youthful travel and discovery truncated by an increase in "earnings" that required no real work on the parts of the recipients of those "earnings." Indeed, though this business practice is personally horrific, the hangover from that orgy of publicly extorted revenue translates to a restrictive tightening of the tourniquet of social control. The resultant is that earth has become an increasingly enslaved planet.

We are bound by those huge profit centers that proffer war and guns. Combined with illicit and illegal drugs (not to mention legal drugs and alcohol) these profit centers constitute two of this planet's five largest grossing businesses. Body counts surge due to this dynamic in Mexico and other nations while no one asks the Captains why we live in a time where four percent of the world's population "self-medicate" at these inordinately elevated levels. Drugs and alcohol are universally acknowledged escapes! The question thus becomes, what are the citizens of the richest nation in the world escaping from?

Indeed, we should be giving drug tests to future Captains and using the current leadership as the control group. And whatever we find the opiate of the current Captains to be, should be vigorously opposed for distribution to coming generations. We know that Capitalism, the guiding principle of modern world business, is etched and grounded in the belief that markets are rational. We also know that this assumption is patently untrue and that the "free" market is anything but rational and free. We have been trying to get to the North Pole by going south for some time now. And that aberrant inertia has overtaken our will and reason to get off of this train. The obvious negatives born of this tact, though clearly perceived go unrecognized. And though lemmings may not actually commit suicide, the business elite has no problem committing hara-kiri on others.

And thus, if those crimes against nature and humanity for which the Captains are responsible are cumulative, then those same Captains can expect their many lifetimes to be lived in the rags and squalor that they have unnecessarily foisted on others. And yes, I well appreciate that we have all become captive to notions of living for the present versus living "in" the moment. But that spiritual surrender will not deter infinity. Though the Captains share the safety hollowed out in their modern oligarchical collective in this current reality, the ultimate spiritual "costs of doing business" must be accounted for in individuated tender. My surmise is that there can be no "commune" of protection at that natural tipping point where an accounting must be made. Do you remember that kid who was reckless, selfish and foolish in school, but brazen nonetheless? Today, that same kid is more than likely a supporter of the business status quo, "spinning" default swaps while turning the world into intellectual and spiritual cannon fodder.

Unemployment is up; tax bases are down while the shills of business, occupying soft seats in Congress, pray to the mantra of deficit reduction on the backs of people they claim to represent. Captains all over the place have supplied those "lackeys in waiting" with their mantras and "talking points." In that there is no real rebuttal possible by the people, the Captains feel very safe in their choices and perspectives.

But there may be, according to theories of modern science, a reciprocal relationship just waiting to air itself in a universe near us--and maybe our own. An axiom of science is that in a closed system, no energy can be created or destroyed. Again assuming that this aggregation of unlimited universes is "closed," then the Captains will be unable to avoid at death or before, the decisions that they've made for others in life. I am sure that I don't stand alone in my pleasure of belief that Geithner, Cheney, the seventy-five families, Buffet and the billionaires may all be subject to their choices in a not so distant reality.

And the individual Captain should be forewarned that the "bum," once cordoned away, who smells badly, not having been able to bathe in weeks, and suddenly sharing a liver busting forty-ouncer with the "Captain" over that trash can fire in another reality, was a banker also. That same Captain's teeth were the ones knocked out in that recurring fight with that other "bum" on the streets of eternity. "Cap" should be made aware that the painful limp that he walks with could have been avoided by supporting health care for all when he could have done so on this planet and in this reality. Oddly, in the race for more dollars, no real advantage is achieved. Eighty billion dollars is eight billion dollars is eight hundred million dollars is eighty million dollars is eight million dollars is eight hundred thousand dollars to a Bentley. Besides, is a Bentley so great a vehicle that it should usurp the ethos of a nation while burying the world's soul?