Intuitively, we have a hard time with systems. System behavior is, by definition, output behavior that is unpredicted by the behavior of its parts taking separately. This is a very profound understanding and utterly counter to our intuition and our five-sense reality. We assume our behavior and intention stands on it’s own, and if we mean well in this system, then we can’t possibly be part of something hurting others or something that is destructive to our planet. The truth is, we are involved in a larger order framework – and that framework has its own structural logic. This is why statistical analysis and the scientific method is so critical to our progress in the last century. So we can see through the clouds and limited perceptions that our small brains create. -Peter Joseph, Lecture on The End of Capitalism
This is a profound understanding. What is being said is that intentions and good morals are essentially useless in the current system structure.¹ We can interpret this as playing the role of a cog in a machine. Permitting you go to work and continue to ‘fuel’ the system every week, you are indirectly responsible for the human suffering that capitalism causes.² The take home point here is that externalities is a system consequence and has nothing to do with intentions. As long as we are working within the system, we are part of the externalities.