Sunday, August 7, 2016

Stop blaming capitalism for your own bullshit




So, this picture is going around Facebook and it's kind of annoying me. People don't like to admit it, but capitalism has actually brought a lot of good to the world despite all the bad. People want to focus on the bad lately (and there certainly is plenty of it) because right now that's the cool thing to do. In the 80s it wasn't.....and if Donald Trump gets elected probably it will be similar to the 80s where it's cool to screw people over and exploit people and destroy the environment and do whatever you want to get yourself ahead, but hopefully not!

The funny thing is, we hypocritically do all our bitching through channels that were only made available to us through capitalism. Facebook is the result of capitalism, your mobile device or computer is the result of capitalism, whatever you're about to eat today is most likely the result of capitalism, every restaurant you go to is the result of capitalism, every grocery store you go to is the result of capitalism, your wide variety of product choice is the result of capitalism, and without capitalism, we wouldn't have Nintendo or Pokemon and this Bulbasaur couldn't be chastising us at this moment. Basically, anything that brings you comfort and joy that isn't the great outdoors or your pets or your family is there because somebody wanted to make money for it.

And it's OK to want to make money! There isn't a person alive who wouldn't take $1 billion if it was handed to them. Not ONE! What they would do with it varies, but everybody would take it. You've got people like the Koch brothers, who use their friends in Washington to circumvent the law in their favor so they can continue exploiting the shit out of everyone, and you've got people like the Gateses, who literally give away billions of dollars. The problem is there seem to be more Kochs than Gateses. Changing THAT is key....

...because let's be really honest with ourselves. Humans are fundamentally LAZY. It's who we are. I revise my earlier statement to say that everything you have that you enjoy is the result of us being lazy AND someone wanting to make money off of it. And that's ok! It took us millions of years of evolution to be able to be this lazy.

I don't want to be a farmer. Do you want to be a farmer? Do you want to struggle every day to work the land and till the soil and grow all your food and go dig up mud to make bricks to build your own house and raise sheep to spin your own wool to make your own clothes which are going to be hot and itchy as fuck anyway and contribute more to the problem than the solution? It sounds extreme, but that's just about the only way you can actually escape capitalism in this world...if you completely isolate yourself and make yourself completely self-reliant. Maybe some people like to do that, but I know I don't and I know most people don't. Even people who do, they just think they do because it's an idyllic fantasy. When push comes to shove and you have to spend most of your day pushing a tiller and digging up vegetables outside in the heat with no sunscreen and little water and no air conditioning to come home  to, you're going to fall flat on your back and look desperately to the heavens while choking back your tears of both physical and emotional pain and ask yourself, "Why is this so hard? Why isn't there a better way to do this?" That's basically how technology happened. People did exactly that and then came up with a way to make it not suck so bad.

I like my technology, my air conditioning, my iPhone, my soft sheets, my processed foods, my car, my teddy bear, my funky clothes...all the stuff capitalism has given me, but capitalism has hit a roadblock. The problem with capitalism isn't capitalism, it's oversight. It has been too perverted by the political process and cronyism so that whoever has more friends in Washington is able to squash the competition by circumventing the law, even if the competition has the same amount of money.... Potentially even more. Remember when a few states were trying to outlaw Tesla vehicles? Ironically RED states... You know, the states that say that they are pro capitalism... And now they are trying to kill competition and passing it off as a safety issue. This was because other interests had more influence on the politicians in those states. This is not a capitalist ideal. In a real capitalist society, you can't thrive without competition. You also can't maintain your progress without oversight. This is where we are now. This is how we have a handful of big corporations and banks that are too big to fail. This is how the middle class is disappearing. This is how slavery and near slavery are allowed to exist....because no one has come in and said, "Hey, you can't do that!" Or, if they have, they've slap the businesses with a useless $10 million fine, which is NOTHING to them! It would be more expensive for them to obey the law than to pay the fine repeatedly. This is fucked up. This is why oversight and actual consequences need to exist. Better regulated capitalism.

The other problem is, what a lot of activists like to do is sit around and piss and moan about capitalism but do little about it other then suggest we just lambast in and take it all down. Well, that's not gonna happen. That's a juvenile fantasy. The people who really run the world aren't going to let it happen even we come up with a plan. Incremental change within the system is the only hope. Thus, only real option is to make being a good person sexy and therefore marketable... And lately it's working, actually. It's finally "cool" among young ppl to be a nerd, to be an environmentalist, to NOT be a bully, to be a vegan, to accept other religions, races, sexes, to expose and oppose slave labor, etc. This doesn't fly in every circle of course, but it's noteworthy enough to make a difference. This is no accident, but it's not going terribly quickly. It's going to take a bunch of baby boomer shitheads dying off before it really takes hold. Then, capitalism can give these people what they want...clean energy, effective solar panels, humane meats, better meat substitutes, clean vehicles, organic produce, ethically sourced clothing, etc. This isn't because capitalism is coming to an end. This is because the people who really run the world are working on implementing ways to create these products to satisfy the new consumer.

Of course, ppl who hate capitalism call people who try to work within the system "sellouts" or accuse them of maintaining the status quo for not dedicating themselves to fully destroying the system in full 100% all the time, which is just sophomoric whining. Economic systems aren't Jenga villages you can just kick down. They are more like Lego villages and you have to disassemble them little plastic brick by little plastic brick.

Also, socialism isn't everything it's cracked up to be. American progressives seem to think it will be the be-all end-all that will solve all our problems because "IT WERKS OVUR  THUUURRRR!"  but talk to anybody who lives in a socialist country and they will piss and moan every bit as much as we do about their government and their economic policies and their corruption and their political problems. I mean, can we just stop and really internalize the fact that the most powerful socialist nation in the world just passed Brexit?

Again, until being a decent person is globally marketable, we have no hope. I love this idea that the wealth distribution is the problem when you have all different kinds of wealth distribution methods throughout the world, and people are still assholes everywhere in the world. The problem is us. Capitalism is just the current boogie man. Once it was communism. It's something we can blame. In 200 years if we become a socialist nation, we will be complaining about that. We become a communist nation, we will complain about that. We become a libertarian nation, we will complain about that.... Anything to not have to hold ourselves responsible for the lazy shits we are who devour up every bit of success from a system but complain when they find out there is corruption, but don't care enough to stop benefitting from it.  is what will be "to blame." Corruption can't happen without compliance and guess who is the most compliant... WE ARE! Pin It

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