Friday, July 04, 2008
Why I hate capitalism
Why isn't capitalism the shining example of civilization that so many think it is? Simple, I'll tell you why. Supply and demand. Oh, but everyone quotes the supposed law of supply and demand. I'm sick to death of people who'd rather reflexively defend free markets than think about it. Supply and demand, get it? That means supply of goods and demand ofmoney. There's nothing about human need in that equation. You got the money? You get the goods. You don't got the money? Go away, die already. Think I'm being harsh? Think about it. If capitalism worked so well, why can't it solve poverty? Nature is abundant, technology has only increased that abundance, yet millions continue to live on pennies a day, dying in their hovels. Fair distribution of resources should be happening. It isn't.
The gap between rich and poor grows naturally in systems that institutionalize poverty. The most needy and deprived won't ever have the money; it's practically the definition of capitalism. "Capitalism is an economic system in which property is owned by private persons and operated for profit" - Wikipedia.
The dehumanizing effect of capitalism, the attitude that it's okay to let people without money just die, is so embedded in our culture that we have a phrase for it. "That's business." What? You got layed off, you're homeless, your children are starving? Sorry, nothing personal, that's just business. Exactly, nothing personal. You aren't a person, I'm not a person, we're not human beings anymore. Just machines chasing the money, leaving corpses in our wake. Capitalism looks great at the supermarket, not so great in the ghettos and cemeteries. Or the war zones where desperate people take up desperate measures. Capitalism drives poverty, poverty drives war, war drives war profits. Supply and demand consumes it all.
Not that there's anything wrong with money. Money is just another tool, and it should be treated as such. Money should be the last consideration, instead of the first. We should have highly regulated systems of production and distribution to reflect human values and the hidden environmental costs. Systems to incentivize caring aren't so hard to imagine, human beings do care about each other naturally after all. Sure it might take some trial and error, but that's the cost of running your life, instead of letting money run it for you. Money is just something you carry or bank to help you pay for things at the end of the day, after non-money concerns design the deals.
"From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs." Who said that, some socialist pig? Yeah maybe. But it's also the creed that every decent parent lives by, and last I checked some God fearing people still claimed to value a family more than cash. If we treated our families like businesses, the hardest working member would take all the food while the infants starve and die. Probably not even the hardest working member, since that would often be the woman. More like the loudest biggest brute most willing to rationalize doing whatever it takes to hoard and control all the resources. In families, there are laws against such behavior. In business, there are laws protecting it. That's the triumph of capitalism, that's how far we've come.
Next time you feel like trusting capitalism and free markets, versus hearing out some Godless radicals who would dare to enforce say universal health care and food supplies, think again. What would Jesus do? Would you dare to question the authorities that say it's all just business as usual, the poverty, the corruption, the blatant inequities? Stop to notice who exactly is insisting that capitalism is the only system that works, that anything else would be worse, please trust the market cycles and just work a little harder. Probably the ones already benefitting, that's who keeps repeating party lines, the ones who have the most to lose. The rest of humanity has already lost it all, and so will you if you believe lies in the hopes of becoming more secure someday yourself, maybe even another top dog too, with all those corpses in your wake.