[dropcap style=”font-size:100px; color:#992211;”]A[/dropcap]fter one presents a cogent critique of capitalism,
one is likely to hear the following as a reply from the propagandized, good citizens of corporate state-levied economic despotism (as, in fact, I have this very day during a debate involving the resistance of the US service industry to compensate their workforce with a living wage):
“Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia…”
Such straw man bleating is the method by which the citizens of the capitalist/consumer paradigm have been conditioned to think and react. Although, in reality, it is evident to people all over the world that capitalism is a spurious god created by a corrupt elite that serves said elites interests well – but fails the multitudes.
Capitalism was designed to keep the masses on edge and in a state of low-grade desperation, by means of keeping the workforce underpaid, in debt, and the system not offering enough jobs to go around, thus keeping people in constant fear of penury.
Yet any system that cannot provide a living wage and chains in debt slavery a large number of the population needs to go to the landfill of history. And all too many obedient citizens will trudge right along with it, dragging their chains, as, all the while, insisting that the rattling of their chains is a sweet melody of freedom, and mindlessly bleating, “Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia Socialist utopia….”
Next, the capitalist state apologists will bleat: “Free Market Free Market Free Market Free Market Free Market Free Market Free Market Free Market Free Market….”
Trouble is: the “free market” only translates into freedom of a select few — and the defacto, or outright slavery, of the many. State capitalism is dependent on the destruction of the Commons — you know, Robin Hood’s grievance — and the forced serfdom of the multitudes.
If you read the letters of Adam Smith, he and other early capitalists discussed various means to drive the populace off the Commons and into crowded cities to serve as dawn to dusk factory laborers for the profits of a greed-besotted few, and, of course, these are the same methods levied today i.e.: the ruthless and socially destructive manner in which a small group of individuals gets away with not paying human beings a living wage, at the behest of and for the benefit of a greedhead few, and to the detriment of the many.
Human activity (since the advent of the oxymoron known as industrial civilization) has been defined by the exploitation of human labour.
Also by the mass slaughter of mechanized warfare, and by the wanton destruction of the life-sustaining forces of the earth.
Its landscape is comprised of archipelagos of dehumanizing factories; foetid landfills; slaughterhouses; sterile, commons-devoid, atomized, faux housing and apartment clusters; the sterile monuments to egoist vacuity known as office high-rises; enervating work spaces; battlefield deathscapes; crass McMansions; brutal prisons; individuality-scouring schools; and emptied asylums, whose inmates, now homeless, shuffle through, huddle and die in heart-bereft cities.
Someone messaged today, asking: “From parent to parent – how do you stay sane when bringing up a kid in this world, Phil?”
Sane? That’s a tough goal… in insane times.
As a small child, my mother escaped Nazi Germany as the nation went mad, on Kindertransport, while, during the first year of the Great Depression, my half-Native American father was left, as in infant, on a church doorstep near the reservation where he was born, with a note pinned to his clothes reading, “I can’t feed my baby.”
Although, if the world was not insane, my parents would have never met and I would have never been born. Somehow, in all their trauma and madness, my parents muddled through. And my son will have to do the same. I suspect he will.
To wit: Our children’s generation, unless they take up the challenge to end the ceaseless, lethal folly might very well be the last generation of our species. The thought is unbearable. But that is the reality of the situation. Yet, by not shunting away from conscious awareness the reality of our plight, the heart becomes startled awake to the manifestation of a ferocious and pitiless beauty.
Illustration by Dan Booth not to be reproduced without his express prior permission.
Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City.
Yet a bio amounts to dharma for dimwits: It defines a human being in the same manner and degree of veracity as a restaurant menu describes the various slabs of meat offered … commodified things that were once living beings.