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Short Sighted

It's frightening how brainwashed people are.

I hate to use that word, 'brainwashed', because it makes me sound like a conspiracy theorist. I'm not. Capitalism isn't so much a conspiracy as a system that powerful people endorse out of simple self interest. The tragedy is how that self interest causes misery for everyone else - and people don't care.

But people refuse to believe that this system is as broken as it is - yet the Tories have a majority government with only 24% of the electorate. Yet nobody really complains because nobody likes a sore loser and capitalism promotes the winner/loser mentality in everything it does. This is essential because it's easier to marginalise dissent by branding such voices as belonging to losers - people who have some character flaw of their own making (also important - everyone is the author of their own misfortune).

People have also been conditioned to believe that negative thinking - criticism - is to be denied. No one wants to hear someone who feels sorry for themselves; self pity is for losers and one must pick oneself up by one's bootstraps, no matter how miserable their lot. Of course this is absurd, the misfortune of someone like Donald Trump, who made his 'fortune' off the back of hundreds of millions inherited from his dad, are quite different from someone facing eviction because of the Bedroom Tax. Yet the former will be among the first to advocate the bootstrap mentality to the latter, despite having no clue as to the reality of the latter's struggle. Sickening really.

This feeds into the idea of low wages. If you want the most obvious example of how capitalism is so pernicious and so broken then consider how it uses the state, via welfare, to subsidise wages. The fact that people are seemingly content to put up with this situation is telling, and yet the idea of living wage should be the very heart of all social contracts. If one cannot afford to live a decent standard of living on their income then something has gone, and is, very wrong. Not only this, but by allowing
the state to subsidise employers you are subverting your own winner/loser (aka striver/skiver) mentality.

A society where it is the norm to earn less than it costs to live. That is the ideology of capitalism.

Even worse it feeds into the idea that everyone can be an entrepreneur. This is the age of dragons - capital D. The five predators sat in a gangster's hideout with conspicuous piles of money sat next to them. Now the DWP (capital D) are in on the act, advising people to become self employed without telling them that doing so could jeopardise them financially if they start claiming tax credits without a credible business.

But the capitalists don't care about that. Instead they get to make claims regarding a rise in the number of businesses starting up (they won't of course report how many failed nor the personal consequences of failure). This all looks great for the system and the government who can say Britain is booming. Look at how free people are to chart their own course in these difficult (boo! Labour! Boo) times. But this apparent freedom is deceptive; we don't have a strong economic foundation - why else is Cameron issuing forth another 'emergency' budget in July? That's unprecedented, although one of the reasons is to catch Labour on the hop while they are still rudderless. These are not fertile times, even for experienced business types, and you can hear people in discussions talking about how they can't pay their staff a living wage and about how they are themselves, as directors and owners, having to live on the breadline. 

This affects the whole world; capitalism has allowed the population to increase where reasonable considerations would have prohibited this. I don't want to be telling people they can or can't have kids, that isn't the point. But people, particularly women, are sold the idea that having children is part of the complete human experience, part of being successfully; like buying a house or a car. One must have a family. Capitalism doesn't seem to care how many people are on the planet, and, as with self employment and the love of business, it doesn't care if it's sustainable. This is the fast route to poverty, just look at places like India where squalor seems to surround rich enclaves in cities.

This is a house of cards and sooner or later the wind is going to blow hard.


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