Saturday, November 22, 2008

What is capitalism any way? Text from “Days of war, nights of love Crimethink for beginners”

Capitalism, that’s like democracy, isn’t it?
(And aren’t the enemies of capitalism the opponents of democracy? Didn’t we defeat them in the cold war?)
Actually, capitalism and democracy are two different things. Democracy is, essentially, the idea that people should have control over their own lives. That power should be shared by all rather than put in he hands of a few. Capitalism is something altogether different.
In the western nations we’re used to hear that we live in a democratic society. It’s true that we have governments that call itself democratic (although wether each of really has an equal say, or much of a say at all, in such a bloated and atrophied “representative democracy” is worth asking), but wether our society is itself democratic is another question entirely. Government is only one aspect of society, of course; and it is far from the most important one, when it comes to consider day to day life. The economic system of any given society has more influence over daily life than any court or congress could: for it is economics that decide who has control over the lands, resources and tools of society, what people have to do each day to survive and “get ahead” and ultimately how those people interact with each other and view the world.
And capitalism is, in fact, one of the least democratic economic systems. In democratic economy, each member of a society would have a say in how resources are used and how work is done. But in capitalist economy, in which all resources are private property and everyone competes each other fro them, most resources end up under the control of a few people (today, read: corporation). Those people can decide how everyone else will work, since most of them can’t live without earning money from them. They even get to determine the physical and physiological landscape of the society, since the own most of the land and control most of the media. And at bottom they aren’t really in control, either for they let their guard down and stop working to keep ahead they will quickly be truly has freedom under the capitalist system: everyone is equal at the mercy of the laws and competition

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