Friday, August 22, 2008


Capitalism is a cult that requires devoted followers who will give their money to the capitalists in return for nothing (as in insurance or usurious credit cards)Would you sign a contract that says, "Any term can be changed at any time for any reason, including no reason"? Anyone who uses a credit card already has. He/she will give their lives for them (as in working without benefits) and will kill for them (as in war). Capitalists structure their strategy like an onion, with the most benign and helpful features on the outside and the most controlling and evil parts at the secret inner core. Capitalists use deception, they don’t tell their adherents who they really are, they leave out important information, or distort information. They develop up front groups, encourage "personal development". They promise that an unfettered "market" will fulfill people’s dreams, that it holds the secrets for self-improvement, that it can give you special, personal powers for achievement and success. Capitalists promise something free (such as credit) to force people to give them much more money in return, thus transferring capital. They imply that time is running out (offer is good until tomorrow); they must make that decision now or it will be too late. Don’t give them time to think, prevent doubts by separating people from each other, surrounding them with true believers so when in doubt they will tend to do what ever everyone around them is doing. The capitalist acts friendly and interested. He will ask the public to take a "fun" personality test so that he can know the weak spots, and use this information to manipulate them. After they have been softened up, the capitalist will start making demands on them so that they buy things they don’t need, feeling that they are with the "in crowd". Capitalists control the public’s behavior telling them to "wear these clothes, eat this food, have these ideas." They prescribe a rigid schedule where people willingly are overworked with little sick time and little vacation time. They self-servingly call this "the work ethic". In their scarce free time people are kept active and distracted with rock concerts, sports events, beauty pageants, game shows, NASCAR races, etc., all of which reenforce competition and individualism. They feed the population the cheapest and most profitable high fat, high starch, high sugar foods. control their thoughts and shape their ideology, answer all questions to all problems, induce guilt "you’re not the patriotic enough, you are not living up to your potential because you’re lazy and don’t work hard enough. you cheated on that test, you went through a red light, your insurance is out of date you’re a bad person."
The constant harassment induces fear; "the enemy is sworn to kill you because of who you are." The capitalist controls information and blocks out any information which is critical. He encourages the public to spy on one another, induces mental breakdowns (called education) and tells them that they are being built into good citizens. He makes them paranoid, using bogus scientific research to convince them. He claims you have privileges and have a right over others. He makes up stories about how efficient and successful capitalism is. He encourages you to practice repetitive acts that reinforce themselves, like going to church or pledging allegiance. He shows contempt and disrespect for non-capitalists, such as native peoples. He comes up with fake solutions to problems, using magical thinking, fantasies that will make people suggestible and obedient and uncritical, that will separate them from their families by giving them jobs or jail time in other cities or faraway from their origins so they have no reinforcement from their roots. He encourages dependency and conformity, promoting fake individuality where the "individual" is actually conforming to what he thinks is rebellion but in fact he is just following the trend in the fashion, which is for sale. Capitalists rewrite the past, isolate people from the rest of the world and alternative systems. They speak contemptuously of "losers" making their adherents feel part of an elite group with a special mission. They like to say, " we are the envy of the world." They establish scapegoats and imaginary enemies, demonize outsiders as less than human. Any criticism is evidence of committing a crime. Their adherents are called upon to make sacrifices as they develop triumphalist attitudes of superiority. Anyone who feels short-changed is told that their reward will be in heaven.
The capitalist heart only beats when the market goes up or down. It is indifferent to human misery. Everything is for sale, with its resulting alienation. Virtue, love, conviction, knowledge, conscience, are meaningless unless some profit can be gained from them. Profit determines the character of the press, of science, art, politics, law, education. It figures in the selection of a mate and of friends. It determines the level of respect to that one has from his peers. There is little difference between the behavior and attitudes of Wall Street businessmen and gangsters, who are also businessmen.
The competitive rush to be "number one" creates an indifference to the social good. Number one´s only concern is to take from others to increase his holdings. All are equally indifferent to those weaker or less fortunate. Capitalists say that if you work hard and are honest you can get ahead. Most of the rich have inherited wealth and don’t work hard and never have. Their capacity for corruption is legendary. They have 24-hour leisure punctuated only by trips, parties and business meetings, where Byzantine intrigues are constant.
One of the great contradictions of capitalism where property is sacred is that more and more people become propertyless. Sources of wealth paradoxically become sources of privation and exhaustion for workers. The dream is to own a house but the reality is comprised of mortgages, high rents, stratospheric sale prices, foreclosures and evictions. Under capitalism, workers are tied to production, since they don’t own any of it. Their work is forced, not free. They do not work to satisfy their own needs, but rather the needs of others. Exploitation does not allow for the personality to develop.
Yet the capitalist is also not free. He is only worth as much as the money he has in the bank. His whole activity is in function of capital, and it winds up dominating him.The doctor says he wants to cure the sick and in fact wants the greatest number of sick people that he can make money from, the architect is horrified by fires or earthquakes that destroy buildings but is secretly gratified by the fat building contracts, the courts and the police say they want to safeguard justice while they really want criminals about, the government contractor claims he wants peace while putting out his hand for the billion dollar war subsidies, etc. Society becomes a mass of people competing with each other trying to fulfill their economic interests. The ruling class have slogans that show how stressful their lives are. "Get them before they get you" and "dog eat dog" (homo homini lupus est) are but two examples of the inhumanity of capitalism. Even when they speak of the common good they separate the individual from society, heroes from the rabble, chosen from not chosen.The idea that it is natural for humans to seek pleasure or well-being and avoid pain becomes a convenient rationalization to have contempt for the poor, to blame the victim, to be indifferent to what happens to others, in order to safeguard class privileges. Such a society is hardly ethical or free.
Ambitious kids from the ghettos and barrios find they do not have a level playing field. The ruling class speaks of the common good, by which they mean what is good for them. When the working class speaks of the common good they mean the good of all of society free of exploitation, in which it is necessary to satisfy material needs; food, medicine, clothing, housing, and just as important, to attend to cultural and ethical needs.