“it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism.”Fisher’s Capitalist Realism. Is There No Alternative? (2009),
What is Now?
One cannot help but notice the need & the addiction of money in the world today. Most of our economies and societies are based on the fundamental concepts of capitalism. A certain set of people mass produce certain goods and services which other people buy, use and eventually dispose.
When it comes to individuals within society being able to earn one’s place in the world at the expense of the common good, the environment, human & animal health, even mother earth. It is true that the capitalist system seems to have just the faintest opportunities for people of the lower-class individual may have to make his/her journey upwards in society with the use of the knowledge of making money. No other economic system Is able to do that. These opportunities arise due to the productivity revolution in the system later in the timeline of capitalism which created an upper-middle class, who then had an income close to that of the Burghers.
The major critique against capitalism is that it puts the great controlling power (in the form of money) in the hands of a few people, as the rest of society works for the system which is based on some sort of mass production which then causes not only class segregation but class wars. According to the communist manifesto this system has turned every knowledgeable, skillful man, who might have been honorable, (had he existed before the capitalist society), into a mere ‘wage laborer’.
The capitalist system as in its name, has made capital, money & the want to be richer and, so, powerful, a priority of the burgesses. However, if one goes down in the portal of historical events one is to find that the only real freedom of choice that man has encountered is under this very system. Yes, it has many flaws which should be listed and worked on, rather than the entire system seen as a system which, ‘put and end to all…, idyllic relations.’ (The Communist Manifesto)
The system of capitalism to me, seems like a reflection of the human mind. The only one’s who surpass as bourgeoisie, don’t only have monetary advantage but also seem to have a very clear understanding of how the mind of the common man works. The very fact that this system was invented under the discovery that man is more prone to work well and efficiently if given incentive, rather than under physical oppression; the other major idea, that was one of the building blocks of capitalism, came from division of labor.
That is how this particular system leads the controllers of money, owners of slaves and the oppressors to lose their whips and sticks and swap them with mind games. Since many of the societies in history, from the Ancient Egypt to the 17th & 18th Century America, the rich had shown power, mostly by the means of physical oppression.
Due to residing issues within the system, trade unions were formed to secure the interests of the proletariats and the working class. Certain Laws were introduced by the governments which posed a minimum wage rate and other such small solution proposed to keep the wheel going. However these solutions too have been criticized, the minimum wage acts as a tape rather than a permanent solution. it is just another way for the rich to keep their power.
At this point, seeing humans subjected to the system, there are certain psychological effects. One is only as weak as their minds make them. The capitalist system gives its workers, in the 20th Century, opportunities and incentives, which they can use to rise up but those incentives are exactly what controls the workers minds. The fact that the worker is provided with the security, routine and just enough, sometimes even more than enough, leads him to be enslaved forever within the fortress of his own convenience and advantage. It is easier then to be a part of this system rather than to break out of it and go on one’s own journey. A pin is put in the worker’s mind, he is given certain calculated promotions at certain intervals, that as soon as he is about to get bored and fall into rebellion, he is given the idea of a promotion which makes him go just a bit longer… until he is actually at the pinnacle of the rebellious state of mind, when that promotion is put into his hands and thus the wheel keeps turning.
What is Next?
This argument of capital-controlled society however was fit for the past century. Today capitalism has come to a turning point. Instead of it being a game of mass production it has become a game of services, although mass production still exists and industries still play a major role in our part of the world, yet, society in general is more based on knowledge, ideas and creativity. The education system is criticized to be outdated due to its teaching methods which were originally meant to enhance the skills of the working class. And since with greater automation the need of laborers has been reduced and might soon be obsolete. Today we look for methods to enhance the ability of the education system to produce knowledgeable thinkers for the future, the methods of which are still being researched without a certain set of conclusions. We teach and preach, recycling, sustainability, regeneration, environment, ecology and all different ways to tell the world to not only think about their pockets but also the ground beneath their feet and the air they need to breath in order to survive as a species. Science fiction predicts many forms of apocalypse that might befall our civilization if we don’t change our ways towards a greener future.