Sunday, July 19, 2015
Capitalism - Avarice be thy name
Capitalism - supposedly an ideology of freedom and democracy. Yet the more 'free' the market, the more enslaved are the workers and the more oppressed are the most vulnerable.
While Socialism gives workers freedom to chose how their industries and workplaces operate, Capitalism puts that choice in the hands of a few who have often never worked in an operational capacity within that workplace. Instead, they arrive with their MBAs or through an 'old-boys' network and make decisions that boil down to maximising profits while minimising overheads. Those overheads are often workers and their conditions.
Capitalism's basic tenet is to make as much money as possible. The rich are portrayed as hard-workers who deserve every penny they've accumulated. Yet where is the concern for the livelihoods of those they've destroyed in amassing fortunes. Those fortunes are the result of hard-work by the workers, not by the CEOs. While few rich people become wealthy from their own sweat and tears, few workers become rich from the profits of their employers.
Those who dare to criticise the excesses of Capitalism, to condemn the accumulation of wealth at the expense of the poor, are crucified as Socialist scum, as traitors, as heathens or infidels. It's as though Capitalism is a religion.
Karl Marx described religion as the 'opium of the people'. The 20th century has seen the marriage of religion and economics. Conservative Christianity embraces Capitalism as though it is the economics of Jesus, as though there is no difference between prophet and profit. This wedding now gives Capitalism control of the 'opium' of the people, making it even easier to control the masses without question.
Like all religion it has a dose of fear within it to control its adherents. Fear that the wealth an individual's wealth will be taken away. That they'll be left penniless through Socialism's redistribution of wealth. Yet it is capitalism that redistributes wealth - from the worker to the wealthy.
Socialism is portrayed as creating a welfare state. Those who make this claim clearly do not understand Socialism. Marx stated 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need'. If you can afford to pay more you do, if you have higher needs than someone else than you receive more. Redistributing wealth to the needy is not creating a welfare state. If anything, it is preventing the need for welfare. Most people who are on welfare in a capitalist economy are the victims of capitalists, of a dwindling job market as companies downsize and expect the remaining workers to do more with less.
Critics of capitalism are often labelled as being anti-Democratic. Workers deciding how their workplaces are run is far more democratic than the autocratic attitude of most employers. In terms of government, if workers are having a say in the every day running of the economy, this is far more democratic than voting once every few years for politicians who are out of touch with the community and have their snouts in trough. These politicians only look out for themselves or the wealthy who can afford to pay exorbitant amounts to lobby the government for favourable dispensation in policies. Favourable dispensation that often comes at the expense of the common person.
Capitalist governments balance budgets at the expense of the poor. Australia's conservative government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott has become one of the world's largest recipient of its own foreign aid by redirecting its aid funds to maintain a cruel and inhumane refugee program that imprisons people without charge for years at a time, that jails whistle-blowers for reporting abuse of children and adults in these gulags, that demonises and tortures desperate people who are seeking asylum. These human rights abuses and violations of international law are justified by portraying refugees, the victims of war and terrorism, as being perpetrators of war and terrorism. Well done, Capitalism.
The greed that underpins the deep fear held by most capitalists manifests itself through racism and bigotry. Fear that those who are 'different' in some way will steal 'our way' of life. One only has to look at the fear-driven hatred directed particularly at Islam or at other races.
Capitalism isn't just a religion. It's a cult. It brainwashes people through fear while bribing them with unattainable dreams of riches and greed. It sacrifices the most vulnerable as scapegoats on the altar of the all-mighty dollar in the name of life-style: defending wealth and its distasteful methods of oppression and exploitation at all costs.
Capitalism is not the religion of God. It is the religion of Greed.
To truly defend democracy and freedom, requires love, tolerance and sharing. Not hate, intolerance and accumulation of wealth.
Capitalism - Avarice be thy name.