“Here comes the juggernaut
Here come The Poisoners
They choke the life and land
And rob the joy from us
Why do they taste of sugar?
Oh, when they’re made of money
Here come the Lamb Of God
And the Butcher’s Boy Sonny”
– Elvis Costello “Dust”
“Babylon system is the vampire,
Suckin’ the children day by day,
Me say: de Babylon system is the vampire, falling empire,
Suckin’ the blood of the sufferers,
Building church and university,
Deceiving the people continually,
Me say them graduatin’ thieves and murderers;
Look out now: they suckin’ the blood of the sufferers”
– Bob Marley “Babylon System”
Capitalism is the process of turning a financial profit at any and all cost and it’s the single driving motive of capitalism. It doesn’t matter how this financial profit is created or the cost of destruction it may leave behind, only that at the end of the day there is a profit that can measured in financial terms. If the destruction of human beings is deemed necessary to create this profit then let the wars begin. If slavery or indentured servitude of labor creates a pretty profit then get the whip and open a sweatshop. If the annihilation of the planets ecosystem makes a beautiful billion then drill the oil and let it spill. This is capitalism and it’s a waste of time, energy and most of all human potential.
A parasite is an organism that attaches itself to another organism simply to benefit itself. You would be hard pressed to find a more fitting definition of capitalism. In order for capitalism to work it needs to be present in everything and have an influence everywhere. It attaches itself to every relationship we have, our relationship with our families, friends, partners, communities, even our spiritual relationships have a capitalistic elements attached to them. There is not a single association to anyone or anything in this world that is not infected by capitalism.
The cheerleading squad for capitalism would have you believe that everything we have we owe to capitalism. That capitalism is responsible for all the scientific and technological advancements in the world. That capitalism is an engine that drives innovation and fuels creativity. i would argue that these advancements all came about in spite of capitalism. i would argue that capitalism stifles innovation and suffocates creativity. Why? Because capitalism isn’t concerned with advancement or innovation and creativity. Capitalism is only concerned with turning a financial profit. True advancement is concerned with using innovation and technology and creativity to solve a problem, it doesn’t care if it turns a profit.
The only reason we have any of the technological advancements we have now is because they were able to turn a profit. Someone or some corporation found a way to monetize that advancement and that’s how it went forward. What about the advancements that came about that couldn’t turn a profit? What about advancements that threaten capitalism’s ability to turn a profit? If an inexpensive abundant cure for cancer were found in a plant that grows on the bottom of trees in the Amazon jungle how much financial profit would be threatened by such a cure? Pharmaceutical companies would be out of billions of dollars for cancer drugs, hospitals would be out of billions on hospital stays, and the lumber companies deforesting the Amazon would be cut out of business. Cancer is a multi-billion dollar business. A cure for cancer means a huge loss of financial profit for capitalism. If capitalism is only concerned with financial profit then what incentive does capitalism have in finding a cure for cancer?
Imagine a world in which capitalism, had no place. Imagine a world in which food, water, shelter, education, medical treatment were not a part of the capitalist system. Imagine the paradigm shift that would take place. So much of our time, energy and potential is wasted on this relationship that capitalism has with our means of survival that it leaves little time for anything else. It leaves very little time towards placing our energy, our time and our resources into advancing on some of the larger issues that require our attention. The parasite that is capitalism has overtaken human potential. So much of the world’s potential is so busy feeding it, that capitalism is stealing the world’s human potential. The destruction of capitalism levels the playing field for everyone to explore their individual potential gifts and talents and instead of exploiting that potential for either financial gain or survival it can be put to better use in making the world a better place. Removing the ability for capitalism to steal our human potential would immediately make the world better.
In a world in which capitalism has no place, at the every least, in monetizing and profiteering our means of survival, that human potential could be put towards advancing solutions to the worlds problems. i believe that capitalism is robbing us of people who could be doing some real good in the world. A scientist with the potential to solve the energy crisis who takes a job doing research for a military contractor because he has two children in college. Without the profiteering of capitalism in war and the profit derived from higher education his ideas that could solve the energy crisis are snuffed out.
On a road side a child in a third world nation sells trinkets to help feed her younger brothers and sisters instead of going to school to become an engineer that will solve a major hurdle in designing a more efficient high-speed railway. The poverty in third world nations means limited opportunities for education. A poverty directly related to capitalism’s high interest loans on those nations that require payment of their debt before a school can be built. Meanwhile that hurdle that needs to be overcome in creating a more efficient high-speed railway lie dormant on the side of a road selling trinkets.
There’s a carpenter who would like to donate some of his skills and labor to build homes for the homeless but he works two jobs in order to pay his mortgage. The value of his home has dropped because of the artificial housing bubble created by bankers who made a quick killing in real estate for themselves. Meanwhile the carpenter tries to keep himself and his family from being homeless. Instead of being a solution to the problem capitalism is on one level threatening to make him a part of the problem and on another level has already made him a part of the problem by keeping him from helping.
So while we work towards feeding this global parasite by trying to educate and feed and house ourselves and our families, the problems that really need solving go unsolved or will only gain the attention of capitalism to solve when capitalism finds a way to turn a financial profit for itself. If we could disengage from capitalism and it’s financial profit at any cost then we could redefine profit in new ways. Ways that incorporate the health of people and planet as profit. Profit could be re-understood to be what has been given as opposed to what has been taken.
In the meantime the champions of capitalism reinforce the illusion that without capitalism to drive people, people will not be driven to do anything. What these champions of capitalism really mean is that we will no longer be forced to do what they want and be free to do what we want. That kind of freedom is dangerous for capitalism. If people had the freedom to explore their potential gifts and talents then the world would be a very different place. Contrary to what the capitalists would have us believe our productivity would increase because we would be doing what we do because we want to and not because we have to feed the parasite.
It seems that nowadays people have given up on trying to imagine alternatives for capitalism. A kind of hubris has been ushered into the times we live in. A hubris rooted in the fact that the world we live in is the best possible outcome. No one imagines what the next step might be, no one imagines where we can go from here, as if capitalism where the pinnacle of human potential when nothing could be further from the truth. The real battle has now become imagining a world without capitalism. Imagination costs nothing. From daring to imagine what the world will be like without capitalism, ideas will begin to percolate and ruminate and ferment into action. Action that could lead to alternatives to what we have now which works for the few at the expense of the many. To not imagine how to make the world better is a kind of suicide. To not imagine alternatives to our problems is to abort our own potential before it’s even been realized…
“For what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
– Mark 8:36
FVK by Bad Brains
The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me.
All throughout this so-called nation,
we don’t want your filthy money,
we don’t need your innocent bloodshed.
We just wanna end your world.
Well my minds made up.
Yes, it’s time for you to pay,
better watch out for me.
I’m a member of the F.V.K. (Fearless Vampire Killers)