capitalism at a dead end

anonymous asked:

i hate the narrative that a majority of the world is poor so that the rich minority can live in nice houses and drive expensive cars. like yeah i guess that happens but to think thats all there is to it is pretty bad and wrong and incorrect ... Can you explain to a not v. Smart person what else is going on? Like in simple terms?

to reduce the whole thing to just rich people wanting nice cars is to pretend that the actual function of capital as power doesnt exist, that its just exploitation in a vague sense allowing some people to live lavishly while others go without basic necessities. its Bad and ignores the process going on by

1. turning it into anti-rich people thing, which i mean yeah fuck rich people but they are trapped in this same process as everyone else and they are forced to play their role or risk losing it all, which is admittedly a very anxiety-provoking thing. marx talks about this quite a bit actually, and you see an almost sympathetic view of the bourgeoisie in his writings where he doesnt see capital as being imposed on everyone else by the rich, but as being a process that involves everyone and that none of us are capable of escaping on our own and certainly not by the means offered to us through the system

to quote choonara (although regarding a slightly different topic)

“Escape seems impossible for the capitalist because the system contains at its heart a drive to accumulate. Capitalists do not squeeze workers and pump the surplus value back into production out of personal malice or greed–although it is perfectly possible for both to motivate particular capitalists. They do so because if they do not they will be driven to the wall. The competition between capitalists forces them to behave as capitalists. This is one fundamental reason why “ethical capitalism” is a dead end–in a world of competitive accumulation the capitalist is forced to stop being ethical or stop being a capitalist.”

2. expanding on point one as it being a sort of shallow “anti-rich” rhetoric, it often leads to conclusions that blame systemic problems on those with lots of wealth, the logical conclusion being that those people shouldn’t be the ones with wealth, or that everyone with that much wealth should be kicked down a notch by measures such as taxation, regulation, etc etc etc. the mindset doesnt take into account anything resembling class analysis and so the result is a lazy liberal reformism that doesnt do us any good. its basically the same as saying that everything wrong with society is “consumerism” and that the rich just want to consume more, when really thats not it at all. 

to quote marx this time, 

“The expansion of value, which is the objective basis or main-spring of the circulation M-C-M, becomes his subjective aim, and it is only in so far as the appropriation of ever more and more wealth in the abstract becomes the sole motive of his operations, that he functions as a capitalist, that is, as capital personified and endowed with consciousness and a will. Use-values must therefore never be looked upon as the real aim of the capitalist; neither must the profit on any single transaction. The restless never-ending process of profit-making alone is what he aims at. This boundless greed after riches, this passionate chase after exchange-value, is common to the capitalist and the miser; but while the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad, the capitalist is a rational miser”

basically, the rich dont get rich just to get rich and throw private parties in their $2000000000 mansion with a 5 mile wading pool, they do it because they have to in order to reinvest and guarantee tomorrows profits. the accumulation of their material wealth is just a byproduct, not the problem itself. 

So a thought occurred to me about TT. Toons are brightly coloured animals in a brightly coloured world, that fight off the serious, boring cogs with a vast array of gags. They’re literally fighting with slapstick comedy, and their laughter destroys the cogs.

And they are all chronically depressed.

Think about it. The cogs basically represent things like capitalism, responsibility and dead end jobs, all negative soul-sucking things that gradually chip away at what really makes life worth living. And toons fight them with fun. Even the heals are things like funny dances, big kisses, juggling and pixie dust, to help their fellow toons keep a big ol’ smile on their face.

What happens when a toon loses to a cog? They get sad, they have all of their fun stuff taken away, and they are banished back to the playground of each area, unable to leave until they are happy again. Because apparently they’re incapable of doing anything when they’re sad.

But they’re not just “sad”, are they? Look at a defeated toon.

Slumped, downcast eyes, walking at snail’s pace, thinking about what he’s done. He’s not just sad. He’s depressed.

And look at the Laff-O-Meter of a defeated toon. What colour comes to mind for sadness? Blue, right? And you’d expect the smiley-faced meter to have a big sad face, wouldn’t you?

Well…

Green with X eyes and a tongue sticking out? That’s not sadness. That’s sickness.

So what we have here is a bunch of characters trying to manage their illness with wacky fun and frolics, because they know that laughter is the best medicine.