Now, I’m one who takes the society I live in for granted. I believe in the work ethic that is ingrained into each and every one of us, that we work hard for our money, we earn it and it is ours. But does the economic crisis sweeping not only Europe but also America not suggest that our capitalist culture is tired?
There’s an old adage ‘you have to spend money to get money’ but no one is spending and everyone is frugal. So does the simple fact that no one is going out and buying mean that our economy is almost grinding to a halt? Or does the blame lay with the consumer culture?
Most of us are materialistic, we put too much stock in what we own, we consume the mass-produced because we are expected to want it. But companies supply because there is a demand. Where that demand comes from I do not know, but it’s there and the major companies have spotted it.
We covet thy neighbours T.V so we buy one that’s better. We absolutely need the latest Apple product so purchase it immediately. Yet somewhere it all went wrong.
Maybe we started questioning our ‘needs’, perhaps we realised that we really didn’t need the latest gaming console after all. Either way we’re suffering because of those companies and those companies are suffering because of us.
You realise that capitalism doesn’t rely on independence like it wants you to think, it’s a vicious circle so convoluted that it is possible to get lost, there are twists and turns where no circle should have twists and turns. The closer you look the clearer it becomes that we are all entangled with one another, completely dependent yet not at all equal.
We lesser beings living on a nominal income help those sitting in their glass panelled offices as they look over what poor unfortunate city plays host to their revolutionary schemes. Yet they spare not a thought for us unless it’s how to entice us into another manic frenzy over the latest craze.
We faceless entities are to them what pigeons are to us. Scatter a few breadcrumbs and watch the manic chaos ensue.
Yet without capitalism what would we be? We’d all be a flock of pigeons scrapping for the piece of bread thrust forth by a nameless stranger. We’d all be equal and we would all be predictable.
There would be no innovation, because at least those guys who used to be in those glass panelled offices offered us that. There would be nothing of interest, after all how could we covet thy neighbours T.V if we have exactly the same one?
Many people slam capitalism and the money oriented culture it symbolises and the very fact that it might implode in these upcoming times spells utter disaster for the Western economy. If Brussels can’t hash out a solution and if the G20 are at a loss as well, things are going to become much more difficult and you might very well find yourself hoping for the times when mass production ruled the market place and independent stalls made for a good place to get a quirky gift, because at least you’ll be secure in the knowledge that if they’re safe you must be too, for surely you would have felt the reverberations through the convoluted circle that links you together.
(I’m also going to be posting this on my politics blog, so if you want to head on over there and make my lecturer think I’m awesomely popular feel free! :P)