Thursday, 15 July 2010

Is it just me? But I don't actually recall choosing capitalism?.....

I read an interesting article yesterday about how camping is like communism and how it shows the capability of people to work together, pool skills and take an equal share of the results living by the ultimate communist mantra 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need'. If you want to read the article here is the link 'Guardian - Camping for Communists'. An equally interesting response can be found here 'Guardian - Camping is not Communist'.

This is an interesting point but one that can be argued either way, depending on how you 'do' your camping- if you actually like sleeping on the floor and emptying the chemical toilet... What really interested me was someone's comment that its fine if people 'choose' to live like that, but 'with communism, they didn't choose'. Its funny, because for the life of me I can't remember 'choosing' capitalism.

Capitalism is not a choice for most people, most people in the world lose out from capitalism, they do not benefit as advocates of the 'free' market like to proclaim. The free market is far from free, we are imprisoned by this system which has been imposed on us by a small elite of people who do benefit from it, and lets make no mistake, they benefit a hell of a lot.
For a moral condemnation of capitalism you only need to think about the contrast between the millions of people that suffer around the world as a direct result of international capitalism - starving Africans, underpaid Far-Eastern workers, among millions of others, compared with those at the top - the bankers, CEOs of international corporations and many others that exploit the poorest in the world on a daily basis.

My point is that capitalism is not a choice for the vast majority of people on this planet. People, particularly in the West, believe that capitalism is the natural way to organise ourselves, the only way. This is not true, modern capitalism has been imposed on humanity as a choice, but a choice made by a relatively small amount of people for their own benefit. It is because of the propaganda of this established elite that people believe there is no alternative. There is another way of doing things, and it is not necessarily the version of Marxist communism that has apparently been 'disgraced' by the examples in Russia, China and others (even though none of these were ever actually communist).

Humanity has been corrupted by a sense of selfishness, competition and aggression that is endemic in, and encouraged by capitalism as a means of pitting individuals against each other for personal gain, when we should be working together for the collective benefit. Camping shows that people can work together, use what skills they have and not resent when someone with less skills takes an equal share as long as they have put in effort in whatever way they can. Why do some people feel it is acceptable to live the complete opposite of this in everyday life, and try and be better and richer than others. We only live once, and with something as important as the quality of the life with which we live it is simply not right that we should compete to push others down while elevating ourselves - as capitalism would have us do. It is only because of the attitude of a relatively small amount of people that we are forced to live in this way - it is not a choice, and there is an alternative...