Black Friday Shows the Ugly Side of Capitalism
Posted on December 1, 2014
I was reading an article the other day that was, in effect, contrary to the the greed, selfishness and ‘dog eat dog’ attitudes that have been pummelled into Western society since aggressive capitalism took hold in the Thatcher/Reagan years.
During the early eighties’ when the Cold War was at its peak, excessive capitalism was used as a weapon against communism, with the breaking down of financial restrictions freeing up a spending and lending spree that eventually ended in a banking collapse of biblical proportions.
Whether Thatcher and Reagan knew how capitalism would end up, who knows, but watching the sickening scenes from ‘Black Friday’ was a classic example of how the masses have become addicted to greed and consumerism.
Pathetically, what happens in America comes here soon after and seeing the snarling hatred, bitter envy, debt and loneliness it brings, makes you wonder what on earth it is all about. What is happening to people?
In the capitalist world, we have been taught that greed is good and that we must spend to satisfy ourselves and to make sure our neighbours and friends aren’t getting ahead of us financially, even if that means taking out loans and credit cards or even re-mortgaging property on the back of false equity.
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I went through that phase in my thirties, buying cars, building extensions and conservatories but I always found it unsatisfying, the chase of getting something new always ending with a deflated feeling.
Once into my forties, I realised that the pleasure people got from life was from giving time and effort to community projects, charities or social organisations. It far outweighed any pleasure derived from parking a bloody great big Mercedes on the drive and watching the neighbours curtains twitch with envy before they scurried off to fill out an on-line loan application.
Starting and running a colts cricket club is in a different league to anything I have ever achieved before, yet it came only at a cost of my time, money and energy. I knew other people who did the same sort of thing with football clubs and the feeling of doing something good was making them feel good too. No bank loan or mortgage required.
Some say that parents who get involved in kids clubs are a bit narcissistic in nature and are looking to be congratulated for their efforts and although I admit to taking pleasure from emails of thanks from parents, I think I did it as a form of escapism from the pressure of being stuck bang in the middle of out of control capitalism.
Thatcherism taught people greed, it taught people to be selfish and it taught people to believe that, in the words of George Orwell ‘greed is good’ an ideology that reached its unsavoury nadir on Black Friday, a terrible and shameful day to be British.
Black Driday: A Festival of Consumer Addicted Morons
So, going right back to the start of this post, the article I read was about how, if greed was entrenched in the human DNA as an unavoidable condition humans are afflicted with, our race would have not survived past caveman times. You see, because of the scarcity of food thousands of years ago, humans learnt survival techniques dependent on forming basic co-operatives and communities where the hunter gatherers would share their days work with others.
Put in its crudest term, the female would be attracted to the male who could gather and share, not the male who would steal and hide all his food in a cave and keep it for himself. A kind of primitive form of what a hedge fund manager does today. You can see a picture emerging can’t you? The greedy caveman, by process of evolution, was phased out as women didn’t want to mate with him.
Meanwhile the one who gave to his community, enjoyed parties around a bonfire with his grateful friends and family. One also presumes that he also had great sex life, whilst his lonely rival sat alone counting up what he gathered in between masturbating. A bit like a hedge fund manager today.
Of course, capitalism is not all bad, without it we would not have progress in technology and medicine for example, but in the wrong hands it turns into a seething and simmering whirlpool of chaos that brings out terrible traits in humans.
Weapons are made and sold to bomb civilians from their homeland, the internet, a wonderful tool, gets used for spying, preying and interfering, and the health industry is used and abused as the ultimate way to make money, generally at the expense of those who need it most.
What happened on Friday was an advert for how the battle to promote ‘greed is good’ had won over certain sections of our society. That greed is an example of how financial institutions have taught people to have no mercy to each other, even it means kicking an old lady in the head whilst in pursuit of something as pointless as a crap TV.
However, all is not lost. Black Friday sickened a lot of people and shook them from their apathy. All across social networks such as Twitter and Facebook there were people expressing their shock and distaste at what Britain had become. In my opinion, addictive consumerism, greed and shocking examples of swathes of the oppressed turning on the even more oppressed, instead of their oppressors, is reaching breaking point.
More and more people are turning their back on greed via Internet campaign groups and social media. More and more people are finding that giving time to community projects, forming co-operatives, and helping the sick, poor and elderly is more rewarding than anything else.
There is a sea change taking place but the leaders of the greed world will fight it tooth and nail through the large media corporations they own. They will continue to encourage the masses to hate the poor and chase unachievable success off the back of endless borrowing.
The Murdoch’s and the Dacre’s will continue, with the backing of global corporations, to encourage Middle Englanders to turn on the people one rung below them but with Black Friday, maybe they have taken it a step too far and people are now waking up and taking in the aroma of coffee.
I really hope so, because being around people who give, rather than greedily taking, is a much better society to live in.