Capitalism is driven along by exploitation
Business has been getting a bad rap lately. When I say lately I mean roughly since Marx published Das Capital in 1867 (AKA Capital: Critique of Political Economy) and what a stir it caused! Who could disagree that opinions have been divided? Marx’s basic riff is that Capitalism is driven along by exploitation of labour. The surplus value thus derived from the pain and suffering of the mass of people – the downtrodden human worker bees – is then used by business owners to continue to own the productive capital which is protected by the state through force of law and arms. The interests of those heroic individuals who own the capital – and indeed many of them are often heroic – are championed by what may be thought of as the Right Wing of politics and various institutional conservatives and conservative institutions. Undoubtedly capitalists need champions (Marx called them petit bourgeois) for the simple fact that Capitalism is driven along by exploitation. That is indeed how it has worked ever since they built the first steam engine – and probably before.
The infernal glow of burning coal to fire the engines of industry left all but the most obtuse and ignorant in no doubt that we had burrowed through to a new Hell. Capitalism is driven along by exploitation, but capitalists were not happy to just exploit people. No. They wanted to make their point as clear as possible. To ensure that human beings learned the deep lessons about love, freedom and the dignity demanded by the spirit they got together in conspiratorial groups to exploit forests, fish, cows, pigs, chickens, rivers, oceans, needlework, a variety of minerals and many different gaseous substances. They created an artform to reflect the psychopathic nature of their enterprise and called them corporations. These monsters would have limited liability and thus corporations could kill people, torture them, attack living animals, plants of all descriptions and poison rivers and rob and steal with impunity. And being remorseless cancerous psychopaths without souls . . . corporations did just that. People were amazed at the power of the. . .corporation. But the capitalists – bless them – they wanted us to be able to understand as clearly as possible how disgustingly ugly all exploitation and grinding torture is. They wanted us to be able to – first hand – experience the crucifixion. . . in our own lives.
When we realised how abjectly low we had sunk as a species, how degraded and despicable we had become as we turned a blind eye to the suffering of our fellow human beings and to our chickens, cows and pigs who were tortured and slaughtered as we sat laughing at the festival of illusions called the television, we would look at ourselves and question our own existence. They are a cunning lot these capitalists and as wise as serpents. And that is how they brought us to love. Oh but there was one more thing they had to do. Because even after all that self-loathingly despicable abuse of trust and denial of the truth about love . . .we still didn’t object! Well not much anyway. A few creative and sensitive souls starting freaking out but hey . . .fuck them.
Anyway what the capitalists had to do to teach us about love, was they had to go to the wealthiest country in the world, the USA where people were richer and fatter and glibber and suckier than anywhere on the planet. The place that used more than half the world’s resources in a kind of orgy of air-conditioned, self-satisfied narcissistic confabulation. The place that knew no boundaries for the excessive exploitation of all the living things of the Earth . . .the capitalists went there from their heavenly abodes called into incarnation by the spirit of humanity. They allowed themselves to take on the pain of being born into the perilous chasm of this world, just so they could do something totally awesome.
In their next Art Project About Love they took all the money from the rich people, they stole all their millons and billions and even their trillons. They stole all the money from the middle-class and then they kicked them out of their homes and made them live in tents and trailers and on the street. Then just to make sure that the people would rise up and say NO MORE! They then paraded themselves around in limousines and yachts. They went to fancy restaurants, and drank expensive French champagne and they laughed at the suffering of the people who they called fools. They lived in walled off communities and high up in glittering towers and they laughed and they laughed and they laughed. And finally people said NO MORE!
And that’s when we got the idea of the Social Entrepreneur. If it was true for the last hundred years plus that capitalism is driven along by exploitation then now we get a chance to change. What if capitalism reinvented itself and it was driven along by love? Dear Reader – if you have gotten this far please give this post a star rating (5 is excellent) and click LIKE if you liked it. Just look below. Thanks
Admittedly business driven by LOVE may seem like a bizarre idea, but how bizarre is the old idea . . .and how painful to so many? And now . . .now . . . YOU get to decide through your choices . . .will we be thinking differently about business in one hundred years or will we still be moaning about how Capitalism is driven along by exploitation?