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Why Marx Was Right
2. Competition offers greater choice and diversity. Right?
Wrong. Everyone know the multiplication of television channels just creates more of the same. Similarly competition among manufacturers of cars and most other commodities leads not to greater diversity but to greater standardisation. That is why vast sums of money need to be wasted on ludicrous advertising – to create a grand illusion of distinctiveness between virtually identical products and services. ‘Brand identity’ replaces true diversity and choice.
3. Competition results in cost-efficiency. Right?
Wrong. The pursuit of profit and low-cost production results in the greatest imaginable wastage of natural resources and human potentials. For example the production of one ounce of gold produces thirty tons of toxic waste and depends on labour so cheap it is a form of slavery – thus also wasting the productive human potentials of every worker involved.
4. Capitalism can create full-employment. Right?
Wrong. Capitalism can only ever creates anything near full-employment by massively under-employing the potential skills of its employees - instead employing ever-more workers in exportable, low-skill, low-paid work – and employing even university graduates in ‘McJobs’, call-centres and the like.
5. Capitalism protects women’s rights and the family. Right?
Wrong. An economy such as America’s, in which millions of mothers have to leave their children alone and travel often long distances to do two or more minimum-wage shift jobs – and still not afford decent housing or even medical care - is hardly ‘family friendly’. Protecting ‘women’s rights’ and the family means protecting the right of women to be minimum-wage slaves.
5. Capitalism values the individual. Right?
Wrong. Capitalism buys the individual, and values them according to their market value alone. What made capitalism different from earlier forms of market economy is that people don’t sell products they make themselves, they sell themselves as employees – they sell their bodies, brains and time to be ‘employed’ as instructed by their employer. Capitalism is economic prostitution of the individual.
5. Capitalist societies are mostly democratic. Right?
Wrong. The most politically powerful and important institutions in capitalist states - and the ones in which most people lead their lives - are private companies in which there is no democracy, no elections of any sort and rule is principally by management decree – it is determined by financiers and corporate shareholders.
6. Capitalism could cope with ecological problems with the right will. Right?
WRONG. No gas, oil or nuclear energy corporations would ever tolerate losing their profits to community groups or towns that decided to declare energy independence - to go ‘off-grid’ and generate energy from their own wind generators, solar energy sources, energy-saving programmes or waste burners.
7. Capitalism means a free trade and a free market. Right?
WRONG. Capitalism just can’t cope with global free trade, and ‘globalisation’ is the biggest attempt to restrict it – for example by imposing unfair trading agreements and by subsidised agriculture which restrict imports from and impoverishes developing countries. Capitalism certainly can’t cope with a global ‘free market’ economy – for that would mean free movement not only of capital but free movement of labour (‘immigration’) across countries and continents. Not even the European Union can allow a free market – ever tried getting low-cost mortgages or loans from Germany or lower-cost cars from Europe?
8. Capitalist societies are free societies. Right?
WRONG. Capitalism forces individual’s to sell their time to their employers. Freedom means being free to use one’s time to engage in freely chosen creative activity that fulfils an individual’s unique potentials and allows them to contribute to society through them. But the only types of productive, creative activity or work allowed in capitalism are those with market value in the creation of profit for employers. Education in capitalism does not cultivate each individual’s gifts so that it can transform them into a valuable contribution to society. Instead its focus is only on skills with a market value in the creation of profit.
9. Capitalism is wealth creating. Right?
Not only is more than 90% of the wealth of capitalist economies owned by
less than 10% of the population, but is gained by creating general
time-poverty and by exploitation of low-wage labour, both here and
in developing countries. The type of labour that has the market value to
create most monetary wealth tends to be of a purely self-serving,
calculative or mind-numbing type that impoverishes the soul and
distorts, demeans or denies time for human relationships. Wealth in
capitalism is a ‘Faustian’ bargain – selling all richness of soul to the
Devil in order to attain material gain.
Markets are needed to know what people want. Right?
WRONG. How about just asking them? Today's information technology provides the perfect means of finding out what sorts of products people want, in what variety, with what new features or changes, and at what sort of prices. Markets only offer them ranges of products to choose from over which they have no democratic choice. Worse still, it uses advertising to make them think they can fulfil their deepest spiritual needs by buying material commodities.
The Capitalist Path to a ‘Fulfilling’ life
How to find harmony and understanding, affirm your senses and feelings, live life your way, find rewarding relationships, trust your heart and trust in life? Capitalism’s answer – fulfil all your inner, spiritual needs by buying material commodities.
Hence its new-style advertising slogans:
Essential truth. (shampoo ad.)
Harmony of body and soul. (tea ad.)
Don’t leave your soul behind. (perfume ad.)
Nurofen understands your pain. (painkiller ad.)
Make the most of now. (mobile phone ad.)
Bringing your world together. (mobile phone ad.)
Relationships should be rewarding. (mobile phone ad.)
Beauty is more than skin deep. (skin cosmetics ad. !)
Never was the worth of women more respected. (cosmetics ad.)
Room to breathe. (air freshener ad.)
Live life your way. (face cream ad.)
Time dedicated to you. (cider ad.)
Intense moments. Deep pleasure. (chocolate ad.)
Real chocolate. Real feeling.
For trust in life. (insurance ad. !)
You awaken my senses. (fabric freshener)
Open your senses. (car ad.)
Boundless freedom. (car ad.)
Barriers only in your head. (car ad.)
The New Volvo 70 invites you to feel.
Are emotions more important for you than conventions? (car ad.)
Close you eyes, listen to your heart and think. (car ad.)
Strive for fulfilment. (car ad.)
Keep the rebel alive. (car ad.)
Enthusiasm for life. (car ad.)
The power of dreams. (car ad.)
I will be free. (car ad.)
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