The Logic of Capitalism Is to Commodify Everything
Which is the ultimate path to destruction
Market fundamentalists like to brag. About how capitalism has led to the betterment of life everywhere. Most economists and politicians are among these fundamentalists. After all, that is the logic behind Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” metaphor. That the market, if left to its own will lead to the common good.
The problem with the word ‘common’ is that it should include more than 1% of the population. In other words, that theory has been blasted to shit. When reality proves them wrong, fundamentalists always do the same thing. They make batsh*t crazy brain twists to explain away that their logic is not really logic at all.
One of these is the ‘trickle-down theory. The thinking is that wealth, which accumulates at the top will trickle down to the rest of us. Because the rich people will ‘invest’ and create jobs, and all that.
It isn’t even a theory. A theory only becomes a theory when there is actual evidence that a hypothesis might be valid. But we have zero evidence of trickle-down. In Chile, under the Pinochet regime, nothing trickled down. Nothing trickles down in the U.S, either. All people get is a nonexisting healthcare system. And zero public infrastructure.
Human Progress Happened in Spite of Capitalism, Not Because of It
The inconvenient truth is this. We have made human progress despite capitalism, not because of it. I used to train development workers for a while. The projects we sent them to had an explicit purpose. To attempt to improve and repair the damage that capitalism has done. In some cases, they were training farmers in sustainable farming methods. So these farmers could make a living, and escape the debt traps of finance institutions. And the catfishing methods employed by Monsanto and other big agro-businesses.
Other times it was about providing basic healthcare systems in rural areas. According to market logic, no clinic could ever exist in a Zambian village. It just wouldn’t be profitable. But people still die of TB, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other preventable diseases.
Even in the rich west, we see it happening in real-time. European governments put out massive spending bills. All so that millions of people can hope to remain in their homes this coming winter. Market logic dictates the opposite. These people should pay whatever price, energy companies want them to.
Capitalism Even Commodifies Human Connections
The only logic behind capitalism is to commodify everything. Nature, Basic public infrastructure, and even human connections. Sometimes I try to find places to go via Meetup.com. On the surface, the concept is cool. But the funny thing is this. If 75 people click RSVP, 20 actually show. Because you don’t actually have to commit. You can just use the site like a supermarket.
Dating apps work the same way. They are the embodiment of capitalist market logic, with human connection, and intimacy. Everybody keeps on swiping left and right. Not because they actually care about the people behind the profiles. Dating is now just a pastime. The only thing that matters is superficial information. Like how tall or handsome a male or female is. Most matches on Tinder never actually enter a conversation. People just move on to the next swipe.
Your 400 ‘friends’ on Facebook are not friends. They are casual contacts, at best. You know nothing about your followers on Instagram. It is all for validation. And we all are caught up in it. Me included. There is no escaping it.
The Commodification of Anything Is the Surest Way to Destroy It
Market logic dictates that we should keep growing. We do that by exploiting and destroying nature. The will of the market fundamentalists is to turn the air we breathe into a commodity as well. Wouldn’t it be lovely? If you want a breath of clean air, you can now buy them in bottles. And their PR-lackeys will even try to sell this as human progress.
Already, we have almost no untouched nature left on this planet. In Germany, there are hardly any virgin forests. It is all tree plantations. They burn like tinderboxes, as soon as the temperature climbs past 30 degrees.
There is no way we can preserve nature if we do not appreciate and value it. You don’t value something by treating it as a commodity.
We commodified friendships and romance. So nobody actually gets to experience what that actually is anymore. We can’t even build actual friendships or relationships. Because that requires commitment. But people cannot commit. There are too many superficial choices. Relationships are built by actually talking to each other. Not by swiping, or clicking.
Capitalism Doesn’t Create Any Actual Wealth
Our world is going to shit. Fascism is on the rise. The worst effects of Climate Change are coming on faster than all the experts predicted. We are on the brink of nuclear war. In this scenario, there are few things that are actually valuable. The beauty of nature. Community. And the resources that enable you, and your community to survive. That’s it. But all these are now commodities. They are traded on stock exchanges. So finance capitalists can flex their muscles. That way, they get some validation for their inflated egos.
The high priests of economics try their best to keep the ball rolling, by employing flawed logic. They peddle it as science. Just like the high priests of old. Economics isn’t actually science. It’s a religion. Their theories don’t even stand up to even the most basic scrutiny.
When market fundamentalists claim they eradicated poverty, they forget something important. It is because of intervention in the market that we have basic labor laws. Because we intervened in the markets, children are not allowed work in factories. At least in some countries, that is. We intervened in the market to offset some of the worst destruction of nature. Our life expectancy rose, because we created public healthcare systems.
All the surplus capitalists create, they do on the back of our common resources. They didn’t build the roads, that their trucks drive on. They also didn’t create the schools. You know, the ones that educate the workforce they so desperately need.
The free market didn’t create any of that. Our only path forward is to create a system, that is based on real reason and logic. And that actually puts true value on the important things in life.