The Death of Capitalism: Birth of a New Society
By: Solomon Comissiong
One does not have to be a doctor, or play one on TV, to understand that in order to have a chance at eradicating any malady from the body you must find its root cause. The physician must figure out what is causing the sickness before they can prescribe the proper measures towards treating the ailing body. One thing modern medicine has taught us is that early detection with any illness is advantageous to the body. If the sickness is not detected relatively early, the chances of full recovery lessen with each passing day. In some cases, the prognosis is grim. Far too often people find out way too late that they have been living with a disease that has been slowly destroying their body. Routine checkups have become important in detecting potential aliments that many of us are not adept in diagnosing. However, much like a human body, societies can fall victim to socially oriented diseases that function much like cancers. Take for instance the curious case of the United States, which is a country that has been infected with a pernicious disease for quite some time now. However, the US has failed to take notice of the telltale signs that something is wrong with its body (society). And without any doctors within its limited HMO network, that it is willing to listen to; the US continues to put itself in almost predictable peril.
Capitalism is the disease that continually decimates the fragile American society. Capitalism is a very interesting yet destructive disease. Like a malignant tumor within the human body—capitalism, if not aggressively removed, will metastasize throughout a given society slowly eroding any semblance of humanity. Interestingly enough, as it eats away at any potential for that society to treat its members like valued human beings, it convinces even the most devalued citizens that its existence is not harmful to their overall well being. It does this all the while robbing them of basic human rights such as free quality health care, livable wages (not minimum) decent public education, and affordable housing. These are things that elude most people within the US, the so-called Land of Milk and Honey. However, in many other countries, especially those not inebriated off of the capitalism elixir, things like quality health care are seen as rights, not privileges. Most members of American society are treated like scum by their government and the ruling class which controls their government, all in the name of the almighty dollar. The rapidly declining US currency reigns supreme in America. Profits before people is the unofficial mantra sung by most democrats and republicans. Their actions vividly indicate who their base really is—corporate America. After all it is corporate America that supplements their incomes, as well as finances their campaigns of fabricated propaganda.
Corporate America, which includes the flawed US media system, continues to masterfully convince the American public that capitalism is good for them, their families and their communities. Many poor Americans, ironically, have even become capitalism’s most ardent supporters meanwhile being worked like dogs for a minimum wage, dreadful benefits, and no worker rights to think of. They blindly support the vile capitalist system, in large part, because they are products of the American propagandistic public educational system where myriad of destructive values are inculcated into their subconscious. Critical thought is rarely endorsed, especially when it might mean that students begin to question their government and the economic system that controls their country. And as we now see in the not-so-great state of Texas, capitalism has made it easier for textbooks to be systematically altered in an effort to erroneously rewrite history. The rewriting of that history will make no mention of capitalism or a critical analysis of it in contrast to other systems like socialism. This will probably ensure that masses of American youth will reside within the same tiny “box” that many of their parents do.
As America’s schools become more and more corporatized, you can best bet thatcapitalism is the driving force that makes it all so appealing. Profit before people means just that, even when the well being of children is at stake. Once capitalism has begun to aggressively permeate a society it does not cease to distinguish who its victims are—all that matters is the bottom line. With no sort of critical analysis of capitalism, within America’s public school systems, more and more impoverished children will grow to embrace it, even when it is destroying their communities. Children from America’s impoverished communities are never supposed to know why their neighborhoods and schools are so vastly unequal compared to those in opulent milieus. They are supposed to believe that their community is deserving of such extreme neglect from their so-called government. They are taught to believe that if they simply work hard enough they can rise up above poverty and “make it”. Youth from indigent neighborhoods, especially those of color, are supposed to imbibe that “American Dream”, which is nothing more than an American Lie. Capitalism has a clever way of masking what it really is and what it really does, kind of like a chameleon. Therefore, homeless youth are not taught how capitalism was the driving force behind their parents’ home getting foreclosed because of banks’ rapacious amoral greed. They may never learn how capitalism played a major role in their uncle losing his life due to a lack of health care. They probably won’t even be told how and why their city’s school system accepted tens of millions of dollars from Wal-Mart simply so that the unethical corporation may commodify their education. Will these youth ever learn that the life blood of chattel slavery was capitalism? Good ole fashioned racism and white supremacy were prime players as well, but without capitalism driving the profits of owning slaves and the free wages that came with it; it (chattel slavery) would have died off long before it did. Like the devil, capitalism and its vastly minute beneficiaries, never miss an opportunity to convince the masses of how “harmless and good” they are supposed to be. The small minority that actually benefit from capitalism also control the government, the media, and school systems. Their propaganda machine is formidable and ostensibly effective.
More and more of America’s school systems are being sold off to corporate interests and because of this it is more important than ever that we collectively begin to supplement our youths’ education as a means towards countering the mental pollution they are facing day in and day out. And for that matter, we need to begin to, each one teach one, thus educating our communities in general. Far too many oppressed and impoverished people blindly support capitalism—the very system that is at the root of most of their hardships. And because of this, we must begin to set up more community based and town hall styled dialogue sessions, in which the education of systems like capitalism are discussed. There must also be a serious discussion of socialism and a contrast of the two. If people are taught in more of a democratic way, they will gravitate toward the system/s that make the most sense to their well being. The author has no reservations that, if taught comprehensibly, the vast majority of people from poor communities will go the route of a more socialist based system. It is the more humane approach to ensuring that all of any given society’s people are provided affordable housing, free health care, quality education and livable wages. However, without educating hoi polloi the demands for an equitable society become that much more difficult.
Educating people about capitalism and socialism does not have to be pedantic, drawn out or centered on Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Socialism and communalism, for instance, were being practiced by indigenous people of Africa and the Western Hemisphere well before a white man was given credit for socialism. Funny how people of color can create, practice and perfect various systems for thousands of years but when a white person labels it; they are given credit as its creator.
We don’t need to always over complicate things when teaching them to others within our communities. Using tangible examples as a means toward connecting the dots often works much better and can be extremely engaging not to mention less pretentious. Many of us know that most of the things we learned in college we could have learned in high school. However, if the ruling class allowed that how could they commodify education on the next level, so-called “higher education”? Then once you acquire that “higher educational” degree you are so far in debt, because of student loans, that it takes most of us decades before we can ever pay it off. You see, in a capitalist society most things are based off of debt. The working class must be in debt—-for this is how they keep us in economic slavery. Capitalism is their whip!
Capitalism is the driving force behind America’s racist prison industrial complex. Capitalism powers the military industrial complex which funnels hundreds of billions of dollars, each year, into imperialistic motives and wars (http://www.costofwar.com/) of aggression. Those billions of dollars should logically be used to institutionalize a universal single-payer health care system. However when your country’s government is fornicating with capitalism, cold hard cash will always be placed before the essential needs of the people. These are all tangible examples everyday people, like myself, can understand when explaining various aspects of capitalism and how it fuels social maladies within economically poor communities of color. Capitalism even makes it possible to privatize rain water.
Without exercising hyperbole, it is safe to say that capitalism has destroyed countless lives and communities. It is not a system that benefits the true majority. It does not contribute to the greater good of society. And from the perspective of the oppressed its cons far outweigh any contrived pros. The time for capitalism to die has come. There cannot and should not be any type of negotiation with capitalism anymore than one would negotiate with an unrepentant serial killer. Capitalism is that unrepentant serial murderer. It will continue to destroy lives, communities and societies unless it is dismantled and replaced with a humane system that provides a healthy subsistence for all people—not just those with the most money. However, this radical (and necessary) change cannot be requested. This change must be demanded by a critical mass of people in each governmentally neglected community. There must be solidarity predicated on a common cause that is envisioned. The visionaries cannot be limited to a few “leaders” here and there; the masses must all be able to forecast a better world. In essence this must be a grassroots movement that involves as many as possible. How much longer are we willing to allow this economic Frankenstein to rob us of numerous inalienable rights? The time for radical progressive change is now. Capitalism must die in order for a fruitful society to flourish.
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News media collective (www.yourworldnews.org). Solomon is the author of A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org