Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I've been saying for a while now, even before my recent radical bent, that the system that runs America isn't democracy, but capitalism. I've been thinking about that more and I've realized that I like and hate it for all the same reason that I like and hate democracy, and before long I began to see that the two systems aren't really that different.

Money is the most prominent elemental form of power in society, and as far as corporations go it's the one real defining factor, just like elections are for politicians. It didn't matter that there was a two thirds majority of Americans pissed off at bush for so many years because none of those years included an election. Likewise my friends who agree with my outrage at walmart will find that no matter how much they hate walmart will not care until you stop shopping there. Which brings me to my construct. In capitalisim spending is the same as voting.

Capitalisim is, of course, a much less fair system because not everyone gets the same amount of votes, but the basic system is the same. Those who want votes manipulate the opinons of the masses in order to get votes. Since getting votes is pretty much the only means by which their success is defined they do whatever they have to in order to get more votes. This can be lying, stealing, polluting, or any other number of terrible things. We also live in representitive capitalisim. The fact that companies can own other companies means that when you slap down your cash and vote for any food product made by Post, you're also voting for Phillip Morris, or Altria as they're calling themselves now. The vote is also representative because voting for that product is voting for the actions behind that product. It's not as simple as saying "these sixty bucks say I like Nikes," because what you're also saying is "These sixty bucks say that I don't care about child labor."

And this gets me to another big problem. Both in democracy and in capitalisim people rarely know what they're voting for. The simple fact is that the people trying to get votes know that if the full story was out it would be a lot harder to get those votes, so they make sure to present a controlled story. These controlled stories have become so widespread that they're now the normal stories.

Look for the full story. Next time you buy a piece of food look at the manufacturer on the back. See just how many of these things are actually the same company, and then think about if you really want to vote for that company. If you don't like they're practices, if you don't like they way they run things, if you have that feeling in your stomach that's trying to tell your heavily indoctrinated brain that these guys are up to something then stop, and think. Every time you spend a dollar you're casting another vote. Think carefully about what you're voting for.


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