A conversation with Fifi on the reality of Capitalism in the 21st Century.
At least now we know that the benevolence of American Social Policies back in the early 1900s was a blip – to scare us away from a Communist Trauma. Since the end of the Cold War we have now seen Capitalism in all its honesty! It’s a brutal invention. But the lovers keep qualifying all manifestations of it – Predatory Capitalism, Crony Capitalism etc. as if a virus has infected the ideas of an All-Good Capitalism.
No! Capitalism itself is the virus.
The reason it took so long to unleash its havoc could only be likened to the gestation period of a virus. Like HIV, which finally develops into AIDS, Capitalism has spread and infected every corner of our poor Earth. It’s now an epidemic. Alas, no matter how much we spend on Social Amenities and Safety Nets – like Big Pharma Drugs – it does nothing to solve the problem. Let us rather concentrate on stopping the spread of this virus, especially to Africa. That is the only way to kill it and finally contain it. Perhaps!
I have no difficulty in accepting all that you say here about capitalism, for the veracity is self-evident. Indeed, for years, it was a source of deep puzzlement to me for, that ostensibly impartial commentators and ‘experts’, continued to ignore the fact that, whatever golden eggs have been laid by the capitalist golden goose since the 1930’s (Great Depression and all that), has only been possible with wads and wads of socialist (that is state) largesse.
They continue to peddle the same bankrupt narrative of capitalism having no alternative, when clearly, the decrepit construct has been propped for the best part of a century by the tax payer (society to you and me). They keep coming up with different iterations of the Ponzi scheme that is capitalism, replete with the high faluting language that impresses the naive and sends the rest of us to sleep; for heaven’s sake, if the bankers and politicians didn’t have a clue what nuclear bomb was being detonated under the capitalist economy in the form of debt so enormous and so exotic that a whole new lexicon had to be created for it, who is to be held responsible?
Credit default swaps! Collateralized debt obligations! The ‘masters of the universe’, residing in the offices of Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan, Citi and the whole sorry lot of them, drove what was left of the capitalist economy, into the mud.
Since the Great Recession of 2007/8, the world economy has been existing on a combination of socialist subsidy and the state printing money and calling it quantitative easing! The least capitalist can do is say thank you to socialism for keeping whatever is left of it alive!
But, to conclude my rant, I have to admit that the virus that is capitalism, is one that is too embedded for us to rid ourselves of it completely; it is plugged into our very psyches using our innate greed as the mechanism of choice. I fear we can only wean ourselves off this miserable addiction, slowly, over generations, with concerted re-education and the same determination that has kept us alive and thriving after centuries of exploitation.
The human spirit is a remarkable thing, and the variety that was bequeathed to black folk, is just awesome, to use the hip expression. I intend to go to my grave ranting and raving at the iniquities of capitalism, exploitation and all the other evils that affront all notions of human decency and impede our pursuit of a good life. I have a sneaky feeling that in you, I have met a kindred spirit. Heart-warming indeed!
Your choice of words is sacrosanct: “Capitalism, is one that is too embedded for us to rid ourselves of it completely; it is plugged into our very psyches using our innate greed as the mechanism of choice.” What definition of The Matrix! But you Morpheus are doing a ‘gad-damn’ good job. Excuse my African-American. You have presented us with the pills of change. Or must we be oppressed with the conformity of the present?
The blue pill, and this truth-telling story about Capitalism ends. We wake up in our beds and believe whatever we want to believe about what these Pigs tell us about the deadly virus. Or, we take the red pill, we stay in wonderland, and we are shown how deep this rabbit hole called Capitalism runs. We might yet snap out of it. One day! I too believe in the unquenchable African spirit. She will revive herself in splendour, never again to be “open broken, broken open!”
Twa Omanye Aba.