When you first hear of the word capitalism, what comes into your mind?
Me, the first thing that comes to my mind is profit, just by focusing on the word ‘’capital’’ which capitalism is derived from. Usually, capitalism is an economic system that its main agenda is based on private ownership of the means of production and the core reason for its existence and operation is the profit motive. Most countries in the world tend to be capitalists in nature, whether core countries or peripheral countries or semi-peripheral countries but their success may vary from one country or another based on how the ideology is applied.
My main concern today is on the peripheral countries, am choosing to call them that name since that sounds more appealing and some modest of respect to them. In the world systems theory, this are those countries that are less developed and they receive small share of the global wealth. Or rather let’s just call them third world countries. I’m choosing this category because their capitalism is more threatening and means more harm to the citizens.
Usually, capitalism is characterized by freedom to own private property, accumulate capital, and acquire wage labor, open competition and little or no limitations by the government on the capitalist operation. The market structure to some extent a free market economy, meaning, the freedom to make decisions and determining the market trend lies with the wealth owners. Marrying this concept quickly with Karl Marx’s Marxist theory, the competition would lead to development of a class struggles based on materialistic differences. The first thing that you have to think about now is exploitation due to the selfish nature of man, this would lead to creation of at most three classes, the upper class, the middle class and the lower class.
And, this is where the problems of capitalism begins. In my country Kenya, which I love using a lot as a perfect example, you are likely to find out that most people in their younger ages are saving nothing towards their future life but if you ask them why, they too just wish that capitalism would not be there in that future. The system has become so extractive such that all the moneys we get, they all nearly get absorbed back into the system itself before we could even think of doing something constructive with it. Those people in the higher class have access to more means of production, meaning they have more wealth and since they compete amongst themselves due to the nature of the market allowing them to do so, they discover more innovations so that they can survive in the same environment. On the other hand they have to exploit those in the lower class so that we can continually depend on them and provide them with what they need which is mainly raw materials and cheap labor, sometimes under weird conditions which are very inhuman but we just have to do it for our survival. We make sure that we add them even the little that we have. We continue to remain poor because of the high extortion that we are undergoing just to benefit a few individuals. There is even another major threat in the system called the cartels, this are a group of few corrupt individuals who come to compromise the system. They usually have more money which they dispense into the system to make sure that they are relevant in the game. They actually manage to go far with this since one of the main characteristics of capitalism is that the market is a free market economy and this gives them the freedom to determine the direction to which the market should head to. Their involvement may lead to an increase in the prices of commodities or influx of more fake and cheap product so that they make a lot of profit and, the concept is very simple, when you buy a fake product, its authentic that it will not last for a longer period than the original one and you would go back to the shop to buy another one again. In return, they would benefit in that you have bought the same product at least twice over a very short period of time. If it was something that affects your health, they still have hospitals where they promise you will access health services at waived prices and you run to those hospitals because you see that it is really cutting the cost for you. At the end of the day, they gain, you lose.
In fact, to some extent, capitalism has reached a point in the peripheral countries such that it is even compromising the education system because they want more people illiterate so that they can continue exploiting them. I used to work in a certain company some months ago before I went back to school and I could do my observation and I realized that the industry was full of young people than adults. The main reason was that they are trying to achieve the goal of youth empowerment which is good but, they mean exactly the opposite of this. It is easier to manipulate the minds of the youths to continue serving the capitalists than they can do to the adults. The fact is, more youths are unemployed and the youths themselves think that getting employed solves their problems one off. When I was about to quit my work and go back to school, most of my colleagues were unhappy why I was making such a move and when I asked them why, they told me that I was going to be broke and I should not quit my job. Anyway, I still went ahead and left the job. Looking back, I still see most of the people I used to work with in the same position I left them, with the same salary we used to earn, some have even had their salaries reduced but they have no option. If you ask most of this people about school, they rather work than go to school. School will just have to wait, in fact, the answer they give you most of the time is that they will go to school after they have made money which they make every single month but they can hardly account for what they are doing with the money they get. Just like I said, most of it goes back into the system. Deduct tax and other expenses contributed towards government institutions, plus the ones they get charged for reasons such as failure to meet company targets and a few misconducts. They remain with little peanuts. Anyway, this capitalists and cartels had already gone to school and are educated and they don’t want the youth too to be educated because they would be learned and begin inventing new things and compete with them. Sometimes they blind our eyes with a few tricks that we don’t need to go through the normal education system where you learn the basic theories which are diversified but instead, come up with an approach of a technical training where you only get to lean a few techniques that can help you survive. Trash. These are what leads to increased poverty levels yet more people are working. They remain poor because they don’t think, their thoughts and limits have been compromised by the capitalists.
In as much as the capitalists would boast of economic freedoms and to some extent political freedom, the incompetent masses is still suffering at the bottom of the system and in as much as the government may try to incorporate some socialist ideas to some degree, it is only doing that to play safe so that it cannot be directly blamed but it’s nothing close to any help to the incompetent masses. Let us be enlightened and plan or games wisely. Let’s not confine our thinking to now only. I still hate capitalism to some extent. Continue reading Why I hate capitalism