By: Marcus Perriello | Our Voice Contributor
Just as Government can either serve or abuse its true purpose, the same applies to economic systems. Regardless of which system a given society evolves under, there are always elements that seek to use the systems mechanisms for the public good, and those who seek to abuse them for personal gain. Any given direction in economic and political discourse has an effect on the people within society and the relationships they form, or avoid, with one another. In the case of Capitalism, personal relationships are often discouraged under the guise of professionalism, civility, decorum, or conflicts of interest. This is arguably the most outward example of a system designed to stifle human flourishing, as it directly attacks one of the most fundamental aspects of the human condition.
Capitalism, at its core, is purely a numbers game; a malleable mechanism through which living things and other natural resources exist for the purpose of maximizing profits. One of the fallacies in this setup is the notion that life is meaningless without purpose, and purpose cannot exist without the promise of reward. But Capitalism didn’t always exist in the way we understand it, today. Even under economic and political systems of the past, human relationships were essential in enabling those systems to thrive. This is because economic and political systems cannot exist without human beings to conceive of them and cooperate with each other to bring such systems to fruition.
Capitalism has resulted in people becoming hyper-individualistic and alienating each other by denying themselves their own yearning to love, and be loved. To make matters worse, the prospect of a loving relationship has become largely dependent on people’s ability to achieve “success” in a Capitalist system. Success, in this instance, meaning the accumulation of greater wealth and power. This is merely a carryover from the patriarchal arrangements set up by societies of the past; the idea that the man has to be the provider while the woman has to be the submissive and obedient companion to the man. While there has been an increasing acceptance in the bucking of this conventional arrangement, Capitalism itself still functions as the framework for a dominant-submissive relationship, both in the household and in the workplace.
Human bonding is a complex phenomenon with varying degrees of intensity and interest. Some are more rooted in the comfort of a mutual acquaintance, while others can extend as far as a passionate and deeply romantic relationship. Due to the nature of Capitalism, many such relationships are not incentivized to be genuine, but instead serve as more of a tool of convenience. Let’s not get it twisted: It is entirely possible to form an intense romantic relationship with someone that is genuine in nature within the confines of a Capitalist system. But again, because of the nature of Capitalism, even those types of relationships can suffer because of the hardships such a system places on people by forcing them to have to consider financial stability and sustainability as a means of whether or not engaging in such relationships is worth it in the end.
Here we come to an alternative: The commoditization of Sex. Because Capitalism is a system that discourages relationships that originate from the heart, there is an absence of genuine love and affection which is incredibly detrimental to human health. We’ve all heard the term “sex sells.” Indeed, it does. This doesn’t necessarily have a negative connotation in principle. But in the case of Capitalism, sex is one of the most (if not the most) effective marketing tool when it comes to successfully selling goods and services, thereby maximizing profits.
As a result, the use of sex as an advertising gimmick helps to perpetuate an economic system that discourages this perfectly natural aspect of the human condition, as engaging in Capitalism requires people to sacrifice genuine human connection in order to succeed in, and there by validate the system itself. Part of the reason for the existence of things like sex toys, strip clubs, even prostitution (though that existed way before Capitalism was established) is to fill that specific gap in people’s lives that is left unfulfilled as a result of living in a Capitalist system.
Of course, there’s no shame in enjoying such things. But it’s the lack of authentic emotional connection that makes the experiences hollow and short-lived. Despite the temporary reprieve some may get from these activities, it’s the emotional and mental health aspect of it all that ultimately goes unaddressed.
Another depressing trend comes in the form of the decrease in favorability among younger generations on the issues of Marriage and having children. Due to the pandemic, there has been a slight drop-off in population. But there is also a similar trend of forgoing marriage and child-bearing among groups that are more captive to Capitalism than others. Specifically, groups that are deciding to postpone (or outright avoid) this level of human connection and fulfillment are those that are forced to do so because of the systemic problems that would be imposed on them if they decided to have families. More mouths to feed means more money is needed. In a system where those with the most capital dictate the terms and conditions under which everyone else exists, the power of the Rich and Corporations forces the mass of people to pursue ever-increasing wealth at the expense of human flourishing, and to the benefit of those in power.
In past economic systems, having families was essential to their preservation. But as technology advanced society’s ability to be productive with less manpower, the necessity for perpetuating the species has dwindled. Automation has led to the elimination of numerous jobs and professions, allowing the Capitalist powers to get away with hiring fewer people, paying less amid a sea of growing competition for any given position, effectively dismantling the power of Labor.
These circumstances have put unnecessary pressure on average people to engage in what is known as Hustle Culture; a lifestyle that requires people to work all day, every day, to obtain as much capital as possible. Thus emerged what we know as the Gig Economy. This rapidly-increasing trend in the workplace has further forced people to alienate one another, as it promotes the idea of total self-reliance while being at the mercy of a Capitalist Class who, because of their immense political power, have managed to officially reclassify Working Class people who engage in this type of economy as Contractors rather than traditional Employees. This has allowed the Capitalist Class to further consolidate its wealth and power, since they are no longer required to offer wages or benefits, as people who work under these terms and conditions are not classified as employees, adding further physiological stress on an already-weary population.
Such an increase in workplace dedication puts further strain on one’s ability to form authentic emotional connections because of the lack of time and energy. This is ultimately a recipe for the encouragement of depopulation by force. Mental health is on the decline. Relationships are harder than ever to form and maintain. Lifespans are shortening. Overall happiness is plummeting faster than a sack of bricks, all while the Capitalist Class is increasing its wealth and power at an exponential rate.
Once again, this shows us just how much Capitalism is detrimental to human flourishing and another example of why we must do away with it. Genuine human connection on the physiological level is essential to optimal human health and promotes a stronger sense of community and belonging that doesn’t exist under Capitalism. Democrats always scream about “Unity.” There is no Unity because our Capitalist system is not designed to accommodate it, per the dictations of the incentives that are inherent in the system itself. Only by abandoning Capitalism and moving to a system that promotes and encourages human flourishing can we achieve true Unity.