The United States’ power elite generally regards capitalism and freedom as synonymous and proportional - liberated markets equal a liberated people. Perhaps that’s true philosophically, but in practice, the opposite has usually been true. The more unfettered capitalism becomes, the more destructive it becomes. It’s that simple. Yet the US government has decided that national security is more important than economic security, and over three decades, these have acted as opposing forces to diminish our core liberties.
Talking about capitalism in America is somewhat like talking about class. As a social reality, it’s so familiar as to be invisible, which is convenient for those, like the moneyed class and power elite, who don’t want to talk about it. But once you start talking about an invisible force that can affect anyone, you start wondering why it doesn’t benefit everyone. That, to me, is what the Occupy movement needs to keep doing: pointing out what should be obvious to all of us. An enormous propaganda machine paid for by capital has made it necessary for thousands of people to march in the streets and camp in public parks to make what should be truly unremarkable observations: Rich people don’t always deserve their riches, and people who work hard often can’t make ends meet. This is about capitalism, because this is about the nature of work — and the enormous constraints faced by Americans employed or not. So, no matter what kind of rhetorical hocus-pocus Republicans come up with next year, no matter what they call capitalism, the elephant is still in the room.
John Stoehr (via azspot)