Capitalism for Revolutionaries #101
“Real democracy now!”
French protest sign May 2011
Don’t kid yourself democracy is NOT representative. The bottom line is money talks so if you want to be heard either a) spend lots of cash lobbying politicians and making discrete (ha ha) political donations, or b) be part of an industry that provides lots of tax cash to the government eg mining in Australia, or c) learn how to gather together all your best mates and associates via social media and put pressure on governments via monetary means.
Hence – Capitalism for Revolutionaries #101
So Step 1
“If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem”
We’ve moved onto the ‘free’ stage of free market capitalism – hence free information (see the wonderful thing called the Internet) + we can buy things from other countries and lots of innovative people have even managed to subvert restrictive practices by some companies (those ones who charge different prices in different regions and refuse to ship) by providing us with foreign shipping addresses and then forwarding things onwards (thanks!).
Free also means ‘free information’ about the corporations we’ve been working for and the ones we’ve been buying things from (thanks Corpwatch and others).
Free information also extends to Governments (thanks Wikileaks )
So responsibility now shifts to you and me – yes the revolutionaries – to take responsibility and use this information wisely.
Use it how?
Well remember that in a Neo-capitalist environment (see ‘How to Change the World by Being a Neo-capitalist’ ) the key way that you express your values is through the economic system. So:-
- Where you shop
- What you buy
- Where you work
- How you invest your money
Remembering that – “If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem”
You vote through your interactions with the financial system.
So, Step 2 – Identify your values.
What do you stand for? Looking after the earth, equality, justice, freedom etc etc
Step 3 – Live It!
“A value is not a value unless you are willing to pay a price to uphold it”
In the last post “Are You Ready for Revolution?” I wrote that the challenge of our times is Fear and Greed versus Love and Compassion. How does this work in practice?
#1 Imagine you work for a corporation that pays you very well but you have seen firsthand that some senior managers treat the young female staff very badly. At a function the MD comes onto you. You subsequently report it to HR but they tell you to keep quiet or you will lose your job (FEAR) but you persist so they then tell you that if you proceed you won’t be getting a job anywhere in the industry (more FEAR). You still persist so they flip to GREED and wave a big financial settlement in front of your face to keep you quiet. What will you do?
#2 Imagine you have a big fat mortgage and a new foreign bank has come into town offering a lower mortgage rate that will save you lots (GREED). You can close your eyes, switch banks and take the money or pay more to support your local credit union that puts money back into your community. What do you do?
#3 You work for a corporation which is suffering from the economic downturn. Sales are down so you are instructed to sack 20% of the staff and cut the wages of the other sales people – knowing that the base amount they will then be paid won’t be enough for those with families to survive. You know if you speak up your head will be on the chopping block (FEAR). What do you do?
The list goes on.
The tools are in our hands. Capitalism for Revolutionaries is Neo-capitalism. So, be clear about what you stand for and make sure you live it because:-
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King Jnr.