You know one of the things I hate most about capitalism? How it turns people into idiots.
You want proof? Advertising.
What’s the fundamental underlying principle of advertising? That people are idiots.
Drink lots of beer and you’ll get the girl. What do people watching learn from this? That young men are idiots.
You need to zoom zoom around in a fast car that costs the average yearly wage to buy and third of your monthly income to maintain to really enjoy the good life. Men of all ages are idiots.
You’ll never get the guy unless you buy that perfume and this skin cream… Women are idiots.
But advertising is just the tip of the idiot iceberg sticking out of the capitalist ocean.
Cut taxes on the rich, slash social services and we’ll all be better off. Who’d buy that nonsense? Rich people and idiots.
Let’s go to war against those bad guys. And these bad guys too who just happen to have a lot of oil. And those very bad guys who also just happen to have a lot of oil. And these very, very, very bad guys who are mean to women. They don’t have any oil. Oh, but they do have a lot of other resources and just happen to control the route where we want to build our oil pipeline. Who’d buy this transparent bullshit? People who profit from war and idiots.
Be proud you live in a democracy. Except at work, where you must accept the dictatorship of the boss, or in the economy where capitalists run the show. And don’t complain that money buys the few elections we do have. Who’d accept this state of affairs? Capitalists, their sycophants, and idiots.
I know what you’re thinking. Capitalism treats most people like idiots because it works. That’s what most people are.
Not you or me of course, but most people. Right? That’s what you believe: Most people are idiots.
The truth is capitalism requires us to think that way. A system in which less than one percent of the population makes all the important economic and political decision functions best when most people think most people are idiots. If the 90 per cent of us who do all the work actually believed we were smart and capable of running the world ourselves, it would not be good news for the ruling class. We might take over and say: Hey capitalists, it was swell, but we don’t need you anymore. Or, at the very least, a lot of us might ask why, instead of how high, when the boss tells us to jump.
Throughout history ruling classes have justified their rule by claiming superiority over the rest of us. Five hundred years ago they were mostly concerned with convincing each other this was true. They didn’t care what the peasants thought. Sure, they had the church to keep us in our place, but mostly they relied on military might. Now, with the limited democracy we have won, it’s become more complicated.
The best situation for capitalists today is when workers are smart enough to do all the work, but stupid enough to think other workers are idiots.
This explains the right wing attacks on public education, the mindless trash on TV and all the other brainwashing, which the system calls popular culture.
You know what I hate even worse than capitalism trying to turn us into idiots?
That we let them.