Some thoughts on the price of capitalism

One more day to go – something I need to remember that if I am going to do overtime that I need to get to sleep earlier so then I’m able to fully recover for the next day. Last night I didn’t get to seep until around 3am and I had to get up at 10am to get to work by 11am – an extra hour of sleep would have really helped. That being said, I’m putting my name in for more hours – taking my iron pill each morning so that I keep up my immune system going into winter as to avoid getting sick like last year.

In the lead up to Anzac Day I think it is important to realise that what happened at Gallipoli serve as a reminder to future generations not to get sucked into being the cannon fodder for imperial powers playing out their family feuds with the blood and treasure of the working class all whilst ginning up their population on the hatred of the other. Three arrows does a great video about this very issue:

As cliche as it sounds – “The first casualty when war comes is truth” (attributed to Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917). Yes, it is a time to morn the dead but out of that morning should be a reminder to the future generations not to make the same mistakes. It is today unfortunately that once again we have the powers that be bending over backwards sucking up to the United States especially when one considers the American public completely clueless as to the impact of their voting decisions by deciding to vote in Donald Trump. While all this is happening we are have the usual foreign affairs experts and defence analysts in New Zealand believing that our lot still resides with a country who can’t accept that their century of dominance is coming to an end – no matter how many of the US based experts keep going on Bloomberg or CNBC to claim that the Chinese economy is about to spontaneously combust at any moment.

I’m watching at the moment the documentary called ‘The True Cost’ which investigates the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry. It is important to recognise the difference between what one could be called the traditional fashion industry vs. what has become known today as ‘fast fashion’. It is amazing when I hear people, even the political party I am a member of, keep convincing themselves that what we need is a ‘kinder, gentler capitalism’ instead of what we actually need to do – get rid of capitalism entirely. Just as you cannot live with ‘just a little bit of cancer’ you cannot live with a ‘little bit of capitalism’ because like a cancer it’ll eventually spread even with the best of intentions of trying to contain it.

The best example of that was the period from the end of WWII and the late 1970s where there was a consensus built around the idea of social democracy – to ensure that the gap between those at the top and those at the bottom didn’t widen to the extant as seen during the gilded age, that there were high taxes on high income earners and so on. Well, what happened? Like a cancer, the moment that those who had the money and power saw a weakness they started funding think tanks and academics (so-called ‘academics’ that were considered cranks by the mainstream economists but only kept their jobs because the rich and powerful kept propping up said fatalities etc due to large donations to said universities) but thanks to the rise of Reagan and Thatcher which came as a result of the stagnation of the 1970s (along with the lack of a serious critique and solution by the left) there was an opening provided to the right wing to re-emerge on the scene after a long period of dormancy. Here we are almost 40 years later and now dealing with the consequences in much the same way that the silent generation built the modern welfare state in response to what they saw and didn’t want their own off spring having to deal with.

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