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Anti-Capitalism

Preface

Although I’ve considered my self a leftist for a while now, I still feel as though my political views are far from being well-formed; I’m hesitant to prescribe myself a label describing exactly which flavor of leftist I am. As such, in the case that you, dear reader, consider yourself a leftist, I’d appreciate reading recommendations that might help me whittle out the finer details of my politics. Feel free to get in touch; I don’t bite! One thing is for certain though; I consider myself anti-capitalist.

Why?

Despite the fact that the specificities of my politics are still in flux, I am staunch in my anti-capitalism. For me, it comes down to two things:

  1. The system isn’t working. Specifically, it seems clear to me that the profit motive is not sufficiently well aligned with the things that I think are most valuable. It encourages us to be wickedly cruel to our fellow person, to deny them even basic necessities should they be in need. For all of it’s unending faults, I think that the most damning condemnation of capitalism lies in the climate crisis. The profit motive, and therefore capitalism more widely, is clearly unable to reason about or handle such a long-term externality in it’s pursuit to extract even more wealth into the hands of the few.

  2. I refuse to believe that this is the best we can do. Perhaps this is too big a leap; too optimistic - but when I see the great cruelty and failures of capitalism, I refuse to believe that this is the best we can hope for; strive for. Is this it? Really? I’ve read great fantasies where we, as a species, unify, explore the stars, do great things. I refuse to believe that the base nature of humankind is to be greedy and selfish. I refuse to believe that we cannot do better than this.

I think anti-capitalism follows, somewhat straightforwardly, from these two beliefs. I despair for my future under late-capitalism; I despair for the climate catastrophe. For the time being, I struggle to marshal these feelings into anything but hopelessness.

Capitalist Realism, Mark Fisher.