(2003 to 2005)

More on capitalism..

Mon Jul 12 03:18:00 UTC+1000 2004


As a precursor to these comments, I might just point out that: “I know nothing; I have no idea what I'm talking about” (usually applies to everything that I say).

The other day I commented briefly on capitalism.

I saw this post from Ooze today, it sort of seemed related to what I was trying to say.

If each 'big company' is like a 'capitalist government' then 'advertising' is their 'propaganda'.

The purpose of advertising is more to gain or reinforce allegiance, than to notify 'problem/solution' pairs.

If you don't know that you have a problem, you probably don't have a problem.

If you do have a problem and you don't know that you have a problem, then there is probably a fault in your cognitive function or you have not been sufficiently educated.

What constitutes a 'real problem' should be established by 'society', not an 'powerful minority' with a vested interest in convincing you that you have a problem (i.e. big business).

If you do know that you have a problem, it would be nice if there was a place that you could go to find a solution to your problem. Some sort of registry or forum where you could find what the attributes of various offerings were (in a purely quantitative way). Where the information there was clear, was not misleading, was not company specific jargon, etc. If everyone went there to find solutions to their problems, then you wouldn't need advertising. It would be a social responsibility (i.e. the 'governments') to create and maintain such a forum. In this way you could have true 'vote with your wallet' capitalism (like how at sourceforge you can see how popular or 'alive' a project is). Such a forum would not only remove the need for advertising at all, but would also equalise the playing field, allowing the smart little guys to 'promote' (i.e. display) their offerings.

The problem with the world is that there are too many people, and not enough 'real work' needs to be done to keep them alive.

So there are entire industries created simply for the sake of 'pretending' to do work, by creating the need for toil in order to maintain one's place in a hierarchical class system. This is true, if you deny it you are probably only doing so because you fear what it could mean to lose your place in it.

Maybe we need this hierarchical class system. Our society has always been based on it, in one way or another.

It's a shame that so many people expend so much time and energy creating a fake world.

It's a shame the results are effective, and so many people 'believe in' their fake world.

I always like thinking about what would happen if I ended up stranded in the bush. I'd need food, I'd need shelter. If other people were around, I'd like to think that we'd work together to make sure we had food and shelter.

I can see that if there were not enough resources how competition for resource would be a problem.

Are there not enough resources?

Do we need to use lies as the basis for a hierarchical class system?

Is a hierarchical class system necessary? (it might be.. what would I know..)

Some of the bits that Orwell didn't get quite right were how Mini-Truth was decoupled from the actual government, and provided by an allegedly capitalist industry.

What about if we made advertising illegal and all resources presently being poured into advertising were collected by society as tax.

We'd still get all the social benefits of 'big business', but we'd get even more benefits, and less of the drawbacks (the major drawback being that 'big business' infects popular culture with its message).

What would you do for all the of the people who weren't required to produce anything, or the people whose contributions were counter-productive? Surely, you can't kill them, nor could you let them starve. What of changing their social status? That's your problem right there.

If someone said I couldn't have my many computers and my high-speed internet connection anymore, then I'd be pretty interested in competing for it too. Would I kill for resources I felt I needed? Probably. Would I kill for resources I merely wanted? Probably not. Would I oppress others to retain resources I merely 'wanted'? Probably. (after all, I am fundamentally elitist, because I think I'm better than you). I'm not sure at what point you should attempt to draw the line, I'm not sure at what point you should give the society more power than the individual. I certainly don't like being told how to live by my society. But that's because my society (at large) is fucked in the head.

Sure, these are all tough problems. But advertising is A VERY BAD THING (TM) and something should be done to get rid of it.

I really do need to go and do something else now. My headache is gone.


Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot