5 Ways to Escape Late-Stage Capitalism
Peaceful Ways to Rebel
So many of our world problems boil down to one thing: Capitalism. The unrelentless drive for money, power, and dominance by our world leaders has had a profound effect on issues such as the environment, human rights, worker's rights, and more.
So, who is capitalism benefiting exactly? The 1%?
Traditionally, the middle class has been dazzled with the idea of ‘The American Dream’ and the notion that if you work hard, you will achieve wealth and well-being.
Going back as early as 1919 in Canada, corporate owners wanted to squash any unions and promote the idea that a person who works hard will achieve more wealth on their own merit. The rhetoric in the article below states, “The Canadian labourer does not hate millionaires. He may be a millionaire himself one day.”
And while it may be true that some people have been able to accumulate wealth, the current situation dictates that only a small percentage of the population is hoarding the majority of it, re: billionaires.
In response, there is a growing sentiment toward resisting capitalism. Pointing out the disparity of wages between labourers and corporate and the blatant structures that keep people poor are under scrutiny.
In my generation, going to university was how you safe-guarded yourself against working for minimum wage. This tweet sums up the con of that perfectly. Now it’s student loan central and jobs that don’t reflect the wages students thought they would earn.
There is a strong parallel between concepts such as environmentalism, minimalism, and the anti-capitalist movement. The theme that threads these ideas together is to consume less. However, it’s not realistic to expect modern humanity to be completely removed from the prevailing structures shaped by the ideologies of the past. (Although some do.) And it is by no means our responsibility as individuals to eradicate capitalism (re: we can’t). But we can begin to bind together as the majority and work together to bring about the changes that need to happen.
The following are ways we can begin to fight against the feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness when the forces that work against us feel so strong…
Here are 5 tiny ways to begin the revolt against capitalism:
1) Avoid Social Media & Cheap Dopamine Hits
Journalist Max Fisher, New York Times journalist, recently released a book called ‘The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World’, where he calls out social media for what it is, a drug. He says that our phones are designed with the same addictive attributes that slot machines bear. Pair this with social media’s flawed algorithms that encourage outrageous content that slowly introduce more and more extremist views to the user, and we got some serious sociological problems on our hands. On top of that, most of the population is hitting this drug about fifteen times a day. America kind of makes sense now, doesn’t it?
Do yourself a favour and cut back. Try getting your social connections via face-to-face contact. This will help you increase your sense of well-being, be much more fulfilling, and decrease your addiction to social media. (Don’t be ashamed, we are all addicted.)
When your behaviour is controlled, you are controlled. Becoming conscious of the profound grip the internet and our phones have on our minds is the first step. Recognize what you have been influenced to purchase or even think. It is often so pervasive that one cannot even recognize the influence that it has over them.
Constantly being influenced by ideas that do not even reflect the reality of our society keeps us divided as people and distracted.
2) Start a Victory Garden
Victory Gardens were originally encouraged by the government during war time to help supplement food supplies during rationing. Now it takes on a new context as grocery bills rise by unimaginable percentages. While one is still subject to the seed cost and labour it takes to run a garden, growing your own food can be empowering.
Many cities now have community gardens for those who live in apartments. And you don’t necessarily need a lot of space to have one. Abundant Mini Gardens says, “a tiny 4 foot by 4 foot square foot garden can produce as much as $160 of food each year.” And keep in mind, when you produce your own food, it is organic. Think about the prices you’ve seen for organic food at the store.
3) Support and Go to Your Local Library
There is nothing more anti-capitalist than a library. Libraries were founded on the idea that everyone deserves to have access to a basic education and to promote literacy within the community. The resources they provide our communities are unparalleled, providing free access to books, Wi-Fi, computers, classes, games, music, seeds, and more. But not only that, libraries fight for your right to the freedom of information.
Unfortunately, in the United States, this freedom has come under attack as books deemed offensive by conservative leaders are being removed. The librarian who fought against this censorship has been fired. This is a very slippery slope.
If we lose our libraries, we lose our ability to think for ourselves. We lose our community. We lose our ability to fight. Knowledge is Power.
4) Trade Your Services & Practice Reciprocity
Sometimes it makes sense to cut out the middleman: money. While we all need cash flow to live, making your service less of a transaction and more of a trade with a neighbour or friend can help strengthen your bond with your community.
Maybe you have skills in an area that can help a neighbour out, and in turn they have something for you?
Reciprocity has been proven to be evolutionarily beneficial to not only humans but to animals and plants as well. By resisting isolation and building strength in community, we resist the over flux of individualism that capitalism touts, which keeps us separated and less powerful as the majority.
5) Fuck Side Hustles, Keep Your Hobby a Hobby
It has been popularized over the last few years to turn your hobby into something that can make you a profit. We are being conditioned to believe that unless something can make you money, it is not valuable. When we internalize this message, it is easy to start to believe that if we don’t make money, we are not valuable.
This is a dangerous message that has a profound effect on our psyche. The chase for money suddenly becomes the most important thing, over family, friends, and personal well-being.
Adding in a side hustle automatically increases the length of your workday without overtime. There are labour laws established to compensate for overtime hours, however, when it is two different jobs this obviously doesn’t apply. People shouldn’t have to work over and above a full-time position to survive.
I don’t need to remind you of all the doom and gloom headlines we see each day from news sources that describe the peril of our planet. Between modern slavery, environmental destruction, climate change, polarized politics, and the negative effects of social media, we are living in a difficult time. But taking steps, no matter how small, to rebel against the confines that capitalism keeps us in, is a step toward a healthier humanity and a better future.
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About the Creator
Campervan living Canadian with a penchant for psychological thrills and cats.
B.A. Communication & Philosophy
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