Critique of Capitalism Pt. 2
Originally, I had planned to make my critique fit into one post. Unfortunately, the following issue proved much too vast to fit into one blog post.
Structural violence refers to systematic ways in which social structures harm or otherwise disadvantage individuals. Structural violence is subtle, often invisible, and often has no one specific person who can (or will) be held responsible (in contrast to behavioral violence). – structuralviolence.org
Structural violence exists in many forms. Capitalism creates perpetual and constant inequality by its structural design. Really, it’s rather simple to understand. Capitalism depends on the faulty sense of human nature stating that humans are inherently greedy and will always seek what is best for themselves. Everything is a competition in the monetary system. Due to this, there will be winners and losers inevitably. Essentially, this is the definition of inequality. Pro-capitalists like to argue that this is for the betterment of humanity as the overall well-being of life is raised for everyone. They may argue that capitalism has raised everyone’s standard of life, even though the gap of inequality continues to grow. While this is true, the poor today are better off then the wealthy from long before, this remains inadequate in solving the psychological and physical ramifications of inequality.
Example: Abercrombie and Fitch CEO
Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch clearly understands the ludicrous incentives of capitalism.
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” – Mike Jeffries
This is what occurs when you have a monetary system that connects no sense of value to human well-being and, instead, only recognizes profits and image. The psychological issues that plague kids who are not ‘fortunate’ enough to be part of such an exclusive club is enough to realize how detrimental this is to human worth. The problem here is that Mike Jeffries openly admitted to this kind of behavior and now faces a backlash against his company. Unfortunately, not every CEO is a moron like Mike Jeffries and admits to this type of behavior causing a market backlash against such an establishment. Abercrombie and Fitch is not the exception to the rule. If you want to succeed in capitalism this type of thinking must exist. Companies will pay top dollar to make sure their image aligns with the wealthy individuals and avoids any connection to suffering. It’s just intelligent economics in Capitalism.
Social Inequality, the Leading Cause of Death Worldwide
Capitalism cannot exists without levels of social inequality. Social inequality is unequivocally the leading cause of death on this planet. It is a mathematical certainty that the insidious attributes of inequality will exist in a capitalist system. Inequality breeds relative deprivation, crime, and other social ills. If you are unaware of the indirect detrimental effects on human well-being that social inequality creates then let us check out a few graphs:
Many more graphs can be found by downloading the pdf file at this link. Graphs in comparison to inequality such as infant mortality, obesity, education scores, teenage birth rates, homicide rates and others are showcased. These come directly from the 2009 book, The Spirit Level.
These graphs demonstrate the structural violence that reigns supreme in a capitalist system. There’s no reason for anyone to suffer from homelessness or poverty. There’s absolutely no reason to have massive wealth gaps or improper resource allocation (think homeless people vs. peopleless homes). Yet while resources remain to be used improperly, technological advancements face opposition from those in power, and people are continually forced into jobs that make slavery look familiar, capitalism continues on.
Part 1 found here.