My Beef with Capitalism

Listen, I wouldn’t complain about capitalism if it worked. But it doesn’t work!

And by “doesn’t work“ what I mean is that it doesn’t move toward any of the values that are important to me as a human being.

Some of my values are:

⁃ Concern for vulnerable people

⁃ Love and care of planet Earth, which, for all we know, is the only planet in the cosmos capable of supporting and bringing forth new life in the way that planet Earth does.

⁃ Interconnectedness.

⁃ Co-creativity.

⁃ Self-love, self-respect, self-compassion

⁃ All kinds of diversity – the weird and wonderful manifestations of life’s showings

Do these values sometimes conflict with each other? Yes. Do these values sometimes conflict with other exigencies? Yes. Does that mean these values are worthless? Not to me.

As a species, we have directed so many of our resources and talents toward violence, war and destruction.

As a species, we are profoundly invested in profiting from each others’ exploitation and degradation.

As a species, we have evolved a system that leverages xenophobia to direct resources into a smaller and smaller number of hands.

The people at the other end of those hands are either unwilling or incapable of changing the practices that enrich them at the expense of the planet we share, and the people who they harm.

Is this simplistic? I’m sure. I’m not an academic or an economist, and I’m certainly not an executive. But “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Capitalism is related to racism
is related to misogyny
is related to homophobia
is related to transphobia
is related to ableism
is related to ageism
is related to anti-fat bias
is related to classism
is related to anti-semitism
is related to cops killing people
is related to colonialism
is related to imperialism
is related to Orientalism
etc. etc. etc.

All of these systems of oppression are interlocking.

I’m “just a life coach“, but part of my job is perceiving how these big picture oppressions play out in the individual lives of my female, mostly middle-aged, sometimes queer, sometimes brown and/or black, mostly neurodivergent clientele.

As ADHD women, our very brains are considered “disordered” and “deficient” by the productivity-obsessed capitalist culture we live in.

So, a big question that finds its way into my coaching conversations is: how do your values diverge from the dominant culture’s values?

And, given that the dominant paradigm isn’t set up for you, what are YOU gonna set up FOR YOURSELF? Who are you gonna co-create with? What kind of community do you wanna belong to? What do you need to thrive?

We work on ourselves, our lives, and our communities, and we remember this Ursula K Le Guin quote:

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.”


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