An obvious statement perhaps, given the opposing views of capitalism and socialism. But we must keep this in mind when assessing the present state of society and how we can affect social change. eg. What good are laws and campaigns when we reward those whose interests it is to circumvent them?
The majority of what we do to make society a better to live, runs against the direction of capitalism.
Some simple examples.
Alcohol. Drinks companies are legally required to make more money for their shareholders, this in turn requires them to sell more booze. Yet a well functioning healthy (both physically and emotionally) society requires us to drink less, not more, and drink responsibly.
Sustainable Growth. One of the biggest oxymorons of the present day. Common Sustainable themes are reduce, reuse, and recycle, all of which are economically reducing functions. Growth runs in the opposite direction by it’s very nature. You may be able to fool yourself into thinking that your new hybrid car is sustainable, but a fool you will be as the carbon used in creating it will never be offset against it’s lifecycle. Buying green products to replace your “bad ungreen products” isn’t neccessarily a good thing.
Sustainable lifestyles require us to consume less. NB. there are means of economic growth that do not strictly rely upon products and material wealth, for example an activities based economy is one alternative I like the sound of, this is by no means a completed theory.
As long as the system that we live in places capital gain above social gain, this silent war against society will continue. First we are isolated (mentally, through the rise of individualism), then we are undermined (since desires are emotional (there are needs in the system, but they are negligible), new insecurities must be created to create new markets (the unattainability of perpetual youth being a firm favourite)), then sold to.
The most successful marketeers shape society, not our governments, with emotional defecit being a systemic requirement.
Anyway rant over, I’m off into town to get shitfaced and by some manscara