a view of an open space office, with desks to the left and big windows in front

Rejecting capitalism

My own personal little joke – that I rarely voice because I do not desire to be tested on the radicalism of my beliefs, amongst other reasons – anyway, my own little joke is that A in my name stands for ‘anarchy’. And if you spell out my name in full, you get it trifold.


I am not a fan of revolutions, but I’m a big fan of being a slightly off gear in the system, preventing it from grinding us all into dust. Covertly subvert, quietly overload. Step out and do your own thing.

Of course it’s very hard to reject capitalism and overwhelming consumerism, because this system is simply not designed to be left or rejected. For the economy to keep growing, for people to be fed, we need a higher GDP, we need more work places, we need greater demand, we need to consume more, to buy more, to work more, so that the economy can grow, and the GDP can grow, and the per capita income can grow, and we get more work places, bigger demand, stronger consumerism, more work hours, so that the economy can get healthier, so that we can work more, so we can make more, so we can consume more, and I guess you got the point.

a starbucks brown sugar shaken espresso in front of a starbucks paperbag on a table
one of the many conveniences of capitalism

All of us who have access to a computer with the internets enjoy the bountiful results of industrial revolution, post-industrial society, automation, globalization and the beautiful term “human capital”. Whether we give it much thought or not, we prefer the convenience of going to the supermarket and unloading foods into a basket for the service person to ring them through for us, for us to pay for it with the money that we got from a similar, harder or easier, service, retail, or office job. Better yet, door dash or what have you. It’s much easier than exiting it all and moving out to a piece of land, where your carrots might not sprout and your chickens might get sick, and you might be faced with a cold and hungry winter.

Buying three t-shirts from H&M to throw out at the end of the season is much easier – and, disgustingly, cheaper – than making just one on your own.

And between marathoning Netflix and doomscrolling social networks, nobody got time to tan leather and make shoes. Plus we age, and most of us leave radical thought in our teenage bedrooms and on our parents’ porches, together with heavy boots, granny sweaters, and edgy costume jewellery.

So capitalism stays. Even when we refer to some of the initiatives in the European countries, for example, as ‘socialist’, we mostly mean that teachers finally get a decent wage. Cue fireworks and hardcore mccarthyists somewhere raising pitchforks at commies.

a view of an open space office, with desks to the left and big windows in front

Back in my day shakes walking stick there was a thread on Twitter that asked, “What radicalised you?” Can you pinpoint the moment that planted the seed? or maybe even brought the first harvest? moved you to the point of no return? And whilst there are some brighter moments of my own radicalisation, for the most part it’s been very gradual. A book here, a documentary there. A talk with a street vendor, a conversation with a parking lot guard. Uncouth commentaries of my coworkers, stupid pranks of my private school classmates. A bright realisation that my grandmother’s pension is not even enough money to bury her, let alone to give her a graceful old age existence. The rising prices of potatoes and eggs as I myself became an adult and lived through a 50% inflation in one year. The state says it’s 30, but I think “the state” hasn’t paid bills and got groceries in quite some time.

And really, from where I stand there’s nothing radical in my thinking and the way I want to live my life. Pretty sure a bunch of armchair internet activists would call me hypocritical, because I still buy products ~madE In chINa~ and occasional fast fashion chain jeans. I still buy from Amazon (mostly ebooks), and I enjoy the supermarkets, and most of my produce is not unpackaged organic, but simply what I can afford/ what I think will go bad quicker so should be bought out faster. Today I also got both my coffee and my lunch to go. Not exactly self-sufficient and anti-capitalist. I also drive, take long showers and occasional baths, really enjoy makeup and often buy way more than I need (”need”), and my home library probably rivals some of the branches of the municipal ones. I’m also not a big fan of minimalism, because I see it, Lord forgive me, as what it really is – the all-conforming erasure of individualism and culture.

a view from above of a mall

Yet there are others who view my (quite simple and quite natural, in my opinion) actions as radical and unnecessary. I collect bottles for recycling. I don’t throw out what I can’t finish out of that take-out lunch – I take it home to eat for dinner/ repurpose for breakfast with eggs/ feed the street dogs, ffs. I use two sides of a piece of note paper. I keep chocolate bar foils for baking small things. I reuse egg cartons to buy unpackaged eggs. And, the crown jewel, the cherry on top, something I do that makes others foam at the mouth the most – I DARN SOCKS.

I guess I’m doing these things with the sole purpose of feeding the soul and proving to myself that I’m still human, and not “human capital”. All the efforts of my individual anti-capitalist and environmentalist action will be erased the moment a new oil or coal plant is open somewhere to power the textile industry for yet another sweatshop. Not that I’d stop doing it because, soul, but yes.

I think I want to challenge myself again for a year of no new things. Keep track of everything I get new, find ways of offsetting that.

Maybe that will be my next post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *