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Monuments of Capitalism

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Capitalism is a system where you sell your soul for a heaven -- promised by the devil. A promise which never reaches fulfillment, claiming responsibilities for all and glories for some, if you are competitive. If you are competitive enough, because that is what life is supposed to be all about, isn't it? Or to paraphrase Eugene Debs, you have a wheelbarrow and Rockefeller has a railroad, so perhaps if you just work harder, you too, can be competitive. Capitalism claims it creates wealth, jobs and prosperity; yes, cry that message from the rubble heaps in Detroit, Youngstown or Toledo.

These are the monuments of capitalism, glittering office towers with million dollar apartments. Doormen and security systems to protect them from the real fruits of capitalism: crime, ghettos and poverty. This is capitalism -- a belief that any child can be president, if they don't move the plant to Beijing or Shanghai first. During the last Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt rescued capitalism, believing you could bell the cat and tame the bull. History has since taught that you cannot maintain a cancer. You cannot wall off greed; greed is eternal and capitalism is the system of eternal greed.

Capitalism claims all the glories, while eschewing all the blame. It poisons our air, our water and soil and when the bull in the china shop is finally corralled, it claims regulation as the evil. Pick any problem in this country, scratch through the veneer and you will find the bare metal of capitalism. Take for example the drug dealer on any American street corner; because of poverty there is crime, because of the crime there is violence. Because there is violence, there are street gangs for protection. There are no jobs available, so the drug dealer becomes the Capitalist, the entrepreneur, willing to risk life and limb for enough money to raise his self-esteem.

We live in a media environment which repeatedly insists you must have $200 shoes manufactured by slaves far, far away. You must have a smart phone and clothes emblazoned with corporate logos, just like the media celebrities and athletes. Celebrities and athletes culled from one one-millionth of the culture, held up as carrots on the stick to convince adolescents the system really works. The drug dealer and the street gang member in the ghetto are no different from the CEO or the Wall Street stock trader. One might kill you for your wallet; the other might kill an entire city. One is lauded the other defamed; both getting their pictures in the media. One receiving citizenship awards the other to be executed.

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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