Monday, December 7, 2009

Marx at 3 a.m.

Woke up at 3 a.m. not able to sleep. I have a job interview in the morning at ten at a downtown restaurant. I can actually make more money waiting tables than managing a hotel right now. Earlier, I watched a documentary on the rise of Argentinian factory co-operatives. I keep wondering why we can't do that here in the United States.

Occasionally I come across bumper stickers that say "think globally, act locally" and I wonder how many items in my house are made by Americans and sustain American industrialism. As I sit here typing away on my Dell PC, I know it is an American company, but all the parts are made elsewhere. My Dell mouse says the all too familiar phrase "made in China". There is something seriously wrong here. And it isn't just our ridiculous trade deficit with China. Aren't we the people who invented the automobile, the light bulb, the telephone, the computer, and post-it notes? Have we run out of good ideas?

But apparently we need China because we are a consumer-crazed, materialistic, addictive society that would rather buy cheap, "durable" goods from another country rather than invest in our own. Think of Wal-mart on the day after Thanksgiving. People getting shot over who took the last Xbox. We are nuts. I worked retail all through college and I can tell you that hearing Christmas music and seeing people flick each other off over parking spots at the mall makes me so disgusted. I honestly HATE Christmas music because it reminds me how insane, rude, and selfish people get around the holidays.

This Capitalism thing is not working. I don't know many people I would consider "middle class" anymore. We are now the bourgeois and the proletariats. I am a proletariat. My parents we not. My grandparents were born proletariats and became bourgeoisie. I remember visiting Mexico City as a young teenager and being told that the country was all messed up because there were only very rich people and very poor people and nothing in between. San Antonio sure does resemble Mexico City.

We are out of balance. Communism stifles human creativity and our need to be an inventive and takes away freedom of choice. Capitalism is a dog eat dog world where most get eaten and a very small few grow enormously fat and consumed with greed. What is next? Where will the next shift be? Who will rise up to be the next Karl Marx or John Maynard Keyes? We need new ideas. We need new ideas before our country falls behind and we are all stuck in the past. Like Afghanistan. Only with Wal-marts on every corner instead of herds of goats.

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