Today I posted another Friday true story called My Intro to Capitalism.
First I should say that this is one of those stories that is so crazy and happened so long ago, that I have to shake my head and wonder if it actually happened, particularly since I’ve never talked about it with anyone until today. It’s something that profoundly affected my whole life, but I don’t know if I exaggerated things in my head. Either way, what I wrote is how I remember it.
I wonder if people are going tell me that the title isn’t fair, that the story is about feelings of ownership, and since there’s no exchange of money, it’s not really about capitalism. This is true, but I decided to give it this title, because that’s how I think about it. I believe this may be the first incident that caused me to start thinking about how we distribute possessions and wealth in our modern society, which for us, is capitalism.
Now, selfishness is one thing. You can argue selfishness would still be around without capitalism or law, and you’re certainly correct, but without capitalism it wouldn’t have the open-ended right to flourish. We also wouldn’t go to the extremes as we do in our society, where we feel the rules of capitalism are more important than human feelings and interactions. Laws and rules become an obsession sometimes, like a religion, and as you see in this story, our sense of humanity and common decency can be lost as a result. The concept of capitalism is just an extension of the idea of property ownership, placing a dollar value and deed of ownership on everything while ignoring the real-world human value and usefulness of the objects in our world.
Now in this story, I was technically the bad guy. I was the one committing a crime, and there’s no way for me to argue against that. But did I really do anything wrong?