To recap, we’ve established that capitalism pervades history and physical space in order to exploit as much as possible. It’s even turned the sanctuary of a home into a place of unpaid labor. The cult of domesticity - the old idea that women should stay in the home to cook and raise children - is really a product of families needing to cut back on their spending as much as possible. They needed to spend their money on food and other necessities. (Plus, it was beneficial for businesses to push this narrative because they could afford to pay their workers less. Remember - businesses wanted to pay their workers just enough for their families to survive. If women were working for free in the home, businesses wouldn’t have to pay their male workers to pay their wives. It’s convoluted logic, but it kind of makes sense in an unethical, capitalist way, of course.) The role of women is solely to give birth, raise kids suitable for the workforce, and do household chores. It sounds dramatic and crude, but here we are.
You can still see the impact that these “old” ideas have on our society today. Gender roles are still prevalent in much of society. Gender itself, in fact, is rooted in the idea that one sex is better suited for unpaid exploitation than another. Shaming women for having casual sex stems from the idea that women need to be focused on producing as many workers as possible.
Even sexuality - or the oppression of certain sexualities - is inherently capitalist. Think about it this way - the only reason that heterosexuality is the “norm” is because society needs it to be. Heterosexuality produces workers. We need workers. Therefore, we have to alienate any sexuality that doesn’t help us out.
Apart from gender, sexuality, and women’s roles, capitalism is at the root of imperialism and colonialism. Remember, we want raw materials and labor for as cheap as possible. And we also want a market to sell them to.
Wow. That’s a lot. I mean, at this point, you could argue that every bad thing in the world is somehow tied to capitalism. The case against universal health care, the existence of poverty, Reddit vs Wall Street, food insecurity… you name it. You can trace it all back to… capitalism.
Well - yes. Hence the title.
Still, you may be unconvinced. I mean, these are bold claims. You’re probably thinking that society influenced capitalism, not the other way around. Well - honestly, that’s probably just what capitalism has led you to believe. It’s made a lot of us think that this is just the way things are. Once you realize that society as we know it actually had a relatively clear beginning - everything comes crashing down. You’re left shell-shocked in this place of blissful ignorance.
One good thing, though, is that it all comes crashing down. Since capitalism is so deeply connected to everything else, you can unlearn everything you’ve ever thought you knew about everything: American imperialism, privatized prisons, racial justice, climate change - everything. Maybe, if enough of us unlearn and relearn, we can begin to make real change.
Yes, by “change” I mean socialism.
Next up: Socialism is Actually Pretty Cool and Everything You’ve Been Told About It is Capitalist Propaganda!