Capitalism rules our current world. We consume things daily. May it be a 400$ meal at a fancy restaurant or a 4$ microwave meal from the supermarket. Capitalism is hard to escape.
A long-term disaster
Obviously capitalism only works if people continue to consume and buy products nonstop. Companies always want to sell more. Businesses want to make more and more profit. The economy should always grow and the people want to be as wealthy as possible.
We use up all the resources mother earth can give us quicker and quicker each year. It is obvious that this isn’t a system that we will survive in the long-term. It’s already destroying the nature around us, which we and all other beings depend on.
How long can this endless cycle of growth and consumption continue?
Capitalism: pure manipulation
This means that companies need to market their products effectively in order to survive in our oversaturated markets. They do this by filling a need or desire the consumer has and promise them a certain emotion. For example, they tell you that an expensive sports car will make you feel cooler and attract more sexual partners. They tell you that if you buy their makeup, you will be and feel more beautiful, sexy, worthy and/or elegant.
But there are only so many needs a human has. Once they are covered, companies start to target your insecurities. They want you to change your behaviour and way of living so they can sell you their products.
They start to create insecurities. Eg. suddenly leg hair on women is gross and unhygienic, so women start to buy razors, razor blades, shaving cream, after shave lotion, etc.
Beware of false needs
Become aware of how marketing and companies try to fool you.
Brands like Apple are pros at creating a wide-spread desire for their products. Think about how many people wait in long lines each year to get the new IPhone, only to have a tiny improvment while giving them over 1,000$ per phone.
Where do you think these phones and the materials they are made out of come from? What happens to the perfectly fine phones these people already have? Is this the definition of insanity?
Annual capitalist holidays
Capitalism has become so sneaky, it even has its own holidays. Think of black friday or christmas. Those are peak-days for capitalism.
Ethics? What’s that?
We all know that child labour, extremely unfair working conditions and exploitation in general are huge topics concerning capitalism. But do you make the connection from your new H&M sweater to the 12-year old children in Asia working 12h every single day? Probably not. Capitalism and marketing make it so that you only think about yourself and your own needs when buying stuff. This needs to change.
How can I protect myself?
You are the problem! You are the one that is giving these companies money. You are financing this system that destroys our home. I don’t blame you though because this also means that you are the solution. You need to change your own habits. That’s the only way something can change. Huge cooperations can not survive if you don’t buy their products. Start with yourself.
-Buy only products you really need.
-Buy products that can be composted or recycled. (eg. paper packaging instead of plastic)
-Think about alternatives to a product that is more sustainable. (eg. menstruation cup instead of tampons or biodegradeable glitter instead of plastic glitter)
-If you really want something that is not directly neccessary, wait 3 weeks before buying. Most of the time the desire to buy it has already vanished by then, which means you didn’t really need/want the product in the first place.
-Don’t go window-shopping or shopping just for fun. There will always be things to buy but do you really need them?
-Support small and ethical brands. Give your money to people that do good in the world.
-Think long-term. Invest in better quality to be able to use a product longer. (eg. invest in good quality washine mashine that lasts longer than others to avoid waste)
-Repair and reuse as much as possible. (eg. second hand clothes)
We are in this together. Every single little change is making the world a better place.