Friday, December 23, 2016

Alone in the Crowd


As English has become the language of the world, capitalism has become the world’s religion.  Wealth is the only real god.  Unlike the jealous Yahweh of the Bible whose very first commandment was “I am the Lord your God; you shall not have any other god besides me,” the god of capitalism says, “I am the only God who can buy up all other gods.”

Apart from a god (or many gods depending on their tolerance level), a religion requires certain norms and values by which people organise their lives.  Capitalism has its own system of ethics and morality.  Egotism and profiteering are the elementary lessons in the catechism of capitalism. 

Every child is taught that it is special.  It is brought up like a prince or princess.  Pampered by parents at home, the educational system at school, and the businesses and their advertisers in the society, the child grows up seeing itself as the centre of the universe.  The child grows up to be a monarch, the monarch of a little kingdom which is his private world, a small little world.  

Ensconced on his/her virtual throne, the monarch establishes virtual relationships through a smartphone with other monarchs.  It is the most sacred duty of every monarch to make conquests.  The only purpose of existence, reads the capitalist catechism, is to make profits.  At any cost.  You can sell anyone for that purpose.  Including parents.  Use other monarchs to make the conquests.  How you use them is your own affair – laissez-faire.  All is fair that brings in the fare.

Relationships are either diplomatic strategies or casual affairs.  The former rakes in the moolah while the latter panders to the body.  The body is divine, dictates one of the commandments in the capitalist catechism.  Pamper it with savoury foods, branded dresses, and all the luxuries possible including the one night stands or ten night affairs.

Once in a while visit some Guru’s convention at the makeshift pavilion built on the bank of a holy river and learn how to supersede the sanctity of the nature with a wealth of verbosity (and possibly some plastic smiles).  Make a video clip of one of the many jokes cracked by the Guru and send it instantly to all the friends on half a dozen social networks.

Networks matter a lot, says the catechism.  Your opportunities lie therein.  Watch out for the next prey.  Watch out for your own safety at the same time.  We are the prey and we are the predators.  While we are at the game, let us take a break and play by texting jokes and exchanging new age gospels.  We need the game in order to ward off loneliness.


PS. Written for Indispire Edition 149: #AloneInWorldOfTechnology



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8 comments:

  1. Ha ha.. we need the game in order to ward off loneliness. The picture is not all that scary. :)

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    1. True. Actually the picture can be fun depending on which side of the fence we are.

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  2. But isnt it our responsibility to guide the younger generation towards embracing a Kinder, Gentler philosophy of success ?? Because, across the world there is a realization that pandering to excess profit will never result in a person climbing to the summit of Maslow's need hierarchy theory...
    Yes capitalism is not great but there are no/less workable alternatives around us. Need of the hour is to promote the benign face of capitalism, a more inclusive one !!

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    1. Isn't satire a corrective more effective than moral preaching?

      Can capitalism be benign rooted in egotism as it is?

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    2. Capitalism based on greed has hit the nadir....the chasm, they are discovering is not bottomless.....the consequences are visible across many frontiers....environment (pollution), philosophy(greed), entertainment (crass), belief(aggrandizement) backed by crass consumerism and mechanisation (drones, robots)most of all....the glaring inequality in terms of wealth (read thomas piketty)..From here if they try to press the above model it would be chaos....because if you look at the above it doesnt cater to the intrinsic needs of the exploiter as well as the exploited...as per maslwos need hierarchy theory...
      Is there an alternative model around ? Yes but they cannot work on a grand scale.....then what to do ?? you need to reimagine capitalism....by factoring in the environment (low carbon growth trajectory based on renewables and phasing out emission), belief (to make the capitalists think about the other half through the Universal Basic Income), philosophy (more inclusive and sustainable), entertainment (scripture replaced by culture through better news,arts,movies,literature and architecture)...This needs a thorough overhauling of institutions as we know today.....There is every possibility of this happening across the world...but it would be gradual across the world.....but has already started in the west...
      You are missing the woods for the trees....
      Satire can backfire spectacularly creating more chaos...
      Satire can incites hatred....CHARLIE HEBDO is the greatest example..
      conversations based on socratic method would be more inclusive and thought provoking....
      As elders it is our responsibility to steer children away from greed by creating such conversations.....by serving as an example by our behaviour as well as by gradually increasing our sphere of influence...

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Deep and insightful, loved the deconstruction of capitalism, Sir.

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