Dear Mr. Capitalism,
It’s Aaron again, I thought I’d drop you a line to see if you could answer a little question for me: do you think the stuff we teach little kids in out society runs contrary to your ideals? I mean, I remember as a child, the highest ideals were sharing and compassion for others. I can’t even count the number of times when I was implored to give something to my brother or one of my classmates—fulfillment through the division of resources. Then, at some indeterminate point in time, the opposite became true: fulfillment through personal accumulation. Get the highest mark, have the biggest bank account, score as many points as you can, get into the best school. Compete for everything. That sense of worth that had once been the domain of apportionment was now all about individuality. It became about what makes you unique rather than what ties us together. It seems like at some point you, Mr.Capitalism, had taken control and then you never let go.
Once you get to any workplace, obviously all of that sharing stuff is gone. Sure, I have had many a-friendly co-worker, but if one of our jobs was on the line, the person was sure to throw you under the proverbial bus at a moment’s notice. Actually, the moment that sticks out most was when I was helped by a manager, rather than hindered.
I worked at a store, nothing special, we sold a bunch of junk (mostly made in China) to rich yuppies who had recently bought condos and had to furnish their new cubes. It was a summer job that I needed so I could pay my exorbitant tuition at college. Anyway, at some point, sales in the summer began to dip and the owner decided that he had to sack one of the four employees. The two managers were safe, so it would have to be one of the two “regular” staff. The boss faxed the managers to inform them that I was to be fired—that’s right, even though the dick was in the store three or four days a week, he didn’t have the balls to fire me himself, so he sent his minions in instead. These two managers, however, had become very good friends of mine (and still are today) and so faxed him back saying that he should fire the other employee rather than me. I appreciated it, but over the years I have realized what a strange situation that was—three people above me, who combined made all the decisions (hours worked, merchandise purchased, advertising etc.) and they collectively decided that none of the problems the store was having were theirs—they certainly didn’t suggest cutting their own hours or salaries. But I was saved, taken off the chopping block, and a guy whose name I don’t even remember (his dream in life was to be a puppeteer, I recall) was told he had been let go. That was it. I have seen it time and time again: when profits go up, the owners and CEO make more cash, but when the fortunes go against the company, it’s the people on the bottom who get hurt. They want the poor people to fight over the scraps, and so we compete with each other to keep our jobs rather than working collectively.
Hierarchy seems to have been everywhere in my life except for kindergarten. Why do you think this is? Thanks.
Dear Aaron (again),
Clearly you are a commie, Aaron. What is your social security number by the way? Your address?
To answer you question directly: one of the great injustices in our society is that all of our biggest and brightest minds go into the world of business rather than the world of education. I think we need to privatize all of our public schools so that we can increase salaries to get properly-qualified people to fill those positions. If corporations owned every school, we wouldn’t have to worry about this brainwashing anymore.
Because kindergarten teachers are a bunch of hippie-commies. Sharing? Caring about one another? Color-blindness? All of that bullshit doesn’t prepare a single student for what the world is going to be like. In fact, their future teachers have to spend all their time de-indoctrinating them. What a waste of time!
Fortunately, my kids never went to public schools, it was military or prep school for all of them. And I made sure their kindergarten teachers were hardest on them. They were drilled in the basic ten principles of capitalism (c/o of the Capitalist Institute):
People face trade offs.
People respond to incentives.
Rational people think within the margin.
Free trade is perceived mutual benefit.
The invisible hand allows for indirect trade.
Capital magnifies market efficiency.
Supply and demand magnify resource efficiency.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Desires are infinite; resources are finite.
I especially like #9, those stupid kids were always asking for handouts, but it’s built right into their studies that I ain’t gonna give them shit unless they work for it! Perfect. I mean, look at those ten things and tell me that if every 4-year old in the world had memorized and internalized them, they wouldn’t be better off as adults.
I’ve seen some of this hippie-teachers with their flowery dresses and their big earrings and equally big smiles. Where to they think they are, Woodstock? Get out of my school, pinkie. I pay your damn salaries with my taxes. If only Joseph McCarthy had known that all those commie-cockroaches he kicked out of Hollywood would run directly into our schools and colleges, maybe he would have made sure to squash every single last one of them.
In summation: sharing is bullshit.