Give me the Matrix!
During last week’s class, I raised the question, why do we participate in capitalism. To be more precise, why do we participate in a system in which we are ruled by the wealthy, yet we are the ones who they depend on to make a profit? Without us, the top one percent would not be able to sell our cultures back to masses. They would not be able to make a profit off of the mob. So why doesn’t the mob demand the power and respect the upper classes should give them? Why are they only forced to give in to the popular demands of the people every so often? It seems these battles they let us have, such as the civil and feminist rights movements, are a means to keep us occupied and happy sucking on our little bottles, blind to the power they have over us.
Friedman says in his book Capitalism and Freedom, that “literally millions of people are involved in providing one another with their daily bread, let alone with their yearly automobiles. The challenge to the believer in liberty is to reconcile this widespread interdependence with individual freedom (Friedman 296-97).” This is one view to take on why we participate in this monster called capitalism. There are so many things going on in capitalism that we are always connected. In order for this dependence and freedom to coalesce, individuals must have the view that everything they do is by their own volition. They are the ones who enter into the system for their own benefit. In the simplest terms, “individuals are effectively free to enter or not to enter into any particular exchange, so that every transaction is strictly voluntary.” To make the monster of capitalism seem less daunting, individuals must make themselves accountable for their actions, rather than the larger social forces at work. The only