Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How capitalism gets a grasp on you

There is a saying, many of you know different versions of.
it goes roughly

"If you are not a Marxist at a young age, you are an idiot,
if you are a Marxist as an older adult, you are an idiot"

It more or less talks about how as a young person one should dream of the idealism of society, but come to the cold sense of real life when one becomes an "adult".
Having been a Marxist when I was young (yes, despite some entries telling you otherwise, yours truly is not as stupid as one may think), I always thought this quote was preposterous, idiotic and not true. Once a Marxist, always a Marxist. Although I did fear the moment when I have lost my true hearts without even noticing.

Now being in an age where one could be categorized as the "older adult", I understand why this quote comes about. Not because Marxism is too idealistic, but because capitalism really gets a grasp on you, and it is very difficult to escape its reigns.

After graduating, one will find a job. A Job will usually be something about 40 hours, which is what my contract is. It is a rather well paying position, although I am not making banker's bonuses, I do not complain. I would actually like to work shorter hours, but that is not really a possibility for me at this position I am in.
This is also enforced due to that I could not find a cheaper place for us to live. Living with my partner, we tried to find something which is not big, but also not too expensive. However, the housing market is made so there is either rooms for students, single persons' housing, or big ass couple/family housing. At least in Amsterdam, there is no middle ground, especially in the renter's market. Or, what happens is that the amount of money you spend per square meter increase dramatically when the size becomes below 100m2. When children come, it would be worse, you feel that you need to provide for them the best there is... and what about all the other stuff, such as bio-food, stylish clothes, and insurance for when things do not go as smoothly. One cannot but work full time. Especially since when you start working, naturally you do get into the rat race of them all. Its okay when you are not playing at all, but when you do, you feel a need to succeed.

However, working full time, and having a long commute, one really looses the energy to do anything other than work. When one has free time, it is to relax and relieve stress you get from work. Something like watching mind numbing videos and comedy. When you are physically and emotionally burned out, especially due to the increase in work intensity we have these days, one does not have extra energy to go and ponder upon some of the main questions in life and society. This is the reason why one looses contact with one's political ideals.... pure lack of energy.

Everyone I know after 30, when asked how they are doing, the first thing they'll say is "busy... I'm super busy, but otherwise okay".... regardless of what they do, and whether or not they have children. I think it is even considered a merit to say this, to show people that you are not wasting away your life.

After living like this for awhile, you become mind numbed drones, perfect to be blindfolded unaware of how society is being led. Since all you want is some nice food, a nice vacation and some sleep.

oct 12 2010...very very tired.
need to update this later... but thought I will share this though first.


miguel said...

i don't know it exactly either, but think the first part states that if you're not a marxist at young age, then you don't have a heart.
at young age you're supposed to be more passionate than rational.. and then vice-versa

Christian said...

Hi Hee,

you inspired me again to write a big response to your thoughts.


Hope you're well.