Money gods: What do I mean?
Capitalism is a religion. It demands continued sacrifices to the money god at all costs.
The fairy tale of Capitalism only “worked” because duplicitous White people murdered, raped, and pillaged their way through a continent (plus) worth of land and resources. [See The History of American Imperialism, From Bloody Conquest to Bird Poop].
That truth coupled with centuries of chattel slavery pretty much mean that unpaid labor and manufacturing quite literally built the United States’ economy. [A long steep rise in US inequality took place between 1800 and 1860, matching the widening income gaps we have witnessed since the 1970s. Learn more about the rise of inequality during the Gilded Age on Time Magazine.]
It is the same economy that Black and Brown folks are being sacrificed for to this day. Because that’s what Capitalism dictates. [In the 1970’s and 80’s, while jobs were being outsourced at an unparalleled rate, labor movements broken up, and wages driven down, the political-legal apparatus of the U.S. underwent a period of massive reform. Under the guise of being “tough on crime,” new laws were introduced that increased penalties for non-violent offenses. Enforcement of these laws—primarily in poor communities of color—dispossessed large swaths of the poorest and most disadvantaged groups of people. Learn more from the Civil Liberties Defense Center.]
Whether it’s the lack of collective bargaining rights for workers, CEO to entry level employee salary gaps, or the lack of worker protections that have been put on full display during this pandemic – It is absolutely no surprise that the people being put in harms way for low wages are disproportionately Black and Brown or poor if White. [CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978 according to the Economic Policy Institute.][Making Worker Protections Real During the Coronavirus Pandemic.]
Capitalism is fundamentally predicated on the exploitation of a slave class or permanent socioeconomic underclass (colloquially known as working people or more recently the working poor). [Learn more about the working poor from PolicyLink.]
What I mean to say is that we will be paying the money gods for our freedom into eternity. IF we continue to buy the premise that we can Capitalism our way to Liberation. We cannot Black people, we must find another way.
I know that we have been a historically impoverished people. But that means we need to meet our immediate material needs. Not be racing to out earn each other and flash nicer gear. We have to think about the future we are leaving our children outside of the dollar bill.
For more information about alternatives to Capitalism stay tuned to Positively Black. And check out the following resources –
What do you think the best move is for the community? Does it differ than what is best for you and your household?