Cool Capitalism

It’s on FB, so no link:

Welcome to the communist-anarchist bakery.
Karl Marx sandwich.

Organic baguette.

Free coffee.

This is the perfect example of what Jim McGuigan calls “cool capitalism.” It’s the rugged Marlboro man of the 2010s.

Capitalism appropriates rebelliousness and uses it to sell product. Whatever makes people feel edgy, cool, modern, quirky, unusual, and rebellious will help move product. Nobody cares about meaning or ideology. Capitalism has devoured ideology ages ago. It’s all about a superficial interplay of identities, posing, and playacting in order to be able to consume more. 

In response to this, people have started to denounce the evils of the Communist regimes and the pitfalls of the Marxist ideology. What they don’t seem to get is that this bakery (and its many brethren) is what capitalism is all about. Criticizing the bakery is not about criticizing communism. If you are uncomfortable with the bakery, what you can’t fully accept is capitalism. And if you think it’s a swell idea, you are as neoliberal as one could get. 

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5 thoughts on “Cool Capitalism”

  1. “If you are uncomfortable…
    And if you think it’s a swell idea…”

    What if you just think it’s really stupid? I think this is another case of me not relating to normies.

    I realize capitalism is the least bad socio-economic option (and am tenuinely and unironically grateful for its bounty) but its mechanisms can be very dispiriting…. it’s like the old saying about sausage.

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  2. I really do not understand the last part of your post. Please explain – I would like to understand.

    I actually read your “Fake edgy” post first and am quite surprised that you used almost the exact same wording that came to my head when I read it. We probably read the same book recently or something.

    I tentatively agree that capitalism seems to devour ideals. But given that this is a very strong assertion, you have to provide solid proof. I understand the sentiment though, especially after walking through a shopping mall.
    Yet, it is imperative to recall that “capitalism” is merely people interacting, trading, and bartering freely in a money economy. There really isn’t much mystery about the cognitive construct of capitalism – at the end of the day, it is all just us going about our lives within certain economic conditions.

    So why, given the freedom to own property, and freely exchange goods and services, do we lose our ideals?

    And what do these constructs even mean to you?

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    1. Because the freedom to buy and sell that we possess doesn’t include the freedom not to be buying and selling all the time.:-) And that doesn’t really feel like much of a freedom.

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