Two experiences, two days in a row, got me thinking about the tools of capitalism:
Temptation: waving objects in front of you creating desires that did not exist before
Shame: making you feel bad about yourself—your body, your hair, your skin, your home, your wardrobe, your smell, your vehicle your lifestyle.
Lies: Making you believe that the products will make you happy. They do not.
Pretending to be nice, generous, caring, on your side: We will give you gifts for signing up. We will care for you after you buy our product.
Fear: inventing scenarios that may or may not happen and trying to sell you the solution before you even have the problem.
Overwhelming your sense of choice: offers that allow you to “save” if you buy more. You can try all four different deodorant scents and save 50 cents on each one. You do not have to choose. You can have it all for a smaller amount of money.
Weakening our discipline and impulse control: You can always have now and pay later. You will always pay more later but you can always have satisfaction now.
Faking Morality and Goodness: Companies that donate1% of their profits to causes—this is ridiculous. They are keeping 99% of their profits. They just give you a rationalization for your immediate gratification and lining their coffers. You can donate 100% of your money to the same causes and not participate in the delusion of shopping to make a difference.
Other direct and indirect tools of capitalism: Facebook and the World Wide Web. Which can also be tools for change of course. But what the internet is doing is further training our minds to have immediate gratification and satisfaction—endless. No planning trips to the library. No empty space. Always virtual connections at our fingertips, one click away. We have no mental peace unless we stay away from computers. This creates weak wills which also will just behave in stores the way they behave on the computer—flitting from one thing to another—from one purchase to another.
Weakening discipline and focus. Making us all the more vulnerable to manipulation.