Capitalism’s Weeping Angels

Here’s a clip from a horror movie featuring a few terrifying monsters called “weeping angels”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single clip, so I had to post these three:



And watch this last one until 2:15



If you didn’t bother with the videos, the weeping angels are monsters that turn to stone if someone looks at them, but as soon as you look away, they turn back into real live monsters trying to kill you.

Trying to create a humane form of capitalism is impossible because society’s ruling class acts like the weeping angels. When ordinary people have changed the world for the better, it’s because of painstaking organizing. Sometimes, ordinary people spend decades building movements to change the world. History shows that ordinary people can succeed when they all work together, but it’s a long, hard struggle.

But once the day is won, people go home–as they should. People stop paying attention and get on with their lives. And as soon as no one is paying attention, the ruling class gets to work, slowly but surely dismantling the progressive achievements until they are gone. Then, ordinary people must spend decades organizing to re-win the victories that were already won.

One example was the Progressive Movement, which successfully busted the corporate monopolies that controlled all branches and all levels of government. Yet today, we live in an era with all the same problems of concentrated corporate power and capture of government. Because capitalism was left intact, we still had very powerful people with every incentive to reverse these achievements. Of course they tried; unfortunately, they succeeded.

As long as we leave the underlying structure of capitalism intact–as long as there are so few people with so much power–any progressive achievement will be temporary. If you don’t want humanity to fight the same fight every several decades, if you don’t want your grandchildren to suffer in the way you suffered, we need to find a better way than humane capitalism.