It doesn’t matter what kind of “rules” you try to apply to this system, they won’t help. Capitalism’s number one rule, first and foremost, is and always has been exploitation.
Capitalism is theft. It is violence. It relies and thrives on the suffering of the most marginalized—stealing our labor, our time, our energy, our health, our sanity, and even our lives. It actively prevents our mobility.
It doesn’t matter what kind of “rules” you try to apply to this system, they won’t help. Capitalism’s number one rule, first and foremost, is and always has been exploitation. It is predicated on the enslavement, subjugation, and colonization of African and other Indigenous lands and peoples.
It often looks like wage theft and is classified as “necessary” violence—driven mostly by greed and wrapped up in anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and patriarchy.
It creates a culture of sameness, wherein there is never room for individuality. This places cogs in the machine, which leads to working people’s exhaustion; tired of the vacuous shared routines, which then leads to the commodification of care—most notably referred to as “self-care”—and other moments of escape. This keeps citizens too tired, too busy, or too apathetic to protest, and that is what creates what many refer to as the Organizer/Nonprofit Industrial Complex: the commodification of community organizing and other social justice engagement that eventually leads to the production of the Celebrity Activist.
Capitalism touches everything around us because it’s so pervasive and invasive. Wear Your Voice has written at length about the various ways in which capitalism harms all marginalized people and how it benefits the mega-wealthy who continue to squeeze every bit of blood out of our bodies and this planet, into their cups. We intended to write one cohesive piece about how capitalism is at its core a form of theft, but it is too vast, too insidious and too much to tackle with one piece. So we decided to assemble a list of the pieces featured on our site that illustrate just how endemic and destructive capitalism is: