Capitalists profit from and control what we need to survive – Banks and landlords profit from our need for housing. Actually, all the things we need to survive—the water we drink, the food we eat, even the roofs over our heads—are turned into commodities that someone makes a profit from. This excludes many of us from the necessities of life.
Capitalists exploit us at work – We don’t work because we want to. We work because we have no other way to make money. We sell our time and energy to a boss in order to buy the things we need to survive. During our time at work we make things or provide services that our bosses sell. Our everyday working lives are sold hour after hour, week after week, generation after generation.
Capitalists create schools that produce obedient workers and unquestioning citizens – The primary task of education in a capitalistic society is to teach students to ‘respect authority.’ Authority is imposed through a system that punishes those who do not do what they are told and rewards conformity. Strict adherence to trivial rules teaches us to obey no matter how stupid the order is. This prepares us for the world of bosses, cops, politicians, and military officers ordering us around and treating us as inferior.
Capitalists terrorize immigrants – Hundreds of immigrants and refugees are forcibly deported every day for doing what humans have done for thousands of years—moving in search of a better life, escaping poverty, abuse, discrimination, disasters, persecution, or war. Those on the wrong side of borders, whose homelands are often torn apart by the same economic practices that define the so-called First World, are illegalized and criminalized and are forced to work for less than those with papers.
Capitalism is global and needs colonization to expand – Canada, like many other nations, was founded upon the genocide of it’s native populations. Capitalism requires the full assimilation of all communities who have a different relationship to the land and each other. While native people are forced to live on reservations, or in the city in poverty, to endure the legacies of genocide and residential schools, their traditional territories are occupied, and destroyed for the needs of capitalist resource extraction. The governments of BC and Canada continue to fool us into believing that we live in a “green” and peaceful location. We cannot have our own freedom, until we reject their nationalism and all that it stands for alongside a long tradition of native land defenders.
Capitalism affects everyone differently, but regardless of who we are, as working class people we are exploited by the system in one way or another. That pervasiveness can be threatening, but it is also a common link that we can use to struggle against it together. Simply standing up for our own interests in this struggle is the starting point for undermining capitalism.