Is capitalism good for anyone, or does it just create an excess of “goods” that emerge only to protect producers from the decreasing profit that is to be made as productivity becomes easier and easier. Take for example a fast food chain like McDonalds or Burger King the price that the consumer pays for food at these restaurants is currently at a concerning low. The political economic system of capitalism is what caused production to increase and prices to decline as far as they have. Capitalism causes a feedback loop, in which production increases to account for the decline in the price consumers pay for good every time that the production of a good increases. Essential capitalism’s goal is to increase production nearly infinitely untilConsumer price cannot get any lower or production cannot become anymore efficient. The main problem with this system is that it doesn’t take resources into account.
When we don’t take resources into account we end up running out of these resources and having to outsource our resource production this leads to environmental depletion, first we deplete the environment around us, and then we move on to someone else environment paying to destroy it until there is no where else to do this. I am not saying that capitalism is evil or destroying the planet, I just think it could use some checks and balances, like our political system, after all it can’t be all about the money.
There is a lot of art that depicts the struggle against consumerism and capitalism in America. Street artists like Banksy and Shepard Farley (before he sold out to Obey) were some of the first to cleverly and satirically poke fun at the system of capitalism, what it was doing to not only the planet, but to everyone, turning them into mindless consumers. There is a lot of social programming that goes on to try to convince us that contributing to the economy is what makes us happy, because that is how capitalism and corporations benefit. Luckily for us artists continue the discussion of capitalism as a politically economic agenda, and question who is really benefiting from this system and we all have the choice to create rather than consume.
Adbusters is a Canadian nonprofit that has been actively using art to fight capitalism and consumerism, and protect the environment for 25 years now. They do a lot of really cool stuff like subverting iconic advertisements to reveal their true meanings and a couple years ago they attempted to interrupt a hockey broadcast to unleash a political mind bomb and skew the results of the Canadian election by exposing how un-environmentally friendly the candidates were. Imagine the change we could make in America if we as artists, activists, writers, and thinkers could network together and come up with ideas to progress ourselves into a new and better era in American history.