After a couple centuries' gestation, fed fat off the slave and spice trade, the Brits squeezed out a bouncing baby “free market” system called Industrial Capitalism. The younger sibling of Mercantile Capitalism and Agrarian capitalism, it was shouldered with the task of convincing people to rather not work the land for the direct affect of their personal and familial survival and instead work in a factory that paid them the lowest wage possible for the maximum amount of labour.
But how? Who in their right mind would prefer the former over the latter? Luckily for some, being of the right mind was not a prerequisite; all you had to be was English, male and riiichhhh biiitttchhhhh. For everyone else it was a matter of having lost the means to feed yourself by your own efforts when the Inclosure Act was passed in 1773. Previous to its passing access to land that was used collectively to support life in the community (dubbed The Commons) allowed for non-landowners to sustain themselves and provide for their own basic needs. My cow and your cow grazing the day away cooking up all the cheese our hearts could ever desire in their grass-fed bellies.
Along comes the Inclosure Act and now landowners are able to fence off their property for private use, charge rent and run the “commoners” off the land. Separating the population from the means of production (land) and AT THE SAME TIME its products (food) and appointing currency to police the divide. The only way to survive this schemey racket was to get in good with the cash cops which meant find work in whichever horrificly conditioned factory would accept you (and your children as young as 6) into its labour force. The rat race had begun and we are still running it now. The race hasn't changed much in these two hundred plus years but the public sentiment has. From the “if I don't work for money I will not be able to feed myself and my family and we will shortly DIE” of yesteryear to the “if I don't have the new iphone I will shortly DIE (fuck my family, they on their own)” of today, Improvement?
We have been encultured to think hmmm... perhaps think is not the right word, the memes of our cultural programming typically slip below our think detectors and activate us emotionally using words like FREE (market) and (industrial) REVOLUTION.
“You want to be free don't you? Be a part of the revolution?”
“Well here's how, now it may sound a little counterintuitive at first but bear with us; the way to be free is you simply subject yourself to a life of thankless servitude to fulfill somebody else's desire for more stuff while desperately trying to fulfil your own desire for stuff but with far less time and waaaaay less resources!”
“Wha?! But what about my cow?”
“Oh don't you worry about that, we'll take all those pesky cows off your hands and subject them to the same conditions we subject you to so the reduced quality of your food will match the reduced quality of your life. Now does that make your silly little thinky thinker feel aww betta? Goood, now sleeeep...”
We have been encultured to think that we humans are incapable of sharing resources for the benefit of society. That wasn't always the case and this theory (known as The Tragedy of The Commons) had its start, just like Capitalism, in the scared little minds of people who saw other life forms as threats to the preservation of their ill-gotten wealth. An "imagined" theory with no data to support it that worked its way through the system and into the collective conscious of the rats doing all the running. Running so hard for their physical survival that they didn't (and still don't) have time to stop and ask for more information, more possibilities to choose from, more of a say in the matter... It's how a system that benefits so few and at the cost of our shared planet's resources, has managed to persist. We are too busy feeding it to fight it.
Here at The Apocalypse Pantry we call it Capitalisma because naming it reminds us that it is a made up place like Xanadu or Rhodesia. Giving it this form also helps us define its borders and allows us the freedom to choose how much time we spend there. Simple, everyday choices like:
"Wanna go to Capitalisma for lunch?"
"Na, just bring some of your pantry over to my pantry and we'll make from what we already have"
The economist Elinor Ostrom (RIP) with an offering of thought food for the battle weary:
A Recipe Ode to Capitalisma
Tastes just like how those sweet monthly medical aid payments feel.
Dried poppy buds, the Papaver somniferum ones, big fat opium pods, not the small ones. You know em, the ancient ones, the Sumerian ones.
A grain of all the salt species of all the world
Silks and spices from the Orient
1. Plant a field of Papaver somniferum, let it grow. This shit is incredible, there are reports of seeds being taken off baked bread and sowing them to reveal ancient varieties. Baking surely kills it, but no friends, they resurrect! Like the sweet infinity of exponential growth. Let it flower, you need that flower to activate the opiates which lie in the latex of the seed pods. Let the petals drop
2. Graze cow in said field with the hopes that the opiates nestle within the casein of the cow's milk which already has a mild morphine affect and are amplified when turned into cheese.
3. Love your cow, talk with your cow, bond with your cow, milk your cow.
4. Let milk sit for a couple days in a clear jar covered with Orient silk, once it separates into curds and whey, use the whey to soak the rice overnight.
5. Caramelise sugar then mix in curds until smooth, squeeze your cow booby to get some more milk and stir that in too until you get a nice runny caramel consistency.
6. Cook drained rice on low with even more milk from your cow's booby with a bit of salt and whatever spices you were able to find on your last voyage to the Orient.
7. When porridge-like consistency, drizzle with curd caramel.
8. Serve garnished with crisped cochineal, easy to find on Opuntia cactus, but if not, get back on that donkey and get some. They will slowly eek out red dye.
9. Let leftovers sit at room temperature, taste it everyday and take note of the mounting tartness and opiate-induced limb numbness. When it tastes nasty, stop eating it and note how red it is, take a mental picture and next time put it in a cool area one day before the day of nasty turning, using your implanted visual cue for reference.