Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fewer Choices, Please!

Capitalism's brainwashed sycophants never tire of explaining how to really be free, you need endless choices. For example, to have quality healthcare, you need hundreds of insurance plans to choose from. Or the latest scam, to undo Dodd-Frank they are calling it the CHOICE Act (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors and Entrepreneurs) (no really) which will allow you to choose between an endless range of financial advisors, from those with a smattering of ethics to those totally devoid of any ethics. Don't you feel more free already?

This is the Gospel according to WalMart; as consumers (that is what your species-being is reduced to) you are at your "freest" when confronting aisle after warehouse aisle of product choices. True emancipation, the purest liberty, is infinite consumption choices. It is what the Founding Fathers started a revolution for and what our soldiers have fought and died for through endless wars.

Reverence for this gospel transcends both the trivial boundaries of political party and less trivial ones of race and class. It is ubiquitous amongst our fellow homo economicus.But my argument here is that too many choices are just as oppressive as too few and that what is obscured is the market ideology and "political rationality" contained in freedom of choice. What I want is to spend less of my time having to choose. Shopping, that is comparing price and quality, eats into my precious leisure time making me less free. It imposes its obligation constantly and the truth of the matter is, you don't know the worth or value of what you are trading your labour power for. You can spend a week of your life researching every health insurance plan on earth and still end up with shit because the insurance market for health is shit.

Spend a week of your life researching the ethical standards of financial consultants and you will still be investing/risking your life's energy in someone's unsustainable debt to make some gambler rich and probably degrade the planet. Which you are free to do, just not really free.

1 comment:

  1. -- the snapple-ization of every manner of consumption. Thanks Trout!