Crime and punishment
- Prisoners are seen as cruel individuals rather than a culmination of society’s wrongs against them. They are victims, they exist not to be punished as individuals, but to highlight a need for change in specific aspects of society. Unfortunately, the underlying cause here is capitalism, the system we have yet to change.
- The worker develops skills as an individual that cheapen his labor because of the concurrent development of the same skills by other workers, who then compete against each other. The variable for the capitalist becomes the degree of perfection of that skill. For the socialist, it is rather the complementary experiences that bring new perspective and create additional capabilities that enhance the whole of the industry and society by effect.
- The individual laborer, the worker, has received the cultural mandate from a capitalist society that he must focus on himself as an individual, ignoring or competing against other individuals for the scraps the capitalist is willing to throw for the worker’s undervalued labor.
- This individualism creates a false rift between otherwise humanly social individuals in need of others by nature for their complete and complementary functions.
- The unnatural institution of marriage, a capitalist replacement for the lack of humanly necessary social activity in society, becomes the norm though it conflicts namely with the male instinct for mass reproduction when he is not exerting for the labor of his true love, his profession.
- Commodities and money. Capitalism creates in society a fetishism of commodities. Humans no longer define themselves by their lives and experiences, but attempt to translate them into a perverse form of commodity for the sole purpose of exchange on the market. Members of a capitalist society become less and less human as they learn to define themselves by what can be exploited by the capitalist, the owner of the means of production.
- This has psychological ramifications as well, too numerous for summary here by an unlicensed psychoanalyst. One major factor is the loss of genuine social interactions that become defined by the fetishism of commodities and subsequently are transformed into market interactions that mimic the purchase and sale of commodity. No longer is there sincerity or interest in another’s life through empathy, but rather the aspiring capitalist seeks such interactions in order to constantly assess and reassess the exchange value of his own commodities.
- The production of commodities in itself is not harmful. It is indeed necessary. However, the limitation of a commodity should be its use-value, for when we attempt to define its exchange-value we become an agent of exploitation, seeking harm for others in order that we may benefit ourselves. The capitalists refer to this as ‘necessary competition’, which they treacherously assert is the harmless driving force of human progress.
- Human progress is in fact hindered by a capitalist society by the cheapening of the quality of labor as results from competition and a lack of a shared goal. Intellectual contributions are withheld or simply overridden when there is not conceived to be an exchange-value of benefit to its producer or owner.
- The laborer continues to undersell himself. While the capitalist is able to produce products of an arbitrary yet competitively set value, the true value of the products he produces are the investment of the worker, yet the worker receives disproportionate meager wages for the products he creates. The capitalist increases his capital through the exploitation of the worker.