Wednesday, January 03, 2018

An anti-capitalist encounter



I was struggling at the supermarket checkout. I couldn't find my purse at the bottom of my shopping trolley, and the checkout lady gave a kind smile and said. "There's no need to hurry".

And then, "Do you have a nectar card?"

And "Would you like a receipt?"

Then she said "Have a nice day" and I said "You have a good one too"

And you might not think this much of a conversation, but we smiled and looked into each other's eyes, and I think any human contact is better than none.

I value them all the more since the companies began installing those self-service checkouts in the supermarkets, and removing manned checkouts and generally making that human process slower and more inconvenient.

Because humans are a liability on their balance sheets and automatic checkout machines an asset.

It's such a telling image of how much capitalism hates human beings and utterly devalues us. And on the way home I tried to think about how it came about that we became subject to such an anti-human system of economics, and how it might be possible to to turn it around.

And what a human based system of economics might look like.

It quickly became one of those questions that makes your brain hurt. And I felt exhausted by the time I got home.

But it matters that we imagine...
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