In order for capitalism to work, we must be carefully groomed to play the game.
Compliance: reward! Heteronormativity: reward! Following the priest: reward! Silky hair: reward! Making money for other people: reward! Already having money: reward! Buying a shiny car: bonus! We’re promised if we play by the rules, God and country will shine upon us. Because those who’ve won the game, and accumulated a few dozen houses along the way, got there by playing well.
I’m 31 and have been trying to figure out this planet since I was a naively shocked 12-year-old learning most children here go hungry. I read the books I wasn’t supposed to read and ruined family dinners talking about racism and cried over the state of Iraq in the shower. The one thing I’ve figured out for certain is this game was rigged long before I arrived. Those meticulously crafted rules were written by cheaters, upheld by patriarchs claiming to speak for a pale-skinned god, and enforced by heavily armed dudes with freaky surveillance equipment. The game I’ve been asked to play is on a playground ruled by terrorists, with secretive prisons overseas and poisoned wells and only treats for the kinds of kids you’d never want to be friends with.
Still, by way of proving myself worthy of inheriting some of these spoils, I’m asked to comb my hair, smile nicely and petition for the privilege of having my labor exploited by crafting exquisitely boring cover letters. I should shut up, sit down, and only ask very very nicely that the big men don’t let all the tigers become extinct, and not too furiously rip this planet apart from limb to limb. Because as a good child of God and state, I can never suggest that their game is stupid, mean and in absolutely no way any fun.
I carefully fold the New York Times and finish drinking my tea. What the big men don’t anticipate is a lot of us are ready to stop combing our hair. As our parents made no significant dent on the diseased systems into which they birthed us, we have no choice but to stop being their obedient sons and daughters. Our defeat is nearly certain. The only thing more unbearable is our complacency.
— Maureen K. Doll, Waunakee, U.S.A.
[cherry_banner image=”4624″ title=”Adbusters #120″ url=”http://subscribe.adbusters.org/collections/back-issues/products/ab120″ template=”issue.tmpl”]Manifesto for World Revolution, Part 3[/cherry_banner]