“And what would the alternative be, in your opinion,” the lady, wrapped in luxury, interjected, “communism? We’ve had that before. That’s when everyone is monitored, no one has anything because production is not exposed to the pressure of the free economy and everyone gets it the same anyway, no matter what they do. And anyone who doesn’t fit into the system is eliminated. You can’t really be serious, state control and spying, no democracy, no elections, just lack of freedom and the inequality of some party bigwigs. This is certainly not an alternative.”
“You call it communism, but what you are describing is the capitalism that liberals imagine in their happy dreams,” countered the amused woman, who was classified as economically weak, “people who don’t fit into the system, who not adapting, not functioning constantly, not working continuously, consuming, having fun and sleeping in order to regenerate so that the wheel starts again are eliminated, i.e. marginalized to such an extent that one thinks they no longer exist. And what about these people themselves? They blame themselves when they don’t take part in the game whose most important rule is that everything is allowed that gets you further, no matter what sacrifices it means. In other words, others than yourself. Democracy is faked every few years at the ballot box, where at best you can choose between parties that do what capital tells them to do. An agrarian reform? Yes, but in such a way that the people in charge of agriculture don’t have to change anything, even if it means further environmental destruction. After the election, whatever is popular or benefits those who can influence the people involved will be done anyway. The people remain excluded. That’s why the container into which you throw your vote is also very appropriately called an urn, since you carry it to your grave. As a citizen you have nothing to report from one election to the next. Shut up because the election was democratic. Next time you can anyway. And the years in between? Who follow political campaigns that are only aimed at one thing, self-profiling, and the status quo. Anyone who violates this is guaranteed to be voted out. That is democracy when it is dominated by capitalism.”
It’s time for another coffee. The waiter shows by frowning that he doesn’t like this communication across class boundaries. And how long this had lasted.
“Anything is better than a one-party dictatorship. But you cannot deny that capitalism has also brought a lot of prosperity, equality and participation. Improved means of production and technological progress have led to more and more people participating in prosperity.”
“Based on the exploitation of those we don’t have an eye on. Progress is imperialism and prosperity is appropriation. Another person’s poverty is another person’s prosperity. The degradation of others is the progress of some. The expropriation of others is the appropriation of some.”
“But communism preaches expropriation. So it fits again.”
“What an exciting simplification. Communism stands for the expropriation of the means of production, the appropriation of what is actually used by those who work and thus made necessary. Nobody will steal the Chanel costume out of the box, but it’s about the foundations of a general better situation, the production and knowledge in the hands and minds of everyone. It’s exciting that in the pharmaceutical industry, for example, most of the research is paid for by all of us, but the results are marketed by the pharmaceutical companies and thus for their profit. Here costs are shared and profits are individualized. And when I look at the ownership structure, in Austria it turns out that 1% owns 50%. So where does the actual expropriation take place?”
“It’s all hard earned,” explains the seemingly wealthy lady.
“Interest, rental income and speculative profits can hardly be seen as salary for hard work. But you’re right, someone has worked hard to earn these profits, but it’s not them who are receiving them.”
“But everyone has the opportunity to achieve anything through commitment, hard work and discipline. This starts with the education system that is accessible to everyone. Everyone has the chance to get ahead through education.” Growing up in a well-protected home in which both father and mother were academics, surrounded by art, literature, culture, and science as a matter of course, she even seemed to believe what she said. And now that she had her own boutique, she thought she had reached the zenith of success, because it was not just any boutique, because she offered her own collection in it, distinctive and unique. That’s why she called it extremely aptly, as she thought, “boutique unique”. For the first time during their conversation, she seriously questioned why she was even bothering with this person. That wasn’t her level at all.
You will find out how the conversation continues on October 12th. If you subscribe to the blog, you will automatically be informed when the next post appears.