One of the primary goals of the founding of the Midnight Media Coup is that I want to form the Coup as infrastructure for creating independent media within the goal of working within direct opposition to capitalism, including the Non-Profit Industrial Complex.
Capitalism cannot fix what capitalism has created. The greed that is created by a capitalist system is directly responsible for the inequities, which are necessary for the functioning of the system. Our desire to always be at the top, to be the exception; but, the rags to riches story is not sustainable.
Currently, BP is attempting to clean up the mess that their greed has created; the effects of the oil industry in that area are not new, and will probably be felt for decades if not centuries to come. At the same time, Oil Companies in Northeastern PA continue to rob the area of its natural resources while poisoning the area and the people who live within it.
We watch Verizon attempt to convince us that a tiered system of Internet access, that would deny the power of new media, of Internet and of voice to low-income people is a positive step in the free market place. Everyday companies attempt to purchase our identities, our bodies, our souls. The draw us in with fancy advertisements, and promises to make our lives better, easier, to bring us everything we want quickly without penalty. But time and time again we must remember we cannot buy happiness.
What we see everyday is a system that teaches us to equate citizenship, equality and worth with money. Yet, by the nature of classic economic scarcity, it is impossible for the majority of people to buy that citizenship.
The very nature of capitalism depends on concentrating power among a small group. It depends on scarcity. It depends on inequality.
The goal of liberal interpretations capitalism is equality, but what I seek is equity. There is no equity in the capitalist system.
“From their inception foundations focused on research and dissemination of information designed ostensibly to ameliorate social issues – in a manner, however, that did not challenge capitalism” (Smith 4)
The Non-Profit Industrial Complex is a product of a system of non-profits that are captive to the capitalist system they seek to cope with. Instead of working towards legitimate change these non-profits create band-aide solutions thus continuing to ensure that they have a solid base of need to serve. This is not always due to conscious effort, but rather manufactured ignorance to the complexity of capitalist systems as well as the underhanded controlling of funders and those at the top to ensure they stay at the top. The very nature of the free market blinds us to the dangers of oppressive systems.
The Non-Profit industrial complex is held captive to the grant funding systems that provide these NGOs with the money necessary to survive in a capitalist economy. These funders are connected to power, money and influence. In the book, Selling Out, Alexandra Chasin examines the relationship of capital to citizenship and specifically the evolution of identity based on capital within the Gay community.
“Capital does not stay inside the boundaries of identity-based communities. Neither does it stay inside of national boundaries. Like mercury to mercury, capital tends to go to capitalists, wherever they are, sloughing off the traces of any identity it might temporarily appeared to have bourne.” (Chasin 52)
As movements become co-opted, buying into capitalism and confusing greater capital with equality their messages and ability to control their message becomes co-opted by these forces. And we are stuck once again attempting to destroy the master’s house with his tools. Capitalism cannot fix what capitalism has wrought.