Jordan Healey looks at the growing trend in “chic-activism”.
Earlier this year I decided to start using Twitter after being convinced by a friend that it’s “not that bad”. After a few weeks I was surprisingly still using it and actually enjoying it; then I came across a trending hashtag entitled ‘#ResistCapitalism’. Initially I was surprised. Surely nobody could be that hypocritical and lacking in self-awareness enough to support an anti-capitalist campaign on one of the biggest social media sites in the world; a company whose revenue was US$2.2 billion last year – according to marketwatch.
Well, the internet is full of surprises and, unfortunately, this hashtag blew up and became the most trending on the site for almost an entire day; even making a comeback during the Easter break – presumably because students were quite bored, wanting to do something to elevate their egos and feel like they are doing something useful. What better way to do this than to read Karl Marx’s Wikipedia page and then use this sudden gained knowledge of global politics and economic theory to do something truly important; to use their iPhone to tweet about how capitalism is evil, while wearing a Che Guevara shirt made by someone in a poverty stricken third world country.
The rampant hypocrisy of these people is not the only issue. Their arguments (or lack thereof) are often cringe worthy and completely unjustified. Personally, I don’t care if Einstein was against capitalism. Just because he was clever in a completely unrelated field does not mean he had credible political opinions. I’m sure Josef Mengele was a great scientist too, should we just blindly accept his political views?
Furthermore, to say that capitalism is not compatible with freedom is profoundly idiotic when the alternative involves governmental control of all economic activity which has resulted in the death of millions of people throughout the 20th century alone; through war, famine and totalitarian rule. If the twitter hippies actually mean corporatism they may have a point – ignoring the fact that corporatism is not too dissimilar from socialism, since it involves the restriction of private property rights and capital goods for the majority of people.
Social media sites, such as Twitter, give everyone a voice and are “important” in highlighting many “major issues” throughout the world such as offensive Halloween costumes, offensive video games and how everything else you can possibly imagine is in some way offensive. These “voices” seem to be basement dwelling, pot-smoking teenagers who have nothing better to do with their time than to be offended for the sake of being offended, and continue to provide evidence that students appear to be becoming increasingly and worryingly distanced from reality.
Since capitalism drives competition, it ensures that better quality and cheaper goods are available to more and more people, whilst lifting many people out of poverty throughout the world. To resist it is to literally stall the progression of humanity and ensure that abject poverty becomes far more prevalent than it already is, needless to say, it is wrong.