Africans Should Not Embrace Capitalism

2014-07-09 14:11

As a young boy growing up in the ghettos of South Africa, I always dreamt of being wealthy. I was overly fascinated by the beautifully styled ‘big houses’ that great money bought, the driveways which parked exclusive car models, and the rich kids, who always seemed to have a glow around their forms.

Wealth to a kid growing up in a poor western influenced habitat seems like heaven on earth indefinitely. It seems like a logical escape and cure out of a stifling world of anxiety and frustration. At this point, one doesn’t have a clue of what it takes to actually generate this wealth, but is led by an innocent looking gluttonous spirit.

I remember in my early high school days, that a friend of mine had a sticker on his briefcase reading: Millionaires In Training. In a nutshell, our ambition back then was centred on acquisition rather than service. Once money or wealth becomes a priority, then any means may be employed to reach the goal.

So rather than focus on what it is I’m passionate about or good at, I crafted ideas on what would generate wealth. But even still, why is that a problem? What’s wrong with an innocent ambition to be wealthy, so long as you do it lawfully? What’s wrong with being rich, so long as you work your fat off to get there? Absolutely nothing, as a naïve mind in a liberal ‘free market’ system would exclaim.

But we might have a bigger concern much sooner than later come to think of it. I was a bit alarmed when a youth role model in the form of DJ S’bu recently tweeted that his ambition was to become a billionaire in the nearest future. This is the same message being reiterated from the grey vaults of industrialist authority in the USA, where rappers like Jay Z, Rick Ross and Lil’Wayne sell the vision of pompous monetary glory to the ‘young world’ (YMCMB).

Companies and corporations also play a crucial part in this faulty set up by the manufacturing of different classes of products and services, so to suit those who would be unique and privileged. The capitalist economy is thus founded on chance and perpetually manipulative policies. Despotic legislation encourages private ownership where the owner is at liberty to generate large profits at the expense of the many.

As humans, we are aware of both material and immaterial realms of things. Material things are finite, but spiritual things are infinite. All things which exist in the material world are therefore limited. To divide a loaf between ten people would imply each one will receive a tenth of that whole loaf.

But knowledge on the other hand is an example of the infinite spiritual. With one book, I can read to ten people at the same time, and each one of them would capture the full knowledge at hand, instead of a tenth each, as it would apply with a material object. To put it bluntly, it’s possible for all people to be spiritually wealthy, but it’s not possible for everyone to be materially wealthy.

All the assets of this world are limited and have a specific value. Since men have taken it upon themselves to commercialize everything, the world as we know it has an approximate price tag. We have eventually put commercial value on land, plants, animals, minerals, resources and all types of services. This means there is a fixed monetary value in any country’s economy. This also means it will never be possible for everyone to become a millionaire, no matter how sincerely we all dream.

Whether we go to TB Joshua ministries or not, the current total wealth of this nation doesn’t allow for everyone to be ‘loaded’. The capitalist model operates much like the lottery highway. As much as everyone hopes to be a winner, the reality is that only one person is likely to win the collective prize.

If by some strange coincidence all the players bet the winning number, the grand prize diminishes in grandeur and is broken down into small change and divided among all. This defeats the purpose of the competition.

But taking the complicated history of South Africa into account, it becomes a strenuous experience to imagine our society being governed by a Feudal economic system in the 21st century. It would be a nightmare to re-enter an ancient era of Lords, Merchants and Peasants in the pretext of Democracy. ©

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