Everything I own

This is not a new or profound thought, and it's only a symptom of the actual problem — capitalism without constraint.

America is alleged to be a democracy, but we the people aren't in charge. Corporations own everything including the political process. That's the problem behind every problem facing America.

Today, I'm thinking about how that impacts our lives, very personally.

A fat percentage of the conversations we all have and overhear are about products — cars, shoes, phones, clothes, restaurants, ball games, pop music, movies, books, shows on TV, dinners at Applebee's, etc.

Give a listen any day, and you'll hear people sharing earnest, impassioned opinions about the corporate products they buy.

My underwear, my clothes, my food and my cat's food, my plates, my fridge, my electric fans, the clock on the wall, the old and stained carpet I walk on, my beloved recliner, and the milk crates everything's in, and everything that's in all the milk crates — everything I own came from corporations. So did the keyboard I'm typing this on, the screen where these words appear, and every other physical, tangible thing in my life.

Being very leftist and annoyed by corporatization, there ought to be some exceptions, but in ten minutes turning my head every direction in this room, there are no exceptions at all. Even the very few things I own that are handmade, were made from manufactured materials.

And there's nothing we can do about it. Try living without manufactured products. Try going through a day without thinking about products, talking about products. It can't be done.

"Know yourself," said Socrates, and I do, and I'm not a guy who's going to plant carrots in the back yard, or start weaving my own fabric and sewing homemade pants.

Tomorrow, I'll buy manufactured mayonnaise and mustard, ham and pickles and bread, from a store owned by a giant corporation. When I'm dead, my ashes will end up in a $49 urn manufactured in China and sold by a subsidiary of 3M.

We are consumers, and the products we consume also consume us.

It's something you don't notice until you do, and after you do, you can't stop noticing it. It's disheartening, so I thought I'd type it up and dishearten you, too.


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