Capitalism and the Limits of Thought

“Capitalism depends on the ability to define things in our world”.

For capitalist system to work people (consumers) need to believe that they need to purchase certain things in order to look or behave a certain way, or in order to be a certain type of person.

Gone are the days of the pre-industrial society when we had the freedom to simply exist. Due to modernity, we live in a highly disciplined society, the discipline of the mind.

In capitalism we institutionalized basic events in an economy. For example, marriage, which is simply a union between a male and a female is now a commodified and socially constructed act.

Meanings of products are highly pre-determined. They are continually enforced by the meaning-making system.

Dominant symbols are established to thought and these dominant symbols reinforce the social order. The example given is the Barbie doll. If a Barbie doll is given to black kids, most likely they will choose to be the white doll. On my own reflection, I believe there could be two possible reasons, one being that the white Barbie doll may perhaps be the standard of beauty, or more realistically the black kids associate the white Barbie Doll with privilege. For example: The girl who has everything.

Different ethnic groups consume media differently. Teenagers use symbols differently.

Capitalism is starting to be equated and marketed with democracy and freedom. For example a corporation will create a product where the consumer can customize the product and then create the illusion of freedom or freedom of choice.

The internet is eroding definitional control on people with capital.