Imo, one of the most damning aspects of capitalism is that it encourages people to have consumptive hobbies over creative ones.
It actively seeks to bar people from doing things like cooking, or writing, or making pottery, or anything else of that nature. Activities in which you are making something
Things like that are made either too expensive (in terms of money, or time, or both) or framed as something not worth wasting time on, because you can't support yourself doing art/writing/etc
I imagine you looking like your avatar when typing this.
@Dayglochainsaw Awesome thread!
@Dayglochainsaw so much this! We keep having people in our hackerspace who say “Why are you building this yourself? You can just buy it. It's also cheaper if you count in your time. How much are you paid per hour? It's never worth it.” Like, isn't building things yourself the point of a hackerspace?!
@Dayglochainsaw There's also this aspect of being enticed, as a creator, to buy more and more "supplies". People stockpile art supplies, scrapbooking supplies, tools and wood, to where they need entire rooms for their hobbies.
Sometimes the supplies do end up being used. But often what happens is that you get "ratio-d" by what you've bought for your hobby vs. what you've made, which is demoralizing, so you buy more supplies to stave off shame.
Potential can't be bought.
Every time there is a dance show on TV everyone asks if I'll be watching it. Er no, I can't watch TV when I'm in the dance club. Same with football. I know a few people who play football and watch EPL. Most people who obsess about EPL seem to have none of the knowledge you get from playing. The countries with the most cooking shows also sell the most ready meals. And so on.
@Dayglochainsaw this aligns with something I’ve thought for a long time: consumption based activities inherently breed toxicity (eg gamers) bc when you consume the only thing that sets you apart and gives you social currency is making a demonstration of how narrow your tastes are (anyone can love a lot of things, after all, but your palette is so refined you hate it all). When you create you’re defined by ability rather than tastes, and your ability doesn’t require excluding others.
Competition, aka "For me to win, you have to lose" also has a lot to do with this. There was a sharp deterioration in, for example, the quality of the Overwatch community the moment they added a competitive mode/league to the game where you had a ranking relative to other players. It only took a week or so for what was an surprisingly nice gaming community to turn into vicious edgelords fighting for prestige.
@Dayglochainsaw Counterpoint: 21st century capitalism loves getting people to do creative hobbies. ESPECIALLY art and writing. Because when they're hobbies, you can use the amateurs to undercut and proletarianize the professionals.
@Dayglochainsaw Thing is, capitalism really only cares about your productive power. The basic structure of capitalism is "you make 50 dollars of stuff, boss pays you 10." If they could pay you 0 (aka end consumption), they would.
But, turns out that it's a pretty iron law that consumption increases production. So they obsess over your consumption, not because they want you to consume, but because they want you to consume THEIR stuff. It's recycling, basically.
@Dayglochainsaw I agree! To add to this, if you do have one of the creative hobbies, there's this pervasive and exhausting element of competition that always creeps in.
You can't just be a writing/critique circle. There is no love, there is no art. The whole thing has to be about getting published, or who's published the most, in the most elite circles, or else getting into an elite MFA, or self-publishing with high numbers, etc etc etc Jesus Christ save us.
@Dayglochainsaw And it's like, who does that serve? That exhausting and deadening of creativity into product-making?
It serves well-connected agents and big labels. Massive publishing conglomerates. It serves Amazon, Hollywood studios, and universities.
Even smaller publishers and journals and writing programs often work to maintain their elite status for financial reasons.
Creators get isolated against each other, when the best eras of human creativity involve idea sharing.
@Dayglochainsaw this is something I think about often, as a writer who is very often too fried from working retail to sit down and work on a story.
@Dayglochainsaw yah and when 'capitalism' encourages creative activities it always obsesses about what tools someone uses
"she can't be a real photographer with THAT camera', 'what, you're drawing and don't have the latest photoshop', always pressuring people into buying new, more expensive stuff as of course that's what makes them 'good, productive artists'
@Dayglochainsaw o h
@Dayglochainsaw I want to make more electronic stuff. Things that would need pricy test gear and equipment...
I would argue that technically capitalism would imply that we all become ascetic. That we'd only purchase things if it provides value for us. I think consumerism has a different origin than capitalism.
At least from an economist's point of view.
@Dayglochainsaw Although I'm not sure if I totally agree with you I find your thoughts interesting. But what I believe is that capitalism yields the bad in people more than the good.
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