Monday, July 15, 2024

How capitalism kills, from a business student

By Gemma Angela Martino | November 23, 2023

The Palestinian and Congolese genocides have a common denominator: capitalism.

Capitalism runs our society. No matter how much we loathe it, it still governs our lives one way or another. Each facet of capitalism and business plays a role in the atrocities fueled by entitlement and greed.

The devices used to write this article are products of killings to extract coltan in Congo. Think about when tech brands champion their new line of rechargeable devices every year—phones, cars, vapes, anything. 

The marketing industry is weaponized to spread propaganda through influencer marketing, digital marketing, and advertisement. They shape public opinion and desensitize us to the point that we think wiping out an entire nation is self-defense. The marketing industry designed a roadmap that disregards an entire history of facts to keep everyone on a hamster wheel.

War profiteers of the finance industry are winning. Prominent fast food, beauty, and tech companies shell out money for bullets and bombs. These war investments mobilize weapons that take away the life and beauty of indigenous communities. 

Let us consider these the next time we look for stocks to invest our money in or give in to trends of excessive consumerism. Let us keep in mind that our next business venture may be a pool of blood.

In the time of a great divide, should we lean left, right, or remain neutral?

Neutrality is for those who love to spectate the potential benefits of any side—for those who run from the responsibility of showing empathy as well as from the awareness that every one of us took part in electing the leaders we have and growing these companies into monsters. 

It’s easy to ignore everything when there are no warplanes dropping bombs over our heads. After all, we can just log out and go about our “normal” day, business as usual. 

We can play innocent. We can hide inside our privilege bubbles and convince ourselves that these tragedies have nothing to do with us. We can close our eyes and cover our ears, but one thing remains constant—for as long as we benefit from capitalism, we are complicit. 

The victims of oppression don’t need us to save them. It is imperative to see what they go through—to take it in and reflect, to awaken our consciousness—to stand firm in solidarity and with empathy and not to stand in the middle waiting for the wind to sway us one way or the other.

We need to find the humanity lost in the layers of capitalism that conditioned us that we need more and more. We need to be human and know that not everything is for our benefit. We need to be human and realize that the sufferings of others are not for our profit and convenience.

Gemma Angela Martino currently majors in Marketing Management at SU College of Business Administration. She earned the title Ms. Histo-PolSci 2022 before making the shift. She also works as a freelance copywriter for startups. 

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