Capitalism Leads to Complacency

Life is paying bills until your inevitable retirement and then death

Alexis Zygan, Contributor

Apathy leads to complacency, and the 40-hour workweek – a product of capitalism – produces a complacent working class. A working class with no energy to stand up to one’s boss or the system that pacifies them. Even engaging in hobbies that do not involve escaping from reality through a screen have steadily decreased. Capitalism is manipulated by the rich and powerful, with just 10 corporations controlling what gets put on our shelves, while the working class exert their energy on meaningless decisions like making a choice in the grocery store aisle instead of concentrating on how to eradicate increasing employee misery.

Many people in large metropolitans are still unable to invest in private ownership. The inability to influence the system leaves the working class detached from their goals and immersed in mind-numbing television and limitless internet rabbit holes. Unaware of how their actions are feeding into corporate greed, employees refuse to enter their office in the morning without their cup of Starbucks coffee because capitalism prevents them from pondering the constraints of their daily routines. By not standing up to their boss and the system that pacifies them, workers are putting in over 40 hours a week to pay rent every month, a phone bill, subscriptions, student loans and a bus pass with just a few hundred dollars left over for groceries and entertainment. Life sometimes seems like one bill payment after another.

Capitalism only benefits those who can afford to invest and acquire assets – leaving the rest of the population detached from their goals and immersed in mind-numbing activities. Switching channels on the TV may be mundane, but for many, it is a legitimate hobby. Sleep exhaustion matched with sipping coffee at 4 pm – the system of capitalism causes complacency. Studies show that a 32-hour workweek directly increases happiness, and six-hour workdays not only increase productivity but also leads to workers taking fewer sick days. Shorter workweeks means more time to raise conscious awareness of the system and engage in discourse and socialize with others outside of one’s primary circle to gain new perspectives. This would allow people to come up with solutions to improve the conditions of their existence.

Most college students accept that they will be working until they retire. With an office job, days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. Dissatisfaction towards the system grows into full-blown complacency. By the time most adults retire they forget what hobbies made them happy in the first place because they’ve spent the last 40 years of their life stuck on auto-pilot working as a pawn for the capitalist system. Eat, sleep, work and repeat. They have accepted their five days, eight hour each shift, workweek – with only two days left over for hobbies, entertainment and true connection.

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