The Capitalist System and the Illusion of Happiness

Capitalism is a socioeconomic model in which the means of production and distribution of goods and services belong to the private order; in this model, capital – understood broadly as a production factor consisting of real estate, machinery, money or facilities of any kind, which, in collaboration with other factors, mainly labor and intermediate goods, is destined to the production and distribution of goods and services susceptible to consumption- is the main asset in the relations of production, as well as the main generator of wealth and, therefore, power.

   In this vein, it is neither secret nor strange to understand the reasons why the accumulation of capital has become one of the most important canons that give significance to the tasks of the social fabric, to such a degree of -actually- living to accumulate .

   It is in this conduit, and within the notion of accumulation before exposed, the question that we have to do is happiness as a human ideal, where does it reside? According to the prestigious sociologist Zygmunt Bauman “in today’s world all ideas of happiness end up in a store”. Following this same premise, and in accordance with the ideals of the capitalist system – irrational and exacerbated consumerism – we can conclude that happiness is found within any type of store, trade or place that allows the transaction and acquisition of goods or services .

   So, if the capitalist model is designed to indoctrinate the social conglomerate with the effect of recording in its rationale that consumerism and having is synonymous with happiness, what happens when that model is woven and articulated so that the bulk of society does not have? Or, at least, have the minimum.

   It is here that we can point out that the ideal of happiness is a mere illusion, or minimally, something analogous to the idea of ​​utopia that Tomas Moro had; that is, an unattainable end, which as we get closer to it progressively moves away. The above is not a merely personal perception, it is enough that we take a reflective and critical look at our environment and social context, whose main characteristic lies in the irrationality to consume goods and services that do not need, that they have, but, in turn, they wish to renew or update, with the sole justification of being accepted into a consumer social group.

   It is worthwhile to outline how the theory of programmed obsolescence of the products we consume also finds a valuable space in the rationality of the social fabric, based on the ideals we have as people indoctrinated by capitalism, which tend to grant a useful life to the products we use, without these really no longer able to continue satisfying the need for which they were purchased. We are never satisfied with what we have, we always want the most current or newest, we acquire a phone with a certain amount of money and in less than three months, we want a more expensive one, this is how the human-capitalist logic is configured .

   On the other hand, and in this same intelligence, it is pertinent to point out how the illusion is present in our daily ideal of happiness; capitalism teaches us that to be happy we must have a house with a pool, as well as spacious and luxurious spaces, whose monetary value far exceeds the purchasing power of the bulk of society. However, we spend the entire course of life pursuing an illusion that is not affordable for the monetary and / or economic possibilities that we have. That’s why we spend all that course between birth and death asleep, as in a zombie lethargy, where you do not think, analyze, reflect or citrus, only emulate and reproduce schemes, patterns and illusory behavior, previously designed by dominant cadres and, it should be noted, tend to keep the social group under an ideological yoke through consumerism, since it stands as the new totem of our “Civilized” society.

   Finally, it is mandatory not to forget that capitalism is set up in such a way that the subject who fails to achieve the perception and notion of success-happiness that defends said system is the culprit of its failure, because it is not competitive and does not measure up of the capitalist demand, however, in its own judgment, what has failed is the system, as it is exclusive, since it does not include the totality in its development plans, or at least, the majority of the people to whom our planet.

Let us not let the illusion of happiness that capitalism gives us absorb us, let us not be a product of this system; As much as possible, you have to seek to think for yourself. An ideological restructuring is indispensable in these times.

    Philosophy plays a transcendental role to have a thinking society, which is not indoctrinated or mechanized in social and human processes. Let us be in favor of the early teaching of philosophy, leave aside the dogmatic knowledge; the above is a prevailing and necessary provision if what we want is a fully human society, where our coexistence is harmonious, peaceful and that attends to true human development.