They've missed that true communism has now arrived

A most amusing piece over in Salon about how American millennials are certain that capitalism just ain’t gonna be around in the future therefore they see no point in saving for their retirements. Boy, ain’t they gonna get a surprise! One of the larger ones being that an absence of capitalism is going to, as it was before the emergence of the system, make having some savings for old age rather more important than it is now.

But there’s more there, of course there is, this is Salon we’re talking about:

The idea that we millennials’ only hope for retirement is the end of capitalism or the end of the world is actually quite common sentiment among the millennial left. Jokes about being unable to retire or anticipating utter social change by retirement age were ricocheting around the internet long before CNN’s article was published.

Well, that’s a generation shopping in the cat food aisle for their meat requirements in retirement then. But more:

Many millennials expressed to me their interest in creating self-sustaining communities as their only hope for survival in old age;

Certainly, that’s one way to do it. Move back to that pre-capitalist idea of the self-sustaining community which takes care of its oldsters. Be useful to have a name for those sorts of things but fortunately we’ve got one that already fits – families. Go and have those 6 to 8 kids and hope like hell that one stays home to change diapers. You did it for them after all.

Wood, 32, a political consultant, told me via Twitter that she felt similarly. “I don’t think the world can sustain capitalism for another decade,” she explained. “It’s socialism or bust. We will literally start having resource wars that will kill us all if we don’t accept that the free market will absolutely destroy us within our lifetime [if] we don’t start fighting its hegemony,” she added.

Great, a generation not understanding the most basic point about resources, it’s capitalism, that lust for gelt and pilf, which creates the resources.

“Capitalism might still exist [in 2050], but I don’t expect people will be happy about it,” Jon Good, 34, a chocolatier and small business owner, said. “If [capitalism] is replaced [by then], my ideal economic model is one where all basic necessities are abundant and free, everyone works a few hours a week at the necessary chores of society like garbage collection and machine maintenance, then has the rest of their lives free to pursue whatever projects—be they art, leisure, or industry—that they desire.”

Dear Lord, has anyone even taught them some Marxism? For what’s being described there is the True Communism that will arrive once we’ve abolished economic scarcity. The thing which will come through the productive powers of bourgeois capitalism. You know, as Karl The Beard insisted? As, arguably, we have by any reasonable historical standard. A recent potter around Primark – yes, I know, not high up the list of fashionable outlets – showed that you could, or can, purchase an historically adequate set of clothing for a person for £100. Two day’s minimum wage labour. One set of clothes for everyday, one for Sunday Best. Including a warm coat and more changes of underwear than was usual back then.

No, seriously, there’s not been a period of human history when clothing – to give but one example – was as cheap as it is now. Not in relation to the effort needed to acquire it at least.

There’s actually a serious argument to be made that true communism has already arrived. Certainly Karl and Friedrich would be astonished at a society rich enough to be able to afford diversity advisers – if societal productive surplus is great enough to support that idea then surely communism has indeed arrived?

Boy, aren’t these millennials going to have a surprise when they grow up? That the Good Old Days are now?

Support Continental Telegraph Donate

24 COMMENTS

  1. The idea that we millennials’ only hope for retirement is the end of capitalism or the end of the world is actually quite common sentiment among the millennial left.

    Oddly enough such views are also common on the Fringe Right. They tend to be well represented among Preppers. Who I am willing to concede are mostly nuts but the more I am exposed to them the more I think they are the good kind of nuts. Everyone should be mildly prepping.

    Wood, 32, a political consultant, told me via Twitter that she felt similarly. “I don’t think the world can sustain capitalism for another decade,” she explained. “It’s socialism or bust. We will literally start having resource wars that will kill us all if we don’t accept that the free market will absolutely destroy us within our lifetime [if] we don’t start fighting its hegemony,” she added.

    And we see the Church of Green Doom casting its spell. However what I liked is the next comment:

    “Capitalism might still exist [in 2050], but I don’t expect people will be happy about it,” Jon Good, 34, a chocolatier and small business owner, said. “If [capitalism] is replaced [by then], my ideal economic model is one where all basic necessities are abundant and free, everyone works a few hours a week at the necessary chores of society like garbage collection and machine maintenance, then has the rest of their lives free to pursue whatever projects—be they art, leisure, or industry—that they desire.”

    These two are, of course, mutually exclusive. If capitalism is doomed because there is not enough Stuff to go around, then we cannot have a socialist system that gives everyone lots of Stuff. So they are agreed the system is doomed, just for completely and mutually exclusive reasons. Rigour is clearly not taught at Salon.

    However I think they are right. Capitalism, as we know it, is a product of the White Protestant North of Europe. It is a weak reed everywhere else. As Britain becomes a non-White country, we will get non-White politics. Import Venezuelans, get Chavez. If we are lucky.

    • If capitalism is doomed because there is not enough Stuff to go around

      (1) There is enough Stuff to go around. We are producing more Stuff with fewer workers, hence the notion that “jobs are leaving” that invigorates Trumpism. (2) Under capitalism (yes, Tim, under the free market, to be precise), if there were ever not enough of one thing to go around, the price would go up so that people would make more and buyers would think twice and some would find they didn’t need it.

      It is a young fallacy (espoused in this article by the not-so-young) that the system of providing goods is failing (due to its “hegemony”?) and socialism is inevitable. But because it is better at providing goods? Where, when?

  2. Wood, 32, a political consultant, told me via Twitter that she felt similarly. “I don’t think the world can sustain capitalism for another decade,” she explained. “It’s socialism or bust. We will literally start having resource wars that will kill us all if we don’t accept that the free market will absolutely destroy us within our lifetime [if] we don’t start fighting its hegemony,” she added.

    Wait, she’s thirty-effing-two and coming out with this?! Sorry, but 32 isn’t young. I was going through some old family photos the other day and realised my mother and father had their first child aged 27 and the fourth (me) at 35. By age 23-25 you’d better be on the road to having your sh*t together, 32 is a decade too late.

  3. I was reading Anne Applebaum’s rather boring re-hash of Solzhenitsyn the other day and it is noticeable that they could not provide Gulag prisoners with clothing. They often commented on the patched, old, useless clothes they were given. They could not even be provided with shoes. Try logging without them.

    And the coal miners went on strike in 1991 because the state could not provide them with soap.

    Truly Capitalism is amazing.

  4. Stereotyping from abroad is understandable. Stereotyping from inside America is regrettable, but Salon exists mostly to advance novel arguments for socialism, and here is one more: The country’s Youth thinks it is inevitable. When I was employed in Reading, nightly walks to the pub gave me recurring anecdotes that young Brits have no concept of the future either, except that they were going to be taken care of.

    Tim is right that the family should be at the center of a young person’s concept of the future. And the family is under siege in the US; programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, as Sowell states, increased the value of being in that condition and subsidized the inner-city culture of promiscuity. Thinking the state will take care of you lessens the urgency of providing for your own future. Drive out to the farmland or mill towns and the picture is different.

  5. Socialism has apparently been “inevitable” and “just around the corner” for a century and a half now.

    At what point do they inject a little self-doubt due to the timeline here? It’s like the second coming of Jesus or the coming of the 12th Imam at this point… And is just as fanciful and believed with just as much religious fervour…

  6. Most people grow up. Even millennials are likely to, as unlikely the prospect may seem at present.

    But hell, I didn’t think much about retirement when I was in my 20s and still survived to a comfortably well off in my 60s.

  7. I despair. This is the result of about 16 years of full-time education and yet these morons don’t even have the most basic grasp of economics. Never before has so much education produced so little knowledge. Here’s to a PhD in pig ignorance.

  8. They are from generation that must be regarded as lost and held down until they die off. Yes –some of them will learn life’s hard lessons–but not enough.

    They must be prevented by direct action of law to ensure they are never able to worm their way into, law, politics, media etc. The Purge –both of Unis and the SCS will ensure they are isolated. Those younger still must be trained to see the danger of this trash and to control them with an iron hand.

    Or the bastards will destroy everybody’s future.

  9. “Wood, 32, a political consultant”
    “Jon Good, 34, a chocolatier”
    “Sarah Frasco, 26, a student”
    “Shannon Malloy, 31, a student, organizer and bartender”

    There’s the front row of the Golgafrincham “B” Ark for you.

    I’m not saying that young people aren’t generally getting fucked over by housing policies, because they absolutely are, but these are frankly just self-indulgent, parasitic people. Running a chocolatier in Brooklyn, making chocolates like in the mid-19th century, just isn’t a good money maker. It’s generally the sort of thing that bored wives do, while their rich husbands shovel money on the fire. You can make luxury food, but you generally need to go to do it in cheap places and you still want a degree of automation.

    That woman making $200/hr for blowing dudes is getting paid that much because she isn’t self-indulgent.

  10. “Move back to that pre-capitalist idea of the self-sustaining community which takes care of its oldsters. Be useful to have a name for those sorts of things but fortunately we’ve got one that already fits – families”

    I could have sworn you were going to say “monasteries”. Mind you, millennials might be confused by the expression ‘lay brothers’.