Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Start'em Young

I had a strange experience today at my community garden plot.

I was digging a hole which, while for asparagus, was suspiciously about the size and shape of hole one might dig for disposing of, say, a human body. But never mind that.

The important thing is that I had a shovel. The other important thing is that my plot is very near the children's playground at my community centre. As I was digging, a child of maybe 4 or 5 years came over to the fence and said something about my shovel. I told her I was using it to dig. She asked if she and her friends could have it. I said no, I needed it to dig. She said I could have it back afterwards. I said that I couldn't lend it to her. She then said something I found very strange: we need the shovel to make money.

Capitalism and I are on the outs right now. I mean, insofar as I need capitalism to survive, I guess I have no choice but to transact commerce. The problem with capitalism is that the main justification for it relies on the premise that people will do what is best for themselves. This is demonstrably false. People are easily fooled. Information is easily withheld (think Goldman Sachs).

If a small child came up to you and asked to borrow your shovel because she needed it to put the means of production in the hands of the workers, you would probably call child services and tell them that her parents were communists.

I didn't call child services and tell them that there was a little capitalist child on the playground. I did tell her that she probably wouldn't be able to make much money with the shovel. But she probably didn't believe me.

After all, they've already gotten to her.

1 comment:

Tiffany M C said...

Last night I had a funny experience too. I was eat outside at a restaurant, and in front of the apartment next door, two girls were playing with hula hoops. They were wearing matching shiny "play" dresses (on top of other clothes), standing on stools in the middle of spread blankets, and spinning the hoops. They were playing Abba on loop from a docked iPod. It was cute. Another sister and brother pair were there with them, watching. They seemed to be having a lot of fun. Enter the moms: they came down from inside the apartment and provided a sign that read (in German) "Our parents are making us do this to earn money to buy a vacation home". The whole scene got a lot more funny, with people stopping to read the sign, and the boy begging for spare change. The moms took up a spot beside me, and kept laughing and giving encouragement.

I say it got more funny, especially for the moms, but I don't think the kids got the joke.