Don't Shout in Church

“If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.”
- Napoleon Bonaparte

Well, I did it. I got thoroughly drunk on cheap red wine, in church. The kind of drunk where you get into animated conversations about philosophy with adults and play unabashedly with their kids.

One five year old got me to swing her round and round on the grass until I fell over. And then used me as a bouncy castle. And I got into a raspberry blowing competition with another. And won. Ha! This particular six year old boy told me I was immature. Hmm.

The philosophy went like this:

Artist: Don't corporations realise they're destroying the planet?

Kapitano: Yes, but they're locked into competition. If any of them went green they'd lose out to those that didn't.

Artist: But couldn't they all co-operate to install green technology? That way, the planet would be habitable in fifty years time, and they'd still be there to make profit.

Kapitano: First, you're asking hundreds of corporations that want to kill each other to stop fighting long enough to preserve the battlefield - you're asking for capitalism to temporarily suspend itself. Second, even if they all do agree to co-operate, it's in each one's interests to cheat on all the others.

Artist: So we need governments to legislate to stop corporations cheating.

Kapitano: Corporations control governments.

Artist: Ah, so we need to take over the corporations ourselves - buy all their shares.

Kapitano: Not if the government owns 51% of the shares. And even if you somehow progressively buy up all the shares, when the corporations work out what you're trying to do, they'll stop you.

Artist: But if a million people all buy one share each, they'd get a lot of leverage to pressure the corporations.

Kapitano: We don't have a million people.

Artist: So how can we get a million people?

Kapitano: I have no idea.

[Pause to reflect]

Artist: So what you're saying is, the only way to save the world is for every country to get rid of capitalism, and for that we need a revolution, and for that we need lots and lots of people, which we don't know how to get.

Kapitano: Um, yes...

Artist: But surely when climate change gets really bad, everyone will realise what needs to be done, and make a revolution. So all we've got to do is wait.

Kapitano: ... [Tries to marshall thoughts of Kautskyism and Lenin's thoughts on the role of a revolutionary party]

Artist: We don't have to do anything at all!

Kapitano: Er, excuse me, I need to get more wine.

Artist: Yes I've got to go too. Nice meeting you. Bye!

1 comment:

  1. I do most surely hope that boy - and so many more like him - won't enter the merry-go-round of capitalistic competition... Maybe revolution will take place after all...