We screwed up this week. Let’s admit it here, deep into the paper, because you’re too busy looking for Black Friday specials to read this anyway. Luckily for us, we wrote this on Thursday so we now have the day to recover from the stress of queuing outside Game for a giant television. Or a new fridge. Or a plastic thing that’s apparently 40% less than it would otherwise be and, without which, our lives remain meaningless.
The Mail & Guardian should have just run a paper of specials. This could have been a guide to where to not get exploited by companies that know advertising rewards short circuits our brains — and gets us to make stupid financial decisions.
We would have been rewarded for this with sales. And advertising.
But we didn’t. So we’re going to have to ruin Black Friday instead by pointing out just how horrendous a day this is.
Like no other day, this Friday shows how broken the world we have built is. A few thousand people have created a vicious, violent, repressive and exploitative system that crosses borders and dominates all our lives. They profit from this system, bouncing from one paradise to the next in private jets.
They never pay full price for things. They don’t pay fair taxes. And the rewards systems that we sign up for in the hope of getting 1.5% back on our groceries are gamed to reward those who already have more.
In 2008, the world they built broke. The regulations meant to protect us from naked capitalism had been pulled apart and it all went wrong. But we bailed them out. And, since then, the rich have got richer.
Black Friday is a desperate moment where we try to catch up. Be it by replacing a faulty fridge or broken stove, stocking up on detergent or just getting food, today is about papering over the cracks of an economic system that is so broken that most people in this country can’t live fulfilling, decent lives.