Protests have exploded across Europe in a violent reaction to new Covid-19 restrictions, as the continent enters yet another wave of the pandemic. Looking at the protesters’ faces though, I can’t help but see the face of capitalism in each and every one of us.
I mean, sure I would love to be able to go get a cozy cup of coffee somewhere indoors in a fancy bistro playing music. A meal. Maybe even go to a play or a music gig. But not if it puts other peoples’ life at risk. The struggle for “freedom” from covid restrictions is not really about the human right to freedom. It is about continuing to be a slave: it is about having access to the products, services and entertainment distractions that capitalism has addicted us to. Think about it.
The protests in my opinion are nothing but a baby tantrum, by people who are so addicted to the manufactured entertainment delights of modern society that they have become incapable of seeing beyond them: of finding a meaningful life where mindless consumption doesn’t need to always play the central part, every single time. To me, the protesters are confused. They look like children whose toy has just been violently snatched from them. They are sitting next to a mountain of toys, but they won’t play with them. Because they want THAT one.
Of course, their “struggle” is not only about entertainment. It is about social contact. It is about being able to travel and work. For many though, it is also about the right to believe fake science served to them by people who are, and will never be, real scientists. That’s when I roll my eyes.
And I’m sorry to have to break some more bad news to the protesters: this pandemic is only the beginning. It is just one of the elements of climate change that will be changing our lives forever. I’m deeply sorry that your toys are gone. But you’ll need to start making your own toys, or finding pleasure in the many “free” things in this world which still exist, and which our economic system wants us to forget, so that we continue our addiction. We continue to spend while we emit carbon.
You see, these are NOT protesters. They are defenders of the status quo. They represent the system. And they are being used by capitalism in the name of “freedom” to defend its chokehold on all of us.
If you are part of these protests, fighting for your “freedom”, ask yourself: are you really fighting for freedom, or are you such a huge slave to the system that you can’t even rearrange your life slightly so that society can still be safe during this pandemic? Can you live without your take-out coffee for a few weeks? Can you live without going to a restaurant and cooking for yourself instead? Can you find meaning in your life?
Who is really “free”? Who are the slaves in this society?
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books