Matthew Knott

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Capitalism, Conscience and Humanity

Posted on Monday, 28 July 2014 21:15

This week it dawned on me that on an ever increasing level in this country, we have achieved a sort of capitalist nirvana. We have become so enlightened as to no longer be burdened by concerns for fellow man; weak thoughts of compassion and love that once might have led us to help a stranger before ourselves are being blocked through hours of meditation on shiny product configurators.

Firstly, this post serves no purpose beyond me getting things off my chest onto "paper". Don't bother reading it, it will not benefit you unless you're in the mood for being force-fed digital moral fiber washed down with a glass of whinge.

Three things have gotten me stirred up this week:

  • This article in the Indy about a homeless man fighting cancer, HIV and the system
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • This shirt

Collectively these three things have all made me angry with myself and this country. Let's start with some facts, according to national statistics there are an estimated 2414 people sleeping rough in England. These are human beings, outside, now.

Last year it was reported that the number of millionaire households in the UK was nearing 350,000.

I'm angry because I realise day in day out I hear about the government trying to tackle banker bonuses, or hear about how a defender should be worth more than 10 million. How, as a society are we able to complain one human should be worth more than 10 million pounds, whilst at the same time dismissing another human because they've made bad choices or fallen on hard times.

I'm trying to understand out loud what chemical process takes place within our brain that allows us to say things like that without clubbing ourselves to death because clearly we are soulless abominations inhabiting the bodies of humans. 

I'm not saying for a moment that if someone works hard then they shouldn't be rewarded but there has to be some point where your high standard of living should become so abhorrent to the human inside you that you give away that million pound bonus, or some of that £280,000 pounds a week.

Maybe as a qualifier for a £1 milion bonus, the recipient has to sleep rough on the streets for a week, 7 days. Just as National Service is often touted as a tonic for the disaffected youth of today, maybe Reality Service could be a tonic for people who have become so far removed from their humanity that they could take a £1m bonus and not give a homeless person the time of day let alone the money for a warm drink.

Because of people like that, we have shirts like this. I saw this and I was just lost for words. The amount of money you would spend on that shirt is more than people have for food each YEAR.

I want to go on, about religion, about celebrity culture I really don't think you could stop picking apart the holes in humanity at this point in time, but none of it's helping; it's not making a difference. I have lots of questions but no answers... but I AM working on some.


  • Posted by Phil

    Eloquently put Matt. The problem lies with the fact that the majority of people are asleep and tied up in a dreamlike illusion that they firmly believe is reality. The irony is that they are the first to shout at those who are waking up, telling them to "stop dreaming and get with the program!" The more you wake up the more the illusion jars against you - there are no simple answers, but with every person that wakes the illusion weakens. Keep the faith Bro people are starting to wake up like never before!

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