...in Plato's cave, watching the shadows. Outside, ze knew, there were people buying and selling. Capitalism saw them trading goods for goods, services for services. And oh, most beautiful of all, the exchange of goods for services, whereon the economy turns. What supplies! What demand! Capitalism blushed to think of it all.
And then zir chains were loosed. Ze turned, a breath half indrawn, barely daring to hope. Ze rushed out into the open air, eager to offer zir labor on the open market for a fair value.
Capitalism's name was Latisha Lopez. Capitalism didn't hear back from the first nine employers. Capitalism changed zir name to John Smith. Capitalism was hired as a professor of game theory. Capitalism was laid off so they could hire someone with a Ph.D. Capitalism tried a tutoring gig; people didn't like how ze dressed. Capitalism took off zir top hat and ribbons and tried again. Capitalism got a few jobs, but they didn't last long. Did they just pay me to take off my hat? ze asked zemself. Did they pay me to change my name? I wanted them to pay me to teach them...
Suddenly Capitalism saw it everywhere. It seemed no one was selling services. They sold whiteness, sold gender, sold fashion. They sold flattery and the image of success. They sold access to their personal lives. They sold evidence of lifelong conformism. An employer wanted to see Capitalism's facebook profile, but Capitalism didn't have one. So Capitalism went on the Internet and saw the ads. Capitalism knew there would be ads for goods and services. But the ads weren't selling goods or services. They sold false authority, sold romance, sold titillation. They sold smug half-truths and comfortable lies. They sold sexual violence and racial hatred and progressive ideals.
These people are so stupid! cried Capitalism in vain. They don't understand the truth about the exchange of value! But no one heard zem. Maybe only the common people are so wrong, ze thought. Surely if someone gets ahead in the world, they must be smart enough to understand. So Capitalism went to the stock market. Ze peeked in the mighty doors and watched in awe as the numbers flew past. Here they bought ignorance and sold promises, bought hopes and sold tragedy, bought politicians and sold souls. Capitalism strode up the golden hallway and demanded to see the greatest of all traders. The greatest of all traders was wheeled out. The greatest of all traders was a computer. Capitalism opened zir mouth, but before ze could speak one word, the computer had made $150 million buying vague knowledge and selling transient guesses. Capitalism hung zir head and slunk away in shame.
Capitalism didn't know who to trust. But Capitalism still had some hope left. Capitalism went and knocked on the door of Science. Why do people do such terrible things?! demanded Capitalism. Science told Capitalism to take a seat. Science told Capitalism about risk aversion. Science told Capitalism about unconscious racism. Science told Capitalism about cognitive dissonance. Science told Capitalism about the Milgram experiment. Just then the floor shook and a thunderous roar boomed out. Oh no, said Science. I left the door to the basement open. Science rushed to close the door, but it was too late.
Seven glowing eyes glared from the darkness and seven mandibles clicked loudly as the room filled with that destroyer of hopes, that deliverer of final answers, that child of formless gods whose names must never be spoken, Mathematics. Mathematics seized the two and pinned them to the ground. Mathematics turned its dreadful eyes on Capitalism and began to speak in a voice that grated the boundaries of zir sanity. Mathematics told Capitalism how enforcing contracts can decrease social welfare. Mathematics told Capitalism that markets aren't efficient unless P=NP. Mathematics told Capitalism that no uniformly applied non-aggression principle can prevent all game-theoretic situations where individual rational self-interest leads to a terrible result, with or without unlimited contract enforcement. Capitalism fainted dead away.
When Capitalism woke, Mathematics was nowhere in sight, so Capitalism tried to make a run for it. But Capitalism was in a police station. Mathematics was in the next cell over. The police had raided Science's house, and they were both being deported. Mathematics growled that you can't claim to be upholding a non-aggression principle based on your ownership of the land if the land was stolen from its traditional owners, but the police ignored Mathematics. The police put Capitalism on a bus and sent zem all the way back to Plato's cave where ze started. That didn't seem so bad. Capitalism never wanted to see Mathematics again.
But someone was waiting there in the cave. Who are you, asked Capitalism. The person said, I'm the one who broke your chains.
Capitalism stared in bewilderment. Why did you do that, said Capitalism. Did you hope to make a profit off my actions? Did you sell me out to the police? Did you bet money on my incomptence?
The person said, I did it because I believe everyone deserves a chance.
And Capitalism began to weep.Approximate readability: 6.10 (4135 characters, 860 words, 88 sentences, 4.81 characters per word, 9.77 words per sentence)