Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Capitalism: A Brief Lesson in Brainwashing

“The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development.” - Albert Einstein

One day, a group of scientists put together an experiment to demonstrate how capitalism really works and how it brain washes the population that lives under it. To do this, they set up a cage with a ladder in the center and then hung some bananas over the ladder from the top of the cage. They then placed five monkeys in the cage.  When the experiment concluded, it had shown exactly what they predicted it would. You can brainwash the monkeys into violently avoiding the bananas. This is the same way that capitalism brainwashes the general population into believing their debased position in society is the natural state of things.

Upon entering the cage, the monkeys naturally went up the ladder in pursuit of the bananas. However, only one monkey went up the ladder at a time. Each time this one monkey went up the ladder in pursuit of the bananas, however, the scientists would drench the other four monkeys with cold water. The monkeys quickly learned that going up the ladder meant a miserable soaking. So, afterwards, each time a monkey would try to scale the ladder in pursuit of the bananas, the other monkeys would beat that one monkey without mercy.

After several beatings, the scientists decided to replace one of the monkeys with a new monkey. With no idea that there would be consequences, this new monkey naturally went up the ladder in pursuit of the bananas. The payment for his transgression was the same. The other monkeys would beat that monkey repeatedly until it had become sufficiently aware that going up the ladder was not permitted and that a violation of the rules would result in another beating. By this point, the monkeys were no longer being drenched with cold water. Slowly, the scientists replaced each of the old monkeys with a new monkey. Naturally, as before, each new monkey would go up the ladder only to receive a violent beating for their trouble. Additionally, each time this happened, the newer monkeys would take place in the beating, even though they had never been drenched with cold water.

Eventually, none of the original monkeys that had actually been drench in cold water remained in the cage. Further, as the experiment continued, each new monkey would continue to receive their communal punishment for attempting to scale the ladder, even though none of the new monkeys knew exactly why the beatings were taking place. If one were to ask one of these monkeys, "Why do the beatings take place?" the monkey would likely respond by saying, "I do not know, it’s just the way things are done around here." Does this happen to remind you of anything in particular?

In this experiment, everything represents something in the US capitalist economy.

Monkeys = The Population
Bananas = The American Dream
Ladder = The Social Ladder
Cage = The Country
Cold water = Discrimination
Scientists = The Government


  1. Not sure how this relates to capitalism as much as status quo.

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  3. I see this as relating to status quo, our current Oligarthy and also religion...

  4. Seems rather a cruel experiment. A bit like the story of the Garden of Eden.
    Suppose the bananas had been just out of reach of a single monkey? Had the monkeys been as clever as the crow in the three-tool-experiment, they might have invented socialism, where one monkey on another one's back gets all the bananas for everybody.