Capitalism destroyed the spirit of human kindness

By Shivute Kaapanda [Think Tank Africa]

The phrase “every man for himself and God for the rest” used by especially those who try to make more money and are characterized by the capitalist creed has a deep meaning with regard to our ways of survival as human beings who by choice or circumstances found ourselves covered in the bloody and vicious economic system of capitalism.

Back in the days in Africa we had a shared spirit of sharing the basic needs especially food and shelter. If a neighbor, a relative or even anybody around the village is unable to feed him or herself due to circumstances below or above him the neighbor and the whole village will always give a helping hand, the aim was to sustain life and live together as a community.

In a typical village if one is unable to shelter him or herself the community around that person will always shelter that person. That is why it’s very difficult to find a homeless person or loose people with no shelter in a typical African village unlike in urban areas whereby one can find “street kids” because the township life is characterized by the spirit of ‘hustling’ for survival even on basic needs such as food and shelter; indeed living in urban life is a matter of “every man for himself and God for the rest”.

For the capitalism as an economic system we live in it’s no longer about a friend, relative or neighbor, maybe in a sense of a customer or a business partner. Due to the economic system in place our helpful minds and hearts as humans has for time evolved to become somewhat heartless with the exception of the few who are still able to donate to the poor.

The rest have evolved with the greedy tendency to make profit out of love for money; the system has for time immemorial made rich people more richer and poor people more poor including church leaders whose egos in spreading gospel is driven by money and greed. The word of God has been used as a ladder for church leaders’ enrichment.

The history of trade has a root in Africa especially between and among black people but it was not as extreme and as vicious as capitalism. Capitalism is very extreme to the point of creating extreme opposite sides in the community of capitalism which make people to steal from each other because of the unbalanced economic equality between members of a community.

For the purpose of survival, the extreme nature of capitalism has become part of our genes that we now have to behave in a particular way for us to make a way of survival. Why do you think that in a typical urban area the armed robbers will not go for a shack but take risks to enter an electric-fenced house with a guard and a bulldog inside? It’s indeed done in the name of every man for himself and God for the rest spirit.

That, whatever happens thereafter, man has to live or die. The order of capitalism in our present day has taught us the radical means of survival. The capitalist order, design and layout behavior is very crucial in understanding the nature of crimes especially the crimes of housebreaking, theft and robbery. As a capitalist society we deserve the outcomes of our own economic system.

Capitalism in itself as an economic system is intentionally violent and discriminatory hence its outcomes. Capitalism has made humans evolve into economic discriminators; imagine an African family of relatives very close by blood discriminating themselves and their kids based on wealth; capitalism has destroyed the moral fiber so much that today’s patterns of human behavior in love affairs is a matter of wealth; young people cannot date broke partners.

The nature of capitalism has taught us that the love for profit is over and above human kindness and love.

For all practical purposes the poor never chose to live in capitalism but we shall all watch and see how things unfold and rectify them as we go forward. Those with human kindness should continue to help others where they can; let us place human kindness above profit.

— Shivute Kaapanda is a columnist and a writer from Eyanda village; he is also the author of the book called “The Conscious Republic”.