capitalism and its waste production is ethical but not economic?

Watched Elysium a few days ago. A very predictable story about a narcissistic hero of forced circumstances that saves everyone and learns nothing but the use of power.
The story depicts a society of a few haves and many have-nots, and suggests that the struggle is between the efficiency that necessitates this divide, and the immorality of deep social divisions. Therefore one of the main protagonists is sent to earth to drive production by, in a sense, make life harder for everyone and deepen divide. On the other-hand, the narrative makes emotional appeals – eg a leukaemia ill child that could be aided in a few seconds, but isn’t because she is not an Elysium citizen.

It seems like the wrong imagination to have – though shared by a fair few people as can be heard in this interview where Joyce Applby makes a binary link between democracy (morality) and capitalism. Is this the drama? Between efficient capitalism and moral activities. I think many people imagine like that, hance, for example, imagine the possibility of capitalism with human face. A humane capitalism? Sounds like a story of a human cockroach..

Capitalism, I think, should be tackled from a different kind of imagination, one that does not appeal to morality but the waste – the reality of capitalistic waste.
The question is how to imagine a more efficient way to do stuff. For example, how efficient is it that people with phds are forced into prostitution or bar waiting?
Or, as the Elysium film depict, how efficient is it when we have a capable person like the main protagonist, who is forced into a job where he doesn’t get challenged, in danger of regressing his talents, not learning new skills, getting in an economic disadvantageous living, and dying younger that otherwise is possible. How much social, economical and cultural waste does this individual represent for a system?

2 thoughts on “capitalism and its waste production is ethical but not economic?

  1. Another, i suspect fairly common, example, is in the movie http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000286/?ref_=tt_cl_t1 Xchange. The main protagonists are a “corpie” that gives no shit re human life nor love and a reporter who does give a shit. She makes him find the human in him.. They fall in love and in a sense, unify the corporate perceived machinery and emotionality.
    This is precisely the kind of stuff that underlines rather than undermines capitalism. Yes, we are making mistakes, but hey, we are human and can turn the system into a more responsive one. BS
    The story should have been:
    The dichotomy of human/machine sustains a wasteful system. Why do we need to pay with lives – not for greed – but for anything? The life sacrifice is a waste, no? Or are we in a different kind of religious wave?

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