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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:36 PM

Has Capitalism killed our relationships?

I formulated this thought while responding in a thread in GD.

I am wondering what impact Capitalism has had on personal human relationships throughout the course of it's history. I think we often focus on the political and socioeconomics without really taking a look at how it has changed us as human beings in that we treat each other differently because of it. I am not talking about the relationship between a shop owner and a shop worker. I am talking about close relationships, friends, lovers.

I am certain it has a negative impact as much of our society is driven by "what can you do for me?", or "what's in it for me?" if your stock isn't up, good luck on finding love or maintaining it. How often to parties run for the door when things get rough? You see this when the honeymoon phase of relationships comes to it's inevitable end. It's exhaustive the examples in which you can find our "capitalist" mind set in everything we are and do. I want to add that this is not a rant. This is the culminations of observations of our closest human relationships as well as my own experience.

In what ways do you think Capitalism has harmed our love lives?

Here is some perspective.

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Reply Has Capitalism killed our relationships? (Original post)
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2013 OP
freshwest Feb 2013 #1

Response to Puzzledtraveller (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:28 PM

1. I came to that conclusion early on in life, having been influenced by Erich Fromme.

All of his books, but particularly by his book, 'The Art Of Loving.'

It wasn't a how to sex manual, it was about the value that people put on each other. He detailed a subject I found interesting in terms of why people pick their marital partner.

That some people select someone, not based on their inner qualities they admire, how it would get them ahead in the materialist sense. This is not really a new idea in history, though. People have chosen to remain within their class or religion or whatever societal group they feel will lead to their survival or success.

It is said that choice determines most of the joy or sorrow one will experience over a lifetime. Choose wisely in respect to material wealth, and one will lead a conventional, prosperous life. But choosing to love a person without stability in the material realm, reaching out for that lesson, will lead to nothing but sorrow and loss.

Without using the brutal mathematics of an insurance or corporate actuarial table on a person's worth, confined to currency, such things are debated openly in many societies. I read that Italy and Japan have had less marriages because women given choices in employment and extending their own worth financially, were unwilling to commit to what they saw as an oppressive family system where they would be second class.

I can't say that is true, never having lived there and the stories may have been biased. That has also allegedly happened in the USA, women either not marrying until later in life because they don't feel security with a man and want to have their own careers well in hand before they invest their energies and future with a person who may not be willing to shoulder the burden of child rearing costs and energies.

Or may not be faithful and leave them and their children in poverty. This was a major talking point for women getting into the work force and moving upward, that they could not count on the person they loved to remain with them and treat them and their children as valuable. The counter push against women being independent is conservatively driven and they say it is about keeping families together - no matter what the cost is to the woman, which may include abuse and refusing education and freedom.

Some men have complained that they are being mistreated to have to shoulder the cost of child rearing when birth control fails, or isn't used, or they can't afford it. Or if they just happened to have sex with someone who was not in their life plans for success. This is less about sex and love than it is about material and social success.

Not quite what you were wanting perhaps as an answer to this, but I still would refer to you to Fromme who was reputed Marxist in analysis.

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