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There’s No Ethical Consumption Under Capitalism. That’s Why I Bought This Huge Death Ray

Trying to change the world for the better is tough. Systems in place are designed to maintain the unhealthy status quo. If you truly dedicate yourself to fighting the good fight, feelings of futility are inevitable. “Everything’s bad, so why try at all?”

This may surprise you, but the truth about our systems might help take an unnecessary burden off of you. There is no such thing as “ethical consumption” under the unethical system of capitalism. But we have needs – food, shelter, a huge death ray. And we need to buy them. So why punish ourselves?

Instead, try this reframe: Think less of your buying habits as world-savers but harm reducers. Needing to buy food is inherently wrong, yes, but we do need to. So research a local store run by people in your neighborhood and support them, rather than the mega-corporations.

Similarly, while we all agree that having a gigantic death ray that we use to protect ourselves from pesky neighbors is a basic human need, capitalism makes that service only attainable through money. So I did my diligence: A neighbor at my farmer’s market recommended a mad scientist who makes handcrafted abominations of death, and I reduced the societal harm of capitalism by supporting him economically. Then, he invested that money back into the community by creating a monster out of dead body parts!

And certainly don’t punish yourself for creature comforts. As Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution.” An iced latte, a handmade caftan, a flesh-eradicating death ray pointed at your next-door neighbor’s house – revolution needs joy and rest, and if these items provide that, so be it. In my case, of course, the death ray does provide joy and so I need it. That one wasn’t hypothetical.

Now, let’s shift our focus to climate change. The powers that be paint progress as the result of petty acts of individualism – reusable bags, electric vehicles, meatless Mondays, etc.

But the truth? A handful of billionaires are responsible for the majority of emissions. So does it make more sense to punish yourself for forgetting a reusable bag, or to refocus your energy to macro-level actions? Also, shout out to several billionaires who gave me recommendations on what death ray to buy. And yes, it runs purely on solar power and is carbon neutral (as in it will neutralize the carbon-based life form that lives next door to me if the second his hydrangea grows past my property line.

So to everyone fighting: take care of yourself. Make the best decisions you can. And if you see me zapping my next-door neighbor Carl with my enormous death ray, you are not allowed to be mad at me, because what I am doing is self-care, and it is exactly the same as you ordering diapers on Amazon.