i have some family members that love capitalism more than they love me.

alternate title: mars is still all up in my shit, igniting my inherent rage against systemic oppression, do not come at me with your "just work harder" basic capitalistic zombie bullshit.




i have some family members that love capitalism more than they love me.

i know this, because when i talk about the problems that this system has created in MY own life, they choose to defend capitalism, rather than to engage with me, ask me questions, or consider my perspectives. they prioritize defending capitalism over even just *listening* to me. they are quick to assume that my challenging this system means that i am not working hard, when they know little to nothing about my work. whether they consciously believe and say these things (some totally do) or not, when my family members observe me challenging capitalism and write me off, they are showing that they love a system (of oppression) more than they love me.

i have an immediate family member that can’t even remember the name of the business i co-founded and that my life has been dedicated to for over three years.

i have a cousin who tried to give me some really profound business advice of “charge more” who has never even been to my business’ website and knows nothing about what we/I do.

i’ve had family point out that my priorities “just differ” from theirs (super true) and that this is why I don’t have more money - as though my prioritizing resistance and community and mental health should warrant myself (and nearly everyone in my generation) not being able to pay off debt and build any wealth. sorry but, the problem isn’t a values misalignment, it’s a system that exists to keep people powerless, and has been getting better and better at doing just that.

this post may come off as navel-gazing (and i surely am guilty of this from time to time - see my first house fire moon and my fifth house aries stellium), but these observations of my dynamics with my family are important to me because their ability to write me off is is rooted in the same ability they have to write off those with CONSIDERABLY LESS privilege than and ATROCIOUS AMOUNTS MORE of oppression than I’ve been faced with. if they cannot even consider my experience - their cousin, sister, niece - to be valid, then how will they ever be able to empathize with systemic racism? with police brutality against black lives? with kids in cages at our border?

whether they say it out loud or not, my family members who so easily conclude that i am flawed (or unworthy or lazy or irresponsible) are arriving at that conclusion because that is easier for them to do than it would be to question their views and engage with the challenges i present.

it is the same thing in my cousin that tells me to “charge more” that emboldens my aunt to say that we don’t need to study antiracism, we just need to “pray more.”

i am grateful to have some family members who are willing to look at this shit. i am grateful to have SO many friends and colleagues and role models that see beyond the illusion of capitalism, who help me navigate the absolute human rights disaster that is this country’s “free market” capitalistic system. without these voices and perspectives, my sense of self worth would be absolutely dismal.

the war against capitalism is the only war for me.

this battle is not going away. we need to be having these conversations always. we need to reject capitalism. we need to stay committed to breaking its hold on us. we need to divest our lives from capitalism. we need to be there for each other when we inevitably are fooled again by its manipulative call.

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© 2019 by Kelsey Rose Tortorice