The dawn of the nineteenth century in India witnessed the beginning of the age of capitalism, disguised behind the façade of modernisation and industrialisation. Acceptance of truth is considered to be the preliminary stage of moving forward, perhaps towards a better tomorrow. But how does one accept a truth that is about self-destruction? If self-destruction of oneself isn’t enough, then why is the eventual dismantling of society so relevant in the present situation? A society built by you, annihilated inside of you.
There are two types of truth — one that comforts you, and provides you with the validation of being right in your place; the other that discomforts you, makes you question everything around you and your blind contribution to it. We blame the government for our rigged system, which undoubtedly, according to our democratic ideals, we should be allowed to. But that makes us blind to the underlying cause — that our system was designed to serve few. We as a society are constantly reconstructing ourselves upon the ruins of our previous generations, and we’ll continue doing so until our system stagnates.
The idea by Karl Marx that holds true to date is basically how the production of goods is not just related to economic power, but social power, political power and human thought. Capitalism provides us with an unreal, nonexistent staircase to economic power, longed by most of our population. The American Dream is the foulest lie in a stagnate system of toxic capitalism, like the present one.
When capitalism intervenes human thought, it takes the form of toxic capitalism. One starts to compare personal productivity with human worth. The most common symptom of being a victim of toxic capitalism is not having a personality beyond one’s work, and perfecting a skill to gain some sort of monetary gain from it, rather than personal satisfaction.
While this generation of millennials has grown up to just realise this, and has found a common comfort ground for their existence, their successors are still in a state of dilemma. Gen Z struggles under this burden more than the millennial generation, since we Gen Z are made aware of this problem much early in their lives.
This has created a kind of situation where we are avidly aware of the problem, but not its solution. This gives rise to hopelessness. While our reactions to situations are spontaneous, our turmoil becomes stronger every day, giving rise to internal gaslighting, a form of emotional manipulation that makes one question their own reality.
Gen Z struggles with this common reality in which we gaslight ourselves for situations that are not in our hands. Our emotional vulnerability sees our insecurities, questions our own struggle, and minimises our own success, failure and problems until it is debilitating. In a country such as India, this vulnerability is highly susceptible, and originates from the feeling of worthlessness, which in itself is born out of toxic capitalism centrifugal to our present capitalistic society.