Our society is a pyramidally structured society - the few at the top profit most from the many at the bottom. Those in the middle work hard to stay off the bottom and try to get up higher. Those at the bottom in many cases give up in despair.
Dr. Gabor Maté, a doctor and author, has talked about trauma and the effect it has on individuals. The A.C.E.S. study (Adverse Childhood Effect Study) is predictive according to Dr. Maté of later disease and addiction if the trauma is not healed.
Trauma is the main problem we experience in our society. No two people respond to an event in exactly the same way. However, trauma is the lasting damage an individual experiences to the lack/harm inflicted from outside. This trauma is like a reflex that can later be triggered with adverse reaction. In order to escape the trauma, the individual will try various coping mechanisms including addiction. Trauma can be mitigated by resilience. Resilience is fostered by relationship. If a child has a difficult experience but is able to talk with and be comforted by the trust figure with whom they have a positive and loving relationship, the lasting damage will be considerably less.
Capitalism is based on causing trauma and damaging relationships in the pursuit of profit. Like a creeping sickness it has damaged the family structure and put itself between generations in order to sell us its wares. Don't believe it? Read on.
With the rise of Capitalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the middle class fared well. A middle class family could own a brownstone, their carriage, get an education for their sons, marry off their daughters and keep at least one servant comfortably on the husband's salary. The extended families were always there for support. Stress was around but not a daily problem.
After World War I, the servant class was no longer willing to work for room and board. Expectations had changed. This added stress to the family as the wife had to now manage the household without a servant. Her stress caused problems for the children and the husband. He had his own stress as rising costs made things more difficult to afford. After all the departure of the maid, meant that they needed a toaster, a frigidaire and so on. The extended family were there to support however and could damp down the stress.
After World War II, the nuclear family became and increasing reality. It was seen as desirable for the young married couple to have their own residence as quickly as possible, making finances more stressful. Capitalism laughed all the way to the bank as the new couple had to outfid their own residence. The husband was usually the sole breadwinner but it was not as easy and after the children went to school, women increasingly picked up at least a part-time job to help out. Stress was increasingly more of a daily phenomenon. Without the extended family's help to stabilize the marriage, the divorce rates began to climb.
The fractured families of today are becoming more of a norm. To the delight of the Capitalist system. After all a divorced couple has two separate residences, two sets of children's clothes, toys, etc.
The stress of the break up, lawyers and court costs, sharing custody is enormous as well as the financial hardship that becomes commonplace. The children do not have the same caretaker time with either parent as they had previously and show symptoms of trauma - ADD, ODD, etc. Good news for a system that profits off the very problems it has created and is only too happy to sell the bewildered parents medication to remedy little Johnny's behaviour.
Think of the pyramid? Why is the Capitalistic System so destructive?
It promotes division. The few at the top, who do not have to worry about earning a living, do not see the rest of humanity as their equals. They see them instead as a commodity to be dealt with as they will. It is about power and the best use of resources (the rest of humanity) The ones at the very bottom, know they are not even in the game and will often turn to addiction to numb the pain of the lack of possibilities. They also may turn in desperation to criminal activity if there is no other way to gain food, clothing or medication.
The ones in the middle are desperately trying to move up. They believe it is about hard work and who you know. They are kept in this mindset as it is their very industry, which drives the profits. They can not see the top and are terrified of falling down the pyramid so they work ever harder to stay in the same place. It is only the occasional outlier in the middle who can have any perspective to see both up and down the pyramid from their vantage point. Yet these people do not usually have a good connection with the other middle class individuals. Capitalism is not for the benefit of all, not evern for the benefit of the many. It is for the benefit of the few; The profits flow up not down the pyramid.
So now that we know what the Pyramid Scheme is, the real question is what do we do about it? What indeed.