The trouble with capitalism hit me again recently as what we had considered a way of making back a couple of pounds/dollars for over a few year’s work was pretty much reduced to an evening’s worth of frustrating attempts to scrape up a profit after every other service that was employed got their share. I had made a few tarot decks over the past four years, and while we knew tarot was a niche market, you’d think that in countries where we’re given this idea of the potential to prosper through our labours if we really work hard at it, you’d expect to at least earn a profit from each product sold. Sadly it doesn’t quite work that way.
People can stand by capitalism all they want, but at the end of the day a country’s government does not really monitor capitalism’s tendency to exploit people, and why should it? Political campaign elections are paid for by big business after all. However it’s not just the third world people who suffer under these capitalist sponges who soak up the financial stability of the country. Everyone who has labored or created works by their hands, or grown crops on their land, only to turn them over to a publisher or a distributor to then sell on, more than likely finds themselves exploited, and probably very harshly too. For that book you spent 6 months researching and another full year writing, you finds yourself with a royalty of less than ten cents per book sale while the publisher, who will more than likely grumble about the trade in books dwindling because of Kindle, or the Internet or whatever else, creams the real profits from your product, your book, your heart and soul.
And so it was that we were faced, yet again, with the ugly side of business. I was unwilling to even approach a publisher at this point because despite selling hundreds of units every few months, you could spend a years worth of royalties on a week’s groceries. Self publishing, though difficult, seems to be the only viable option for many people nowadays who aren’t creating a vanity project. Trying to sell your product involves a huge amount of promotion and a steadily growing following. It just so happened that one of the decks i had worked on a few years ago had a fair number of people interested in buying a copy, having known about it previously and also the fact that it was near unobtainable until recently. Gathering an audience is half the battle. The other half is trying to secure quality in your product through finding the right printer who can produce quality without charging you an arm and a leg. It’s not an easy thing to achieve….IF you want to make a profit. After years of illustration, i did want to recoup some money from my work even if it is a few years later.
The first hurdle you are faced with is the printer, but sometimes more importantly, is what the printer is going to charge to ship them to you. Local printers, crippled with council tax like everyone else (yes Councils are branches of the biggest capitalism machine of all – government. What, you thought that 80 percent tax on your alcohol and tobacco was for the good of your health?). With local printers charging vast, unrealistic sums of money (or at least according to the shops who cannot possibly stock your product unless you yourself forego profit) you’re forced to find printers in a country with a struggling economy, so that your currency actually does something for you. It’s quite cannibalistic in nature. In one way you’re exploiting a third world country, and in another way you’re taking away trade from your own country. That’s capitalism. We chose America as our third world country in which to “try” and exploit, but of course it’s not that easy. Even with having your products printed and sent to you, the postage is a killer. You add the cost of postage to each deck, and press on.
Now you’re ready to ship off your product to the U.S. Adding a British shipping charge to decks being shipped to anywhere but the UK and Ireland (If like me you are from the UK) strips away any profit you could have received for your product. Much of our customer base are Canadian and American. In other words you ship to outside of the UK for the sole purpose of doing it for your supporters, your fans, for those who’ve waited years to grab hold of a once unobtainable product. Most people prefer to trade via paypal because it’s easy and people trust it, but it’s another expense, 2 dollars which could have constituted some semblance of a profit for myself. Most of my customers were coming from Facebook, having seen my posts regarding the new release of the deck, yet because many of them were not strictly friends, emailing them in private to conduct business meant that automatically (due to not being friends) my emails would have been sent to their “other” folder, a folder which many are not even aware exists. It’s a stupid feature that Facebook set up, supposedly to catch spam, but of course not to be outdone by other capitalist ventures, Facebook could send my email to the customers “actual” Facebook inbox for a total of one dollar and 13 cents. In other words, more expense and no profit for Jimmy despite the fact that Jimmy worked his ass off all year illustrating the product. I am not bitter, i am frustrated at the money going everywhere else except the produce. I grew up in a farming background and the exact same disgusting thing happened there too.
More and more capitalism seems to be a sickening disease, because those who earn well beyond their needs constantly try to acquire more, even at the expense of their own country’s economy. In reality Obama’s Patriot Act should have sent the vast majority of the “1 percent” to Guantanamo Bay for treachery, for there is nothing patriotic about destroying the American economy by using the more well known third world countries for exploitation purposes all the while calling yourself a patriot. It is completely absurd to suggest otherwise.
During the Gettysburg address, Lincoln said “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”, but sadly that has not been true for a very long time. Imagine though if we had an economy of the people, by the people and FOR the people, rather than completely abandoning entire cities like Flint, Michigan, the way General Motors did back in 1985 when the jobs were sent to Mexico instead. Yet people support this greedy capitalistic mindset, despite the fact that most will never know what it’s like to ever be wealthy themselves (in comparison to the disgusting 1 percent)
Who allows this unfair system to continue? Republican or Liberal? Conservative or Labour? How about them all? Each of these parties in the U.S and UK take it in turn to rule our countries and all are in agreement with this unfair system. It is not hard to see why, considering that, at least in England anyway, many of those who go into politics and strive to be in charge of the country, are born with the proverbial silverware in their mouths. We agree to this bullshit every time we vote them into power.
In the past, i was told many times that if i don’t vote, then i don’t have the right to complain about what happens in the country. My advice to those people is this. Anyone WHO DOES VOTE for these idiots in the first place has no right to complain because you voted for the bullshit. Drink it up and enjoy your stupid corrupt dictators because you bought the lie (hey, you knew their wholesome promises were sweet nothings in your ear to get you to lower your guard, lower your IQ and lower your underwear to get fucked by the red white and blue (notice the colours in the flags in both U.S and UK are the same…independence from what?). I mean poor America didn’t take long to escape “The Tyranny of King George” before becoming subject to a president who thinks it’s ok to moniter emails and cell phone calls in the interests of “national security”. But that’s getting off topic.
No, it seems capitalism is here to stay for awhile yet, because as long as people still hold onto unwarranted faith that Mickey Mouse and Mickey Ds make up the American dream, and the Queen really needs 78 bathrooms in Buckingham Palace (According to Wikipedia a book published in 1999 by the Royal Collection Department reported that the palace contained 19 state rooms, 52 principal bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms), the western world will be trapped within the bubble of its own illusion, an illusion that suggests every honest hard working person can become wealthy, despite the fact that it’s virtually impossible.
The Cultural Revolution Tarot can be found on our site for 40 U.S dollars (at the time of writing). For the brits, this relates to little over 26 pounds. Go buy our controversial kick ass work of art and you won’t be dissappointed