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Reimagining Capitalism


reimagining capitalism ashley paul

If we truly knew about the companies we could buy from, their inhumane practices, false facing compassion, we would all be naked, bored, and hungry. That is not a reality show I want. 

Capitalism has a loaded definition that makes my head spin. I have a gripe with how this word is thrown around in conversation. It is the furious index finger that people may use as a retort. 

One of the best ways to invest better is through who you purchase. You are a Feminist Book Club member. (If not, join the club.) You know that your money has value. We live in a world ripe for re-presenting our values. You are not always ending a subscription or service because you purchase with intent. 

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka The Presider of the Throne of Informative Clapbacks, wrote about capitalism in a *chef’s kiss* tweet. 

Capitalism has many syllables yet should not have the power to influence society and continuously regress social systems. Service workers, in particular, need to have adequate pay, healthcare, and human necessities. To give applause only during the hard times to service workers yet ignoring their work for necessities is an oxymoron for the ages.

Here are five books to imagine our society in its plentiful and progressive: 

  1. The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran focuses on potential “Black capitalism” prompted by President Nixon and following the continued discrimination for Black people to not attain wealth. 
  2. Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills is about “the first six African Americans who survived slavery and became millionaires.” This book is essential in understanding actual self-made millionaires particularly after slavery. 
  3. Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought edited by Briona Simone Jones. This anthology of Black lesbian writers through poetry, essays, and admiration of Black women and their contributions to their identities.
  4. Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by adrienne marie brown. brown imagines through plethoras of pleasure and how it dismantles notions of judgment towards how people express pleasure. I find this book is vital to understand our intricacies and values.
  5. Consumed: The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism by Aja Barber. Barber writes about how to change a wasteful system through exposing the textile industry, which played a role in slavery, racism, and the current wealth inequality.

Highlighted are three platforms to support: 

  1. HBCU Change app: With the goal to raise 1 billion dollars in the next five years for HBCU’s, the app allows you to connect your card and round up your purchases. The remaining change will go towards the total that is being raised. 
  2. Chicas Verdes: Based from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, students become leaders through their connection to nature. They are working to eliminate food access disparities. They also give food to those in need. They also have a great merchandise store. 
  3. DEMZ: I heard an ad on one of my favorite podcasts, Keep It for this platform. DEMZ invests in companies that donate over 75% of their political contributions to Democrats. While there are unethical Democrats, the company is a step to making our dollars push further for a more robust democracy, particularly for how much money is pushed through politics.
Ashley Paul is a hopeless wanderer, baker, runner, and photographer. She is passionate about supporting high school juniors and seniors to write compelling stories for their post-secondary careers. Her favorite genres are young adult, literary fiction, and memoir.

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