Capitalism has been incredibly successful in producing advances in technology and quality of life for many people, especially in the developed world. But the system is also inherently exploitative, and nowhere is this more in evidence than in the US where it has spawned an incredible level of economic inequality and greater insecurity for the vast majority of the population even as a tiny segment of the population get obscenely richer.
The only way that such a system can survive is if the inequality is masked by means of a welfare state that can soften the edges of the hardship, and most capitalist societies have adopted such policies in the past. But in recent years there has been a tendency to remove even those meager welfare provisions and throw people to the wolves and nowhere is this more apparent than in the US. It looks like the oligarchy here has decided in favor of a pure and unvarnished capitalism where the right of a few to make obscene amounts of money must be unrestricted by such petty considerations as providing people with at least the minimal protections from its ravages.
It is not that the mask has been whipped off. What is happening is that the layers of the mask are being slowly peeled away, revealing the hard edges of capitalism. The Daily Show looks at how they don’t even bother to hide the corruption at the top anymore. The system seems to be inherently unstable. In such situations, a kind of faux stability can last for some time before some tipping point occurs. I am frankly shocked that public outrage is not greater at what is happening.
(This clip aired on March 12, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)