The Terrorists of Capitalism: A Response To Gary Vaynerchuk
Recently, the Internet’s favourite entrepreneurial hype bro penned a missive to the transformation and achievements of his ego.
My initial reaction to this piece was both dismissiveness and bemusement.
I’ve been in business circles for almost a decade now and have gotten to the point where I simply roll my eyes at the oversimplified, buzzword-sprinkled ignorance that tends to filter onto my radar from this corner of the Interwebz.
This took the cake.
Being a gal who loves absurdity, any opportunity to satirise bullshit is one I gleefully attend to. The nonsense of that piece ranged far and wide, but it could be boiled down to this:
Gary Vaynerchuk, you are many things, but a ‘self-made’ man from the salt of the earth you are not.
Like the President of the Electoral College of the United States, you were a very fortunate chap after you departed from university. You had a family business that gave you your own version of a ‘small loan of a million dollars’ — so it’s a bald-faced lie that you didn’t come from opportunity or money, at least after a point for the latter.
While growing and stabilizing a multi-million dollar business is some version of achievement and work (dosed heavily with luck!), let us be clear: the first million is the hardest, and that honor belongs to your parents.
But after reading that essay several times (side note: you’ve got a company worth 150m, you couldn’t find an intern to proofread for you? Lawd.) — I realized that I couldn’t write a satirical response to it.
I physically can’t.
It’s not funny.
There’s nothing to laugh at, really, embedded into that foolishness.
But this quote, in particular, sent a chill down my spine:
“The game is my life. There will never be a moment to quit. There’s no dollar amount. Nothing you can do to make me stop.”
Because you see, this isn’t unique to Gary. Not by a long shot.
This is a glimpse into the mind of the (predominantly white) men who are running our world into the ground.
This is a glimpse into the soul of the type of person who prevents pregnant women from having Medicaid in states where 3/4 of low income births are funded via Medicaid, while simultaneously fucking abortion rights and birth control access out of existence.
This is a glimpse into the prison-industrial complex, the school to prison pipeline, Uber, all of which are capitalism and its socio-political accomplices at their most gory: bodies, bodies, bodies — crunch crunch crunch.
It’s all a numbers game.
There’s no quitting.
There’s no dollar amount too much or too high.
Nothing you can do to make them stop.
No casualty too steep, nor hunger too grand.
This is cancer — social cancer.
It’s endless multiplication and ceaseless consumption.
We’re being devoured by people infected with the Damnable Trinity of capitalism, white supremacy, and kyriarchy. They are munching on people’s bones and baying to those infernal gods while our blood drips down their faces.
It’s like Fenrir swallowing the Sun, except it’s their gratuitous greed and empathy-void, single-mindedness devouring our planet and our species in violent, strong-armed swoops.
This while they have the audacity to scold us with lies about having ‘earned it’.
This, while having the arrogance to say that their wealth means they outworked us all.
That they definitively out-exerted and out-maneuvered single parents holding down multiple scrap-wage jobs, while being exploited by their employers, while also peddling whatever odds and ends gigs they could, and laboring without sleep or decent nutrition so their children could have 1% better chance at breaking through that pain.
Or a disabled person whose capacity is such that our society sets them up for failure, discomfort, and hell without family or community support. Who endures being told that they’re worthless if they can’t keep up with “the grind.”
Or even worse yet, that humans like Gary have somehow out-achieved & outsmarted the neglected children and young adults who were beaten to within an inch of their lives for breaking binaries. Or those people whose bodies were sold and stripped of their humanity, both of whom give everything and every ounce of their whole selves on a daily basis simply to breathe.
These Sisyphean efforts are often so enormous that people crumple under their weight, with the drumbeat of ‘You didn’t work hard enough’, ‘This is your fault’, ‘You don’t have anyone to blame but yourself’ thrumming in their head like flies around open, festering wounds.
There’s a reason why it’s called a grind: because it pounds your soul into nothingness and sprinkles you like protein powder onto the quicksilver tongues of its most ardent defenders and architects.
Those of us who know better mourn those deaths and that suffering.
We tend to and weep at the scars its victims — most of us — bear because our society would rather glorify the Gary Vs of this world than castigate the amoral narcissism they bathe in for what it really is.
We choose instead to love the cancer that’s killing us, while we scorn attending to the meek, the forlorn, the ostracized, and the sick.
There is no mocking what is fundamentally ugly and a terror.
I have no respect for terrorists, and I certainly don’t give them a platform.
Gary’s essay was a devotional to the terrorists of capitalism — there is no way to mock it, because mocking it feeds the beast.
Because there’s no such thing as truly satirising evil.
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To para-quote one of my fave people, Sam Irby, indie writer bitches gotta eat.