I quite like spotting out turns of phrase which, as a part of capitalist society, normalise us into a capitalist way of thinking. Phrases which you’d use off the cuff without a second thought, but if you do apply a bit more time the connotations of what they mean demonstrates the way that capitalism structures everything we do. I find it sort of amusing. This is what I have so far, if anyone else has any suggestions then drop them in an ask.
“A market place of ideas” - religion, ideology and so on are co-opted to the commodity culture of capitalism.
“I don’t buy it” - belief in something as a financial investment.
“Time well spent” - your time is a financial investment.
“Self-ownership” - the attitude that you are an item of property which you are in possession of.
“Human resources” - humanity is boiled down and objectified, it is a resource not an end in its own right.
“Job market” - careers and vocations are to be bought and sold/people try to sell themselves into a career or vocation. Links into the idea of “immigrants come over and steal jobs.” Bizarre in its own right but more so with this concept of possession over a job.
“My child”/”my (boy/girl)friend”/”my partner” - the attitude of property possession regarding close interpersonal relationships. This links interestingly into the idea of people having their boy/girlfriend “stolen” (well, less poignant a problem when you get older, but I’m sure many people will have heard this phrase used even if not by someone in their immediate friendship group.) Your romantic relationship is alienated by the ideology of capitalism, therefore infidelity is not the fault of the significant other, but of the person they get involved with. An object is inanimate, it cannot falter or do wrong, ergo the agency and therefore error is placed on the third point of the triangle. Weird. And gross. Also links into the idea of, rather than responsibility for parents to raise children to be a part of a society, instead parents are able to enforce their ideals and parameter onto the child - who is their possession. Hence things like circumcision [this is just the most immediate thing that springs to mind due to recent discussions, rather than intended as a dig.] are the parents choice, because the child is an object without agency.
I just read an essay similar to this! To add on, there’s the idea of “selling yourself” in the “dating market” and looking at your personality as if it’s a physical good that needs to be sold.
I think everyone should read What Comes After Money and try to be aware of these things. It’s interesting.
“Selling yourself” is a really convoluted one to think about, excellent to bring up. This ‘happens’ (or at least, we talk about it happening) in a variety of different formats. People that work in really menial, soulless jobs where they don’t get to be themselves are “selling themselves.” But more importantly and where I hear this word most commonly used is in regard to sex workers “selling themselves” as if, through the act of sexual relations for the purposes of putting bread on the table, an integral part of what it is to be human is somehow given up or lost. This cognitive distinction normalises us into being degrading towards sex workers because they have lost their full humanity; they are no longer human but now an object and therefore do not meet up to the requirements for rights or common decency.
Also “selling out” which clicks back into the possessive attitude we have over celebrities. Whereby a band that makes it big and either a) tailors their music to sell more or b) just generally changes style as they age. The original fan base doesn’t like the change but because a celebrity is not their own person, their actions must answer to those who view themselves as the fan base and are therefore entitled, change to style is the possession of the fans rather than allowing the individual their own agency.