Exploited Joy: Capitalism and Joy
It's Saturday morning. Your 12 year old self jumps out of bed and rushes to the living room to watch your favorite TV show. For me this was Pokemon. For you this may have been something else.
In our childhood and in the lives of our children we consume media and build emotional connections with the characters in it. In a real sense those fictional characters are loved and treasured. For some of us this creates a life long bond. Twenty years latter we may still want those beautiful Harry Potter wands conveniently listed for sale at $60+ or we may still find ourselves touched by our augmented reality Pokemon.
The stories, characters, and adventures we consume become part of us, part of our being.
Wholly corporately owned parts of our being.
Wholly owned parts of our being that are targeted by entities who's primary purpose is to show year over year profit growth.
These profit driven entities allow us and even press us to pay more to consume more of the content that is part of us. What we are not allowed to do is to participate actively with this content. Creating art, games, or content of any kind is:
1. Not noticed and slips under the radar 2. Tolerated in the hopes of further future profits 3. Overwhelming, struck from existence
Our love is leveraged against us. Consume and spend or leave those loves to history.
What can we do?
Just hope what we create stays under the radar? Leave our loves to history?
For now I don't know.
For the future a few solutions may arise.
One solution may be to limit copyright to a term of about a decade. This would be enough time for the creator to be deeply rewarded, while at the same time enableing the collective growth of our common shared culture.
Another might be to change copyright, to make copyright similar to the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence. Want to build an expression of love and share it? 100% allowed. Want to compete with the creator and sell cheaper versions of their work? Forbidden. An excellent compromise.
Are either of these realistic? No.
What can we do realistically?
- Licence our work under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence
- Encourage creators to use the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence
- Expose our children to Free Culture works so they may bond with something that is truly theirs and is not the lever of profit.
I personally licence everything as I recommend and I hope you do too.