Capitalist Dream


N100269This morning I had from a dream in which I found myself in a Portland, Oregon organic supermarket, talking to its hippie owner. Strangely, I did not awake in a cold sweat.

The scene opened naturally enough for a dream about hippies, with the owner, who marched straight up to me to invade my personal space, thrusting a bag of organic coleslaw before my eyes and demanding excitedly that I read the short blurb explaining who he was and what his store was about.

I explained irritatedly that I couldn’t read a word of it and grabbed the bag out of his hands, but then flipped to the contents table and started questioning him over all the little codes on it, such as 3B83. I was slightly disappointed to find that rather than being disguises for artificial preservatives, they were actually perfectly innocuous organic ingredients about which, of course, the hippie owner had an encyclopaedic knowledge.

At this point we may all be starting to think that perhaps my sub-conscious self hates me, but please don’t lose all hope just yet.

I then saw a wide view of the store, as rich, chic Portlanders (I know, oxymoron) made their way into the store, through a curtain of wind chimes and prayer beads, and happily paid through the nose for their organic produce. The owner then complained to me that the big supermarkets, as well as the fast-food giants, were trying to get his store closed down, and that “this is what’s wrong with capitalism.”

I countered that this was actually an example of crony capitalism, whereby the large, established players are threatened by dynamic, flexible and creative new competitors, and try to use their connections to government and access to expensive lawyers to protect their position in the marketplace, rather than innovating and improving their product in response to new challenges. I suggested he keep this in mind in 30 years time when he is filthy stinking rich.

Yes. My sub-conscious is a nerd.

Photo by The Green Party / Comhaontas Glas