Isn’t it interesting how we are constantly told that America is the land of oppression, where the evils of capitalism are dooming the little guy to a life of exploitation and hardship? Yet we often see evidence to the contrary.
This article is an Op-ed. The viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Evie Magazine.
There are plenty of self-made successes like Jeffree Star. The truth is, a person's “intersectional identity" won’t hinder their pursuit of success in America. The systematic oppression of marginalized social groups in modern America is a myth.
Just 6 years ago, Jeffree Star had nothing but $500 to his name and was sleeping on the floor of his mom’s living room. Today, he is worth millions and has just bought a $14.6mil mansion property.
It’s difficult to declare that the American Dream is dead when you see Jeffree Star’s childhood dream of owning a pink swimming pool come true. If Jeffree Star, with his horde of haters, his unending stream of personal problems, and his multitude of scandals, can make it in America, then the American Dream is not dead.
However, according to the theory of intersectionality, the odds are not in Jeffree Star’s favor. A seemingly gender-fluid gay man in perpetual drag, Jeffree Star ranks pretty low on the hierarchy of social identity. And yet, in America, he still managed to build a beauty empire in less than a decade.
Capitalism and the American Dream
The beauty of capitalism is that it does not discriminate based on your identity. It doesn’t care what race, gender, sexual orientation, or group you belong to; all it cares about is whether or not you provide something society is willing to pay for.
The beauty of capitalism is that it does not discriminate based on your identity.
The public approves of Jeffree Star, and the public gladly pays for his products. It's only under capitalism where someone like Jeffree Star could have achieved his level of self-made success. Take away capitalism, and you’ll take away the ability for others to fulfill their dreams like Jeffree Star did.
Yet, instead of celebrating the benefits of capitalism, it seems more and more people are warming up to the idea of socialism, preferring the Marxist system of a state-planned economy over the free enterprise system of capitalism.
Is socialism better?
Socialism is a social system in which the right to property is vested in society as a whole, with economic production and distribution controlled by the government. People are drawn to the idea of socialism because of the freebies promised under that system.
People are drawn to the idea of socialism because of the freebies promised under that system.
Healthcare will be free because hospitals will be run by the government. Education will be free because schools will be run by the government. Retirement will be guaranteed because it will be run by the government. The only logical conclusion is that makeup should be free because cosmetic companies will be run by the government too. After all, if something as important as healthcare is better off being controlled by the government, then it makes perfect sense that the government starts first with something more frivolous like makeup. After all, you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run.
Socialism and the Soviet Nightmare
A 2018 Harvard poll found that 62% of young Americans support free college and 67% support universal health care. It would be inconsistent and even dishonest if the same people supporting free college and universal healthcare do not also support free cosmetics under socialism.
After all, why should makeup be exempted from government production and distribution? It would only be fair that a socialist should advocate for a state owned cosmetic industry as they would advocate for a state run healthcare system.
If we can’t trust the government to produce and distribute our makeup, what makes us think they’d be qualified to deal with more important things like education and healthcare?
If the thought of a state-run cosmetic industry seems like an absurd idea, remember that this actually existed at one point in human history. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic nationalized their cosmetic industry and needless to say, Soviet Socialist perfume and makeup were not worth any hype.
Perhaps, the next time someone tries to preach about the virtues of a socialistic economy, ask them if it would apply to the makeup industry as well.
Is the disparity of wealth fair?
The socialist will argue that it is unfair that one man like Jeffree Star can dominate the industry. Why should he and the cosmetic industry be exempt from egalitarian fairness?
But if the argument is about whether or not “it's fair that Jeffree Star has all this wealth for himself when the average Joe is struggling?” then the question you should ask is, “is it fair that Jeffree Star is hated, condemned, and shunned by thousands more people than your regular average Joe?”
Is it fair that Jeffree Star is hated, condemned, and shunned by thousands more people than your regular average Joe?
The answer? Yes, both are fair. That’s the nature of capitalism and freedom. Capitalism is by far the best social system that will facilitate the improvement of your own life.
You have the freedom not to be hated, shunned, judged, and condemned by the public by living a normal, quiet, and peaceful, albeit middle-class, life. I myself gladly chose the duller, no-drama route of a simple life because capitalism allows me to do so. Jeffree Star, on the other hand, chose the riskier, rockier route, and he reaped the rewards accordingly.
The thing to remember about capitalism which makes Jeffree Star’s success fair is the fact that the public willingly trades their money in exchange for his cosmetics. He could just as easily lose all of his wealth and influence in a decade if his customers stop purchasing his products. This voluntary exchange of money for goods, alongside the sometimes unpredictable rise and fall of fortunes, is in part the beauty of capitalism.