I thought it would be a nice idea to try and explain this phrase, and by extension explain from where profit is extracted, since both seem like easy concepts which can be understood more easily if simple examples are provided. I do not have a degree on Marxism so I may miss something, but I hope I’m doing my best to help you understand them in a more interesting way.
This phrase, which you will probably heard being spouted by the left faction within the liberals, either on the internet or in the form it has taken as the national bourgeoisie in your country, or also by anarchists and other forms of idealists, makes sense only if analyzed through the lenses of Marxism.
So, then, why do we say ethical production, and by antonomasia, consumption, is impossible within a capitalist society? Are these cruelty free products that you are buying worthless? Well, it all comes down to profit.
To understand how capital accumulation happens, and how wage theft is carried out, we need to understand from where profit is extracted. I will try to provide an easy example, taken out of all the abstraction and complexities of our society so that it will be easier for comprehension.
Let’s say you have a carpenter, they are the owner of their hammer and their saw, with these tools they are charged by some small company in their village to build tables, simple, block shaped tables. They need to buy 1$ worth of nails for every table they produce, and they charge 9$ per hour for the production of such table. The final price they will sell this table, to this merchant person who is owner of this small company, is that of 10$. He will then resell the aforementioned table at a value of 15$ at his company. This 5$ that seem to have appeared out of nowhere is what we Marxist call “Surplus Value”.
Remember this example is astonishingly simplistic, but this is the core reality of what factory workers go through when producing goods, only there are at least a thousand other factors and different levels of exploitation in the process of creating the final product.
This is reason behind ethical consumption is impossible, because the core principles upon which production is based in a capitalist society are those of exploitation, there’s no conceivable labour where wage theft does not occur. It’s not that trying to be vegan, or not hurting animals in the process, or using renewable sources for their materials is pointless. But rather these are all forms that the capitalist superstructure synthesizes into so that it can amass a bigger profit, a grosser capital. These practices should be praised, and are needed, but under a different system, practices such as these will never bring a meaningful change, only Marxist thought and the political and scientific implementation of it in the material world can do so.
This is a Dengist community in favor of Bashar al-Assad with no information that can lead to the arrest of Hillary Clinton, our fellow liberal and queen. This community is not ironic. We are Marxists-Leninists.
No ableism, racism, misogyny, etc.
No being pro-Amerikkka
No being an electoralist or a lib (of course)
This community is explicitly pro-AES
No dogmatism/idealism (Permanent Revolution type stuff, anarchism, etc.)