Throwing My Kids Into The Bus

Artist: Selliah Doraisamy, Ceylon Transport Board, 1960s

When the bus stops I throw my kids up the steps. The old Ashok Leyland starts moving before I get in, but I’m not worried about them. A dozen hands immediately reach out for my babies, holding their unsteady bodies steady. Three people offer their seats. It is these times when I most love my country. Even the strangers on the bus treat children like beloved family.

Capitalism is most urgently about the destruction and commodification of this feeling. It started with the destruction of the commons. Of the community. Of the family. Capitalism’s greatest avatar is the car, conquering the human city. The car is a literal capital asset that plows through common spaces, separating communities with steel, atomizing caring villages into unstable nuclear families. With its five seats, it precisely commodifies us into two parents and 2.5 children, averaging out the beautiful mess of humanity.