Capitalism

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It’s About The System, Not The Individuals: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/07/2021 - 10:21pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/9b3a11943f7d882a9eb7acc188a8775e/href

If the working class had as much class solidarity as the ruling class has there never would’ve been a ruling class.

Stealing someone’s labor is worse than stealing their property, because it’s theft of their life; you can replace property if you want, but you can’t replace hours of life. And rigging the system so people need to work longer hours in order to survive is this form of theft at mass scale.

Right now it’s ass backwards: people have to spend their lives away from their loved ones in pointless jobs, and if you tell the cop your employer stole hours from you he’ll just shrug while if your employer tells the cop you stole a company iPad you’ll be hauled off in chains.

This would all be a lot less confusing if we said people get paid by the Life Unit instead of by the hour, because it makes it much clearer what you’re actually trading. “You want a unit of my life for seven dollar bills and a quarter? Fuck you.”

Six months into Biden’s presidency it’s definitely not okay to be a grown adult and still believe Trump was a uniquely monstrous president.

Biden may be stopping all progress and breaking most of his campaign promises, but he did also campaign on bringing back the Obama years so in that sense he kept all his campaign promises.

Focusing on individuals instead of the system creates the illusion that if you replaced the individuals you could fix the problems with the system. The individuals are symptoms of the disease.

This is true whether you’re talking about oligarchy or the official elected government. Leave the systems in place and get rid of Jeff Bezos and another greedy plutocrat will just move into his niche. Get rid of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and you’ll just get different Democrats killing progress in the senate. It’s fine to criticize them, but it’s not about them. You criticize them to draw attention to the systems.

Sociopaths will keep getting elevated to the top as long as there are systems in place which elevate sociopaths. Right now wealth and political power go to whoever’s willing to do anything to get to the top and step on anyone in their way. That’s what actually needs to change.

Really the people just need to find a way to seize power and create systems which work for everyone instead of rewarding greed, sociopathy and corruption. But they’ll never do that by working within the current systems, because those systems are designed to do the exact opposite.

Sure Biden is shit. That’s what happens in a system which elevates shit. That’s why his predecessor was shit, and why his replacement will be shit. Without that system Biden would just be some creepy asshole in an assisted living facility who all the caregivers try to avoid.

But also it’s never actually about Biden; it’s about a system wherein mass-scale human behavior is driven by profit, and where war, ecocide, exploitation and corruption happen to be profitable. As long as that’s the case it will just be endless assholes ruling our world until they get us all killed.

  1. Be a government
  2. Do evil things
  3. Make it illegal to report those evil things
  4. Sentence anyone who does to draconian prison terms as a deterrent
  5. Keep the public from knowing what you’re doing
  6. Force them to guess
  7. Label this guessing “conspiracy theory”
  8. Censor them

For every whistleblower you make an example of you prevent a thousand others.

Republicans live in such an awesome world. There’s a war on white men, powerful anarchists rule the streets, the president is a Marxist, and US officials are being taken out by communist microwave beams.

Feds definitely knew about the Capitol raid in advance and definitely let it happen yet you’re meant to believe the only reason rioters didn’t lynch Nancy Pelosi and take over the US government is because their diabolical plot was thwarted at the last minute.

Imagine if the memesters who went to Area 51 in 2019 actually got in (because military forces opened the doors for them), wandered around for a bit and then left, and then this was hailed as worse than 9/11 and used to advance authoritarian agendas and legal precedents… and people believed it.

It would have been exactly note-for-note identical to what happened with January 6th. The one and only difference is that there was no ideological angle on the Area 51 memesters.

As a kid I certainly never imagined that I’d end up spending such a significant portion of my adult life arguing with strangers who think the government should be allowed to do extremely evil things in secret.

Still shits me how we all know our governments and institutions lie to us all the time about important things but when people are distrustful of those institutions they get treated like they belong in a straight jacket. Sure this distrust can manifest in ways that are not well-informed or truth-based, but expecting all rank-and-file members of the public who work full time to have a perfectly erudite understanding of every situation is absurd. The distrust is reasonable and it’s not their fault.

If people distrust their government and institutions, the blame rests exclusively on the shoulders of the government and institutions who created that distrust in the first place. You can’t create distrust and act like people are crazy for distrusting you. That’s not a thing.

___________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Hasta La Vista Guardianista!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/07/2021 - 3:02pm in

Tags 

Capitalism, Media

Ross Ashcroft met up with senior lecturer at the Department of Film Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck University, Justin Schlosberg, and head of media, communications and cultural studies at Goldsmiths University, Professor Des Freedman, to help unpick the enigma that is the Guardian.

The post Hasta La Vista Guardianista! appeared first on Renegade Inc.

Hasta La Vista Guardianista!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/07/2021 - 3:02pm in

Tags 

Capitalism, Media

Ross Ashcroft met up with senior lecturer at the Department of Film Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck University, Justin Schlosberg, and head of media, communications and cultural studies at Goldsmiths University, Professor Des Freedman, to help unpick the enigma that is the Guardian.

The post Hasta La Vista Guardianista! appeared first on Renegade Inc.

Joelene Versus The Landlord

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 5:24am in

I couldn’t stop thinking about what a scam rent is, where you pay your landlord to look after their investment property, so I made a mixed media piece about it. Join Joelene on her whimsical journey to the mythical land of housing security.

https://medium.com/media/d7b51d3be7782e8c6a9c831171aa5cda/href

___________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Our World Is Dying Because We Don’t Value Un-Making Things

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/07/2021 - 11:28pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/05adf85705ae0ad0ba38182bc722e38e/href

I talk a lot about how we’re destroying our environment with a global system where human behavior is driven by the pursuit of profit, how the power structure which dominates that system does so by violence, exploitation, oppression, and the threat of nuclear war, and how we’re all going to die if we don’t change this system.

Whenever I say this I get a bunch of capitalism cultists bleating “You just don’t understand economics bruh,” which is the line they’ve been trained to say to anyone they see criticizing capitalism. It’s silly for a number of reasons, among them the fact that nobody who regurgitates that line understands economics themselves, and the fact that one’s understanding of economics has nothing to do with the death of the ecosystem our species relies on for survival.

The claim that anyone who opposes capitalism “just doesn’t understand economics” is premised on the notion that unfettered capitalism is the best way for a civilization to attain economic growth, which is arguably true; governments like China saw their economies explode when they started implementing elements of capitalism for pragmatic reasons. If you want to create a bunch of stuff and generate a tremendous amount of wealth, a good way to do that is by giving the capitalist class the protection of the state so they can rake in billions of dollars exploiting the global proletariat without being guillotined.

Problem is, that only looks like a valid point if economic growth is the only value by which you judge a system’s success. If you value quality of life, overall happiness, health, average lifespan, education, eliminating poverty, homelessness and hunger, and many other possible metrics, nations like the United States are far from ideal. If you value avoiding climate collapse, then the only way to think capitalism is the answer is to espouse on blind faith the belief that the world will be saved by greedy union-busting tech oligarchs who just want to make more stuff and send us all to space.

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That’s not to say that socialism in and of itself has all the answers on this front either. Nations which have attempted socialism have not historically had the best environmental records, and even a hypothetical ideal socialist society where workers own all the means of production would not be inherently dissuaded from destroying the environment for profit.

What we need, if we are to turn away from the path of extinction and begin working in collaboration with our ecosystem, is a society which values the un-making of things.

Since the dawn of civilization humanity has valued achievement, conquest, invention, creation; it has valued doing things, and it has not valued the undoing of things. Creating a new kind of machine will bring you fame and fortune and put your name in the history books, while figuring out how to clean up all the pollution caused by the manufacturing and operation of that machine will not. Discovering a new way to kill thousands of people at a time will make you rich, while choosing to sit on that invention instead of unleashing that horror upon the world will not. Cutting down a tree to make toothpicks will make you money, while leaving it to grow for future generations will not.

Interestingly this disparity parallels with the inequality in traditional gender roles throughout the ages. While hunter-gatherer societies were largely egalitarian, after the invention of agriculture some twelve thousand years ago women came to be generally regarded as second-class citizens because they were unable to do fieldwork or conquer other tribes for their land. Since that time women have had very little say in the construction of our society and its values systems, and for that reason the work they traditionally do — cleaning, caring, conserving, resolving conflicts and building community — has gone unrewarded by money or esteem compared to traditional men’s work. Doing and making are valued, undoing and unmaking are not. The rise of capitalism poured rocket fuel on this dynamic.

Most mothers will tell you it’s a pretty thankless job compared to how much labor you pour into it from the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you lay your head down at night. Because so much of her work goes into disappearing things — dirty diapers, laundry, messy floors, dishes in the sink, owwies, tears, tantrums — people who are conditioned by a society that has for millennia only valued making and doing tend to only notice when her work doesn’t get done. Their attention scans right over all the undoing she spent all day working on; it’s not paid, it’s not rewarded, and for the most part it’s not even appreciated.

In the same way, and for the same reason, people’s attention tends to scan right over the obvious solutions to the ecocidal trajectory our species has been on. Because thousands of years of conditioning have trained us to value doing things and making things and turning over a profit, our attention skips right over the simple solution right under our noses to do less and unmake things and stop pursuing profit at the expense of future generations.

This is why people who are awake to what’s going on in our world so often feel hopeless and despondent, and why the quote “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism” resonates with so many. Because we live in a society that has no framework or conceptual infrastructure for valuing the disappearing of things, and because making things and turning a profit has no answer for our situation, solutions look impossible.

But solutions are not impossible. They just won’t involve turning millionaires into billionaires and billionaires into trillionaires.

Cleaning up this mess will take a lot of work and cost a lot, and the reward for that investment won’t be anyone getting rich or any power structure securing a geostrategic advantage, it will be a future for our children and grandchildren. The oceans for example are one of our planet’s biggest carbon sinks, and their ability to function as such is being choked off by plastics in the water. Getting that plastic out of there in an environment-friendly way won’t turn a profit like clearing a forest or drilling an oil field will, so if we leave it to the Captains of Industry nothing will be done about it. Capitalism offers no incentive to do it.

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Ending growth for its own sake, producing less, consuming less, paying people to stay home instead of commuting to pointless jobs; all of these would help the ecosystem far more than producing some new battery made of strip-mined materials. But there’s no profit, so they’re overlooked as viable solutions. You’re only ever going to look for solutions to problems through the reality tunnel you’ve been conditioned to look through. For thousands of years human civilization has been valuing the making of more things and devaluing the unmaking of things, when the latter is what we need right now.

A hidden cost is mental illness. In order to manipulate people to buy things that they don’t need with money they don’t have to keep capitalism from collapsing, you need to keep up a non-stop barrage of trauma-inducing consumerist propaganda. We are all suffering from various mental disorders, from the subtle to the extreme, as a result of this relentless onslaught of brainwashing. Some of these disorders are so prevalent that people assume they are normal. Everything from eating disorders and obesity, to hoarding and shopping addictions, can be traced back to advertising constantly and repetitively ringing our pavlovian bells, while also constantly reminding us that we are not perfect or whole or worthy of love (but maybe if you buy this you will be).

Many readers will attest that you don’t have to be that far along in your waking up journey to start becoming really sensitive to the psychological violence of TV advertising. A TV ad break suddenly becomes physically repellant. In the future we will look back on how coercive and non-consensual mass-scale advertising is and shake our heads in wonder that it was ever allowed to be a thing. Of course, by then, advertising will barely work because too many people will be too awake to manipulate in mass numbers.

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But for now, we are manipulated by the millions into consuming massive amounts of products that aren’t good for us, don’t serve us, or are just another thing that we won’t hardly use but we need to find some cupboard space for. Ending advertising would allow so much health to rebuild in our minds and reduce consumption of materials dramatically; but ending advertising would mean ending capitalism. They are inseparable. We have the tools now to find everything we need via word-of-mouth, but capitalism requires infinite growth. Even your mom-and-pop shop owner feel the pressure to grow in order to keep up cash flow and cover increasing overheads.

Growth is baked in to capitalism, and right now we need more than anything just to chill. Do less, be less, compete less, expect less of ourselves and each other, produce less, consume less, commute less; but take more naps, be more kind, be more gentle with ourselves and each other, laugh more, cry more, feel more, and regenerate all the energy stolen from us from a rat race that we were never gonna win anyway.

Only when we have systems in place that make this possible will we find the energy to start cleaning up our world and begin living in harmony and integrity with the very ecosystem that we are intrinsically a part of.

____________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Worker Power

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/07/2021 - 8:11am in

Imagine a world where workers have real power. In this world, workers are paid a living wage, are...

Labour Anti-Semitism: Blairite MP Neil Coyle Demands Expulsion of Jewish Voice for Labour

I put up a post yesterday about Keir Starmer’s plans to purge four left-wing groups from the Labour party – Resist, Labour Against the Witch-Hunt, the Labour in Exile Network and Socialist Appeal. He and his fellow Blairites despise Labour Against the Witch-Hunt and the Labour in Exile Network because they challenge the lie that the people purged from the party were anti-Semites. They weren’t. Many of them were Jewish, like Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, and were very firmly anti-racist with a firm commitment to combating real anti-Semites and Fascists, such as Marc Wadsworth, a Black anti-racism activist who worked with the Board of Deputies of British Jews to fight BNP anti-Jewish attacks in the Isle of Dogs. The real reason they were purged was that they were socialists, who wanted a return to the mixed economy of the post-War consensus, a nationalised NHS and a welfare state that genuinely supported the poor, the unemployed, the disabled and elderly. They were targeted because they supported Jeremy Corbyn’s superb programme and, like him, they were opposed to Israel’s brutal dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, or defended those who did. Mike was smeared as an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier because he wrote a document showing that Ken Livingstone was perfectly correct when he stated that Hitler initially supported Zionism.

The left-wing members of Labour’s NEC are determined to stand against the proposed purge. They fear it is an attack on Labour democracy and will lead to further purges and the erasure of the left-wing and Bennite traditions in the party. I believe very strongly that they are correct. As news of the proposed purge broke, various noxious MPs came out howling for the expulsion of other Labour party groups. One of them was Neil Coyle, who demanded that Jewish Voice for Labour should also be expelled along with other groups because they were ‘Communists’.

Not far enough. JVL should be gone too. And other outright Communists who have their own political party/ies they can ruin.

Mike in his great article about this latest piece of factionalism from Starmer points out that this anti-Semitic.

“There’s no reason to suggest that Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) are Communists. Or that any of the organisations Starmer will purge are “poisonous”, “toxic” or “warped”.

But it is easier to persuade doubters with emotive language than it is to actually provide a reasoned argument for the unreasonable thing Starmer is about to do.

Coyle’s tweet is anti-Semitic. JVL argues that the purge of Labour Party members on grounds of anti-Semitism is false – from a Jewish standpoint. Coyle is therefore prejudiced against these Jews because they are Jews, which is the classic definition of anti-Semitism. And Starmer is perfectly happy with that, meaning that he is also an anti-Semite, notwithstanding his familial connections to Judaism.

Absolutely. The malignant and intolerant ultra-Zionist right of the party despise Jewish Voice for Labour because they stood up for Corbyn, and denounced the attacks on the Palestinians. The Israel lobby is particularly harsh on Jewish critics of Israel, because they visibly contradict the lie put into Israeli law by Netanyahu that Jewry and Israel are synonymous and the Jewish state has the support and affection of the world’s Jews. Hence, Jewish critics of Israel are smeared as self-hating, anti-Semites and reviled as ‘traitors’ and ‘kapos’ – the last a reference to the officials in the Warsaw ghetto to whom the Nazis delegated the responsibility of selecting the victims destined for Auschwitz and the other murder factories.

Coyle’s own comment, however, is extremely close to real Nazi anti-Semitism.

The Nazis railed against ‘Jewish Bolshevism’, considering that Communism and ‘Marxist’ socialism, along with capitalism, liberalism, democracy and trade unions were all part of the overarching Jewish conspiracy to enslave White gentiles. They also claimed that Jews were disproportionately represented in the Social Democrats, the German equivalent of the British Labour party, and these socialist Jews were working to reduce the number of ‘Aryan’ members of the Reichstag as part of their insidious conspiracy. While Coyle isn’t a Nazi, his comment contains many Nazi tropes. If it came from a Corbynite group, they would be accused of anti-Semitism and expelled. But Coyle is safe because of the partisan bias of the NEC and because his noxious comment is directed against socialist, genuinely anti-racist Jews.

But it is a form of anti-Semitism, and racism in the party against Blacks and Muslims has risen under Starmer, whose followers in the NEC were responsible for the racist bullying of Black MPs and activists such as Diane Abbott.

The four groups Starmer wants to purge are not a threat to the Labour party. Starmer and his supporters in the NEC are, and it is they who should be purged and expelled as Thatcherites and racists opposed to genuine Labour values and policies.

Janji Palsu Vietnam

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 20/07/2021 - 6:57am in

image/png iconDC437D9A-25CA-4BC1-ACF6-D2780EDC0E3C.png

A translation of our piece “The Broken Promises of Vietnam” into Bahasa Indonesia. Translated by Ameyuri Ringo.

Seperti yang diamati dengan cermat oleh Emma Goldman, tidak ada komunisme di Uni Soviet. Hal yang sama dapat dikatakan tentang Vietnam saat ini. Partai yang berkuasa—Partai Komunis Vietnam (CPV)—telah lama menyimpang dari jalan menuju komunisme.

Mèo Mun

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1905. The charming aesthetics of private ownership. The border line couldn&rsquo;t be any clearer....

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 19/07/2021 - 9:55am in

1905. The charming aesthetics of private ownership. The border line couldn’t be any clearer. Newtown.

Die gebrochenen Versprechen Vietnams

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/07/2021 - 7:13am in

image/png iconDC437D9A-25CA-4BC1-ACF6-D2780EDC0E3C.png

Eine Kritik vietnamesischer Anarchist*innen am sogenannten „Sozialismus“ in Vietnam.
A translation of our piece “The Broken Promises of Vietnam” into German. Translated by die plattform.

Wie Emma Goldman in ihren Werken bemerkte, gab es keinen Kommunismus in der UdSSR. Das selbe kann über das Vietnam der Gegenwart gesagt werden. Die Partei an der Macht, die Kommunistische Partei Vietnams (KPV) – hat den Pfad zum Kommunismus längst verlassen.

Mèo Mun

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