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The very stupid, class warfare,  fixed-pie progressive message of Elysium.

"The fallacy that many people blunder into is that economics is a zero sum game.  This is the idea that there is a finite, fixed amount of wealth to go around. I can only grow wealthy at your expense or vice versa.  If I own a Corvette, you can only own a jalopy. If I get a top hat, you get polio."

If you, like me, are a poor working class person...

…capitalism intends to kill us.

Violence is our only option.

This is life or death.

I can barely afford the insulin that keeps me alive. I have to take precious time off work when I have an infection so bad I can hardly walk (and walking is my way to work). This system makes survival difficult because capitalism rejoices in our suffering. It rejoices in our slow demise.

Fuck capitalism.

Let me tell you a little story about capitalism.

One day a successful sandwich shop decided they wanted to pay $6 per hour for a teenager to bike around Philadelphia making deliveries “freaky fast.” The person would make roughly $36 per day before taxes and have to battle some of the most dangerous traffic exposed in order to do so. Now of course, they try to excuse this low wage because the person would make a few extra dollars per day on tips, probably just enough to break even from taxes and they also get a discount on sandwiches. Personally, I think this company should be nominated for sainthood because they really do care about their employees (Sarcasm). This should honestly be illegal. You are willing to put a teenager on a bike, risking their health for $6 per hour? How can companies be so greedy and reckless?

I don’t care what job you have, whether it is pushing a button all day, cleaning, flipping burgers or taking out the trash, you should at least be making enough to pay rent on a small apartment, pay for basic utilities, and afford food and essentials. This is why my generation is having such a hard time. This is not 1982 where $6 could do a little for yourself. It is impossible to get by on something like that. And before someone comments saying that it is because these jobs are not meant for people to live on, with our current economy, these are the jobs people have to take to get by. Times have changed, the average McDonald’s worker is now 29… Not because that is a fun career that people look forward to, but because that is how desperate people are now. College graduates and military veterans cannot find work, you think everyone else can be picky? It is time for livable wage or a mandatory minimum income. America wants to act like it is better than the rest of the world? All you have to do is walk through a neighbourhood in North Philly to see that rags to riches is determined by rare opportunities and chances, not hard work and a big heart. Trickle down economics is a lie to keep those in poverty quietly standing in line. Capitalism is literally the rich capitalizing on the poor because the poor are willing to believe they will one day have it all. The poor people of this country need to rise up because the wealthy throwing down a few scraps is not opportunity, it is oppression.

They decided that capitalism and the market was about the right to have the cheapest possible goods. That is what competition meant. This is a lie. No capitalist philosopher ever said that. As you bring the prices down below the capacity to produce them in a middle-class country you commit suicide. As you commit suicide you have to ask, ‘How do we run this place?’ And you have to run it using these other methods—bread and circuses, armies, police and prisons.

Corporate “Give Back” weeks are such as facade. Exploit your communities and the planet for 51 weeks out of the year, “give back” for one, but not really because all “giving back” with these multinationals is meant only to paint a rosy picture of the “good” exploiters versus the “bad” exploiters, to create positive social capital with the intent of obfuscating destructive social and ecological footprints.

Substantively speaking, a few hundred affluent people flooding a community for a week does not constitute any sort of tangible solidarity WITH the community. More often than not it creates the work of engaging a bunch of clueless fuckwit “volunteers” who want to get out of the office for a day rather than working to dismantle oppression.

To quote Eduardo Galeano, “I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.” Corporations are never interested in learning beyond the ability to better, more efficiently exploit, while making us love them for it.

If we in the pro-choice movement don’t start paying serious attention to the ways in which our own practices contribute to the dehumanization of people with disabilities, we can’t keep claiming to operate under a reproductive justice framework at all.

… I have a problem with the idea that certain fetuses are more available for abortion because of their apparently disabled futures. When people who aren’t usually pro-choice (like most Texas legislators) start making exceptions for fetuses with “abnormalities” in the same way that feminists do, I get nervous. I have to conclude that the rhetorical choice to justify abortion this way sacrifices the humanity of all people with disabilities on the altar of feminism.

… At the same time, as a young, queer, poor mother of color who has experienced disabilities and sometimes still does, I understand the fear of giving birth to a baby with disabilities. It is incredibly difficult to raise children with disabilities in a neoliberal, capitalist society that creates obstructions to accessibility for them and those who support them. I can never condemn anyone who has been in the position of having to make that decision.

So I’m not interested in criticizing individual choices. Rather, I’m calling attention to the (supposedly) feminist discourse that reproduces stereotypes about people with disabilities, in turn reinforcing the barriers to rights they already confront. My focus is on those who shape the debate: media outlets, organizations, corporations, and people who are trying to change the culture around abortion. Because if we’re truly interested in crafting a just movement, we have to stop emphasizing narratives that implicitly encourage the abortions of fetuses with disabilities.

All I ask is that feminists acknowledge the systemic pressures felt by pregnant people whose fetuses have been diagnosed with a disability. I want to open up space for individuals to come forward and talk about their abortions without censorship. But if we don’t encourage a variety of narratives, we are contributing to the idea that certain abortions are justified and others aren’t. Until feminists begin to openly recognize and work against this argument, people with disabilities and those who care about them will continue to be alienated by pro-choice rhetoric. If feminists are going to claim to use a reproductive justice lens, we had better stop marginalizing the very people whose lives we’re claiming to save.

Imperialism, Land Grabs, and Patriarchy

Recently a non-profit organization called GRAIN published a rather extensive report on global food production that offers a wealth of data and insights on how imperialist agribusiness and it’s concomitant land appropriation practices is dramatically changing patterns of agriculture production.

The report notes that:

  • Small-scale farms and family farms produce the majority of the food supply particularly in Third World countries. Although variations exist between countries, the report shows that overall, the role of small farmers is vital to feeding the global population.
  • Even with the greater resources and better land available to them, report finds that large-scale industrial farms actually have lower technical efficiency and lower overall production than small-scale farms. Not only are small-scale farms more productive, they are also more environmentally sustainable, contribute more to local economies, and provide more employment opportunities to local population than industrial commodity farms. In fact, the report finds that much of the lower productivity of large industrial farms is attributable to “low levels of employment used on big farms in order to maximise return on investment”. 
  • Despite the important role of small farmers in global food production, the report finds that massive land grabs by corporate agribusinesses from advanced capitalist countries is threatening the future of small farmers. Small farmers only own about 25 percent of the global farmland and that percentage is shrinking rapidly. In 30 countries for which there was sufficient data the report finds that the situation is far worse with a staggering 70 percent of all farms being concentrated on less than 10 percent of farmland. A key factor in the reduction of land available to small farmers according to the report is the huge expansion in industrial commodity farms. (Note: The report finds that particularly in Eastern Europe the concentration of land in the hands of a few private enterprises occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall)

One might wonder how does this phenomenon particularly impact womyn? The report notes in detail the following:

"In non-industrialised countries 60 to 80% of the food is produced by women. In Ghana and Madagascar, women make up about 15% of farm holders, but provide 52% of the family labour force and constitute around 48% of paid workers. In Cambodia, just 20% of agricultural land holders are women, but they provide 47% of the paid agricultural force and almost 70% of the labour force on family farms. In the Republic of the Congo, women provide 64% of all agricultural labour and are responsible for around 70% of food production. In Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, they are 53% of the active population in agriculture. There is very little data on the evolution of the contribution of women to agriculture, but their share would likely be growing, since migration is resulting in mostly women and girls picking up the workload of those who leave.

According to [Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN], fewer than 2% of landholders worldwide are women, but figures vary widely. There is broad consensus, however, that even where land is registered as family or joint property between men and women, men still enjoy much wider powers over it than do women. For example, a common situation is that men can make decisions about the land on behalf of themselves and their spouses, but women cannot. Another impediment is that in giving credit, governments and banks require women to present some form of authorisation from their husbands or fathers, while men encounter no such barrier. It is no surprise, then, that available data show that only 10% of agricultural loans go to women.

Additionally, inheritance laws and customs often work against women. Males tend to have priority or outright exclusivity in the inheritance of land. In many countries, women can never gain legal control over land, with authority passing to their sons if they are widowed for example. The data above support the contention that women are the main food producers on the planet, although their contribution remains ignored, marginalised, and discriminated against.”

The report overall indicates that the rapid increase of industrial commodity farming driven by the interests of global capital is placing hundreds of millions of people engaged in small-scale farming at risk of losing their entire livelihood. This process has disastrous implications for both men and womyn in the global peripheries. Yet the patriarchal relations of production that severely limit and restrict womyn’s ownership of land and property, places womyn in an especially precarious situation. Womyn not only currently bear the burden of producing most of the world’s agriculture under conditions of super-exploitation, but due to their lack of control over the lands they labor on, they have little to no formal power to resist (or even negotiate) the massive land appropriation by the agribusiness industry.

The findings of the report are a crucial reminder of how the exploitation and oppression of womyn from oppressed nations often serves as the backbone of capitalist-imperialism. These womyn, more than anyone, have the most irreconcilable antagonism to the interest of global capital and the most to gain from the overthrow of patriarchy and the entire imperialist system. Therefore, revolutionary proletarian feminists must continue to expose the fundamentally patriarchal character of imperialism and maintain the indissoluble link between womyn’s liberation and the class struggle for communism.

If you haven’t been following the recent Amazon news: Back in May a dispute between Amazon and Hachette, a major publishing house, broke out into open commercial warfare. Amazon had been demanding a larger cut of the price of Hachette books it sells; when Hachette balked, Amazon began disrupting the publisher’s sales. Hachette books weren’t banned outright from Amazon’s site, but Amazon began delaying their delivery, raising their prices, and/or steering customers to other publishers.

You might be tempted to say that this is just business — no different from Standard Oil, back in the days before it was broken up, refusing to ship oil via railroads that refused to grant it special discounts. But that is, of course, the point: The robber baron era ended when we as a nation decided that some business tactics were out of line. And the question is whether we want to go back on that decision.

Does Amazon really have robber-baron-type market power? When it comes to books, definitely. Amazon overwhelmingly dominates online book sales, with a market share comparable to Standard Oil’s share of the refined oil market when it was broken up in 1911. Even if you look at total book sales, Amazon is by far the largest player.

So far Amazon has not tried to exploit consumers. In fact, it has systematically kept prices low, to reinforce its dominance. What it has done, instead, is use its market power to put a squeeze on publishers, in effect driving down the prices it pays for books — hence the fight with Hachette. In economics jargon, Amazon is not, at least so far, acting like a monopolist, a dominant seller with the power to raise prices. Instead, it is acting as a monopsonist, a dominant buyer with the power to push prices down.

And on that front its power is really immense — in fact, even greater than the market share numbers indicate. Book sales depend crucially on buzz and word of mouth (which is why authors are often sent on grueling book tours); you buy a book because you’ve heard about it, because other people are reading it, because it’s a topic of conversation, because it’s made the best-seller list. And what Amazon possesses is the power to kill the buzz. It’s definitely possible, with some extra effort, to buy a book you’ve heard about even if Amazon doesn’t carry it — but if Amazon doesn’t carry that book, you’re much less likely to hear about it in the first place.

There is the undeniable fact that black people, even black youth, are treated systematically different in this country. We can no longer afford for this truth to be ignored. The cost of this continued ignorance comes at the cost of more black lives. This is a truth that is unacceptable in any society that wants to claim to be post-anything.

With reporter Gary Webb back in the spotlight, the thing that is missing from these headlines is what the black community has always known – that the CIA was flooding black communities with crack cocaine. This served to benefit the US in two ways: it 1. allowed for the US to fund the Nicaraguan Contras without directly linking themselves, and 2. ), in relation to this article, they were able to interrupt the black liberation movement of the 60s-70s by criminalizing the black community, disrupting black advancement and stealing black wealth. Reaganomics and these racist policies was a great tactic that continues to support white supremacy and capitalism over black Americans.

In 2007 we saw the largest theft of black wealth. Which only increased the systematic discrepancies between the loss of white homes and those who were black. It has been revealed that banks such as Wells Fargo purposely targeted black homeowners for their sub-prime loans. Was this on accident, or instead a calculated plot by financial institutions with the complicity of the US government to make sure that White Supremacy remains untouched? Both the US government and its institutions were built on white supremacy and anti-blackness. They have been colluding since the inception of this country to ensure that their empire remains intact.

With an unending threat on black lives – and the Christian State of White Supremacy still at large (read here for more on CSWS) – liberalism should be seen as much of a threat to black liberation as the white supremacist American justice system.  The dominant narrative of historical black resistance has been to use liberal tactics such as advocating for change through voting, reform and civil disobedience. These tactics are not only ineffectual but, given the complexity and structural corruption inherent in our system, are also intentionally complicit in our oppression.

Liberalism is used to pacify any attempts at disrupting and changing the system, because in fact liberalism benefits from that said system. If you look at the events in Ferguson, the power structure made many attempts to co-opt energy that was inspired by the killing of Mike Brown and many other killings of black people by the hands of the law. With the immediate condemning of the few acts of property destruction that took place, the “rioters” were then met by outside pacifiers, looking to quickly rebrand and attempt to gain control on the black youth lead revolt. You could see that as recent as Ferguson October ideological clashes occurred between the youth and the self appointed black leadership. The ones who are so necessary for white liberals, who are eagerly trying to figure out how to control black rage, or at least help redirect its anger to something more positive and less threatening to their way of life. On Twitter you could see the split between the weekend protesters and those who had consistently been on the ground.

 Here in Los Angeles, soon after the first spark of Ferguson hit the ground, Ezell Ford a 24-year-old black male was murdered by LAPD. A week later white liberal activists had quickly organized an event. The first event took place in front of the LA police headquarters and was full of erasure of black struggle, with white people chanting, “we are all Mike Brown” and “hands up, don’t shoot”.

The state has many tactics – liberalism and co-optation are some of them. Hierarchical revolutionaries are another. It is important that black resistance be fought in a horizontal way. The idea of leadership and false prophets should be deconstructed, and collectively shunned from uprisings. Whether that may be the head of the NAACP, the New Panthers, or some white liberal activist organization that claim they want to help fight in black struggle. Liberalism and those who serve to protect it only work in management positions. They cannot be seen as allies, but as compromised people who have a vested interest in maintaining that same structure that is used to terrorize, dehumanize, and execute us with impunity. This is done so with every liberal chant for peace and chants for non-violence.

The ones who have the means to the shotgun should not be organizing the ones who don’t even have access to a blade.

Whether in the West or in the oppressed countries, women cannot be considered a “marginalised” or incidental factor in the class struggle. More and more it is clear that they are very much concentrated at the centre of the process of exploitation and oppression. And the inevitable corollary of this is that women are and will increasingly be at the centre of the opposition to the system of imperialism and reaction.

The class enemy has understood very clearly the revolutionary potential of women and has taken significant steps not only to try to crush it, but also to try to channel it in such a way as to preserve and protect the world imperialist system. For example, the imperialists, who back the most evil and barbaric reactionaries, now shed crocodile tears for the plight of women. They wage wars to preserve the sheikhs of the Gulf (and their right to restore their harems, like in Kuwait after the Gulf War) and aid regimes like El Salvador whose death squads brutally raped and murdered Catholic nuns in 1980 (recently revealed to have been known to top US officials in that country) and the Taliban of Afghanistan, while they also direct their legions of NGOs (so-called non-governmental organisations) to carry out projects among women, including the rural and poor women in third world countries.

However laudable the motivation of some of the fieldworkers in such projects might be, these programmes fit into an overall plan of the imperialists themselves to harness the discontent of women away from revolutionary struggle and into reformist schemes and illusions of greater equality for them. But the fact that the imperialists have directed so much of the attention of the NGOs towards these strata is another indication of the important task of fighting for the allegiance of women.

anonymous said:

Why is capitalism bad ?

this will hopefully be of some use, also this should help

you should look into marxist political economy; exploitation, surplus labor and surplus value, anarchy of production, imperialism, etc.

capitalism was historically progressive once, but that time is long gone. 

one of my fave bits of mom* logic is when she says “I can’t wait to talk to you about [gender, capitalism, racism, etc] in twenty years. You’re going to laugh at yourself. In twenty years you’ll have better things to worry about” like if anything in 20 yrs I’ll have my sources memorized and my arguments supported by 2 more decades of structural violence

* my mom, not all moms

As Foucault explained in The Birth of Biopolitics (2008), the rise of neoliberalism—his use of the noun—marked a radical transformation: whereas before, the state, among its various bureaucratic operations, “monitored” the workings of the economy, its “organizing principle” is now the market. Government actually has become business. And nation-states have become holding companies in and for themselves. In the upshot, the categorical distinction between politics and economics, that classical liberal fiction, is largely erased. Effective governance, in turn, is measured with reference to asset management, to the attraction of enterprise, to the facilitation of the entrepreneurial activities of the citizen as homo economicus, and to the capacity to foster the accumulation—but not the redistribution—of wealth. Under these conditions, heads of state begin to resemble, and often actually are, CEOs who treat the population as a body of shareholders… Once upon a time, antineoliberal theory posited an opposition between the state and the free market, arguing that the antidote to the latter lay in the active intervention of the former. But the opposition is false, just another piece of the detritus of the modern history of capital. As states become mega-corporations (Kremlin, Inc.; Britain, PLC; South Africa, Pty Ltd.; Dubai, Inc.)—all of them, incidentally, branded and legally incorporated—they become inextricably part of the workings of the market and, hence, no longer an “outside,” an antidote, or an antithesis from which to rethink or reconstruct “the neoliberal paradigm.” This, in part, is why government is increasingly reduced to an exercise in the technical management of capital, why ideologically founded politics appear dead, replaced by the politics of interest and entitlement and identity—three counterpoints of a single triangle. And this is why the capillaries of neoliberal governance seem so firmly entrenched in the cartography of our everyday lives, there to remain for the foreseeable future—to the degree that any future is foreseeable.

—  John Comaroff, The End of Neoliberalism? What is Left of the Left

This is a really great, concise reading of Foucault/why he’s important for critiques of 21st century capitalism (via rhizombie)

People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.
—  Jason Read
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