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Umar Rashid

1. Detail of “Post Physical Slavery American Negro Archetype Number 4. “Knowledge (born Kevin Bigsley). Radical leftist (in theory and in practice to a lesser extent.) The greatest ally to himself and visual champion of the proletariat. Born hero.” Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 36”x 48.5”. Photo by Ellen C. Caldwell, courtesy of artist and Reginald Ingraham Gallery.

2. Detail of “Post Physical Slavery American Negro Archetype Number 3. “’Marvelous’ Marvell T. Powers. Strong, god-fearing, hard-working, wage earner. Any government’s ideal citizen. Desires nothing except for guap and physical love. A purely tactile creature. A lifelong acolyte of the temporal condition. Born soldier.” Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 36”x 48.5”. Photo by Ellen C. Caldwell, courtesy of artist and Reginald Ingraham Gallery.

3. Detail of “Post Physical Slavery American Negro Archetype Number 2. George Washington Filmore Jackson. Brilliant scholar, jazz saxophonist, perpetual self-hater, master of the waltz Viennese, the kowtow, and the bow and scrape. His body is always tilted at a 45 degree angle to his imagined superiors. Born disappointment.” Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 36”x 48.5”. Photo by Ellen C. Caldwell, courtesy of artist and Reginald Ingraham Gallery. 

4. Detail of “Post Physical Slavery American Negro Archetype Number 1. Just ‘Toine Aka ‘Self Serve’ Informant and known traitor to the cause. Born snitch.” Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 36”x 48.5”. Photo by Ellen C. Caldwell, courtesy of artist and Reginald Ingraham Gallery.

At the time of creation the hammer and sickle stood for worker-peasant alliance, with the hammer a traditional symbol of the industrial proletariat (who dominated the proletariat of Russia), and the sickle a traditional symbol for the peasantry, but the meaning has since broadened to a globally recognisable symbol for MarxismMarxist parties, or socialist states.[1]

In the Soviet Union the hammer and sickle came to take on a gendered meaning, with the sickle coming to be associated with women and the hammer men

anonymous said:

so full communism is totalitarianism?

communism, or rather the good version of it, is about the dictatorship of the proletariat & the subsequent withering away of the state

valid reasons to criticise Kanye:

-his old work is better and parts of Yeezus were kinda strangely abstract in a not so good way
-rapping about going to jail for beating your partner and then getting out and being upset that she’s with another man is really fucked up
-maybe you’re not really into his flow
-his new haircut makes him look like a speed boost in a racing video game
-he has an absurd amount of money and is benefitting from capitalism while it crushes the proletariat


shitty reasons to criticise Kanye that are not okay at all:

-“he didn’t see that someone was in a wheelchair and told them to stand up!!”
-“rap isn’t even music!!”
-“he’s so full of himself omg”
-“he looks at Kim’s boobs sometimes in public!!” (this is some bullshit I actually heard someone complain about)
-“he’s so full of himself it’s obnoxious! He said that you should be honoured by his lateness, that he would even show up to this fake shit”

My photo the other day about Surplus Value got quite a lot of attention, so here’s another, this time about human nature.

We don’t have to be selfish- let’s create a society that promotes unity and community, not blatant self-interest!

Edit: To clarify, many of you have criticised this post for being reductionist. I wholeheartedly agree- the concept of human nature to this extreme, and the idea that we should build a society or base our actions on it are ridiculous assertions.
What I did want to highlight, however, is that humans, even under capitalism, are entirely capable of working together for a reason other than currency.
Essentially- capitalists can be beaten at their own game, but a better argument is to avoid the game entirely.

1. Search for affordable housing. 

Especially in urban areas, the waiting list for affordable housing can be a year or more. During that time, poor families either have to make do with substandard or dangerous housing, depend on the hospitality of relatives, or go homeless.
(Source: New York Times)

2. Try to make $133 worth of food last a whole month. 
That’s how much the average food stamp recipient gets each month. Imagine trying to eat well on $4.38 per day. It’s not easy, which is why many impoverished families resort to #3…
(Source: Kaiser Family Foundation)

3. Subsist on poor quality food. 
Not because they want to, but because they can’t afford high-quality, nutritious food. They’re trapped in a food system that subsidizes processed foods, making them artificially cheaper than natural food sources. So the poor are forced to eat bad food — if they’re lucky, that is…
(Sources: Washington Post; Journal of Nutrition, March 2008)

4. Skip a meal.
One in six Americans are food insecure. Which means (among other things) that they’re sometimes forced to go without eating.
(Sources: World Vision, US Department of Agriculture)

5. Work longer and harder than most of us.
While it’s popular to think people are poor because they’re lazy (which seems to be the whole point of Ramsey’s post), the poor actually work longer and harder than the rest of us. More than 80 percent of impoverished children have at least one parent who works; 60 percent have at least one parent who works full-time. Overall, the poor work longer hours than the so-called “job creators.”
(Source: Poverty and Learning, April 2008)

6. Go to bed 3 hours before their first job starts. 
Number 15 on Ramsey and Corley’s list was, “44% of [the] wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of [the] poor.” It may be true that most poor people don’t wake up three hours before work starts. But that could be because they’re more likely to work multiple jobs, in which case job #1 means they’re probably just getting to bed three hours before job #2 starts.
(Source: Poverty and Learning, April 2008)

7. Try to avoid getting beat up by someone they love. 
According to some estimates, half of all homeless women in America ran away to escape domestic violence.
(Source: National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009)

8. Put themselves in harm’s way, only to be kicked to the streets afterward. 
How else do you explain 67,000 63,000 homeless veterans?
(Source: US Department of Veterans Affairs, updated to reflect the most recent data)

9. Pay more than their fair share of taxes. 
Some conservative pundits and politicians like to think the poor don’t pay their fair share, that they are merely “takers.” While it’s true the poor don’t pay as much in federal income tax — usually because they don’t earn enough to qualify — they do pay sales tax, payroll tax, etc. In fact, the bottom 20% of earners pay TWICE as much in taxes (as a share of their income) as do the top 1%.
(Source: Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, January 2013)

10. Fall further behind. 
Even when poverty is the result of poor decision-making, often it’s someone else’s choices that make the difference. If you experience poverty as a child, you are 3-4 times less likely to graduate high school. If you spend your entire childhood in poverty, you are 5 times less likely to graduate. Which means your future has been all but decided for you.
(Sources: World Vision, Children’s Defense Fund, Annie E. Casey Foundation)

11. Raise kids who will be poor. 
A child’s future earnings are closely correlated to their parents’ earnings. In other words, economic mobility — the idea that you can claw your way out of poverty if you just try hard enough is, more often than not, a myth.
(Sources: OECD, Economic Policy Institute)

12. Vote less. 
And who can blame them? I would be less inclined to vote if I didn’t have easy access to the polls and if I were subjected to draconian voter ID laws that are sold to the public as necessary to suppress nonexistent voter fraud.
(Source: The Center for Voting and Democracy)

13. When they do vote… vote pretty much the same as the rest of us. 
Following their defeat in 2012, conservatives took solace by reasoning that they’d lost to a bunch of “takers,” including the poor, who voted for Democrats because they want free handouts from big government. The reality is a bit more complex. Only a third of low-income voters identify as Democrats, about the same for all Americans, including wealthy voters.
(Sources: NPRPew Research Center)

14. Live with chronic pain. 
Those earning less than $12,000 a year are twice as likely to report feeling physical pain on any given day.
(Source: Kaiser Health News)

15. Live shorter lives. 
There is a 10-14 year gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor. In recent years, poor people’s life expectancy has actually declined — in America, the wealthiest nation on the planet.
(Source: Health Affairs, 2012)

16. Use drugs and alcohol pretty much the same as (or less than) everyone else. 
Despite the common picture of inner city crack houses, drug use is pretty evenly spread across income groups. And rich people actually abuse alcohol more than the poor.
(Source: Poverty and Learning, April 2008)

17. Receive less in subsidized benefits than corporations. 
The US government spends around $60 billion on public housing and rental subsidies for low-income families, compared to more than $90 billion on corporate subsidies. Oil companies alone get around $70 billion. And that’s not counting the nearly $60 billion a year in tax breaks corporations enjoy by sheltering profits offshore. Or the $700 billion bailout banks got in 2008.
(Source: Think By Numbers)

18. Get themselves off welfare as soon as possible. 
Despite the odds, the vast majority of beneficiaries leave the welfare rolls within five years. Even in the absence of official welfare-to-work programming, most welfare recipients enroll in some form of vocational training. Why? Because they’re desperate to get off welfare.
(Source: US Department of Health and Human Services)

19. Have about the same number of children as everyone else. 
No, poor people do not have loads of children just so they can stay on welfare.
(Source: US Department of Health and Human Services)

20. Accomplish one single goal: stay alive.  
Poverty in America may not be as dire as poverty in other parts of the world, but many working poor families are nonetheless preoccupied with day-to-day survival. For them, life is not something to be enjoyed so much as endured.

It is worth noting in this respect that the original proletariat was not the blue-collar male working class. It was lower-class women in ancient society. The word “proletariat” comes to us from the Latin word for “offspring”, meaning those who were too poor to serve the state with anything but their wombs. Too deprived to contribute to economic life in any other way, these women produced labour power in the form of children. They had nothing to yield up but the fruit of their bodies. What society demanded from them was not production but reproduction.
—  Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right
Colombian Workers Sew Their Mouths Shut To Protest GM Firing Tactics

Four former GM plant workers in Colombia have sewn their lips together as part of an indefinite hunger strike in a final attempt to resolve the ongoing practice of debilitating workplace conditions and subsequent reactionary measures by the automaker. Organized by the association of workers and ex-workers (ASOTRECOL), the protest revolves around the plant’s practice of firing injured workers for injuries they received on the job, shortly after the company detected their injuries in its medical facilities. Workers’ injuries stem from repetitive movements, lifting excessive weights, harmful body postures, and an accelerated work pace on the assembly line.

On August 1, 2012, several workers from the plant will have already been peacefully protesting for one year in front of the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. Videos created by ASOTRECOL state that the practice has been occurring for up to 25 years, affecting thousands of workers. In addition, the plant has dismissed at least one worker for having organized an association defending workers’ rights and building awareness of the situation.

“To symbolize their commitment to this hunger strike and to the justice that they are seeking, they will be sewing their mouths closed and plan to carry out the hunger strike to the death,” ASOTRECOL announced in a statement.

Protesters are seeking justice in the form of compensation, medical care, reintegration into the company, or re-training for other jobs.

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