capitalist class

If you would go out of your way to argue how easy it is for capital to automate away jobs when labor costs become too high, then you should probably know that you’re giving all kinds of credibility to those of us who advocate fully-automated luxury communism. I mean, think about it: you’re arguing that so much of human labor ISN’T NECESSARY because said jobs can be done by machines, and yet you STILL want the bulk of humanity to pointlessly scrape by laboring for the capitalist class, receiving meager wages to buy the shit they helped generate in the first place. The above billboard is a THREAT. Let’s not mince words – that billboard is bourgeois propaganda designed to turn the working class against each other and against the broader goals of resource democratization. “If you fight for a basic livable wage, just know that you’re easily replaceable, peon!”

This is what leftists mean when they say that capitalism is an economic system filled to the brim with tensions and contradictions; it’s also what they mean when they say that capitalism inevitably produces its own gravediggers. Automation is one of those gravediggers, and it’s a major one at that. As more and more jobs become automated in the coming decades, the working class will face widespread dispossession, ramping up revolutionary class consciousness in the process. At that point, capitalism will either focus on generating more superfluous jobs for people to work or set about instituting a universal basic income – regardless, the point is to keep enough scraps flowing downward so that people don’t call for a broader system change. In this way, capitalism’s ruling class can maintain control over the wealth-producing means of production and imperialist capital accumulation can continue unrestrained.

For these reasons, “more jobs” and universal basic incomes are not enough. We need to democratize the broader social infrastructure and eliminate the profit system. If you recognize how possible it is to automate away human labor, then you should defenestrate yourself out of the Overton Window and use some political imagination – cut out the unnecessary jobs, automate all the labor you can, produce for human need rather than elite profit, and you end up with drastically reduced working hours and bountiful leisure time. This is the essence of fully-automated luxury communism – the natural conclusion of the conditions that capitalism set in motion.

Be wary of automation in the present climate, but always trace it back to the class struggle. Robots taking our jobs SHOULD be cause for celebration; why should we treat these potential liberators as harbingers of dispossession? Technological advancements are pushing us exponentially towards a de facto post-scarcity world, where everyone’s needs can be comfortably met alongside their desires for community and leisure and entertainment, and yet we’re held back by Empire’s insistence on keeping the means of production hoarded under the command of a superfluous ruling class. As long as we are divided into capitalists and workers, humanity will never know full liberation.

The Red Sponge: Spongebob’s Role in Enforcing an Oppressive, Capitalistic Society

Every millennial who grew up watching “Spongebob Squarepants” has come to the same horrifying conclusion: you have turned into Squidward. No matter how buoyant, how cheerful, how optimistic you were as a child, there comes a point where you begin to identify with Squidward more than any other character in the show.

You could explain this phenomenon with the disillusionment and cynicism of growing up, or the burdens of being a teenager in a post-John Hughes society. There is, however, an even simpler answer. Spongebob is an allegory for Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto. The show revolves around Spongebob, the hardworking proletariat, accepting a low-level fry cook job and enduring Mr. Krabs’ exploitation with a grin on his face.

The face of compliance

It’s not hard to draw the parallels between Mr. Krabs and the bourgeoisie. He’s a cheapskate who underpays and overworks his employees for his own personal gain. Mr. Krabs famously ripped off his own arms (claws?) to retrieve a dime that fell down the drain. He took his workers on a boating trip to retrieve his millionth dollar from the jaws of a giant clam. He has zero regard for his employees’ safety and almost routinely puts them in danger for his own benefit.  Mr. Krabs’ daughter, Pearl is an extension of the bourgeoisie archetype. She’s vain, self-centered, and largely unaware of others’ misfortune. She lives in a bubble, obsessed with clothes, makeup, and celebrities — because she has the leisure for such frivolities.

Remember when Pearl gentrified The Krusty Krab

Speaking of living in a bubble, Sandy is not exempt from analysis. Sandy is quite literally shielded away from the rest of the world. She represents the intellectual elite, using her privilege and higher education to jeopardize working class jobs and further the industrial revolution. Her endeavors into space mirror the Cold War-era “Space Race,” capitalism versus communism. Her voyage ends on the moon, just like the U.S.’s did. On top of her scientific record, Sandy is independent and self-sufficient, exemplifying capitalistic ideals of individualism.

If Sandy is the intellectual elite, then Patrick Star is just the opposite. Patrick represents the bourgeois caricature of the working class that capitalists want you to buy into. He is ignorant, undereducated, and lazy. He lives under a rock, likely because he can’t afford anything else — although he doesn’t seem to mind. Patrick appears to deserve his poverty because he does nothing but sleep, yet he also seems at peace with his lot. This idea of the happy, unproductive bum simultaneously vilifies and justifies the proletariat. “See, they’re poor because they just don’t work hard enough! In fact, they like being poor!” Patrick Star is arguably one of the most offensive cartoon depictions of this generation.

Blatant vilification of blue-collar workers

Spongebob, on the other hand, represents the ideal proletariat. Spongebob is hardworking, humble, and endlessly optimistic. He’s a lot like us before we realized the inherent evils of a capitalistic society. Day in and day out, Spongebob gleefully works a minimum-wage job flipping burgers with no hope of promotion. He’s a cog in Mr. Krabs’ greasy machine, but he doesn’t even realize it. He just continues to skip to work every day, chanting “I’m ready!”. Ready for what, Spongebob? Ready for the bourgeoisie Kool-aid he’s been absorbing through his poriferous sponge body.

Spongebob is the ideal worker, and as children, we aspired to be just like him. The very first episode of Spongebob showed him getting his first job as fry cook. According to the show, the very best achievement you could receive is being gainfully employed. Not only employed, but tirelessly productive and efficient to maximize your manager’s profits. Spongebob famously served busloads of anchovies at a never-before-seen pace. It wasn’t enough that Spongebob could perform his job well; he had to go above and beyond his duty in order to seem valuable. These are the principles we instilled in the youth of today. What went wrong?

Back, finally, to Squidward. Squidward isn’t like Spongebob or Patrick. He isn’t satisfied in his low-level employment. What Squidward seeks is artistic satisfaction and world renown. He covets the success of his employer without achieving the work ethic necessary for someone of his class to ascend. Squidward has realized that the cards have been stacked against him at every turn, and resigns himself bitterly to the clutches of capitalism. If Squidward were less jaded, he could be the catalyst to prompt full-scale class warfare, perhaps ending in a communist utopia. Unfortunately, Squidward’s defeatist personality and egoism prevents him from implementing social change.

Mfw I realized I will never dismantle oppressive power structures that infiltrate our economic landscape

That is why we are all Squidward. We’ve uncovered the limits of capitalism and realized that hard work may not always pay off. We’ve begun to notice the oppressive economic and social structure that infiltrates our everyday life. We yearn for something higher, but feel that change is out of our reach. We become bitter, combative, self-deprecative, and cynical. There’s a reason Squidward is the unhappiest character on “Spongebob.” Not only for faults of his own, but for his own rotten luck. The show subliminally punishes Squidward for his views, hoping to prod viewers back towards Spongebob’s blithe, unfounded optimism.

Their efforts were to no avail. Millions of millennials are finding themselves disillusioned, realizing all along that Squidward was the reasonable one. He had a right to protest Mr. Krabs’ vile working conditions, and his sarcasm was merely a coping mechanism for the injustices placed against him. Squidward is the dissatisfied proletariat, and we identify with him more than ever. The difference is, we have the energy and collective power to succeed where he could not. Together, we can rise up and defeat the bourgeoisie, establishing an egalitarian society that does not prey on the lower classes. In the words of Spongebob, “I’m ready.” Are you?

anonymous asked:

just curious, why all the hate for mcgraw hill textbooks?

theyre fuck awful.

death to mcgraw.

mcgraw-hill has a oligopoly on textbooks used by public school systems in the usa, and even though there are FAR MORE SUPERIOR BOOKS OUT THERE FOR LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE FIELD … mcgraw-hill has that oligopoly, 8) so everyone uses their piss poor excuse for educational material.

they literally beat out ACTUALLY DECENT MATERIAL because they’re rich lmao that’s p. much the reason. they crush anyone else’s chances at actually educating children with their capitalist greed.

congress on tumblr

paul ryan: interesting how all of you are now criticizing my healthcare proposal instead of obama’s despite the ACA having problems…just saying #vague #dont rb

bernie sanders: omg…just admit u hate the working class lmao. #capitalist parasites

paul ryan: i have done…so much..to help the working class. like you assume facts about me from one single post.

bernie sanders: i have receipts on your tax plan that benefits the rich though…

paul ryan (crytyping): ii litereally madde thtatt prroposal wheenn i was havigng a brekeajdown?? ggood tto see u dodnjt ccare abtt politiciaans wit h anxietyy :) #youre fuckigng blocked #im literally working on a helsthcare pproposal right now

This was made by a capitalist and it’s really illustrative of how they conceive of the world, how they lack basic human empathy, how they view freedom in a particularly historical way rooted to the current economic system, etc.

Never does it occur to them that the common inheritance ought to be controlled directly and democratically by the people it impacts; that rationing according to need is a viable option; that perhaps a small minority of property-owners price-gouging people who need necessities is a shitty basis to build society upon.

“Freedom” to them means having a society where elites can hoard whole warehouses of goods, defended by an outside police force, while the majority is forced to scrape by with little to no control over their destiny. This historical view of “freedom” is fundamentally capitalist; when the class system falls, this liberal “freedom”, too, will disappear to the wastebin of history – no different from the feudal era of “honor” and “fealty”.

Liberalism is the dominant ideology of the capitalist mode of production, and here are the four ways in which it is most often expressed. Notice that all of these “opposing” expressions support capitalism and private property rights (the top-down ownership of collectively-used utilities and resources by capitalists, landlords, and rentiers). What do George Bush, Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders all have in common? They’re all liberals – they all champion an ideology that supports the status quo relations of society, with slight variations to give the illusion of diametric opposition. When push comes to shove, they support capitalist interests first and foremost.

The difference between laissez-faire capitalism and state-interventionist capitalism is, to quote Eugene Debs, merely a disagreement over the spoils and not over the fundamental ideological principles – ultimately the capitalist class is still in charge and society is still structured with their interests and goals in mind. (And it’s worth mentioning that all of these forms of liberalism are state-interventionist to the extent that capitalist class interests need to be protected – imperialist foreign policy and tax breaks and bailouts for the rich are enacted by all variations of liberalism because these policies aid capital accumulation, the engine that keeps the system going.) Liberalism is irrevocably tied to capitalism, ideologically and materially.

I suppose it’s important to acknowledge that there are many right-wing libertarians who aren’t raging ultra-nationalists underneath a thin veneer of liberty rhetoric. I remember back several years ago, when I fell into the right-lib camp, I considered myself a “cosmotarian” – Reason Magazine’s term for someone who was “culturally-liberal and fiscally-conservative”. I suppose these “cosmotarian” types, alongside other “might-as-well-be-a-liberal” types, probably don’t have a hyper-reactionary bootlicker lurking just beneath the surface, and I’m willing to give them that benefit of the doubt. However, I still think “cosmotarians” and other Propertarian-Lite™ types (”socially-liberal, fiscally-conservative”) are intensely naive to the ramifications of their ideology. 

The preferred economic setup will usually have the biggest sway in the social makeup of a society. Top-down economic arrangements are often “socially libertarian” when the dominant class’s power isn’t threatened. Smoke some weed, have a gender-neutral marriage, carry a gun, allow for a nominally censorship-free press, etc – as long as these all take place on the terms set by the dominant class, they can be “peacefully” reconciled into the capitalist status quo. Once dominant class interests are materially threatened by strikes, occupations, direct action, mutual aid, dual power, and cross-racial solidarity, however….then the libertarian pretense goes out the window. A militarized police state and partially-legitimized right-wing militias are the agents who will “restore law and order” when the “degenerate leftists” push for “chaos and depravity”. The right-libertarians who recognize this and openly embrace it are the ones who start dabbling in ultra-nationalism and fascism, the ones who see the class privileges of property and whiteness slipping out of their fingers. Anti-capitalist, anti-racist movements challenge the class structure’s legitimacy and therefore “require” a swift reaction from the powers that be. 

Because “cosmotarians” lack a class analysis of any sort, their perspective is limited to celebrations of “personal freedoms” – a convenience store is allowed to sell gallon-sized jugs of soda, a sales tax is lowered by 4%, an increased minimum wage proposal is struck down, regulations on cars are cut back, etc. At no point does it occur to them that there are dominant class interests at play and that the state manifests itself mostly in accordance with these interests. Thrust the moral dilemma of right-libertarianism-turned-fascism onto them and I do believe many of them might be receptive to some class struggle outlook, but just as many of them will find some circular justification for the rising police state they’re witnessing – ultimately similar to other liberals. 

TLDR: Not all right-libertarian types are secretly fascists, but most of those who aren’t secretly fascists are also intensely naive to the ramifications of their ideology and the natural functioning of the capitalist class system.

russianspacegeckosexparty  asked:

Do you mind helping elaborate why/how the concept(s) of landlords, "bosses" and "full-time jobs" would become obsolete in a solarpunk society? I'm having trouble putting it into a concise framework

*cracks knuckles*

So, most of this boils down to “Because solarpunk is anticapitalist,” but the precise reason why that’s the answer for each of these categories is different.

Full Time Jobs

Starting with Full Time Jobs, because that’s easy: They’re already obsolete. Almost every job is designed to wind up being more work than it needs to be. Office workers tend only to work about 3 out of the 8 hours they spend at their desk every day. Most aspects of the built environment are made far more fragile than necessary, sustaining industries to replace them more often. Between self-driving vehicles (already better than human drivers & only improving) and rapidly improving mechanisms of generalized manufacture (3D printers, laser cutters, maker spaces) the transportation industry – which is something like 30 percent of ALL the jobs – is on borrowed time.

Right now, though, our whole economic system is organized around the idea that people prove their right to basic resources by performing labor for the benefit of somebody who already has a lot of capital. Unemployment is creeping up, and it’s not likely to stop in any meaningful way, but the capitalist class do have an interest in making sure there are enough jobs: people with too little material support and too much free time start revolutions.

If our society gave people resources to survive not in exchange for their labor for a capitalist, but as a basic consideration for their right to live in relative comfort, massive segments of the society’s work force would go from resisting methods for reducing their labor (which currently compromises their ability to eat food and sleep under a roof) to actively pursuing them.

People would still work, because work is necessary to do things like make sure food shows up and the internet doesn’t shut off and there will be people who want those things enough for themselves and those they care about to do that work. And a lot of people would find work just doing what they enjoy doing, because when you aren’t wiped out from spending a third of your life per week working (or trying to convincingly pretend to work) it gets to a point where sitting still until it’s time to fall asleep is really boring.

“Full time” work under an ideal outcome of solarpunk would be working as much as you want to contribute, and as a group until the task is done. The idea that everyone should be arranging to spend about half their waking time doing some kind of job-shaped thing will evaporate.

Bosses

People will explore a huge diversity of ways to organize the completion of complex projects in a system such as the one I just described. Some of those will probably resemble bosses. But in a society where your needs are provided for you on the basis that you’re a person and you deserve to be extended basic human rights, then you can always walk away. The power that a boss leverages in this world – the power to withhold the means by which you feed yourself – doesn’t exist under these conditions, so they have no coercive leverage. Ideally the only reason someone would ever be “in charge” of a project is that the people involved all agree that that person is the best at coordinating labor and is the most competent to tell folx what to do for that project.

But their status as a project leader, and your status as a ‘subordinate’ (for lack of a better term), is limited to that project and genuinely subject to both of your consent.

And that’s only in one of the less interesting ways of organizing a complicated project: there are a lot of potential structures that might not even admit to analogy to a capitalist labor hierarchy.

Landlords

Listen: Fuck landlords. Come the revolution landlords should be one of the first groups against the wall. Anyone who would keep a shelter empty while people sleep on the streets just because they want to leverage it to extort capital is a monster. If you own property you don’t live in it should be seized. If you resist you should be shot. Fuck landlords.

I hope that helped.

EDIT: it was brought to my attention that this came across as hostile to people who are leveraging the assets they have in the form of property to survive capitalism. To clarify, I mean specifically landlords who use their position to build a growing base of income, particularly over large properties. If you’re doing what you have to do to survive with the assets you have, I don’t think you should be shot.

  • leftists: we demand a higher minimum wage so that some of the burden of poverty can be lifted from the shoulders of the working class
  • libertarian capitalist nerd: lol look forward to machines replacing your jobs then
  • leftists: rad bro, we just wanted a higher minimum wage but we ended up with machines replacing menial jobs and fully-automated socialism that can reduce the work week and actively meet human needs
  • libertarian capitalist nerd: hey wh--
  • leftists: *start seizing the means of production*
  • libertarian capitalist nerd: hey wait stop no
  • leftists: *continue seizing the means of production*
  • libertarian capitalist nerd: what have i done