St. Cristophe and the Hyades - A South American island country consisting of St. Cristophe (the main archipelago) and the Hyades (the surrounding sparsely inhabited islands). They were a UK colony up until 1957 when they won their independence by non-violent means. UK officials were constantly given incorrect coordinates as to the location of the country and this fooled them long enough for the people to write an official declaration of independence while imprisoning officials already on the Island. The UK silently pulled out of the country without any fuss as they didn’t want anyone talking about what an international embarrassment they are.
Tasilimo! - The only country left with an exclamation point in its name, Tasilimo! is located off the coast of New Zealand. Tasilimo! has a small population of 549, but has one of the most linguistically diverse populations in the world. All 549 inhabitant of Tasilimo speak their own language, and this has caused longstanding tension between the inhabitants. At the moment, Tasilimo! is going through a brutal civil war between each citizen in the country. Peace talks have largely failed because nobody can tell what the fuck anyone is saying.
Shadow Albania - Shadow Albania is located in the Balkan Peninsula right next to Albania. The country is unique in that it’s the only country that based its border on another country. It has the same shape as vanilla Albania, but it roughly half the size. Shadow Albania has very similar historical origins as Albania, yet there is tension between the two countries as Shadow Albania considers itself “darker, edgier, and more mature” than vanilla Albania, going so far as to ban immigration from vanilla Albania as they consider Albanians to be “motherfuckers”. Shadow Albania still subscribes to a version of extreme Hoxhaism, and the country’s geological makeup has all but been destroyed to make room for bunkers. So much of Shadow Albania’s GDP goes towards building bunkers that its economy is failing, yet it is perhaps the most safe country to be in, in the case of nuclear war.
Ohio - Sometimes mistakenly thought to be an American state, Ohio won its Independence in 1992 when its entire human populace all but disappeared, only to be replaced with odd mollusk like creatures. Ohio is the only country in the world with a population of zero. Its capital is Cleveland, a bizarre desolate wasteland made up mostly of row houses and geological disappointment. Its national motto is “I wish I was anywhere, but Ohio” and its main exports are transients and nuclear waste.
For the same reasons that profit is theft – a property owner (whether it be a capitalist or a landlord) hierarchically controls a necessary utility that masses of people need to access for survival. Workers have no choice but to work beneath bosses; workers generate all the goods but the grand majority of their labor product goes to the boss by virtue of their ownership of the property. Tenants have no choice but to rent out housing beneath landlords; tenants are workers who already have major chunks of their labor product taken from them by their bosses, and then they need to give up more of their paychecks to landlords who demand rent by virtue of their ownership of the property. In short, capitalists and landlords accumulate wealth through their property ownership, not through any tangible labor that benefits society. In the grand scheme of things, society would be better off without bosses or landlords, because it could finally introduce a scenario where the actual people affected by social realities can control those social realities – workers democratically control their workplaces without bosses hierarchically owning the property and deciding what to do with the produced material surplus, and tenants democratically control their housing complexes without landlords hierarchically owning the property and demanding rent for their benefit.
There’s a common argument among right-wingers that taxation is theft in this same way. While I ultimately do agree that taxation is theft in a certain capacity, there is a major difference: when taxation works ideally, it is in service to the infrastructure of a community and benefits each person; when rent or profit works ideally, it is in service to a property owner who enacts class tyranny over the masses of people, a scenario where they reap the overwhelming majority of the benefits. I dove a bit more into this on the LDR Facebook page:
“As long as the state exists in some capacity, I will always support taxation over profit and rent. Yes, they are all theft in some way. But at least taxation is democratically-conceived (in theory, at least) – taxation in a capitalist or socialist society helps provide for things like social welfare and viable infrastructure. Profit and rent are autocratically-conceived in theory and in practice – bosses and landlords get to decide what to do with the stolen product and it overwhelmingly only benefits them. If we have no choice but to pay tax, then we *also* have no choice but to pay rent and have the bulk of our labor product appropriated by a boss or property owner; the individual relinquishes chunks of their product for some socially-conceived reason, but at least the former is largely in service to the society that sustains them, while the latter is a class relationship of the few dominating the many. Yes, ideally, we’ll reach communism and the state and taxation will become obsolete, giving way to voluntary organizations of collective action, but as long as we have a state apparatus to enforce the will of the class with social power, then we need taxation as part of society’s collective building process.
So I reiterate the central point of the leftist project: let’s work to abolish class altogether so that the state loses its coercive, undemocratic character. Then we can have libertarian communism and a ‘state’ better understood as a horizontal ‘administration of things’.”
Leftists fight for social conditions where people are in control of the things they use in their everyday lives, democratically controlling the collectively-operated utilities of society and individually controlling their own lives from there. Democratic control over the means of production and housing, creating a world where we can participate according to our abilities and receive according to our needs, liberated from class tyranny. Rent and profit are present-day manifestations of this class tyranny that we must overcome.
Description of this work of art in Venice from the artist, Lorenzo Quinn. The building that appears to be supported by the hands is is the historic Ca’ Sagredo hotel. The sculpture is on display as part of the 2017 La Biennale di Venezia, an annual art exhibition.
Yes!…so happy to say mission accomplished. ‘SUPPORT’ in Venice to support this wonder of city that is threatened by climate change. I hope my art brings a new focus of attention to a global calamity that we are faced with. Art in 'Support’ of art: Venice is now the art capital of the world during the Venice Biennale but the city of art is threatened and needs our help and protection.