guard the wealth

Harald Hardrada was king of Norway. He learned his trade as captain of the Byzantine Emperor’s Varangian Guard. There, Hardrada amassed huge wealth and a reputation for violence. He returned home to Scandanavia, captured and consolidated the Norwegian kingdom, and pursued a claim against Denmark. He also invaded northern England in 1066 with a fleet of around 300 ships! Harald Hardrada beat the Anglo-Saxon forces of Mercia and Northumbria, but died in battle against King Harold of England (a battle the Norwegian invaders lost). King Harold’s tired forces were force-marched to fight a second invasion and lost the Battle of Hastings to William the Conqueror. So Harald Hardrada was responsible for England being conquered by the Normans! Sort of.

The good characteristics of women are the bad characteristics of men: pride, cowardice and stinginess. If a woman has pride she will not allow herself to be taken advantage of; if she is stingy she will guard her wealth and her spouse’s wealth; and if she is cowardly she will be cautious of everything that confronts her
—  Imam Ali (as), Nahj al Balgha Saying 234

Ali (RA) said to Kamil

O Kamil, knowledge is better than wealth.

Knowledge guards you but you are guarding wealth

Knowledge provides justice while wealth seeks justice

Knowledge increases at expense while wealth decreases at expense.”

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Webstock ‘15: Cory Doctorow - Light a candle, curse the darkness and win the war on general purpose computers to save the world

If we’re going to solve the serious, existential risks to the human race – things like environmental apocalypse – we’re going to need social and technical infrastructure that can support evidence-driven, public-spirited institutions that can help steer us to a better place.

Alas, we’re in trouble there, too. We’re living in a nearly airtight bubble of corruption and coercion. The only policies that states can reliably be expected to enact are those with business models – laws and actions that make someone incredibly rich, producing the private wealth necessary to lobby state to continue the policy and keep the money flowing.

There’s always been practical limits to how wide the gap between the rich and poor can get – at a certain point, elites end up spending more money guarding their wealth from the ever-enlarging, ever-more-desperate cohort of poor than they’re getting from corrupt policies and self-dealing relationships with the state.

But technology changes all that. The automation of surveillance and coercion makes the business of maintaining social order vastly cheaper, and therefore increases the amount of wealth the very richest can keep to themselves rather than doling out dribs and drabs to the rest of us.

Thus the miseries of a technologically supported system of feudalism dwarf those of the darkest days of kings and lords. And the ever-dwindling accountability of ruling elites means that evidence-driven policy is harder and harder to enact, and when it is, that policy needn’t be in the common interest.

We need to crack the airtight bubble. We need to find a way to begin unravelling the knotwork of decades of neoliberal corruption.

The first step to this is to seize the means of information. We need computers that we do what we tell them to do, and networks that we can trust, in order to carry out a program of popular reform for good governance, fairness, and equity.

We can do this, and we will do this. Because this is a policy with a business-model, and policies with business-models are the only policies the modern state can be relied upon to enact.

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Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di said:  

Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient” means: obedient to Allah, may He be exalted.

guard in the husband’s absence” means: they are obedient to their husbands and even in their absence they guard themselves and their husband’s wealth, seeking the help of Allaah in that, because no one can do that by himself or herself, for the self is inclined towards evil, but the one who puts his trust in Allaah, He will suffice him and help him in his religious and worldly affairs.

Tafseer al-Sa’di (p. 177)

Another Tenet - Illaoi/MF Fanfic

She brings the tribute to Nagakabouros to the Bearded Lady’s temple with her own hands. Of course, Sarah Fortune is only one woman; she carries the single most valuable piece there, and the rest trails behind her in a caravan of heavily guarded goods.

Captain Fortune comes astride a horse today, for all that the majestic beast feels out of place here on Bilgewater. Her second insisted on it, for the formality of the occasion, but she’s a thousand times more unsettled by the animal beneath her than she would be by a swaying deck below her feet. The pure white stallion’s hooves clap unhappily against the road, here dirt, there cobbles, and in some places wooden boards thrown down haphazardly to negate the worst of the reeking mud.

She’s going to have to start thinking of this place as home, if she wants to master it. Could a better structure of government see these streets properly and consistently paved?

It isn’t an important thought, but she clings to it like a lifeline, avoiding the thought of what she rides towards – who she rides towards. When the Priestess was worthy of respect because people followed her and listened to her, that was one thing. It’s another entirely to see somebody wield the power of an actual god, a magic beyond comprehension, a weapon that cannot be disassembled into its logical mechanism in the elegant, empirical way her pistols can.

The temple rears large and looming ahead of them. Construction to repair the damage done by the Harrowing is well under way. There have been no shortage of donations from the survivors who understood the truth of the only thing that stood between them and their imminent doom.

She steels her jaw and tries not to think too hard about Illaoi. But how can a woman laugh and chew a fruit and throw punches, knowing what she knows, bearing what she bears?

Captain Fortune has never much cared for mysticism. She’s a woman of ambition and hard work, of blood and sweat. When gods and ghosts get involved, it shakes her. Well, she thinks, sitting a little straighter on the horse as they draw near, let the world shake, let it buck beneath her.

She’ll not be thrown.

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The man of reason must be on his guard against the intoxication of wealth, of power, of knowledge, of praise and of youth, for all of these have offensive vapors about them that strip away one’s reason and carry away one’s dignity.
—  Amirul Mo’minin Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (ع) Mizan al-Hikmah h. 3047
'Police are the most parasitic social grouping in society'

By Sam Marcy, Workers World Party founder: 

A worker is, above all, a producer. The policeman is a parasite who lives off what the worker produces. No truer word could be said! All the material wealth which is now in the possession of the capitalist class was produced by the workers. When a worker goes out on strike she is merely trying to retrieve a portion of the wealth which her labor power produced. The worker gets back in the form of wages only a portion of what he produces. The rest is what the capitalist class retains in the form of profit (really the unpaid labor of the workers).

What have the cops contributed to the production of this unprecedented amount of wealth? Nothing at all. In fact, their principal function is to guard the wealth for the capitalists, protect their monopolist profits from the demands of the workers. Even as the New York cops were out on strike, their emergency crews were busily clubbing the heads of striking telephone workers. That’s the very essence of a cop – to crack the heads of strikers and practice the most inhuman brutality against the Black, Latin and other oppressed communities.

A cop is a mercenary hired by the capitalist class through their agent (the city government to keep the mass of the workers and the oppressed in complete subjection. They utilize all the forces and violence at their disposal whenever the masses rise up in rebellion against the unendurable conditions imposed by the master class.

The police are the most parasitic social grouping in society. When they work – if that’s what it can possibly be called – their labor is directed against the workers and oppressed.

Graft, corruption, intimate collaboration with all sorts of underworld figures and enterprises such as gambling, narcotics and a thousand other shady businesses – that’s what cops are really engaged in.

They are utterly inseparable from crime and corruption itself. One could not exist without the other. Both a nourished and supported by the nature of the capitalist system itself. To put the police on a par with the workers is to erase the difference between the persecutors and their victims.

Such incidental operations of the police as traffic control and other related useful functions for society are deliberately tacked on by the government to police control when they in reality should be separate and independent activities of workers apart from the parasitic regular police functions.

- “The Year of the Pig: Should workers support police strikes?”, Workers World, January 29, 1971