“the electoral college makes sure large populations don’t overrun smaller rural ones! it keeps it fair!”

ok but america has the technology to re-engage itself as a direct democracy, and in fact our elections are run as if that’s what they are, where each person’s vote counts toward the winning candidate. indirect democracys are only useful when a group of people are physically incapable of casting their vote themselves. the poltiical middle-man that exists as the electoral college today is basically a safety net for rich politicians to buy their way into a presidency despite losing the majority vote of the american people.

in the corrupt mess that is the current american election system, 1 vote = 1 vote is as fair as we can get.

also can we just take a minute to review: 

  • if you are anglo-saxon, you are an immigrant
  • if you are mediterranean, you are an immigrant
  • if you are not of native american descent, no matter your colour or race, you are a fucking immigrant
  • you’re no different than every syrian refugee
  • and hispanic family
  • and muslim child
10 Reasons Why You Should Watch ‘Le Roi danse’ (and if you already have, you should watch it again!)

Film synopsis from Wikipedia: The film, presenting libertine and pagan Lully as a natural ally of the early Enlightenment figure Louis XIV of France in his conflicts with the Catholic establishment, focuses on Lully’s personal and possibly romantic relationship with the King, as well as his camaraderie with Molière and rivalry with Robert Cambert.

1) It’s a superb movie. It’s cinematically intriguing and breathtaking. There are some intriguing themes about love and loyalty, as well as deity, religion and the Enlightenment. Also the visuals are to die for (gif source):

2) Just the ballet scenes in general. The dancing is so on point and fascinating! Not to mention there’s a lot going on with Louis and ballet, how it’s for his glory, but how he argues he’s using it to ease poltiical tensions. Plus, it’s King Louis XIV doing ballet (gif source):

3) The acting is so on point, SO much talent. Benoît Magimel’s portrayal of Louis’s transition from artistic rebel to, after his mother’s death, grim stoic is astounding. There’s also Tchéky Karyo as a charming, sympathetic, and very human Molière. His performance is somehow poignant in how natural it is. My personal favorite was Boris Terral’s performance as Lully, though. You can just tell he lived and breathed that role (He also looks like how I imagine Camille Desmoulins on a good day). (gif source):

4) The costumes are amazing. You also get to see many of Louis’s ballet costumes in stunning historical accuracy:

5) The relationships between the characters are compelling. The combative relationship between Louis and his mother, between Madeleine Lambert (Lully’s wife) and the composer Cambert, between opera singer Julie (who is Madeleine’s neice!) and Lully…and many more. My personal favorites, however, are Lully and Molière’s friendship, and the complex relationship between Lully and the King. So much so that they earn their own bullet points.

6) Lully and Molière’s friendship is great. Yes it goes sour, which is very dramatic in of itself, but their friendship is quite charming. There’s even scene where they basically (jokingly?) get married:

7) There’s also Lully’s feelings toward King Louis, which are a huge driving force for the movie. It’s not even subtext that Lully has romantic feelings for him. It’s shown outright when Lully leaves his wife in labor to go to the King’s rescue. It’s stated outright when Lully declares that he loves only the King.

8) Which brings me to this film’s treatment of sexuality. A treatment that, actually, is fairly historically accurate. Lully sleeps with women, but also participates in the ‘Italian manners’ aka same-sex sexuality between men.  He even refers to a particular marquis’s page as ‘lovely as a girl, better than a girl’.

Some admonish Lully for his proclivities. 

Others don’t mind. And others completely accept it. His wife is well aware of it, and doesn’t condemn him for it. There are spaces where Lully can entertain these passions, and others where he can’t. This is quite in line with history at the time. And although historically it was infrequently invoked, the capital punishment for sodomy is referenced:

So basically lots of bonus points for that. Although, we don’t get to see Louis’s brother Philippe, who historically had a vast preference for men and was connected with many men of the court who has similar preferences. Lully and Philippe knew each other in real life, so it would’ve been nice to see that interaction in the movie. 

9) Which brings us to the skillful blending of fact and fiction. Molière’s death, as portrayed in the film, really did happen. Lully really was admonished for his same-sex activities. Lully really was that cutthroat about his relationship with the King. However, like movies such as Amadeus, there is a blending of fact and fiction. Gaps are filled in, in manners that can be debated as to their historical accuracy. Nonetheless it’s a skillful blend that maintains an amount of historical accuracy but also cinematic drama. 

10) It’s easy to watch, since it’s on Youtube. The movie is in French, and there are English subtitles.

So, go watch it!

So liberals… look to be in great shape. Even though many Americans are angry and frustrated about the ways things are going, the candidate who promises more of the same will probably get a huge percentage of the vote. Clinton has in fact been a prohibitive favorite the entire time as far as the bookies have been concerned. […] Liberalism is maintaining capitalism, even as capitalism tends to overwhelm itself. That’s what liberalism is for, and it’s doing a very good job. I have little doubt the people who took the streets in Ferguson, Missouri would have overthrown their local government if the national guard hadn’t been sent with tanks and guns to prop it up. Those are the same tanks and guns that sit between us and any meaningful change to the American class system, and we’re going to vote for them again because there’s no one else to vote for.

“Culture is a weapon.”- Emory Douglas

Emory Douglas is an artist, illustrator and the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party. He’s a published author, as copies of his book “Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas“ can still be found online. 

His art is evocative. I dare you to look at his images and not feel them.   

Whether the people like it or not, you’ve got to bring it to their attention,” Emory Douglas told a room full of students and faculty during a presentation at Merritt College’s Student Lounge on February 18th, 2014.

His art is social commentary.  

I wonder if Nixon is bothering us now,” Douglas said as he showed an image of the former President in a menacing manner. He clicked to the next slide and said, “I wonder if Obama is spying on us now”. As the image of Obama replaced the image of Nixon, someone in the crowd let out an “Ohhhh!”

"We’re talking about the real deal!” exclaimed Douglas.

His point: the same thing he saw back then, he sees going on today. And it’s his job to show that connection to the world.

His presentation was full of words like: Freedom, Slave ships, Obama, Nixon, Panthers, Sickle-cell, Oakland, Atlanta, Vietnam, Terrorism, Media, Government, Police, Pigs, Politics and Power. 

He talked a lot about politics. And power. 

When the question/ answer portion of his presentation came about, I asked Mr. Douglas: if he had the chance to give the youth a piece of advice, based on his experience, what words of wisdom would he give them?

OG Told Me: 

“Stay inspired. Stay focused. Have fun, at the same time, be focused on what you need to do. Study, learn your craft or whatever you do,” Emory Douglas told me (and a room of people).

He concluded with saying,”be able to work with a group of people.”


After answering my question, he recited a poem.

(The following is the final segment of his poem.)

“…It is our duty as the makers of the art of resistance to always recognize the oppression of others. The goal should be, to make the message clear— so that even a child can understand it. Don’t be fooled by deception. Know the rules before you break them. Don’t lose sight of what the goal is. All power to the people.” 

pauldierden  asked:

may i ask you a question about communism? my dad always told me that communism can't function in real life and that it leads to human rights abuses, but he also thinks free market capitalism is the solution to all the world's problems. he also says

that under communism, no individuality is allowed, that you get no freedom, no opportunity to express yourself. i don’t really believe him, but at the same time the belief is hard to shake bc i learned it at such a young age.

Every current capitalist society has lead to human rights abuses. He can’t name one capitalist society that hasn’t. Capitalism  allows people to die by underpaying them and then not giving them healthcare, by letting more unowned, unrented, unlived in houses stand there, unused than homeless people on the streets, by operating on oppression, racism, sexism, etc. Capitalism requires there be poor people who suffer. The system is also built to fail. Every few years we’ve had a recession in the US. The longest time of economic prosperity we had was ten years during the 90s. Marx foresaw this in his Communist Manifesto: he foresaw that capitalist societies would have recessions every ten years—he was actually generous with that prediction.

Capitalism is called capitalism because our society runs on the value of capital that is produced by the working class/proletariat and appropriated by the capitalist. A capitalist is defined as a person who hires wage laborers they pay an hourly wage or salary, but who makes money off the profits of their business. The capitalist profits off the labors of other people. The capitalist does not need to work nearly so hard as the working class, but the capitalist is the one who earns the profits: the working class does not. This is why you have fat cat ceos making millions or billions of dollars by barely working, and people who work 9-5 nearly their whole lives making barely a liveable wage (if liveable). The capitalist system is built on exploitation. Businesses care most about growing profits and about keeping their workers underpaid, underpowered, struggling and dependent on them, even when their CEO’s are rich and self-sustaining. Further, this obsession with ceaseless growth will result in the end of resources on our planet because we continue to grow our GDP and businesses exponentially and every president within recent memory has stated this express purpose. This also results in globalization and imperialism: American businesses wish to consume and invade other cultures—they can never be big enough or have enough profits. They exploit workers in other countries to save money, which deprives american workers of jobs, but much, much worse, they underpay and abuse and exploit workers overseas.

There’s a lot more to be said about why capitalism is a broken system and why it depends on racism, sexism, heteronormativity, classism and other oppressive forces. I’ve brought up Eve Sedgwick in the past who is a q***r scholar and feminist who has written about heteronormativity and sexism under capitalist society (often in it’s relationship to bourgeois family structure and gender roles). I briefly mentioned imperialism: capitalism has been a driving force behind colonialism and warfare as well. Our economy has flourished during times of war: the military industrial complex and prison industrial complex are key aspects to our capitalist society. But I could go on forever about these things—I encourage you to study them.

I would ask your father what about communism would prevent people from expressing themselves or prevent individuality? Socialism and communism are economic systems, they are not system of governance. There’s no reason you couldn’t have a democratic socialist society. Although, under Marx’s theory eventually, there would be no government and everything would be owned and run by the people (not all socialists operate under those beliefs, but yeah). The USSR and The People’s Republic of China are the examples pro-capitalists/anti-communists like to give, but currently China is not communist, and the USSR did not fit the profile for Marx’s ideas re communism. It was an agricultural society, not an industrialized one, so it arguably did not have the means of production necessary to create a successful communist society. Further, the USSR had prominent members in power who abused their power and were totalitarian and deprived others of rights, that’s not how a socialist or communist society is supposed to work at all.

There’s also the fact, as I’ve addressed earlier, that communism can operate in an authoritarian state or libertarian state (libertarian meaning socially liberal state), as this political compass site explains. Although, it’s important to understand that a libertarian capitalist state is not an equal or free society because gaps in power and ability to survive are integral to capitalism. A free market has never provided equality for any society in the world in the history of humanity (that we know of). Without economic equality there can be no real social equality or freedom.

Also, your father (and possibly you as well) probably are mixing up private property with personal property. In a communist system, individuals don’t own land but they own books, clothes, etc and can buy things. The difference is people’s basic needs would be provided for (homes, food, etc), and everyone would be paid fairly, and the system would not be based on class. You wouldn’t have any grossly wealthy people anymore, you wouldn’t have financial gaps between people, but everyone would be able to live and work.

I would argue dismantling kierarchy is impossible with capitalism in place. The capitalism system depends on inequality and the exploitation and/or oppression of people of color, women, people of low socio-economic status, lgbtqa people, disabled people, etc.

I would read Marx. His Communist Manifesto is advanced, but it’s short. He’s written a lot of other stuff, too, that I’ve yet to read. You can also follow some communist and socialist bloggers on tumblr to learn more about it. I’m also still learning about communism and capitalism, so if anyone more knowledgeable than me wants to add anything/correct me, let me know.