Tag Archives | Capitalism

A Confederacy of Conformists

Confederacy of Conformity fabConfederate flags are proliferating in the Southeast. Having spent the last two years in Portland, Oregon, the scene is pretty jarring. Ever since the Corporate Cleansing of Twenty-Fifteen, the Southern Crosses have spread like chiggers in a hay farmer’s underwear. Once again, our overlords imposed a prohibition and now the bootleggers are making a fortune.

The real stunner came last week when I drove through Pigeon Forge on my way to the Smokies. You thought this cartoonish tumor was tacky before? Every other storefront is now covered in big blue Xs. Fuzzy dudes in roaring pickup trucks parade up and down the main drag with double battle flags flapping in the breeze.

For the low, low price of $19.95, the South will rise again!

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True Detective Season 2, Breaking Bad, & Weaponized Memes

pizzolatto

Photoshop Art by Jasun Horsley

There were high expectations for the second season of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, and a lot of people were disappointed by what they got. It became a form of strange enjoyment for many viewers to “hate-watch” the show and then bitch about it afterwards via social media. Why was the show so ferociously maligned? Besides the usual sort of backlash that occurs when an artist (Nic Pizzolatto) gains a too-rapid reputation as a cultural hero, only to have it stripped away by the same voices that gave it to him, there was also something subtler and darker at work.

While discussing the show with an H.P. Lovecraft-exegetist, Heather Poirier, she brought up the idea of the American Dream as a weaponized meme. Poirier suggested that people who pursue their happiness based on unrealistic ideals become carrier of a cultural virus and have to destroy parts of themselves in order to attain their goals—or even just to feel like they are attaining them.… Read the rest

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The Evidence Keeps Pouring In: Capitalism Just Isn’t Working

G20 April 1st

To followers of Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan, and to all the business people who despise government, ‘community’ is a form of ‘communism.’ Even taking the train is too communal for them. Americans have been led to believe that only individuals matter, that every person should fend for him/herself, that “winner-take-all” is the ultimate goal, and that the winners have no responsibility to others.

To the capitalist, everything is a potential market. Education, health care, even the right to water. But with every market failure it becomes more clear that basic human rights can’t be bought and sold like cars and cell phones. The pursuit of profit, when essential needs are part of the product, means that not everyone will be able to pay the price. Some will be denied those essential needs.

Global Failures

Capitalism hasn’t been able to control runaway global inequality. For every $1.00 owned by the world’s richest 1% in 2011, they now own $1.27.… Read the rest

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Anarcho-“Capitalism” is Impossible

Flag used by the Swedish AnarkoKapitalistisk Front.

Flag used by the Swedish AnarkoKapitalistisk Front.

Anna Morgenstern writes at the Center for a Stateless Society:

Many anarchists of various stripes have made the claim that anarcho-capitalists aren’t really anarchists because anarchism entails anti-capitalism. I happen to think this is actually backwards. If they genuinely wish to eliminate the state, they are anarchists, but they aren’t really capitalists, no matter how much they want to claim they are.

People calling themselves “anarcho-capitalists” usually want to define “capitalism” as the same thing as a free market, and “socialism” as state intervention against such. But what then is a free market? If you mean simply all voluntary transactions that occur without state interference, then it’s a circular and redundant definition.  In that case, all anarchists are “anarcho-capitalists”, even the most die-hard anarcho-syndicalist.

Defining capitalism as a system of private property is equally problematic, because where would you draw the line between private and public?

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Pope Calls on World Youth to Rise Up Against Global Capitalism

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. See more of Lauren McCauley’s posts here.

The latest call for a youth uprising against global capitalism came not from grassroots groups, but from the leader of the Catholic Church, who on Sunday gave a rousing speech during which he told a crowd of young people in Paraguay that it is their time to “make a mess.”

The address marked the end of Pope Francis’ week-long pilgrimage to Latin America, during which he also assailed the prevailing economic system as the “dung of the devil,” saying that the systemic “greed for money” is a “subtle dictatorship” that “condemns and enslaves men and women.”

During Sunday’s rally, which was held on the banks of the Paraguay River outside the capital Asunción, the Argentinian pontiff went off-script as he addressed tens of thousands of local youth.

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Privitising social services: NZ’s looming neoliberal confidence scam

rosaluxemburg (CC BY-ND 2.0)

rosaluxemburg (CC BY-ND 2.0)

In the US, the hyenas of the right-wing are currently fighting for room around the carcass of neoliberal-capitalism, hoping to strip the last stringy-pieces of meat from the now decaying form. In a true old-fashioned gag, there are more GOP candidates for the presidency in 2016 than any other time previously.

Viewing this comedy from the distant comfort of New Zealand is strangely enjoyable and similar to the sick-making thrill of watching Fox news and its brand of explosive bigotry and conservatism. Both are like American candy – sickly-sweet and instantly regrettable, though very difficult to put down once started.

While it may be somewhat refreshing to stand back and admire the depths of ridiculousness prevalent in US politics, the joke ceases to be as funny when global levels of toxicity are factored in – the influence and saturation of US corporatocracy is now keenly and widely felt on a global scale and often awful in effect.… Read the rest

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Corporate Capitalism Is the Foundation of Police Brutality and the Prison State

Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Chris Hedges explores corporate capitalism’s role in America’s prison state.

Chris Hedges via Common Dreams:

Our national conversation on race and crime is based on a fiction. It is the fiction that the organs of internal security, especially the judiciary and the police, can be adjusted, modernized or professionalized to make possible a post-racial America. We discuss issues of race while ignoring the economic, bureaucratic and political systems of exploitation—all of it legal and built into the ruling apparatus—that are the true engines of racism and white supremacy. No discussion of race is possible without a discussion of capitalism and class. And until that discussion takes place, despite all the proposed reforms to the criminal justice system, the state will continue to murder and imprison poor people of color with impunity.

More training, body cameras, community policing, the hiring of more minorities as police officers, a better probation service and more equitable fines will not blunt the indiscriminate use of lethal force or reduce the mass incarceration that destroys the lives of the poor.

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Green Party Youth Leader ‘Gives Up’ and Goes to Work for an Oil Company

Michael Dewar, former Canadian Green Party youth leader and candidate, says that he has given up caring about the environment, and taken a lucrative position working in the tar sands of northern Alberta.

In an interview on the Srsly Wrong podcast back in August 2014, Dewar spoke about his conversion to Libertarian Capitalism, and a thoroughly self-interested ideology, saying that “You might think you are helping out by putting your energy to the cause of helping other people, but in fact you are just wasting your time.”

Dewar became exhausted as his political efforts seemed to yield no effect, and expressed his belief that catastrophic climate change was now unavoidable. He said he has adopted a lifestyle dubbed ‘Partyboat Nihilism,’ which holds that human beings face inevitable extinction, and we must adopt a hedonistic, selfish lifestyle to make the best of it.

However, as jobs in the oilfield have become more scarce due to dropping Saudi Arabian oil prices, Mike Dewar has found himself finding fewer and fewer opportunities for work.… Read the rest

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If Psychedelic Drugs Were Legalized, Capitalism Would Destroy Religion

supercomputer3Going full on into a shamanic or Occult practice is beyond weird, because the vast majority of people think you’re completely nuts for gasp, actually paying attention to your inner world (let alone blasting it all over Facebook, friend me). “Do you mean that stuff is real?” they’ll ask. Well, yeah, but ultimately insisting on dividing thoughts and visions into convenient categories of “real” or “not real” is a pretty ridiculous way of conceptualizing consciousness. Aaaand you’ve already lost them. Which is why maybe the best thing you can do as a mystic is point out over and over how utterly batshit and illogical western spiritual thought is in the first place. We should never ever forget that this is the refractive lens through which we view everything having to do with the soul. In a culture that prides itself on a bizarro academic sense of rationality, there is zero rationality in the popular way we view spirituality period.… Read the rest

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