Morelia, Michoacán — Avenida Francisco I. Madero
Posts tagged capitalism
If you think that “socialists aren’t so bad”, “communists can be nice”, “mutualism is anarchy”, “capitalism is bad but markets are good”, “wages mean markets aren’t free”, “the relationship between employer and employee is authoritarian and it’s libertarian to destroy it”, “libertarians should join the social justice movement”, “liberals and libertarians have more in common than traditionalists and libertarians”, “there is nothing on the right about liberty”, “all your traditions are oppressive, viva la anarchy!” etc. you are not only a complete idiot, but you are an enemy of mine, an enemy of freedom, and I will dedicate my life to destroying you.
Download Fidel Castro’s new book, Our Duty is to Struggle, in PDF format
Havana, Mar 14 (Prensa Latina) - The compilation of the dialogue between the leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, and 69 intellectuals from 21 countries will be launched on Wednesday in Havana, Caracas and other capitals of the world.
“Our Duty is to Struggle” is the result of the revised and enlarged transcription in Spanish and English languages of the dialogue between Fidel Castro and a group of intellectuals from Africa, Europe and the Americas, held on February 10.
The book, a call to fight to save humanity from wars, climate change and other dangers in wait, will be simultaneously launched in Havana and Caracas, Venezuela, by prestigious intellectuals.
Casa de las Americas President Roberto Fernandez Retamar, World Economy Research Center Director Osvaldo Martinez and Environmental Agency President Gisela Alonso will speak at the book launch in Cuba.
Writer Luis Britto Garcia, ALBA prize winner in Literature and the Arts, the State Minister for the Urban Reconstruction of Caracas, Farruco Sexto, and historian Carmen Bohorquez will launch the book in Venezuela.
Also present will be Miguel Barnet, president of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC), Zuleica Romay, president of the Cuban Book Institute, and Cuban Deputy Culture Minister Fernando Rojas.
The book will be also launched in Quito, Buenos Aires, Luanda, Santo Domingo, La Paz, Mexico City, Bridgetown, San Juan, Kingston, Washington, Madrid and Berlin.
The presentation of the book in Havana will be broadcast live on the Internet, on the Cubadebate channel in Justin.TV.
I don’t have respect for the office of the presidency. I didn’t under Bush, and I don’t under Obama. We should be absolutely firm in our denunciation of race-based attacks against Obama and his family both personally and politically; that is to say, attacks Obama as a Black man and also the fallacious argument that he represents some nefarious “Black agenda.” However, that does not change the fact that the office of the presidency in its essence is one antithetical to social justice and people-power.
Anyone who is president of the United States is president of an empire, and by definition must promote capitalist, imperialist, and by extension racist, politics. The belief that not just Obama, but anyone, could create real change from that position is in my view incorrect. Obama is obliged by the nature of his job to attack other countries that oppose U.S. foreign policy. He is obliged by nature to prioritize the demands of the rich over the demands of the people. And he is obliged by nature to ensure that this wretched capitalist system continues forward unencumbered by those who demand a better world.
I was thinking today (among a million other things) about mass ideology in relation to the legitimacy of the state, especially in the years surrounding a seizure of political power by a revolutionary people.
On one hand, we communists and anarchists constantly give ourselves headaches trying to explain events in the context of a bigger picture, when most would see them as atomized phenomena. We claim that an instance of police brutality, to use one example, is not a mere aberrations of the system nor an isolated issue, but an actual imperative of the system itself, the logical conclusion of a repressive apparatus antagonistic to our interests. This strategy, applied across the board to issues like labor, immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, etc., is undertaken with the goal of provoking a legitimacy crisis for the existing order; that is to say, when a significant section of society begins to see these problems not as mere problems to fix within the system, but rather as manifestations of the system’s inherent injustice.
Then the revolution. Then a people’s republic. Then the former ruling classes are stripped of their power, property and privilege. #WIN
Except there’s a problem…
Not only will we have invested decades in training people how to analyze the root causes of issues, we may also have laid the groundwork for the dispossessed former oppressors to do the same thing. By convincing a large chunk of the population that the flaws of capitalism were inherent in its essence and un-reformable, could the people not be easily swayed to think in the same terms about socialism? Will socialism’s inevitable flaws be perceived—and encouraged by enemies to be perceived—as inherent, structural problems in that socioeconomic arrangement that can only be resolved by counterrevolution?
Part of the problem is that we are too quick to presume that capitalism cannot do certain things, and on the flip side that capitalism must do certain things. But our existing capitalist government cutting Medicaid, for example, is no more the essence of the capitalist system than a bread shortage the essence of socialism; they are things that are either beneficial or desirable for the empowered class (bourgeoisie or proletariat) at a given historical moment and under specific conditions, but do not constitute the nature of that class’ rule.
Obviously there are real distinctions between these two arrangements, at the political, social and economic level. Because socialism is intended as the rule by (and for) the proletariat, there should be far fewer barriers to pro-people reform of social institutions. Regardless, the socialist period is, as Mao indicated, a period of sharp contradiction and sharper class struggle, which, along with general human fallibility, inevitably means that there will be problems: some production goals will go unmet, some social projects will not reach as many as we want, some corruption will inevitably emerge. All of this is a normal and natural part of the transition to a liberated, communist society.
But by teaching that every failure of capitalism is an inevitable, systemic flaw of capitalism which cannot be reformed away, we may also be inadvertently teaching that the flaws of a socialist system will require the very same remedy. By encouraging oversimplified, analytical shortcuts now, we are screwing ourselves the moment problems arise in socialism, when we will be tasked with convincing the people after the fact that our* system is different, that our system can be reformed.
The question, then, is: how do we educate people to make thorough, systemic analyses of their society, instead of merely encouraging the blame of all current socioeconomic problems on capitalism’s essence?
Sorry if this is rambling, it was written at 4AM after having been up for 21 hours on 3 hours of sleep.
*The phrase “our system” being used to denote “the system we were promoting as an alternative before the revolution,” not “the system we are running on your behalf.”
“In the very consumerist act [of cultural capitalism], you buy your redemption from being only a consumerist.”
Two clowns and a torero take on the Wall Street bull. Awesome!
Amazing. From Left Flank.
You can only ignore the catastrophic effects of capitalism for so long.
Pro-capitalist ideology would have you believe that every death under Communist regimes was the fault of the system proper, while every death under capitalist regimes is due to secondary factors: poverty, starvation, war, etc. This is how they can get away with peddling the nonsense that “Mao killed 60 million people” during a 27 year period without having to answer for the fact that they preside over a system that ‘kills’ as many people every three years.
Capitalism is not “post-ideological;” it is a system that upholds certain principles and, as a result, can be held just as responsible (or non-responsible) for what happens under its watch as under any other ideological system. Let’s condemn the fuck out of it.
By the way, I don’t think this is meant to be an exact number and I don’t know the source, though I know that by some estimates this is a rather conservative statistic.