Monday, November 30, 2009

Crystal Ball Gazing

I could wait for tomorrow to say I-Told-You-So but it's more fun to stick my neck out. Obama will send thirty thousand more in a staggered deployment despite Michael Moores heart-felt pleas: "with just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people...into will destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions placed in you."

Actually, the only hope shattered was the one I had that after the capitalism movie Moore had finally developed a more sophisticated analysis of systems, but alas. He reminds Obama of "This great civilization we call America" ( the whole thing is a bit melodramatic) but he is infected with Americanism much like Beak. The question is: Will they become "cynics", apathetic, paralyzed, etc? OR will they become realists,ie mature, careful in their analysis, awake, even invigorated with new understanding? In other words; Radicalized?

Another question: Were Moore and other "progressive populists" responsible for building false hope to such a point that a debilitating crash was inevitable? Obama is also recognizing the new Honduran coup-supported President. He is also doing his usual head-fake end around on climate goals for Copenhagen and health-reform is an expensive gift to capital from the workers. Death by a thousand cuts. Here is what I wrote about enthusiasm loss in regards to a local graduate seminar studying the phenomenon:

“ During a visit to the University of Montana Oct 8 White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina spoke briefly about the political fire ignited among America's youth by President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign.” So begins an article about a group who is trying to analyse, in the words of one of it's members, “What happened? Where did all the enthusiasm go and why did it go away?”

“Messina offered no explanations why the passion subsided so rapidly.” Not surprising when we consider his role in maintaining ruling class control over a population trained to believe it participates in a democracy. This training has two parts; on the one hand drilling in the notion that “democracy” only applies to the political sphere and not the economic, and on the other, reproducing the belief that “politics” consists of voting every-so-often for a “representative”. These well meaning grad seminar students are perplexed about peoples apathy. “They do have an opinion, they do care. The weird thing is it doesn't translate to people doing stuff.” It's time these innocent students understood the role of ideology in reproducing class power and the role of the state in mediating that power. Armed with this understanding they would recognize that Jim Messina is steeped in “Americanism”, that powerful but strange ideology which is “detached and partially hidden” and which in a bi-partisan manner denies it's own existence. He is a high ranking member of “political society” and knows perfectly well how it is infiltrated by the ruling class and exactly where the revolving door to the business elite is.

The point is, Obama's and Messina's “Change We Can Believe In” has nothing to do with power. The “mass movements” this form of change advocates is all about Twitter feeds or Facebook pages, joining non-profits and paying monthly dues so you can get a newsletter which tells you to call your Congressperson. It is online donations to MoveOn.Org and filling out surveys. The young journalism students are “disappointed in the Democratic Party” because they fail to understand that it's role is to keep people from demanding change and that working within it's structure is the opposite of taking risk and using direct action, be it in the workplace or on the streets. Power rests in the mass refusal to join and the mass refusal to absorb “Americanism” or any other form of Market ideology. So the question for the graduate seminar is, how much “enthusiasm” might there be for a General Strike which demanded single-payer health insurance, or CO2 reductions or an exit from Iraq and Afghanistan or an end to Israeli settlement building or coal mining or don't ask-don't tell? How much “political fire” might be generated if they abandoned the Democratic party and demanded workers take control of workplaces and banks be nationalized and higher education be free for everyone? More than they have ever considered possible, I'm sure!

Happy Seattle WTO Anniversary!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Moral Imperialism

From The United States and Mexico by Howard F Cline:

By early 1914 President Woodrow Wilson had lost his patience with Mexico, and an incident in Tampico on April 9 furnished an excuse to move against Huerta.Strung along the Panuco river were foreign-owned oil installations...chiefly British. From a dock that everyone had been forbidden by Huerta's Federalists to use,Americans had been loading gasoline into a whaleboat flying the American flag and were arrested. Admiral Mayo received an apology but demanded that the Mexicans "hoist the American flag and salute it with twenty one guns".

The Mexicans refused and on April 13 Wilson spent the whole day studying what he ought to do.He had convinced himself that Huerta was deliberately launching a campaign to lower the dignity of the U.S...The whole Atlantic fleet was then ordered to Tampico. Huertas Minister of Affairs informed the American Charge' de Affaires that Huerta would fire the salute if the U.S. would guarantee to return it immediately...Wilson brushed it aside and requested that Congress approve his use of armed force.At 11:30 am on April 21 the United States Navy took the principle port of Veracruz.

This was a lesson for the Iranians and Iraqis and Venezuelans and anybody else who thought that " the nations sub-soil wealth belongs to the state." This arcane provision only applies to the U.S.and client states.Nicaragua, the Philipines and other Central American and Caribbean nations got similar demonstrations.

So the logic of the capitalist state is pretty straightforward but what is surprising is some of the morons they get to run the ship itself.Bill Moyers played the recorded phone conversations of Lyndon Johnson as he was deciding how to prosecute the Vietnam War. He calls friends and advisors, even Bobby Kennedy, hoping somebody can tell him how to unravel himself from the "damn mess" he has been handed and what is most shocking is the level of discussion, it's banal, instrumental, pathetically shallow quality.

We all know the kinds of arguments Obama is hearing as he deliberates the same deathly question: How many more should be sacrificed? Strategic goals, political ramifications , moral questions and above all else , economic factors: how will it look to our competitors if we bail? What will we do with all these soldiers and "defence" industries if we don't have our war on?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Heighten The Contradictions?

If no change is possible until crisis forces it, should we encourage crisis? Could we actively work to heighten contradictions beyond even their current insane level? Embrace the Spectacle and campaign for Sarah? This is one line of inquiry I've heard lately, cynically pragmatic in a Maoist sort of way.

A more liberal approach, but also practical, is to sit down with working class conservatives on their turf and find out what makes them tick, to re-read Fountainhead and see what it is Yodood and millions of others (current bestseller) find of value. Find common ground, as Obama and Henry Louis Gates and the white cop did over some beers. ( George Bush was the guy you would like to have a beer with as well ). I have been seeing this sort of suggestion lately as an antidote to the "elitist, intellectual condescending" approach of the Left.

Questions abound: When is the next crisis? Reform or Revolution? What is to be Done? Right and Left agree the individual is being devalued, disenfranchised,and taken advantage of. Local conservatives aren't standing around, they want legislation that allows citizens to convene grand juries and are starting the ballot initiative process. They believe that through legal, constitutional process they can reclaim political power.Would the Left see value in this?
The Left I associate with wants to organize workers and gain economic power ( some want to change the world without taking power) and generally finds the whole constitutional route discouraging. Of course, Venezuelans re-wrote their constitution... and used elections and courts and such.

By avoiding extreme crisis fewer people get hurt but we all know millions die of starvation each year ( as hurt as it gets) and billions live in poverty (already extreme crisis) and lets face it , the working class will not be organized soon. But would Sarah Palin and her Tea Party actually ignore the Tim Geithners, the Larry Summers, the Ben Bernankes and let the "invisible hand" do it's thing while she went moose hunting?

I guess I'd better put down The Dialectics of Enlightenment and get a copy of Going Rogue and Atlas Shrugged and find out.Can I keep my beret?

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Communist Hypothesis

French President Sarkozy said, soon after his depressing election, that "The spirit of May 68 must be done away with once and for all". It was not just the "spectre" of empirical communism, but the very hypothesis (as Alain Badiou puts it) he wanted buried forever.His "renewal" meant to banish the logic of class and the idea that a different collective organization is possible (Thatchers TINA) ,that the existence of a coercive state, separate from civil society will wither away as a reorganization based on free association of producers replaces it.

On this blog we have Beakerkin to remind us of the disastrous results of one historical attempt at manifesting this hypothesis.His own "hypothesis", that 1 attempt + 1 failure = 0 remaining possibilities for infinity is simply the logic of the victor. Were capitalism to fail I would not say capitalism can THEREFORE never succeed.

Beak will never surrender his notion that The Left wilfully ignores "facts", that, like in the NFL, the "instant replay camera" removes all doubt about Marxism's evil nature. History as Championship Playoff!

Others see the "hypothesis" refusing to stay buried, reappearing with each new crisis, whether political (including geo-political), economic or social. Badiou argues that "we are closer to the questions of the 19th century than to the revolutionary 20th". Vast zones of poverty, widening inequalities, politics dissolved into the 'service of wealth', the nihilism of the young, the reactionary attitudes of the right,the servility of most intellectuals, the besieged experimentalism of a few groups seeking ways to express the communist hypothesis are all too familiar. In this low period it is difficult to find the courage to keep possibility alive, to find the will and have the patience to maintain the grounds of its existence.

Harvey ends his book with a critique of "purely relational thinking" ( where transcendence trumps actual political engagement) as found in Holloway's Changing The World without Taking Power in which he treats "every completed thing as a reification from which we are by definition alienated and which therefore, should not even be considered as relevant to political struggle." He extends the critique to Bookchins dismissing "all forms of organization, institutionalization, and territorialization ( including the much maligned state as a specific but DISTINCTLY MALEABLE KIND OF GEOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTION) as somehow either irrelevant or inherently repressive..."

By understanding "the dialectical movement across and through the different dimensionalities of space-time (absolute, relative AND relational) and the intersecting moments (of technologies, social relations, processes in nature, mental conceptions, production [labor] processes,and everyday life), we may "reaffirm the communist hypothesis" grounded in "historical geographical materialism." It is an admittedly complicated way of saying let's not undermine our quest for a cosmopolitan, egalitarian, universal justice at the very moment "spaces of hope" are opening all around us for the taking and the making. Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom by David Harvey is a worthwhile read and fills in a piece to the Marxist puzzle.

Monday, November 16, 2009


It is suggested that "pristine" nature or wilderness has curative, restorative powers that can serve to re-connect humans to a deep "rootedness" (possibly ecstatic, feral, harmonious etc..?) The word nature, like environment or place, is contested, controversial and full of multiple meanings, especially when you try to put the word "human" next to it. We confront terms like "natural laws" and a "state of nature" and all kinds of what Arthur Lovejoy calls "incompletely explicit assumptions , or more or less unconscious mental habits,operating in the thought of an individual or generation", but which define "the dominant intellectual tendencies of an age." In other words, meanings have power and Nature is a site of all kinds of struggle for dominance.

This reminded me of a crazy film I saw where Slajov Zizek tries to explain in his slushy accent why humans need to embrace refuse piles as "natural places".They are the "environment" and every bit as natural as a park, dairy farm or wilderness. Yet these sites of "creative destruction",which are the final point on the commodity circuit, end up categorized, separated and alienated from nature and from most people.( except the denizens of the trash world)

Last night I learned a great deal from a representative of the Beehive Collective about mountain- top-removal coal mining in particular and capitalist energy development more generally. What a fucked up mess. Environmental destruction on that scale is a horrendous new escalation in the history of mutilation, on biodiversity, on communities, on workers,the air we breath, the planets ecosystem and of course on justice. And guess where the worlds richest deposit lies? Under Montana. This is the new Saudi Arabia and our governor wants to be King Abdullah. Of course Wal Marts and slurry ponds are Nature too.

Speaking of workers and my disappointment? ( I could, like Obamas reaction to the Israelis, say I am "dismayed") in their passivity, it was reported that "in the third quarter, productivity rose at a 9.5% annual rate...businesspeople respond to rising demand by coaxing employees to work harder. At a certain point, people will start to collapse at work."

"coaxing"? There are lots of ways abusive husbands "coax" their wives to stay, sometimes at gun point but more often though pathological dependency, self-loathing, withdrawal into fantasy. As for "start to collapse" ,um..hate to be the one to break the news,but our society passed the dysfunctional stage a while back. Does the picture of Sarah Palin in shorts on the cover of Newsweek "sexualize" her? Welcome to Cartoonville.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How Long ?

I just read where the local "progressive" talk radio station folded after one year.They will now do conservative talk radio, but in the spirit of "centrism" is inviting liberals to call in. This is the second one to go down in five years. Good riddance.If I never have to listen to Ed Shultz or Thom Hartman or Rachael Maddow again it would be swell. My question is:

How long will "pro choice progressives" support Democratic Party Health Care Reform that restricts abortion rights? How long will "progressives" support reform that is nothing but a huge profit windfall for Insurance Corporations just so Obama can "pass a bill"? How long will union workers who got Obama and Democrats elected continue to watch their own health plans, which they spent decades negotiating for, attacked as "cadillac plans"? How long will labor watch the Employee free Choice Act be held hostage? How long will liberals watch Obama throw the Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya under the bus, or the Palestinian people (Goldstone report, settlement building etc..)? How long will progressive peace activists watch as Obama escalates in Afghanistan? How long will progressive environmentalists watch as the USA renegs at Copenhagen on CO2 reduction? How long will liberals keep hoping for change as Wall Street cleans up and unemployment keeps rising? Homes keep foreclosing? Schools keep crumbling? How long will liberals keep building prisons to put black and brown people in? How long will black and brown people support these liberals? How long will they keep building weapons systems or coal fired energy plants from their mountain top removal? How long will they support charter schools and corporate education?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.You say you want a revolution? Don't you know it's gonna be alright!

Another good reason to be a radical is the hate people like Richard Nixon and Roy Coen had for us.I saw the Frost-Nixon movie and re-watched Angels in America and both those filthy parasites had contempt for liberals but saved their true venom for socialists.Because we actually mean something.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Territory, Place ,Region

I may have already quoted from David Harvey's Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom but it is amazingly relevant to many of the topics I have been posting about lately and the position of my esteemed "commentors". I'm thinking of Kultur's emphasis on the paradigmatic shift from forage to farm and the relation of culture to land use. Yodood stresses a place-based ecological "awakening" as do various communalist theorists like Murray Bookchin and certain "deep ecologists".Some go so far as to say landscapes sculpt identity and "moral character". I believe it can be argued that the Celebrating Conservatives I wrote about have a regional, sentimental "rootedness" that motivates them ( for good or ill) and the Zapatistas who I learned about last night have a conception of place that is both anthropological in the indigenous sense and political in the "ejido" sense. I am writing a novel about Israel-Palestine in which territory is certainly central and it occurs to me the latest IWW " historical re-creation" we had a couple weeks ago was also about a certain claim to place, our Free Speech corner and the struggle over memory and record which all monuments embody.

Everyone is wedded to some notion of place, or home or dwelling (Heigegger). "From the Mountains , to the Prairies..."to the Fatherland and Homeland, there is tons of mythological baggage which goes along with a very real notion of "bounded togetherness" ( Burke). Kultur astutely links the spatial with the temporal, introducing the relation between a lost "ecstatic" way of living and the fear of death associated with linear time. Bookchin introduces relationality in the form of democratic politics to make his localism more dynamic. The Conservatives try to ignore away the dialectical tension ( mostly due to Christian dogma) and cling to static notions of time and space resulting in their incoherent critiques of globalization and the "New World Order". The Zapatistas are aware of romantic, commodified indigenous-ness exemplified by bright skirted women doing native dances for the tourists and selling "authentic" trinkets.They stress autonomy and dignity but remain surrounded by tanks, troops and an encroaching capitalist culture.

Advanced capitalism knows no boundaries, could care less about maps ( unless fighting a war) and moves vast quantities of money ( power) around at the speed of light. Time is literally money and visa versa! In this sense, as Hardt and Negri point out, it is cosmopolitan and affects the nature of the old nation/state. But as it globe trots it builds walls and fences and enclosures behind it and leaves in it's destructive wake a scorched earth and armies of dispossessed. As Harvey says " The final victory of capitalist modernity is not the disappearance of the nonmodern world , but it's artificial preservation and reconstruction..."

Ive got a ways to go but for now he leaves us with this: ...those who proclaim, with Aristotle, that there is some essentialist theory of place (genius loci), that "place is the first of all things" or who hold ,with Heidegger, that "place is the locale of the truth of being" (though not of becoming) are plainly mistaken." He says place is contingent and dynamic and a process that social movements must shape before it is to late.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Post Modern Entreprenuers

These ads were found scattered throughout the last Harpers and speak to our non-culture:

"Form a real relationship with someone in extreme poverty!"

Purveyor of the Worlds Finest Teas

Seasonal Cookbook by 13 year Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Date Smart / Party Smart! "Join the introduction network exclusively for graduates, students and faculty of the Ives, Seven Sisters, Stanford, U of Chicago and others."

"European Beret $14.00 plus shipping"

The Ultimate in Spanking Erotica

Academy of Remote Viewing : "Increases intuition 1000x! Forecast Future Events! Percieve any target in space/ time, Cooperative Remote Influencing taught by former operative!

This publication targets an academic, intellectual left/progressive that likes difficult crossword puzzles and occasional correctives to neoliberalism.

Following up on Celebrating Conservatism I found some UTubes of Martin "Red" Beckman,a libertarian C B should check out if he hasn't already.He spoke to this group a few weeks ago and has been on the right-wing Montana scene for a long time. I like this quote of his: "Knowledge is Truth stored in the Mind". One of their symbols for evil government is a black panther. The Wobblies have a black cat so felines seem well represented. I also picked up a copy of the John Birch Society zine, The New American,with a big piece on that sheriff I saw, Richard Mack.He and Sarah Palin would make a formidable ticket for a third party.

From the New York Review of Books:
"We hope to recruit you to join an incipient movement to emancipate women and fight global poverty by unlocking women's power as economic catalysts."
from Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristoff and (his wife) Sheryl WuDunn

Here is a classic example of that well-intentioned liberal cosmopolitanism based on universal values of justice and liberty but manifested through markets, private property and individual rights.Reproducing exploitive systems as it seeks to end exploitation and thwarting human emancipation as it aims for individual emancipation. How many more decades will liberals cling to development and identity politics?

The next book reviewed is Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yanus. Basically, he believes women make kinder, gentler capitalists.
"The focus ,in development strategy, (is) on material accumulation and achievement. This focus needs to be shifted to human beings, their initiative and enterprise."

Capitalisms "focus" will "shift",all right. as it Spectacularly embraces, encloses and absorbs this new lexicon. Such naivete is touching.

Here is a

Thursday, November 05, 2009

More Trouble

I wanted to point out a couple more of what I see as the main themes of these celebrating conservatives. On the macro level they definitely are not interested in joining any New World Order.This includes the United Nations or global currencies or any thing having to do with global warming but I wonder about global trade or global security?

They are totally into a moral order and believe all rights come from God.Basically, divine rights and perhaps a Sharia type system of laws? (I'm just speculating here) On the nation/ state level they are totally into the Republic and not real hot on democracy. ( Two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner)There were books on the Greeks, I imagine this comes from Plato? They have spent a lot of time with Madison and the Federalist papers and none with Jefferson. Strict constructionists, all about separation of powers and borders, boundaries, enclosures. Individual as opposed to collective rights and a fetishized discourse on the Founding Fathers and Christianity and self-reliance.Totally about the bottom line, they hate taxes and rate politicians of both parties by how much money they vote to appropriate. Does this include defence?
I wonder how concerned with minority rights they will be once they control the state?

The Bitterroot Human Rights Network met here last night and got the analysis all wrong, in my opinion. They wanted to link them to local racist, Christian Identity movements and militia types but I think these folks are more sophisticated, they have evolved and adapted and just baiting the trap with this whole Second Amendment thing. The Network is mostly liberals and they have trouble finding terrain on which to challenge libertarians because it is all based on Enlightenment liberal values and a liberal belief in Markets, Freedom, Rights, Property and Justice.

"There is...something oppressive about the ethereal and abstracted universalism that typically lies at the heart of any purely moral discourse."

David Harvey from Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Trouble in River City

As promised, I went to the "Celebrating Conservatism" meeting last night and the best assessment came from my wife who turned to me about a third of the way through and said "We are in deep shit."These people are organized, funded, and well armed. The "master of ceremonies" a tough little cookie named Mona asked the crowd "Who out there is packing?" and about fifty of the five hundred present stood proudly.That's right: 500, mostly working class, some ranchers and small businessmen, families with little kids. ( they do a huge pot-luck before each meeting) In a little town whose Main street is three blocks long! After the prayer and pledge of allegiance, Mona had us "turn to our neighbors" and introduce ourselves and I'm thinking "my name is on last weeks letter to the editor praising socialism".Crap.

I see a half-page ad in todays paper announcing the Grand Opening of Liber Books: Enlightening a Free People.Their motto is: "moving the cause of liberty by strengthening families..." Suggested reading: The Fourth Turning by Strauss, Anthem by Ayn Rand, Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour , they mentioned something called The Minute After? and I saw Glen Becks books on their table. The new owner spoke to the crowd about training the youth, and here she got so choked up with emotion she could barely continue, so they could protect our Liberty and do Gods work.

Mona came back on to describe various committees, Homeschooling, prayer groups, survival skills, combat training, constitution study, there were ten in all, and then the featured speaker was introduced, former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack. Together with our local Sheriff Jay Prince, he challenged the Brady Gun Law at the Supreme Court and won.Now he is a right-wing darling speaking across the country on states rights, God given rights and border invasions.He noted the article in the Independent I blogged about and went off on how contemptible these "humanistic rights organizations" were for daring to use the name Montana in their title.My wife is on the board.
As it turns out, our last line of defence against the tyranny of the Federal government is County Sheriffs and in a bizarre illustration he suggested that a county sheriff SHOULD HAVE stood up for Rosa Parks,protected her in the front of the bus, taken her to an all white diner and helped her drink from a whites only fountain.

Yeah... but they didn't, actually, the Feds had to come in and enforce civil rights against local racist opposition. Mack decried sending all those tax dollars to Washington although actually our county receives WAY more back than it puts in. He is a sarcastic, sneering, bully but ruggedly handsome and has GREAT hair so you will be seeing more of this guy.He also choked up when speaking of our lost liberty, these tea party folks are true believers and surging.I saw the right wing candidate in upstate New York creamed the Republican and almost beat the Democrat. Look out country, these people mean business! Per my wife's assessment,I only got five people to show up at our IWW meeting!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

More Agit-prop

Here is a letter to the editor published last Friday:

It hardly seems that a day goes by that some conservative defender of liberty isn't calling President Barack Obama or his policies "socialist" on the opinion page of this paper. And it is not just the new president which draws their ire; both the government and the state are also named as co-conspirators in this subversive, left-wing plot.

As someone who both identifies as a socialist and has studied this economic system for many years, I would like to assure each and every one of these understandably frightened but deluded individuals that Obama, the capitalist government, and the capitalist state are doing everything in their power to save the "free enterprise" system from its own self-destruction. And through their massive intervention they have, at least for the time being, been fairly successful.

Socialism is actually a democratic system of worker ownership and control, and while the capitalist state has been forced to become a majority shareholder in a number of criminally negligent banks and corporations, you can rest assured the workers have gained less than nothing in these deals. And just as soon as these syndicates have been returned to profitability, the government will hand them back to their corporate cronies so they may continue pillaging the very conservatives who so fervently defend their God-given right to do so.

So by all means, resist coercive state power; just remember it is a capitalist state whose job, first and foremost, is to promote and defend private property and accumulation. Obama is actually its top salesman.

Here is a rant that is less diplomatic:

Capitalism Doesn't Work

    Most ten year olds can now explain the fatal flaws in market fundamentalist or “neoliberal” theory. The lefts task is not to ridicule those still feeding on the corpse of Ronald Reagan, but to provide a safe warm “hot tub” to self-identified “progressives” and left-leaning liberals who can no longer paint more rose color on their glasses, who can no longer lie to their children or bridge/golf partners nor, in good conscience, throw another dime at political parties, charities, or environmental non-profits . These professional/managerial coordinators, civil servants and trade union loyalists now stare into their lattes and wonder how the “change they could believe in” turned into yet another Middle East quagmire, how their fair-trade campaign only led to more sweat-shops, palm plantations and death squads, how they were sent so suddenly from solid middle class to precarious indentured servitude practically overnight. Greenpeace, Amnesty, Sierra Club, Oxfam and Global Exchange have all had their chance but CO2 keeps rising, prisons keep overflowing, forests keep disappearing, children keep starving and WalMart keeps selling. Once the “progressives” leave their fear and illusions behind, the working class will fall in almost immediately. They can keep their faith in Jesus while sending “free markets”straight to hell.

It is time to put the lie to all market “reforms”, mico-credit lending, fair-trade exchange, campaign finance reform, corporatized unions, and “public options”. To all environmental impact statements, NPRs and “public television”, “human rights”, banking regulations, all peace marches, and all progressive campaigns to help the poor. No more clean coal and cap and trade and supporting the troops. Women in Pink, Women in Black. Women in Blue. Women on Bikes. Recycled Cans. It's all been tried, it has all failed. Capitalism absorbs and is nourished by them all.

There can be no social justice or peace as long as productive property remains in private hands. All attempts to change capitalist-state policy will, after decades of struggle and millions in donations, be temporary, compromised, half-measures, at best, destined to be overturned at the first opportunity. This is because the States first priority is to protect private property and all issues of social justice annoy, interfere with and threaten private property. All war is class war and capitalism creates classes and all class conflict. All racial, ethnic and gender conflict is exacerbated by competition. Capitalism is based on competition. This is not to announce the end of conflict, just the beginning of politics.

There can be no environmental justice as long as commodities are exchanged for profit. Money can buy temporary protections but always at the cost of marginalized communities because sustainability, like wealth production, is a zero sum game. Someone must lose for someone to gain. Something must die for something else to live. In our present circumstance, capital must die for the planet to live. All efforts to preserve specific spatial nodes, specific life forms or specific ecosystems will fail unless the entire LIFE/ SPIRIT system can thrive and nothing can thrive when it is on the auction bock.

There can be no democracy under or even within capitalism. Votes, and those who cast them, are commodities, like socks and mustard. Discourse is tweeted, paneled, lectured and Spectacularized into fair and balanced facelifts, boobjobs and hair cuts, always hair and more hair and still more hair.

The next crash will be less fun than the last and so on. The fun is gone from capitalism. This critique is not just more “economic determinism” but when you get to work tomorrow ( assuming you still have a job) try doing less. Try doing it your way rather than the boss's. Take a long break. Work on something you feel is important. See what that determines.