All posts tagged: Socialism & Capitalism

New Party, New Narrative

One thing I’ve been discussing with the comrades is a new political party. The Bernie Sanders left is now extremely well-networked and mobilized. This all goes back ten years or so, to the Occupy Wall Street movement. But the Sanders policies have been firmly rejected by the Democrat Party. So….What’s next?

Into The Wild: 2010 to 2020

It was August of 2010. I saw the lights of Anchorage from the seat of my plane as we prepared for landing at Ted Stevens International Airport. My family had lived in Anchorage for a few years when I was very young but at age 32, this was my first time back in Alaska, as an adult. This trip had begun in my imagination, about a year before, as I walked around the Indianapolis Zoo. I was fascinated by a placard about grizzly bears, located nearby to a rather sad looking, caged Griz. The placard told of how a woman was attacked by a grizzly bear, in the city of Anchorage no less, while out for a jog in the park. For some reason that resonated with me. It wasn’t a sadistic thing, I don’t take pleasure in the suffering of joggers. I was just completely enchanted by the idea of a state like Alaska, where bears and moose made their presence felt, even in the biggest of cities. It was strange, that moment, but …

What’s buried in your backyard?

It’s during times like these that those of us who are End-of-The-Worlders can hold our heads up high and walk with a little dignity, for once, instead of sulking in the corners of cafes, hiding out in the gloom and glum of darkened basement rooms, except of course for the briefest of appearances which typically take the form of alarmist Jeremiads or wild-eyed apocalyptic rants. While we share wildly diverse backgrounds we all recognize the inherent fragility of the system.

2019 POV

For me, 2019 brought a big shift. In the fall of 2018 I knew that I needed to make a change. I had resigned my management position at McCarthy Lodge, at the end of the summer season, but it wasn’t quite clear what I should do next. Should I look for another seasonal summer Alaskan gig? Or should I look to do something else entirely? Was I going to continue to live my nomadic lifestyle, spending summers in Alaska and winters in California? To complicate matters, my health had suddenly taken a bad turn, back in the fall of 2018, and problems in my gut had led to me losing a great deal of weight (which was alarming because I’m already a skinny dude). I was feeling extremely low energy, to the point where a simple, short walk just about did me in for the day. At that point, all options were on the table.

Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Capitalism is irredeemable’ | TheHill

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called capitalism “irredeemable.” “Capitalism is an ideology of capital – the most important thing is the concentration of capital and to seek and maximize profit,” she said during an interview at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, according to Bloomberg News. “To me, capitalism is irredeemable,” she added, arguing that capitalism’s goals come at a cost to people and the environment, Bloomberg reported.

NYC: Amazon is out, class consciousness is in

The Powers That Be In NYC Be not happy With AOC They keep going after her, which is quite remarkable, really, i.e., that a freshman Congressional representative would get this much national attention. There is understandable great consternation and anxiety on the political right about America’s re-awakening and rising sense of class consciousness. Class consciousness seems to be only increasing, which means that in the future Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can expect a lot more intense opposition and hostility than billboards in Times Square.

“America will never be a socialist country”

Per Fox News, President Trump dramatically vowed during his State of the Union address on Tuesday that “America will never be a socialist country,” in an apparent rebuke to self-described Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders that drew loud cheers and a standing ovation from Republicans in the House chamber — as well as supportive applause from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Ocasio-Cortez had the perfect zinger of a response, as usual: “I thought it was great. I think he’s scared.” I think it’s great too. I was pretty stoked when I heard that Trump bashed socialism, with the eyes of the nation upon him. Having our tempestuous Tweeter in Chief condemn socialism in the State of the Union Address is the kind of exposure you just can’t buy, which is something that a promotional genius like Trump should be able to appreciate, which of course begs the question: Is Trump, himself, a Socialist? Is he using his plummeting popularity to drive people to socialism?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The Ice Cream Socialist

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. To me AOC seems like a breath of fresh air. Of course it might just be my own thing, because I’m still somewhat stunned at the fact that democratic socialists are actually in mainstream politics now. That’s just seems incredibly surreal, despite the fact that it’s at least a half century overdue.

Women’s March 2019

Activism is good for the soul. I want to change the world, like anyone else, but for me activism is also extremely therapeutic. It reminds me that there are other people who see injustices in the world and believe in their bones that things don’t have to be this way. That’s especially true of big activist events like the Women’s March. It’s kind of a beautiful thing, to be surrounded by smiling faces and to snap a hundred pictures of the explosion in creativity that surrounds us: all the catchy and colorful signs, the carefully crafted costumes, the music, the chanting, and the chalk art on the streets. Yet in the midst of this exhilarating experience of solidarity, opposition and hostility can sometimes come from unexpected places and from unexpected people.

David Graeber on the Value of Work | YouTube

Short animated video by David Graeber, economist with a wry and witty anarchistic inclination. I think he’s really onto something, here, in terms of analyzing a certain shift that a lot people seem to be having, in our perception of work. For example, how people seem more aware that their jobs don’t really have value and how more and more people are looking to do work that matters and/or that benefits humanity and/or has some greater meaning. It certainly isn’t the first time that workers have felt disgruntled with work and/or disenchanted by corporate bullshit. The potential, though, now, is that people seem to be connecting their underwhelming experience of work with the bigger picture and with politics. For example, A lot of the folks who got active with Occupy, a few years back, were from “caring occupations,” which caused Graeber to view Occupy as a sort of revolt of the caring class. So, could this shift toward more meaningful work completely change how we structure society, poltically and economically?

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Is a Winning Climate Strategy | The Atlantic

Good reading in The Atlantic on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal. It highlights one of the overarching differences in the political strategy of the old Democrats (Obama/Clintons) versus the new progressive/leftist breed. The difference isn’t so much about policies as it is about how these policies are framed. The new progressive wave is based more on story and narrative, and this makes it an exciting time to be on the left because the leaders of the movement are appealing to something that can inspire a movement. It’s an approach that could win, and that means there is hope.

Swap Columbus Day for Democracy Day?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist heading to Congress after that yuge and most excellent didn’t-see-that-coming grassroots victory, had a bit of a snarky exchange with a conservative over the weekend. It started with a Tweet by Ocasio-Cartez: how is Columbus Day a holiday but Election Day not? The Daily Mail’s U.S. political editor David Martosko quote tweeted Ocasio-Cortez and wrote that she “hasn’t even started the job yet and she’s already angling for more vacation days.”

Election day and how is your stomach?

Trump is hitting the campaign trail, hitting it hard in the way that Trumpty Dumpty sort of way he has, and one of his repeated platitudes is some variation of “I’m not on the ballot, but I’m on the ballot,” also taking the form of “think of yourself as voting for me.” I haven’t been following this election as carefully as I should. I haven’t been well. I’ve been struggling with digestive/gut issues since last spring, and it’s taken its toll. My energy levels have been pretty low. 

Trademarking LOL? WTF?

Procter & Gamble, the household products company, has applied to trademark acronyms common in textspeak including “LOL” and “WTF”…. P&G board member Nelson Peltz told CNBC in March that younger consumers did not want “one size fits all” brands but products “they have an emotional attachment to”. According to the statistics portal Statista, millennials in the US are expected to increase their annual spending to $1.4tn (£1.09tn) by 2020. From The Guardian