…[W]as the Vietnam War [a failure]? No not all. It was militarily. But, the end result was that US took control of the economies of the South East Asia. Is the Iraq War a failure? Well, it is for the people who died there, for a half a million Iraqis who died it is but it is not a failure for American oil companies. So that everywhere we have to be careful before we call them a failures. Somebody wins. Somebody who wins are the same people who destroy neighborhoods, communities. It is the same system that undermines human health, that undermines dignity, that undermines human connections that really makes life less tolerable on this planet. Now, we don’t have to agree on what the solutions might be. And that’s okay. But what do we agree on is the importance of speaking for truth, but what we do agree is on importance of people getting together and struggling in a healthy way for different life. Because if its the loss of control, and the isolation and the suppression of self expression that are the greatest cause for stress then surely one to has to distress the culture and get together express yourself and not to be silent and to connect with human beings.
As Joy Hill said don’t mourn- organize.
There is no war on drugs because you cannot have a war against inanimate objects. There is only war on drug addicts. Which means we are warring on the most abused and vulnerable segments of the population.
When Karl Marx talked about freedom, he talked about freedom in three sense of the word. Freedom, for him, was, number one, freedom from economic necessities, freedom from the threat to life, freedom from interference of other people, and the freedom to express yourself — to be yourself. That’s freedom. Now what freedom is there in this “free society”, you know, in the free world, the free-est society in history. What freedom is there when people are not free of economic worry, where there is tremendous uncertainty and fear lack of control. When people lack control over their lives, they have no freedom.
If you met some guy who kept telling you how great he was, and everyone wants to be like him, how would you diagnose him? He’s got a grandiose personality disorder. In other words, what he is actually doing is compensating for his deep insecurity. So that, this is a country [the United States] that in its very rhetoric betrays extraordinary insecurity.
[Goldman Sachs] is a huge, highly sophisticated engine for converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth — pure profit for rich individuals.
They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They’ve been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s.
What we need is not just less work — though we do need that — but a rethinking of the substantive content of work beyond the abstraction of wage labor. That will mean both surfacing invisible unpaid labor and devaluing certain kinds of destructive waged work. But merely saying that we should improve the quality of existing work and reduce its duration doesn’t allow us to raise the question of whether the work needs to exist at all. To use Albert Hirschman’s terms, giving workers voice within the institution of wage labor can never fundamentally call the premises of that institution into question. For that, you need the real right of Exit, not just from particular jobs but from the labor market as a whole.
"Simply saying we should improve the quality and reduce the duration of work doesn’t allow us to ask whether that work needs to exist at all."
Many international development organisations hold that persistent poverty in the Global South is caused largely by corruption among local public officials. In 2003 these concerns led to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which asserts that, while corruption exists in all countries, this “evil phenomenon” is “most destructive” in the global South, where it is a “key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development”.
There’s only one problem with this theory: It’s just not true.
According to the World Bank, corruption in the form of bribery and theft by government officials, the main target of the UN Convention, costs developing countries between $20bn and $40bn each year. That’s a lot of money. But it’s an extremely small proportion — only about 3 percent — of the total illicit flows that leak out of public coffers. On the other hand, multinational companies steal more than $900bn from developing countries each year through tax evasion and other illicit practices.
This enormous outflow of wealth is facilitated by a shadowy financial system that includes tax havens, paper companies, anonymous accounts, and fake foundations, with the City of London at the very heart of it. Over 30 percent of global foreign direct investment is booked through tax havens, which now collectively hide one-sixth of the world’s total private wealth.
This is a massive — indeed, fundamental — cause of poverty in the developing world, yet it does not register in the mainstream definition of corruption…
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. If we really want to understand how corruption drives poverty in developing countries, we need to start by looking at the institutions that control the global economy, such as the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation.
Obama just now said that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (another massive trade deal considered a corporate coup) will help “small businesses because they don’t have a lot of lawyers” to help them with trade. The incredible irony and hypocrisy in this statement is that these trade deals (both TTIP and TPP) are being decided by hundreds of corporate lobbyists and lawyers while they’re kept secret from everybody else, like small business owners.
Gentrification does not solve poverty, it merely shunts the poor out of the city…
"A few blocks away, Maggie Larios, 30, a latina single mother sharing a cramped apartment with her two children, is all too aware of that choice. She earns just enough from a care-home job to pay the $685 monthly rent. But the landlord who owns the block is trying to evict her and other tenants who have complained about mould, cockroaches and broken windows. They suspect the neglect is intended to oust them so he can get in more lucrative tenants.
"The mould has made me sick," Larios croaks, indicating her throat. "When we went to court one of my neighbours had bugs on her. You should’ve seen the judge’s face." With her budget, Larios stands little chance of finding another apartment in Oakland. "I don’t want to be homeless. My kids and I went through a very bad experience in shelters." But inevitably they will be priced out, she says. "It’s gonna happen. A few years ago, to see a white person here was unseen footage. Now you see them walking the street even at night." Resistance could perhaps slow but not halt gentrification, she says. "Money talks, bullshit walks." Larios has kept one asset in reserve for emergencies: her long, luxuriant hair. "When the time comes I can sell it for $400.""