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The debate about whether “human rights” can ever truly be separated from politics and economics is not unique to Latin America; these are questions that surface whenever states use torture as a weapon of policy. Despite the mystique that surrounds it, and the understandable impulse to treat it as aberrant behav­ior beyond politics, torture is not particularly complicated or mysterious. A tool of the crudest kind of coercion, it crops up with great predictability whenever a local despot or a foreign occupier lacks the consent needed to rule: Marcos in the Philippines, the shah in Iran, Saddam in Iraq, the French in Algeria, the Israelis in the occupied territories, the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan. The list could stretch on and on. The widespread abuse of prisoners is a virtually foolproof indication that politicians are trying to impose a system — whether political, religious or economic — that is rejected by large numbers of the people they are ruling. Just as ecologists define ecosystems by the presence of certain “indicator species” of plants and birds, torture is an indicator species of a regime that is engaged in a deeply anti-democratic project, even if that regime happens to have come to power through elections.

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (via probablyasocialecologist)

Seriously, this is easily one of the most important books of the past decade.

(via amodernmanifesto)

I hope global warming is devastating to the world, because then only the wealthiest will survive and our planet will no longer have things like: starving children.

First Year Economics Major (via shitrichcollegekidssay)

And yet I’m the one who gets shouted down when I point out, correctly, that there are actually people who want to watch the world burn. As Marx said, the motto of every capitalist is ‘Apres moi le deluge.’

lesmeaning:

me flirting: So…capitalism…pretty fucked up right

My best friend in undergrad once said to a girl, as a pickup line, ‘Baby, social democracy is inevitable.’ True story.

(Source: monosexuals, via mandalorianmercenary)

Romney suffers from the same problem afflicting the likes of Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon: He’s been living for so long with the delusion that the way he makes his money is fair and honest, he’s started to believe not only that he deserves his wealth, but the converse – that the poor deserve to be poor. He’s incapable of sympathizing with people who can’t pay their bills, because their condition is tied too closely in his mind with the question of how he made his enormous fortune: If you ask Romney to imagine what life is like for someone who’s broke, what he hears is you accusing him of making that happen. (In Romneyspeak, you’ve “attacked capitalism.”) In short, he’s a narcissist. They’re all narcissists, these colossal Wall Street types – they have to be, because the way they make their money makes moral sense only if you’re viewing things from the top of the heap. Asking them to step outside that comfort zone, into the world where the rest of us live, is an unthinkable outrage.

–Matt Taibbi, a national fucking treasure, in Rolling Stone

The Odd Couple: Romney Vs. Gingrich | Politics News | Rolling Stone

Romney Calls Obama a 'Crony Capitalist' - NYTimes.com →

So really, the guy who made a fortune by buying companies, laying off workers and then reselling them without adding any value at all to our nation’s economy, is calling somebody else a ‘crony capitalist’? The same guy who wants to repeal financial regulations on Wall Street? Who wants to cut capital gains taxes that almost solely affect the wealthiest in the country? And all because Obama is finally calling Congressional Republicans on their crap and filling positions that have been empty for months? IS IT NOVEMBER YET?

a rant.

stfuconservatives:

14kgoldnyc:

lau-ra-sau-rus:

so what the fuck happened with this now? 

firstly: the right gets to agree on everything because the right approaches from the standpoint of tradition. they get to make that claim, rightly or wrongly, and they get to tell all of us that they speak with one voice for american history/tradition/culture. the left is fractious because it is chipping away steps in a fucking mountain. the left is divided because we are aware that we are not a monolith, and i’m sorry that it’s such a fucking issue for you that people feel entitled (yeah, entitled) to have a say in what a movement that supposedly represents their interests says for them.

so now i’m pissed. now i’m just pissed because this whole concept is bullshit. because we know it doesn’t work when we let the white men (and women) who just want to fix our economy and our fucked up class system do so. this is universally accepted: if you aren’t at the table in the planning stages, you may never be at the table at all. so either tell me this movement does not represent all 99% of us or tell me you want to hear what i have to say. 

i’m so fucking sick to my stomach, literally nauseous from people telling me it’s not my goddamn time. fuck you and fuck your time if that’s the case, and i will tear you apart from the inside because that’s what it feels like when you tell me what is or isn’t important right now. 

THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT ISN’T FIGHTING RACIAL DISCRIMINATION OR THE PATRIARCHY. THEY’RE FIGHTING RICH ASSHOLES WHO HAVE STOLEN MONEY FROM EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY AND THE LAWMAKERS WHO HAVE HELPED THEM DO SO. OF COURSE FEMINIST AND MINORITY CAUSES ARE IMPORTANT, BUT INSTEAD OF LETTING O.W.S. FOCUS ON WHAT IT’S ABOUT, WHICH IS GETTING MONEY OUT OF POLITICS AND ENDING ECONOMIC DISPARITY IN AMERICA, IT’S EATEN FROM WITHIN BY PEOPLE IT WOULD BENEFIT….. CAN THE BILLIONS OF LEFTIST SPLINTER GROUPS GO AGAINST THEIR OWN SELF-INTEREST LONG ENOUGH TO ACCOMPLISH A SINGLE UNIVERSALLY BENEFICIAL GOAL?

once again: i wouldn’t care if the left would stop making claims to represent my fucking “self-interest” (hint: my “self-interest” is also the interest of a  hell of a lot of people) only to shut the fucking door in my and our faces. also, just a side-fucking-note, you can’t vow to fight rich assholes who stole money from everyone else if you cannot acknowledge how that theft differently impacted different sorts of people.

i don’t know if he was being sarcastic, or what the fuck even we should do with interpreting the voice of a guy writing voices for fictional conversations between animals, so forget the guy. i’m talking about the sentiment. 

anyway i’m sick of it. in some way, we agree: i’m sick of fighting with my own fucking side. 

Preach it.

Bolded for emphasis. I usually love Animals Talking in All Caps, but I agree that they missed the mark by a mile on this. “Liberals spend too much time infighting SO HERE’S A LENGTHY CRITICISM TO SPUR MORE OF IT.” God forbid we try to help each other be better people, or criticize anything a fellow liberal does. Do we really want to adopt the tactics of the Right? Is that how we think we’ll win? By being as bad an unilaterally-minded as they are?

-Jess

Do you want to win? Then beat them at their own game. Or, wait for total systemic collapse and then take your chances trying to rebuild from the ashes of civilization. At this point those are literally the only two options. I think the left still to this day overlooks the MASSIVE ARSENAL of wealth and power that is arrayed against them, and it is an arsenal that exists for one purpose only: to protect that wealth and power from the masses AT ANY COST. If you want to beat them, then you have to be as relentless and single-minded as they are; otherwise they’ll tear you apart, as they have been doing for decades now. I’m as liberal as they come and I’m fully on-board with identity politics and the need for solidarity and respect for all the groups in the spectrum of the left, but if there’s anything that calls for unilateral engagement at the temporary expense of other battles, it must be this. There are no moral victories when the world is at stake.

(Source: athenasaurus, via stfuconservatives)

~ (by bennlat)
This is what they will do.
This is what they are meant for.
This is what their system requires.
'Let your life be a counter-force, to stop the machine.' - Thoreau

~ (by bennlat)

This is what they will do.

This is what they are meant for.

This is what their system requires.

'Let your life be a counter-force, to stop the machine.' - Thoreau

So I told my advisor today that I’m reading this brilliant, wonderful book titled Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx. He said ‘Does the author think Marx was right?’ I said ‘Yes’ and he goes ‘Then it’s not brilliant.’

The European debt crisis is a timebomb that may well wipe out global finance capitalism as we know it and cause upheaval all over the planet, resulting in even more unemployment and hunger, volatility in credit markets and commodity prices, and political instability as voters seek to ‘blame’ somebody for something they didn’t really cause, and put somebody else in charge to ‘fix’ things that they cannot fix. I just think it’s worth pointing that out every once in a while. Carry on.

motherjones:

More #occupywallstreet wisdom. Via Evan O’Brien.

motherjones:

More #occupywallstreet wisdom. Via Evan O’Brien.

(via byallflowers)

What are the common wages of labour, depends everywhere upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower the wages of labour.

It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorizes, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work; but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes the masters can hold out much longer. A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, a merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate.

Adam Smith - ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776)

What annoys me is that it is evident he knew capitalism was so flawed and biased towards the rich and powerful.

(via spam420)

(Source: tardissr, via amodernmanifesto)

theinvisiblecommission:

Marx was right.

When I read libertarians use the word logic I do a little bit of sick in my mouth.

ourben:

statehate:

How Rich is Too Rich?

thewaterwillcome:

sarahlee310:

Sam Harris: How many Republicans who have vowed not to raise taxes on billionaires would want to live in a country with a trillionaire and 30 percent unemployment? If the answer is “none”—and it really must be—then everyone is in favor of “wealth redistribution.” They just haven’t been forced to admit it.

We already live in a country with a trillionaire and 30% unemployment. And our trillionaire doesn’t make its money through voluntary transactions because our trillionaire is a feudal lord. If you do not pay, the lords paramilitary will murder you. If a trillionaire makes his/her money by selling a valued product then no I do not have a problem living in the same country. Why should one law abiding individual be somehow made responsible for the unemployment caused by the government? The statist view of people (especially the rich) is that they are low hanging fruit that should to be harvested for tax revenue. 

Precisely ^

Also, Republicans don’t believe in free markets, and they aren’t opposed to wealth distribution in principle, so this cute little article doesn’t prove anything.

Only in a nation ruled by a leviathan state that meddles in private industry, creates barriers to entry, engages in protectionism and political favoritism, and grants monopolies could there be a trillionaire living among a population that is 1/3 unemployed. That is the only way such a wealth distribution could ever come about. And that would be thanks to the collectivists on the left and the right.

Logic: 1
Left-wing bloggers: 0

It is a free market. You’re just NOT VERY GOOD. Stop blaming the “man” because you are a terrible entrepreneur.

Capitalism does not care about employment, or jobs, or quality of life, or anything other than the unobstructed pursuit of PROFIT. That is the singular goal of capital: to create more capital. Anything that allows that creation, whether it’s “free trade” through British gunships in Hong Kong, or the slave labor of Chinese coolies in South America, or the destruction of the Amazonian rain forest for cheap beef, or the shutting down of car factories in the Midwest, or a financial derivatives market that at last count was “worth” $258 TRILLION DOLLARS on a planet with only $33 trillion in global GDP of goods and services, than that is what capital wants. Unemployment is not caused by governments; it is caused by business owners, financial traders, and bond vigilantes wanting to extract every last cent of profit that they possibly can and the best way to do that, as capitalists have known for 200 years now, is to reduce or eliminate the costs of labor. If you want to blame unemployment on a collective group, you need only look at the CEOs of the largest companies on the planet and their enablers in the stock market, the banks, and the halls of Congress.

(via ourben-deactivated20111205-deac)

Rick Perry's Crony Capitalism Problem - WSJ.com →

I’m less surprised by the fact that Rick Perry used a shitload of public money to help reward his political allies and contributors than by the fact that the Wall Street Journal actually investigated and ran this piece. This article alone should be the broadside that blows Perry out of presidential consideration (let alone the fact that he allowed an innocent man to be executed but hey, Texans think it “takes balls to execute an innocent man”).