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Every morning I wake up on the wrong side of capitalism

There’s been a call for a general strike on May 1 – International Workers Day.

No work, no school, no shopping, no banking, no trading.

Just protest.

I’m in.

To find out more on what you can do on the day, click here.

Here’s one Facebook page you can join.

The call has been translated into Persian, Arabic, French, Italian, Japanese and more here.

Comments

  1. says

    Capitalism and free enterprise/private property are not necessarily one and the same! Fact is corporate capitalism often dominates and destroys organic economies made up of smaller producers and private property holders. Karl Marx spoke some truth in his sociological observations of the capitalism being created by the industrial revolution without a doubt!
    As an American who majored in History and Sociology, I know all too well the failings of the American capitalist system and understand why it happened. Truth is the United States Supreme Court at the end of the 19th Century did a deep disservice to our society when it declared that a corporation had the same rights as an individual, American citizen!
    A business that gets so large that it can suppress all competition by absorbing smaller properties and destroying smaller producers takes on an ugly life of its own and makes life ugly for the masses in general! European rightists and American conservatives are really a different breed with the United States lacking a parliamentary system that allows smaller parties with greater ideological representation and expanded ways of political thinking!
    We Americans have largely bought into a myth of a middle class that is really the working class. There are inevitable class antagonisms with the need for adjustments through government to insure fairness and a common good that allows a civilized society to emerge. Of course, it is hard to create this when a population is dumbed down and most would be hard pressed to even identify other countries on a world map!
    The USA was the first Republic in post classical history. We have created a two party, political system that stunts our political thinking. We limited the number of our House of Representatives to an artificially small 435 that means a Congressional District is so large and expensive to get elected to that within a narrow 2 Party system, both political options and candidates are too limited! We changed our original Constitution to directly elect Senators from each state instead of having them chosen by a caucus of state legislators allowing a minority third, local, political Party to have national influence again, increasing the influence of corporate money since to run for office across a US state is again, very expensive!
    As a rightist, I might not agree with the communist ideas espoused by factions associated with International Workers Day but wish I lived in a country where there was more debate on such topics! Where there are Labor Parties there is more consideration for how employers treat their workers because the truth is employers need to be afraid to mistreat their workers in a properly functioning, free enterprise economy! Also, on the right, such environments produce National Parties with expanded ideological base with principles not just governed by capitalist or religously centered, social theories! Is what it is!
    Future Happy Workers Day! Cheers!

    • lordshipmayhem says

      You have just described, not capitalism as the baddie, but mercantilism. Capitalism, properly regulated for the good of the consumer, maximizes benefits for the majority of people out there. It’s responsible for many of the luxuries we enjoy, including eating and sleeping indoors.

      Mercantilism is when the providers are in charge. Capitalism works best when they aren’t, when the regulations are created and enforced in a way that keeps the consumer’s benefit foremost in mind.

      And the providers do not include just the business owners, but unions and unrepresented workers as well – agents and the like. Only some of us are producers, and at that only some of the time. All of us are consumers, all of the time.

  2. says

    I know this post isn’t anything to do with secularism, but I wanted to make the observation that one of secularism’s key strengths (and a strength we need to make more of, in my opinion) is that it appeals to people regardless of whether they’re “very much on the left” (like Maryam), slightly on the right (like me) or even very much on the right (someone like a Douglas Murray, perhaps?).

    So whilst I am 1,000% with Maryam on the whole secularism agenda, and whilst I acknowledge someone’s right to withdraw labour, I won’t be specifically supporting this one.

    And even though I am slightly on the right, I can still be completely against dodgy tax deals for wealthy individuals/corporates, completely against unchecked corporate power generally, and completely against a shallow consumerist lifestyle of endless brand-worship.

    And although I would instinctively support low(er) taxes, I suppose my utopia, even though I’m sure it’s rose-tinted at times, would be the Scandinavian model of higher taxes but high levels of social care, without the huge gulf between rich and poor as is the case in the U.S. and increasingly the U.K. Plus, they tend to be fairly secular!

    • Paulo Alves Reis says

      Today, for me, it doesn’t make any sense the division between left and right.

      I grow up in a country with a fascist political system that last for 49 years. I believed in that division of left and right. I wanted to change the world “make it a better place”. After the revolution (I was only 11 years old) there were a lot of hopes but Portugal ended like any other European country ruled by parliamentary cretinism.

      The goal in politics is to arrive on a high position to make a good living and the correct speeches to earn the votes to continuing making a good live.

      Of course is different the left and the right speech but at the end it is CE, FMI, European Bank, World Bank that makes the real politics.

      In Switzerland believe it or not there is a political system with a lot of popular participation and a good balance between political parties.

      With a “Popular initiative” the common people can make a demand, that if accepted in a referendum it is law. This popular initiative works at all levels: commune, canton and federal.

      I love this idea “power to the people”. I remember speaking (in the early 80’s) with some leftists friends about this and they were chocked by my suggestion, they said, “the people cannot decide like that” … so there are some illuminated politicians that knows what is good for all of us …

      Maryam wrote that “Of course there is a left and right” and that “The Left has always been the banner carrier of social justice…”

      What is social justice? All the develop countries did their development exploiting the rest of the world.
      Social justice is a “European way of life” for every citizen? Can we do it al over the world?
      Left and right are the same – both believes in a constant growing of the economy.
      It is possible? Is the physical world growing and I didn’t notice?
      We need a totally new paradigm.

  3. sumdum says

    If i were an american, I might have joined in, but the things they are fighting for in the occupy movement, we already have here.

  4. ... says

    I’m out.

    Every single anti-capitalist movement has spilt oceans of blood. These people are not your friends.

    Wake. The hell. Up.

  5. says

    What’s with the animosity against the suggestion? This isn’t a whizzing contest about whose magic formula works best. The thing that has empirically displayed a workable system for Western democracies has been a salad of both capitalist and socialist ideas. The main problem encountered, as with any ideology, is when extremists take over and the entire thing goes to hell.

    The anger that anyone with any sort of sensibilities about social justice and empathy has been, especially with current American branded capitalism, the extremist nature it has taken on. The country dismantled safeguards put in place to protect the entire economy as well as the working person. In one fell swoop the dismantling of that barrier let in a stampede of recession/near depression, a massive shift of the overall national wealth to those already wealthy, a system that not only loses mortgages but then blames the homeowner and repossesses their homes, etc., &c, ad nauseum.

    It would be more correct to say that any general strike would be in protest of the perversion of the capitalist system by a disgusting segment of society that believes that maximum wealth is greater than altruism, good citizenship, welfare of your neighbors and a genuine concern for those less fortunate. The crass depravity evidenced typically on Fox News regarding ‘class warfare’ is such an Orwellian turnaround game that the audacity of those perpetrating it leaves the stomach churning in a sick feeling of anger and loathing. Millionaires and billionaires being asked to pay an additional half-percentage of taxes is somehow abhorrent, but requesting even the most impoverished families to pay ‘their fair share of taxes’ is a generous gesture of fairness and goodwill. What utter fucking bollocks. The most repulsive component of this line of reasoning is that it is generally assisted along with a strong dose of American evangelism. What would Jesus do? Why, he would most certainly demand that those who don’t even have cash to buy all those things we generally consider necessities ante up and quit sponging off the system. Nevermind that the rich don’t live in a vacuum and the society and civilization that created their wealth has to be constructed and maintained by those who will never see a hundred dollar bill.

    I think it is a worthy gesture to participate in a general strike, but in all honesty I didn’t even realize until reading Ms. Namazie’s weblog post just now that such a thing had been suggested. Perhaps next year, with a year’s worth of organization and social media pushes it could be a thing that creates noticeable and useful reaction. Unlike the ‘Occupy’ movement, there is a tangible and specific goal to such a demonstration. A clear and specific message accompanied by a large enough demonstration could achieve some very positive attention and hopefully positive changes.

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