Ronald Reagan, the poet laureate of capitalism
Today, Guernica Magazine published a great, insightful and inciting interview with South Asian trans performance duo DarkMatter. For instance, this is how they expand upon the above statement that Alok never met a man:
Janani Balasubramanian: I think what Alok was saying with the idea of how we’ve never met a man in our lives, is that manhood is not just an ideal of gender; it also becomes a set of ideals around race, class, respectability, purchasing power, whatever. I’ve never met a single person in their lives who’s rich, has no feelings, goes to the gym every hour, drinks protein shakes all day. This person doesn’t exist.
In a conversation led by Guernica’s Kevin St. James, they discuss gender, performance, colonialism, capitalism, disappointing your parents and the importance of cracking jokes. It really is a must-read, whether you agree with their stances or not.
As our society allows the corporate cultures to reduce the priorities of education to the pragmatic requirements of the market, whereby students are trained to become “compliant workers, spectorial consumers, and passive citizens,” it necessarily has to create educational structures that anesthetize students’ critical abilities, in order to domesticate social order for its self-preservation.
Free speech, like all marketplace activities, benefits those who are currently life’s winners, reinforcing their advantage while enabling them to say to themselves that they won fair and square. Perhaps only the threat of serious social disruption will shake the current complacency, so that in twenty or fifty years we will look upon hate speech rules with the same equanimity with which we now view defamation, forgery, obscenity, copyright, and dozens of other exceptions to the free speech principle, and wonder why in the late twentieth century we resisted them so strongly.
Richard Delgado and David H. Yun. “Pressure Valves and Bloodied Chickens: An Analysis of Paternalistic Objections to Hate Speech Regulation.” 82 Cal. L. Rev. 871 (1994)
Twenty years later, hate speech rules are still discussed in a similar manner. The paternalistic arguments opposing rules against racist hate speech Delgado and Yun emphasize in this essay (hate speech allows people to blow off steam harmlessly; laws will be mainly applied against minorities; free speech is minorities’ best friend; talking back (more speech) is the best/only way to respond to racist speech) are still often thrown at people who want to act against hateful speech. While free speech is certainly the most central element of democracy, the hate speech problem remains. The Internet only amplifies the problem. What will change in the next 30 years?
For private business prison labor is like a pot of gold. No strikes. No union organizing. No health benefits, unemployment insurance, or workers’ compensation to pay. No language barriers, as in foreign countries. New leviathan prisons are being built on thousands of eerie acres of factories inside the walls. Prisoners do data entry for Chevron, make telephone reservations for TWA, raise hogs, shovel manure, and make circuit boards, limosines, waterbeds, and lingerie for Victoria’s Secret, all at a fraction of the cost of ‘free labor’.
And that is where the true frustration lies: I was furious and frustrated with the corporation, but you can’t get a corporation on the phone. I spent hours on the phone with people, humans trying to do their job, in some cases going well above-and-beyond their job to help me. Even though I wanted to scream about the situation, I didn’t want to yell at the people trying to help me.
Love and interpersonal emotions in general are needs which cease to demand at least minimal fulfillment only when human beings have long since ceased to be human. In capitalist society, the woman has the special mission of being both reservoir and receptacle for a whole range of human emotions otherwise banished from society.
Angela Davis, “Women and Capitalism: Dialectics of Oppression and Liberation”
I think this fits perfectly in the Schmerzensmann discussion we’re having in Germany at the moment. Many (heterosexual-cis) men complain that they can’t express emotions in public like women. This quote shows that it isn’t necesarily a good thing to be able, no expected, to express and deal with emotions.
Of course, that’s not even close to true. In an economy in which real wages have been stagnant or even in decline for years, credit has had to make up the difference. Banks and credit card companies have profited off the rest of the country’s debt. “America is a nation whose growth in recent decades has been predicated on a model of consumption. From a nation that used to save to invest, we now borrow to consume,” wrote Moses Kim at Naked Capitalism back in 2009.
Consumer borrowing is way up in June. Wages sure as hell aren’t. Coincidence? Of course not.
It sometimes blows my mind how many things are going wrong at the moment.
but the fact of the matter is that one of these days we have to stop praying for everybody to get mad and destroying things—and instead teach each other how to have the heart to live. destroying things is what capitalism does best, and it’s what we’ve been taught to love and what to do when we’re really angry. blow things up and you’re empowered! love and loving people is what is still called being a pussy. building love, community, and relationships is still called stupid/doesn’t make sense in this globalized world that expects you to get up and leave for any damn reason it decides.