Socialism Art Nature
Helen Keller, “On Competition,” 1918

People who think about such matters realize that the competitive system by which the affairs of the world are conducted today has not proved satisfactory. Growing numbers perceive that there may be a better plan, a better social order. It is self-evident that our institutions should make us all reasonably happy. That the majority of human beings upon this planet are not happy is obvious. People more and more are recognizing that some fundamental changes in the method of conducting the world’s business must take place before all departments of human endeavor coordinate, and that until coordination is secured, there will be injustice, exploitation, waste and wars. Now competition is one of the primary obstacles in the way of coordinating man’s efforts to secure justice, freedom, efficiency and lasting peace.

We have been taught that competition is healthy, necessary, that to destroy it would be to sap the springs of energy and individualism. It is insisted, without it life would be harder and more unpleasant even than it is. No more work would be done than was absolutely necessary. The business man would not rise early. He would not spend the whole day in his office. Industry and trade would stagnate. No new markets would be opened; there would be no fluctuation of prices; there would be no excitement, no incentive. Life would become dull, monotonous. Life would not be worth while without the keen edge of competition. Men would lost ambition, and the race would sink into dull sameness, compared with which peas in a pod would present a pleasing variety.

This whole argument is a fallacy. Whatever is worth while in our civilization has survived in spite of competition. Under the competitive system the work of the world is badly done. The result is waste and ruin. Things will never be better until cooperative production is substituted for competitive production.

Primarily; industrial life is rent by competition. Profit is the aim, and the public good is a secondary consideration. Competition sins against its own pet god efficiency. In spite of all the struggle, toil and fierce effort the result is a depressing state of destitution for the majority of mankind. Competition diverts man’s energies into useless channels and degrades his character. It is immoral as well as inefficient, since its commandment is, “Thou shalt compete against thy neighbor.” Truthfulness, honesty, consideration for others, such a rule does not foster. But it does foster selfishness, want of sympathy, cheating, adulteration of goods and the making  of worthless cheap wares. Competitors are indifferent to each other’s welfare. Indeed, they are glad of each others’ failure because they find their advantage in it. Compassion is deadened in them by the necessity they are under of nullifying the efforts of their fellow-competitors.

This order is founded upon injustice and supported by force. It gives the land on which all must live into the hands of a few; it squanders vast sums on war, and meets the demands of working-men for higher wages and better conditions with indifference or resistance. Under such a system unhappiness is the rule, and happiness the exception. Disease is common; sound health is rare. The majority are in want while the minority live in luxury.

Finally, to every nation comes a moment when “a good war” is the only remedy for internal disorder. “A good war” is the comfort of despair. That is the sort of war [World War I]that is rending the world today. “Each for himself” is a selfish, soulless rule. “Each for all” is much more stimulative and effective. Cooperation, or combined control, achieves a far greater result not only for the whole, but also for the individual.

Competition is wasteful of labor and laborers. It exploits the workers to such an extent that they are too poor to buy what they themselves produce. In a fever of production competition piles up masses of goods for which there is no market at home. As a consequence of over-production we have armed competition of governments, and the world is periodically plunged into war with the object of opening foreign markets for the surplus. The present world war is a monstrous example of the warfare of competition. Look at all the commercial countries at this moment. What is the supreme aim of their governments? Markets. All over the world they are hunting for undeveloped countries to “shoot” their commodities into, while millions of their own people are hungry, cold and naked. Thus we have the amazing spectacle of great armies and navies composed of the exploited workers competing with each other, enduring terrific hardships and unimaginable sacrifice, in order to dispose of the fruits of their own labor for the benefit of a privileged few in their respective countries! What an outrageous, unthinkable state of affairs! For these reasons competition is a great sin, the cause of incalculable misery, waste and ruin. None of the evils enumerated in this indictment is accidental or temporary. They are an inevitable result of the present social order. Away with this order then — this competitive, capitalistic order with its ruling of class by class, its courts of injustice, its hypocrisies, its clashing interests, its shocking contrasts, its  wars and its uncertain peace. I say, this competitive system has been a long, costly experiment, and has failed.


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Journalism is one of the devices whereby industrial autocracy keeps its control over political democracy; it is the day-by-day, between-elections propaganda, whereby the minds of the people are kept in a state of acquiescence, so that when the crisis of an election comes, they go to the polls and cast their ballots for either one of the two candidates of their exploiters. Not hyperbolically and contemptuously, but literally and with scientific precision, we define Journalism in America as the business and practice of presenting the news of the day in the interest of economic privilege.
Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

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Our society pits men against women at every turn. It teaches men that they are the natural better of women; that she belongs to him. That he is her ‘natural protector’ and therefore entitled to her body.

To be sure, many men will fight tooth and nail to defend the existence of these unequal social relations. For many men, this society truly is the best of all possible worlds from their vantage point, and they have little to gain and much to lose in the event that women win true social emancipation.

However, there are far too many other men who are themselves exploited and oppressed by this society and have every interest in seeing its downfall, and yet buy into the notion that their supremacy over women translates into their own liberation within the status quo; that their emancipation is predicated upon the oppression of women. To these men I say, what emancipation? What liberation? What grand set of conditions which prevail under the status quo are you defending?

If the oppression of women was necessary for your liberation, then why do you remain, under present social conditions, mired in poverty, ill health, low wages, police brutality, imprisonment, alienated and unfulfilled labor, war, environmental catastrophe, and a host of other cultural norms which suffocate you in a rigid cage of artificially-constructed “masculinity”?

No. To quote the great revolutionary socialist, Helen Keller, “Workingmen suffer from the helplessness of working women. They must compete in the same offices and factories with women who are unable to protect themselves with proper laws. They must compete with women who work in unsanitary rooms called homes, work by dim lamps at nite, rocking a cradle with one foot. It is to the interest of all workers to end this stupid, one-sided, one power arrangement.”

"The laws made by men rule the minds as well as the bodies of women. The man-managed state so conducts its schools that the ideals of women are warped to hideous shapes … Nearly all the opportunities, educational and political, that woman has acquired have been gained by a march of conquest with a skirmish at every post.

"We shall not see the end of capitalism and the triumph of democracy until men and women work together in the solving of their political, social, and economic problems, [and thereby] hasten the day when the age-long dream of liberty, equality and brotherhood shall be realized upon earth."


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We truly need to destroy contemporary U.S. society in all of its wretchedness in order to create something better; just as the caterpillar must be destroyed to make way for the butterfly.

A society so horribly corrupted by a history and legacy of misogyny, racism, slavery, genocide, xenophobia, bigotry, inequality, and white male supremacy is fundamentally irredeemable. Humanity today has as little use for the prevailing institutions of capitalist society as the American slaves had for the politico-juridical infrastructure of the Antebellum South.

We must burn misogyny to the ground in the same way that slavery was burned to the ground by the likes of Sherman and Sheridan.

A much better is world possible than this Hell on Earth we call “modern civilization”. But it will not come about without the storm and stress of revolutionary rejuvenation; without a vicious and merciful onslaught on the very root conditions which make capitalist and white-male supremacy possible.

#YesAllWomen #YesAllThingsMustChange #YesAllOppression #YesWeNeedRevolution


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hi! i'm writing an essay about the biggest problem facing america today and i'm considering doing the broken capitalist system and it's oppression of the lower class. do you have any articles/links that might be helpful?

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The bourgeois newspapers have attached no importance to another intriguing event. The Russian revolutionaries have not only freed political prisoners, but common criminals as well. When the common criminals in one prison were told they were free, they replied that they felt they did not have the right to accept liberty because they had to expiate their crimes. In Odessa they gathered in the prison courtyard and of their own volition swore to become honest men and resolved to live by their own labours. From the point of view of the socialist revolution, this news has more importance even than that of the dismissal of the Tsar and the grand-dukes. The Tsar would have been deposed by bourgeois revolutionaries as well. But in bourgeois eyes, these condemned men would still have been the enemies of their order, the stealthy appropriators of their wealth and their tranquillity. In our eyes their liberation has this significance: what the revolution has created in Russia is a new way of life. It has not only replaced one power by another, it has replaced one way of life by another. It has created a new moral order, and in addition to the physical liberty of the individual, has established liberty of the mind. The revolutionaries were not afraid to send back into circulation men whom bourgeois justice had stamped with the infamous brand “previous offender”, men whom bourgeois justice had catalogued into various types of criminal delinquent. Only in an atmosphere of social turbulence could such an event occur, when the way of life and the prevailing mentality is changed. Liberty makes men free and widens their moral horizons; it turns the worst criminal under an authoritarian regime into a martyr for the cause of duty, a hero in the cause of honesty.
Antonio Gramsci

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Read it here: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

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Here’s What Happened to McDonald’s Employees Protesting for a Higher Wage

After a high-profile international protest — the biggest fast food strike in history — disgruntled McDonald’s employees decided to continue their campaign outside the company headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., leading to more than 100 arrests and a tussle with the police.

Wednesday’s protest was held a day before the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where it’s expected executive pay will be discussed. Around 2,000 McDonald’s workers and other minimum wage activists stormed the Hamburger University campus to call for $15 hourly wages and the right to unionize, leading to what is reported to be the largest demonstration against the world’s biggest fast food company.

"We cannot survive on poverty wages. We need our wages to be increased and we need a union to have protection in the workplace and take care of our families," 25-year-old McDonald’s employee Jessica Davis, who makes $8.98 an hour, told TIME. “McDonald’s is my only job. It’s really hard taking care of two children and paying the bills.”


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The school of 450 students only had a nurse one day a week. Poverty kills. Capitalism kills. We will not be able to ‪#‎BringBackOurChildren‬ who die from budget cuts and inequality.

===


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Socialism 2014

Four days of radical politics, debate, and entertainment
June 26–29 • Crowne Plaza Hotel O’Hare • Chicago

http://www.socialismconference.org


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But one thing is clear: [in a post-capitalist society] the ownership of ideas will be exposed as a sham and a delusion. It follows that the elaborate fiction of intellectual property will simply be abolished. Owning ideas is impossible; the regimes of copyright, patent, and trademark have been enshrined in law and in popular consciousness to the detriment of creativity and the sharing of the infinite bounty of the human imagination. Since artists will no longer need to fear being ripped off, able instead to count on credit and remuneration for their effort, the dubious protections copyright provides will serve no purpose. At a stroke such impediments to freedom would be done away with, and the problems and promise they have so long obscured will become immediately apparent.
Matt Calahan, artist and activist (Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA)

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What One Product Makes the Most Money For Each Nation? Check This Map »


This is actually interesting as it demonstrates the economic global hierarchy that defines modern imperialism (the highest stage of capitalism). Despite the end of the overtly-colonial era, Africa, for instance, largely remains a source of raw materials that get exported to the wealthier economies, such as EU and the U.S., where they are used in the manufacture of more profitable finished commodities.

What One Product Makes the Most Money For Each Nation? Check This Map »

This is actually interesting as it demonstrates the economic global hierarchy that defines modern imperialism (the highest stage of capitalism). Despite the end of the overtly-colonial era, Africa, for instance, largely remains a source of raw materials that get exported to the wealthier economies, such as EU and the U.S., where they are used in the manufacture of more profitable finished commodities.


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US Uncut
Happening NOW: Hundreds of NYC fast-food workers walk off the job and march down Broadway to participate in the largest fast-food strike in history. 
SHARE this photo and help make #fastfoodglobal a trending topic on social media!

Happening NOW: Hundreds of NYC fast-food workers walk off the job and march down Broadway to participate in the largest fast-food strike in history.

SHARE this photo and help make #fastfoodglobal a trending topic on social media!


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theweekmagazine:

SAT scores by family income, in one revealing chart

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US Uncut
While internet users in the US struggle with expensive and slow connections provided by cable corporations, Chattanooga, Tennessee’s fiber-optic network, “The Gig”, is a taxpayer-owned public utility that boasts internet speeds 50 times faster than the rest of the country.  SHARE this if the FCC should dump their plans to end net neutrality and classify the internet as a public utility. http://nyti.ms/1cQHGRG

While internet users in the US struggle with expensive and slow connections provided by cable corporations, Chattanooga, Tennessee’s fiber-optic network, “The Gig”, is a taxpayer-owned public utility that boasts internet speeds 50 times faster than the rest of the country.

SHARE this if the FCC should dump their plans to end net neutrality and classify the internet as a public utility.

http://nyti.ms/1cQHGRG

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