Friday, March 28, 2014

The Spectre Haunts

"Revolutions,” Lapham’s Quarterly, Spring 2014

Lewis Lapham wrote a piece in Salon this month called “Crowd Control,” which is also the ‘preamble’ to this magazine’s issue.  In it he posed the obvious fact – though not so obvious for most – that revolution is the monster hiding behind the curtain of modern life.  The 'spectre of revolution' haunts the world.  This is what the rich fear the most, across the globe.  They do not fear the tinkerers, the moderates, the ‘reasonable’ people, the reformists.  These people pose no threat – in fact most of them are already in bed with the rulers, and it is a big bed and cozy.  And pays well too, I hear.  Perhaps 10% of the population dwells there in advanced capitalist countries.  But the other 90%?  Not so much.   This 90% is a problem for the ruling class and cause them much heartburn.  Even the recent rash of billionaires whining about being 'put upon' is a sign that their 'style' is being cramped. 

Revolution is sometimes the only idea that gives people hope that something can actually change.  Living in a society totally dominated by the rich, who boss the class around every day, or leave many to rot in unemployment or poverty - for life?  And a state armed to the teeth standing behind them.  And no way this would ever change.  Sort of like being in a locked room with no exit. Sanity requires real ‘hope’ – and revolution is the ultimate hope of oppressed peoples.

It has been noted that Marxism is beginning to be taken seriously once again by ex-liberals and radical intellectuals after its ‘death’ due to the collapse of the USSR.  A premature death, evidently.  Marxism provides the best description of capitalism, and that is its initial attraction  Compounding this is the collapse of traditional liberalism – tracked in books like 2006’s “The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual,” by Eric Lott and 2010’s “Death of the Liberal Class,’ by Chris Hedges.  (reviewed below, use blog search box.)  Harpers recently featured an article, “Nothing Left,” by Adolph Reed, criticizing how the Democratic Party has limited the agenda of the left.  These are not typical conservative sources slamming liberals, but ex-liberal and intellectual analyses that track the confluence of ‘liberalism’ with corporate Amerika .  Liberalism is Marxism’s main enemy at this time on the so-called ‘left’ in the U.S.  Of course, many liberals don’t even know they actually aren’t on the left.  Call them thick.  In European countries actual Marxism’s enemy is social-democracy.  Social-democracy too has been implicated in the rise of neo-liberalism – in fact is another face for it, the Euro face.

What is so interesting is that Lapham dedicates a whole volume to various revolutionaries and non-revolutionaries writing on that subject.  They are pro-revolution, anti-revolutionary, counter-revolutionary, half-revolutionary and sometimes lost in place.  Lapham edited Harpers in the ‘80s, his family is San Francisco aristocracy and he’s a Yalie – so he is a bit of a class traitor.  But he’s mostly an aesthete of revolution – appreciating it for its edgy nature, and not from any commitment to the working class.  Trotsky, Ho Chi Minh, Rosa Luxemburg, Che Guevara, Emma Goldman, Subcomandante Marcos, Toussaint L’Overture, Karl & Friedrich, Mao Tse-Tung, Prodhon, David Graeber, Nachaev and Victor Serge are some of the open leftists in this heavy-paper collection, while people like Dostoevsky, Freud, Lord Byron, Jefferson, Vaclev Havel, Joan Didion, Albert Camus and a host of others write about the subject from their esoteric vantage points. Even Hitler gets a word in, so a magazine titled 'Revolutions' evidently can't tell revolution from its opposite. 

What Lapham has done here is shine a spotlight on a subject that the bourgeois press distorts or hides.  As one of the included charts shows, ‘political’ uprisings and rebellions have increased in the world to the point where the 20th Century saw a huge increase in revolts.  His chart stops at 2000, but events certainly didn’t.  By using these charts – others include scientific and technological ‘revolutions - he is referencing the ‘power law’ discovered in complexity and chaos theory.  I.e. every event happens, but in a mathematical relation to other events in its field – the larger, the less frequent, but still – occurring.  And if revolutions, revolts and rebellions become more frequent in various localities across the globe?  Quantity can turn into quality.  Well, that suggests that we are approaching … world revolution of some type.  This is what makes our billionaires and oligarchs sleepless. 

However, as we know, overthrowing a government is not necessarily progressive. Revolution is not another name for any political turmoil or overthrow, though its used in that way by the corporate press. The IMF/EU/US coup in Ukraine is an example of a revolt that will replace one ruler with another.  The overthrow of Morsi in Egypt by the Egyptian military, an event ok’d by the U.S., returns Egypt for the most part to the status quo. These two are political revolts based primarily on pro-European Ukrainian nationalism and Egyptian capitalist class power. But the underlying reality – and I think the real cause for these overthrows – is the economic and social decay of the capitalist systems underlying each country.  Any charting of these events must indicate in which direction they go in response to these economic crises – backwards or forwards – or perhaps sideways, containing both aspects. Yet both usher in totally new political conditions.

Social revolution is the deepest form of revolution, and charts like this normally don’t distinguish ‘depth’ in this sense.  At least not yet. 

Lapham is a clever and well-read fellow who loves his words perhaps more than anything else.  So being witty is essential.  He also desires to show off how erudite he is, which has to account for some of the selections in this volume.  His preamble, ‘Crowd Control” borrows from Marx by way of Thomas Frank and the Baffler on the ‘commodification of rebellion.’  Essentially, capital will sell you your rebellion for the price of a tattoo or a Che T-shirt.  So can the revolution be bought?  He never answers that question, but seems pessimistic.  He thinks most social rebellion in the U.S. is some kind of cultural lark, echoing Tom Wolfe.  He is attracted to isolated liberal intellectuals like Hannah Arendt and Simone Weil, but plays fair with Marx and Engels.  Because he has too at this point. While hostile to Marxism, he can no longer ignore it.

The edition is loaded with full color illustrations, is built on quality paper and contains many articles about social, political, intellectual and technocratic revolutions and revolts past and present that you probably have never read.  Some are direct, some not.  It makes its rather steep price worth it.  But whether you read it or not – be aware.  Something is happening here, and you might know what it is, Mr. Jones.  The sensitive radar antennae of the radical intellectuals is quivering.

Red Frog
March 28, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Deaths of a Salesman

"Coming Up for Air,” George Orwell, 1939

This book, one of Orwell’s least known, shows that obscurity can’t fade Orwell’s writing and ideas.  Even in a ‘lesser’ work, the man shines through.  George, also the name of the lead character, is an ordinary ‘everyman’ that perhaps thinks a bit too much.  He’s an overweight salesman that used to be young, and then work and marriage happened.  Oh, and that first big war, which he mostly and thankfully spent in Cornwall.  He’s all for little boys killing frogs and fishing and all that, yet afraid to holiday without his wife.  He’ll talk anyone into anything, as he’s in traveling sales.  But sometimes he thinks another war is coming.  And he’s right.  Machine guns in the windows.  And cruel men. 

Written in the period between “Homage to Catalonia” and ‘Animal Farm,’ this book captures the period in Britain between the two wars, when the small, rural England of Tolkein and Orwell was dozed over into suburban clots of housing and hurry.  War, industry and the Depression changed all that.  The formally quiet banks of the Thames now throng with ice cream salesman, garbage and screaming children.  The fish pools are filled with rusted cans.  The old house is unrecognizable.  Nothing to do but drink in fake drawing rooms.

George lectures on the real estate scams run by the building societies that put everyone in deep debt.  Yes, he’s got his 5 square meters of green surrounded by wall.  He cringes while nasty bosses yell at shop girls.  He recalls how his father’s small business was destroyed by a large chain store.  He makes fun of the Marxists who harangue over Hitler, but then perhaps thinks them right.  Though he’s no smarty-pants and proud of it.  Yet George even got into a period of reading – and covered all the good tales.  Orwell fills the books with boyish stereotypes, which either reflect Orwell or George.  Of course George is also a bit Orwell.  The man hates his wife, but can’t think of leaving her, as she’s become part of the woodwork.  So he takes her verbal punishments.  George is also probably the first person in literature that I can remember to discuss how red-faced fat people are abused. 

‘Coming up for air’ is the phrase that George thinks of when he decides to play hooky from his job and wife, and revisit the old hometown that he hasn’t seen in 20 years.  Lower Binfield, somewhere near the upper Thames.  He talks to his old pastor, but doesn’t identify himself.  He talks to his first girlfriend in the guise of buying a pipe, and she doesn’t recognize him.  She is so ugly he is astonished. He enters his dad’s old seed shop, which is now a tea & cake parlor.  He tries to fish – the only thing he ever really enjoyed – and finally scoffs at himself for such childish pursuits.

Thomas Wolf said of Asheville, North Carolina that ‘you can’t go home.’  And indeed you can’t.  George discovers the same. A quiet, human book, with a strong touch of nostalgia for a lost world.  He’s the ‘new’ man of Britain, a white collar bloke with a broken-down car.  And inside him, a quiet critique of British capitalism.  

(Review of "All Art is Propaganda" also by Orwell, below.)

And I bought it in Mayday Books excellent used/marked down section
Red Frog
March 25, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Misery in Capitalist Nigeria

"Famished Road,” by Ben Okri, 1991

Nigeria in 1991 was not a pretty place.  Nothing has changed since 1991 – it has probably  just gotten worse.  It is run by a kleptocratic and violent military junta; riven by ethnic and religious bloodshed, dominated by a cursed extraction economy, with international oil companies sitting at the top of this cruel pile.  Who says literature cannot be a part of real life?  This book is.

This nightmarish novel combines the hallucinations and dreams of a ‘spirit child’ with the experiences of an actual child in a run-down slum in capitalist Nigeria.  The trees are being cut down around his shack village, the forest is disappearing.  Roads are being built that might swallow everyone whole.  The ghetto inhabitants are ruled over by landlords and bar owners and political thugs.  The bar owner, Madame Koto, becomes swollen with wealth and power.   The child sees the crippled and warped emotional spirits that hover over these poverty-stricken and brutalized labouring people.   His name is Azaro – or “Lazarus”- for he is only temporarily human.  He has chosen to live with the humans, though his dead spirit friends want him back.  He is abducted by spirits and real villains again and again, both friendly and hostile.  He gets lost in the unceasing movement of the city.  He is chased by monsters through city and forest.   

Azaro's mother sells trinkets, and is kicked out of the bazaar.  His father carries heavy concrete sacks at the city garage area.  His father brutalizes his mother and he out of frustration with his life.  They all live together in a leaking shack in the compound, barely able to pay their rent.  The spirits provide the emotional signage for the terrible destruction meted out to the poor.  Azaro has thrown his lot in with the humans, and pays the price. 

Only once do the inhabitants take revenge as a group.  They take it upon the politicians of the ‘Party of the Rich’ when they offer spoiled milk to the hungry – a milk that makes everyone vomit.  They promise plenty, then dole out poison.  Quite symbolic.  The people burn the politicians’ van, beat their thugs and chase the landlord and politician out of the neighborhood.  And the people get their picture in the paper for doing this, the first time ever.  And so the thugs come back, chasing photographer Jeremiah, who took pictures of the rebellion.  The thugs haunt the streets with threats of revenge.  This is the atmosphere of “violence and war’ that permeates Nigeria. But it also shows that Okri has little faith in politics.

Azaro’s father, known as “Dad,” a tough pugilist who can finish several men with his fists, decides to get out of this grinding poverty by becoming a ‘politician.’  Although he doesn’t quite know what that means.  Dad becomes a supporter of the Party of the Poor until he understands they are lying too.  He fights thugs from the Party of the Rich and also various magical thugs - and defeats them all, though at great cost to his own body.  But each beating makes him see the weakness of the Nigerian people when faced with such political terrors.  Each beating makes him wiser.  Dad becomes the prophet that no one listens to, except his wife and son. 

Okri presents a circular view of life and also a progressive view, and these war quietly in the book’s background.  Will the future be brighter or the same?  He makes the case that the ‘beautiful misery’ of human life is worth it, in a sort of humanist paen.  Well, certainly, most are not about to commit suicide.  But this affirmation swims in a sea of misery and combat, of blood, palm wine and dream visions, and is exposed as a bit weak for all that. 

This is a hard book to read, emotionally. The number of grotesque images multiplies like the flies that inhabit the town, like the rats under the floorboards.  It is a style that might be called ‘magical realism’ except that reality overwhelms the ‘magic’ and the magic reinforces the reality.  Aestheticizing poverty and misery is difficult, and perhaps Gabriel Marquez could do it but he didn’t really try.  His book, “100 Years of Solitude” does not really focus on tragic shanty-town life of Latin America.  But Okri cannot ignore poverty, and that is a good thing.  This is, to me, a straight-ahead depiction of life in Nigeria for the majority.  Whatever stylistic methods Okri might use from prior African writing - like the bush literature of Amos Tutola - his intention is clearly not to romanticize or veil reality.  As hard as it is at times for readers to separate the spirit language from the real language, they all ultimately flow together into one emotional and real wallop.

(This book, which was a winner of the Booker Prize, was mentioned in "Monsterology," reviewed below.)

Red Frog
March 21, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Rock the Kasbah

Morocco – Class is in Session!

Marrakesh, the party town, is supposedly the top tourist site in Africa.  Rabat is the old imperial capital of the country, and is still the quieter seat of government.  Fes has a large ancient medina that you could get lost in for days.  Casablanca is the Moroccan version of Marseille – all business and work.  And Ricks’ CafĂ© still exists there!  What is not to like? 

Going to another country is an immersive education, and Morocco is no different.  Of course, what you learn might not be on the curriculum.  A colony of the French for many years, a benevolent capitalist monarchy at present, a Muslim country not suffering from inter-Islamic warfare or the worst of intolerance.  The Turks never got there, which is why there is no crescent on their flag, just a green star on a red background, changed by the French. Before that it was plain red.  It was relayed to us that Sultan Mohammed V, the first king of the newly independent nation, greeted the Nazis with a yellow star on his jilaba.  Sephardic Jews have a long history in this nation, but they were attacked after the 1948 war, and the overwhelming majority left for Israel after the Israeli wars.   Some allege that the Mossad organized the attacks to herd Jewish people into Israel.   There are now almost 1 million Moroccan Jews living in Israel.  Their old quarters, the ‘mellah,’ still remain in the older parts of Marrakesh and Fes. 

Because the Turks never got there, because Jews were numerous for many years, because there was and still is a strong European influence (being so close to Spain) and because the indigenous Amazigh people (Berbers to you) are now 40% of the population, Morocco never became a typical Islamic nation.  Women wear hijabs – or they don’t, if they don’t want to.  French is the country’s second language, and the primary language in many newspapers, politics and in education.  Food is Moroccan – tangine stews, fresh fruits, vegetables and fish, couscous, meze salads, avocado smoothies – and also French - patisseries, breads and other culinary influences.  Kif (a form of hashish) is one of their illegal yet profitable major exports, directly through Tangiers to Spain and the rest of Europe.  It is an overwhelmingly agricultural country, whose northern quarter is like the Imperial Valley of California – not desert at all.  The people are for the most part laid-back.  What is not to like? 

I’m not a tour director, so I’ll put on my Marxist X-Ray specs and see.  Tour directors are not allowed to actually tell you the whole story, but I will.  Journey into the labyrinth of the northern souks of Marrakesh, just above the famous rock and roll of the Djemaa-el-Fna square.  Look at all the young men sitting in front of their endless stalls – selling very little.  Look at all the young men sitting in the endless cafes of every city, sipping mint tea and strong coffees, chatting with their friends.  Look at the all the young and old men standing around their rural towns, or any town, with nothing to do.  Look at all the young men doing marginal selling jobs, as touts, dealers, stall minders, salesmen, haphazard cabbies and guides – or nothing at all.  Unemployment is supposedly 9.5% but that figure is as unreliable as our own jiggered unemployment rates.  The precariat is certainly visible.  The bazaar-based peti-bourgeois ‘businessman’ is everywhere.  Where is the proletariat?  To the tourist, they are mostly hidden.  Yet who makes all this stuff?  They are many times female. 

Take the blowhard selling rugs.  “Men sell and women work,” is his slogan.  She smiles behind the loom.  She has no choice.  The mosque has separations between the women and the men, with the women relegated to the upstairs or the back, so as not to ‘tempt’ the men before god.  And what about the women?   Are they not tempted, looking down on so many men and their imam?  Perhaps not.

There are few women in the cafes.  They are mostly hidden at tourist hotels drinking tea with a friend, where they wear no hijab.  Yet there are almost none in the public cafes.  They are in the grocery stores and at home, cooking, taking care of the children, cleaning the home while Mohammad smokes and drinks tea.  I saw women on scooters, going somewhere.  But not hanging out.  Perhaps the cafes need to be integrated? 

The pushy rug man has too many rugs, which he never sells, yet he does not come down in price.  The quiet wholesaler admits he has too many rugs –stacks to the ceiling.  Overproduction is the term.  The stalls are full of crap that never gets sold, that sits for years.  Chinese, Moroccan, from anywhere.  Not that this is that different from so many small businesses all over the world, even in the U.S.  Too many rugs, not enough money.  Traditional designs that no one wants.  Too much stuff, in an economy that only has one point - to turn out more and more commodities, to commodify everything in sight.  It is wasting the talents of millions of unemployed Moroccans. 

The term ‘Islamic Art’ is an oxymoron – a contradiction that screams static.  Traditional ‘Islamic” designs on pottery and rugs are made up of mathematical designs, completely symmetrical floral patterns, absent any human face or figure, or representation of reality – except the ‘hand of Fatima.’ Fatima was Muhammed’s favorite wife. He had several wives, just like the Mormons and the Christian prophets too, and she alone seems to have made the grade because she first … bore him a son.  Right on, Fatima, a son.  Static design sends a message that the world does not change.  It is circular.  It repeats.  It is not dialectical.  It cannot vary.  Nor is it human even.  It can be done with a protractor, by machine.  Yet it is mostly done by hand.

The Amazigh, by contrast, have some freedom in their designs, in their arts.  They are a darker people from the desert and mountains who used to rule Morocco, and then adopted Allah.  They are poorer as a strata, do much of the manual and hand agricultural labor, and were called “Berbers.” The term is a derivative of the word ‘barbarian’ – i.e. Berber is an insult.   Amazigh are oppressed in most nations in North Africa, but in Morocco they are treated better than most, perhaps due to their numbers.  However, their language and autonomy are still at issue, and the Moroccan left makes that a cause. 

Muhammed was a businessman.  The religion of Islam seems to be based on the rule of a pre-capitalist trading / merchant strata that united tribes and seized power in what became Saudi Arabia.  He was not a carpenter.  Nor did he get crucified – he destroyed pagan idols instead.  To this day, Islam is not a proletarian ideology but one of the medinas – the shop areas – the small businessman.  Yet as the 5 calls to prayer a day (!!!) are sung out by the muezzin, very few head to the omnipresent minarets or plopp on clean rugs to pray.  Minarets are scattered around the city and in Marrakesh no building is allowed to be higher than the tallest mosque's minaret.  At one pottery factory where about 20 worked only two workers headed to the prayer room.  Just like the U.S., the number that actually show up at church is a minority of the ‘god’ believing.  I heard muezzin at 4 in the morning, which should give you an indication of why any working person trying to get a good nights sleep might question this practice. 

Morocco is ruled by a paternalistic king – Mohammed VI - who has palaces in 4 ‘royal’ cities.  He’s married to an educated woman.  He is installing a massive solar array in the desert that will provide much electricity to the country.  The government is banning plastic bags as a curse.  Morocco borrowed some ‘mixed economy’ ideas from the French and their own history.  Phosphates – which are the most valuable export – are owned by the government, not private individuals or corporations.  The largest cell-phone company is a third-owned by the government.  People cannot be evicted easily if they cannot pay for new lodgings – it can take years to remove them.  Oil is public property if discovered, as are other minerals and ground substances. 

Yet privatization is also proceeding apace.  The main freeways are toll roads owned by private companies, which got help building them with public funds.  Morocco advertises itself as a great ‘off-shoring’ destination for European corporations – a sweatshop at their doorstep so to speak.  Capital rules the country through the king. 

The king is the ultimate ruler over the constituent assembly, the military, foreign policy, and also a ‘commander of the faithful’ – which means he is a direct descendent of the ‘prophet Muhammed.’  Right.  A socialist coalition was influential from 1998 until 2002, but still the King held ultimate power.  Communists were heavily repressed in the 1970s – under King Hassan II thousands of militants were given 10-year sentences, while others were disappeared.  People pretend that all present arrests are of fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, but the government also arrests leftists demanding real democracy.  Morocco still rules over their very own colonial possession – the Southwest Sahara and the Sahrawi people.  The Moroccan Army defeated the Polasario Liberation Front in the Southwest Sahara many years ago and continue their military presence there.  Morocco is not a democracy, as much as the King wants tourists and his best friends Clinton and Obama to believe it.  Many radicals in the kingdom make that point.  The apologists say that Moroccans are ‘not ready’ for democracy. King George might have said the same about the American rabble.  Yet they have many parties and a parliament.  I think it is the King that is not ‘ready' for democracy.

Pardon Americans for being stunned, but the U.S. got rid of kings 250 years ago.  Very few nations have them anymore – they are sort of like the crazy uncle in the closet. 

Down with Kings and Money!
Salaam Alaikum!

Red Frog
March 17, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Happy International Women's Day

I am on vacation. 

On the Marrakesh Express.  The Kesh "Angels" - Biker Women of Marrakesh, Morocco.  These pictures come from a gallery show in NY City.

P.S. - I talked to a guide in Marrakesh and he said he'd never heard of the "Kesh Angels."  Poseurs?  I did see women on scooters at least, but not dressed like this. 

Red Frog
March 7, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Take This Job and Shove It!

Marxism is Abolitionism

As I sit here in my office cube, restrained from leaving work by the necessity to bring home money to keep a roof over my head, heat, electricity, food, medical care and paying for retirement – I might as well have shackles.   Now I’m not a literal slave – though many in the world still are, either by physical compulsion, prison or debt. In the twenty-millions, and that is all a side effect of capitalism, made possible by capitalism. 1 million prisoners work for almost free for corporations in the U.S.  Chattel slavery was defeated in the U.S. in 1865, after all, yet there are still debt slaves and some literal slaves in the U.S.  But the majority are now virtual slaves, ‘wage’ slaves.  Some people will get angry about the use of the word ‘slave’ in this context, but then, it is not, even by definition, owned by any one category or people.  
Many of you reading this are chained to one job or two or even three.  Even the homeless in the U.S. have ‘jobs,’ even the hungry, even drug dealers.  It may be blue collar, white collar, pink collar, it might be well-compensated or poorly-compensated, it might be union or non-union or just plain part time, at-home or day-labor.  You may dream of being independently wealthy, being your own boss as a businessman, artisan, artist or independent contractor.  Most of us just want a better wage for our labor.  Or to get a job that doesn’t bore to tears.  This is the bit of freedom that exists.  Bargaining with the dominant class to soften our imprisonment.  Another crust of bread, please, sir?

For the hundreds of years of African slavery in the U.S., in the Caribbean and in South American countries like Brazil, ‘abolitionism’ meant the abolition of slavery.  Now the funny part here is that being an ‘abolitionist’ was not the most popular duty in those days.  Now it is.  We can all watch ’12 Years a Slave” and go, tsk, tsk.  What a horrible institution.

Yet Marxism is looked at as something beyond the pale.  Well, chattel slavery abolitionism was beyond the pale for many years.  It took a civil war in the U.S. for it to become acceptable.  It took a revolution by the slaves in Haiti for it to become acceptable there.

Marxism is merely the abolitionism of the wage slave.

Now why do I say this?  Well, ask your fellow worker if he or she thinks they are a ‘wage slave.’  Depending on their mood, nearly all will say ‘no.’ Yet is this not odd?  Of course, no one has ever told them about the concept.  This is America, after all.  We are taught that working for the profits of others, having our conditions of labour mostly dictated to us, having our living conditions dictated by various employers, landlords, banks and their government, and living for the weekends - is ‘eternal’ and normal. Other than work, workers are supposed to go to school, get married, have babies, produce more workers, have parties and die.  That is ‘life,’ but it is not all of the life that can be had. Most of it is really taken up working, usually for someone else, the boss, now euphemistically called a ‘supervisor’ or ‘manager.’  Working dominates almost everything.  Even sleeping takes second place – as, other than dreams and recuperation, it is a void.  Entertainment and much ‘culture’ is designed to hide this simple fact, as it rarely engages in the thing that we all do the most.  Isn’t that odd?
Yet do you think all the slaves in the U.S. south thought chattel slavery would end?  Do you think all the slaves sat around thinking about Nat Turner or Demark Vesey every day?  Making weapons? Or how they wanted their own farms?  Or when to run from the plantation?  Or sabotage?  Not really.  They actually taught the slave-owners how to raise rice – as it had been done in Africa very efficiently.  They invented the practice of inoculation, which was then ‘borrowed’ by the slave owners.  I believe the majority of slaves thought slavery was … eternal, and they just tried to get by day by day.  Just as many think that working for the ‘man’ is eternal. And try to get by, day by day.

Now let’s get back to the slave at issue.  The wage slave.  You.  Can you envision any other way of living?  Perhaps making work something less ‘slave-like?’  I think you can.

Red Frog
March 3, 2014