are we really “stuck with capitalism?”

I know a lot of Elizabeth Warren types; people who are comfortable with capitalism, who say they like it, but say they want it to be regulated and to be more fair. I am not an economist, not even close, but I see capitalism crushing most people and only a very small handful of people are making a lot of money. (I suspect the obscenely wealthy may not be morally or spiritually well off, but they’ve got the money the workers have earned.) I’ve usually said I’m a left libertarian (social anarchist) but I always assumed we’re stuck with capitalism, so I want capitalism that’s very, very regulated so unchecked greed doesn’t rule.

The problem for me is that I can’t even *imagine* any other system than the one we have now. And, it turns out, I’m not alone in this.

I heard a podcast the other day where an economist explained that it’s a lie that we are stuck with capitalism, and that changing the systems entirely is not impossible.

I hope you will consider listening to at least the first 25ish minutes of this recording. It has framed our economic system in a way that makes it feel much more malleable than I’ve ever felt it was before. (I’m a feelings person, not an economist or logistician or anything linear like that…) There are lots of ways to watch/listen to this. I listened to the whole thing using Apple podcasts.

From the podcast’s description: After briefly walking us through the history of contemporary economic systems from feudalism to capitalism, Marxist Economist Richard Wolff explains why we must move past capitalism before it’s too late, and how to achieve that transition.

Later on in the podcast (it’s more than an hour long, the segment above is about 25 minutes) “he weighs in on the importance of third party candidates, the #forcethevote debate, his former classmate Janet Yellen’s ideology, the efficacy of an “inside/outside” strategy, and how Bernie disappointed him.” Here’s another clip with some of this stuff:

Listen to this episode of Bad faith on Apple podcasts

Listen to this episode of Bad faith on Stitcher

Listen to this episode of Bad faith on Patreon

sharing everyday joys

Like everyone I know, the reality that Tr*mp may continue to encourage violence, that COVID-19 will continue to rage, that people will have to risk their lives if they want to vote, that Biden/Harris might not change things all that much and… and… and…

…the list is too, too long and massive to do it justice.

I am scared. Some of that fear has to do with my children, some has to do with feelings of helplessness, but most of it has to do with all of the people whose lives are directly at risk. I say “directly at risk” because I believe the system of racial capitalism and white supremacy is killing all of us in different ways. But Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and all people of color, plus LGBTQ people, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, disabled people… this list also goes on… have already faced violence in this country. All poor people, even those who are white and even those who are Tr*mp supporters, are being killed directly by the current systems and can expect to have harder lives in the coming years. No healthcare, poverty, underfunded schools, the criminalization of everyday life… All of it.

On twitter, I’ve seen many Black and Indigenous people (white people, too) talking about having plans for surviving these times. Plans include staying away from the Internet, or sticking to joyful content.

As a white woman from a background of socioeconomic privilege, sharing photos of joyful moments risks seeming oblivious to what’s going on. As I sit here, I’ve decided that letting the pain and despair I’m feeling on behalf of all of us overwhelm me doesn’t help anyone. For this moment, I’m thinking that being of service might sometimes mean sharing small joys. What I want is for everyone to have joys like this (I mean the kinds of joys you want). Everyone deserves to be so lucky. And those of us who already are so lucky need to keep working to make sure the luck is shared.

From the mountains of Maine: this morning there were lovely tiny snowflakes over the garden I tried to capture (I can’t see them in the photo). A cast iron stove warming the room. (Not seen: butternut squash roasting, piles of papers finally sorted, a cup of Earl Grey tea with a splash of heavy cream, a full bird feeder with frequent Goldfinch and Pine Siskin visitors.)

cast iron stove with fire inside next to stacks of cut woodview of mountains, leafless trees, garden of soil, blue sky with grey clouds

underlying white anxiety

Deep, deep down, I think most of us white people are scared of the idea put forth in this tweet:

That is to say, most of us white people know on some level that we’ve got it better than Black and brown people. If you doubt it, I’ve seen the following exercise used: ask yourself, would you freely and happily be willing to be a Black person in America? If you say yes, you’d be happy to do that, I question your honesty. Most white people will recognize how difficult being Black in America. We white people must be afraid on some level that what’s not fairly earned might be taken away if we really work for justice. Continue reading

“This Is America” (Childish Gambino/Donald Glover)

Have you seen Childish Gambino’s “This Is America?” I’m not sure of the video’s rating, but it contains both graphic violence and violent concepts. Still, I think all adults (and probably most kids, with adult supervision) might benefit from watching it.

It’s brilliant (thought I won’t try to articulate why that’s how I see it). It’s art. It also feels a lot like it’s none of my business. Continue reading

still blog-floundering, what’s up with me lately

My friend Paula says we should just blog our hearts out (my paraphrasing, with great liberties). I used to write lots and lots and post it on here. But, that was before the days of “everyone has facebook.” I’m still not sure what I want to do here, though I know I want to lean less on facebook. Continue reading