A Conscious Stream – Giving the poor cash

This will perhaps serve as the first of many posts. I’m yet unsure if I will continue this from here on if I will end this with this single solitary post. As the title suggests, this will be a stream of consciousness from the depths of my mind brain. I’ll mainly be speaking of whatevers on my mind at that moment and it could be incoherent in places and less than well thought out but hey that’s a stream of consciousness for you. 

I was listening to a podcast by Vox on the idea of universal basic income. The idea that everyone deserves a basic income to help get the bare necessities in life. It is a good stopgap measure IMO. Automation will see millions of jobs replaced and when we do live in a society when most of the drudge labour and manual work can be done automatically or by a bot, we should definitely share the fruits of society with those who are now out of work. But what really got my goat was there still seema to be toresistance  the idea of giving the poor money is somehow detrimental, that the poor will spend it “irresponsibly” on things that you or society deems unnecessary. It’s based on classist ideas that you must be exactly this rich to have autonomy on your decisions, that poor people must live in sackcloth and ash without even the barest of luxuries to make life slightly more bearable. That is the truth of life in capitalism. The poor living on scraps are vilified while the rich and wealthy living in mansions with their illgotten wealth are praised and venerated. 

Classism, racism and so many other forms of institutional oppression are present in our present society. Those of us who truly want social justice and freedom for oppressed and marginalized groups must be wary of and understand the ways capitalism builds structures of oppression and exploitation. Only through addressing the innately and inherently exploitative and oppressive nature of capitalism can we have a truly productive discourse on justice and freedom 

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Inequality and Capitalism

Today a report was released by Oxfam on the state of wealth inequality in the world. And boy is it not a pretty sight. We already know that the top 1% of the global population holds the same amount of wealth as the other 99%. This has been the case since at least 2015. But what we not know is the severe, acute nature of wealth concentration under capitalism. We now know that a grand of total of 8 men hold as much wealth as the bottom 50%, over 3.5 billion people, combined.

You didn’t misread that.

It’s not 8,000,000

Or 8,000

Or 800

Or 80

Just. 8

And not just that, if that wasn’t damning enough, it showed that over the next twenty years, 500 people will hand over $2.1 trillion dollars in wealth to their heirs. To put that in perspective, that’s greater that the GDP of Brazil. And what’s in my mind even more damning is that fact that we could eliminate 3/4 of all hard-core poverty RIGHT. NOW. with the resources that have. Why haven’t we? Well, it comes down to how income has grown for each class. While the poorest 10% have seen incomes rise a paltry $3 a year between 1988-2011, the richest 10% saw incomes rise by $546 a year, 182 times as much.

That’s a difference between having incomes grow by $87 in over two decades and $15,834 in that same time frame.

Capitalism requires that there are people in starvation. It requires that people live in poverty and misery. It establishes and it’s no coincidence that millions still starve while we have more than enough food to feed everyone. It is no coincidence that millions die from homelessness when homes lay vacant. This is the so called “efficiency” of the free market, where unprofitable food is thrown out or destroyed because it’s unprofitable to meet human need or when an oligarch can buy a condo they never live in while working class families have to scrounge and scrimp just to pay the rent. And all this in a backdrop where a handful of individuals have control of trillions of dollars of wealth.

Imagine all that wealth concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite. Imagine a tiny elite using that wealth to wield enormous power, to be able to influence ostensibly democratic institutions and to be able to get our so-called “representatives” to do their bidding, effectively creating an oligarchy that answers to the highest bidder, where parties are obligated not to popular will, but to the will of their financiers.

Well, you don’t have to imagine it. This is the world we are living in. A world where we could be staring extinction right in it’s face and fossil fuel giants are still trying to extract more profit. Hey, the atmosphere might be unbreathable, clean water is nothing distant memory and sustainable agriculture is impossible now but just look at the prices on the stock exchange!

This level of wealth concentration is nightmarish. It reads like the pages of a dystopian horror book. This is why capitalism must be fought against. This is why now more than ever, is resistance against capitalism necessary. As Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “There has to be a better distribution of wealth … we can’t have a system where some people live in superfluous, inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty”.

Socialism, meaning the complete abolishing of capitalism, class society, the wage system and hierarchy and it’s replacement with a democratic system run by and for the working class, isn’t about liberal ideas like “equality” * but with justice and liberty for all peoples. Now, more than ever, with the capitalist class more than willing to sacrifice humanity in the name of profit and capital, we resurrect the cry of Rosa Luxemberg. When once it was “socialism or barbarism”, it is now “socialism or extinction”! Our fight now is not just for a better world, but for our very survival.

*As Lenin pointed out in “Soviet Power and the Status of Women”, we must always question who gets equality? Equality between which classes? Equality between which peoples? How is it possible for the oppressed and their oppressors to be “equal”?

 

Twenty Seventeen

2016 is over. We have chased out what remains of that year, now little more than a bad memory, littered with the corpses of great people and what could have been. Brexit, Trump, the slaughter of civilians in Aleppo, Baghdad and Istanbul and not to mention what appears to be the rise of the nationalist reactionary movements in much of the developed world.

But we must remember to not personify and anthropomorphize 2016 as a sudden break that happened without preceding events that happened years in the making. If we, those of use who pursue the politics of liberation, progress and democracy, are to succeed, we must never give in to despair to give up hope. Remember that even Lenin thought the Great October Socialist Revolution, the 100th Anniversary of which we commemorate this year, was improbable just months before. Even if we don’t succeed, we will lay the groundwork and the foundation for our children and their descendants to carry on this great fight.

Let us never forget to strive for a better world, to keep pushing for a brighter tomorrow and to always anger whiny bigots along the way.

New Year New Me 

New Years is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. It heralds in a new year and many people make promises to start afresh and to renew themselves and better themselves. Resolutions are made and resolutions are broken but the spirit is the same. To change oneself and to embrace something new. This is the point of this post. To ask you and implore you to always be ready for new experiences and new understandings this new year. 

Speaking of new beginnings, I have something of note to share with you on this most auspicious of occasions. This is something I have wrestled with for a good long while and which I have only just gained an acceptence of. It grew from a sense of unease to distress, something that has on more than one occasion, consumed me. A feeling of unease and loathing of my own body, culminating in me barely being able to look at my own face in thr mirror. I could scarcely believe that the face looking at me was my own, it was like looking into the face of a stranger. My own body became increasingly alien to me. I didn’t understand it then but I now know that I was undergoing dysphoria but why? 

I lived my life thinking this was the norm, something that every man went though, the self-loathing and not being able to see your own face when looking in a mirror. Then a revelation hit me. I had never truly identified with being a man or with the concept of maleness, thrust upon me when I was born when I was assigned my gender at birth. It is a concept which is completely foreign to me. I had always identified more strongly with women and female characters. I still remember that my favorite character of all time was and still is Captain Amelia from Treasure Planet. I remember thinking with giddy excitement that I didnt just wanted to emulate her but that I wanted to grow up to be just like her. Another spark was reading about a fan fiction about two minor female characters attending university and falling in love. As their love for each other blossomed, I felt a deep longing and pangs of jealousy. But above all, a grea connection and understanding with this. 

I realized then that I wasn’t cis but being trans? That terrified me. I was 18 and decided to go first with gender questioning then genderqueer, calling myself pansexual. I used almost exclusively she/herpronouns with whoever I knew would accept me but the idea of being a woman and womanness was something that seemed far from reach, an ideal that was unattainable. 

Now I feel a great feeling of euphoria in who I am. I want to grab everyone bythe shoulders and tell them

I AM NATALIE

I AM A TRANS WOMAN

I AM 150% GAY 

ABD THATS JUST WHO I AM!  
You can hate me, scorn me, call me a freak or a monster. I have received my share of hate and death threats already. But that will never change who I am and who I always will be. 

A happy new year to you all. 

Body and trans stuff

There is discussion of body stuff. Also, very rambly and kinda incoherent. 
Over the past week I have been feeling more, for lack of a better term, dysphoric. My body is becoming increasingly alien and uncomfortable to me and I barely want to even think that the face that looks back at me in the mirror is my own. I have been privately identifying myself as non-cis for the better part of two years now, first as a non-binary genderqueer person before settling into what is now being a trans woman or a trans femme aligned person. I’m still not completely used to identifying as such, but I do use exclusively she/her pronouns and I do identify as a lesbian. Make of it what you will. 
Recently, it’s almost like something in me has snapped. I want to tell everyone that I’m a trans sapphic woman. It makes me real happy just typing that out. I am excited but at the same time I am nervous. I live in out of the most transphobic countries on Earth and transitioning? Living my life as who I actually am? That would be difficult. And I want to start as soon as possible, both because I am euphoric at the possibilities transitioning brings and to lessen my intensifying dysphoria. 
And that doesn’t even cover being neurodivergent.
Well, I’m glad to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading. Y’all are great. I love you all ❤

Is Violence Always Wrong?

This question is often asked, especially in liberal circles. Is violence always wrong? Isn’t it wrong to stop people from organizing and gathering, no matter how noxious and awful their views are? I would say that this is completely false.

Violence in of itself is not wrong but the way it is applied matters. When the capitalist state ensures that the masses are forced to work or starve, that many are lacking the basic necessities of life, that many are starving and destitute, that is an act of violence. When the police acting as the militarized arm of the capitalist state protects reactionary and fascist elements and smashes any threats to capitalism and performs its primary task as defenders of class society and authoritarian, plutocratic, oligarchical capitalism, that is an act of violence.
The difference between these and acts of revolutionary self-defense against the oppressors and fascists and acts of revolution against the capitalist state as witnessed in the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 is that violence against the masses and the downtrodden is legitimized and deemed acceptable by the capitalist state. Ultimately, it is impossible to act peacefully against an enemy that is both willing and able to use unlimited violence.

And what do you mean we can’t prevent others from gathering and organizing? Should fascists, reactionaries and Neo-Nazis have free reign to gather and organize their forces? Should they be allowed to roam freely and intimidate and bully those who oppose fascism, reactionary politics, xenophobia, racism, misogyny and other forms of bigotry? No! Fascism is not to be debated, but to be smashes. As holocaust survivor Franz Frison so succinctly put it, “If fascism could be defeated in debate, I assure you that it would never have happened, neither in Germany, nor in Italy, nor anywhere else”.

Death to fascism and reactionary thought, freedom to the people!

What is democracy? 

Democracy is far more than just putting a piece of paper in a box. Indeed, if voting was all there is to democracy, then the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is very democratic indeed! Every citizen has thr right to elect representatives to the Supreme Peoples Assembly, just make sure to vote for the one candidate that was been preapproved by the Workers Party of Korea. 

No, democracy is far more than voting. Its about democratic institutions. Its about essential civil rights and liberties like the right to organize and the right to protest. The right to air legitimate greivances is a fundamental right in a democratic society and through the means of mass direct action, we, the people can make our voices heard. Sustained, organized, mass, direct action is what pushes change, not voting!