As the first commercial #spacecraft lands on the #moon, for #SciFi readers this all looks rather familiar.... one of the dominant tropes of so much #sciencefiction is the issue of privatised space exploration.... whether its a celebration of #capitalism's move into #space, or more often a critique of what commercial interests bring to space missions.
In any case, looking back in 50 years time, I can see this being seen as an important milestone (for good or worse)
I've been yelling from the rooftops, READ EDWARD E. BAPTIST! Specifically his book, "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism". And of course many people don't have the time or interest for a history book, no matter how compelling. Well, good news! Vox has an interview with Dr. Baptist, about the book, which gives a good overview of his themes and arguments. READ IT!!
"Of the many myths told about American slavery, one of the biggest is that it was an archaic practice that only enriched a small number of men.
The argument has often been used to diminish the scale of slavery, reducing it to a crime committed by a few Southern planters, one that did not touch the rest of the United States. Slavery, the argument goes, was an inefficient system, and the labor of the enslaved was considered less productive than that of a free worker being paid a wage. The use of enslaved labor has been presented as premodern, a practice that had no ties to the capitalism that allowed America to become — and remain — a leading global economy.
But as with so many stories about slavery, this is untrue. Slavery, particularly the cotton slavery that existed from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the Civil War, was a thoroughly modern business, one that was continuously changing to maximize profits."
ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism by Yves Smith
“Lost your job, lost your life savings, the country's going down the proverbial - want to know who did it? Yves Smith tells the tale of how bad economics created the foundations for the 'Madoff economy'.
Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics by Jodi Dean
Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies is an impassioned call for the realization of a progressive left politics in the United States.
Today in Labor History February 15, 1933: Giuseppe Zangara tried to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt in Miami. He failed, mostly because he was too short to see over the crowd. However, Chicago mayor Anton J. Cermak, who was shot in the attack, later died, in part from his wounds and in part from medical malpractice. Zangara confessed to the crime in jail, stating “I kill kings and presidents first and next all capitalists.” He was executed in Old Sparky, Florida’s electric chair in March, 1933. Philip K. Dick’s novel, “The Man in the High Castle,” is based in part on the premise that Zangara succeeded in killing FDR.
#WorkingClass #LaborHistory #fdr #potus #assassination #florida #electricchair #deathpenalty #jail #capitalism #prison #novel #books #fiction #sciencefiction #scifi #philipkdick #author #writer @bookstadon
Just because the right-wing are anti-Taylor doesn't mean everyone on the left needs to start stanning a billionaire.
There are no good billionaires. If she was a good person, she wouldn't be one either. It's fine to enjoy her music but she's as harmful as every other billionaire for simply existing.
Do I think some billionaires are more actively harmful than others? Sure. But none of them should be billionaires. There are no good ones.
My real worry with Google's voyage into enshittification (thanks to Cory Doctorow @pluralistic the term) is YouTube.
Through YT, for the past 15 years, the world has basically entrusted Google to be the custodian of pretty much our entire global video archive.
There's countless hours of archived footage — news reports, political speeches, historical events, documentaries, indie films, academic lectures, conference presentations, rare recordings, concert footage, obscure music — where the best or only copy is now held by Google through YouTube.
So what happens if maintaining that archival footage becomes unprofitable?
"Both sugar trade and spice trade were economic foundations of early European geographic expansion and colonial capitalism. Frankish settlement in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Syria-Palestine may be seen as, arguably, the earliest example of colonial capitalism, preceding early sixteenth-century Portuguese conquests of spice-trading coastal outposts of India, south-east Asia and the Arabian peninsula."
Philip Slavin (2023) ‘With a grain of sugar’: native agriculture and colonial capitalism in the Frankish Levant, c. 1100–1300, Crusades, 22:1, 1-38, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14765276.2023.2193021 #OpenAccess #OA #Article #History #Histodon #Histodons #Europe #France #Levant #Agriculture #Capitalism #International #Trade @histodon @histodons
🗣 The call for papers for the workshop "The gains of their sorrow: Slavery, the slave trade, and the rise of capitalism in the other South" will close on 31 January.
The aim of the meeting is to open a debate on bridges connecting research focused on the Middle Passage and the one focused on mines, plantations, urban jobs, etc.
I highly recommended Cannibal Capitalism to @academicchatter and @bookstodon. I remember reading #NancyFraser in undergrad. I don’t think I cited her as often in grad school but that is another story. Cannibal Capitalism is written for a mass audience but what is overwhelmingly obvious is that she has mastered her craft of inserting large complex ideas into concise language. It is a masterwork. #books #bookstodon #academicchatter #capitalism
From 2015 to 2022, I spent hundreds of hours on Duolingo, translating articles, answering language questions on the forums, and helping to improve the smaller courses by reporting mistakes.
There are thousands of volunteers who donated their labour to Duo: the course creators who wrote their courses, the volunteers who created grammar guides (some smaller languages had an entire second course in the forums), the wiki contributors, the native speakers who answered questions in the sentence discussions.
All of their work made Duolingo the powerhouse it is today. Duo was built by a community who believed in its original mission: language learning should be free and accessible.
Bit by bit all of our work was hidden from us as Duolingo became a publicly-traded company. And now that work is being fed into their AI as training data.
Well, I've learned the true lesson of Duolingo: never give a corporation your labour for free. Don't ever trust them, no matter what they say. Eventually greed will consume any good intentions.
The End of Loser Liberalism.
. . .
The political system and the “free market” are rigged to the advantage of the rich and powerful, which makes it difficult for progressives to make headway in pushing policies that advance the interests of everyone else.
There are enormous obstacles in our path, but if we don’t know where we are going, then we can be absolutely sure that we are not going to get there.
🗣 The call for papers for the workshop "The gains of their sorrow: Slavery, the slave trade, and the rise of capitalism in the other South" closes on 31 January.
Today is the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Stop rolling your eyes, this isn't a patriotic post! You know me better than that.
This is about spilling the tea... about the British East India Company's spilled tea, and what that had to do with Bengal, textile workers, and famine.
See, BEIC was using its private armies to open markets around the world to their trading policies, and to install local rulers who would keep the goods and money flowing. They did this in Bengal, one of the world's biggest producers of textiles in the mid-1700s.
Then, in 1768, drought hit Bengal and crops failed. People began to go hungry, but the BEIC's puppet rulers and agents just continued to collect taxes--and, in some cases, to profiteer off the sale of food. Over the next two years, these practices exacerbated the food shortages, leading to the Great Bengal Famine of 1770, in which 7 - 10 million people are estimated to have starved to death. That's at least 25% of the entire Bengali population of the time.
This put a big dent in the profits of the BEIC (oopsie, who knew famine profiteering could have negative economic impacts?), leading to a financial crisis in England. This is also why BEIC was unloading tea for cheap in the American colonies, to get some of those revenues back.
So yeah, "no taxation without representation" was the rallying cry, but isn't it interesting that we (USians, I mean) were never taught that the REASON colonists were worried about this is because they felt they had something in common with starving Bengalis: namely, the vulnerability to a multinational corporation which clearly demonstrated its depraved indifference to human suffering in pursuit of profit.
Courtesy of Metafoundry newsletter:
A silhouette, stationed at his Dallas valet stand awaiting the healthy, the wealthy, the privileged, the favored. ...
Start Friday with #poetry by Ann Graham, from our print magazine: