Thursday, May 22, 2014

That Solidarity Economy

Bruce Dixon talks about the solidarity economy here, summary, "form co-ops (not chicken coops) to make life, and business, better for real people." Which is a good point, and he goes into some detail about a co-op in Spain, and some nice organizing in deep south America, that has some theoretical potential.

One of his commenters, Dramond, responds with the semi-obvious:
One of the reasons plans end up not succeeding for us is because people see us coming a mile away. Why? Because sites like this one get excited about such movements, start advertising it, banging their gong. Whatever happened to us quietly doing our necessary work and as others bear witness, they adopt similar practices? This post put a bull's eye on these organizations. Stop being so vocal about what you're doing. Stop announcing every damn thing. Take a note from the Chinese. They plan well in advance and work QUIETLY. They advertise NOTHING. You need to remove this post and stop making these organziations and their plans targets. Learn from history, damn.
The good point there is, of course, "If these co-ops for capital movement, trade, employment, and general humanity become effective, they'll be crushed by the evil bastards who are gaming the system now, so keep it quiet." However good that point, it's sadly naive, because even absent paid informants, elites find out about these things. The I.R.S. is just the first, most public level of closing down cooperative economies, using accounting tricks to shut down genuine co-ops (hint: not your local juice bar that pretends to be one) by leveling some manner of "tax evasion" punishment on it. Literally inappropriate, but spiritually correct, so far as the I.R.S. goes. George Washington's first battle after the British, remember, was to kill farmers by enforcing a tax on private whisky transactions, in order to fund a federal army that would allow the murder-swamp named after him to amass a slave empire in the Caribbean.

So, whadda we do? The Jackson Rising thing is about as good of a realistic change as you can hope for--a completely non-violent, completely legal, working within the system, yet without relying on "voting" or "petitioning legislators" (lol) to provide sustenance for human beings. Yet it faces the obstacle that all mass decency does, namely, a giant bullseye painted on its back. Why give it away to the Feds?

And yet, if you don't publicize it like Dixon does, how is anyone supposed to find out? How can it grow? That's the elite benefit in controlling media. Respected newspapers and websites, schools, books, and movies are how we talk to each other, and it's all saturated with ramshackle history and scrolling text alerts about the latest Biebifer relationship scandal. Most of us aren't even aware that, say, Bernard Baruch, a powerful financier and adviser to Woodrow Wilson, pushed hard for the U.S. to:

(1) invade Russia, consolidating the Bolshevik revolutionaries as nationalist heroes who would later provide gulags and a profitable cold war;

(2) get Japan to help invade Russia, kickstarting imperial Japan toward helping out in a profitable second World War;

(3) pay for the next century's murders and weaken most citizens by enacting an income tax;

(4) establish a "Federal Reserve Bank" and a "Federal Trade Commission" to allow private control of currency ergo everything.

We're so incredibly progressive, but how do we even begin to have a discussion at this level of ignorance? Whatever the malevolence ascribed to Mitt Romney or even Hillary, lacking a hundred years of context, we're missing the larger pattern here; failing to see how the same fights have already occurred, and been lost. All those things, just like market-evolution rising, happening right around that lovely chemo time of the turn of the century, and yet we keep approaching "the Cold War" and "troublesome Ukraine" and "the Fed" like those K-12 history textbooks are honest about both Columbus and 9-11. Is it the height of noble idiocy to try to work around it with a solidarity economy, or is it just the height of nobility? Is it a knowing sacrifice?

It should be clear enough now, a century later, that this stuff is pure evil and antithetical to life on Earth. Stalin and Hitler, right? What more do you want? We know the communards got crushed rather handily by the French financial elite, so will Jackson Rising have its own chance? In completely different other news, how long before Detroit gets (formally) declared a free-fire zone, and a wall is thrown up to prevent "incidents" between Detroiters and the rest of us? Pretty soon, Kurt Russell will be sent in to bring back the drug-dealing ganglord who has a plan to spread the Cursed Earth to the white civilization surrounding. A straight-to-DVD release, but worth picking up. Anyway, the point was that Detroit was (as BAR says) "the great black metropolis," and crushing it right now sends a very particular message (especially while a certain carefully-bred rich fake does nothing about millions of hungry, which is indeed change you can believe in).

Hey, here's a new subset movement for us all: free the handicapped people of Detroit from their repression. Research shows, after all, that handicap access ramps in Detroit will be substandard as long as the greater metropolitan area is being turned into a Gaza-style prison. How long before you're prevented from moving out of Detroit until you've repaid your share of the "debt"?


  1. The coops are indeed mostly noble idiocy - a co-op still has to buy and sell on the exact same capitalist market, and is a subject to the same competition as a corporation, but less well equipped to handle them. Thus I would argue the elites mostly don't care about this nonsense. Of course, noble idiocy can still be noble, so that's fine. Just don't expect it to change anything until capitalism collapses one day for entirely different reasons. If it does, it won't be because scrappy coops brought it down, lol.

    1. Yah, but there are slivers of good there. Like, if you're a manager at a big company, you can sometimes use your position to shield the people below you from corporate crap that a less-kind manager would use to further dominate employee lives. But then, how much are you part of the system, when you do that? Is revolt the only way to avoid being part of it?

      'Course, enough of these co-ops networking would be able to create an underground barter economy that could undercut the IRS, de-fund wars and penthouse suites, and cause a definite armed response, a la Waco. Anytime a community organization gets strong enough to survive on its own, in come the troops. I think that's what Dramond was suggesting by asking BAR to not talk about it...'course it's equally naive that they wouldn't find out long before it had gotten big, anyway.