From capitalism (“it sucks, but it’s better than every other option!”) to mathematics, it’s astounding that so many people who resist new models for learning and living readily admit that the old models they were raised in didn’t work for them.
When breathed in, Jenkem makes the person see crazy things. It is like a crazy dream, the person imagines things happening that are not really happening. The person may also hear sounds that are not really there. This is called a hallucination. Jenkem is also used to make a person happy. Because it is made out of fermented waste (or old poop), it is also very stinky.
Some say it is as if you have a curtain in front of you.
“Happy belated halloween, escrocs! I hope everyone had a fantastic time out and about Monday, reveling in the only night of the year (with the possible exception of Passover) that people can pretend to be on the margins of society—whores, zombies, etc.—and yell at strangers until they are given desserts. When I think back, my all-time favorite Halloween has got to be 10/31/1998, the year I dressed up like Bill Clinton and, due to an understandable administrative mix-up, was called in to break things off permanently with Monica Lewinsky on the President’s behalf. Trick got a treat all right.”—
“Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something ‘supra-personal’ and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from themselves. It is a very pragmatic, but at the same time an apparently dignified, way of legitimising what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed towards people and towards God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own ‘fallen existence’, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing his job behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying in power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe.”—Václav Havel from The Power of the Powerless, as quoted by Mills (via The Aporeticus)
Painful austerity measures and a seemingly endless economic drama is exacting a deadly toll on the nation. Statistics released by the Greek ministry of health show a 40% rise in those taking their own lives between January and May this year compared to the same period in 2010.
Before the financial crisis first began to bite three years ago, Greece had the lowest suicide rate in Europe at 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. It now has almost double that number, the highest on the continent, despite the stigma in a nation where the Orthodox church refuses funeral rights for those who take their lives. Attempted suicides have also increased.
“It’s never just one thing, but almost always debts, joblessness, the fear of being fired are cited when people phone in to say they are contemplating ending their lives,” said Eleni Beikari, a psychiatrist at the non-governmental organisation, Klimaka, which runs a 24-hour suicide hotline.
Capitalists often cite individual freedom as a positive attribute of their system. Why is it that a system that produces mindless and bland conformity (as we all know from our experience of life) gets to pose as the champion of the individual?
It’s down to some basic fallacies. The capitalist says “you can go out and be whatever you want, do whatever you want, follow your dreams, work hard to achieve them!” etc. What they actually mean, however, is that you can go out and earn money however you want. Of course, we all do want money, because under capitalism, we’ll starve without it. So this supposed ideology of the individual begins with everyone wanting exactly the same thing.
This ‘freedom of the individual’ then boils down to choosing between the jobs available to that individual, or starting their own business, or starving. Hardly anyone is lucky enough to have a job that no one else does. That choice generally leads to conformity, doing exactly the same thing as many other people, every day, in the same place, with the daily humiliation of having to pretend that this is what you actually wanted.
Some ‘lucky’ workers will be able to follow a ‘career path’ in which this mapped out, preordained, conformist work lasts continuously until they are old, with the financial remuneration slowly but steadily increasing over the decades.
Or, you can start your own business, and ‘compete’ in the marketplace. This is the capitalists favourite choice, the one that really seems to sell the ‘individual freedom’ line. The problem is that competition implies conformity. You can only ‘win’ if you are all playing the same game. There’s a tiny amount of people who have had a genuinely unique business idea, but the rest are all doing exactly the same thing as their competitors, but they are trying to do it slightly better, or cheaper, or faster.
Despite the capitalist rhetoric of ‘risk taking’ that option is really only available to the rich, for whom it’s not a real risk at all. The small businessman, given a choice between conforming to market norms and the possibility of homelessness, almost always chooses conformity. So, that’s a dead end for individualism too.
None of the choices that capitalism offers the individual avoid conformity. For all their lies about freedom and liberty and individualism they produce a robotic and lifeless society, which in Emma Goldman’s words;“condemns millions of people to be mere nonentities, living corpses without originality or power of initiative”
Capitalism is the ideology of the uniform, the time card, the name tag and the stop clock. It’s the ideology of boredom. It is standardised, predictable and dull. It is the enemy of creativity, free expression and self determination. For all its bullshit about liberty, capitalism is the mortal enemy of individual freedom.
“The stakes are very different in different places. In North America and most of Europe, there are no dictators, and dissidents don’t get tortured. Any day that Tunisians, Egyptians or Syrians occupy streets and squares, they know that some of them might be beaten or shot, not just pepper-sprayed or flex-cuffed. The protesters in the Middle East and North Africa are literally dying to get political systems that roughly resemble the ones that seem intolerably undemocratic to protesters in Madrid, Athens, London and New York City. “I think other parts of the world,” says Frank Castro, 53, a Teamster who drives a cement mixer for a living and helped occupy Oakland, Calif., “have more balls than we do.”—