[Marxism] Fwd: Racism Is Killing the Planet-Sierra Club

2020-07-13 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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(JAI:  Sent on to me by a comrade who was one of my 9th grade teachers.  It
makes a compelling case.  I know: a look at the webaddress and one sees
'Sierra Club'.  "Treehuggers"  But the article is as thoughtful  as
well-reasoned, as it is a passionate melding of the inner connections
between a capitalism based on people and a capitalism based in color and
the destructions it is visiting on this earth.) Racism Is Killing the
Planet

The ideology of white supremacy leads the way toward disposable people and
a disposable natural world

By Hop Hopkins | Jun 8 2020

Last week, my family and I attended an interfaith rally in Los Angeles in
defense of Black life. We performed a group ritual in which we made noise
for nine minutes to mark the last moments of George Floyd’s life. My wife,
my oldest daughter, and I played African drums to mark those nine minutes
with the rhythm of a beating heart. *Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum*, over and over
again.

While we drummed, I realized how difficult it is to keep up any physical
activity for nine minutes straight. Most of us can’t even sit completely
still on our butts for nine minutes; if you’ve ever meditated, you
understand why they refer to sitting as *practice*.

As I struggled to maintain my posture and keep up the rhythm, I thought
about the level of commitment it takes to hold someone down for nine
minutes straight. The realization horrified me. The cop who has been
charged with murdering George Floyd had to have been deeply committed to
taking his life. The police officer had so many chances to let up the
pressure, to let George live. Yet the officer made the choice not to.

To spend nine minutes taking the life-breath from another person: That is
what white supremacy does to white people. That is what white supremacy
does to the rest of us too. White supremacy robs each of us of our
humanity. It causes white people to view Black people as less than human.
Every one of those cops watching George die was convinced that the man
pinned to the ground was less than human, was in some way disposable.

Otherwise, how could they hold him down for nine whole minutes? How could
they bring themselves to do it?

You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have
sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can't have disposable
people without racism.

During the street protests and marches of the past two weeks, many people
carried signs that read “Racism Is Killing Us.” It’s no exaggeration to say
that racism and white supremacy harm all of us, because in addition to
robbing us of our humanity, racism is also killing the planet we all share.

An idea—a long-overdue realization—is growing in the environmental
movement. It goes something like this: “We’ll never stop climate change
without ending white supremacy.” This argument has entered the outdoor
recreation and conservation space thanks to the leadership of Black,
Indigenous, and other people of color in the climate justice movement. The
idea has taken on new force as folks in the mainstream environmental
movement do our best to show up for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony
McDade, and all the Black people still living and subject to police
violence.

I know that a lot of people are struggling with the thought that addressing
the environmental crises must involve dismantling white supremacy. At
Sierra Club meetings, some people hear me say something like that and
think, “Damn, fighting climate change wasn’t hard enough already? Now we
have to end racism and white supremacy too? Seriously, man?

Full at https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/racism-killing-planet
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[Marxism] Scientists move to strip offensive names from journals, prizes, and more

2020-07-03 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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(JAI:  Will repeat again that when a movement wins battles that it has not
even joined then that movement has momentum.  But if that movement consists
only of movement (protests, occupation, symbolic vandalism) without coming
together to discuss, agree upon and disseminate to the larger community its
ideas, its desires, in a word, its demands, then that movement will
deteriorate.

(Witness the 2011 "Occupy Wall Street" and its similars across the
country.  With all of the forces that these present efforts, spearheaded by
the BLM movement, where is the movement into the neighborhoods and the
recruitment of 'civilians' to our goals and thus a multiplication of the
forces we would wield?  We must go beyond (not to mean exclude) efforts to
deconstruct the policing mechanism and onward towards calls for the radical
transformation of society, i.e. the replacement of the capitalist system
that is the fount from which all inequities spew therefrom.)

In June, graffiti supporting calls for the Univeristy of Cambridge to
remove a stained glass window memorializing statistician Ronald Fisher, a
supporter of eugenics, appeared on a campus building. The university later
removed the Fisher window.
Amid protests against racism, scientists move to strip offensive names from
journals, prizes, and more

By Eli Cahan Jul. 2, 2020 , 6:05 PM

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/amid-protests-against-racism-scientists-move-strip-offensive-names-journals-prizes-and?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-07-02_rid=401913599_cid=3387192

McGee, a herpetologist, studies the habitat and behavior of Yarrow’s spiny
lizard, a reptile native to the southwestern United States. The University
of Arizona graduate student and her colleagues regularly pack their
things—boots, pens, notebooks, trail mix—and set off into the nearby
Chiricahua Mountains. At their field site, they start an activity with a
name that evokes a racist past: noosing.

“Noosing” is a long-standing term used by herpetologists for catching
lizards. But for McGee, a Black scientist, the term is unnerving, calling
to mind horrific lynchings of Black people by white people in the United
States in the 19th and 20th centuries. “Being the only Black person out in
the middle of nowhere with a bunch of white people talking about noosing
things is unsettling,” she says. McGee has urged her colleagues to change
the parlance to “lassoing,” which she says also more accurately describes
how herpetologists catch lizards with lengths of thread.

McGee isn’t alone in reconsidering scientific language. Researchers are
pushing to rid science of words and names they see as offensive or
glorifying people who held racist views.

This week alone, one scientific society is considering renaming a major
journal that honors a renowned 19th century researcher who held racist
views, and another is voting on changing the name of a trivia competition
that canonizes a prominent eugenicist. And a prominent university has said
it will remove from a campus building the name of a famous scientist who
supported white supremacy. The moves come in the wake of last month’s
decision to rename a major statistical prize—and in tandem with efforts to
change the names of animals and plants that include ethnic slurs or honor
researchers who were bigots.

Unifying these initiatives is reinvigorated resistance to institutional
racism. Kory Evans, a marine biologist at Rice University, says, “Dismantling
white supremacism in science has taken on a new urgency” amid the broader
reckoning ignited by the killing of George Floyd, the Black man suffocated
by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May. The buildings, journals,
prizes, and organism names that have come under scrutiny “lionize figures …
who specifically took actions to undermine the humanity of people of color
… [and] who laid the academic foundation for actual discrimination,
sterilization, and genocide,” says Brandon Ogbunu, an evolutionary
biologist at Brown University.

The current movement isn’t the first to target scientists whose actions
were judged unconscionable by subsequent generations. After the fall of
Nazi Germany, apartheid in South Africa, and various communist nations, the
names of scientists who supported oppressive policies were stripped from
institutions and awards. And even before the recent demonstrations against
systemic racism in the United States, many scientists had lobbied
universities and science groups to stop honoring prominent researchers who
had bigoted views. In 2018, for instance, years of activism prompted the
University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor, to remove the name of Clarence Cook
Little, an influential 20th 

[Marxism] NYT-Mississippi Strikes its Confederate State Flag

2020-06-28 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Mississippi Lawmakers Vote to Retire State Flag Rooted in the Confederacy

By Rick Rojas 

   - June 28, 2020, 7:00 p.m. ET

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi lawmakers voted on Sunday to bring down, once
and for all, the state flag dominated by the Confederate battle emblem that
has flown for 126 years, adding a punctuation point to years of efforts to
take down Confederate symbols across the South.

The flag, the only state banner left in the country with overt Confederate
imagery, served for many as an inescapable symbol of Mississippi’s racial
scars and of the consequences of that racial history in defining
perceptions of the state.

Still embraced by many white Mississippians as a proud display of Old South
heritage, the flag increasingly has come to evoke segregation, racial
violence and a war that had a central aim of preserving slavery.

In Mississippi, the state with the nation’s highest percentage of
African-Americans, that has long been the position of black residents. It’s
now the view of many white Mississippians as well. For others, the drag on
the state’s perception by outsiders and the continuing friction within were
battles too costly to keep waging.
Continue reading the main story


The vote in the Mississippi House was 91 in favor and 23 opposed. The vote
in the Senate was 37-14. The measure now goes to Gov. Tate Reeves, a
Republican, who has said he will sign it.

Mississippi began grappling with the flag once again
 this
spring as a result of the death of George Floyd in the custody of the
Minneapolis police, which rapidly evolved into a sprawling expression of
fury and exasperation over the countless manifestations of the nation’s
tangled racial history.

“I can’t even explain how I feel,” Kabir Karriem, a Democratic state
representative, who is black, said after casting a vote that he believed
would stand as one of the most important in his legislative career. “I’m
sure our ancestors are proud.”

Amid a movement that has brought down monuments of Confederates, colonizers
and conquistadors and stripped the names of segregationists from buildings
and programs, pressure soon zeroed in on the flag.

Lawmakers were confronted by a cascade of calls from inside and outside
Mississippi

as opposition coalesced across racial, religious, partisan and cultural
divides. Football and basketball coaches paraded through the Capitol urging
a change. A varied assortment

that included country music stars, the state’s black and white Baptist
conventions, civil rights organizations and associations of bankers,
manufacturers and librarians also indicated their opposition.

“This entire state is screaming for a change,” Philip Gunn, the Republican
speaker of the House and a leading proponent for lawmakers to remove the
flag, said this week. “The image of our state is at stake. The nation is
watching.”

The legislation sent to Mr. Reeves proposes abolishing the old flag and
creating a commission that would design a new one. The new banner would be
forbidden from having the Confederate battle emblem and must include the
phrase “In God we trust.” The commission would be charged with arriving at
a design by September for it to be put up for a vote on the November ballot.

The legislation would mandate the “prompt, dignified and respectful”
removal within 15 days of the bill going into effect.

Mr. Reeves, a Republican, said on Saturday morning that he would sign a
bill to change the flag. It represented the latest evolution in the
governor’s thinking, as he relented on his initial stance that any decision
to change the flag ought to made directly by voters.

“The legislature has been deadlocked for days as it considers a new state
flag,” Mr. Reeves said in a statement. “The argument over the 1894 flag has
become as divisive as the flag itself and it’s time to end it.”

The legislation cleared a significant procedural hurdle

on Saturday as a supermajority in both the House of Representatives and
Senate voted to move ahead.

Many lawmakers 

Re: [Marxism] Bela Fleck/Abigail Wishburn Streamed on You Tube Today

2020-06-28 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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My Man!

Though I like his playing, and am fond of bluegrass, what was of moment to
me was the BLM sign behind him and his wife.  Bluegrass and BLM, a tasty
heady concoction for these times.

I don't listen much either and music videos don't do it for me.  I stopped
listening to popular music when disco came in and it was then I knew that
our revolution had failed.  But my girlfriend is deeply into it and it was
she who introduced me to Bela Fleck.  But I turned it around and turned her
on to Django Reinhardt
 and Stephane
Grapelli. 

In the 60s I belittled the importance of culture.  This probably because of
the fratricidal rift between the Panthers and the US organization

which was heavy into African culture.  And killing Panthers.  How wrong I
was about the music of our time, I can see in retrospect.  Music helped
move the movement forward.

I had hoped to find that his name was given in honor of Bela Kun, of the
short-lived Hungarian SSR ,
who was martyred by Stalin.  But he has 3 given names all of them after
musicians.

Take care and b safe,  Dumb assed me, went out to CVS this morning without
mask.  First time I forgot.  Gon put a cheap one in my pocket as a guard
against old age.

JAI

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 8:50 AM  wrote:

> Music is wonderful, for most people, John, but I have to confess that I am
> tone deaf and have never been much of a fan of music. I know it is strange,
> but then I am strange in many ways. I am the only person I know who is not
> into music much at all -- I love the local classical music station, we are
> lucky to have such a station here in Tidewater VA, but even it is just
> background for my driving and I do not listen while at home. Thanks for
> trying to clue me in, I imagine this is all just great, but I cannot get
> into it. In solidarity nevertheless, Wythe
>
> On June 27, 2020 at 9:44 PM John A Imani  wrote:
>
> Comrade,
>
> Watching just an awesome recital by the couple
> .  Banjos with a "Black
> Lives Matter" sign as background.  They promised to stream it for a few
> weeks.  The first part is a Jazz trio that did not interest me as I came to
> hear Bela.  Me and V have seen him at least twice, maybe 3,4 times.
>
> If only interested in this part its easy to navigate to it just move
> cursor to almost the end that isn't.  Their performance is maybe 25 - 30
> mins long.
>
> They do a song on the indigenous.  She sings one in Chinese that she
> learned during an extended stay in Sichuan.  They duet on a Hank, Sr tune.
> Sing an Abbey Lincoln
> 
> tune introduced by pointing at her activism.  Last thing "Take me to
> Harlem" with great lyrics but, I think, musically missing something.  Maybe
> a gospel choir.
>
> Comrade, I am far from a musicologist but know what I like when I hear it.
>
> In the 60's the soundtrack to our lives was cause and effect of our
> struggles, protests, movements.  There must be a music of this movement.
> Maybe musics.  But Fleck's incursion of his politics into this Allegheny
> world sounds a tocsin for others to follow.  Not just bluegrass but C,
> folk, rap, R, classical, jazz and blues.
>
> We must find, encourage and support our troubadors-to-be.  I know one
> personally.  Devin Hoff is a world-class bassist
> who shifts through the varied
> music scenes listed above with grace, fluidity, mastery of himself and his
> instrument, bass.  Even better is his politics.  Even better is the man.
> He currently lives and will soon be active again in NYC, hopefully the
> C19thing will be beaten even though it is 'managed' by a rudy-poot
> nincompoop.
>
> But as for Bela Fleck and Abigail Wishburn's presentation all that was
> missing, besides the gospel choir, was Doc and Merle Watson but, alas, both
> are gone.
> Freihofer's Jazz Fest: Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn with Skidmore Jazz
> Institute Alumni Trio
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8p3HNGmEkA
>
> JAI
>
>
>
>
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[Marxism] Bela Fleck/Abigail Wishburn Streamed on You Tube Today

2020-06-27 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Comrade,

Watching just an awesome recital by the couple
.  Banjos with a "Black Lives
Matter" sign as background.  They promised to stream it for a few weeks.
The first part is a Jazz trio that did not interest me as I came to hear
Bela.  Me and V have seen him at least twice, maybe 3,4 times.

If only interested in this part its easy to navigate to it just move cursor
to almost the end that isn't.  Their performance is maybe 25 - 30 mins long.

They do a song on the indigenous.  She sings one in Chinese that she
learned during an extended stay in Sichuan.  They duet on a Hank, Sr tune.
Sing an Abbey Lincoln
 tune
introduced by pointing at her activism.  Last thing "Take me to Harlem"
with great lyrics but, I think, musically missing something.  Maybe a
gospel choir.

Comrade, I am far from a musicologist but know what I like when I hear it.

In the 60's the soundtrack to our lives was cause and effect of our
struggles, protests, movements.  There must be a music of this movement.
Maybe musics.  But Fleck's incursion of his politics into this Allegheny
world sounds a tocsin for others to follow.  Not just bluegrass but C,
folk, rap, R, classical, jazz and blues.

We must find, encourage and support our troubadors-to-be.  I know one
personally.  Devin Hoff is a world-class bassist
who shifts through the varied
music scenes listed above with grace, fluidity, mastery of himself and his
instrument, bass.  Even better is his politics.  Even better is the man.
He currently lives and will soon be active again in NYC, hopefully the
C19thing will be beaten even though it is 'managed' by a rudy-poot
nincompoop.

But as for Bela Fleck and Abigail Wishburn's presentation all that was
missing, besides the gospel choir, was Doc and Merle Watson but, alas, both
are gone.
Freihofer's Jazz Fest: Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn with Skidmore Jazz
Institute Alumni Trio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8p3HNGmEkA

JAI
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[Marxism] Fwd: Gone With the Wind

2020-06-26 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Good comrade,

Have seen both movies at least 10 times.  They are favorites of me and my
girlfriend of almost 34 years.  Know many of the lines by heart.

There is a film, "Cabin in the Cotton" with Bette Davis and Richard
Barthelmess (who was a silent big star whose transition to 'talkies' led to
some of the most unfortunate portrayals).

It is a class film as she is a planter's daughter socialite and he a
sharecropper.  They are at a gala and she invites him to lead "The
Peckerwood Polka".  Might be wrong about the word polka but dead on it
about the "peckerwood" part.  See IMDB info below last comment:

Do we ban this too on a 'class', not racial bias?  It's like being a
'little pregnant'.  When is enough enough.  This very slight difference
with you, good friend, is of no 'nevermind' to me, whatsoever.

With *Richard Barthelmess*, *Bette Davis*, Dorothy Jordan, Hardie Albright.
... *Bette Davis and Richard Barthelmess* in The *Cabin in the Cotton*
(1932) Richard ... Played by the jazz band for the* "Peckerwood Wiggle" *dance
at Madge's party
Rating: 6.8/10 - ‎1,420 votes
The Cabin in the Cotton (1932) - IMDb

With *Richard Barthelmess*, *Bette Davis*, Dorothy Jordan, Hardie Albright.
... *Richard Barthelmess* in The *Cabin in the Cotton* (1932) *Bette Davis
and Richard* ... known as planters and the *poor cotton pickers, known as
tenants or '**peckerwoods'*.

JAI


On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 4:09 PM  wrote:

> Most movies made before the 1960s, that come close to dealing with race or
> with having racial or racialized components or figures in them, are going
> to be suspect on these grounds. This is going to be a case-by-case search
> and decision-making process, and there will be many close calls, though all
> movies should have a copy at a central museum of film. I am for keeping
> "Casablanca" in regular use, as I deem its racist components too minor to
> cause such a good and classic film to disappear from public availability.
> But that sort of judgment must be applied to many films; some will be put
> away, most (I suspect) will survive. WH
>
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Re: [Marxism] Gone With the Wind

2020-06-26 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Did not assert that.  Museumed is what needs to be done with these, as I
wrote, with a critique.  As, I believe, that TCM is going to do exactly
that with GWTW, i.e. shown with a socio-political analysis preceding and
following the film.  And TCM is such a museum open to all.

What about "Casablanca" with Dooley Wilson's 'Sam' and Ingrid Bergman's
'Elsa' asking 'Renault', the Vichy official, about the "boy" playing the
piano?  With its magnificent music accompanying.  Not only "As Time Goes
By" but with the stirring anti-fascist rendition of "La Marseillaise"
conjured up by the courage of 'Victor Laszlo'?  Yet another remarkable and
classic piece of film only to be available "to be studied in film classes"?

Etc., etc., etc.

JAI

On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 2:10 PM A.R. G  wrote:

> Even Birth of a Nation, to my understanding, was treated as a cinematic
> accomplishment. Maybe both should be studied in film classes but they need
> not be treated as normal/socially acceptable films to be screened just for
> entertainment.
>
> On Fri, Jun 26, 2020, 12:34 PM John A Imani via Marxism <
> marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>
>>
>> I am black.  72 years old.  An anarcho-Marxian.  And, as an adult, have
>> logged 50+ years of participation in many many movements always to be found
>> in the same place: on the front line.  I make those statements because I
>> have never sought nor accepted the privileges of race, age, my grasp of
>> politico-economics and/or the braggadocio resulting from  "Jaws"-like
>> comparisons of battle scars.
>>
>> And because of these experiences and this disposition I invite criticism
>> as I have never feared being wrong only of being incorrect.  And, on this,
>> especially at this special time.
>>
>> "GWTW" is beautifully filmed, finely acted, magnificently scored, if
>> historically inaccurate, depiction of the ante-, inter- and post-bellum
>> South.  It is a work of art even if also an agent of racism.  It--like
>> statues and monuments klan outfittings and speeches--belongs with those
>> brethren in a museum.  And alongside these mementos explanations and
>> criticisms giving these their proper contexts.  In this case that museum's
>> name is TCM.
>>
>> I recently saw for the first time Hattie McDaniels' acceptance speech
>> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7t4pTNZshA> for winning the Acad Award
>> for Best Supporting Actor.  It was as magnificent as it was short,
>> emotional and uplifting.  It was as grand as her portrayal of 'Mammy' in
>> the film wherein I have never seen an actor so embody the conscious as well
>> as the subconsciousness of the character portrayed.  Do we burn that film
>> as some have burned books?
>>
>> JAI
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[Marxism] Gone With the Wind

2020-06-26 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Comrades,

I am black.  72 years old.  An anarcho-Marxian.  And, as an adult, have
logged 50+ years of participation in many many movements always to be found
in the same place: on the front line.  I make those statements because I
have never sought nor accepted the privileges of race, age, my grasp of
politico-economics and/or the braggadocio resulting from  "Jaws"-like
comparisons of battle scars.

And because of these experiences and this disposition I invite criticism as
I have never feared being wrong only of being incorrect.  And, on this,
especially at this special time.

"GWTW" is beautifully filmed, finely acted, magnificently scored, if
historically inaccurate, depiction of the ante-, inter- and post-bellum
South.  It is a work of art even if also an agent of racism.  It--like
statues and monuments klan outfittings and speeches--belongs with those
brethren in a museum.  And alongside these mementos explanations and
criticisms giving these their proper contexts.  In this case that museum's
name is TCM.

I recently saw for the first time Hattie McDaniels' acceptance speech
 for winning the Acad Award
for Best Supporting Actor.  It was as magnificent as it was short,
emotional and uplifting.  It was as grand as her portrayal of 'Mammy' in
the film wherein I have never seen an actor so embody the conscious as well
as the subconsciousness of the character portrayed.  Do we burn that film
as some have burned books?

JAI
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[Marxism] Fwd: Economist-The Pandemic and Plastic Pollution

2020-06-23 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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(JAI:  In California the flimsy but serviceable formerly free plastic bags
at the supermarkets were replaced with heavier duty, 'layered', plastic
that cost the shoppers a dime.  This is an effort to 'train' customers to
reuse the sturdier bags.  This is described much further down in the below.

(That policy has led to a 'sea' of heavy duty plastic bags (now 'free' to
protect the workers from possible contamination by reused bags) and
shoppers, no longer constrained, now routinely use the heavier bags,
accumulating with each trip to the store, to perform tasks, eg as trash
receptacles, that the thin bags formerly accomplished with less damage to
the environs.)

Sea of troubles:  Covid-19 has led to a pandemic of Plastic Pollution


As the world produces more protective equipment—and gorges on
takeaways—pity the oceans
--
Jun 22nd 2020

HONG KONG

THE THAMES has always been a reflector of the times, says Lara Maiklem, a
London “mudlark”. Ms Maiklem spends her days on the river’s foreshore
foraging for history’s detritus, from Roman pottery to Victorian clay
pipes. She can tell the time of year, she says, just by the type of rubbish
she has to sift through: champagne bottles during the first week of
January; footballs in summer. The year 2020 has left its own mark. Since
the coronavirus reached Britain the mud has sprouted a crop of latex gloves.

In February, half a world away, Gary Stokes docked his boat on Hong Kong’s
isolated Soko Island. Soko’s beaches are where OceansAsia, the conservation
organisation he runs, sporadically records levels of plastic pollution. Mr
Stokes says he is all too accustomed to finding the jetsam the modern world
throws up, such as plastic drinks bottles and supermarket carrier-bags. But
what he documented that day made news across Hong Kong: 70 surgical
facemasks on a 100-metre stretch of beach. Having cleaned it up, he went
back four days later. Like a stubborn weed, the masks had returned.

Whether on the foreshore of the Thames or the deserted beaches of Soko, the
planet is awash with pandemic plastic. Data are hard to come by but, for
example, consumption of single-use plastic may have grown by 250-300% in
America since the coronavirus took hold, says Antonis Mavropoulos of the
International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), which represents recycling
bodies in 102 countries. Much of that increase is down to demand for
products designed to keep covid-19 at bay, including masks, visors and
gloves. According to a forecast from Grand View Research, the global
disposable-mask market will grow from an estimated $800m in 2019 to $166bn
in 2020.

Staggering though such figures are, personal protection is only part of the
story. Lockdowns have also led to a boom in e-commerce. In March, as parts
of America and Europe shut up shop, some 2.5bn customers are reckoned to
have visited Amazon’s website, a 65% increase on last year. In China, more
than 25% of physical goods were bought online during the first quarter of
the year, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics,
a think-tank in Washington, DC.

Much of what is bought online comes wrapped in plastic—and the bad kind at
that. Goods are often packaged in plastic comprising several layers. That
keeps the contents safe in aeroplane holds and on delivery lorries. It also
makes it nearly impossible to recycle the plastic. At the same time, the
locked-down masses have been consuming home deliveries from restaurants in
record numbers. First-quarter sales at Uber Eats, one of America’s biggest
restaurant-delivery apps, for example, rose by 54% year on year. Every
extra portion of curry, or pot of garlic dip, means more plastic waste.

If the public’s increasing appetite for single-use plastic worries
environmentalists, then so too does its diminishing inclination to recycle
materials that can be reused. In Athens, for example, there has been a 150%
increase in the amount of plastic found in the general-waste stream, says
Mr Mavropoulos. Anecdotal evidence from ISWA members suggests this is a
worldwide trend. An unwillingness to recycle might be explained by people’s
nervousness about venturing out to put waste in recycling bins. Or it might
just be that lockdowns have put more pressing matters into their minds,
prompting a slip in their diligence.

Covid-19 has led to a glut in plastic waste in other ways. For one, the
pandemic caused a 

[Marxism] The SEC and Mississippi's Rebel Flag

2020-06-19 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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The South Eastern Conference and the NCAA announced that it would not hold
'championship' events in the state until it removed the Confederate flag
from its own state flag.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/19/us/mississippi-flag-sec-trnd/index.html

This, in my opinion, is as great a change as the NASCAR's to the culture of
the South as the SEC, and especially so its college football, is sacrosanct.

Until 2010 U of Mississippi still has as its mascot a rebel soldier.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_Reb

JAI
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Re: [Marxism] On the NASCAR's Banning of the Confederate Flag and its Social Implications

2020-06-19 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
ed
> the robe along with most of the other effects of my grandfather in a
> bonfire in the yard.  I now muse about the irony that, the more important
> the rank of the Klansman, the more colored his robe was.  Wythe
> PS -- John, when I landed the job at the University of Alabama and got to
> Tuscaloosa in September 1966, there were signs on public water fountains
> designating the proper race of a drinker therefrom.  When I left Alabama in
> 2007 a group of us were working on getting actually desegregated elementary
> school classes in the state's Black Belt (the school boards were grouping
> the pupils by supposed ability, and lo and behold! almost all the most
> "able" children turned out to be white!).  Given the doggedness of
> continued racist intransigence, the symbols of segregation NEED to be in
> museums today, such as the one in Selma founded by Rose Sanders (one of my
> heroes, a friend, and a fellow worker in the desegregation trenches) which
> shows Selma's struggles -- desegregation, the marches, the
> bridge-crossings, the demonstrations, and the federal legislation such as
> the Voting Rights Act which has resulted from continuing mostly-black
> activism centered in Selma.
>


> On June 18, 2020 at 10:18 PM John A Imani via Marxism <
> marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>
> > << Indeed I can imagine a world in which these symbols are removed while
> > the racist conditions that gave rise to them remain.>>
> >
> > And indeed I can imagine a world in which the racist conditions are gone
> > while these 'symbols' remain: in books and museums where they belong.
>
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Re: [Marxism] On the NASCAR's Banning of the Confederate Flag and its Social Implications

2020-06-19 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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<< Indeed I can imagine a world in which these symbols are removed while
the racist conditions that gave rise to them remain.>>

And indeed I can imagine a world in which the racist conditions are gone
while these 'symbols' remain: in books and museums where they belong.

What is the effect of the sight of a Klan hood, masked conic hat and
chewing tobacco-stained flowing was-white robe?  What comes to mind when a
noose is tied from a prominent tree, the grace of its Spanish moss belied?
The burning of a cross?  The signs  "Colored",  "Whites Only" on the
restrooms, the water fountains, the lunch counters, the bus depot, the
trains?  The Confederate flag?  More than signs.  Warnings.

'Symbols' speak more than the picture's words.

Socially recognized, socially understood, socially enforced conventions.
Southern blacks were almost born knowing where the back of the bus was.
Which school to attend.  Who to let pass on the sidewalk by stepping onto
the unpaved easement:  "Yes, Suh", "No, Ma'am".

Yes, I can imagine a world where historians' can comment in pages and
inscribe their analyses of such 'symbols' on plaques; where students can be
taught in our schools; where the merely curious can leaf through a book or
walk hallowed galleries and pause and think and shake their heads in amazed
disgust in a land where skin color itself has ceased to be the symbol.

I join comrade Wythe as a child of the South, fleeing Mason and Dixon's
line, at the age of 15 but having seen much, enough.  I differ with and
from the comrade only by being born black.

JAI

On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 6:03 PM A.R. G  wrote:

Very much appreciate Wythe's insight as a Southerner...
Indeed I can imagine a world in which these symbols are removed while the
racist conditions that gave rise to them remain.
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[Marxism] Fwd: On the NASCAR's Banning of the Confederate Flag and its Social Implications

2020-06-18 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Thank you for these historically and contemporaneously, comradely and
brotherly,thoughts.
Roll Tide!

JAI

-- Forwarded message -
From: Wythe Holt jr. 
Date: Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 8:11 AM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] On the NASCAR's Banning of the Confederate Flag and
its Social Implications
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition 
Cc: A.R. G , John A Imani ,
Jeffrey Masko 

This is a strange submission, for one who, like myself, was born and reared
a white racist in the American South, who has fought for decades to
overcome his racism, and who has lived almost all of his life with people
who still think the Confederacy is one of the most meaningful things in
their lives.

For my black friends, it (the Confederacy) is deeply negative -- it means
thoroughgoing and tangible racism -- being "raced" every minute of every
day, being subject to outlandish cruelty and, worse, dismissal as full
human beings, being subjected to second class citizenship and overt haughty
discrimination, a lesser level of imagined possible competence in many
white minds and in much of the law and culture, in education, in
government, in all walks of public and private life -- all offshoots and
holdovers from the human slavery that most of their American ancestors
suffered under.

For a large number of my white friends, it often means unquestioning
glorification of and identification with the white people who led the
Confederacy in military defense of the institution of human slavery.  (NOT
"states rights" -- the "state's right" that -- when I ask them -- these
folks immediately first think about is the "right" to hold human beings in
legal thralldom.)

For all of these people the Confederate flag is centrally meaningful as a
symbol of these wildly differing views and experiences of hundreds of years
of the degradation and enslavement of dark-skinned people.

This needs to be said again, and at length.  Anthema to the former
(African-Americans), and a symbol of life and worth and deep if racist
meaning to the latter (so-called Caucasians), is the Confederate flag.  It
means "slavery" -- still -- to every Southerner born and bred there.  It
means racism.  It means cruelty and overlordship.  It means defiance of the
law, it means being a traitor to the original Constitution and government
of the US, it means that equality is impossible and always nonexistent, it
means that a whole group of people who are black are STILL TO THIS MINUTE
thought to be inherently ignorant and uncivilized and inhuman by many white
people, many of whom do not live in the South.  Look at the continuing
murder of black men by white policemen, something which still seems to
happen monthly or more frequently, 155 years after Appomattox.  For many
black people it means constant struggle in their own minds and culture to
assert and maintain a sense of humanity, a sense denied them by the racism
which envelops them.  Amith, the Confederate flag MEANS racism.  Wherever
you live in the South, look around and discover how many African-Americans
fly this flag, or defend its use, much less glorify it.  How many of them
speak well of it?

Amith, you live in this world of the Old Confederacy now, though you were
not born in it.  My own forebears, all born and reared in Virginia, owned
human beings as slaves and fought -- my great-grandfather for all four
years of the war -- to preserve the malign, ghastly, and deeply prejudicial
institution of slavery.  All the wealth created by that society was due to
enslaved people's work and deprivation but was claimed as theirs and as
their own work-product by their non-laboring white owners.  His son, my
grandfather, a successful politician from about 1895 through 1933, held
black people in contempt and gloried in the supposed military exploits of
his father (whom he could not remember, the man having drunk himself to
death when my grandfather was four) and the other men and women who fought,
often to the death, to preserve slavery and a regime using the labor of
horribly treated black workers to build everything.  The worth of the slave
South was embodied in, and produced by, the labor of people thought to be
and treated as not really human.  This is what that flag means.  This is
what it meant at NASCAR (which still has ONLY ONE nonwhite driver, the one
who protested the use of the flag).  This is what it means to just about
everyone in the US who sees it.

Wythe


From: John A Imani 
Date: Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] On the NASCAR's Banning of the Confederate Flag and
its Social

Agree that other symbols of oppression are relatively 

[Marxism] On the NASCAR's Banning of the Confederate Flag and its Social Implications

2020-06-17 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Comrades,

I watched the beginning of the Nascar event in Homestead, Fl.   The
announcers began with an explication as to why the action had been taken
not only to divorce the association with the previously rife displays of
the Confederate flag but to outright ban it on their cars on the tracks, in
the stands on the fans, and at any associated NASCAR sponsored social
events.  The "Dukes of Hazard" and their 'General Lee'
,
in the language of their minds, would be *verboten*

At the beginning, the NASCAR' spokesmen said what would be expected:  an
admission that *"yes, the shit we put down was fcked up...but we better
now"*.   Least that's what I heard them say.  Apologies had to come there
and have come or will come anywhere and everywhere, wherever, they have
been or are being forced to react to the momentum of the streets.  Even
some cops taking a knee.  Politicians.  Club owners in other sports.  All
talking about racism (and having to admit how wrong they are and have been,
i.e. really only affirming what could not be denied) but little about the
socio-political effects of not just racialist capitalism but the economic
discordance of capitalism itself and the tragedies it spawns and births.
It is, again, as if no one wants to tell that emperor that he has no
clothes.  All the mouthpieces speaking about racism, talking out the side
of their necks.

In spite of all the still not considered spite, I consider this change from
NASCAR's image as a most positive cultural thing.  Even significant.For
when a movement is able to win victories in battles such as these that it
has not yet even joined then that movement has momentum.  That movement is
winning.

I believe that there will be reactions from a part of their fanbase.
Peckerwoods spouting sht like "First Amendment" and sneaking 'Rebel' battle
flags into the race or proudly driving up with stars and bars on their
pck-ups and their cars.  But actions such as these are but skirmishes,
meanwhile the battle still rages even thouh the war has yet to even be
declared.  Thus at every opportunity we need to show this and that
inequity's relationship to capitalism.  As effect from cause.  As cause
from effect.  Each, with the other, in a vicious, non-virtuous,
self-reifying spiraling-'society'-downward circle further and further and...

But apart and away from this arena or that stadium and that stage,
attention needs to be paid to the construction and discussion of a plan, of
a vision of society and how it is that that would work.  Occupy became
occupy when no society-challenging demands were being promulgated,
discussed and taken to, and for, the ones who really matter, the
overwhelming numbers of us in our neighborhoods.   That is the main
battleground.  The battlefield, that in the end, dictates the outcome of
the war.  And if mere marching and mere moving and not real movement
building remains the remains of the day then this movement will be unable
to go where it needs to and ought be, could be and should be.

This does not mean that there are not already substantial gains in the
actions that began with the George Floyd murder and amplified by the BLM
movement and our multi-racial allies and comrades.  As the '50's and '60's
there were changes, real changes, victories that were won, triumphs that
were achieved (e.g. Brown v Bd of Ed of Topeka, KS, affirmative action,
college and university black and other's studies depts.  The legal right to
vote in areas where local law and cop and vigilante terrorism had
proscribed it.)

And here, today, there will be unerasable changes effected.  But as the
civil rights marchers crossing bridges in the '50s, and, the '60's civil
disturbances on Northern streets and colleges--with black militancy in our
hearts, our bodies, our visions our hair, in our fist and in our *arms*,
while leading to lasting changes, they did not bring The Change that was
seen, evoked and propagated and preached by the visionaries among us who
were only giving voice to the mass consciousness that was our soul.

After what was lost in injuries and deaths, and imprisonments and
disillusionments, the progress that was won, these changes that were made,
at best, only drew us even with the damage to the lives, the heartbreaks,
the sacrifices, the efforts that these gains cost.

But as for the NASCAR's move, where I grew up in Mobile, AL there is a
museum.  One of the exhibits is a scale replica of the CSS Alabama
 and, for a
warboat as a blockade runner, it is a most handsome vessel.  

[Marxism] Regarding the ANTIFA

2020-06-03 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Comrades,

I make somewhat regular, if small, donations to the Antifa Defense Fund. I
do it much in line with the critical support that we gave to the SLA in
1974. Criticize them for acting as a small band of armed revolutionaries in
the name of our class, supporting them against the assaults of the state.
We passed out flyers called "Let the ruling classes tremble at a
communistic revoution"

(link leads to the same flyer passed out at a subsequent rally the
following month) stating such while the shooting was going on. I was
arrested the day after the shootout handing out a second flyer "We applaud
the people who applauded the SLA's defense". This in a solemn nod to the
people of the neighborhood who yelled mighty cheers when the SLA's lone
automatic (an M2A, basically an M1 with a selector switch) spat back at the
firepower of the murderous cops who quelled their fire from a crawl space
with a firebombing of the house above them.

Below are two recent letters regarding the ANTIFA and their info on their
defense fund (which I became aware of when they sent $700 to a comrade
facing a gun charge):

--- Forwarded message -

From: *John A Imani* 
Date: Sun, May 31, 2020 at 12:08 PM
Subject: ANTIFA-Invitaton to join Dope X listserve
To: Antifa Intl

Comrades,

Just forwarded widely your donation button

and, esp so to the 1400 person listserve that I am a moderator of (Dope X).

However, my oft times done, forwarding of your donation requests, gives the
impression that I am either a member of or a supporter of Antifa. I am a
critical supporter. I support your efforts because of *1.)* the assistance
you provide to jailed revolutionaries; and, *2.)* because I am a firm
believer in left self-defense.

As to the *first* of these, I only became aware of your support for jailed
comrades when you provided much needed aid to a close comrade of mine (cced
in this note) who was facing charges; and as to the *second*, left
self-defense, becomes more urgent daily now. Trouble looms ahead and not
only from the cops. There is a very real danger of terrorist attacks by
right wing racists.

So, though I disagree with some Antifa actions, tactics and your overall
strategy, I make what small contributions as I am able, as you know, these
small contributions have been made for some time now. And will continue to
be done so.

JAI

On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 1:57 PM John A Imani  wrote:

(JAI: Trump says that Antifa will be designated a 'terrorist' organization.

Donations are denominated in Canadian Dollars. One CAD is equal to 76 cents
and so a $10CAD donation = $7.60 US. You may *donate here *

)

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 6:22 PM Antifa Intl  wrote:

The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund
 provides emergency support to
anti-fascists anywhere in the world, whenever they find themselves in a
difficult situation as a result of their stand against hate. Whether it’s
replacing damaged/stolen property, paying medical bills, helping them find
a safe place to stay, funding legal defence, helping their families, or
doing antifa prisoner support, this Fund
 seeks to alleviate the harm that
results from doing the right thing sometimes.

In its first four years The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund
 has donated more than $75,000USD
to over 400 anti-fascists and anti-racists in eighteen countries!

Anyone can make a proposal to support an anti-fascist by contacting us
.

We depend entirely on donations to do our work and can accept monthly
recurring donations or one-time donations. Any group or individual that
donates more than $20US/€20/£15 will be invited to help make decisions on
proposals and requests the Defence Fund receives.

The *International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund *is a great way to show real
solidarity with anti-fascists and anti-racists worldwide when they need our
support the most!

To find out more, check out our blog
.

FIGHTING HATE IS NOT A CRIME!
ANTI-FASCISM = SELF-DEFENCE!
SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON!
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[Marxism] 'Riots' then and now

2020-06-03 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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  Forwarded message -
From: John A Imani 
Date: Sun, May 31, 2020 at 7:57 PM
Subject: Re: [DopeXResistance-L.A.] Fw: June 1st actions-Class
Consciousness in LA
To: Michael Novick

Comrade, what is interesting about this is the innate class consciousness
of the participants now as opposed to '65 and '92.  Them and then both
began in and wrought more damage in south LA.

This (not excepting the first night of closure of 101 fwy which, in my
opinion, was aimed most at the upper classes of downtown) has begun in the
wealthier areas of the city and county.  Let us hope that it stays there.

I think that this is a qualitative leap, that which is happening now.  Now
its not just the rage.  Now is the directed rage.   Thankfully, it is
directed, where it should be, at the relatively better off parts of town.
The attempt to get to Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, last night was the best
example of this.

But here we have started with BLM.   A class conscious org that we did not
have in 65 and 92.  Many (see CNN, FOX News, Pat Harvey of Channel 2 CBS,
etc) are using this very legitimacy ("It was murder", even Trump says so)
of the protests against the militancy of the protests.  "Peaceful
protesters" versus looters.  Which do exist.  There are opportunists, some
organized, so as to use the rage of the many so as to gain brief monetary
gain for themselves.

But...and here is the point.  All activity has been in the well-off
portions of LA,  Many comrades in the street, however, have not yet learned
that there is a class difference between the corporate giants such as
Nordstrom (though it was hit), CVS, Whole Foods etc, and the small
businesses that took the brunt in 1965 and 1992.  But that is our (as
revolutionaries) fault for not being able to communicate to our people the
difference.

This is a great opportunity, the first in 50 years, to place demands upon
the system which it cannot grant:

Jobs for all at  living wage

No borders for labor

Redevelopment of Africa and Latin America and SE Asia away from their
economies based upon exports to colonizers to an economy designed for local
needs and desires

Universal Income

Expropriating tax upon exiting wealth

Nationalization, and by that socialization, of the major means of production

Housing, education and health care for all

Elected national board of review of all police misconduc

And so many more.

But all of this is to say that what is happening now is light ears further
down the road than we, as revolutionaries, faced in the 60s.

May we use this opportunity wisely.

JAI
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[Marxism] The Gang Leader as President | Talking Points Memo

2020-05-29 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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I have seen people on the news calling him a 'gangleader' or a 'mafiosa'.
He is nothing of the sort.  He is a wanna-be-bully who would turn and run
on any street corner.  He doesn't have the intelligence, the guile, the
courage, nor the interpersonal abilities.  He is a clown.  A Ronald the
Donald Clown only missing a round nose and huge fake clown-feet with toilet
paper stuck to the bottom  and
dragging along behind him.  He is what he has come to be only because he
has said aloud what so many for so long have only dared to think.  Now they
have begun to act upon it.

JAI
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Re: [Marxism] Class struggle in the New Testament | Robert Myles | Culture Matters

2020-05-27 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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31 As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked. From this
time they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the
word of God fearlessly.

32 The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed
private ownership of any possessions, as everything they owned was held in
common.

33 The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus
with great power, and they were all accorded great respect.

34 None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or
houses would sell them, and bring the money from the sale of them,

35 to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any who might
be in need.

“Acts.” Chapter 4.
*http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=51_chapter=4
*

JAI
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Re: [Marxism] A Child's Christmas in Woodridge-Louis Proyect The Unrepentant Marxist

2020-05-21 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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 << The happiest time in any man’s life is the time before he becomes a
man>>

Comrade,

I enjoyed your joy in reminiscence of childhood.  That sense of freedom and
exuberance you had as a child is almost exactly, minus the snows, of
course, growing up as I did in Mobile, AL where I lived until I moved to LA
at the age of 15.

You had snow, but we had the swamp.  Where we would 'shoot hooky' (ditch
school).  We would each bring a potato along to roast in a made campfire.
If we were lucky we would be able to down a bird or three with our BB guns,
tear off the heads, pluck the feathers disembowel and roast on a improvised
spit.  I know its cruel but it was a joy of childhood.  Picking
blackberries we had to be aware of the occasional water moccasin
(cottonmouth) but no one ever got bit.

Just before the swamp was the baseball area where we would play in
semi-organized leagues every spring to summer.  This brings up a couple of
incidents that belie the idyllic scenes I just set:

We were playing streetball when a ball was hit over my head and I ran to
chase it and throw it back in.  Out there I noticed a station wagon with 6
nuns in it.  Being Catholic I ran over to see if they needed directions
when I stopped 10 feet from the car cause the driver needed a shave.
"Klan!", I  yelled and rushed back to my friends.  The neighbors came out
and the criminals fled.

The other incident involved Mardi Gras.  At a parade a white boy, bout my
age which was maybe 12, came along with a basket of roasted peanuts that he
was selling.  Next to me a little black kid bout our age held out a dime to
him.  The vendor asked "Y'all wont some pie-nuts?"  "Yes, sir" was the
kid's answer.  That was the start of a realization that led to a
transformation.  That was when I first knew, realized, that something was
rotten in Denmark.  The Klan we understood in their hatred of us.  But the
black kid's response triggered the train that led to the thought that that
hatred, all around us in segregated Alabama, had triggered its opposite in
ourselves, a hatred of ourselves.

This is illustrated by the fact that, to this day, there is an intra-racial
racism in conquered peoples, around the world, demonstrated by the fact
that we, the lighter skinned, feel and are looked upon as superior to our
darker brothers.  Despite, or maybe because of the fact that the lighter
skinned's ancestors were raped more often and the darker skinned resisted
more.  There was a tv show, "Frank's Place", (taking place in NOLA)
discussing the 'paper bag test' where to join a social club one had to be
lighter than that paper bag.  https://www.jstor.org/stable/4137914?seq=1

This realization, occurring in many at many places was the start of the
"Black Power Movement" and its herald "Black is Beautiful".

But to my point for writing:  I would appreciate it if you began your
postings from "Unrepentant" with an introductory few sentences of
paragraphs such as the beginning three appended below.  Reading these first
three, one would have to want to read more.  They are a fine and inviting
introduction:

”,
you’ll get a good taste of the excitement of wintertime. Robert’s mother
Eleanor and mine were very close. Eleanor wrote a column called Woodridge
Whirl for the local paper and my mother took it over after the Harrises
moved to Florida.>>

Well written, well said.
JAI
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[Marxism] On Labor-power and Labor- Edward G Robinson and Pablo Picasso

2020-05-07 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Almost anyone beginning a reading of Marx' Capital finds the distinction
between labor-power (the ability to work) and labor (working) something of
a mystery.  I like to think of it as the difference between a sewing
machine and sewing.  One buys the commodity sewing machine (labor-power)
and sewing (labor).  One purchases the commodity but pays nothing more to
run it.

Tonight being the start of TCM's salute to the GOAT, Edward G Robinson, and
featuring 3 of hs best at 5pst Little Ceasar,   At 8pst The Sea Wolf and at
10pst the best film I know of, Key Largo.  So I will give again his
description of the difference:

“The sitting around on the set is awful. But I always figure that's what
they pay me for. The acting I do for free.”
*https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edward_G._Robinson
*.

And comes along this today regarding Picasso:

One day, Pablo Picasso was sitting in a Paris cafe and sketching something
on a small napkin.

Once he was done, a secret admirer recognized him, approached him and asked
whether he could have that napkin.

“Sure,” Picasso answered. “20,000 francs and it is yours.”

“20,000 francs? It took you five minutes to draw this.”

“Nonono, it took me more than 40 years.”

Cited by Vjekoslav Nemec at Quora
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-coolest-line-in-history/answer/Vjekoslav-Nemec


The difference between labor-power and labor is the same as that between a
sewing machine and using it to sew. You pay for the machine (its ability to
do work, i.e. like labor-power) but you pay nothing more to use it (like
the workers’ labor).”


JAI
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Re: [Marxism] WA Post: "Record government and corporate debt risks tipping point"

2020-04-21 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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<>

Don't think so.  I wrote:  " after an initial pre-inflation wage boost
(most important are a rise in the minimum and the guarantee of
employment).  True.  Did not specify how many hirees to this or that
industry but what was offered was the general proposition that all who want
work should have it and at a living wage.  Maybe the respondent has a
detailed plan as to where these jobs will be located and what they are to
do.  I would like to see it.

As for the snide against Marx and use of his quotes, I am after all a
Marxian on a Marxist listserve and, for the life of me, there is no one
that I would ever want to quote more.

JAI


On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 7:32 PM MM  wrote:

> On Apr 20, 2020, at 9:59 PM, John A Imani via Marxism <
> marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>
> JAI
>
>
> What’s missing from JAI’s response — but is dealt with at length in the
> interview I posted, and runs throughout the MMT literature — is what the
> newly printed money is put to use to do.
>
> Unless comrades are willing to start dealing with the details of specific
> national contexts and industrial strategies, this is all sound and fury,
> signifying nothing. Pick a country — any country — and start dealing with
> the numbers. But for Christ’s sake stop with the fucking Marxian scriptural
> references.
>
>
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Re: [Marxism] WA Post: "Record government and corporate debt risks tipping point"

2020-04-20 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Why must revolutionaries worry about inflation? That cannot be answered
without a simultaneous worry about wages. Even in a capitalist system, if
wages rise with inflation then that is of benefit to borrowers as they pay
back the advance (home, auto, credit cards, etc.) with ‘cheaper’ dollars.
The key is the ratio of inflation to the wage. Indexing the wage to the
rate of inflation, i.e. say a wage of $20 per hour is increased 100%, to
match the 100% rate of inflation, leaves the real purchasing power of the
wage the same but devalues debt by 50%. But more to the point here is that
inflation, properly used, deliberately induced inflation, can be a monetary
tool that we can use as one method of aiding the transition from a
capitalist system to a socialist system-- which itself ought be
transitioning in its role as a precursor of a communistic economy and
society.

Inflation. Inflation as a transitional device. Deliberately induced
inflation. Created by a printing press ‘bazooka’, initially, to give to all
a GAI (UBI) .
Then, after an initial pre-inflation wage boost (most important are a rise
in the minimum and the guarantee of employment), the creation of new
currency, perhaps a la the Mexican nuevo peso in 1993, and at the same time
an indexing to the rate of inflation of wages, pensions, welfare, bank
accounts (up to a limit of say, e.g., the FDIC limit of $100,000), even
shareholdings and bonds (to that limit) held by individuals, perhaps in
401Ks.  All these would again be protected by being indexed to the rate of
inflation. Limits for housing ownership, subject to socially set limits.
Savings, incomes, capital gains above this or that limit (or any limit that
society sets) would be subject to being devalued by the deliberately
induced inflation. Expropriation through inflation.

Where's the money for this?" Well jobs don't cost they pay. Ask any
capitalist hiring any worker. But w/o going into that question there's a
simple answer to the first question about "Where the money?" The answer is
'print' it. They did it ($750bill) for the banks. Twice. Bush and Obama.
Paulson's 'bazooka'. They (then We) can print as much as 'needed' to fund
this. The Fed Res has such power to transfer purchasing power (which is all
that this is) as real purchasing power is created only through work. Such a
transfer by inflation reallocates the purchasing power by making
accumulated dollars worth less through inflation. Individuals with modest
savings can be protected by indexing these to the rate of inflation. Same
with wages. Pensions ditto. Etc. Those with larger fortunes would see these
reduced by as much as the working class has the will to do it:
Nationalization through redistribution of the ruling class' liquid assets
by inflation.

This, and all of this could be accomplished, I am certain with a tiny
portion of the computing power already extant. See almost anything by W
Paul Cockshott.  Information is essential as production goals need be
tailored to consumer needs and desires.

"Book-keeping, as the control and ideal synthesis of the process, becomes
the more necessary the more the process assumes a social scale and loses
its purely individual character. It is therefore more necessary in
capitalist production than in the scattered production of handicraft and
peasant economy, more necessary in collective production than in capitalist
production...” Marx. “Capital. Vol 2.  Chap VI.”
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1885-c2/ch06.htm#1.2

“…after the abolition of the capitalist mode of production, but still
retaining social production, the determination of value continues to
prevail in the sense that the regulation of labour-time and the
distribution of social labour among the various production groups,
ultimately the book-keeping encompassing all this, become more essential
than ever.” Vol 3. Chap IL.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894-c3/ch49.htm

JAI
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Re: [Marxism] [UCE] Crisis of Socialism and Effects of Capitalist Restoration | Paul Cockshott | Monthly Review

2020-04-19 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Thank you for this.  Would highly recommend Cockhott's book "Towards a New
Socialism" (along with Allin Cottrell) and his paper on "Calculation
in-Natura, from Neurath to. Kantorovich".  This last an exposition on
socialist planning without the use of a monetary pricing vector or market
and a resounding slap in the face for Mises, et al.

JAI
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[Marxism] Marx to Kugelmann In Hanover.” London, July 11, 1868

2020-04-15 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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“Every child knows a nation which ceased to work, I will not say for a
year, but even for a few weeks, would perish.” <#sdfootnote1sym>


*https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1868/letters/68_07_11-abs.htm
*


JAI
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[Marxism] Gil Scott Heron Birthday Show Today at 4PST

2020-04-02 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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(JAI:  Thanx to comrade and brother Bilal for forwarding this on.

(Gil Scott  was a leading
voice of the cultural revolution that accompanied and aided greatly our
political efforts in the late 60's (actually early '70s but the term '60s
covers that).

(And this is why we must support our talented revolutionaries creating
art.  They will more than repay us with an uplifting of our spirits.

(Probably his most famous composition was "The Revolution Will Not be
Televised"
.  Hear
it here )

--- Forwarded message -
From: Bilal Ali 
Date: Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 4:01 PM
Subject: Gil Scott Heron Birthday Show
To: John A Imani 

tune in to radiojustice.org for the show I produced today 4pm.
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Re: [Marxism] [UCE] coronavirus bailout, inflation and Marx

2020-03-30 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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John Reimann wrote:  " A large chunk of the bailout will be going to
workers, in effect raising their buying power or at least limiting the fall
in their buying power.
Will that lead to inflation and does it contradict the views of Karl Marx?"

I had written a response to a very similar proposition where in an article
(Short View) in the FT the following statement was to be found:

"...there is growing interest in the power of another type of Chinese
consumer — the more regular, less flashy sort. Incomes for China’s poorest
40 per cent are rising at about 9 per cent a year."

Because it is behind a 'paywall' I have appended the FT article below my
comment that was published in the FT on 12-21-15.

JAI

Marx’s meditation on Citizen Weston revisited

https://www.ft.com/content/d3474ce2-a588-11e5-a91e-162b86790c58

December 21 2015

Sir,

Jennifer Hughes’s comments on the increase in purchasing power of China’s
poorest 40 per cent (Short View, December 17) illustrates why it is that a
rise in the minimum wage does not result in an increase in unemployment.
Nor does such an increase engender anything more than but a brief but
passing inflationary episode.

After describing a fall in the Chinese luxury goods market, Ms Hughes
writes that “there is growing interest in the power of another type of
Chinese consumer...Incomes for China’s poorest 40 per cent are rising at
about 9 per cent a year — more rapidly than for the better off . . .
investors should think about sectors that could get a boost from the bottom
40 per cent.”

Suppose that against a given level of production such an increase occurs.
The additional purchasing power then causes a rise in the price level of
what AC Pigou called “wage-goods” as the pay rise does not allow ventures
into “non-wage goods” (luxury items), only an increase in purchasing of the
former.

This rise in the price level — and through that, the profitability — in the
“wage-good” sector entices some entrepreneurs to exit the “non-wage good”
sector and enter into “wage-good” production. The consequent rise in the
level of this production soon strips the inflation away, sending pricing,
profitability and the general level of inflation back towards their
pre-wage increase mean levels. Only now there is relatively more production
of “wage-goods”.

In addition there will be an increase in the tempo of the economy as income
will have been transferred towards sectors inhabited by those with greater
marginal propensity to consume. Of course some pre-existing concerns
operating marginally at profitability will be unable to afford the wage
rise and will exit the field. These losses will be more than compensated by
the job growth in the “wage-good” industries as a portion of the market’s
productive forces come to be shifted away from the fashioning of luxury
items as “investors . . . think about sectors that could get a boost from
the bottom”.

There is nothing new in this thinking. Marx described the same almost
exactly 150 years ago in his meditation on *Citizen Weston in Value, Price
and Profit
*.

John A Imani
Los Angeles, CA, US

Short View-Jennifer Hughes 12-16-2015

*https://www.ft.com/content/e0b7db56-a3aa-11e5-8d70-42b68cfae6e4
*

“Lower end of the market adds to China’s mass appeal Incomes for poorest 40
per cent rising at about 9 per cent a year.”

“If 500 stormtroopers posing on the Great Wall of China don’t give a film a
boost, then nothing will. As markets digest the implications of the Federal
Reserve’s interest rate decision, the launch on Thursday of the latest Star
Wars installment speaks to another key trend for next year: the Chinese
consumer. Luxury goods sales there are still dropping at an alarming rate.
This week Prada reported a 26 per cent slump in its China business and LVMH
has begun closing some stores. But there is growing interest in the power
of another type of Chinese consumer — the more regular, less flashy sort.
Incomes for China’s poorest 40 per cent are rising at about 9 per cent a
year — more rapidly than for the better off, according to Gavekal
Dragonomics. The middle 40 per cent has greater spending power, so they
drive the bulk of consumption and overall consumption growth is still
likely to slow. But investors should think about sectors that could get a
boost from the bottom 40 per cent.

The sheer numbers involved would be significant if, as elsewhere, their
extra funds go towards better quality goods and experiences. More lipsticks
and cosmetics might be one example. China’s biggest beauty chain, AS

Re: [Marxism] The danger of inflation in the COVID-19

2020-03-25 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Why must revolutionaries worry about inflation? That cannot be answered
without a simultaneous worry about wages. Even in a capitalist system, if
wages rise with inflation then that is of benefit to borrowers as they pay
back the advance with ‘cheaper’ dollars. The key is the ratio of inflation
to the wage. Indexing the wage to the rate of inflation, i.e. say a wage of
$20 per hour is increased 100%, to match the 100% rate of inflation, leaves
the real purchasing power of the wage the same but devalues debt by 50%. But
more to the point here is that inflation, properly used, deliberately
induced inflation, can be a monetary tool that we can use as one method of
aiding the transition from a capitalist system to a socialist system--
which itself ought be transitioning in its role as a precursor of a
communistic economy and society.

Inflation. Inflation as a transitional device. Deliberately induced
inflation. Created by a printing press ‘bazooka’, initially, to give to all
a *GAI (UBI)
*. And,
after an initial pre-inflation wage boost (most important are a rise in the
minimum and the guarantee of employment), the creation of new currency
a la *nuevo
peso *in 1993, and at the same time an indexing to the rate of inflation of
wages, pensions, welfare, bank accounts (up to a limit of say the FDIC
limit of $100,000), even shareholdings and bonds (to that limit) held by
individuals, perhaps in 401Ks, all these would again be protected by being
indexed to the rate of inflation. Limits for housing ownership, subject to
socially set limits. Savings, incomes, capital gains above that limit (or
any limit that society sets) would be subject to being devalued by the
deliberately induced inflation. Expropriation through inflation.
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[Marxism] Political, Social and Economic Consequences of the Corona Virus Epidemic

2020-03-08 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Marxian economics finds its fulcrum--so as to lever economic
understanding--in its fundamental postulate that all new value comes into
existence only with the labors of humans, i.e. the workforce.(1)
<#m_4426030999311900811_sdfootnote1sym>This new value added by human
labor(2) is divided, in capitalism, into the products of necessary labor
and those of surplus labor with the former being the amount of time it
takes for the average worker to produce items which recreate the value of
his wage; while the latter is the time worked after that with the value of
the products produced during that time being that which remains with the
capitalist after the workers wage has been paid.

After the value of the wage has been resurrected, it must be seen that all
new net value is born into this world as surplus-value which, all things
being equal, becomes the capitalist’s profit. Without this latter portion
of the workday, in capitalism, then the necessary labor portion would cease
for “As every child knows” the prime motivation of capitalist production is
not employment but profit. Sans this there would be no industry.

The corona virus has wrought devastation upon wealthier nations with China,
South Korea, Japan and Italy having to quarantine workers in their millions
crippling wide swaths of many sectors of their economies. We will leave for
later the horrendous near future to be suffered by the more economically
underdeveloped areas of the world.

But within those more developed areas there are industries which are
relatively self-contained and those which occupy this or that rung on a
national or international supply chain. The quarantined self-contained
business would cease or drastically cut back on its workforce but being
self-contained the damage that it does to industry as a whole is only to
itself as cloistered company and the others who being local to this
production depend greatly upon the expenditure of at least part of the
revenues in the forms of wages and profits of the workers and the
capitalists of the stalled behemoth. In addition those vendors further away
would feel the loss of the expended purchasing power they previously
absorbed.


Those industries which are links in the supply chain can either be active
and passive or even participate as both. Further their activities in this
movement of production could be national or international or, again, both.
The active elements are the downstream producers of the components of
further upstream production; the upstream passive ones are the receivers of
those components produced downstream. If the downstream element cannot
produce then neither can those upstream sans those components. On the other
hand, if the upstream producer cannot sell on its products then it must
cease to be able to purchase those downstream elements. A break in a link
anywhere and the repercussions pancake themselves up and down on each other
with a failure of this one leading to that of the other leading to…

And the capitalist producers find themselves in the vise of a ‘scissors’ of
decreased effective demand and decreased supply. And if no work then no
value is created. No wages replicated, no profits created so as to be
realized.


This is the threat to developed countries. Countries that are struggling to
correctly respond to this disease and their health facilities are vastly
superior both in quality and scale to those of what used to be called ‘The
Third World'. (3) <#m_4426030999311900811_sdfootnote3sym>Therefore to
economic and war-avoidance refugees attempting to flee to more developed
areas will be joined by those shocked into fear by the massive massive
amounts of those who will be infected with the virus. The more developed
nations will face tremendous resistance to allowing admittance of all refugees
and their right wing anti-immigration activists will be joined by not only
those formerly neutral on the issue but also by some formerly of the
left-wing pro-migrant forces.


The only long-term solution to the migrant problem might be called a
‘reverse Rodney (4) <#m_4426030999311900811_sdfootnote4sym>where the
developed world will commit the resources so as to redevelop 3rd World
economies deformed by Western colonization and neocolonialism and now
Chinese neocolonialism into single-crop and/or raw material production
designed for export to the developed countries. Such a redevelopment ought
recreate a ‘natural’ economy’ where production is done for local
consumption and hence must include many raw material mines, crops, and
animals. Only, and to a lesser extent, would commodities be produced for
export to and trade with countries where items are produced 

Re: [Marxism] Southern Labor is Key to Change in the United States

2020-03-05 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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 A most interesting article that  is focused upon events in Alabama and how
progressive it was.  Centered upon unions.
Have not read the book that the article is based upon but I did read Robin
D G Kelley's "Hammer and Hoe" 
about the Communist Party organizing black and white sharecroppers
alongside Birmingham mine and iron workers.  Excellent piece of work.

In the article there is a good description of "Big Jim" Folsom
 and how relatively progressive
he was.  Was sorry that there was no mention of Richmond Flowers Sr and Jr

who took similar unpopular stances.  Damn.  Just thought about it:  Folsom
prison might be named after "Big Jim".  Irony.  But I remember those two as
I'm sure that bells were rung reading their names.

Also brought to mind from the politics of that time and place is John
Patterson, arch-segregationist governor, maybe better known than the two
above because of movie based on his life "The Phoenix City Story"

As I recall it was centered upon corruption and Patterson's father was
killed by gangsters.  Wallace's loss to Patterson led him to make the
promise that he "would not be out-niggered again".

JAI
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[Marxism] International Days of Action Against Sanctions and Economic War

2020-02-18 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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*Sanctions Kill*
https://sanctionskill.org/?fbclid=IwAR2EnxtssRCRk37RjrI2zVEQ6XSyEiw6XrZM8blDxK8ATJfFdkOaPQ2DpO4


*Call to Action for International Days of Action Against  Sanctions and
Economic War**March 13 – 15, 2020*
*Sanctions* *Kill**!*   *Sanctions* *are* *War**!* *End Sanctions Now!*

Sanctions are imposed by the United States and its junior partners against
countries that resist their agendas.  They are a weapon of Economic War,
resulting in chronic shortages of basic necessities, economic dislocation,
chaotic hyperinflation, artificial famines, disease, and poverty.  In every
country, the poorest and the weakest – infants, children, the chronically
ill and the elderly – suffer the worst impact of sanctions.

US imposed sanctions, violate international law and are a tool of regime
change. They impact a third of humanity in 39 countries.  They are a crime
against humanity used, like military intervention, to topple popular
governments and movements.   They provide economic and military support to
pro-US right-wing forces.

The US economic dominance and its +800 military bases worldwide demands all
other countries participate in acts of economic strangulation.  They must
end all normal trade relations, otherwise they risk having Wall Street’s
guns pointed at them.  The banks and financial institutions that are
responsible for the devastation of our communities at home drive the
plunder of countries abroad.

Many organizations have been fighting Sanctions and Economic War for some
time.  NOW is an opportunity to combine efforts to raise consciousness on
this crucial issue.

This broad campaign will include protests and demonstrations, lobbying,
petition drives and all forms of educational efforts.

*As an initial step for this campaign we encourage mobilizations and
educational efforts to be organized for the International Days of Action
against US imposed Sanctions and Economic War on March 13-15.*
*Please add your endorsement and help spread the word.  Endorsement form
here:  https://sanctionskill.org *
JAI
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[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] Re: Agriculture: The Worst Mistake Humans Ever Made

2019-07-20 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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 Hunter-gatherers : Noble or savage?

The era of the hunter-gatherer was not the social and environmental Eden
that some suggest

Dec 19th 2007 |

HUMAN beings have spent most of their time on the planet as
hunter-gatherers. From at least 85,000 years ago to the birth of
agriculture around 73,000 years later, they combined hunted meat with
gathered veg. Some people, such as those on North Sentinel Island in the
Andaman Sea, still do. The Sentinelese are the only hunter-gatherers who
still resist contact with the outside world. Fine-looking specimens—strong,
slim, fit, black and stark naked except for a small plant-fibre belt round
the waist—they are the very model of the noble savage. Genetics suggests
that indigenous Andaman islanders have been isolated since the very first
expansion out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago.

About 12,000 years ago people embarked on an experiment called agriculture
and some say that they, and their planet, have never recovered. Farming
brought a population explosion, protein and vitamin deficiency, new
diseases and deforestation. Human height actually shrank by nearly six
inches after the first adoption of crops in the Near East. So was
agriculture “the worst mistake in the history of the human race”, as Jared
Diamond, evolutionary biologist and professor of geography at the
University of California, Los Angeles, once called it?

Take a snapshot of the old world 15,000 years ago. Except for bits of
Siberia, it was full of a new and clever kind of people who had originated
in Africa and had colonised first their own continent, then Asia, Australia
and Europe, and were on the brink of populating the Americas. They had
spear throwers, boats, needles, adzes, nets. They painted pictures,
decorated their bodies and believed in spirits. They traded foods, shells,
raw materials and ideas. They sang songs, told stories and prepared herbal
medicines.

They were “hunter-gatherers”. On the whole the men hunted and the women
gathered: a sexual division of labour is still universal among non-farming
people and was probably not shared by their *Homo erectus *predecessors.
This enabled them to eat both meat and veg, a clever trick because it
combines quality with reliability.

Why change? In the late 1970s Mark Cohen, an archaeologist, first suggested
that agriculture was born of desperation, rather than inspiration. Evidence
from the Fertile Crescent seems to support him. Rising human population
density, combined perhaps with a cooling, drying climate, left the Natufian
hunter-gatherers of the region short of acorns, gazelles and wild grass
seeds. Somebody started trying to preserve and enhance a field of chickpeas
or wheat-grass and soon planting, weeding, reaping and threshing were born.

Quite independently, people took the same step in at least six other parts
of the world over the next few thousand years: the Yangzi valley, the
central valley of New Guinea, Mexico, the Andes, West Africa and the Amazon
basin. And it seems that Eden came to an end. Not only had hunter-gatherers
enjoyed plenty of protein, not much fat and ample vitamins in their diet,
but it also seems they did not have to work very hard. The Hadza of
Tanzania “work” about 14 hours a week, the !Kung of Botswana not much more.

Full at
https://secure-web.cisco.com/18jJocYq1k6muMfRsjHlapAQwfBJ_vRa1Ph1Sjosh_zlCRid1Idh7Q5uvN-0tzdWadk5HP2WFtaISmtWExE0y90YrW1iNlQakjMVgR-rQUgBLkXkunRPq80gGtCGGbrTteM0drLt-W8HSWHwNEWGSD4OXJqYV4RJVa-Qid-aHUywUjqZhN3STKnnBJSWj46jMyQ2Vy4x_diusI3GgwevDX-7HjSjJDeDd48pFOv1QSeI9wJAZdE4qdVmA21pnTLUGBGsZSavIYNfw4MRTQqcj3XDQJ-Hh4bcTLpQ8jQIA3DTQ52zQVCm-BCL6TonYq7DlqoJpd5FlZp24mj1u6kxwt-FjZvVvWE5OCBqyvQtgJ2sgRXeGgyBdQtbve7F9mE3_/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.economist.com%2Fchristmas-specials%2F2007%2F12%2F19%2Fnoble-or-savage

(JAI:  Economist requires a log-in.  If not want to do then write to my
address and I will forward entire article.)
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Re: [Marxism] Mathematical economics and political economy in the Soviet Union

2017-06-26 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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Comrades,

In his posting (below) Jim Farmelent mentioned Leonid Kantorovich (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Kantorovich) as well as Paul Cockshott
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Cockshott).

Here is Cockshott's article on Kantorovich, 'Calculation in Natura' (
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0e3a/443d6fb314eb8b160576faa9928aa151d6fb.pdf),
in which he begins with Otto Neurath’s (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Neurath) proposition that economic
calculation can be done and the efficient usage of resources accomplished
without reference to a scalar "whether this be money, labour hours or
kilowatt hours" (p12). Neurath supported his contention with reference to
lessons that could be learned from

"The war (WWI) economy had...been largely an in-kind economy. As a result
of the war the in-kind calculus was applied more often and more
systematically than before... It was all to apparent that war was fought
with ammunition and the supply of food, not with money." (pp9-10).

But, Cockshott writes, Neurath "arguably did not provide a practical means
of doing this..." (p9). However Kantorovich did. Prior to examining that
work Cockshott gives a tip of the hat to the contributions of John von
Neumann (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann), eminent
mathematician and quantum theorist whose work "unified the matrix mechanics
of Heisenberg with the wave mechanics of Schrodinger" (15). Cockshott
details that "His work on quantum mechanics coincided with the first draft
of his economic growth model given as a lecture in Princeton in 1932. In
both fields he employs vector spaces and matrix operators over vector
spaces, complex vector spaces in the quantum-mechanical case, and real
vector spaces in the growth model."

While the language of the math-science is at or above my level of
comprehension, a conclusion that he applied abstract mathematical modeling
to the real problems of economic efficiency is plain (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann#Mathematical_economics).
Cockshott cites others in proposing that von Neuman's insights were
precursed by Robert Remak (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Remak_%28mathematician%29) who showed
"for the first time how, starting from an in-natura description of the
conditions of production, one can derive an equilibrium system of prices"
(15). It is then asserted that von Neumann improved on this thinking by
allowing "for there to be multiple techniques to produce any given
good-Remak only allowed one" (16).

However, "In the early 30s, no algorithmic techniques were known which
would solve the more general problem where there can be joint production
and multiple possible techniques to produce individual products" (17) when
"Kantorovich came up with a method which later came to be known as linear
programming or linear optimisation (19). Kantorovich wrote:

"I discovered that a whole range of problems of the most diverse character
relating to the scientific organization of production (questions of the
optimum distribution of the work of machines and mechanisms, the
minimization of scrap, the best utilization of raw materials and local
materials, fuel, transportation, and so on) lead to the formulation of a
single group of mathematical problems (extrernal problems). These problems
are not directly comparable to problems considered in mathematical
analysis. It is more correct to say that they are formally similar, and
even turn out to be formally very simple, but the process of solving them
with which one is faced [i.e., by mathematical analysis] is practically
completely unusable, since it requires the solution of tens of thousands or
even millions of systems of equations for completion. I have succeeded in
finding a comparatively simple general method of solving this group of
problems which is applicable to all the problems I have mentioned, and is
sufficiently simple and effective for their solution to be made completely
achievable under practical conditions" (19).

Cockshott sums this up as "What was significant about Kantorovich’s work
was that he showed that it was possible, starting out from a description in
purely physical terms of the various production techniques available, to
use a determinate mathematical procedure to determine which combination of
techniques will best meet plan targets" (19)." Cockshott goes on to
describe Kantorovich's method and math in an altogether fascinating
demonstration in which different machines with different capabilities even
making different products and even different quantities of those different
products can be chosen from the myriad of possibilities so as to achieve
maximal results from 

[Marxism] Labour party's plan to nationalise mail, rail and energy firms

2017-05-14 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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(JAI: Democrat Bernie Sanders feigns 'democratic socialism' but what comes
from him is a lotta on Democratic (Large D) but nada on socialism.  Oh he
may make mentions of and allusions to universal health care and or free
college tuition but he fears to point out that the emperor (read:
capitalism) has no clothes (read: has run out of gas, can no longer sustain
growth, indeed is leading to a lessened life-span

and a lower standard of living
).
When has Sanders called for socialism?

Part of the Labour Party, associated with Jeremy Corbin, has issued a
manifesto calling for nationalizations of key sectors of the British
economy.  Now nationalization does not equal socialism.  Socialism includes
nationalizations but transcends and subsumes individual expropriations by
linking these and allocating resources amongst them such that a planned
goal can be achieved.  But socialism does and will begin with
nationalizations and with nationalizations of those industries most
obviously pertaining to the public's interest.  Hence mail, rail and energy
as health care is already nationalized under the NHS
.

Here.  Where is and who are there putting forward such demands, social or
electoral, along with a vision and plan to achieve them?  Where are and why
aren't we socialists demanding socialism?)
Labour party's plan to nationalise mail, rail and energy firms

Draft manifesto reveals vision of public ownership as part of Jeremy
Corbyn’s ‘transformational programme’

General election 2017 - live updates

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/10/labour-
party-manifesto-pledges-to-end-tuition-fees-and-nationalise-railways
20,553
Comments 8,777


Anushka Asthana 
and Heather
Stewart 

Thursday 11 May 2017 02.14 EDT First published on Wednesday 10 May 2017
16.12 EDT

Jeremy Corbyn will lay out plans to take parts of Britain’s energy industry
back into public ownership alongside the railways and the Royal Mail

in a radical manifesto that promises an annual injection of £6bn for the
NHS and £1.6bn for social care.

A draft version of the document, drawn up by the leadership team and seen
by the Guardian, pledges the phased abolition of tuition fees
,
a dramatic boost in finance for childcare, a review of sweeping cuts to
universal credit and a promise to scrap the bedroom tax.
General election: IFS says Labour plans amount to biggest state
intervention in economy for decades - as it happened
All the day’s politics action, as Labour faces scrutiny over draft pledges
to nationalise rail and mail, renew Trident and reject ‘no deal’ Brexit
Read more

Party sources said Corbyn wants to promise a “transformational programme”
with a package covering the NHS ,
education, housing and jobs as well as industrial intervention and sweeping
nationalisation. But critics said the policies represented a shift back to
the 1970s with the Conservatives describing it as a “total shambles” and a
plan to “unleash chaos on Britain”.

Corbyn’s leaked blueprint, which is likely to trigger a fierce debate of
Labour’s national executive committee and shadow cabinet at the so-called
clause V meeting at noon on Thursday, also includes:

   - Ordering councils to build 100,000 new council homes a year under a
   new Department for Housing.
   - An immediate “emergency price cap” on energy bills to ensure that the
   average duel fuel household energy bill remains below £1,000 a year.
   - Stopping planned increases to the pension age beyond 66.
   - “Fair rules and reasonable management” on immigration with 1,000 extra
   border guards, alongside a promise not to “fan the flames of fear” but to
   recognise the benefits that migrants bring.

On the question of foreign policy, an area on which Corbyn has campaigned
for decades, the draft document says it will be “guided by the values of
peace, universal 

[Marxism] Edward G Robinson on the Difference Between Labor-power and Labor

2017-03-02 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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*Edward G Robinson
*on
the Difference Between Labor-power and Labor

"The sitting around on the set is awful. But I always figure that's what
they pay me for. The acting I do for free."
*http://www.imdb.com/name/nm064/bio
*

Identifying the difference between labor-power and labor has tripped up
many (self included) neophyte Marxists at the beginnings of their studies.
Simply put, labor-power is the ability to do work while labor is that
labor-power in action, i.e. working. Its kinda like a sewing machine and
the actual sewing. One pays for the sewing machine but does not pay
additionally for its usage.

Marx' creation of the category labor-power, rather his recognition of its
existence, can be seen as a means of resolving an economic contradiction:
If the wage is 'fair', i.e. if the worker is paid what he was worth, then
how is it that the capitalist makes a profit? Profit could then be
seen as coming
as a result of cheating, i.e. paying the worker less than he was worth.
(And, no doubt, this happens but wage-cheating is not necessary to making a
profit, i.e. not necessary for the existence of exploitation as profit =
exploitation.)

This contradiction could be resolved only by recognizing the singular
difference between the worker and all of the other factors of production
that the capitalist bought so as to produce. These other factors (e.g.
materials, fuels, machines, etc.) were indeed worth only what they were
worth. For if a machine, say, selling for $1000 could add more than $1000
in value then the seller would be cheating himself. And if it could add
less than $1000 then the buyer would have been screwed. So a machine sells
for what it is worth. While there was and is something magical about
humans:

We were (and are) worth more than we are worth.

This seeming paradox is resolved when it is understood that what a person
is worth is what went into making him as a worker (food, shelter,
education, etc.). These are the workers' costs-of-production. And these are
paid back to him pro rata on a regular basis in the form of the wage. But
what a person is worth in working is more than that. Simply put a worker
out-reproduces himself, i.e. the value added by his work is more than the
value of what went into the makings of that worker. This is the secret of
humanity's long climb up from savagery: ants make the most wonderful hills
and nests but they have been doing the same thing for millions of years
while humankind has been on a more or less steady (until now) upward climb
because we are capable of producing a surplus, i.e. more than we ourselves
normally use. There is one unfortunate result of this wizardry: producing
more than one could use now meant that that one could be enslaved (not
episodically—as in the case of non-surplus-producing workers who if you
took part of what he produced then he would die—but over the long term, even
life-times); and a portion of what the worker produced could be seized by
one who was stronger or more intelligent or more crafty. The surplus is the
historical necessity that produced all class-based societies. And the
historical origin of capitalism rests just so upon this difference between
labor-power and labor. Value-wise this is labor – labor-power = surplus;
or, labor = labor-power + surplus.

So, yeah, ya see...the great Edward G was paid for his ability to act but
once paid he acted for free.  Specifically, he worked part of the time to
make up his own salary while the profits from the other part of the time he
worked went to the studio heads. These, respectively, are termed 'necessary
labor'  and
'surplus-labor' ; the results
of which are, respectively, wages and profits.

JAI

For those who want to read Marx' solution of a problem posed by but never
solved by what he called "Classical Political Economy" see:
*Quotation by Marx on the value of labour power and classical political
economy
*
(*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_power#Quotation_by_Marx_on_the_value_of_labour_power_and_classical_political_economy
)*

Or read the entire selection at *Capital Vol. 1**, chapter 19.*
 (

[Marxism] Fwd: Edward G Robinson on the Difference Between Labor-power and Labor

2017-03-02 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
  POSTING RULES & NOTES  
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#2 This mail-list, like most, is publicly & permanently archived.
#3 Subscribe and post under an alias if #2 is a concern.
*

*Edward G Robinson
*on
the Difference Between Labor-power and Labor

"The sitting around on the set is awful. But I always figure that's what
they pay me for. The acting I do for free."
*http://www.imdb.com/name/nm064/bio
*

Identifying the difference between labor-power and labor has tripped up
many (self included) neophyte Marxists at the beginnings of their studies.
Simply put, labor-power is the ability to do work while labor is that
labor-power in action, i.e. working. Its kinda like a sewing machine and
the actual sewing. One pays for the sewing machine but does not pay
additionally for its usage.

Marx' creation of the category labor-power, rather his recognition of its
existence, can be seen as a means of resolving an economic contradiction:
If the wage is 'fair', i.e. if the worker is paid what he was worth, then
how is it that the capitalist makes a profit? Profit could then be
seen as coming
as a result of cheating, i.e. paying the worker less than he was worth.
(And, no doubt, this happens but wage-cheating is not necessary to making a
profit, i.e. not necessary for the existence of exploitation as profit =
exploitation.)

This contradiction could be resolved only by recognizing the singular
difference between the worker and all of the other factors of production
that the capitalist bought so as to produce. These other factors (e.g.
materials, fuels, machines, etc.) were indeed worth only what they were
worth. For if a machine, say, selling for $1000 could add more than $1000
in value then the seller would be cheating himself. And if it could add
less than $1000 then the buyer would have been screwed. So a machine sells
for what it is worth. While there was and is something magical about
humans:

We were (and are) worth more than we are worth.

This seeming paradox is resolved when it is understood that what a person
is worth is what went into making him as a worker (food, shelter,
education, etc.). These are the workers' costs-of-production. And these are
paid back to him pro rata on a regular basis in the form of the wage. But
what a person is worth in working is more than that. Simply put a worker
out-reproduces himself, i.e. the value added by his work is more than the
value of what went into the makings of that worker. This is the secret of
humanity's long climb up from savagery: ants make the most wonderful hills
and nests but they have been doing the same thing for millions of years
while humankind has been on a more or less steady (until now) upward climb
because we are capable of producing a surplus, i.e. more than we ourselves
normally use. There is one unfortunate result of this wizardry: producing
more than one could use now meant that that one could be enslaved (not
episodically—as in the case of non-surplus-producing workers who if you
took part of what he produced then he would die—but over the long term, even
life-times); and a portion of what the worker produced could be seized by
one who was stronger or more intelligent or more crafty. The surplus is the
historical necessity that produced all class-based societies. And the
historical origin of capitalism rests just so upon this difference between
labor-power and labor. Value-wise this is labor – labor-power = surplus;
or, labor = labor-power + surplus.

So, yeah, ya see...the great Edward G was paid for his ability to act but
once paid he worked part of the time to make up his own salary while the
profits from the other part of the time he worked went to the studio heads.
These, respectively, are termed 'necessary labor' and 'surplus-labor'; the
results of which are, respectively, wages and profits.

JAI

For those who want to read Marx' solution of a problem posed by but never
solved by what he called "Classical Political Economy" see:
*Quotation by Marx on the value of labour power and classical political
economy
*
(*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_power#Quotation_by_Marx_on_the_value_of_labour_power_and_classical_political_economy
)*

Or read the entire selection at *Capital Vol. 1**, chapter 19.*
 (
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch19.htm)
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