blue-flag-thumb2_50x50Our side's flag is a thin, airlight blue, drifting almost unseen against the sky. Our military march is a meadowlark's song among the dandelions. --Ken Kesey, The Real War

Ah-Anti-Anti-Capitalista | Mickey Z.

capitalism-photoPhoto credit: Mickey Z.

Insatiable is not sustainable

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

May 15, 2012

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” --Edward Abbey

"The Occupy movement spontaneously created something that doesn’t really exist in the country: Communities of mutual support, cooperation, open spaces for discussion ... people doing things and helping each other." --Noam Chomsky

I often wonder what the cops, passersby, media types, etc. are thinking when occupiers break into the joyous song/dance of ah-anti-anti-capitalista.

Here in the Land of the Free™, we are consciously conditioned to worship capitalism (and capitalists) so I'll bet some outsiders perceive such a chant as a very convenient excuse to dismiss Occupy Wall Street (OWS) as -- pick one -- naïve, anarchist, communist, socialist, anti-American, selfish, lazy, or "too radical."

Losing potential allies might understandably lead some to ditch any blatant anti-capitalism slogans but what if we instead put in the time and effort to explain the simple -- and I do mean simple -- reasoning behind such sentiment?

Mic Check: Understanding capitalism and explaining its destructiveness to others does not require an advanced degree.

This isn't about vague, inapplicable concepts like "good" or "evil," it's about design.

Capitalism is an economic system based on perpetual growth and the relentless exploitation of what we've come to call "natural resources." By definition, such an approach is unsustainable, cannot be reformed, and is thus, anti-life.

To gain access to and control of resources, capitalism requires brutal, sustained military interventions (or the threat thereof).

Mic Check: The U.S. Department of Defense is the planet's largest military power and the planet's worst polluter and eats up 54 percent of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Military interventions (or the threat thereof) lead to wars, war crimes, the propping up of authoritarian regimes, poverty and repression, environmental devastation, and eventually ... corporate dominion over resources.

Capitalism -- in its predatory pursuit of profit -- requires humans to dominate humans and humans to dominate non-humans and humans to dominate the landscape... until there's nothing left.

Resources are finite. They cannot/will not be replicated in a laboratory. Exploiting, poisoning, and consuming the ecosystem alters the delicate and symbiotic balance of the natural world -- which only leads to further devastation of our shared landbase.

Mic Check: Again, this approach is unsustainable and thus, anti-life.

Capitalism requires constant consumption. Hence, humans are re-programmed into compliant, ill-informed consumers. Pervasive propaganda/public relations keep consumers consuming, workers working, and repressors repressing (explaining why middle class cops pepper spray occupiers instead of joining up with them).

While other economic systems may address some of the vast human inequalities inherent in a capitalist society, unless such a system is designed in synchronicity with our shared ecosystem, it will do nothing to prevent the looming economic/social/environmental collapse.

Mic Check: To be an anti-capitalista is not necessarily to subscribe to any other "ism."

To be anti-capitalist is to look beyond the next fiscal quarter, beyond national boundaries, and beyond the corporate propaganda. To be anti-capitalist is to see past skin color, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, ability/disability, age, or species.

To be an anti-capitalista is comprehend that a system based on growth at all costs is anti-life. To be anti-capitalist is to be anti-suicide, anti-ecocide, and anti-omnicide.

Capitalism has resulted in a toxic, poisoned, clear-cut landbase ravaged by unremitting war, disease, inequality, repression, incarceration, and discrimination. If the United States is the world's shining light of "free market capitalism," why then are its citizens left with no choice but to organize in an increasingly desperate attempt to defend human, environmental, civil, and animal rights?

To be an anti-capitalista is to risk offending those mythical (fictional?) fence sitters who would be so ready to join us if only we occupiers weren't so damn extreme.

Mic Check: Let's not be ashamed or afraid of being anti-capitalist, but let's make sure we can effectively explain such a potentially controversial stance.

To be capitalist is to ignore reality. To be capitalist is to pretend that technology is neutral, humans can "control" nature, and the playing field is even. To be capitalist is to prize shareholders over solidarity, commodities over communities. Capitalism is designed to make us -- wait for it now -- selfish and lazy.

To be anti-capitalist is to be generous and motivated. To be anti-capitalist is to bravely see past the façade and own up to the myriad global crises. To be anti-capitalist is to have a bold new vision for the future -- a future that extends well beyond today's closing bell on Wall Street.

To be anti-capitalist is to recognize the urgent need to begin the process of creating a new system -- a system not for sale to the highest bidder; not based on celebrity, material consumption, physical beauty, or military conquest; a system that promotes unity and collective action while maintaining individuality and independence; a system that challenges us to think for ourselves and about others; a system that understands the connection between human behavior and non-human life.

To be a capitalista is to act as if we are the last generation of humans.

To be an anti-capitalista is to re-imagine our relationship with the natural world.

Which role will you occupy? The future is waiting on your decision.

We are the 99%. Join us...


Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

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