I had my father get sick when I was 22. And I was poor, alright. And my father had an ulcer, and it exploded and you know all these toxins get in your blood. And basically, my father died, whatever, 50 days after his ulcer. So I had a father get sick while I was poor.
My mother got sick when I was rich. And my mother, you know… I don’t really want to get into it, but my mother was sicker than my father. And my mother’s alive. My mother’s fine, OK? I remember going to the hospital to see my mother and wondering, ‘Was I in the right place?’ Like, this was a hotel. Like it had a concierge, man.
People don’t… if the average person really knew the discrepancy in the health care system, there’d be riots in the streets, OK? They would burn this motherfucker down!”
Bringing this back, because some people don’t seem to understand that there is a discrepancy in the quality of care among poor, middle-class, and wealthy people, NO MATTER HOW DEBILITATING THEIR RESPECTIVE DISEASES MAY BE.
“Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve.”— Carol Shields, The Republic of Love (via thegoodvybe)
“So if you decide not to make use of the opportunities that you have; not to try to live your life in a way which is constructive and helpful, you end up looking back and say: ‘Why did I bother living?’”—― Noam Chomsky (via slolane)
“No man nor any living thing in this world preserves their life forever. But only to men is it given to know that we must die, and that is a precious gift. This life that is both our torment and our treasure was never meant to endure for eternity. Life is a wave on the sea. Would you force the sea to grow still to save one wave? To save yourself?”—Sparrow Hawk - Tales From Earthsea
I should say that when people talk about capitalism it’s a bit of a joke. There’s no such thing. No country, no business class, has ever been willing to subject itself to the free market, free market discipline. Free markets are for others. Like, the Third World is the Third World because they had free markets rammed down their throat.
Meanwhile, the enlightened states, England, the United States, others, resorted to massive state intervention to protect private power, and still do. That’s right up to the present. I mean, the Reagan administration for example was the most protectionist in post-war American history. Virtually the entire dynamic economy in the United States is based crucially on state initiative and intervention: computers, the internet, telecommunication, automation, pharmaceutical, you just name it. Run through it, and you find massive ripoffs of the public, meaning, a system in which under one guise or another the public pays the costs and takes the risks, and profit is privatized.
That’s very remote from a free market. Free market is like what India had to suffer for a couple hundred years, and most of the rest of the Third World.
“…there’s an experiment going on. The experiment is: can you marginalize a large part of the population, regard them as superfluous because they’re not helping you make those dazzling profits — and can you set up a world in which production is carried out the most oppressed people, with the fewest rights, in the most flexible labor markets, for the happiness of the rich people of the world? Can you do that? Can you get women in China to work locked into factories where they’re burned to death in fires, producing toys that are sold in stores in New York and Boston so that rich people can but them for their children at Christmas? Can you have an economy where everything works like that — production by the most impoverished and exploited, for the richest and most privileged, internationally? And with large parts of the general population just marginalized because they don’t contribute to the system — in Colombia, murdered, in New York, locked up in prison. Can you do that? Well, nobody knows the answer to that question. You ask, could it lead to a civil war? If definitely could, it could lead to uprisings, revolts.”—
“…that’s the way that capitalism works. The nature of the system is that it’s supposed to be driven by greed; no one’s supposed to be concerned for anybody else, nobody’s supposed to worry about the common good - those are not things that are supposed to motivate you, that’s the principle of the system. The theory is that private vices lead to public benefits - that’s what they teach you in economics departments. It’s all total bullshit, of course, but that’s what they teach you. And as long as the system works that way, yeah, it’s going to self destruct.”—Understanding Power - Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
“Elections are run by the Public Relations industry, which markets candidates much as it markets commodities in TV ads. The goal of marketing is to create uninformed consumers making irrational choices, thus to undermine the markets we are taught to revere, in which informed consumers make rational choices. The same techniques are used to undermine democracy. The McCain campaign was at least honest in announcing that issues would not be important in the campaign; only personalities. Democrats basically agree, and it is true of earlier campaigns as well, a lesson taught well by the Reaganites. There are other reasons to keep issues off the agenda: on a host of major issues, both parties - that is, both factions of the business party - are well to the right of the population, as revealed by many studies of public opinion. Democracy has always been regarded as a threat by elite sectors, and understandably so. Democratic theorists, across the spectrum, have been quite frank about the matter.”—Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
“GTA V has little room for women except to portray them as strippers, prostitutes, long-suffering wives, humorless girlfriends and goofy, new-age feminists we’re meant to laugh at. Characters constantly spout lines that glorify male sexuality while demeaning women, and the billboards and radio stations of the world reinforce this misogyny, with ads that equate manhood with sleek sports cars while encouraging women to purchase a fragrance that will make them “smell like a bitch.” Yes, these are exaggerations of misogynistic undercurrents in our own society, but not satirical ones. With nothing in the narrative to underscore how insane and wrong this is, all the game does is reinforce and celebrate sexism. The beauty of cruising in the sun-kissed Los Santos hills while listening to “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood turns sour really quick when a voice comes on the radio that talks about using a woman as a urinal.”— Carolyn Petit, Gamespot review of GTA V (via femfreq)
“'International terrorism' was placed at the center of attention by the Reagan Administration as soon as it was installed in 1981… The Administration was committed to three related policies, all achieved with considerable success: (1) transfer of resources from the poor to the rich; (2) an enormous increase in the state sector of the economy in the traditional American way, through the Pentagon system, a device used to make the public finance high-technology industry by means of the state-guaranteed market for the production of high-technology waste and thus to contribute to the program of public subsidy, private profit, called 'free enterprise'; and (3) a substantial increase in U.S. intervention, subversion, and international terrorism (in the true sense of the expression). Such policies cannot be presented to the public in the terms in which they are intended. They can be implemented only if the population is properly frightened by monsters against whom they must defend themselves.”—
“I cannot understand anti-abortion arguments that centre on the sanctity of life. As a species we’ve fairly comprehensively demonstrated that we don’t believe in the sanctity of life. The shrugging acceptance of war, famine, epidemic, pain and life-long poverty shows us that, whatever we tell ourselves, we’ve made only the most feeble of efforts to really treat human life as sacred.”—Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman (via shesgothighmorale)
The reason was provided by St. Augustine in his tale about the pirate asked by Alexander the Great, “How dare you molest the sea?” The pirate replied, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a little ship only, I am called a thief; you, doing it with a great navy, are called an Emperor.”
St. Augustine calls the pirate’s answer “elegant and excellent.” But the ancient philosopher, a bishop in Roman Africa, is only a voice from the global South, easily dismissed. Modern sophisticates comprehend that the Emperor has rights that little folk like Bolivians cannot aspire to.