The fully developed bureaucratic apparatus compares with other organizations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production.”
The organization of offices follows the principle of hierarchy … each lower office is under the control and supervision of a higher one.
— Max Weber, Economy and Society
This doesn’t infer that private companies, organizations, trade groups, corporations, lobbies are any better than the bureaucracies of government. In fact, the bureaucratic hell we all have been put through — those of us who do not go quietly into the night or roll over to show some yellow belly — consumes millions of lifetime lives, working us over through a very disgusting labyrinth of penury, penalties, prosecutions, persecutions and penal phalanx designed to wear down the innocent.
If you do not have a stable of lawyers (imagine: $2000 an hour; imagine, at least 33.33 percent plus expenses for supposed civil cases of a class action variety), or a stable of lobbyists (imagine: entire companies set up to lie, steal, block, and hide for the rich, the corporations), or a brothel of politicians (imagine: how much does it cost to run for a Senate seat) — here, Oct. 2020:
The North Carolina Senate race is already the most expensive congressional race of all time, with $265 million spent between candidates and outside groups. The Iowa Senate race has already claimed the No. 2 spot with $218 million. — Open Secrets
Those small potatoes people like you and I, those underclass, those lower classes, those less than medium wage/middle class, and all those developing world classes, and all those displaced classes, and all the farmer and laborer classes, we are set up for failure, and when we do fight, we have to empty the savings accounts just to get to the court.
I won’t go into deep detail, but my own family has a living example of this in Oregon. That person set up an LLC — limited liability corporation — when he got a job with a hospitality staffing agency back east. This agency is run by a multimillionaire, who Zooms his gig workers (all workers have to pay the money in respective states for setting up LLC’s) from his 5,000 square foot “dream home” in Vermont, the second or third one in his portfolio. Imagine, a schmuck like me assisting my family member in Oregon to set up his LLC. It cost him $100. Some of my family member’s teammates ended up getting lawyers and CPA’s to help, at a tune of, not less than $450.
The entire gig and DIY and precarious and atomized world of work, including recruiting and staffing, is full of money at the top, and worker bees at the bottom. These worker bees are usually women. Covid-19 stupidity hit, and, well, the hospitality and restaurant business caved. This company then went after the N95 mask makers, and other industries still operating during the planned-economic-demic.
So, you have I Can’t Breathe George Floyd unfolding, yet this multimillionaire white man did not talk about the national movement to stop the police murders of black people (Duh, restaurant workers are BIPOC).
The job went south for my family member. He did not make money, and got one commission check, $3,000 for hundreds of hours of work. Do the math.
Now, he looked for work, paid work, and landed a job. The problem is the Oregon Department of Revenue sent a mountain-high set of letters, warnings, bills, and then penalties. You know, some people have to try and make a living. This family member also had in his past bad nightmares from the IRS coming to his family home and taking the house over, kicking the family into the streets. He was an 11-year-old. Try another incident with a repo of a car, and other such IRS crap, and this family member just could not handle all the chaos of the bureaucracies of hate, failure to file, not knowing the codes inside and out. He expected it all to be washed out at the end of the year when he filed his taxes.
I helped him out, sending in thoughtful and rhetorically-magnificent letters to stop this idiocy. No go. Still, more and more late penalties.
I went to the Tax Court (logged on), and the only way to get a hearing in Oregon is to pay the charged (but incorrect) taxes and the added-on penalties. At more than $10,000 to pay the government, my family member had to dump two IRA Roth’s. So much for the savings.
Now, just to get an administrative judge to hear this, another $280 check had to be written to the state of Oregon. Think of all the work we had to do to try and figure out what the hell was going on. Over $10,000 shelled out, and here it is, waiting for forms to be filled out.
Then, on top of this, ending the LLC cost my family member, $110. That’s $100 to create a sole proprietor LLC, and another $110 to dissolve it.
My family member did not have the bandwidth to handle this. Of course, over the years the toll of medical bills, mortgage company thieves, PayDay loan thugs, school loan sharks, real estate appraisers, auto creeps, and on and on, I have had to come to the assistance of many many people. In reality, this capitalist society — call it parasitic, diseased, disruptive, poisonous — is a wasteland of fraud, scams, and downright theft. In a real society, there would be navigators for people of all ages and ilk — free legal advice, free clinics, free social workers and services workers helping cut through the avalanche of red-tape and bureaucrats who should be — along with at least the first million lawyers on earth, and first 10 million lords of war, and the first 100 million financial real estate insurance scammers should — at the bottom of the sea.
This is it for a broken society. Broken big time. And how do all those notices and penalty scare letters and authentication letters from courts and the revenue service and unemployment service and department of labor come to us in a small rural town?
Yep, through the post office … the dying USPS. That that bumbling mean as a white old man Biden can hardly muster a trickle of phlegm in his words. No groundswell of legislators (sic) and policy makers (sic) and law makers (sic) putting a stop to this evisceration after evisceration.
My family member gets the hearing, appointing me as a secondary or primary family member allowed to present “evidence.” In the first three minutes of my family member presenting evidence, it is clear the Revenue guy is a buttoned down bureaucrat on Prozac. We are talking legalese, and mentioning form x and form y to be filed, with Zeros in all the boxes, to trigger the next step of a refund for the taxes my family member didn’t owe, and then, with the waiving of penalties. My family member literally left, vomiting, and yelling.
Did the judge hear this? Yep. Did the Revenuer hear it? Yep. This wasn’t a Zoom Doom call, but I could hear some dry voices, and then, I took over and navigated the Revenuer’s promise to the judge that all fines and penalties and interests and the initial taxes would be refunded.
Luckily, the Revenuer had some humanity, and emailed me immediately, and we talked, too, on his personal phone, and he attempted to navigate me on some forms, sent them to me, and, alas, the forms did not work. He saw that, and he tried to get some workarounds, and this is where we are at:
Trauma. PTSD. Past bad-bad interaction with IRS, state code men, tax folk, cops, pigs, the entire buffet of bumbling and overpaid and inhumane people. Think of the ticket guy on the street, and the pig-cop. Try and have conversations with these “public” officials about how they live with themselves. I have, in bars. They will throw down, pull a gun, call more pigs-cops. I’ve had many a yelling match. This is the cancel culture.
Courts, Cops, DA’s, HR, Customer Service, Code Enforcers, Penalty Purveyors.
We await the refund checks, and I will have to let the court know it was resolved once a check comes in, but not without more headaches after the administrative hearing. I will petition the court to charge back the $281 court fee to the state of Oregon, demanding a refund.
And that’s where we are at — letters encoded in Digital Blockchains, on those electronic strips on the DMV license, passport, medical card, on the license plate. And that leads us to the vaccination passport, and soon, the vaccination electronic tattoo.
All app driven, all approved by the Google-Palantir-Facebook-AI masters of the universe. With those sleazy millionaire governors and sleazier senators and congressmen.
Those of us knew this was beyond 1984 and a Brave New World and Minority Report and The Jungle, more than a modern Grapes of Wrath, we knew all of this three decades ago, way before Plans for the Pandemic, shortened to Plan-demic.
The horror is looking at Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Thiel, Musk, Fauci, and a million other toadies and Eichmann’s in their lizard eyes. The Agenda 2030 and Great Reset bulldozer plowing humanity is already in second gear/
Here we are, now Rutgers, looking for every person on campus to have been hit with the drug-thing in the hypodermic. Prove your worth, prove your jab(s). And anyone really looking at this bio-nano technology knows that the mRNA poison, and the entire suite of bad-bad brews, well, we can expect constant jabs.
The federal government’s assurance of vaccine supply for all Americans prompted Rutgers to make the decision, the university said in a statement.
Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and executive vice president for health affairs, said the vaccine is the key “to the return of campus instruction and activities closer to what we were accustomed to before the pandemic.”
“The COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death,” Storm said in the statement. — Source, Market Watch
And my shitty job with shitty pay and shitty respect, oh, the managers I work with are actually breaking confidentiality rules by announcing which people have gotten the jab vis-à-vis the nonprofit, and those (me) who have not. Can you believe that shit? I have to tell them if or if not, where and how and which one?
Asking same said boss what the hell is his BMI? How’s that red face blood pressure going? What the hell is going on with the heavy asthmatic breathing? Those fat-laden lunches? You sure about those? Imagine, a world where they ask, or demand, or press — “You’ve gotten the vaccine, right?”
Sure, this is the new normal, and it is their immoral code, their anti-ethics, their Scarlet Alphabet — A through Z, and many symbols stitched into the digital passport signifying the Wrong Kind of American.
My friend does recruiting for California businesses, and that fine fucked up state is requiring vaccine passports, to get to and from work. Pigs-Cops tackling you and folding you into a squad car. That’s step one. Many more steps here to this Plan-Demic takeover.
And this physics and chemistry high school teacher is so right, so vulnerable in this shit show called United Snakes of America:
Today, I would describe myself as a Marxist who thinks the Russian Revolution of 1917 was the most recent example of a working class revolution but would describe its counter-revolutionary collapse as ending in state-run capitalism. I still believe the experience of the Bolshevik party in Russia is vital to look at as an example of what needs to be built today, and there are writings of Lenin and Luxemburg that I use as a political touchstone today. However, I no longer adhere to the idea that “socialism in one country” came only with Stalin, but that you can see its beginnings under Lenin in the policies of the NEP and other changes in policies of the Soviet state under Lenin. The revolution’s fate was sealed when it did not spread to Germany shortly after the socialist revolution in Russia.
Still, I believe the only way out of the mess we are in today is another working class revolution for the establishment of socialism. But that will not take place through the ballot box. It will require mass strikes and an armed insurrection to establish it. Also, it cannot be called socialism unless working class democracy is at its center and is preserved and expanded through the course of the revolution and beyond. Overall, while I firmly believe capitalism must be dismantled, I have more questions than answers about the state of our political tradition and the process by which this mass socialist uprising will take place. Part of the reason I started “What’s Left?”, a podcast/channel I host with two friends, was to give myself an open space to investigate political questions that I am still working through.
The last year has made the prospects for revolutionary change (which were exceedingly dim before the mania around COVID started) seem even more unlikely. I have witnessed the revolutionary Left collapse behind the capitalist state and institutions through the course of the pandemic. I am exceedingly grateful for the existence of Left Lockdown Sceptics and their attempt to fashion a Left response and oppositions to the authoritarian maneuvers of the capitalist classes across the globe. This blog has been a glimmer of hope for me in what has felt like an ocean of despair. — Andy Libson
Just how long does Andy have left in the rotting K12 school system? DV readers know the real way to beating down the masters, and beating back their toadies and Eichmann’s. You’ve read my stuff until you’ve hacked up the offal of capitalism and the rotting meat percolating from the core systems of oppression and subjugation. You know my stance on K12 and higher education.
Solutions to homelessness, obesity, paranoia, fear, sickness, illiteracy, poverty, hunger? Shit, the entire community-based land-formed people-centered, ecosystem-dominating holism and complete person, from cradle to cradle. Every system checked against a true precautionary principle. Every move for 10 generations out. Every decision made for the good of the community.
Art over science. Environment over economics. Ecology over commerce. All tied into a localized economy, regionalized planning, fair use, retrenchment, and ending capitalism, here, there, everywhere.
Naïve? Shit thinking? Is believing in this warring, poisoning, thieving and murdering system of money and top owning the world better? Is that where we are — giving Musk the green light to dump satellites and space junk into orbit after orbit? Who has the right to the Moon and Mars? Just what price is that sickness, that megalomania?
Embarrassing — sick:
Read Andy’s piece. Follow his links to Alison McDowell and Cory Morningstar and Jake Klyceck!
That is the horror story after horror story — Daily, more and more sad sack humans are opting for Zoom Teaching-Medicine-Social Work-Counseling-Engagement with the lighting on the best side of the face, while every Tom, Dick, Harriet and Jane are Zooming in their Underpants.
I think we need to get back to our source of power – our workplace and centers where we congregate to do work – immediately and begin figuring out how we can stop what is coming. The remote learning experience we are going through right now is not a momentary mirage of a world trying to escape COVID. What we are witnessing and participating in (as either educator or student) is the future of education that is preparing future workers for what work will be like in the coming years: remote, on a screen, mediated through data flow and transmission, overseen, monitored and directed by AI. Students are experiencing education (separated, individualized, isolated, controlled and obscure) as they will experience their future work.
Participating in remote learning today isn’t ‘safer’, it’s actually far more dangerous to all our futures. It means our lives will be more separated, more surveilled, more scrutinized and more controlled than ever before. Physical schools will be replaced with laptops and drop-in centers. Teachers will be replaced with screens and AI. Education itself will be a lifelong chase, not of learning, but of job skills so each worker can compete in a global labor market where ever-centralized capitalist centers get their pick of the litter to screen for and exploit workers not as a class but as an isolated worker connected via a screen.
2 thoughts on “Caught in a Mad House . . . err, Fun House for the Capitalists”
add this as an embodyment of all of the above:
If passed by City Council, Medford’s new “Prohibited Camping, Lying, and Sleeping” ordinance would:
Make it illegal for people to use a tent, even during the winter, punishable by up to thirty days in jail.
Make it illegal for people just to lie down or sleep in a variety of public spaces, including fields, underneath roadways and bridges, or near railroad tracks.
Penalties for using a tent as well as lying down or sleeping in public would increase from a non-criminal violation to a misdemeanor, with penalties up to thirty days in jail and a $500 fine.
Oh, this has been going on for decades. If a person leans up against a building in downtown Portland, to get out of the rain, who continues to do so, well, citation, citation, citation. Until, well, who can afford the fines in a homeless situation. Then the courts come after you, and then, you have a warrant out for your arrest. Lots of counties in Oregon, they will send out warrants all over the country. Haul people from California to Oregon for outstanding citations.
London — those overhand stoops, well, the racist pig Brits install metal spikes. Or, the new buildings have waves of cement so no one can lay prone. Spokane, the pigs of planning and city fathers dumped tons of broken up old cement with rebar under I-90 overpass to keep human beings from camping.
I have served homeless veterans around Portland living in the hills, who have had all their belongings and incredible tent cities bulldozed and carted away. Prescriptions, Identifications, personal belongings.
LA, you can’t even have a decent looking sleeper van or RV parked along the street. This is the crime of capitalism, and the middle class, and the rotting people who believe they have solutions to the near homeless, the almost homeless, the one eviction away from homeless, two paychecks away from eviction.
I’ve worked with judges and courts on people who get fined for Max riding without a $2.50 ticket. One time, $300 fine, and then more and more. Homeless with $2000 fines. Talk about poverty pimping — so many middle class and rich making money off of the poor.
While white retired folk write Opinion pieces on “make war illegal.” Imagine that. Read on.
The Windigo Disease: https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/03/the-windigo-disease-of-resource-capitalism-and-global-dispossession-of-indigenous-peoples/
This is a version of a speech given outside the headquarters of ReconAfrica in Vancouver BC on Water Day — March 22, 2021.
We are on stolen CSḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) land and what is happening here today, the assault of Indigenous peoples and the invasion of their territories by Canada, its corporations and economic elites is also happening to the San people in Southern Africa. In a recent petition by activists we have learned that: “ReconAfrica has been given permission to drill for fossil fuels in the Kavango basin between Namibia and Botswana and the Kalahari Desert extending to the south eastern banks of the Okavango River and Delta. This area includes numerous areas of international significance, but for the San indigenous people who live there this is their sacred and ancestral ‘homeland’. The San people are the rightful current inhabitants and have been the custodians of this land for thousands of years. They have never been consulted, nor have they given their consent to any entities to prospect for oil and gas in their lands. By pursuing oil and gas development in the are the governments of Botswana and Namibia, and the Southern African region contravene their commitments to various international declarations an agreements as well as their own national laws. The oil and gas drilling operations will ruin roads, damage Indigenous livelihoods, deplete water resources and negatively impact biodiversity within the precious region. The Kavango Basin, which includes the Okavango Delta, lies beneath one of Africa’s most biodiverse habitats. It is home to a myriad of bird and megafauna species—including the largest herd of African elephants and African wild do populations—as well as many other threatened and endangered species. Potential impacts to local people and ecosystems include: massive water resource depletion, human induced earthquakes, disruption of avian species communication, breeding and nesting.”
Sounds familiar? This is because it is.
San hunter-gatherers walking across the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. (Courtesy of L.K. Marshall and L.J. Marshall. Copyright President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum #2001.29.390.)
The struggles of the San people connect with the struggles of Indigenous peoples here in settler Canada. We should remember that despite the fact that we are separated by different colonial contexts and most importantly by continents and oceans the history of colonization in the two continents is very similar even though the trajectories are different; and what happens here also happens there. Because in a globalized world we are all interconnected and what we do here has a violent impact there. As Ina-Maria Shikongo, a climate activist from Namibia states: “The problem with this whole deal is we can really see what is happening all around the globe, it is a total take over of the oil industries of the last reserves of the green spaces that we have. They don’t care about the people, the animals, nothing! They just care about the money. We can all see that the weather patterns are changing drastically and we are still talking about digging up fossil fuels when we should stop.”
ReconAfrica is a Canadian-US corporation whose headquarters are based here in so-called Vancouver, that is on stolen land. And I can’t help it but notice the irony that this Canadian company on stolen land is set to seize the land of the San people in Southern Africa. The theft might affect different peoples but bears the same racist and colonial violence. The theft follows the same patterns of white supremacy and environmental racism that has devastated First Peoples and their sacred territories around the globe.
ReconAfrica does not come out of the blue. It continues the early legacies of racist colonialism and racial capitalism, systems that are 500 years old but have now mutated into resource capitalism spurred by oil and gas corporations and new forms of land grabs. The very country this company operates from, (Canada), is itself a petro-state, that often behaves as a corporation and has a violent and non-consensual relationship with its own Indigenous peoples. Canada consistently props up the mining and fossil fuel industries and together state and industry break treaties, invade Indigenous territories without their consent and often with the help of militarized police and the criminal justice system, pillage their lands, criminalize land defenders and throw them in prisons. By displacing them from their land, Canada and its corporations systematically destroy their cultural and food systems and subject Indigenous communities into abject poverty, homelessness, and food and water insecurity, all in the name of profit. Canadian companies either wreck the homes of Indigenous peoples here domestically or the homes of First Peoples there, internationally. The game and the pattern are the same: there is no corner of the earth and no people that resource capitalism will not ravage.