With so much upheaval, both in the natural world and man-made systems, it is important to have a vision of the future we want to build. We have limited capacity, of both time and other resources, making it important to determine how we can most wisely use them. And there are an increasing number of crises requiring attention and resources now if we are going to have any chance of slowing these evolving catastrophes.
Fundamentally, we must decide whether to work for incremental changes to the existing systems or transition to new ones.
I’m having a tough time convincing people that the capitalist economic system, and the political systems supporting capitalism, are fundamentally unjust.
One’s view of capitalism is determined by how well capitalism is working for you. If you are fortunate to have income to cover expenses, you probably don’t want to change. Change is difficult.
Otherwise, you understand capitalism is unjust. An economic system built on money is unjust when millions of people live in poverty because they don’t have adequate, or any income. Are denied goods and services simply due to the lack of money.
When there was close to full employment capitalism seemed to work. But as jobs were lost to automation or moving them out of the country to take advantage of cheap labor elsewhere, millions have been thrown into poverty. To lack food, shelter, healthcare, education, spiritual support, dignity.
Capitalism is unjust because it has been built on stolen land and the labor of enslaved people.
As my good friend Ronnie James says:
I’m of the firm opinion that a system that was built by stolen bodies on stolen land for the benefit of a few is a system that is not repairable. It is operating as designed, and small changes (which are the result of huge efforts) to lessen the blow on those it was not designed for are merely half measures that can’t ever fully succeed.
So the question is now, where do we go from here? Do we continue to make incremental changes while the wealthy hoard more wealth and the climate crisis deepens, or do we do something drastic that has never been done before? Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?”Ronnie James
Thanks to Ronnie, I’ve been learning about, and participating in an alternative to capitalism, Mutual Aid. “Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?” One of the fundamental principles of Mutual Aid is working to maintain a horizontal or flat hierarchy. To work to avoid a vertical hierarchy. One of the great advantages of this lack of vertical hierarchy is any kind of supremacy, e.g. white supremacy, is not even a possibility.
So I work with a dope crew called Des Moines Mutual Aid, and on Saturday mornings we do a food giveaway program that was started by the Panthers as their free breakfast program and has carried on to this day. Anyways, brag, brag, blah, blah.Ronnie James
So I get to work and I need to call my boss, who is also a very good old friend, because there is network issues. He remembers and asks about the food giveaway which is cool and I tell him blah blah it went really well. And then he’s like, “hey, if no one tells you, I’m very proud of what you do for the community” and I’m like “hold on hold on. Just realize that everything I do is to further the replacing of the state and destroying western civilization and any remnants of it for future generations.” He says “I know and love that. Carry on.”
This is a link to much more about Mutual Aid: https://landbackfriends.com/mutual-aid/
This diagram identifies LANDBACK, Abolition of police and prisons, and Mutual Aid as paths to a better society and future for us all.
Des Moines Mutual Aid is a collective that does outreach for homeless folks in our community, houseless folks in our community. We also assist BLM with their rent relief fund, and most of the work we’ve done is running the bail fund for the protests over the summer. In the course of that work, we have witnessed firsthand the violence that is done upon people of color, Black people specifically, by the white supremacist forces of the state – in this state, in this city, in this county. There is absolutely a state of emergency for people of color and Black people in Iowa. The state of emergency has been a long time coming. We will support – DMMA will absolutely support any and all efforts of this community – BLM, and the people of color community more generally- to keep themselves safe. Power to the people.Patrick Stahl, Des Moines Mutual Aid
mutual aid is the new economy. mutual aid is community. it is making sure your elderly neighbor down the street has a ride to their doctor’s appointment. mutual aid is making sure the children in your neighborhood have dinner, or a warm coat for the upcoming winter. mutual aid is planting community gardens.
capitalism has violated the communities of marginalized folks. capitalism is about the value of people, property and the people who own property. those who have wealth and property control the decisions that are made. the government comes second to capitalism when it comes to power.
in the name of liberation, capitalism must be reversed and dismantled. meaning that capitalistic practices must be reprogrammed with mutual aid practices.Des Moines Black Liberation
Randomly passing an accomplice on the street and throwing up a fist at each other as we go our separate ways to destroy all that is rotten in this world will never fail to give me extra energy and a single tear of gratitude for what this city is creating.Ronnie James