Tuesday, April 20, 2021

See

 The world of information is like a sea, and like the sea you can see anything you want to in it. Yet it remains unformed, just water and salt, and the world remains just the world, unordered and unbounded, unless we give it order and bounds, and then we can only do so to the extent we do the sea.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

On geography

 

What is the outcome of selling council housing? Workers gain homes, right?
Well, they already had homes. For which they paid a portion of their daily labour to the state in the form of rent.
In exchange, they paid a (usually larger) portion of their daily labour to banks in the form of mortgage payments.
So the outcome of selling council housing was a massive transfer from the state to bank shareholders.
Yes, the worker gained an asset. So the state transferred that asset to the worker for a consideration that is worthless to the state (money is no use to the government). But the rent payments are also an asset, and that was transferred to bank shareholders, for no consideration at all.
Now there are many fewer council homes. So workers cannot access affordable housing. Some of those who were able to buy their "own homes" have housing but those new to the market have no access to stock. Unless the people who bought the houses are able to rent them housing.
Which is undesirable. Because when you pay rent to the government, the money is destroyed and leaves the system. If it's paid to a local council, it subsidises the council's provision of services so that the government can make other spending choices. But if you pay rent to a private landlord, the money is not destroyed and does not help the government make other spending choices. In fact, the government will usually have to subsidise the private landlord in one way or another at a rate equivalent to the difference between the council rent and the private rent (and this happens with assistance that tops up rents such as housing benefit or rental assistance).
So the government at the same time gave up a way to relieve inflationary or at least spending pressures while helping to create asset inflation, which itself increases the transfer of wealth from those who do not own assets to those who do.
None of this was an accident. And when Thatcher pushed these policies, she knew very well what she was doing: at the same time transferring wealth to your "betters" *and* crimping the ability of the state to help you.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Work

In capitalism, "work" is reconceived as an abstract so that capitalists can be seen as putting more work into the economic system than workers. Obama made a mistake in ideology when he said that the wealthy did not build public goods in the US. In capitalism, they did. He was of course howled down by even his allies.

It's important to understand that capitalists do not merely think that some work has more value than others. They also think that you *do more* if you gain more wealth. So they cannot understand concepts such as the equal hour or social value of work.
This is the theory of deserts in the neoliberal conception. In the liberal view, work can only be worth more if it has more value, and, because liberals pretend not to have an ideology that supports wealth and privilege, that value cannot be set arbitarily by the wealthy and privileged. So the work must actually *be* more, have more content.

So most people recognise that this is absurd: Jeff Bezos does not work a thousand times harder than a garbo, after all. But they do not recognise that it's simply a natural outcome of the theory of deserts that they insist is correct because they are affluent.

***

What I am saying, in a nutshell, is that the capitalist ideological statement: if you work hard, you will succeed is not driven by the fact that hard work is valued. It isn't. Hard work is largely scorned. Most affluent people who claim to "work hard" simply work for long hours, which is not the same thing. Anyone who has cleaned their bathroom properly can understand what hard work is. In fact, working at a checkout and not going crazy is harder work than attending meetings or making spreadsheets. But wealthy people are supposed to have worked hard for their wealth. So in fact you need the said ideological statement to make that true.


Sunday, July 05, 2020

Joker

Joker has been hailed as both a paean to the incel and a leftist letter of demand.

That both can be true is the whole of the truth of our today.

how am I supposed to feel

you died
and in your place
is another
who lies hates & cheats

you died you never lived
you had nothing to give
you died you never lived
you wanted nothing
real

hey that's all I have
but only I feel it
the song in my heart
only I can see it
hey that's all I have

you died
and in your place
not even a memorial
you stole your own statue
how am I supposed to feel
tell me
how am I supposed to feel

Thursday, April 09, 2020

In the nets

Crying is not just tears you can be crying a long time and you can't even shed a tear.
For a long time I just cried and maybe you would have known if you'd cared but no one really did so no one knew I was crying and then one afternoon I

well that doesn't matter.

So part of me is crying out and part of me is as ever all fuck you because I don't want to let someone else win but you know what you do that long enough you forget that you lose just because you're fighting

which is no good.

But it's not a choice between do this and win do this and lose it's lose and lose and either way you end up crying and I don't understand because I can only play at being tough I can't really

but, they say, you look angry. And I'm like, I am just so sad that you can't even see me for it and that seems like anger because it's like I'm in the nets and

that's not right.

Sometimes you are crying for so long you forget how to smile and why did she want that why would anyone want that what amount of hurt can be in a person twisted like barbed wire around the place your heart should be how could anyone want that don't you want your pain to end

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Real love

Sometimes when you're aching with pain
someone talks to you
and you don't quite hear them
and then you remember
no one is speaking
and you are alone