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u/the8thbit · 3 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Well you've come to the right place, then!

For a cursory treatment of these ideas, like with many ideas, wikipedia is a good starting point.

History of capitalism:


History of modern policing:

Peter Kropotkin's The Conquest of Bread is kind of the go to introduction to classical anarchism. Its a good book, and it details the relationship between capitalism, the owner class, the working class, and police, as well as discussing alternatives to the our current social configuration:

The Conquest of Bread is also available as a free audiobook:

The concepts of biopower and the spectacle are developed by the writers Michel Foucault and Guy Debord respectively. Their writing can be a little dense, but these concepts and their authors have wikipedia pages which make these ideas a little more accessible:

Also, this is a reading of Debord's Society of the Spectacle laid over a collage of contemporary footage which conveys the concepts discussed. This is a sort of remake of a film Debord himself made in the '70s. Very very cool:

Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) also happens to be an historian and has produced an excellent documentary about medieval Europe. In the first episode he discusses the lives of the peasantry which is somewhat relevant to this discussion. There are certainly aspects of medieval living that I'm not keen to revive. But there is a nugget of gold in that form of life that we've lost in our contemporary context. Anarchists want a return to that sense of autonomy and deep social bonds within communities:

An Anarchist FAQ is a very thorough, contemporary, and systematized introduction to anarchist ideas:

Noam Chomsky's On Anarchism is an accessible introduction to anarchism that focuses on a modern, large-scale, industrial anarchist society that existed in Spain in the 1930s, to illustrate the concepts underpinning anarchist thought. It's a bit of hokey in parts, especially in the little chapter introductions which are just quotes from Q&A sessions with Dr. Chomsky. But if you can get past that, its good:

Chomsky also wrote Manufacturing Consent and Profit Over People, which are much less shallow than On Anarchism, and document how the state maintains a facade of legitimacy and some of the things that the contemporary state (circa 1999... its a little out of date, but not terrible in that respect) does to sophisticate the relationship between owner and worker. Chomsky is probably best known publicly for those two texts, but he has a lot of work in a lot of different fields. He's a pretty prolific intellectual with numerous contributions to political theory, linguistics, cognitive theory, philosophy, and computer science.

Richard Wolff is an economist who has taught at Yale, UMass, City College NY, and is currently teaching at New School. He does a monthly update on global capitalism where he kind of tries to give a bird's eye view of how our global economy shifts and develops from month to month. He also does weekly updates too, but I can never manage to stay up to date on those:

Anthropologist David Harvey's book 17 Contradictions and the End of Capitalism details many of the ways in which capitalism appears to be constantly fighting against itself for survival, all the while heightening the conditions which cause capitalism to become precarious in the first place:

This is a film about where capitalism is headed, and what it will look like in 2030:

Encirclement: Neoliberalism Ensnares Democracy is a documentary which discusses some of the ways that capitalism post-1968 has shifted so as to wrest more power away from communities. Its very similar to Noam Chomsky's Power Over People, and Chomsky is featured prominently alongside several other intellectuals:

We Are All Very Anxious is a really cool and short text by anonymous writers about how the different stages of capitalism impact the psychiatric health of the individual. Its availible as a free text, or as a short audiobook:

This is Albert Einstien's short introductory essay on socialism called Why Socialism. Its not an advocacy of Anarchism per se, and I'm skeptical about the (admitedly vague) path to socialism that he lays out. But some of the concerns he raises at the end of the essay are problems that Anarchism aims to directly address:

George Orwell (author of 1984 and Animal Farm) spent time living in and fighting for the Spanish Anarchist society that Chomsky focuses on in On Anarchism, and he documents his experiences in his memoir, Homage to Catalonia:

The Take, by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis is a film that documents a growth of anarchist factories, offices, and communities following the 2001 financial collapse in Argentina. Today these communities still exist and control hundreds of workplaces:

This is a short film about the anarchist nation of Rojava (northern syria, western kurdistan) which formed in 2013 in the midsts of the Syrian civil war, and is currently the primary boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS:

Since the early-mid '90s most of Chiapas, Mexico has operated as an anarchist society in direct defiance of the Mexican government and NAFTA. In addition to providing for their own communities, Chiapas is also the 8th largest producer of coffee in the world. This is a short documentary about that society:

This is a children's film about the same people:

Resistencia is a documentary about anarchist communities emerging in Honduras in the wake of the 2009 US-backed coup:

Marx' Capital is a foundational text in modern socialist thought. It lacks some of the cool ideas of the 20th century (a genealogy of morality, the spectacle, and biopower as examples) but is very thorough in providing an economic critique of capitalism. Capital is dense, massive (three volumes long), and incomplete, but David Harvey has a great series of lectures which go along with the texts:

This is another pretty dense one, but if you watch that lecture series and/or read Capital, Kevin Carson's Studies in Mutualist Political Economy is an interesting follow up text. Carson looks at the plethora of arguments that have developed since the publication of capital which try to recuperate economics to before Marx' critique. In it he discusses and critiques subjective value theory, marginalism, and time preference, which all ultimately argue in different ways that the the prices of goods are determined primarily by demand, rather than the cost of production, a rejection of an important conjecture in classical economics which Marx' critique incorporates. Carson's overarching critique of these responses to Marx and the Marxian approach isn't that these demand-focused understandings of value are entirely wrong or useless, but that as critiques of classical cost theory of value they kind of lose sight of what Marx and the classicals were actually saying. While demand is an important aspect of production, Smith, Ricardo, Marx, etc... are looking at the case where supply and demand have reached equilibrium. While demand may be a determining factor of price where this isn't the case, we know that competitive commodity markets tend towards a supply/demand equilibrium, so an analysis of the equilibrium case is useful for analyzing the form that markets take in the long-term. You can justify small gains through market arbitrage for example, or the way we value art and other unique works by looking at demand, but its not as useful for understanding how someone can see consistent long-term gains through investment:

In this post I provide a summary of some of the ideas that Carson discusses thats not anywhere nearly as thorough as Carson, but isn't quite as condensed as the above paragraph (If you look closely, you'll notice I recycled some of my earlier post from this one):


u/apodicity · 3 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

They love inflation--as long as they get the newly created money first. They're scared to death of deflation. Deflation is reality asserting itself. They have many more tools to deal with inflation than deflation.

I broadly agree with you, but I think you are discounting the effect that voting has when one of the parties is the Republicans. No, I am not lionizing the Democrats; it's simply that the Republicans are that bad. The reason for strong unions was the labor movement and activism. This was, of course, aided by the fact that labor paid a living wage, and it wasn't so much cheaper for them to replace labor with capital equipment (automation), etc.

With regard to economic inequality and electoral politics in the US, I recommend:

Larry M. Bartels

Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age

1/23/10 Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0691146232, ISBN-10: 0691146233

With regard to why people vote for Trump:

"Finally, he challenges conventional explanations for why many voters seem to vote against their own economic interests, contending that working-class voters have not been lured into the Republican camp by "values issues" like abortion and gay marriage, as commonly believed, but that Republican presidents have been remarkably successful in timing income growth to cater to short-sighted voters."

Communism? There is no such thing. Perhaps there will be one day, but there are serious practical problems with implementation. Communism works well for communes. It doesn't scale. The human family (should be) a communist institution. I know it's boring, but social democracy is probably the best we can do now. If there is something I should read which makes some other case, I'll bite.

Rather than blather on, it is better that I just link to something worth your time.

Bruce Alexander

The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit

1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0199588718, ISBN-10: 0199588716
This book shows that the social circumstances that spread addiction in a conquered tribe or a falling civilisation are also built into today's globalizing free-market society. A free-market society is magnificently productive, but it subjects people to irresistible pressures towards individualism and competition, tearing rich and poor alike from the close social and spiritual ties that normally constitute human life. People adapt to their dislocation by finding the best substitutes for a sustaining social and spiritual life that they can, and addiction serves this function all too well.

u/rfry11 · 4 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Well, it's available on Google Books free preview, but the pages cut off right before this diagram. Also, I'm not going to pay $12 just to see if there's any additional information then what's already contained here.

But, to give you an example, one only needs to look at the Wikipedia page for Li-On batteries to see that that specific invention, while probably funded in part or whole by the DoE, was not an invention of the DoE. So many people, from around the world, contributed knowledge and expertise to create it. It's not a DoE invention.

The State, especially the US State, is one of the primary catalysts for scientific research, but to say that huge corporations and university systems contribute nothing to that landscape is false. They all take and iterate and innovate on each other, and they all fund each other. Looking at scientific articles and reading their funding sections and delving into their cited references points that out.

u/benfitzg · 14 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Kinda amazing that in 74 comments nobody has mentioned Henry George. I presume many here know about this so don't mention it, however in case:

It's a game designed to show land value tax as the way forward, with two sets of rules. Then there is the history of the game being "stolen" which I guess you could argue shows a healthy Georgist view of intellectual property.

Oh and the link:

u/Thaufas · 7 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Recently, I came across the book, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato, and I was struck by the incredible novelty of this book really.

As someone who has worked in both the public and private sectors and in organizations both large and small, I have seen firsthand just how inefficient large corporations can be, as well as how much power they can wield. I also know firsthand that every major corporation could not have risen to its current position without the support of a government, either in the form of direct or indirect investment.

For example, Apple's Siri was originally developed at the Stanford Research Institute. Although SRI now takes money from the private sector, it has always received the majority of its funding from the US government. In the USA, recipients of SNAP (aka food stamps) benefits are a significant source of revenue for the major food companies. Defense contractors rely exclusively on the federal government. Pharmaceutical companies would never invest in new drug targets without the NIH funding basic research first.

So many people believe that government is inefficient and only private, for-profit institutions can deliver goods and services efficiently. Why is this belief so prevalent in the USA?

u/sigma6d · 2 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

“Allow men and women to become democratic citizens of the state; make sure they remain feudal subjects in the family, the factory, and the field. The priority of conservative political argument has been the maintenance of private regimes of power—even at the cost of the strength and integrity of the state.”

Corey Robin: The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump.

u/kencurmelati · 4 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Have you ever considered a radical leftist interpretation of Niklas Luhmann's work, a la Moeller? It would fit in well with your essays on Deleuze and Baudrillard.

What do you think of Cedric Robinson? His work got some renewed recognition with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, but is still horribly overlooked. His critique of politics and power in Terms of Order and Black Marxism is at the least equally as interesting as that of Foucault, and urges us to go further left than any (semi-)popular ideology proposes. [edit: His stances actually connect and contrast well with those in your human rights essay.]

u/str8baller · 7 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Human action and behavior (aka human nature) CHANGES based on the form of socially authoritative system they find themselves bound to. To learn about the varying features of human nature, I highly recommend reading Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View by Stanley Milgram.

u/MMurd0ck · 1 pointr/LateStageCapitalism

It's a very interesting topic indeed. I am entry level in this subject, gathering some books about.

In my seach I have found this book called Alphabet vs The Goddess where the author makes a parallel between the rise of patriarchy simultaneously with the phonetic alphabet.

u/enlightenedmark · 3 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Yeah, I stopped using youtube videos for my political education a long time ago.

I recommend starting here, at Capital Volume 1.

u/BZenMojo · 3 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

This isn't.

Just need some sort of USB attachment... you know... for charging.

u/theswordandspoon · 2 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

I just started reading this book - This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

u/georgist · 2 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

and we need for the state to fund that via a land value tax so that working isn't completely pointless in the first place. When I read this stuff I think "agree, but it's all fooked until they tax land". If you made people more productive you'd have more progress and more poverty.

u/critically_damped · 74 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Check out her book on climate change if you never want to fucking sleep again.

u/Dizrhythmia129 · 2 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

There's a book that came out earlier this year that apparently traces the co-opting and bastardization of Christianity by capitalism in America. I heard an interview of the author talking about it and I want to read it soon. Apparently the American capitalist class launched the idea that capitalism was godly as a response to the New Deal. They claimed that social democracy and socialism were anti-Christian because it was "worship of the State."

u/Redingold · 3 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

What, a source for the Khmer Rouge being put into power with the help of the Vietcong by overthrowing an American regime? I didn't realise that was up for debate, seems to me to be a simple matter of historical fact. I shouldn't need to cite sources for that any more than I'd need to cite sources if I claimed that the USA invaded Vietnam or the French Revolution occurred. I'm not writing a thesis, here.

Wikipedia lists many sources on the page for the Cambodian Civil War, try checking those out, but you might start with this, this, this or this. While we're at it, here's a page linking to several Guardian articles from the period concerning the Khmer Rouge, and here, here and here are articles from three different anti-genocide organisations, all of which describe the Khmer Rouge overthrowing an American-backed government.

u/AlexFromOmaha · 26 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

It is, but the savings here are being overstated. It's not a product with a huge margin, and the prices they get are based on bulk buys. Here's 16 ounces of extract on Amazon. Here's enough beans to make 12 ounces.

I'd also suggest light rum over vodka, personally.

u/raknerful · 4 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

I was fired for "time theft". I didn't give a rat's ass. I saw it as good praxis considering where I was working at the time.

At that job I read "Weapons of the Weak" by James C. Scott, highly recommend:

"Time theft" has been a class weapon wielded by the lower classes for time immemorial.

u/petercoffin · 3 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

To some degree, yes. The book I cited (The Entrepreneurial State by Mariana Mazzucato, has further examples as well - it's actually the point of the book (I might add there are some things I disagree with in the book but it is very interesting). Hell, being public research is, well, public, one could argue that it's absurd not to use it.

u/dessalines_ · 1 pointr/LateStageCapitalism

The US currently operates a system of slave labor camps, including at least 54 prison farms involved in agricultural slave labor. Outside of agricultural slavery, Federal Prison Industries operates a multi-billion dollar industry with ~ 52 prison factories, where prisoners produce furniture, clothing, circuit boards, products for the military, computer aided design services, call center support for private companies. ^1, ^2, ^3

Make no mistake about it, the US is a slave state with reality TV and sports. I highly recommend reading about the experience of people who had to go through the US prison system, with its isolation, holes(solitary confinement), and rewards for ratting on other prisoners. Some good ones by comrades are George Jackson - Soledad Brother, or Huey P Newton - Revolutionary Suicide.