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Black and Blue Lives, and Capitalism

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"I am not a n-word. You invented the n-word. And you better figure out why." -James Baldwin

Capitalism claims to raise all boats. Yet it requires, not just inequality, but constant oppression. Borders, populations, labor relations, etc. must be 'stabilized' for capitalists to want to invest. And states must prove it to investors through their use of force. Even the homeless must behave like capitalists, if only by 'respecting' others' 'private property'.

But it takes discipline for one to respect what doesn't serve them. (That's what cops are for.) Yet, in a 'free' country, it would not suffice to claim someone warrants discipline (or even help) just because they're drunk or lazy. To not implicate America -or worse, capitalism (and to assure the police do their job) they'd have to seem dangerous, too. However, thinking some among us are dangerous, if we all look the same, would incite even greater panic than we lavish on 'others', enough to derail our political-economy.

Fortuitously 'race' draws an almost-irresistible line around 1 in 7 Americans, simultaneously inventing an internal enemy and translating them into foreign ones. 1 in 7 is also a practicable size for a permanent underclass, regarding the labor pool and rates of recession (I'll address below). And regardless if we think they're the cause or an effect of their position, we can't explain them without (something akin to) racism -if we neglect how and why capitalism invents them.

Thus, as James Baldwin aptly phrased it, we "invented the n-word" to pretend he wandered in from outside of capitalism. Then we tell ourselves that even a juggernaut like capitalism can't shake the residue of slavery and Jim Crow -which is absurd- just so capitalism can keep inventing him. And we blame our demons for killing him.

But it is more a case of 'hiring half the poor"'.

Do Black Lives Matter?

BlackLivesMatter should have been an abolition cry. It is the humblest of pleas: don't kill me. I am worth more to you alive than dead.

But lives matter when they profit someone, when they perpetuate capitalism. Capitalism discards them when they don't. So, it's gross, but not entirely disingenuous for Trump to say, (his) growing the economy is the best thing that can happen to black people. Democrats agree. Just, some figure less boot on their necks would grow it faster.

However well intentioned, liberals, progressives, protestors, the 'woke', etc., signal they also agree, when they demand equality. Because, in a society based on competition 'equality' means nothing more than the 'right' to enter the fray. Thus, rather than free us, it requires making oneself -not free at all- but more and more useful to capitalism.

-Recall, Desegregation became law because Segregation impeded commerce. The ruling, that 'separate, was not equal' implied blacks were excluded from market opportunities and neglected by capitalists, in general . But the opposite was and remains true. Capitalism is obsessive to include them in the pool of free labor. 'Equality' allows more workers to compete for resultingly-lower wages. So, it is in the Capitalist's interest to not discriminate , per se.

But it is in the Capitalist's interest to mark where it lands the inevitable blows of a market economy. So, it obsessively tweaks and mends its policies in order to keep black workers between the broader, white working class and the 'lows' of the business cycle.

In other words, for a person of color, making themselves useful to capitalism means having to compete, while still stepped on as hard as needed to make sure they don't impede capital. For, whether or not (often not) capitalism needs their labor, it can't take its boot off their necks. It needs them prostrate; on one hand, to pull down (white) working-class wages, and on the other, to receive the blows (scarcity, unemployment, recession, crime, eviction, pollution, etc., etc., etc.) for the same (white) working-class. -Knowing, if the much-larger white population bore it themselves, they would disavow capitalism.

Instead, since Capitalism posts its underclass right at the working-class' heels, it's in the working class' immediate (though not broader) self-interest to allow Capitalists to 'police' the underclass -however bloody (and racist) that gets.

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JAMES MUNSON Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Writer, activist, some-times artist and musician, all-times dad. Pissed and saying so in Portland, OR.

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