The concurrent madness of the ruling class and the angst of the bourgeoisie in our age isn’t anything surprising. Like the phenomenon of Trump, it has been an unholy union in the making for a long time. The product of empire itself. Social media and the death throes of capitalism have only made it more visible to the general public as of late. But it should be understood that while the ruling class are moneyed and powerful, they are not omnipotent, nor are they more intelligent than the rest of us. On the contrary, even as it sees the demise of the biosphere on which it depends, this “elite” class can do nothing else but marshal the language in an attempt to save its failing economic trajectory. Thus, it is militarizing our collective existential moment: not to save the planet, but to save capitalism itself. And it will do this by deflection, brutally punishing or even eradicating those who have the least impact: the poor, the working class, and the global south.
Under a darkening, climate changed sky, created by the avarice of a few and their ceaseless wars and atrocities, an imperiled and disappearing biosphere lies before us all. Therefore, remaining silent and accepting the status quo in the face of ruling class folly, cruelty and madness, should only be interpreted as complicity to the crime.
As Philip K. Dick famously wrote:
“To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.”
I believe that what we need is a radical-led movement that uses the withholding of labor to win struggles. That means it’s going to have to start with wage struggles, but it’s going to have to be radical in vision and be clear that this is not the only thing that it’s about. I believe that will make it win more because nobody only wants their job to only be about right then; they want to be connected to something else. They also want to believe that the folks that are organizing are actually going to fight to win.
I think that the movement needs to organize not just in the unions that exist. It needs to organize the rest of the 93 percent of the work force that is not organized.
The VRU’s strategy is described as a “public health” approach to preventing violence. This refers to a whole school of thought that suggests that beyond the obvious health problems that result from violence – the psychological trauma and physical injuries – the violent behaviour itself is an epidemic that spreads from person to person.
One of the primary indicators that someone will carry out an act of violence is first being the victim of one. The idea that violence spreads between people, reproducing itself and shifting group norms, explains why one locality might see more stabbings or shootings than another area with many of the same social problems.
“Despite the fact that violence has always been present, the world does not have to accept it as an inevitable part of the human condition,” says the WHO guidance on violence prevention.
“Food systems primary goal should be to nourish human beings. And yet, the current industrial food system, with its proﬁt-maximising ethos, is not achieving that goal despite producing food in excess. On the contrary, this system is the main driver of malnutrition on the planet, as well as environmental degradation. Nonetheless, food systems also play a double role as Nature’s steward.
Deciding which role we want food systems to play will very much depend on the idea we have about food. What is food for humans? The dominant narrative of the industrial food system undeniably considers food as a tradeable commodity whose value is mostly determined by its price. This narrative was crafted and disseminated initially by academics, who largely favoured one option (commodiﬁcation of food) over the others (food as commons or public good). In this research, the author aims to understand how academia has explored the value-based considerations of food as commodity and private good (hegemonic narratives) compared to considerations of food as commons and public good (alternative narratives).