Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Passing of the Illusion of Conscious Capitalism? The Coop as Opiate of the Bourgeoisie

Recently I read an interesting article in the Guardian which argued that the economic troubles of Whole Foods Market was yet another nail in the coffin of the notion of conscious or conscience capitalism, the notion that capitalism can be tamed and can even be made humane. This article, of course, has not gone without challenge. A commentator in a publication I had never heard of NewCo Shift argued that the discontents of Whole Food actually proved the opposite, namely that conscious capitalism was alive and well and that Whole Foods had played a major and important role in the expansion of conscience capitalism.

Frankly, I don't see much in the way of conscious or conscience capitalism out there. Sure there is Mondragon. But Mondragon survives and thrives by playing the neoliberal game if only in part. Sure there are so-called cooperatives out there. But the term "cooperative" these days is a misnomer since most "cooperatives" these days are structured and run like the neoliberal corporations they mimic.

Let's take the Honest Weight Food Cooperative, aka, Honest Weight Food Corporation of Albany, New York, as an example of conscious or conscience capitalism. Here is what that passes for "conscience" capitalism these days:
1. The Corp doesn't pay workers a living wage.
2. The Corp doesn't provide all of its workers with health care and a pension.
3. The Corp's elite are characterised by a phobia about floor staff that rivals that of the Koch's and their KochSucker politician flunkies.
4. The Corp pays administrative armchair bureaucrats at the highest levels way too much, particularly relative to its floor staff. It justifies this by quoting that Capitalist maxim: if we don't we won't get the best and the brightest.
5. The Corp sells items made in that human rights and worker friendly nation of China.
6. The Corp sells junk food with little to no nutritional value.
7. The Corp sells capitalist snake oil in its "Wellness Department".
8. The Corp does business with the "whole foods" distributor version of Gilded Age Standard Oil.
9. The Corp does business with Paylocity and JPMorgan Chase Bank, that exemplar of "conscious capitalist" banking.
10. The Corp is run by devotees or groupies of a ludicrous and ahistorical ideology, neoliberalism. The Corp justifies all this with the same failed mantra other neo-liberals justify what they do: it is market forces man. All hail the power of the market's name.
11. The Corp sells fruit and vegetables from Chile and Argentina and from Dole and Del Monte, two huge corporations whose tactics across time and space have been questionable to say the least.
12. Only a fraction of the member workers actually vote regularly at membership meetings.

If all this is what is meant by conscious or conscience capitalism don't you know that you can count me out. Such an animal, conscious or conscience capitalist delusion aside, mirrors the neoliberal world that is its broader context. It will never and can never change bah humbug or kindler and gentler neoliberal capitalism to more humane and humanitarian forms. As a mirror of neoliberalism the coop movement as it has "evolved" is part of the problem not the solution to the problem of inhumane greed ridden narcissistic up yours capitalism.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

An American Right Wing Bestiary

Antilects: those made moronic by anti-intellectual flats demagogues.

BahHumbugers, bahs: Republican heirs of Ebenezer Scrooge before he saw the light who get all orgasmic about tax breaks for the wealthy and cuts in welfare for the needy poor.

Bastiloids: right wingers who believe that the masses should eat straw.

Becrats: those who work in mass bureaucracies, the organisational form that dominated modernity and, at least for the moment, dominates postmodernity. Modern bureaucracies, as Weber noted, dominate the economic, political, and cultural domains of the modern world because they are or the masses believe they are, efficient, effective, and based on merit. In reality, as later social scientists have noted, bureaucracies not only have formal rules but also informal rules. Bureaucracies, as Weber and Michels noted, are inherently hierarchical, inegalitarian, and inconsistent with real democracy.

Biff: a right wing bully boy with anti-intellectual tendencies.

Birchbarkers: devotees of the now widespread John Birch Society brand of small government and anti-whoever happens to be the "enemy" flavour of the month "Americanism".

Blue Meanies: the evil others of right wingers of all types. Humans have a long history of scapegoating imagined enemics. The blue meanies are simply the latest in a long line of imagined scapegoats.

Brownbacks: flats who think, despite evidence to the contrary, that cutting taxes on the wealthy, cutting corporate taxes, and cutting welfare and education, will lead to economic recovery and growth.

Bucks: William F. Buckley style right wingers. As Gore Vidal showed in 1968 beneath the Bucklerian intellectual and Downton Abbey anglophilic exterior often lurks a narrow minded ethnocent.

CakeHoles: those who eat up right wing smak as though it was desert.

CareCaps: those who genuinely believe or who manipulate those who genuinely believe through branding that there is a form of mass capitalism that is genuinely humane and democratic. There isn't, of course. Many contemporary "coops" are examples of the fiction or the delusion that caring mass capitalism exists. Carecaps are a latter day version of welfare capitalists.

Corpkakes: bureaucrats who work in that most dominant economic institution in the modern and postmodern worlds, the corporation. It is, of course, to corporations that most politicians in the modern and postmodern world kowtow to and give obeisance to. Those who control corporations are members of the modern and postmodern aristocratic feudal estate.

Couch Patriots: a right winger who screams and yells about how much they love the US. Are they therefore the first in line to volunteer for the military in times of war? You must be joking.

Covfefer: 1. a right winger who makes a mistake and refuses to fess up to it making his predicament, in the process, even worse than it would have been if he or she had just fessed up to the mistake in the first place. 2. someone who has an ideological driven lack of comprehension skills.

Dedheads: Neoliberals of the Democratic Party variety.

DicieSpicies: right wingers whose rhetoric, like that of the Spice Girls, is all empty demagoguery and no substance.

Dimbos: neoliberal Democrats. Increasingly the noun dimbo is being applied to Democrats in general since most Democrats seemed to think that in a change election year in which outsiders like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were doing well in the primaries they should run an establishment capitalist chicken hawk like Hillary Clinton.

Draks: capitalists who figuratively drink the blood of those they exploit. Exploitation, of course, is the raison d'etre of mass capitalism. It is at the heart of the constructed being (ontology) of mass capitalists.

Droogies: right wing ethnocent thugs.

Drumpfs: right wingers who can just barely put together two coherent Twitter sentences in a row.

Duals: those who, as a result of cultural constructions, think in either/or, dualistic, or binary ways. Right wingers, in particular, are prone to this kind of thinking.

DuckandCovers: flats who believe it is possible to win a nuclear war.

Eskies: right wing Christians who think the world is going to end. Eskies have been waiting for the second coming for a couple of thousand years but that hasn't deterred them from predicting that it will happen soon every ten years of so.

Ethnocents: those afflicted with a cultural disorder and who believe that their group (class group, status group, clique, race, ethnicity, tribe, clan) is god's or nature's gift to the universe. Ethnocentrism is a type of smak common among many right wing groups. Ethnocents generally think in either/or, binary, or dualistic ways.

Excepts: those who think, as a result of a cultural disorder, that they or their group, however it is defined, are god's or nature's chosen people or group and that nobody else or nothing else is like them. Excepts, of course, are drugged up on smak. In reality humans are humans everywhere and in every time and in every place because it is the powerful, who, thanks to the rise of agriculture, modernity, and postmodernity, who have constructed economic, political, and cultural realities for the rest of us.

FetishFreaks: Humans are the ultimate fetishisers. In fact, they are the only known species in the animal world that engages in fetishisation. So what is fetishisation? Fetishisation is making the particular, the historical, universal or transcendental. There are several types of FetishFreaks. There are FetishFreaks who fetishise their own language. There are FetishFreaks who fetishise a particular style of writing. There are FetishFreaks who universalise their own Victorian (mis)understanding of a stone age meaning system or religion. There are FetishFreaks who universalise Victorian notions of the family, sexuality, gender, and childhood. There are FetishFreaks who transcendentalise a particular economic system, modern mass capitalism.

Flats: Those afflicted with a cultural disorder who deny realities like climate change and evolution. Flatism is a form of anti-intellectual, because it rejects reality, intellectual, because it is a form of logic, smak.

Fuks: Those afflicted with a cultural disorder who think that the government has no right to own land. This variety of smak, of course, is simply ideological cover for crass human greed and the need for power.

Goaters: those afflicted with the cultural disorder of blaming everyone but themselves for their own problems. Generally scapegoaters blame the wrong people or forces for their problems. Goating is a type of smak.

Gobshites: those who spout smak.

Groupies: devotees of right wing gobshites such as Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck.

Headdeads: anti-Semites.

homophobsters: those who fear anything other than a Father Knows Best version of gender.

Hoosiers: poor White trash from Kentucky and Tennessee who couldn't and can't compete with slave labour.

KochSuckers, Kokes: devotees of the Koch Brothers and their libertarian ideology. Kochism is a variety of smak.

Krakbabies: groupies of Ayn Rand.

Krakheads: devotees of Randianism of whatever sectarian variety. Krakheadism is a variety of smak.

Krochs: those who knowingly spout smak for manipulative purposes but who don't believe the shite that comes out of their gobs

LiBetards: Libertarians who don't realise something Max Weber recognised a hundred or so years ago, namely, that mass bureaucracies dominate the modern world. General Electric is a bureaucracy. Ohio University is a bureaucracy. The US government is a bureaucracy. Honest Weight Food "Cooperative" is a bureaucracy. The Methodist Church is a bureaucracy. The Republican Party is a bureaucracy.

Libs: devotees of an ideology that arose during the Renaissance in city-states like Florence and during the Enlightenment in geographies including Scotland, England, and France. Libs come in various stripes though those liberals who call themselves conservatives these days have either forgotten this or don't want to be reminded of this. There are nationalist libs. There are bah humbug libs. There are compassionate libs. There are social insurance or progressive libs. There are libertarian libs. There are Habermasian can't we just talk to each other civilly libs.

Menteeles: those, secular and religious, who, thanks to a cultural disorder, think in literal, selectively literal that is, misognyst, nationalist, and ethnocentric ways.

Messiahnists: those dudes and dudettes afflicted with the cultural disorder of believing that they are on a mission to save their universe, however they define it, from evil blue meanies.

Misogies: dudes and dudettes who think that males are god's or nature's gift to the world. Misogyny is a form of smak.

Mopeds: young sophomoric right wingers of all varieties with a case of arrested development.

Nazoids: White supremacists. Such racism, of course, is a form of culturally constructed smak. Synonyms: Skinheads, OyGoys.

NeoDicks: the new Republican Party that arose in the wake of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and desegragation. Neodicks are the contemporary heirs of the Dixiecrats, the Southern wing of the Democratic Party.

Noids: those with a cultural disorder and who believe that someone, for example, "foreigners", some "ethnic" group, some "racial" group, "liberals", "communists", "anarchists", another "nation", "atheists", or "staff" at a local faux cooperative, are dangerous and out to get them.

Nouveaus: those vulgar elites who are part of the 1%. Nouveaus are known for their conspicuous consumption of expensive things they know very little about. They buy Picassos not for arts sake but because they are expensive. They live in places that, for them, mimic the palaces of the Ancien Régime or the great English manor houses. In reality the domiciles of the nouveau rich and famous are vulgar simulations of Ancien Régime palaces and English manor houses. Donald Trump and his New York City Trump Tower are exemplary of nouveau vulgar conspicuous consumption.

Olies: those who rule the United States and much of the rest of the world. The 1%.

PiedPipes: demagogues.

Ponces: those mass capitalists who inherit their wealth and who live off their inheritances. Many confuse this with working for a living. Ponces are a variety of whores.

Poshies: the old blue blood economic elite who are part of the 1%

Pragereggers: intellectual devotees or groupies of the Buckleyish Prager U site.

PragerKeggers: those at the Prager U site who slur those with whom they disagree.

Pussy Grabbers: right wing misogies like Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, and Donald Trump.

Putinistas: right wingers who go all orgasmic over and want their leader to emulate tsars like Vladimir Putin.

Qballs: the science fiction and fantasy right.

Racists: those filled to the brim with that variety of ethocentrism which maintains that one "race" is better than other "races". Such fictions are common amongst right wingers and particularly those of the Republikrat and Nazoid persuasion. Note the binary thinking here.

Rebot: a fake online right wing demagogue and missionary.

Reptards: Republicans.

Retreads: the alt right. The alt right thinks it is something new but in reality it is just another iteration of the old Christian anti-Semitic and anti-leftie right, Buckley style fascism, and red faced libertarianism.

Sheep: those addicted to smak.

Skitzoiddroids: Right wingers who whinge and whine about liberal and left wing whinging and whining while doing nothing but whinging and whining themselves. A form of political and ideological correctness. Synonym: hypocrites.

Slaggs: Right wing libertarians.

Slots: casino capitalists.

Sluts: devotees or groupies of the god Mammon.

Smak: the hallucinatory opiate of the right wing masses spread by demagogues of the right wing variety.

Smakalists: right wing media workers like those connected to the Daily Mail, the Sun, and Fox News who purvey smak. The smak that smakalists purvey is often meant to manipulate the already believing moronic red faced masses.

Smakheads: Neoliberals of the Bah Humbug Republican variety.

SoDars: those who believe a form of ethnocentrism that maintains that rich people are god's or nature's gift to the universe. Like the notion that monarchs were made monarchs by god, Social Darwinism, which rationalises and justifies rule by the rich, is a form of smak.

Sweeneys: right wing family values demagogues who get caught in compromising positions with someone other than their wives or husbands.

Theologs: economists drugged up on smak who justify, rationalise, and fetishise, through their apologetics and polemics, market based and libertarian economic theories. Dogmatism is a type of smak.

Trumpettes: Trump groupies.

Utopes: purveyors of the notion that mass capitalism and its mass global markets will bring heaven on earth. That which utopianists purvey, utopianism, is a variety of smak. Synonyms: Fantasists, Fabulists.

Whores: those vampyre capitalists who make money off of other peoples money. Many confuse this with working for a living.

Xenos: those drugged up on smak and as a result believe that "foreigners", however they are defined, are threats to their very existence.

Xhuks (pronounced chucks with a hard ch): White evangelical Christian right wingers who worship the false idol of a whitewashed United States of America.

Zionators: Christians who support the contemporary state of Israel because they believe the Temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt before Jesus comes again. For them the only good post apocalyptic Jew is a converted Jew or a dead Jew.

Zombies, zombs: those uncritical devotees of right wing smak.