Tag Archives | capitalism

Eat the Revolution

This is the second in a series of posts examining avenues available for creating change.

How do we vote with our dollars?  Let’s take an example: buying food.  Choosing a loaf of bread can be a revolutionary act.  Consider:

Wal-Mart has the largest  grocery store in my nearest major town.  They sell tasteless meat and tasteless produce, and they sell it for less.  But I have other options for food: three of our local markets are owned by a Utah company called Associated Foods.  Smiths,another grocery store, is a former Utah company now headquartered in Idaho.  Either is a “closer to home” choice than Wally World– and both have better meat and produce.

But what about Luna Market , a small Mexican grocery owned by Alfredo Luna in St. George?  And the farmers markets, in season?

And what about Bountiful Baskets, a cooperative that provides fresh produce and bread each Saturday in several locations around town?

And farmers who sell produce and meat directly from their farms?  Last year, I bought 20 pounds of pecans from a farmer is Hurricane, a pig from Parowan, fruit from a local orchard, and vegetables from a nearby farm.

And of course, my own garden, limited as it is by our short growing season and my lack of time to tend it.

Your community may not have these specific options, but it surely has others. Culver City, California, where I used to live, has choices from Mitsuwa Market (Japanese, with excellent produce) to India Sweets and Spices (Indian vegetarian, with a great selection of rice and spices) to Sanchez Carniceria (a Mexican butcher shop) to Al Watan Halal Meat& Produce Market.  Not to mention farmer’s markets both locally and in nearby Westchester.

In order of preference, I get my food first from:

  • My garden
  • Local farmers
  • Co-ops
  • Locally-owned markets
  • Markets owned in-state
  • Regional companies

Personally, I’m willing to pay more for better quality food.  And if it hits Wal-Mart in the pocket, so much the better.  I don’t buy my food at Wal-Mart– ever.  What I can, I buy locally.  And from there, I choose the source closest to home.

Resistance is NOT futile

(The|G| image.)

This is the first is a series of posts examining avenues available for creating change.

“I don’t live in a democracy. Corporations & lobbyists determine my future. I think I might be living in the Corporation of the United States. That’s a shock to me.” –From a recent discussion on Facebook.

In several discussions on blogs and Facebook recently, friends have bemoaned the corporatization of our government.  They have concluded what I came to believe some time ago: that our elected officials are too corrupt to change the course of our nation.

The despair my friends express is overwhelming– and, I believe, inappropriate.  That our elected representatives cannot or will not change does not mean change is beyond our reach.  Rather, it suggests what Mohandas (“Mahatma”) Gandhi said decades ago:

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

Corporations control our government.  Our elected officials no longer represent us.  Both conservatives and liberals gnash their teeth (and blame each other) at this now-undeniable realization.

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” — Emma Goldman

The ballot box does not appear to be the answer.  Dollars speak louder than voters.  So let’s vote with our dollars.

Some time back, I posted an article by Sharif Abdullah noting that Wall Street wants us to believe it is the most important market in our economy, when in fact it is the least important market.  In the same way, we have come to believe we can’t survive without it, when in fact there’s very little it provides that we can’t get elsewhere.

Let us get what we need elsewhere.  Corporations have so much clout because they can buy it– with money we give them every day.  But by making different choices, we can limit that clout, and over time bring both money and power back into our communities.

Of course, they’ll fight it.  The resurgence of locally-produced food has spawned legislative counterattacks, including NAIS and the now-pending Food Safety & Modernization Act.    But that doesn’t mean we can’t win– rather, it means the corporate powers-that-be are afraid that we can.

60% say capitalism better than socialism. Rasmussen poll

I’m surprised the number is that low in this nationwide Rasmussen poll. But the results do get muddled, with people seeing a big difference between a free market economy (which they favored more) and capitalism. Um, you can’t have one without the other.

But the difference is because they saw capitalism as implying bailouts for large corporations while free market economies don’t. Huh?

However, a whopping 73% believe Goldman Sachs is guilty of fraud and 70% say business and government work together against the interests of the people.

Looks like the populace is getting increasingly disenchanted. That makes fertile recruiting grounds indeed for all manner of political organizations.

Can capitalism fix the climate?

Green Left makes clear the obvious point that capitalism, with its maniacal focus on short-term profit over everything else, is incompatible with the long-term vision and planning needed to stop global warming.

But then they quote Bolivian president Evo Morales saying “The real cause of climate change is the capitalist system. If we want to save the Earth then we must end that economic model,” which strongly implies that socialism is a better route.

Well, maybe. But USSR under communism despoiled and plundered land and resources at least as much as the US. China, which is a weird capitalist-socialist hybrid, isn’t exactly turning in stellar results either, as they build ever more coal plants. Sure, Cuba has indeed made a transition to a more renewable type of economy, but that was forced by events external to them (the collapse of USSR.)

So maybe that’s what it will take. The changes come when events force them.