Archives for category: Social Criticism

The woke left is merciless in their destruction of sacred institutions: marriage and education, obviously; the institution of baby making; and of course, language. In a world where everyone is is a Nazi just for harmlessly protesting against draconian mask mandates, the word has lost all meaning. If everyone is racist, then no one is, and we can all go home. It’s safe and warm at home, and the woke left can’t get you because of Stand Your Ground laws.

It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a chainsaw and a liberal agenda

Now. Marriage is obsolete in that it serves only to legitimize through legal recognition particular and rigid definitions of relationships. Education is classist and functions only to produce efficient workers for the ownership class. Abortion is health care and functions only to provide women control over their means of production. And finally, only racist things are racist. But Blog For Chumps, you might ask, not knowing that a human being with a name and feelings is writing this, how can we know what is and is not racist when the woke left keeps calling helpless truckers Nazis?

I agree. Racism can be hard to point out, but not always – sometimes it is really obvious! When the NFL handles concussion payouts racistly by paying black players less because they are assuming that black people have fewer brain cells than their white counterparts and therefore don’t require as much relative compensation for their loss, that’s pretty heckin’ racist! That was in 2021, after Trump was robbed of his permanent leadership position, and racism in America was supposed to have ended for the second time. I guess we’re still reaching for that rainbow that I don’t see the colour of.

If you see them, you’re a racist

Easy stuff! But like, now climate change is racist? Apparently rich, whiter countries only superficially care about the climate even as poorer, darker countries are literally disappearing into the ocean! It seems like this just might be a world-ending emergency that ought to have an equivalent urgency, but like… the value of bank-owned debt is going down, so let’s focus on that instead. Entire countries can be underwater, either temporarily or on the verge of permanency, but so long as predominantly white countries only have slightly warmer weather, it is politically and socially “no biggie.” Racism!

Also journalism is racist. Again, sometimes very obviously. But not always, because sometimes all racism needs is a mostly white authorship being edited by a mostly white editing team for a mostly white audience, and with all those blind-spots and biases, POOF! You’ve got yourself a racism! What gets labeled as “exotic” or “undiscovered”? Undiscovered by whom? How are stories about race treated? What language gets used? When the authors are a monolith, you typically get the same kind of answers.

How do you think they pronounce ‘pho’?

But Blog For Chumps, you might persist, ruthlessly obstinate in your sobriquet, how can climate change or journalism call someone the N word? If abstract ideas are racist, does that mean we have to actually educate ourselves on how systems work in order to understand why rabid woke mobs keep calling random things racist? Probably. I mean you could take their word for it, I suppose. Who has time for a university degree?

But you don’t have to worry about going into impossible amounts of debt, forcing a lifetime of indentured servitude to your capitalist masters, just to learn about racism, so long as you understand the most racist abstract concept of all: capitalism. It’s capitalism. It’s always capitalism. I just said it like, within the same run-on sentence. You really should have seen this coming.

A fair and reasonable depiction.

Capitalism is all about private ownership and the profit motive. If a business owner is content with their normal amount of sales, they’re not innovating new and exciting logos for their carbonated beverage, and a disaster worse than climate change will befall us all if Apple stops releasing numerically-sequential iPhones until the sun goes out. Capitalists always need more – that’s the profit motive. And the ownership of these businesses needs to be centralized to a minority who make all the decisions because… reasons. I guess maybe to sell the illusion that you too can become a billionaire? With so few of them, it’s a lot easier to learn their names, so we all can aspire to be just like Jim Emerald-Mine Jr.! You too can escape the grind if you just keep that grindset!

How can a violently-enforced hierarchy that exploits and oppresses its lowest rungs to maximize profit be categorized as racist? To understand this head scratcher, we have to turn to a controversial historical economist with an extremist ideology who would have strong criticisms of today’s capitalism: Adam Smith.

Smith teaches us that value comes from labour. When a miner extracts a mineral from a mountain, they are adding value to the rock by turning it into, say, lithium. When the driver takes that lithium from the quarry to the battery factory, they are adding value by changing the location of that lithium to a place where more shit can be done to it. When the factory worker turns that lithium into a battery, they are adding even more value to what was once a far-away rock. If that battery was sold as is, each labourer would get back what they added to the product. With capitalism, the owner of this operation needs money too, so they add what’s called surplus value on top of all this already-established value, and they get that money just for tagging along.

It was a Christmas miracle!

Now, the labour theory of value isn’t actually how market prices are determined: they’re determined by supply and demand. However, the importance of Adam Smith’s Marxist idea of a labour theory of value comes from how it shows the relationship of profit to labour. If the price of that battery is determined by supply and demand, the profits of the organization still need to supersede the value of the labour added to the original mountain rock (through wages, benefits, etc… the intrinsic value of the labourer to the labour process, i.e. the price of human dignity).

But what if… what if, Blog For Chumps, what if… we cut down on human dignity in a market where prices are determined by supply and demand? If we ignore the value of the labourers, ignore their dignity, then we could make MORE profit. If the price is fixed elsewhere, but the value of labour is lessened, then the surplus increases regardless of how the market sets the price! Capitalism, as established, is built on the profit motive, so the idea of ignoring the dignity of workers is inherent to the process. Crucial to the definition of capitalism, workers are not in charge of making any decisions, so they are necessarily secondary to the primary mandate – to make the owners money.

Of course, someone needs to buy that battery. That’s why Henry Ford decided that maybe the local community ought not to be entirely destitute, and decided to pay his workers a living wage. Talk about a rock bottom moment when capitalism is forced to take care of its workers because its contradictions have gotten to the point where no one has any money except for the ownership class who already get their Model Ts at the corporate rate.

This accident is perpendicular to the road, without an apparent intersection. This must have been before drunk driving laws were a thing.

Luckily for capitalism, it gets to have its cake and eat it too! What if there could be a middle class to buy all the random garbage we keep producing at a planetary expunging rate, and also a class of people that we could mercilessly exploit for profit? Enter racism, stage left.

What if we could move labour to countries of colour, murderously exploit the people there with low wages and inhumane working conditions, and then sell that shit back to white people? Seems like the best of both worlds! We can even utilize dog whistles like saying that these foreigners are taking the jobs of white people, and then the white people here will get angry at them coloured folks rather than the system that makes this method of doing business the most profitable! Remember how Asians took all our manufacturing jobs? They took them. It’s not that corporations moved their operations to where labour is cheaper and has fewer safety regulations, they took them. If we want those jobs back, we have to lower our OWN wages and eliminate our OWN safety regulations! That’s harder to pitch (though they will try!) so capitalists will keep killing Asian people, either by suicide or by explosion, just because the people buying the products made by these dying Asians do not give a single fuck – because, perhaps you’ve noticed the theme, of carefully manufactured racism.

If things are bad, it’s not because of anything we’re doing, it’s because of those funny looking people over there!

Radical Adam Smith fanatic Noam Chomsky argues that capital crossing borders under the guise of corporate personhood, with intra-corporate “trade” crossing the Mexican border unperturbed by any wall, reveals the hypocrisy of this ideology. There is unanimous political agreement that capital ought to be able to cross any border to maximize this exploitative phenomenon. The lithium ought to go to where it is cheapest to manufacture into batteries, and so rich countries need “free trade” deals with poorer countries in order to have the absolute minimal amount of value-added to their product before they sell it. But human persons can’t cross the border; they are told, “Do not come.” It’s equally unanimous. I mean, they do actually want you to come – who else is going to clean toilets on the cheap? They just want you to be desperate. The less value as a person you have, the more worth you have to capitalism. Republicans know that a wall won’t stop desperate people, they just want them to be that much more desperate so that they will complain less about the conditions of their exploitative labour. Or compete with white folks who will then have to accept worse conditions in competition with these desperate migrants and refugees! Wouldn’t it be wild if we convinced those white folks that this was the fault of the family running away from a cartel-backed death squad instead of seeing them as allies against those who would exploit them both? Wouldn’t it be absolutely wild? Such a group would likely fixate on culture war issues like the threats of race and immigration, pedophiles within the LGBT community, and the depiction of women in superhero movies while the policies they implement would focus on tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations, anything to make their followers myopically fixate on a hated Other. Surely such tactics would be so obvious that they would never be considered a serious organization.

I’m clearly hilariously satirizing the Republican party, but the Democrats aren’t much better. Welfare capitalism is at its core a strategy to ensure that those on the bottom rungs are just comfortable enough that they don’t rebel against the system that determines their lot. It’s the Henry Ford version of capitalism – adding a bit of seasoning to the scraps so that the poors have just enough to still participate within capitalism. Liberals are still very capitalistic, but the Right will still misname welfare spending as socialist because irrespective of how capitalistic it remains, they recognize the anti-capitalist nature of acknowledging basic human rights.

If we admit that we don’t want human beings to die, they might actually thrive and then demand even more rights like decent wages or living conditions! Better to dehumanize them to the point where their deaths are actively sought.

In theory, a free market would require the free mobility of labour equivalent to the free mobility of capital to ensure the invisible hand is determined by market forces appropriately, but because capitalism utilizes racism to maximize the profit motive, we get the Chinese Head Tax and all sorts of other racisms to keep racialized workers desperate enough to accept poor wages. I almost wrote “slave wages” there! Haha that would have been a goof! That would allude that capitalism has been relying on racist machinations for much longer than globalization has been around! I mean, is slavery an obvious example that I didn’t even touch on that highlights the blatant exploitation of a racialized class labouring for the profits of a rich, white minority? Have capitalists been using racism since slavery ended to divide a diversity of workers against their natural class solidarity? The answer, of course, is yes.


Deep breaths.

I mean… if a business was structured in such a way that there was no hierarchy and instead functioned democratically… that kind of a horizontal system would no longer require a necessarily exploited group! I mean, it wouldn’t be capitalist because businesses would be collectively owned instead of privately, but private ownership of the means of production is… kinda racist. It’s not that everything is racist, just the things that propagate capitalism are racist! Mystery solved!

Imagine if the Nazis won the second World War. They lay claim to several African countries, in addition to the European ones they had already blitzed the krieg out of, and planted the Nazi flag in perpetuity. Adolf Hitler, not one to give up power easily, decides to leave the rule of the Nazi party to his children, and his children’s children. The Nazis govern over a solid percentage of the globe, and while those similar enough to an Aryan complexion do okay, the Indigenous populations, racialized populations, and of course the remaining Jews and gypsies are relegated to ghettos to continue to wallow in poverty and oppression. While the direct influence of the Nazi party might wane over time, the influence of its imperialism, genocide, and white supremacy would linger, infecting the cultures of its descendants. Now let’s imagine the great-granddaughter of Adolf, Elizabeth Hitler, was the head of the Nazi party, and she died as a sweet, old woman. Not in a bunker in glorious suicide, but of old age, mere days after performing her duties in on-going Nazi ceremonies.

Artist’s rendition

Would it be appropriate to disparage the good name of Elizabeth Hitler upon her death? Her family mourns her, as all families do, and by all accounts, she was a graceful, dignified Nazi who performed her duties well. In our universe, even making reference to the name Hitler or Nazi is a slur. Those most ideologically similar to the Nazis even reject the term, preferring Western Chauvinists or other such nonsense, to avoid the negative connotation of the Nazi party and their unequivocally evil deeds. Elizabeth Hitler could and should never shed the shame of her surname, so long as the legacy of the Nazi party remained legitimate. And yet the Windsors bear no similar shame.

Am I falling into the Godwin trap? We have collectively agreed that a Nazi comparison is ill-equipped to win arguments because so few tragedies bear commonality to the systematic genocide of six million Jews. If only there were a comparable genocide meted out against a demographic the British Crown considered sub-human, my argument would be saved! Given that I’m a white man whose ancestors settled in a land that wasn’t always bustling with white folks, I think there just might be something there.

It doesn’t count as genocide if you remember it as a gift!

According to some estimates, between 1492 and 1900, approximately 175 million Indigenous people were killed by colonial forces in the Western hemisphere. While the Spanish and Portuguese are certainly responsible for their fair share, I think given the massive Indigenous genocide, it’s fair to make a comparison between the British Empire and the Nazis. Now, it’s hard to say how many the Nazis would have killed if they had 400 years to get all the genocides out of their system, but it’s also hard to say how many the British would have killed if they had the industrial tools the relatively modern Nazi party had at their disposal too. If systematic genocide is the prerequisite for a Nazi comparison, the House of Windsor ought morally to be an equivalent slur to the House of Hitler.

I’m hoping my comparisons have conveyed that there is never an inappropriate time to disparage a royal, since the term “royal” ought to be an insult in and of itself. Monarchy apologists really should be finding euphemisms to hide their ideology similar to our wily “Western Chauvinists”. In addition, while any time is a good time to disrespect the Queen, her death makes it even more appropriate to get nasty about the monarchy because death is the only form of accountability available under a monarchic system.

I’m not a monarchist! I’m a Windsor Enjoyer

Donald Trump infamously stated that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes. Given he could instigate a failed coup and not lose any votes, I think he’s probably right. Then Ron DeSantis would throw a hand grenade into a school bus just to ride on his coattails. The thing is, Trump doesn’t need to lose votes when his supporters are the minority; Trump lost the election, despite all of the hullabaloo. In a Monarchy, the Queen could shoot someone on the London equivalent of Fifth Avenue, her popularity could plummet to zero, and she would still remain in power. That’s the reality of a dictatorship. The only way to get rid of a monarch is either through a violent coup or revolution, or to wait for them to die on their own.

Death is the only opportunity for change in a monarchy outside of the guillotine… which I guess is also death. It’s even illegal in the UK to imagine getting rid of the Queen, which, while practically irrelevant for the entirety of the Queen’s life, is now back to being relevant as those publicly questioning the legitimacy of King Charles are being arrested for it. While I doubt the republican repression will last, its enforcement during this vulnerable transition of power is telling.

Charles is an old guy. He won’t be king for as long as Elizabeth. When he dies, I hope many more of us will find it in our hearts to be a bit more rude over it. And keep being rude over it, until the legitimacy of the British Empire and its symbols get the recognition they deserve.

Long may he reign

Post-Script: I do not give a single fuck if any of you Windsor-Enjoyers out there point out that different Houses of Lords had different surnames throughout the British Empire. I’m trying to keep my metaphors simple. Chill your balls.

The Queen is dead. Long live the King. The monarchy must endure because reasons.

The Queen is fondly eulogized by continents of people because she was symbolically connected to so many of them. Not for anything in particular she did; she is remembered for her grace, dignity, etc. all the things that can’t actually be pointed to. She’s a celebrity, famous for being famous. Like if Paris Hilton had a colonial empire, but for whatever reason, was mourned like Robin Williams.

You might gather by my tone that I am a republican, in the European sense of the word, with no apparent shame in demeaning the recently deceased. But this is no ordinary death, it is the death of a dictator. An autocrat by any other name would smell as sweet. I would be just as sardonic over the death of Vladimir Putin, I assure you. However, for the sake of argument, let’s say she was just a sweet old lady, and all those stories about racism are irrelevant. A benevolent Queen, a loving shepherd tending to her flock.

Don’t worry baby, you know I always treat you right!

There are a surprising number of people who want to believe in the benevolent dictator. The millions of Trump supporters hoping to overthrow democracy to install their glorious leader see him as benevolent to their interests, at least, apathetic to the interests of everyone else. But even on the left, there exists among some the wish for a politician who could get into power and just ram through environmental protections irrespective of lobbyist interference or whiny pipeline apologists. The world is dying, and the efficiency of a single-minded focus to overrule the profit-driven oil and gas industries and enforce measures to ensure our existential survival is quite seductive. And honestly pretty logical too, since accommodating the bad faith actors and those with suicidal profit motives may mean we don’t make it as a species given our limited timeframe. A benevolent dictator also means we don’t have to worry about these problems because we’ve got absolute power taking care of things for us – it’s the allure of a kind and caring god, answering our prayers, and abdicating us of any responsibility.

The problem with autocracy is that there’s just one ruler with absolute power. And despite millennia of precedent, we won’t assume that absolute power is going to corrupt our benevolent dictator because benevolence is right there in the name. Our hypothetical framework does not extend to advisors, sycophants, and other surrounding officials, however. Even a dictator with good intentions is still open to corrupting influences, especially if our ruler is siloed away in some government office or palace or whatever era you want to place our hypothetical. People are going to seek to gain from that absolute power, and it’s beyond even the naivety of those who believe in benevolent dictators to suggest that they will all bear equal levels of benevolence to our ruler. With an institution of absolute power, coups are inevitable, and benevolence does not provide immunity from harm.

Caesar counts as a benevolent dictator, right?

Let’s indulge that naivety and suggest that our wise ruler is incorruptible, impervious to influence, and their aristocrats or children don’t think to overthrow them. Our autocrat, however close to a god their champions want them to be, is not omniscient. Benevolence is a mere disposition, and while there requires a degree of wisdom to impose philanthropic decrees, being one person limits our dictator in what they can possibly be philanthropic about. Our environmental autocrat from earlier may have spent their life studying environmental engineering to determine what practical solutions are necessary to reverse climate change, but ultimately that means that they’re pretty ignorant in a lot of other areas. What do they know of labour relations, racial equity, First Nations sovereignty, prison and police reform (or abolition), and all those other things our leftist dreamers might want from a benevolent dictator? No matter how benevolent or wise, it’s impossible for one person to know enough about everything to be benevolent toward every facet of society.

Along similar lines, our ruler is going to come from a certain location that is going to influence the way they see the world. Our dictator will necessarily come from a culture, and from this, will necessarily have an in-group. This doesn’t imply that our dictator will be malevolent toward the out-group, we’ve established our parameters forcing them otherwise, but it does imply they will have biases and blind spots. That’s why people love Trump: he shares and reinforces their biases, so they’re not worried about a tyranny with him at the helm, blind spots be damned. But even our benevolent dictator won’t be able to act on things alien to them, leaving the out-group at a disadvantage in reaping the benefits of their lord’s benevolence.

It might be argued that our benevolent dictator would delegate in arenas where they lack the expertise or background to be effective rulers. However, that leads us back to our original problem: we can’t extend benevolence indefinitely, nor can we assume that our autocrat would have the wisdom to appoint appropriate delegates to the right position. Sycophants gonna sycophant, after all. If we allow other factors to determine how these people become appointed, then our dictator is no longer such, and the hypothetical fails.

I’m sure giving a German absolute power has no possibility of backfiring!

Let’s indulge in comatose levels of naivety and suggest that everything up until this point is irrelevant, and our dictator is righteous enough to avoid influence, knowledgeable enough to implement policy across all fields, and is connected to their people enough to avoid bias and blind spots. An omnipotent leader who is all-good, all-knowing, and ever-present across their realm. I’ve essentially described God, not-so-subtly alluding to the fictitious nature of our hypothetical dictator. However, even if all of these things were miraculously true, our divine dictator has one fatal flaw: mortality. Even Jesus Christ died on the cross, leaving His rule to the fallible.

Constructing an institution of absolute power means that even if such a fantasy as a benevolent dictator came to life like Geppetto’s marionette, they too would then die, leaving in place a vacuum which would need to be filled. Monarchs typically leave their power to their progeny, just as the British kingdom will inevitably pass to Elizabeth’s children once Charles kicks the bucket. Can you imagine if the next in line was Jeffrey Epstein’s buddy Andrew rather than William? Queen Elizabeth could have been the best fucking monarch the world had ever seen, but it means nothing if her successor pisses it all away.

Who would want a King that couldn’t sweat?

I like to think of the great Shah Akbar, the third Mughal ruler of India. He unified the subcontinent, was loved by non-Muslims and Muslims alike for his fair accommodation to diversity, and invested in art and culture to create a peaceful, prosperous land. He was succeeded by his son, Jahangir, who was fine, but the cracks began to form as he had to stave off his own son who attempted a coup against him. He had similar interests in art and culture to his father, but he didn’t have the same authority. Next up was a non-coup son, who became Shah Jahan. He started being a bit more militaristic, expanding the empire – up to you whether you think it’s still benevolent to violently seize and annex new territory. He’s the guy who commissioned the Taj Mahal for his favourite dead wife, so he left behind some pretty architecture at least, but it does seem like we’re starting to lose track of the citizenry here.

The next son is Aurangzeb, who basically ignored his father’s wishes of who would succeed next, and took leadership by force, imprisoning his father in the process. He was very militaristic, and expanded the Mughal empire to its largest point. Aurangzeb was a strict Muslim, and demolished a bunch of Hindu temples during his reign, abandoning all pretenses of tolerance once proudly exhibited by his great-grandfather. His militarism drove the empire to bankruptcy, and he didn’t name a successor so his sons fought it out amongst themselves: a civil war that effectively cemented the downfall of the Mughal dynasty.

He has a bird! What could possibly go wrong?

When looking at those with power, we must keep in mind the institutions that legitimize them. The Queen no longer governs in the traditional sense, ruling now only symbolically, but still: a symbol of what? What does her elegance and grace mean to the people of India or Palestine, to the Indigenous peoples of British colonies? Hell, what does it mean to the working classes of England who derive no benefit from, or indeed are actively harmed by, an institution of incestuous nepotism? We’ve romanticized Kings and Queens, knights and princesses, to the point where the fiction feels more real than the reality. The best kind of power is the one that is diffused as thinly as possible among those who are impacted by its influence. Pretending a dictator can be benevolent ignores the tyranny inherent in the institution.

The nicest thing one can say about Queen Elizabeth is that she existed as a benign tumor. The cancer remained dormant. How long do we have to wait before it begins to metastasize? Even if we want a god to save us from ourselves, such a thing is impossible. God is dead; the Queen is dead. Maybe we should start taking responsibility.