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What are we reading?

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godardian

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Reply #840 on: April 28, 2006, 08:30:01 PM
In Defense of Global Capitalism

how does it defend sweatshops? i'm just curious.


It doesn't...and why would it?


Because without "free trade," "free international exploitation" of that sort would not exist. I'm not saying that people haven't always exploited people, but it seems to some of us that global capitalism unfettered by the proper regulations and safety nets has the unfortunate side effect of making perpetual mutual expoitation the official and unquestioned matter of course.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.


edison

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Reply #841 on: April 30, 2006, 10:00:00 PM


hedwig

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Reply #842 on: May 10, 2006, 08:05:15 PM
still reading
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
goes way beyond any other school-required reading i've known. way beyond. i feel like i should revisit Great Expectations (which i may have misunderstood when it bored the hell out of me a few years ago) to see if it's filled with the same withering insight, inspired description*, and gotdamn wicked tragedy as this masterpiece.

*the long descriptive passages were partially what bored me so much about great expectations. Tale of Two has made me realize what i guess is so revered about chuck's descriptive writing: it isn't meant simply to create a "mental image" of what he's describing, he manages to aim for something within his characters and settings by describing their exterior appearances. a several-page description of a throng of aristocratic party guests--their attire, their food, conversations--quickly becomes a scathing indictment of upper class haughtiness and complacency, or somethin. beautiful. i also didn't feel such a strong dramatic arc in great expectations, certainly nothing close to the increasingly tragic story told in a tale of two cities.

has anyone seen the film adaptations? are any of them, like, good.


Neil

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Reply #843 on: May 11, 2006, 11:57:44 AM


Albert Camus =  :bravo:
it's not the wrench, it's the plumber.


godardian

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Reply #844 on: May 11, 2006, 12:57:51 PM


...which I've never read before (I think 6th or 7th grade is about the right time to read this, though it's still engaging and well-written; it's just a tad simplistic and anodyne for an adult reader) and




...which I plan to follow with a revisitation of Capote. My own (very incomplete) little mid-20th-century American Lit course....
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.


Gold Trumpet

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Reply #845 on: May 11, 2006, 05:18:26 PM
I read often and I read a variety of books. I just post here once every 6 months. My contribution this time....


Just finishing:


Going to start immediately afterward:


godardian

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Reply #846 on: May 11, 2006, 11:55:29 PM
Those will both be hard to beat for pleasure reading, Lucid. Also try One Hundred Years of Solitude; it's just as slightly overexposed as Cholera is slightly underexposed, but well worth a read all the same.

Congrats on your matriculation!!
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.


grand theft sparrow

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Reply #847 on: May 12, 2006, 08:23:36 AM


Absolutely brilliant so far!† I can't believe it's taken me this long to finally pick it up.


eward

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Reply #848 on: May 13, 2006, 01:05:21 AM
Everyone has a heart and it's calling for something
And we're all so sick and tired of seeing things as they are...


kotte

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Reply #849 on: May 16, 2006, 08:13:23 AM
In Defense of Global Capitalism

how does it defend sweatshops? i'm just curious.


It doesn't...and why would it?


Because without "free trade," "free international exploitation" of that sort would not exist. I'm not saying that people haven't always exploited people, but it seems to some of us that global capitalism unfettered by the proper regulations and safety nets has the unfortunate side effect of making perpetual mutual expoitation the official and unquestioned matter of course.

250 million children between the age of 5-14 work. 70 % work in agriculture which have nothing to do with international business and trade. That leaves 10-15 children working in the export industry.

Sweatshops and child labor are awful things but the fact is that the number of children working is decreasing with every year. Does it still exist? Yes, but what we are doing is judging The Third World by our own standards and values. Families are depending on their children bringing home money for their survival. In most cases the alternative isnít a happy easy childhood but starvation, prostitution and violence. The truth in this is confirmed by Save the Children who followed up on a village in Bangladesh that banned child labor, a result of the American congress decision to forbid import of goods from countries with child labor. Most of the children wound up in prostitution or jobs considerably more dangerous or dead. When western countries like the US or the European Union demand on-the-spot change in salaries and working conditions if we are to collaborate with them, we are not encouraging change but in fact hindering it. History shows that increasing trade and increasing conditions for workers goes hand in hand.
Sweden had lots of children working on farms or in factories just 200 years ago. What would have happened if other countries stopped doing business with it? Would Sweden have developed into one of the richest and most prosperous in the world?


godardian

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Reply #850 on: May 16, 2006, 09:05:59 AM
In Defense of Global Capitalism

how does it defend sweatshops? i'm just curious.


It doesn't...and why would it?


Because without "free trade," "free international exploitation" of that sort would not exist. I'm not saying that people haven't always exploited people, but it seems to some of us that global capitalism unfettered by the proper regulations and safety nets has the unfortunate side effect of making perpetual mutual expoitation the official and unquestioned matter of course.

250 million children between the age of 5-14 work. 70 % work in agriculture which have nothing to do with international business and trade. That leaves 10-15 children working in the export industry.

Sweatshops and child labor are awful things but the fact is that the number of children working is decreasing with every year. Does it still exist? Yes, but what we are doing is judging The Third World by our own standards and values. Families are depending on their children bringing home money for their survival. In most cases the alternative isnít a happy easy childhood but starvation, prostitution and violence. The truth in this is confirmed by Save the Children who followed up on a village in Bangladesh that banned child labor, a result of the American congress decision to forbid import of goods from countries with child labor. Most of the children wound up in prostitution or jobs considerably more dangerous or dead. When western countries like the US or the European Union demand on-the-spot change in salaries and working conditions if we are to collaborate with them, we are not encouraging change but in fact hindering it. History shows that increasing trade and increasing conditions for workers goes hand in hand.
Sweden had lots of children working on farms or in factories just 200 years ago. What would have happened if other countries stopped doing business with it? Would Sweden have developed into one of the richest and most prosperous in the world?


First, unless all those children are working in agriculture for their families or for products meant to be consumed only locally (which seems very unlikely to me--that's a LOT of children), it doesn't exactly have "nothing to do" with capitalism.

Secondly, if it's true that poor children in poor countries are so dependent on the Western world that when our jobs leave, they're forced into prostitution or death, then we need to take that problem a LOT more seriously than just leaving it up to the profit-driven whims of capitalism to solve.

Capitalism as a philosophy and as a system cannot be relied upon to put people ahead of profit, so the bottom line for me is that I can't understand why--especially at this moment in history!!--anyone would make the effort to defend capitalism unless they had some ulterior motive. It hardly needs defending; it's rampant and unstoppable. What needs defending is the idea that if capitalism is here to stay and will be the dominant ideology, then it MUST be mitigated by some form of socialism, as it is in some ways in most "capitalist" countries. Actual capitalism unleavened by some degree of socialism would be sheer, inhumane chaos--economically and socially unbearable for the vast majority of people.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.


kotte

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Reply #851 on: May 16, 2006, 10:27:56 AM
There's a difference between capitalism and a neo-capitalism.
Capitalism can exist with a careful socialist mindset.

But there's a broader perspective the anti-globalization movement, eg Attac, is missing completely.
Sweatshops are a necessary steppingstone towards industrialization, as it has been for us in wealthy countries.

First, unless all those children are working in agriculture for their families or for products meant to be consumed only locally (which seems very unlikely to me--that's a LOT of children), it doesn't exactly have "nothing to do" with capitalism.

The thing is, it's actually true. We give these undeveloped countries extremely high tarriffs on agricultural products which disables them to compete with us on the same terms. What market is there left to compete in? The local market...but not even there, thanks to taxpayers in the west subsidizing wheet...when there is absolutely no need for it. We drive african farmers out of business at their local market.


polkablues

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Reply #852 on: May 16, 2006, 12:55:08 PM
Sweatshops are a necessary steppingstone towards industrialization, as it has been for us in wealthy countries.

Wow.  While you're at it, why not suggest that third-world countries give slavery a try?  After all, it was instrumental in the growth of the US economy in its first hundred years.  Also, did you know that eating babies is a surefire method of population control?

Sweatshops are not a "necessary steppingstone" towards anything except dehumanization and misery.  They're a steppingstone for a handful of industrialists to put their boots on the necks of the working class.  It wasn't until workers began to unionize in the US that the middle class began to thrive and the country became truly prosperous.
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ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ

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Reply #853 on: May 16, 2006, 12:59:42 PM
If indeed sweatshops are a necessary stepping stone towards industrialization, perhaps we shouldn't be analyzing the need for sweatshops, but the need for industrialization.
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Reply #854 on: May 16, 2006, 01:44:09 PM
hahah, goddamn, i thought kotte had run out of crazy shit to say!

"sweatshops are a necessary stepping stone towards industrialization" :bravo:
under the paving stones.