Tag Archives: sweatshop

Why I’m Not A Liberal

…and yeah, that’s from the point of me speaking as a rabid Marxist.

And speaking as a Marxist, this has always been a peeve of mine. With the way politics often gets portrayed, plenty of folks (both liberal and conservative alike) get the misconception that Socialism is just a ‘roided up version of Liberalism and Communism is just a ‘roided of up version of that, with the state getting more and more powerful, larger in size, and more invasive in scope as you progress along that line.

That’s absolutely not how it works, and while that picture’s wrong, I’m not really here today to correct that.

(Though just for the record, this’d be a more accurate picture of the political spectrum…)

I’ve been playing around with this post for a while now, and it’s coming from more than just a desire to clear up my own stance. I truly do think that of the two major forces in American politics and culture, Liberalism is actually the more insidious (I’m not saying that Conservatism is better, but it does seem a lot easier to confront). I’m writing not to just talk about why I’m not a liberal, but why I don’t think you should be one either.

That said, let’s bring up the obvious:

I’m not going to try to address all Liberalism- that’d be a tough task for a book, let alone some blog post. I’m not going to try to attack hypocrisy either, those accusations can always be dismissed with the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Instead, I’m going to try to hit what I think are the core flaws and paradoxes that the ideology rests on. Continue reading

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Re: Do Western Christians Want Martyrs? – Yes, They Do

Yesterday, CWR’s own Kat posted “Do Western Christians Want Martyrs?”, a short post questioning the motivations behind the recent outpouring of Western sympathy for the plight of Iraqi and Syrian Christians, currently being massacred by the forces of the terrorist group formerly known as ISIS. That post prompted the following comment: “[it] seems a bit sick to turn this into a critique of Christians or Christianity… what is it in you that wants to make this a critique of Christian hypocrisy?

Now I don’t think it was Kat’s intention to downplay the genocide in progress in the Levant and it certainly isn’t mine either. So why critique Christians?

Because Christians are guilty.

No, they’re not pulling the triggers or wielding the swords, but the actions of Western Christians have contributed not only to the slaughter of Iraqi and Chaldean believers, but the persecution, suffering, and misery of the church  all across the world. And even as Western Christians switch their profiles to the Arabic letter “nun” for “Nazarene”, the self same people continue to be part of the problem.

Let me show you a picture:

These are the first of the first. The oft-forgotten Christians of Palestine. The descendents of the very first followers of Christ. These people are literally Nazarenes.

Where is their defense? Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: Work

EVAN: Ladies, gentlemen, those who fall into neither category [I’ve been taking a course on gender], tonight Gordon and I will be talking about what most everyone in the world has to do to get by, and that is work.

As a topic it spun out organically from our conversation on naps and time, and it’s hard to discuss the hours in the day when such a large chunk of it is spent at one’s job.

GORDON: More specifically, it was through a general observation that too often, our work simply isn’t fulfilling.

This is certainly something we can all relate to; Evan and I in particular, having scrubbed down dorm toilets for minimum wage.

EVAN: Oh yes, the very high New York state minimum wage of $7.25.

GORDON: And yes, we were paid by the hour, meaning the better we were at our job, the less we made.

Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Hypocrisy

Before I begin, I believe I ought to clarify something.

In this post, I’m going to be addressing the issues of hardship and tragedy and our responses to both of these things as a culture. Naturally none of this is meant to rob any gravity from Friday’s events- pain is, as always, pain. Any and all criticism here is directed strictly at hypocrisy, not sorrow.

There is a scene in season 2 of AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead, in which one of the group’s children goes missing and the other is [accidentally] shot and badly injured- both of which are bad things even without the ongoing zombie apocalypse. After managing to stabilize the boy, his mother begins questioning whether or not her son would be better off dead, rather than going on living the horrific and nightmarish existence life had become. Her exact words went as follows:

Why do we want Carl to live in this world? To have this life? So he can see more people torn apart in front of him? So he can be hungry and scared for however long he has before he…

So he can run and run and run and run and- and even if he survives he winds up- just another animal who doesn’t know anything other than survive…

Now whether or not you’re familiar with the series, this scene will still probably get a reaction out of you. Horror, perhaps, at how vile life must be for a mother to suggest her son dying would be a better alternative. Pity, maybe, for a person so driven and desperate.

Or, if you’re like me, utter indignant rage.

Let’s take a look at that soliloquy again. What’s the criteria this person puts on a life so awful it might as not be lived? Constant hunger, constant fear, and exposure to violence. In other words, the life of the majority of men, women, and children on this planet since the dawn of time.

You heard the lady- might as well just keel over.

And what’s her description of people who live this life? Oh, right- animals.

“And a very merry **** you to you as well”

What really gets me is that this (almost certainly) wasn’t meant to portray Lori as the vicious, self-pitying hypocrite that she came across as. Someone- nay, a whole line of writers and editors and censors- let that whole speech slide on the basis that it’d portray the character as sympathetic and troubled. And it’s this twisted attitude towards life that I want to address.

Early in the summer, I wrote a post on the need to portray graphic violence in media– especially in regards to war. I argued that our distance from the conflicts the US was engaged in made war too easy to ignore. The lack of the presence of violence, or our understanding of the consequences, made it all cheap and trite. Really this problem exists not only with violence, but with every aspect of our alienated society. We love beef, but how many of us could actually kill a cow? I’m not talking about hunting one down using nothing but a smooth rock, I’m just talking about simply ending one’s life. Could you do it? If not, I submit that you shouldn’t have a right to eat beef or wear leather.

Take a look at this cartoon.

Hard to argue with that, huh? Just as you shouldn’t be able to eat meat if you’re unwilling to kill the animal, you really shouldn’t be able to buy clothes and shoes unless you are personally willing to oversee the sweatshops in which they’re made. One way or another, you shouldn’t be able to reap the benefits of something without being at least capable of getting your hands dirty- and nowhere does that apply more than perhaps our government.

You might be familiar with the famous scene from Fahrenheit 9/11, in which Michael Moore attempts to pass out army recruitment flyers to members of congress (not surprisingly, most duck the offer). These people who were more than willing to send other people’s kids out to die in the desert suddenly found themselves far less eager when in the same situation- one congressmen protesting that his son had kids of his own (after all, all soldiers are childless and single).

And before any liberal readers get too smug, you’re far from exempt either. After the tragic mass murder in Newtown on Friday, I came back from work to find a letter in my inbox from a progressive organization I’ve signed petitions with before. “Act now!” they cried, “Demand gun control!”. This from the same people who bombarded me with pleas to re-elect President Obama, author and owner of a freaking “kill list“, to say nothing of his administration’s shoot-first-and-suppress-questions-later policy with drone strikes, and the “operation fast and furious” debacle.

Now all of this is just to demonstrate the social pathology this culture is suffering from.It’s not that we’re involved in countless injustices (that’s all bad in and of itself, but it’s not the point right here)- it’s that we have the gall to act hurt, or shocked, or horrified. Injustice is not greater for having finally happened to you. Pain and suffering don’t intensify based on their proximity to you. If you won’t cry out over the violence overseas, what right do you have to cry out over the violence at home? What right does a person have to feel depressed about cyber-bullying when he’s wearing a shirt made by an eight year old?  If you shrug your shoulders, stick your hands in your pocket, and walk off whistling when you’re told about homelessness in India, what right do you have to complain about mortgage payments in Indiana? Let’s cut the narcissism, shall we?

Shame Day: Masculinists

Let’s be clear right here and now- I’m not talking about “masculinism” in the original “let’s recognize gender discrimination against men too” philosophy. No, I’m talking masculinism in its modern day sense: the general idea that women have somehow hijacked everything it means to be a man, and have either watered down everything manly, or made it socially unacceptable. This is the gripes of countless dads and uncles around the country at every kid on the team getting a medal given an intellectual motor.

That’s not to say that there are certain points which these guys aren’t correct on. In custody battles, the courts are almost certainly going to side with the mother on the basis that her gender somehow makes here a superior parent. That’s stupid. If a man were to make a pass at a female co-worker, the consequences would in all likelihood be more severe than if the positions were reversed. That’s unfair. A man striking a woman gets a visceral reaction out of us, a woman striking generally does not. That’s sexist.

Now promoting gender equality is perfectly fine. After all, when a person hits a person, that’s all that really matters. Gender (or race, creed, religion, etc.) don’t make the act any better or worse. But tragically, that positive element of the movement is mired down by all the psychotic and apologetically misogynistic madness that makes up the other 50%. Stuff like:

  • Equating circumcision with genital mutilation (or even wrongly declaring that women are exempt from any such practice)
  • Declaring the existence of a “war on men”
  • Complaining of the lack of existence of any day celebrating men
  • Complaining the women are somehow exempt from heavy, dangerous, and strenuous labor (again, what planet are these people living on?)
  • And countless other bat**** crazy claims of male victimization and persecution

Again, as stated above, there is a double standard, and while any inequality in the rules is obviously unfair there’s no way on earth we can possibly imagine that these offenses against men in any way stack up to the offenses against women. Is there female domestic abuse of males? There is. Is it as much as male domestic abuse against females? Not even remotely. Does that mean that one side is more right or wrong than the other? Of course not. The same basic logic applies to pretty much each and every one of the nutty gripes the masculinist movement brings against the supposedly woman-dominated world we’re trapped in. Other claims are quite simply false. The idea that women somehow have a “glass floor” protecting them from working physical labor or living in rough, dismal conditions is simply an utter lie. Women are disproportionately the majority in sweatshops around the world. Not two hours ago, I drove past a homeless woman on the street, and I saw another one the day before (although it could’ve been a hipster, I’m not entirely sure). Again, it’s true that men are sometimes treated unfairly on the basis of their gender, or subjected to a double standard. However, the degree to which men are persecuted and the degree to which women are persecuted are leagues apart.

That’s not to say that injustice to a man is any less unjust, but rather, when you’ve got a paper cut and the person in the emergency room with you is missing an arm, you should still apply a band-aid, just maybe without griping about it.