"It makes little sense to expect our homeownership rates to rebound to what they were before the housing crisis. We need to accept the fact that the housing system we have today and will have tomorrow will have to be different from the one we had in the past."

The ‘Great Reset,’ Continued (via thisiscitylab)

Forcing Kids To Stick To Gender Roles Can Actually Be Harmful To Their Health

"Not only the young, but those who feel powerless over their own lives know what it is like not to make a difference on anyone or anything. The poor know it only too well, and we women have known it since we were little girls. The most insidious part of the conditioning process, I realize now, was that we have been trained not to expect a response in ways that mattered. We may be listened to and responded to with placating words and gestures, but our psychological mind set has already told us time and again that we were born into a ready-made world into which we must fit ourselves, and that many of us do it very well."

— Mitsuye Yamada, “Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster:  Reflections of an Asian American Woman,” This Bridge Called My Back (1981)

"Marx understood that the value of anything came from the hands of the maker. Marx of the Jews, tribal people of the desert, Marx the tribal man understood that nothing personal or individual mattered because no individual could survive without others. Generation after generation, individuals were born, then after eighty years, disappeared into dust, but in the stories, the people lived on in the imaginations and hearts their descendants. Wherever their stories were told, the spirits of the ancestors were present and their power was alive.

Marx, tribal man and storyteller; Marx with his primitive devotion to the workers’ stories. No wonder the Europeans had hated him! Marx had gathered official government reports of the suffering of English factory workers the way a tribal shaman might have, feverishly working to bring together a powerful, even magical, assembly of stories. In the repetition of the workers’ stories lay great power; workers must never forget the stories of other workers. The people did not struggle alone. Marx, more tribal Jew than European, instinctively knew the stories, or “history,” accumulated momentum and power. No factory inspector’s “official report” could whitewash the tears, blood, and sweat that glistened from the simple words of the narrative.

Marx had understood stories are alive with the energy words generate. Word by word, the stories of suffering, injury, and death had transformed the present moment, seizing listeners’ or readers’ imaginations so that for an instant, they were present and felt the suffering of sisters and brothers long past. The words of the stories filled rooms with an immense energy that aroused the living with fierce passion and determination for justice. Marx wrote about babies dosed with opium while mothers labored sixteen hours in silk factories; Marx wrote with the secret anguish of a father unable to provide enough food or medicine. When Marx wrote about the little children working under huge spinning machines that regularly mangled and killed them, Marx had already seen Death prowling outside his door, hungry for his own three children. In his feverish work with the stories of shrunken, yellowed infants, and the mangled limbs of children, Marx had been working desperately to seize the story of each child-victim and turn the story away from the brutal endings the coroners and factory inspectors used to write for the children of the poor. His own children were slowly dying from cold, lack of food, and medicine; yet day after day, Marx had returned to official reports in the British Museum. Wage-earning might have saved Marx’s children, but tribal man and storyteller, Marx had sacrificed the lives of his own beloved children to gather the stories of all the children starved and mangled. He had sensed the great power these stories had— power to move millions of people."

Almanac of the Dead, Leslie Marmon Silko

The context is an indigenous woman located on what is basically a reservation in Mexico that’s about to rise up to try to take back their land is being asked by people to explain why she is so devoted to Marx. People in her tribe are understandably suspicious of all European value systems and scared of being betrayed by one of their own, so she’s trying to explain Marx to them in a way that they can understand given that most of them have only lived on that reservation in utter poverty and have only heard what missionaries told them. 

Throughout the novel she encounters this white, cuban grossly sexist shitty revolutionary who is also viciously racist against indigenous people (like, planning to kill them because they’re too ‘tribalist’ ‘backward’) and constantly pisses him off because she has a better grasp of marx even tho he’s educated and she isn’t. She has his ass executed.

(via obsidian-always)

"When activists claim that poor black and brown communities must not defend themselves against racist attacks or confront the state, including using illegal or “violent” means, they typically advocate instead the performance of an image of legitimate victimhood for white middle class consumption. The activities of marginalized groups are barely recognized unless they perform the role of peaceful and quaint ethnics who by nature cannot confront power on their own. Contemporary anti-oppression politics constantly reproduces stereotypes about the passivity and powerlessness of these populations, when in fact it is precisely people from these groups — poor women of color defending their right to land and housing, trans street workers fighting back against murder and violence, black, brown, and Asian American militant struggles against white supremacist attacks — who have waged the most powerful and successfully militant uprisings in American history. We refuse a politics which infantilizes us and people who look like us, and which continually paints nonwhite and/or nonmale demographics as helpless, vulnerable, and incapable of fighting for our own liberation. When activists argue that power “belongs in the hands of the most oppressed,” it is clear that their primary audience for these appeals can only be liberal white activists, and that they understand power as something which is granted or bestowed by the powerful. Appeals to white benevolence to let people of color “lead political struggles” assumes that white activists can somehow relinquish their privilege and legitimacy to oppressed communities and that these communities cannot act and take power for themselves."

Anti-Oppression Activism, the Politics of Safety, and State Co-optation

"In California some of the most racist policies and “reforms” in recent history have been advanced by politicians of color. We are not interested in increasing racial, gender, and sexual diversity within existing hierarchies of power – within government, police forces, or in the boardrooms of corporate America. When police departments and municipal governments can boast of their diversity and multicultural credentials, we know that there needs to be a radical alternative to this politics of “inclusion.” Oakland is perhaps one of the most glaring examples of how people of color have not just participated in but in many instances led – as mayors, police chiefs, and city council members – the assault on poor and working class black and brown populations. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan speaks the language of social justice activism and civil rights but her political career in city government clearly depends upon satisfying right-wing downtown business interests, corrupt real estate speculators, and a bloated and notoriously brutal police force.

There is no more depressing cautionary tale of the fate of 1960s-era politics of “changing the state from within” than the career of Oakland Mayor Quan. Quan fought for the creation of an Ethnic Studies program at UC Berkeley in 1969, but in 2011 penned a letter to Occupy Oakland listing an array of state-approved social justice nonprofits in order to justify mass arrests and a police crackdown on protesters attempting to establish a community center and free clinic in a long abandoned city owned property. In response to a season of strikes, anti-police brutality marches, and repeated port shutdowns in response to police assaults, the state offered two choices: either the nonprofits, or the police. Quan and other municipal politicians are part of a state apparatus that is rapidly increasing its reliance upon militarized policing to control an ‘unruly’ population, especially poor people of color in urban areas. Policing is fast becoming the paradigm for government in general."

Anti-Oppression Activism, the Politics of Safety, and State Co-optation

"Capitalism these last two hundred years has produced, through its dominant form of urbanisation, not only a ‘second nature’ of built environments…but also an urbanised human nature, endowed with a very specific sense of time, space and money as resources of social power and with sophisticated abilities and strategies to win back from one corner of urban life what may be lost in another."

David Harvey (1985)

"What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war; petrol is much more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict. Thus when war is waged it is for the purpose of safe-guarding or increasing one’s capacity to make war. International politics are wholly involved in this vicious cycle. What is called national prestige consists in behaving always in such a way as to demoralize other nations by giving them the impression that, if it comes to war, one would certainly defeat them."

— Simone Weil, “The Power of Words” (1937)

"Theorizing the city is a necessary part of understanding the changing postindustrial, advanced capitalist, postmodern moment in which we live. The city as a site of everyday practice provides valuable insights into the linkages of macroprocesses with the texture and fabric of human experience."

Setha LowThe Anthropology of Cities: Imagining and Theorizing the City (1996)

Farming left us better fed but not necessarily better led – how despots arose with agriculture

"We are no longer in a state of growth; we are in a state of excess. We are living in a society of excrescence. The boil is growing out of control, recklessly at cross purposes with itself, its impacts multiplying as the causes disintegrate."

Baudrillard

"Philosopher and sociologist who blurred the boundaries between reality and simulation"

The Guardian

"Is the worker in control of the tool or is the tool in control of the worker? Marx suggests that the social imprisonment of workers in a particular specialization within the division of labor puts them in a position of being so connected to their specialized tools that they lose their freedom."

— David Harvey, A Companion to Marx’s Capital, pg 177 (via kinkshamingdesade)