"A [cooperative] society needs human beings...full of passion and enthusiasm for the general well-being, full of...sympathy for his fellow human beings...."
-- Rosa Luxemburg, From The Socialisation of Society
It is in the small daily activity, some might say the minutuea of daily life, that the flaws, failings, omissions, gaps, inadequacies, inefficiencies, dissatisfactions, exasperations, and indeed sometimes tragedies of capitalism can often be most discernably seen. Most of us are too busy to focus on these failings; habit, and the grinding need to move on with the day obstruct any impulse to focus on them. However, I'd recommend that you do begin to focus on them, in order to begin to understand deeply, completely, and clearly how and why capitalism is the social, economic, and indeed existential problem of our age, and indeed the actual problem in your own life. Become, as the Buddhists advise, "mindful" of exactly what you experience throughout each day in every dimension of your life, at the hands of corporations and indeed companies of all kinds and sizes. As of the creation of this page, August 10, 2012, I will begin to briefly chronicle my own experiences, thereof.
As a blog, these accounts will necessarily be brief, casually written, and generally lacking formal documentation. They will not, and indeed are not intended to provide a full treatment of the given topic. As my, blog, however, these accounts will still be as honest and accurate as possible.
August 25, 2012
Would you like some bullets with that?
The United States has seen no less than four major, nationally-reported shootings within the past two weeks.
The many and varied stresses of capitalism produce such behavior. People don't know how to express themselves productively.
August 24, 2012
The economics of the Q-Tip.
As a child and in years past the stick portion of a Q-tip was made of wood. For some years, however, it has been emade of a relatively soft paper material. This latter material is dangerous, as it is subject to bending while in use, reducing control while the tip of the Q-tip is in very close proximity to critical areas of the body easily subject to injury, such as the ear paths leading to the inner ear, if not the inner ear, itself.
Why the change in materials? Likely for the same reason that the metal products of yesteryear are the plastic products of today: cost. The ruling class pays less for plastic than metal. In the case of Q-Tips, safety might also play a role: the manufacturers may feel that if someone inserts the Q-Tip into their inner ear, which is a proscribed use, there is less chance of injury with a soft stick.
Even given such a reason, however, if it exists, it likely exists along with, not instead of, the cost consideration. Moreover, I'd wonder whether the ruling class concern for our safety finds its root in morality, or money, which is to say, fear of lawsuits.
August 10, 2012
Domino's gets it wrong--again.
After much angst I decided to order a pizza from my local NJ Domino's outlet last night. I ordered the pie about five minutes to closing, asking if it was too late to order a pie for delivery. The order-taker gave no indication whatsoever that the late hour was a problem. Indeed, she, an assistant manager there, was friendly and accommodating enough; the problem is, no matter how friendly and accommodating, this Domino's location can't seem to get the product right. They are in perpetual pie replacement (PPM) mode for me.
Upon attempting to pull a slice or two from the pie, the slices broke in the middle! Another slices from this pie would also break as the pie was consumed, making a total of three slices. The problem appeared to be that the center of the pie had stuck to the box. Why, I don't know. Professional pizzamaking is not my area of expertise- -but it's supposed to be theirs.
I actually ended up eating some of this pie with a fork! Also, after eating about six slices, the salt in the pie starting getting to me; the pie was too salty. And this was without the garlic sprinkled on the crust, which I had them withhold.
Here are actual photographs of this pie, taken with my Kodak PlayTouch camcorder:
The first two slices that broke.
Same two slices. Yup, definitely Domino's.
The other slice that broke. The one next to it was soggy.
Here's another recent pie from this Domino's location, ordered by me about three or four weeks ago. This is how it was delivered:
As you can see, the pie and box are in intimate contact, apparently having decided to have an affair.
The causes for these problems? Such factors as teenagers doing the work, lack of staff, a rushed production environment, excess orders, and improper training or training reinforcement, all of which are characteristic of the normal operation of capitalism, given its pathologically strict and indeed contradictory mandate to keep costs as low as possible, while keeping sales as high as possible. A Cooperative Society, while still required to handle resources wisely, would have no such mandate, since the very purpose of this kind of society, one of its key or core objectives, is the rational, reasonable, safe, and indeed sensitive satisfaction of human need, including the need for a properly prepared pizza.
If more staff were needed, for example, more staff would be brought in; labor cost would simply not be a factor as it is under capitalism. Moreover, the point under a CS would be the provision of jobs for all, so bringing extra workers in would be a good thing, not a bad thing as under capitalism.
~ Advocating Economic & Personal Change ~
One Human Family