"Indeed the state of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but the most wretched are those who are toiling not even at their own preoccupations, but must regulate their sleep by another’s, and their walk by another’s pace, and obey orders in those freest of all things, loving and hating. If such people want to know how short their lives are, let them reflect how small a portion is their own."
—Seneca the younger, De Brevitate Vitæ (On the shortness of life)

Relevant to what Maymay has been posting about wage slavery as an extension of debt and property. Notice that Seneca is depicting this state of affairs as unnatural and taking it for granted that people would stop living this way, if they just “reflected” adequately on the foolishness of their arrangement. That aside, I think it’s also good proof that forced, money-based employment is not a prerequisite for civilization.

Tags: human batteries normalized abuse discourse



Animal welfare is the biggest bullshit ever.
Animal rights is the way to go. 
No ‘bigger cages’, no ‘free range’ or ‘organic’. It’s all part of the same exploitative system.
Animals are not products.
Animals have a right to live.
Animals are not ours to use or buy.

Human welfare is the biggest bullshit ever.

Human rights is the way to go.

No ‘bigger cages’, no ‘open borders’ or ‘higher wages’. It’s all part of the same exploitative system.
Humans are not ‘workers’.
Humans have a right to live.

Humans are not ours to use or buy.

Relevant to Maymay's observation that humans are animals. With a toxic superiority complex dating back to Aristotle. I forget to say that because it seems so completely obvious. But human liberation = animal liberation. These ideologies need to go together. Unquietpirate reblogged an excellent post explaining how that works. To wit:


As long as it is considered acceptable to ignore the interests of others based on such an arbitrary distinction [perceived humanness], it will always be possible to define and mold the hierarchy to include or exclude others based on the interests of those with the most power. In other words, the problem isn’t that some people mistakenly fall into a lower level of the hierarchy than they deserve, the problem is that the hierarchy exists.

And just to be clear, the distinction is arbitrary. Humans, after all, are animals. Because of this, humans often act and look like animals. If all it takes to have your interests become worthless is to be labelled as “animal”, then the only thing that those in power need to do in order exclude you from moral consideration is to point at the ways in which you are like an animal. And they are guaranteed to find them. This happens all of the time. It is why people in marginalized groups often become, understandably, upset when some vegans make comparisons between them and non human animals. They are well aware of how arbitrary and tenuous their classification as “human” is. And yet, on the other side, when trying to explain to vegans why the interests of animals shouldn’t matter, people are incapable of presenting a distinction that doesn’t also exclude some of the already most marginalized humans.

We cannot simply keep fighting to make sure that those who we have arbitrarily decided are deserving can get to and stay at the top of the hierarchy. As long as it is considered acceptable for the interests of anyone to be devalued and ignored, we all will be at risk. But even if that weren’t the case, the idea that it is ever okay for the interests of some to be categorically valued over the interests of others is abhorrent.

In the most pragmatic terms possible, this is why throwing more stigmatized groups under the bus is an inherently self-defeating strategy. As long as society has a category of "okay to abuse. Okay to hurt," devalued, sentient beings are at risk of being demoted into it. When that isn't challenged on all fronts, the prison just keeps getting bigger. 

If you’re poor, the only way you’re likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it – by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car.

But if you’re tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part. You can, say, build a sweatshop factory that will collapse in Bangladesh and kill more people than any hands-on mass murderer ever did, or you can calculate risk and benefit about putting poisons or unsafe machines into the world, as manufacturers do every day. If you’re the leader of a country, you can declare war and kill by the hundreds of thousands or millions. And the nuclear superpowers – the US and Russia – still hold the option of destroying quite a lot of life on Earth.

So do the carbon barons. But when we talk about violence, we almost always talk about violence from below, not above.

Let’s Call Climate Change What It Really Is—Violence | Alternet (via guerrillamamamedicine)

 But when we talk about violence, we almost always talk about violence from below, not above.

(via misandry-mermaid)

Important. And once you start seeing it, you start seeing it everywhere. I live in a very polluted third world capital. The bad air quality literally causes thousands of premature deaths every year. None of the entities causing it are held responsible, although the effect of their actions results in indiscriminate murder and especially does in the old, the very young, and disabled people. Ah, but no. Society is all condemning of face-to-face intentional killing, and gives no fucks about the fact that science can prove you're more likely to drop dead from breathing poison. Or long term exposure to carcinogens. Or a dozen other things that people can't prevent with individualistic, band-aid "healthy living" solutions. We live in a world where millions of people are dying from preventable diseases, and have been brainwashed into attributing their own ill health to bad genes and similar bullshit. Your genes are not the problem. The complete and utter lack of consequences for astronomically rich people doing things that kill poorer people slowly, in subtle ways, is the problem.

The publishing industry has forced the takedown of Library.nu, a place where students throughout the third world could download out-of-print, hard to find, and overpriced scholarly works. This was not a site that pirated the latest Stephen King novels. It was a place to find everything from physics texts to literary criticism. When the constant refrain of teachers and academic types everywhere is "educate yourself," functionally restricting that to people who live in countries where they can easily acquire and pay for printed books is not a morally neutral act.

The full story is being carried by Al-Jazeera. I haven't seen it get much press elsewhere.
I was reading an interesting article a couple of days ago in Arab News, the less tendentious of two English language newspapers in Riyadh. Here's the crux of it:

"With Saudi Arabia's changing economic environment, higher costs of living, inflation, and a population of over 25 million -- over 50 percent of whom are women -- women's participation in the workforce is no longer a social issue; it is an economic one. Single income families can no longer afford to accommodate the needs and wants of an average-sized family."