Terrence J Kosick on Tue, 2 May 2000 20:32:58 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> capitalist weather report may 1st 2000

One artist's thoughts about capitalism and geopolitics on May 1st 2000.

Independence or teams for survival?

I like leading my life as a artist. If I make money as an artist great if
not so what? I'm sill having the life I chose and I contribute to culture.
To make a go I manage a little bussiness and occsionally take on skilled
workers for larger jobs. I think about them and keep in touch as they go
from job to job, contractor to contractor big or small. Workers wondering
about the rich west taking what they can to survive. I wonder at thier
ability to make a go of it. Having a small bussiness gives me distance and
in a way it is a part of what it is my artistic life is about.  I wonder
if others see outside of their own interests and manner of surviving like
I do? I wonder if others who are working for a big company feel they are
being exploited and can get out or move around as easily or are they
stuck?  Perhaps many can make the choice to have their own business. Be it
a hot-dog stand a power wash service. I think about what people have to do
now, as a worker to survive and in turn make thier community survive and
keep it running. Thinking how it all fits together makes me feel how all
workers and even small companies are very vital. They work as a team both
for the businesses and the communities. Realistically they should be
treated as a teams in a league and like valuable players and not like
treated slaves and traded for anothers' profits. What is more important is
that they not be over taxed on their living wage and the profits of large
companies should be somehow returned to the community whose labours made
those profits possible. It is time the working people of the world acted
like a team. 

Big for whome? 

Thinking of the independent person and thier paradigm for their self and
their community. If you have connections i.e. other people's money and you
can establish a larger business or your little business grows to the point
where your chances for greater returns/ profits are realized you have to
ask yourself "do the lives of those working for you improve and does the
community get something from your activities"? 

Where's the Beef? 

My beef is that some very profitable business hire many part time to avoid
benfits and pay less taxes. Also those business who buy out other business
to close them down or restructure to maximise their's and their
stockholders profits. (especially stockholders not living or partaking in
that community or whose taxed income does little to benifite that
community). I think of the people who end up on ui or welfare and let the
insurance other worker's are paying keep them there. All that while
factories are set up in another country producing goods or parts. The cost
of living goes up but the wages stay low and the benifits vaporize. 

Some Evidence

I can't count the large homes and mansions in my town owned by mostly
offshore business owners who have factories in China and SE Asia where
workers get little pay for products sold all over the 1st world. They are
lavish. Some insanely lavish.  It is only a few places but it is enough
evidence for me to easily wonder if there is a geopolitical problem with
capitalism. Could the reason these particular people, who extract labour
and chose to inhabit their market place rather then where the goods are
made have something to do with the fear that their wealth could be
nationalized? Become the property of The People? Or is the pollution less
here? Or the education for their children better? It makes me wonder about
many other peoples' welfare who put them in such a favorable position. 

Are better wages and improved condtions enough? 

I wonder sometimes if some of the profits actually help the communities
whose labours that they pay the going rate to. Is it expected that their
wages like ours be taxed for community centers and better more advanced
schools? I feel a large portion of the wealth or profits of factories is
precisely the property of those people. Viewed simply, the factories and
bussiness thier owners are fortunate conduits for human biological and
capital organization. Since they are users of raw materials and
expenditure of energes the profits should also go to the people whose
independence is sacrificed to the company or factory of that community. 

Isn't it Ironic? 

Is'nt it ironic that the unemployed, the homeless and the kids living on
the street in the marketplace are so far away from the producing
community? Perhaps these are people who could also be employed making all
the crap everyone else, who can afford it here, are buying while the peole
producing it are working for less than benifits? In some ways it seems
there is a venal geopolitical situation going on, not just greed, and
exploitation, that is, quite simply, a danger to human existence. It is a
system that means everyone and everything connected harm. 

Survival for all. 

I'm all for small bussinesses and profitsharing and providing for healthy
lifestyles and community responsibility. Giving back to those who
sacrifice their independence to make your large business run. It's like a
biological responsibilty and a measure of good will to your people and
survival for all. Being good and responsible to your neighbours and sister
communities whereever they are. Lending a hand and being hand in hand. It
is about time we assessed all big business and unfair taxation welfare and
cheap labour befor it kills us all by sucking the life out of the planet. 

terrence kosick

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