WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
BY EPHROM JOSINE
A new newsletter has come into the world, founded by a young man sitting in his room, with a name thought up by a young trans-girl with some wit, and a mascot created by two trans-girls with some creativity. The Temporal Times is not a complicated newsletter, it’s not something that only this group of hooligans could have come up with, but it is something that only this group of hooligans would be willing to put together. Our name is simple, our mascot is simple, our articles are simple; we make politics simple.
There’s a quote from Hunter S. Thompson, written for a cover letter for The Vancouver Sun, that I’ve used to explain the philosophy behind this newsletter:
It’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and compliance and generally stuck in a bag of stagnant mediocrity.
In order to get away from this, The Temporal Times is completely worker-controlled. Our writers write how they want to write about what they want to write about. Our artists draw a picture how they want to draw them. This concept was actually confusing to some of the staff, who thought that I was going to demand that they conform to my style of writing or drawing (considering I don’t draw, making them draw how I draw would be really weird). It amazes me how normal it is to find a young, passionate worker in a creative field with a unique way of looking at the world, hire them, and then force them to work inside the box. If I wanted someone to think inside the box, I would just look for one of the thousands of bland faces--all of which blend together like colors on a mescaline trip--that work for the mainstream media. If I wanted someone to create my work, I’d just write all the columns in here myself.
We do not hide behind the same shields the mainstream media does. In our articles, you’ll see none of the bullshit excuses the mainstream media uses that stop them from actually telling the truth. We care about the truth and nothing else, and we believe the handicapping of the truth done by the mainstream media was caused by their love of the bullshit tactics that do nothing but harm their goal of reporting the news.
We report the news, and we do it our way--because that’s the only way we know how to do it.
THE CUBA SITUATION
Cuba, long heralded by the American left as one of if not the bastion of progressive and enlightened communism in a world of western imperialist capitalism. As the shining beacon of what American progress could and should be. Of course, this glosses over much of the VERY questionable civil rights violations in the country's past and even to this very day. I would in particular highlight Cuba’s LGBT issues, which have of course been presented through a very rosy-tinted lens by the party officials in Cuba and the pundits who stump for them foreign and domestic. They love to bring up how progressive they are on trans issues especially, on how trans people can get the healthcare they need free of charge and how they are of course equal in the law…
But that is a lie. Simple as that. Cuba has a long history of civil rights abuses perpetrated against LGBT Cubans. Fidel Castro was remarkably cruel, up until he was writing his memoirs and decided that maybe the gays weren’t so degenerate after all and that he was sorry—nearly a quarter of a century into his rule, which would last barely half a decade after. I could talk about the mass arrests of gay people, that continued to this day, or the misgendering and discrimination faced by trans people, or the fact that many trans women have to go through black-market surgeries because the vaunted Cuban healthcare is not up to snuff. The doctors who help these patients are then hunted down by the party for daring to help people outside of this “amazing” health care system we are told is so superior to that in America, but I digress.
Many on the radical left are calling to lift the embargo on Cuba, and this is in my opinion indefensible. I would argue that on a simple civil rights basis that the embargo is justified as to not give aid to the corrupt regime who WOULD control most of the actual profit from this trade, but more than that the Cuban economy is based on forced labor and indeed slavery. Including that of children and political dissidents, who work in appalling conditions. Now, I am a libertarian and I understand the knee-jerk desire to liberalize. However, this should be resisted. I do believe in the right to trade freely, and the freedom of movement. However, there are no rights that are the product of violating the rights of others. You cannot trust the fruit of a poisoned tree. Cuban goods are inextricably a part of a red market, one predicated on the cruel and inhumane exploitation of others.
There can be no free trade if the people are not free. “Free” trade between the confederacy and the union would be intolerable, and moreover just a bad tactical decision. So, and this is very definitely a hot take from me, we should NOT end the embargo with Cuba. If we should do anything, it would be to expand it to other oppressive and slave-based economies. China, Indonesia, India, Qatar, Venezuela.
Help the people of Cuba by making it easier to immigrate and claim refugee status in the US for Cubans. Help by condemning the violent and repressive actions of the Communist Party and regime. Help by shutting down Gitmo, and voiding all the checks given to Cuba in order to maintain that place.
Help by working to end the corrupt regime, not to embolden and revitalize it through normalizing trade relations. Say no to the red market.
LOCKDOWNS WILL RETURN
BY DEVIANT CROW
So the other day I went to the store, walked there with my brother to get some ice cream. A nice little local neighborhood Walmart, super convenient to have a small grocery store a short walk away. My brother and I went to Walmart to get some ice cream. I and my brother unfortunately brought cash which we would soon find out was very much useless as Walmart decided starting today that it would not be taking cash. Now I remember around when covid started being a major problem in America you couldn’t use cash which made sense since money is very dirty and can carry pathogens. Recently though they allowed money to be used again, as a few months ago but now it seems like money is no good again. This at first made no sense, but once I used my brain a little bit more, it made all the sense.
Recently tons and tons of covid restrictions have been lifted which was a concern for me considering the rate of covid was still high but health officials were like “Don’t worry it’s okay to open things up because people are getting vaccinated” This seems to be more likely to be wrong. I think the major issue as to why it’s picking back up is because of those special morons who refuse to wear masks.
Covid regulations now have it that if you’ve been vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask. Shockingly enough the CDC forgot to factor in after these past several horrible months that people often lie in order not to bear the minor inconvenience of wearing a mask. And since there’s no way of verifying if someone has gotten a covid shot, people can just lie and that’s what they’ve been doing. As restrictions have been getting lenient the rise of covid has been going up again.
Back in January it hit an all-time high of about three hundred thousand new cases a day, and then it started to go down a lot and we eventually got out of the hundred thousand. But looking at covid rates now, starting as of the beginning of July covid is starting to pick up steam again almost to the same levels as the start of the lockdowns last year. Not to mention the new delta variant. The Delta variant is not only far more transmissible than its predecessors, but it appears to be more lethal to people of all ages as well.
What a great combination, a far deadlier version of the coronavirus mixed with now much lower restrictions. Even my manager at my cruddy fast-food job refuses to wear a mask, or gloves for that matter which is gross even before the coronavirus. With people like my manager refusing to wear a mask, I predict we’re gonna have another wave of lockdowns. Hell in California you have to wear a mask regardless if you’ve been vaccinated or not, which should have been the case since the lowering or restrictions.
But hey, this is the United States of America where inconveniences no matter how small and how many lives they might save don’t really matter because morons wanna brag about how much “FREEDOM” they have or bitch about how it’s “UNCOMFORTABLE”. Despite the fact that many innocent people may die, there are people that can’t be bothered to care because they rather think there is no threat because of “Bill Gates, China, Communism” or don’t care because they have a sickening amount of apathy towards human lives.
Last year I wasn’t affected much by covid lockdowns. I would normally spend most of my time inside, doing mostly nothing but making youtube videos and playing Minecraft for the 47th time before quitting again. This security is mostly due to the fact I was on social security disability. I am no longer on that now. In fact, I have a job where I am barely able to pay for my basic bills. If there was a lockdown I can only hope that making burgers and other unhealthy delights makes it where my job is considered essential and people don’t wise up to the fact that you can very easily order groceries online as well and picking the more expensive and less healthy option is a bad idea.
NO, THE “GREAT RESET” IS NOT A COMMUNIST PLOT
In November 2016, Ida Auken wrote an article for the World Economic Forum, offering predictions on what life might be like in 2030 for the average resident of Europe or North America. This post stayed tucked away in obscurity until early in 2020, when it was brought out as the source of a series of infographic videos by the WEC to announce their new strategy to bolster the global economy and avoid recessions.
The main point of this announcement, made last year at Davos (an annual meeting of the world’s state leaders, business tyrants, and other influential perverts) was a series of platitudes about how the present capitalist economy is harming the average person and causing a climate catastrophe, and so the world needs to embrace a new economic paradigm of… stakeholder capitalism. They called this The Great Reset.
Most of this announcement was ignored and would easily have been overlooked if a few points from Auken’s blog had not been used in the WEC’s videos – only this time, framed much more like pronouncements than predictions.
“You’ll own nothing… and you’ll be happy.”
“Whatever you’ll want you’ll rent”
“You’ll eat less meat… for the environment.”
Frankly, the WEC could not have chosen a worse time to use such sweeping, prescriptive statements as a PR strategy. Conspiracy theorists of all stripes, but especially those who had spent the previous 4-5 years in Donald Trump’s personality cult, were already in a state of full hysteria over various world governments’ efforts to stop the coronavirus pandemic. They saw these talking points as yet more evidence that all of the lockdowns, mask bylaws, and other measures that had caused a significant downturn in the global economy, were in fact a hoax – part of a master plan by their choice of shadowy cabal to destroy liberty and happiness and usher in the New World Order.
An obvious target of blame for this conspiracy has been the growing socialist left movements in the global north. All this talk about people owning nothing, living in smaller apartments, and having their diets curtailed clearly meant that The Great Reset was a model for 21st Century Communism, right?
What the QAnon/Pizzagate/Truther crowd did not know was that those on the anti-capitalist left saw The Great Reset with equal chagrin, frustration, and resistance. But for those familiar with Marxist analysis of the economy and society, it was not terribly surprising.
Not only is The Great Reset not socialist in any sense, but I would almost believe that it is psyop designed to distract and create ill will toward the left, simply because so much of the rhetoric seems tailored to piss off communists and socialists of all stripes.
If you are unfamiliar with what socialists actually believe, you might be confused as to why the pinkos would be against a strategy that involves making people own nothing and distributing goods only temporarily as people need them. Aren’t socialists against property? Wouldn’t they like this sort of thing?
No – and to explain why it will be helpful to clarify some terms.
Most types of socialists oppose private property but not personal possessions. This distinction has been misunderstood very, very often misunderstood because the terms have their roots in 18th and 19th-century economic discourse. Alas, the economics and philosophy nerds have ruined things again.
To put it very simply, private property is anything that one person legally owns, but which other people use. Imagine the average business, where employees do almost all of the work, while most of the proceeds of their labor go to a small number of owners who contribute much less. Another example is an apartment building, where tenants rent units to that they need to live in but never actually own or control those units. Instead, they pay rent to a landlord who spends some of those funds on maintenance and utilities, but never more than they need to maintain a healthy profit for themselves.
By contrast, personal possessions are things that a person owns and uses themselves. Possessions are the things that you probably imagine most when you think of “property:” your computer, your home, your land, your car, your rare Mr.-Potato-Head-as-Darth-Vader Funko Pop, and even your toothbrush. Socialists want you to keep and enjoy all these things. Our objection begins when someone wants to take some (or often, a lot) of these things and insists that other people pay them to use them.
Instead of this private property ownership and rent-seeking, socialists want the people who actually make things to own and control those things – and, more importantly, we want these workers to own and control the resources and tools that they use to make them.
There’s a lot more that I could say about property and the means of production, but this article is already getting long. If you’re interested, you can read more about what Marx and Engels or anarchists think about property.
Suffice it to say, if we apply this view of property and ownership to the things that the World Economic Forum proposes, it is clear that The Great Reset is NOT a socialist project. (Who could have guessed that the WEC wasn’t a good revolutionary organization?!) In fact, it’s another logical step in the capitalist tendency to seek new markets and new opportunities to extract profits.
The WEC’s slogan proclaims that You will own nothing… but they don’t mean that no one will own things or that all will be for all as Peter “Bread Santa” Kropotkin put it. Someone would indeed own those things under this model, and that someone is the usual suspects who already own most of the things today – the Amazons, the Disneys, the Berkshire-Hathaways, etc., etc. – and the upshot for you, the consumer, would be less control and less ownership over the things you use every day.
Personally, I’m doubtful that most of these sweeping, society-wide changes predicted by the WEC will happen in the next nine years – big think tanks like to imagine grand designs that don’t work out the way they’ve drawn them up. But to the extent that it takes place, it will only be part of a trend in consumer markets that is already happening – a trend toward rent-seeking and away from concrete ownership of purchased goods.
Why is this happening? Well, a long time ago this guy named Karl Marx had too much time on his hands and figured out that the rate of profit has a tendency to fall over time. This means, among other things, that businesses keep looking for new ways to generate profit. A few years ago, a lot of companies realized that it is far more profitable to rent you their products as a subscription rather than selling you those products outright.
The reason Adobe charges you monthly for its software suite rather than selling you their products as a one-time purchase, or that Disney is now streaming its catalog at a monthly price instead of selling you DVDs or Blu-Rays that you can keep as long as you want, is simple economics – it gives them and their shareholders a guaranteed revenue stream.
A Great Reset where you pay a monthly subscription for your toaster (or whatever) would not be some radically different, New World Order communist economy; it would simply be the good old capitalist economy running its natural, profit-maximizing course. All just good, sound business… except for you, who no longer has the right to keep the toaster you like if The Davos Toast Company decides they want you to have an upgrade instead.
The conspiracy-minded right has correctly identified that The Great Reset is a threat to their freedoms as workers, consumers, and people in general, but they have so far missed the real cause of the problem: capitalist rent-seeking. What’s worse is that their misinformed conspiracy theories have given a chance for the owner class in society to dismiss all concerns about a Great Reset as idiotic tin-foil-hat nonsense.
So, if you’re worried about an impending Great Reset and want to be able to control what you own, my best advice is to join us on the left and start organizing for an actual, revolutionary change.