Trying to reform Capitalism is a futile as preaching Vegetarianism to a Shark. It is also dangerous, as the two liberal protesters in the shark’s maw on the cover of this book are about to discover.
The sorry History of five hundred years of capitalist ‘Progress’ points to the Conclusion that, by its very Nature, Capitalism cannot expand without devouring Workers’ Lives and chewing up the Natural World — no more than a Shark can survive without gorging on fresh Blood and Flesh.
The original breeding Ground of Capitalist Sharks was Western Europe, where they set about devouring the Commons, knocking down the Peasants’ Cottages, hanging the Homeless as ‘Vagabonds,’ driving free Yeomen Farmers off the green Land into dismal Factories, devaluing the Labor of Women, and persecuting them as Witches.
Capitalist Sharks were sighted off the American Shores as early as 1492, ravaging the Caribbean. In their savage Hunger for Silver and Gold, they nearly exterminated the Native Peoples. So the greedy Colonial sharks were obliged to replace dead Native Americans with ever fresh supplies of Black Africans, kidnapped and sold to be worked to Death as Slaves. In their Home Waters, the voracious European White Sharks grew larger and hungrier, battening on Generations of toiling Men Women and Children, sucking in and slowly chewing their Substance through fourteen daily hours of dreary Labor in soot-darkened Satanic Mills or under the lash on their American Plantations.
Naturally, as the Capitalist Sharks grew their Appetites increased, and by the end of the 19th Century ravenous full-grown Imperialist sharks were swarming in a Feeding Frenzy, driven by a desperate Urge to devour the teeming Populations and fabulous natural Wealth of Africa and Asia.
As the 20th Century dawned, the Imperialist Sharks began attacking each other (as sharks in a feeding Frenzy will). The larger Capitalist Sharks naturally overcame the smaller, and the surviving Giants continued slashing and biting each other all over the Planet. Soon the various Species were forming into great Schools for the purpose of mutual Aggression.
Political Ichthyologists distinguish at least four such groupings: the freemarketus omnovorus, the fascii viciocii, the stalinia rapacia, and the theocraticus ferocius. After each Orgy of Mutual Destruction, the surviving Species enjoyed a few prosperous Years of fat Feeding until leaner Years drove them to new Hecatombs.
By the 21st Century, the older Species of European White Sharks were being challenged in their former Feeding Grounds by younger breeds of fast-growing Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Russian and Brazilian capitalist Sharks, better adapted for preying on the local varieties of Fish and increasingly more competitive. Soon new Oceans were churning with Blood, but with so many Sharks competing, the Supply of Big Game Fish was soon depleted and there were only the Masses of Little Fish left to prey on.
The most successful Capitalist Sharks in this war of All against All tempered their Ferocity with Guile. As the pickings got slimmer, these smarter Sharks adopted Protective Coloration to lurk in shallow Shoals where they could sneak up on the Littler Fish (the only ones left) and devour them. Some clever Capitalist Sharks painted themselves Green; some even pretended to be Vegetarians the better to lull their Prey!
The German Capitalist Shark specialist Herr Doktor Bertolt Brecht had predicted this phenomenon in 1930: ‘If sharks were men there would be an end to all little fish being equal, as is the case now. Some would be given important offices and be placed above the others. Those who were a little bigger would even be allowed to eat up the smaller ones. That would be altogether agreeable for the sharks, since they themselves would more often get bigger bites to eat. And the bigger little fish, occupying their posts, would ensure order among the little fish, become teachers, officers, engineers in box construction, etc.’
Following in Herr Dr. Brecht’s august Footsteps, your humble Author has spent the past fifty Years patiently collecting Specimens of ‘vegetarian’ Shark behavior among both Left-finned and Right-finned Species from every corner of the Globe. These Anatomical Descriptions are designed to help the Reader recognize the different Species as they swim across the Aquarium of her TV Screen. This ‘Taxonomy of Capitalist Sharks’ is his modest scientific Contribution to the Cause of the Working People and other Small Fry in the Class Struggle (which the Rich have been waging against the Poor as a one-way affair for far too long!).
Recent studies in Political Ichthyology have identified seventeen new species of Vegetarian Sharks, including the Oxymoronic Clean-Coal Shark, the Great Green Oil-Derrick Shark, the Elusive Trickle-Down Economics Shark, the Philanthropic-Billionnaire Shark, the Humanitarian War Shark, The Compassionate Conservative Shark, the Safe Nuclear Power Shark, the Slippery Shared-Sacrifice Shark, and the Change-You-Can-Believe-In Shark.
These Corporate Sharks pretend to be Vegetarians, but never forget they really are Man-eating capitalist Sharks! No point in trying to get them to give up Human Flesh or even go on a Diet, as Liberal Reformers urge us to do. They can’t. It’s not in their Nature. (See fig. 1)
Today, all these ‘Vegetarian’ Species are flourishing, despite the increasing Mistrust of the Little Fish, some of whom even want to ban Sharks of any kind from entering the Shoals (!) Indeed, through Natural Selection the surviving Little Fish have become smarter, and today Little-Fish Scientists and Whistle-Blowing Blowfish have been trying to understand why so many Little Fish continue to be fooled by their predators’ apparently transparent ‘vegetarian’ Disguises.
Recently, many Corporate Sharks have evolved glowing, multicolored Media Eyes with which they are able to hypnotize their Prey. Other Corporate species inject a poisonous green Substance called ‘Campaign Contributions’ into the Small Fish General Assembly — effectively paralyzing its Members.
The Corporate Sharks also fatten a Species of Judas Goatfish, bred to ‘represent’ the Little Fish by luring them into the Jaws of Lurking Privatizer Sharks who swallow up the very Schools in which the Fish Children learn to swim. Judas Goatfish also lurk ‘innocently’ within NGOs, Think-Tanks, Universities, Trade-Union Bureaucracies and Left political Parties, so watch out for them! The Irony of this Painful Jest is that the Billionaire Sharks and pet Judas-Fish cry ‘Class War!’ every time some Liberal Little-Fish dares pronounce Forbidden Words like ‘Taxing’ and ‘Spending.’
Many Little Fish secretly believe the Billionnaire Sharks don’t want to see their bloated Corporate Profits spent on Fish-Nursuries, Fish-Schools, Fish-Nests, Clean Water, and the Public Goods the Little Fish desperately need. Since 1980 the Neo-Liberal Privatiser Sharks have succeeded in devouring most of these Public Goods in the so-called ‘Developing’ World, and now their Gaping Jaws are taking great Bites out of the ‘Advanced’ Countries.
The Capitalist Sharks first sighted off South America half a Millenium ago in 1492 continue devouring the Planetary Commons, penetrating every remote Corner of the Earth, privatizing the Water, fouling the Air, killing off the Animals and enslaving the People in their ever-increasing Hunger for more Profits. These Profits were depostited in Fish-Banks and used to inflate Underwater Bubbles. When their Bubble popped in 2008, all the Oceans went into a Dark Depression.
Meanwhile, the Waters were heating up as a result of years of Frenzied Thrashing by Capitalist Sharks, destroying the Coral on which the Little Fish Feed. Soon there would be no more Prey for the Capitalist Sharks to feed on, but this did not stop their Frenzied Thrashing for Profits. Predatory Capitalism is no more likely to reform itself than a Man-Eating Shark is likely to turn vegetarian. It is high time for the Billions of us Small-fry Fish to turn the tables by uniting globally to prosecute Class War against the Billionaire Loan Sharks who rule the World.
Number is the Little Fish’s strong suit. “We are many, they are few” famously said the Poet Shelley (anticipating the 99 percent-ers by 200 years). The name of the Game is ‘Billions vs. Billionaires.’ * So if there is even one chance in a hundred of winning this Game, Planetary Self-Organization is the card for us to play. Not by fighting capitalist Violence with more Violence, Terror against Terror, Barracuda vs. Shark but through Solidarity and united Resistance (in any case, they have all the guns).
Sound like a pipe-dream? Just remember this, Dear Reader: the Day all of us Little Working Fish wake up and go on a Planetary General Strike is the Day when the Power of the Bankers and Corporations dissolves into thin Air. Thanks to the Internet, mass global Civil Disobedience can be organized in Real Time. That day could be Tomorrow.**
Not by fighting capitalist violence with more violence, terror against terror, barracuda vs. shark, but through solidarity and united resistance. In any case, they have all the guns. But just remember this: the day we all wake up and go on a planetary general strike together is the day when the power of the bankers and corporations dissolves into thin air. Thanks to the Internet, mass global civil disobedience can be organized in real time. That day could be tomorrow.
The name of today’ game is ‘Billions vs. Billionaires,’ and this book is devoted to the art of winning at that game. Numbers is our strong suit. “We are many, they are few” famously said the poet Shelley. So if there is even one chance in a hundred of winning, organization is the card for us to play. Learning how to win begins with examining the inevitable ‘mistakes’ made by earlier generations of rebels and revolutionaries in their attempts to organize and with scrutinizing those rare moments when revolutionary masses have ‘stormed the heavens,’ briefly illuminating the landscape of possible futures. These flashes are the beacons that light our way forward.