Brand CEO Veronica D’Souza on creating a ‘different ecosystem’ in fashion and the launch of a new Thai silk collection made in a maximum-security prison
— Read on www.forbes.com/sites/maryjanewiltsher/2019/01/28/prison-made-brand-carcel-reimagines-fashion-from-the-inside-out/amp/
What are so-called “fair wages”? Is there any choice not to produce clothing for the rich?
Prison work is slavery. It is not dignifying.
Pet owners who would treat their dogs or cats like this would be jailed for animal cruelty.
Tell me, will there be charges?
I am aware that many users on FB and Twitter with our brand of politics are being deleted on a nearly arbitrary basis . Therefore, I will be uploading articles and other forms of media I run across from the source site most oftne. In other words, I will be posting to STL like a Twitter feed along with my longer analysis pieces. This is more safe because what I post here goes directly to Twitter and I also have it saved on WordPress. I want to document everything.
So my direct upload posts will be obvious because it will have a headline from the uploaded media in the title surrounded by quotation marks. Also, only my analytical pieces will come with a featured image. And please excuse the short posts and awkward writing on the upload posts because more than often I will be typing them from my iPhone.
Thank you for your time and attention and for visiting STL!
From the AP: https://apnews.com/6c66de0a22944b58b276d43eef91c093
The suffering of the Venezuelan people is heartbreaking. But:
A) This is not a result of a failing socialist system but rather an economic strangling committed by the U.S. and the International community, who are in our pocket, through strong sanctions, and,
B) If Maduro lets in the U.S. aid, it would be seen as a gift from Guaido which would strengthen him immensely. And Guaido would be a U.S. puppet.
The only thing that should solve this is the delivery of aid by Russia or China. Where are they at?
In my previous post, I expressed the opinion that a major mistake made by Communist nations, both past and present, is that they moved too fast to make radical economic changes after their respective revolutions. Stalin’s “Five Year Plans”, Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”, and the very radical economic and societal moves made by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge left tens of millions dead. What I propose instead is that once a revolution is won here in the U.S., and a vanguard/transition party is established, we then move slowly into a socialist system.
Now, we can make major societal changes regarding human rights issues like LGBTQ issues, women’s equality and abortion rights, and of course, minority rights. And we should also start socializing major industries, like utility companies, the medical system, and other day-to-day human rights issues. But the last thing we want to do is something as radical as eliminating the money-based system or forcing people into collectives.
The reason for this is because the people are not yet informed about the nature of the Socialist/Communist system as of today. We need to create a new hegemonic culture based on equality and the new government-to-citizen relationship first. Italian scholar and Communist Antonio Gramsci iwrote about how capitalism is the hegemonic culture. So everything we know is based on that brutal system and, therefore, it is hard to think outside of it, especially in America where the entire history of our young nation is nothing but capitalism. We don’t have the history of a feudal system. Other nations do. So they have something to fall back on, culturally. So that’s why we need a vanguard/transitional party so immensely.
In conclusion, we must make a gradual change in our economic system. This will help the masses ease into a new leftist system. I arrived at this notion because, according to scholars, it took France’s democratic system to work itself out all the way from the storming of the Bastille in 1789, until 1898. So we must be patient and live with a gradual economic change. Plus, Ionce comfortable with the socialist system, the masses can then move into a Communist system for they will be educated in terms of the next steps towards emancipation.
So we cannot have a radical economic change in the U.S. after a far left revolution. The people need to be eased into a new system. Then we will be ready for a Communist system in the a post-socialist stage… even if it takes 100 years.
As I have put forth in my previous posts, a socialist government is the best political system to be realized today in the interests of the 99%. But if we are going to move towards having the power taken back from the rich and given to its rightful owners, the workers, we must avoid making the mistakes made by Communist countries today and in the past.
One of the most dangerous actions taken by the radical leftist governments of the past is that they tried to realize unrealistic goals too soon. E.g., China had its “Great Leap Forward,” the Soviets under Stalin always put forth these “5 Year Plans” that hurt the Russian people at the hands of Stalin’s vain attempts at greatness, and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed over a million of their countrymen partially due to economic reforms. And these often just occurred to catch up with capitalist countries in the areas of industry, science, military, and infrastructurevtoo fast. Foolish.
The are two reasons why this is true, namely:
- Revolutionaries have no idea how to run a country. This often leads to unspeakable hardships and suffering for the reasons mentioned above in the pursuit of grand ideals.
- The three countries outlined above, i.e., Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and the Khmer Rouge’s Cambodia, were ruled under brutal dictators, or very small groups of leaders, who ran authoritarian governments. They involved purges, gulags, and mass murders of so-called “enemies of the people.” And these things are still taking place in North Korea under the rule of the Kim family and their latest criminal, thug leader, Kim Jong Un.
But in terms of the socialist experiment in Cuba, we could learn a lot of positive things from them. The U.S. capitalist media would have you believe that the Castros are no different than Stalin or Un, but what they don’t report are the great strides towards equality taking place in the small island country. E.g., they have redistributed land to the peasants through land reform. Once the Cuban peasants were slaves to rich plantation owners, but as a result of the revolution, the land owned by the corporations and plantation owners has now been divided amongst the people who work the land. And that is just one example of the successful reforms. They have also gotten away from just being a sugar-dominated economy and even become a powerhouse in the research and development of new medicines that are often purchased, yes, by the U.S. government.
Yet this has succeeded by not having some grand goal of building a developing country into a society where they are immediately just as technologically advanced as the U.S. These are examples of how ideas and policies could be learned from a socialist society to be translated instilled in a more equal America.
So in conclusion, the brutality of Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge is due to harsh authoritarian governments, not an attempted realization of a fully socialist society. These dictatorships had vain rulers trying to advance mostly Third-World countries into global players too fast. Yet we can look to somewhere like Cuba for positive ideas to enact here in the U.S. in pursuit of a more egalitarian society.
In my previous post, I argued that a socialist system is the best form of government we can live under at this stage in history, and that we must smash the current so-called democratic system controlled by the rich.
What should the new revolutionary government look like?
The best strategy available to us at this point is to put into power what Lenin and Trotsky called a vanguard party. They will serve as a sort of transition government moving us from capitalism towards socialism. We must support these responsible leaders to take us through the ideological battle with those who will want to keep the old “democratic” system in place, namely, the rich and powerful.
But during this transition we may sacrifice some of our freedoms for a short period of time during the certain conflict with the powerful. Freedom of the press, freedom to demonstrate, and some other forms of free speech may be suppressed for a time because they are all controlled by the capitalist’s dominant ideology. This is what Trotsky put forth in his famous work Dictatorship vs. Democracy.
Yet, we must watch the vanguard leadership very closely.
The USSR tried this idea out, and it led to Communism’s greatest monster, Josef Stalin, into power. Stalin used the above suppressed rights to become an authoritarian leader who committed so many crimes against humanity they are too many to list here.
Take this warning seriously. The government of and for the people can be hi-jacked if we do not pay enough attention to what our leaders are doing in our name.
In conclusion, what the people need to do is smash the currently corrupt system and replace it with responsible leaders who can lead us through the war of ideas, and probably against a violent suppression by the 1%. And this will mean a crackdown on some of our most cherished freedoms, but they will be returned in time once the rich and powerful have their control over us destroyed. Yet we must keep our eyes on this transition party because a rising leader or group could use the loss of these freedoms to create an authoritarian governmentclaiming to be revolutionary.
This is an outline of what we need to do if we wish to make any successful revolutionary movements at this time.
Over the past few months, I have been publishing a podcast on working class issues. Yet I returned to Sparking The Left because the number of listens were very low. But in some episodes I began with editorials trying to convey the radical-leftist approach. So I’ll be posting a few of the essays here, in easy to understand language, to outline STL’s far-left point of view:
As I have stated above, this blog now comes from a radical leftist point of view. And I know what people think of when hearing of far-left governments:
- Mass starvation
But those are results of authoritarianism rather than a radical-leftist government (another post for another time).
A true form of socialism, much less communism, has yet to be practiced in history. And what a true form of a radical leftist system is about is putting power in the hands of the workers. Workers should own the companies they work for because they are the ones who are engaged in the labor.
Right now major stock holders on Wall Street own and control the factories and corporations. But they do nothing but sit and collect the profits while we get the crumbs. They don’t unload trucks, sort freight, work a cash register, fill orders, or what-have-you, for often more tha
n 40 hours a week. The fruits of our labor have been usurped from the rightful owners; and that is us, the working class.
Now, I hear you saying, “How can a corrupt system like ours ever turn over all of the power to the workers?”
The answer is we smash the current capitalist oligarchy; or our so-called democratic system.
It must go.
Now which form of a far-left government we construct is up for debate. And in all honesty, I’m not sure which one it should actually be. But what I do believe right now is socialism is the best form of government we have available to us at this time.
So, in general, we must leave behind the Gulags, purges, and mass starvation, and enact a socialist government. Though it sounds extreme to complete this feat, but our current so-called democratic system must be smashed.
Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Sparking The Left is back!
It’s been over 3 years since our last post and we are going to start up again.
Essays, commentary, etc., will be posted whenever we can get them together, as often as possible. So subscribe over in the righthand menu!
Now, there are a couple changes that will be noticeable:
First, Paul Phillips has moved on to bigger and better projects and will not be contributing any further posts. But he will still be running the STL FB page. So follow!
Secondly, our return brings with it a harder edge than before. The political ideology of the commentary will be on the radical left area of the spectcrum. Not socialist, not communist, not anarchist, but an amalgam of all three (there are good and bad tenets under each label). But commentary on mainstream articles and events will be posted as before, just from a further left POV.
Also, STL will be featuring new social media accounts. We’re over at Twitter at @LeftSparking and you can click on the Twitter feed to the right to follow. We are also now featuring an account over at Instagram at #Sparking The Left where daily images will posted for everyone to check out. And lastly, don’t forget to join the STL FB page being ran by Phillips. I believe he has over four thousand members and he updates daily.
Thank you for returning and we’re very excited. I hope to hear from all of you soon with your opinions, responses, and suggestions.
We here at STL have been absent from blogging for quite some time (as you can tell) for various changes have occurred in our lives that have remade the game. We have undergone changes in both our professional lives and home lives with even a new addition to our STL family, which is very exciting.
But fear not for we will return as soon as possible with new, hopefully insightful posts that you will enjoy. But in the meantime I will start posting more famous quotes from “The Cry for Justice” collection that seem to be popular on a regular basis.
So please just hang in there because we value each of our readers so much. Thank You!