Refuse to Believe What the Empire Says About You

Edward Carpenter (1844-1929),, a gay, anarcho-socialist poet and mystic. Argued for equal rights for women, a return to Paganism and an end to Capitalism and industrialized ‘civilization.’


This week-

On Monday, a review from River Stone of an installation called Fractured.

On Wednesday, Linda Boeckhout’s essay, The Spirit of the Free Market

And on Friday, Crystal Blanton’s essay on Social Darwinism and competition.



As water becomes scarce, more attempts to privatize continue.  Here’s what’s happening in Mexico.

What to do when your government allows oil-drilling rigs to harbor in your backyard? Don’t let them leave.

Cops obviously don’t care about Black people.  But Dionysos does.


Glossary:  Privilege

A special right granted to some but not others.  In social justice language, privilege describes power-relations amongst competing groups within the non-ruling classes and tracks the hierarchy of access.

While useful in describing power dynamics, often missed is the nature of privilege itself–that it’s granted, situational, and constructed, rather than innate (see Essentialism).  Likewise, discussions of privilege tend to stand-in for discussions of class.

For instance, straight white men are generally the most privileged, yet a homeless white man has less privilege than a wealthy white lesbian woman; a black man is more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than a white woman is, yet even he is likely to be ‘privileged’ over an undocumented female immigrant from Mexico who may, in turn, be ‘privileged’ to have economic access that a homeless white man does not.

Both Kyriarchy and Hegemony are often used to describe the entirety of these relations instead, as both acknowledge Capitalist-created class as well as privileged power relationships such as race, gender, and sexuality.   Privilege through this lens becomes a description of how exploited peoples compete with each other for ever-decreasing scraps, re-enacting their exploited conditions onto other exploited peoples and thus re-inforcing the structures which keep Capitalism in place.

And this week’s quote inspired this week’s title, from Rev. Osagyefo Sekou!

“A refusal to believe what the empire has said about you is to be free.”

One thought on “Refuse to Believe What the Empire Says About You

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