Critical notes

Crime and punishment

  • Prisoners are seen as cruel individuals rather than a culmination of society’s wrongs against them. They are victims, they exist not to be punished as individuals, but to highlight a need for change in specific aspects of society. Unfortunately, the underlying cause here is capitalism, the system we have yet to change.
    English: A 1911 Industrial Worker (IWW newspap...

Skilled trades

  • The worker develops skills as an individual that cheapen his labor because of the concurrent development of the same skills by other workers, who then compete against each other. The variable for the capitalist becomes the degree of perfection of that skill. For the socialist, it is rather the complementary experiences that bring new perspective and create additional capabilities that enhance the whole of the industry and society by effect.
  • The individual laborer, the worker, has received the cultural mandate from a capitalist society that he must focus on himself as an individual, ignoring or competing against other individuals for the scraps the capitalist is willing to throw for the worker’s undervalued labor.

Social relations

  • This individualism creates a false rift between otherwise humanly social individuals in need of others by nature for their complete and complementary functions.
  • The unnatural institution of marriage, a capitalist replacement for the lack of humanly necessary social activity in society, becomes the norm though it conflicts namely with the male instinct for mass reproduction when he is not exerting for the labor of his true love, his profession.

Commodities

  • Commodities and money. Capitalism creates in society a fetishism of commodities. Humans no longer define themselves by their lives and experiences, but attempt to translate them into a perverse form of commodity for the sole purpose of exchange on the market. Members of a capitalist society become less and less human as they learn to define themselves by what can be exploited by the capitalist, the owner of the means of production.
  • This has psychological ramifications as well, too numerous for summary here by an unlicensed psychoanalyst. One major factor is the loss of genuine social interactions that become defined by the fetishism of commodities and subsequently are transformed into market interactions that mimic the purchase and sale of commodity. No longer is there sincerity or interest in another’s life through empathy, but rather the aspiring capitalist seeks such interactions in order to constantly assess and reassess the exchange value of his own commodities.
  • The production of commodities in itself is not harmful. It is indeed necessary. However, the limitation of a commodity should be its use-value, for when we attempt to define its exchange-value we become an agent of exploitation, seeking harm for others in order that we may benefit ourselves. The capitalists refer to this as ‘necessary competition’, which they treacherously assert is the harmless driving force of human progress.

Advancement

  • Human progress is in fact hindered by a capitalist society by the cheapening of the quality of labor as results from competition and a lack of a shared goal. Intellectual contributions are withheld or simply overridden when there is not conceived to be an exchange-value of benefit to its producer or owner.
  • The laborer continues to undersell himself. While the capitalist is able to produce products of an arbitrary yet competitively set value, the true value of the products he produces are the investment of the worker, yet the worker receives disproportionate meager wages for the products he creates. The capitalist increases his capital through the exploitation of the worker.

The Alienated Laborer

End of the trail? Here's your sign.

I used to be good. Talented, wanted.

Gave everything and still had more to give.

I reached the plateau, and found another trail.

Went by the wayside to be more valued.

It didn’t work. Now I’m not important.

Climb the mountain again to reach the base.

So much progress lost in a decision.

And where to go from here? I can’t turn back.

I’ve come too far to turn and go back down.

I have to keep climbing. They laugh at me.

Mocking elders who are no more than peers.

Down a different path. One experience.

I stop my march and take a break for rest.

Sit down on the side of the dusty trail.

Often traveled, but for me the first time.

I start to wonder, and it makes me cry.

So many have come before and not failed.

Have I reached my limit of worth in life?

A mid-life crisis, not at the center.

It is soon, and shouldn’t happen often.

Another broken soul. Emptiness leaked.

I smear my face with dirt and stand up.

Keep walking down the trail until the end.

Nobody can see what my face can hide.

Another victim of life. Should have died.

Taboo

Richard Mansfield was best known for the dual ...

Hidden desires and taboo feelings.

Lustful, sinful, wicked, but oh so sweet.

The taste, the flavor, just a little peek.

Holding back, the temptation leads forward.

A touch, a caress, initiates sex.

An illusion, a tainted view of life.

Reproduced feelings that haven’t been found.

Take it, says the demon. No, says the rest.

Struggling with feelings beyond our control.

Emotions victorious in battle.

They won the war, with consequences great.

Lost souls, humanity? Or just instincts?

Question the boundaries but do not cross.

The path has been corrupted. Recompense.

Morals abandoned, it’s not what we need.

It fills the gap, the desire to breed.

They tell us it’s wrong, but don’t tell us why.

Explanation not needed. Just comply.

Fear in our hearts. Holes and pieces missing.

Revitalized youth, or projected life.

It rages inside, but burns our fingers.

Life of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Fighting one while becoming the other.

Sacrifice. One hidden, one in the light.

A struggle internal cannot be won.

Death too Soon

Part One: Tribute

A hero to all, enemy to none.

Invincible; who we wanted to be.

But life was too much for your soul to bear.

You warned us, told us it would happen soon.

Then claimed innocence when you failed at first.

Who would’ve guessed that success was failure?

That fulfillment was hollow and empty?

And of course, who did you have to turn to?

Who could be a rock to hold a boulder?

So many questions. God without answer.

The labor we would trade was unfulfilled.

Others surrounded to create the hole.

So you sought an exit from the vacuum.

Consume, consume, the leech and parasites.

Then it is done and you were left without.

So something else filled what should have been.

Something so precious, but not meant to last.

Disparity known, but eyes closed shut.

Live in the moment, flip off the future.

Abrupt halt before hurdling forward.

It wasn’t for you, should have chosen else.

Chart showing he circumstances for suicide in ...

Part Two: Forgotten

Yet you’re not alone, not the very first.

Brother who held hands at the mountain peak.

A troubled past that was, came uncovered.

Or the sickness that destroys what you were.

Stealing your identity, missing whole.

Being better doesn’t mean being best.

Expectations held, always above you.

The ones you hurt the most are your regrets.

Erasing the past can’t fix next Thursday.

Ever seeking, but the system hides it.

That thing that would make us better people.

Sometimes life was over when mistakes haunt.

Little things that eat away every day.

Some of us never make it to the top.

Our God a cruel child, loving misery.

To weigh the burden, yet never make it.

Sometimes your promises meant all too much.

The system has left you misunderstood.

Frustration lies where fruit doesn’t harvest.