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Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 09:57 PM CDT

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From the Fall of Saigon to the Fall of Lehman

In a blurry black and white photograph from Italy in the 1960s, a worker rides a Vespa past a factory wall on which is scrawled operaist graffiti "Il Vietnam è in fabbrica" - Vietnam is in the factory. Today it would be more likely to find "The factory is in Vietnam" on the walls of the long-closed factory. Yet these two moments are not unconnected. So how did we get from the fall of Saigon to the fall of Lehman brothers, from Nixon to Obama? The answer from much of the Left seems to be "financialization", understood not as a materialist process, but as fulfillment of the Communist Manifesto's apocalyptic vision that "all that is solid melts into air."

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Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

Capitalism

As the commentary around the recent deaths of Nelson Mandela, Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger made abundantly clear, most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is arrant nonsense. This is not surprising, given our country’s history of Red Scares designed to impress that anti-capitalism is tantamount to treason. In 2014, though, we are too far removed from the Cold War-era threat of thermonuclear annihilation to continue without taking stock of the hype we’ve been made, despite Harry Allen’s famous injunction, to believe. So, here are seven bogus claims people make about communism and capitalism.

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Gentrification and the Monopolization of Space: A Round-table Discussion

Capitalism

I want to start by mentioning Andrea Smith who [works on] indigenous liberation and [is a] prison abolitionist, and a co-founder of 'INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence'.  In her work she asserts that the idea of "safe space" is foundationally problematic because of the fact that we haven't yet ended white supremacy, plantation culture, continued occupation of indigenous ancestral territories, and heteropatriarchy amongst other things. ...this assertion that we have safe space, or that spaces can be made safe is just a fallacy.

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Fast Food CEOs Make 1,000 Times More Than Their Typical Workers

Capitalism

David Novak, the CEO of YUM! Brands, which owns Taco Bell and KFC, took home more than $22 million last year after exercising stock options, according to proxy statements. The average full-time fast-food worker, by comparison, would have made about $19,000 on the year.

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Five Things to Know About How Corporations Block Access to Everything From Miracle Drugs to Science Research

Capitalism

Should a company be able to patent a breast cancer gene? What about a species of soybean? How about a tool for basic scientific research? Or even a patent for acquiring patents (see: Halliburton)? Intellectual property rights are supposed to help inventors bring good things to life, but there’s increasing concern that they may be keeping us from getting the things we need.

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BP: Four Years On, No Restoration in Sight

Capitalism

Joe Yerkes is a Florida fisherman who joined BP's Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) oil cleanup program because he was put out of work by BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Following the 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which killed 11, a sea-floor oil gusher flowed for 87 days until it was capped nearly three months later.

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Walmart Admits: 'Our Profits' Depend on 'Their Poverty'

Capitalism

Although a notorious recipient of "corporate welfare," Walmart has now admitted that their massive profits also depend on the funding of food stamps and other public assistance programs. In their annual report, filed with the Security and Exchange Commission last week, the retail giant lists factors that could potentially harm future profitability. Listed among items such as "economic conditions" and "consumer confidence," the company writes that changes in taxpayer-funded public assistance programs are also a major threat to their bottom line.

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McDonald's Systematically Steals Worker Wages, Lawsuits Claim

Capitalism

Workers in California, Michigan and New York this week filed six new lawsuits against McDonald's claiming they were systematically shorted on pay by the fast-food giant and its franchisees, lawyers involved in the cases said Thursday.

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If the 1% wants class warfare, maybe it's time to start fighting back

Capitalism

The White House administration official who proposed taking on “income inequality” as the dominant theme of Obama’s second term must have thought the move was at least halfway clever: I mean, try as the Right may to argue against the administration’s preferred mechanisms to undo income inequality, honestly, what kind of jerk would straight-up defend it?

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Lack of trickle-down in West Virginia leaves poorest high and dry

Capitalism

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The ongoing water crisis in West Virginia has revealed the economic inequality in the state, as the richest shrug off inconveniences brought on by the contamination while the poorest struggle to obtain one of life's basic necessities. In the South Hills section of Charleston, where some homes sell for $1 million, residents report few problems finding or affording potable water.

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