The Original Monopoly Was Deeply Anti-Landlord
By Tristan Donovan
Posted June 27, 2017
The game of cutthroat capitalism was actually intended as a lesson on wealth inequality. The game was called the Landlord’s Game.
In the game players traveled around and around the board using paper money to buy lots, railroads, and utilities. After buying a property players could then charge rent to anyone who landed on it and build houses that increased the amount they could demand. Each time players completed the circuit of the board they would pass a corner square marked “Labor upon Mother Earth produces wages” and collect a salary of 100 dollars. Other squares on the board required players to pay tax, buy necessities, or take a Chance card. In one corner of the board was a square bearing the warning: “No trespassing. Go to jail.” This space, she explained in an article for the Single Tax Review, was owned by a British lord and represented “foreign ownership of American soil.” Anyone who landed there would be sent to the jail in the diagonally opposite corner of the board where they would stay until they rolled a double or paid a $50 fine. The final corner square contained a public park and the poor house where bankrupted players would be sent. Players could only leave the poor house if another player lent them enough money to clear their debts. After players had gone around the board a fixed number of times the game would end and the player with the most money would be declared the winner. More…
Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State
By John W. Whitehead
Posted June 26, 2017
We have entered a new regime and it’s called the American police state. Unfortunately, we’ve been traveling this dangerous road for a long time now.
In the police state being erected around us, the police and other government agents can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts.
Whether it’s police officers breaking through people’s front doors and shooting them dead in their homes or strip searching motorists on the side of the road, these instances of abuse are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution.
These are the hallmarks of the emerging American police state: where police officers, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, are part of an elite ruling class dependent on keeping the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens. More…
Forget far-right populism – crypto-anarchists are the new masters
by Jamie Bartlett
Posted June 25, 2017
Those who mistakenly thought 2016 was an anomaly, a series of unprecedented events, should have few remaining doubts. Marine Le Pen may have stuttered but still picked up almost 11 million votes. Her opponent, the “normal” candidate, was leader of a party only one year old. The ongoing terror attacks, fake news panic, Trump’s tweets and James Comey: last year never really ended, it just carried straight on into this one.
After decades of exaggerated prediction, the internet is finally transforming politics, but not in the way the digital prophets expected. The 90s, you may recall, were awash with optimism about our online future: limitless information and total connection would make us more informed, less bigoted and kinder citizens.
But the internet is an overwhelming mess of competing facts, claims, blogs, data, propaganda, misinformation, investigative journalism, charts, different charts, commentary and reportage. It’s not the slow and careful politicians who have thrived in this busy environment, it’s the people with the shareable cut-through messages. Donald Trump might very well be the first truly social-media politician: his emotion-filled, simplistic blasts are perfect for the medium. More…
How Prison Labor is the New American Slavery and Most of Us Unknowingly Support it
By Sara Burrows
Posted June 24, 2017
If you buy products or services from any of the 50 companies listed below (and you likely do), you are supporting modern American slavery. American slavery was technically abolished in 1865, but a loophole in the 13th Amendment has allowed it to continue “as a punishment for crimes” well into the 21st century. Not surprisingly, corporations have lobbied for a broader and broader definition of “crime” in the last 150 years. As a result, there are more (mostly dark-skinned) people performing mandatory, essentially unpaid, hard labor in America today than there were in 1830.
With 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population, the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world. No other society in history has imprisoned more of its own citizens. There are half a million more prisoners in the U.S. than in China, which has five times our population. Approximately 1 in 100 adults in America were incarcerated in 2014. Out of an adult population of 245 million that year, there were 2.4 million people in prison, jail or some form of detention center. The vast majority – 86 percent – of prisoners have been locked up for non-violent, victimless crimes, many of them drug-related. More…
Brushes with the Mainstream
By Charles Eisenstein
Posted June 24, 2017
What kind of looking-glass world have we entered, where the liberal sites are scolding people for not trusting the same ‘intelligence community’ they decried for the Iraq weapons-of-mass-destruction hoax and where the conservative sites are cheering Julian Assange, whose extra-judicial murder they were calling for a few years ago?” Normal is falling apart.
The real problem is the entire money system and the deep mythologies that underpin it. The false problem is greed – which is actually a symptom of the real problem, not its cause. Greed is a response to scarcity, and we live in an economic system and ideological system that generates endless scarcity. To go to war against the symptoms, I portrayed as a near-universal tendency of our civilization, citing some of the same examples of crime, terrorism, racism, weeds, etc. as I did on the Tavis Smiley show. More…
DAPL protesters were targeted by surveillance and military tactics
by Antonia Juhasz
Posted June 23, 2017
As people nationwide rallied last year to support the Standing Rock Sioux’s attempts to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, a private security firm TigerSwan, with experience fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan launched an intrusive military-style surveillance and counterintelligence campaign against the activists and their allies, according to internal company documents.
A private security company probably doesn’t face the same prohibitions, legal scholars say, but the close collaboration between TigerSwan and local, state, and federal authorities detailed in the firm’s internal reports raised red flags with them. Several legal experts described the contractor’s tactics as highly disturbing and perhaps unprecedented. Jeff Haas from the lawyers Guild said “If the government can’t do it, why should a private corporation working for another private corporation be able to?” More…
This should be sending red flags to everyone. If the government is not allowed to do certain things, bypassing the constitution by having private corporations do the dirty work is the start of a very dangerous precedent.
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