Capitalism is the state religion of sociopaths

Capitalism is why there are six empty houses in this country for every homeless person but thousands still freeze to death. Capitalism is why we waste 40 percent of our food while children die of starvation. Capitalism is why 200 species went extinct today. Capitalism is why we’re all going to war for oil under the North Pole. Capitalism is why your kid is going to die in a water riot.
- Holly Wood

Around 600,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in the United States, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Meanwhile, Tanuka Loha, then-director of Amnesty’s Demand Dignity program, pointed out that "there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country.”

“Homes are built for people to live in, if they’re not being lived in then something has gone seriously wrong with the housing market.”
- David Ireland, chief executive of the Empty Homes charity

According to capitalism, there's nothing wrong with the market. Things are functioning exactly as they should. In other words, people are supposed to be homeless while homes sit empty.

Back in the U.S., another report last year highlighted the 77,000 empty government buildings that could be refitted to house the homeless....In October, the Atlantic reported that activists in Baltimore are pressuring lawmakers to house that city’s 30,000 homeless in its estimated 16,000 empty homes. “Clearly there’s a moral crisis when you see so many people in need of homes and there’s such a glut of vacant ones,” said Rachel Kutler, an organizer with United Workers.

The problem isn't that it doesn't make economic sense to house the homeless. The problem is that housing the homeless doesn't generate a profit, and without a profit capitalism doesn't care.
For example, in Dallas 40% of home sales didn't go to owner occupants.
Nationwide, 30 percent of homes were bought by investors and vacation home buyers—1.14 million investment properties and 721,000 vacation homes.

Food, like housing, obeys the rules of capitalism.

Americans toss about 40 percent of their food. Meanwhile, nearly 50 million Americans don't know where their next meal will come from.
...Stanley believes that dealing more effectively with food comes down to shifting the way food is perceived.
“Culturally... we need a reframe on how we look at food. On how we value food. It’s not just a commodity, it’s not just something that we’re producing, it’s not just something that we’re importing and exporting. We talk so much about food being a right, not a privilege, people having access to healthy food. I think we’re seeing the consequences of that not happening in extreme ways.”

Capitalism strongly disagrees.
Food, like housing and health care, is a privilege. Only profits are a right.
Don't believe me? Just check out your local laws.

The National Coalition for the Homeless counted more than 70 cities in the U.S. that have or were considering laws restricting the sharing of food with homeless people. McHenry says that some cities–the latest being Phoenix–are working with consultants who claim that “street feeding” programs perpetuate the cycle of homelessness. Robert Marbut, one such consultant based in San Antonio who’s worked with cities like Fresno, California, and St. Petersburg, Florida, told NPR in 2014 that access to free outdoor meals is “very unproductive, very enabling, and it keeps people out of recovery programs.”

It's interesting how "serious people" apply the same behavioral traits to homeless people that you would to feral cats. (aka "if you keep feeding that mangy animal it'll keep coming back".)
Well, that's not true. No one will throw you into jail for feeding a feral cat.

For the past year, the Jimenezes have set up shop every Wednesday on Manatee Island in Daytona Beach, Fla., where they feed hot dogs, chicken, pasta salad and other BBQ staples to about 100 homeless people, WFTV reported. Handing out meals is just one aspect of the ministry the two founded, Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word, to help people living in poverty.
But on Wednesday, the Jimenezes said that without warning, they and four other volunteers were accosted by police, fined and told that they could be thrown in jail if they continue their program, according to NBC News.

Just imagine how different things would be if you could make a profit for feeding the homeless.
Not only would it be legal, there would be tax credits, public/private partnerships, and you could follow it all on Bloomberg TV. Alas, there is no profit from doing the right thing.

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under any "normal" capitalist system, all human needs -- even the most fundamental, food, shelter and water -- will be priced at a level unaffordable to a meaningful fraction of the populace. All the arbeit in the world won't macht this go away. The only thing that can solve the problem is to use the government to do an end-run around the markets, not just for food, shelter and water, but for education, medicine, transportation, etc.

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20 users have voted.

Sigh

thanatokephaloides's picture

@UntimelyRippd

It is a matter of fairly straightforward mathematics that, under any "normal" capitalist system, all human needs -- even the most fundamental, food, shelter and water -- will be priced at a level unaffordable to a meaningful fraction of the populace. All the arbeit in the world won't macht this go away. The only thing that can solve the problem is to use the government to do an end-run around the markets, not just for food, shelter and water, but for education, medicine, transportation, etc.

In other words, it's socialism or barbarism, just like Rosa Luxemburg said!

tk-rosa-luxemburg-socialism-or-barbarism.jpg

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21 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

SparkyGump's picture

but half the population is poor and large portions of our exceptional populace doesn't have a roof over their head or a meal in their stomach. They used to call the USSR a "third world country with rockets", with the worst income inequality since the 1870's, we're becoming more like that than the Soviets ever did. The oligarchs know this as well as us. Perhaps that's why the police are getting so much military equipment just in case the rabble revolts.

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25 users have voted.

The real SparkyGump has passed. It was an honor being your human.

On this subject and many others I wonder if I'll live to see a tipping point to violent revolution, or will our empire be the first where people just lay down and die without that kind of fight? The level of disillusionment is so high, and the effort it takes to survive is working so far as a distraction, but will that last? I imagine the oligarchs are hoping for famine and flood to do most of the dirty work before people come for them with the pitchforks. Sad doesn't begin to describe it.

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21 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@NCExile

The PTB have been making it more difficult for us to make ends meet, but instead of us pushing back, we only complain about it.
This tax bill should be our 'red line' for us to tell them that enough is enough. There has to be a way for us to quit accepting what they are doing to us.

The problem isn't that it doesn't make economic sense to house the homeless. The problem is that housing the homeless doesn't generate a profit, and without a profit capitalism doesn't care.

As gjohnsit wrote, there are almost 20 million empty buildings that could house the homeless. How many malls are sitting completely empty now that the economy has crashed?

Arresting people for feeding the homeless has got to be the most asinine thing I've heard of. This is supposedly a Christian country, yet I think that if Jesus returned tomorrow and took our leaders to task, they would arrest him for it.

Daammnn, wouldn't that be a site if he did appear before congress while they are debating the tax cuts?

"What part of this didn't you understand?

IMG_1453.JPG

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16 users have voted.

The Democratic Party under Bill Clinton transformed itself into the traditional Republican Party, and the Republican Party moved, was pushed, so far to the right it became insane

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

Jesus H. Christ, get a fucking job or die, you hippy! There's no way in hell I'd do a goddamn thing for you!

Jeeze, hot down here all of a sudden, isn't it?

Edit: lol, hell is pitchforks and torches, isn't it? Let's adapt some 'biblical predictions' affecting the Psychopaths and Parasites That Be, shall we? A few peon parables, perhaps? Or at least a few analogies.

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9 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Ellen North

hell is pitchforks and torches, isn't it?

I'm beginning to maintain that hell is the absence of pitchforks and torches!

Wink

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7 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

Lol, you do have a point there! I suspect that it depends upon whether the torches and pitchforks stop the hell from being created in the first place.

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Strife Delivery's picture

@snoopydawg

As gjohnsit wrote, there are almost 20 million empty buildings that could house the homeless. How many malls are sitting completely empty now that the economy has crashed?

A mall would be a neat apartment/condo/residence place.

"Where do you live"

"At the old GAP store".

Put some curtains up in the windows and you even have your own security system: the little shutter gate they close down in front of the door. Just retrofit the place some with some kitchen work and plumbing for bathroom. Voila.

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10 users have voted.
mimi's picture

feed and shelter the homeless on their premises as well. Makes you wonder what is the meaning of those churches' religions, making a profit?

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18 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@mimi IHELP was a program that sustained me during my period of homelessness. LOTS of rules, but they at least were somewhat decent. It was closed down because the homeless were unsightly in the tourist destination of Monterey.

They kept it going in the shitty part of town, but none of the 1% heavy churches. God forbid that a poor person might breathe the same air as the holy. I will say that the place that treated us with the most respect was the local Synagogue.

Just bitter, angry and wanting to watch the world burn.

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18 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

mimi's picture

@detroitmechworks
(why churches don't feed and house the homeless on their premises) became so nagging in my mind, when I was in Hawaii and passed hundreds of churches all around the tiny island with many homeless surviving at the beaches and forests due to the climate and the fruits you can still find and gather in the wilderness there.

It made me sick in my stomach. Of course I love the nature on the islands, just not the people, who do everything to prove how non-caring and weak they are.

I also remember a documentary German Television's Washington DC studio made about one church up somewhere in the Northern Part of the US near the border to Canada, who actually let the homeless sleep in their church. It's at least eight to ten years ago and I have forgotten where it exactly was.

PS: @gjohnsit - I am really glad you wrote this essay. The issue is way under-reported and ignored.
Thank you.

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10 users have voted.

@mimi

why churches don't feed and house the homeless on their premises

The Salvation Army is a church. Most people don't know that.

Unlike most churches, the SA walks the walk.

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6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@gjohnsit
it was my favorite place to donate my stuff to when I left the East Coast.

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3 users have voted.
Daenerys's picture

@mimi I think I read a story a while ago about how they threw out a trans woman from one of their shelters who later died. And they support conversion therapy. There are better organizations to donate to.

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4 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

divineorder's picture

@detroitmechworks ...

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6 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@mimi

And you wonder why not more churches feed and shelter the homeless on their premises as well.

They're probably afraid they'll go to jail, or be rendered homeless themselves.

Bad

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5 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Amanda Matthews's picture

@mimi @mimi
ask them why they’re so quiet, shouldn’t they be overturning the tables of the money changers in the Temple?

I love to converse with Mormons. Them In their little white shirrs, black pants, and equipped with pocket protectors for their writing utensils. I swear to God, (that was a pun son) they are the most patient people on Earth. They’re always a challenge. But they lie about Mormon history.

Jehovah Witness people will turn around and leave if you say “i’m Roman Catholic”. A chick I went to school with was a JH and she says it’s because Catholics are ‘crazy’. I said not half as crazy as people who think it’s wrong to play sports, vote, give or receive blood, or take yoga classes. She disagreed.

Craziest ‘religious people I ever met that were really involved in ‘civic’ issues were Missouri Synod Lutherans. Now they would like to bring back burning sinners at the stake for everyone that doesn’t see things their way. I think jihadists and those people actually have a lot in common.

EDIT: forgot my last sentence...

But what they (we) all have in common is that instead of following and emulating the teachings of Jesus, all the churches try to pretend they can’t see the suffering all around them..Just keep putting your money in the basket on Sunday and add a little extra for the building fund.

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12 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

snoopydawg's picture

@Amanda Matthews

of course they lie about its history. Have you heard of Mark Hoffman who sent bombs to two people, set one off in a government building and almost blew his package off when one of them detonated while he was sitting in his car?

He forged documents about the early history of the church, including the White Salamander papers. The church paid him millions so they could keep them away from people reading them.

His Wikipedia page needs a little editing because it leaves a lot out Smile

Mark Hoffman

How come no one mentions the TRILLION that the Vatican has. The building itself with all of its trappings would bring in close to $5 trillion. Then they could end world hunger...

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9 users have voted.

The Democratic Party under Bill Clinton transformed itself into the traditional Republican Party, and the Republican Party moved, was pushed, so far to the right it became insane

lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shoes_of_the_Fisherman

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6 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Amanda Matthews

But what they (we) all have in common is that instead of following and emulating the teachings of Jesus, all the churches try to pretend they can’t see the suffering all around them..Just keep putting your money in the basket on Sunday and add a little extra for the building fund.

That's why they're called fundamentalists! They ask you to donate money (fund) to support their favorite stupidities (amentalism)!

Wink

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7 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

Now, that was clever!

*needs extra recs*

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Meteor Man's picture

Knows all, sees all and is infallible. Kinda like The Holy Ghost. Woe unto the tax man who attempts to plunder their ill gotten gains. We of the Wall Street make money the old fashioned way. We steal it! Blessed are the Billionaires for their trust fund babies shall inherit the earth.

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19 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Steven D's picture

Our true religion is CAPITALISM (and yes all caps are appropriate because we are speaking about what is sacred). And what is the sole God of Capitalism? Profit. What is the only sin? Not making enough.

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23 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

mhagle's picture

@Steven D

Would make a bunch of YouTube videos about this, but fear they would come and kill my family.

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12 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Amanda Matthews's picture

@mhagle

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7 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

up
7 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Amanda Matthews's picture

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2 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews

More of a spaghetti and meatballs person myself, even if I can't eat non-organic/commercially processed white flour products without getting sick anymore... honestly, the petrochemical/GMO industry is literally and figuratively killing off their market even as they take over control of the food supply.

But if I could still afford organic pasta and range-raised meat, I'd be eating spaghetti religiously, lol.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Steven D @Steven D

"The self-identified religious institutions that thrive preach the perverted “prosperity gospel,” the message that magic Jesus will make you rich, respected and powerful if you believe in him. Jesus, they claim, is an American capitalist, bigot and ardent imperialist. These sects selectively lift passages from the Bible to justify the unjustifiable, including homophobia, war, racism against Muslims, and the death penalty. Yet there are more students—2,067—at the evangelical Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary alone than at the divinity schools and seminaries of Yale, Harvard, Union, Vanderbilt and Chicago, whose combined enrollment is 1,537.



The doctrine these sects preach is Christian heresy. The Christian faith—as in the 1930s under Germany’s pro-Nazi Christian church—is being distorted to sanctify nationalism, unregulated capitalism and militarism. The mainstream church, which refuses to denounce these heretics as heretics, a decision made in the name of tolerance, tacitly gives these sects credibility and squanders the prophetic voice of the church.



Kevin Kruse in his book “One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America” details how industrialists in the 1930s and 1940s poured money and resources into an effort to silence the social witness of the mainstream church, which was home to many radicals, socialists and proponents of the New Deal. These corporatists promoted and funded a brand of Christianity—which is today dominant—that conflates faith with free enterprise and American exceptionalism. The rich are rich, this creed goes, not because they are greedy or privileged, not because they use their power to their own advantage, not because they oppress the poor and the vulnerable, but because they are blessed. And if we have enough faith, this heretical form of Christianity claims, God will bless the rest of us too. It is an inversion of the central message of the Gospel. You don’t need to spend three years at Harvard Divinity School as I did to figure that out."

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/25/suicide-liberal-church

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9 users have voted.

@MrWebster @MrWebster

Thanks for posting that!

No tool goes unused against human society by what Dr. Robert Hare terms psychopaths, the latter of whom one might also term 'tools'.

Edit to remove 2 words, to add several others, and to add that this is Dominionism adjusted to indoctrinate the masses. The Koch brother, et al, tool, Harper, imposed as Canada's 'Prime Minister', unsurprisingly was a member of this pathological mockery of any sustainable or beneficial religion.

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5 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Seems that critical parts of our housing policy is to create higher value property by forcing people out of homes. HAMP was a deliberately undermined and we get millions of foreclosures and the banks make out like bandits. Way back in the day from what I remember, Dinkins of NYC tried to reduce the huge cost of homeless shelters by allocating more money for rent subsides (so no evictions creating homelesness) and even provided money for legal help to fight evictions. It was cheaper to keep people in permanent housing than maintaining shelters.

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k9disc's picture

“Churning” that the capitalists depend on for perpetual growth. @MrWebster

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4 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu