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“Abolition represented capital” by Craig Tepper

Craig Tepper | Sep 29th, 2021 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

“Abolition represented capital.”
W.E.B. Du Bois explains in BLACK RECONSTRUCTION, 1937, pg. 25
Why white Labor in the 1800s opposed the end of Slavery.
Or, remained silent. Labor saw it as against its own interests.
The companies, capital would benefit from slaves
Competing as laborers to drive down wages,
Saw it as a tool of the ruling class.
The division between working class blacks and whites
goes back hundreds of years. But begins in Slavery.

And spreads a warped view of how economies work best.
If labor is united in a Democracy, if the broad middle class
Sees its own best interest, it has the numbers to defeat that enemy —
The class idea that capitalism requires the richer get richer
By means of the top percentile getting smaller and smaller:
It’s a relic of feudalism’s shadow over capitalism.
Along with the idea scarcity rules. So for me to live well
You have to do badly. Someone does.
Buy this idea, you’ll never be happy or full.
But, in fact, the more the pie gets shared the bigger the pie.
The Chinese already understand this way better than we do.

Of course, you have to root out the pigs
before the pigs root out you.
China burnt their fields to their roots.
They cast out the pigs, but will they stay put?

They, the pigs, cast this spell, they exercise a glamour
— like the Arthurian knights, in shiny armor, crying,
‘All for one, the King!’ — They’re attractive
As a cure for what ails you, a distraction you pay for.
It comes with the less security, more anxiety,
consuming feelings of worthlessness it creates.
And narcotics to make you think your life’s okay:
“The 25 Gillion Dollar Pyramid Scheme To The Stars” –
Suck on this, and Trump until you need a dentist,
“Oh, the opiods, the opiods!”
Whatever you use to numb the fuck out of life,
“Ohio, Why Always So High-yo, Ohio?” So,
Why would you not take their economic views as well?
You’re swallowing everything else they’re selling:
“Oh, and here’s a lottery ticket. I’ve also got an in on
A lovely piece of real estate in Florida. Beachfront.”

We need to explain capitalism works best
When it’s from the one many. Invert the idea,
Because it is our pigs who stood this truth on its head.
What’s best for all is good for one.
Not “What’s good for one is best for all.”
Balls. See, how this generates all kinds of delusions!?
Sparks that shoot from your head.
And it’s not just bad for the hungry, poor and homeless.
It’s bad for billionaires, too. Dying for attention.
Building rockets to the stars for the point-zero-zero-zero percent
While the world awaits covid protection? Gets you noticed,
Does fuck-all for all but the Nightly News you pay to tell us.
A view of the earth, last view most likely,
Look, down there, nothing alive in the ocean.
Heat, drought and fires. Melting ice caps,
Smoke, storms, floods rehydrating dry corpses
That run past where you’re sittting
At the 50-yard line of the Apocalypse.
Advotainment, blatant waste, tickle my imagination
So I forget how boring writing code is.

Instead,
Believe in capitalism, “Tax The Rich” can be sexy,
Cuz it’s real. The Revolution Must Be Televized,
Needs Be Televized, Will Be Televized.
You’ll know it when you see it, there’s no reason
We have to live like avatars in a video game.
Let’s be part of a real something, a movement to save the planet.
People, together! “Spread this money around, link all our brains,
We got a four-alarm emergency. A pandemic
And bigger problems coming over the horizon.
They don’t want to come along, they don’t want to wear masks,
Don’t argue, do like you gotta.
And let whatever else comes along take care of them.”

Poet Bio

film and televison LAW & ORDER
poetry, GOODFOOT, journalism, NEVADA MAGAZINE, humor, LA TIMES, film criticism, Film Quarterly,

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