Does capitalism create inequality?

This article was originally published in the May ’14 issue of the Central Circuit.

by Casey Jaywork | Editor in Chief

George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984, was what Leftists call a “fellow traveler”—never solidly enough committed to one of the “smelly little orthodoxies” around him to be reliably Anarchist or Socialist, but reliable enough that his wandering allegiances never strayed outside their central hostility toward authoritarian social structures, fascist militarism, and capitalist wage labor. Orwell seems to have known little of Karl Marx, architect of the Leftist critique of capitalism, but he didn’t let it stop him from hating capitalism just the same.

We can do better than Orwell. My purpose in this essay is to explain in plain terms the central concept underlying Marx’s economic critique, which—for all its reputed abstruseness and complexity—is really not that complicated. Marx had one central insight: in capitalism (i.e. a society in which resources are distributed via the mechanism of private property, which is enforced by state violence), it takes money to make money. Continue reading “Does capitalism create inequality?”

May Day’s assault on invisible violence

This article was published in the May ’14 issue of the Central Circuit.

by Casey Jaywork | Editor in Chief

May 1st, 2014: A luxury sedan pulls up to a stop sign. The driver has just finished dinner at an upscale restaurant in Seattle’s business district. The evening sun casts a long, creeping shadow across the car’s sparkling hood. He’s tired, and ready to go home.

Suddenly, a wall of human beings pours into the intersection, like toothpaste squeezed from a giant tube. Screeching, hooting, shouting, swearing, they bear radical signs and radical hair. Photographers scurry around the crowd’s perimeter, flies on a lumbering beast. The driver blinks and shakes his head—is this for real? Continue reading “May Day’s assault on invisible violence”

The burden of home

By Reuven Pinnata | Staff Writer

I must confess that studying—not just studying, but living—in the United States had always been my childhood dream. I dreamt about and longed for that time to come; I idealized it and turned it into a point of reference. Every time some unpleasantness happened—studying a subject I never cared for, hearing one of my friends remark that reading fiction was useless because none of it was true, having a heated argument with my family—I would direct my mind, hope-bound, towards this dream. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I painted myself an enchanting picture all the same. Continue reading “The burden of home”

$15 minimum wage marches on

By Josh Kelety | Campus News Editor

The heated debate on raising Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 per hour has developed dramatically over the past couple of months, leaving the question of ‘if’ in the dust and moving forward to ‘how and when’ such an increase will be implemented. Everyone is wondering what the final proposal will look like, and how it will affect Seattle as a whole.

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15Now supporters at march 15th rally (photo by Josh Kelety)

Continue reading “$15 minimum wage marches on”

The Consul: Kafkaesque or Orwellian?

By Reuven Pinnata | Staff Writer

I have to confess that I was a bit let down when I first knew what the Seattle Opera was doing after their glorious production of Rigoletto. The Consul—I was quite sure I’d never heard of it before. I was eager to immerse myself in my second operatic experience, and the operas I had in mind were mainly the standard repertoire—Norma, La Traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, or Carmen. However, I soon learned what an interesting opera The Consul is. It is a political thriller, telling the story of a woman named Magda Sorel who is desperately trying to leave a nameless totalitarian state, along with her mother and infant son, to join her freedom-fighter husband John Sorel. (Then I was pretty sure I’d read a similar Kafka story.) The composer is Gian Carlo Menotti, and it was first performed in 1950, the same year it won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Continue reading “The Consul: Kafkaesque or Orwellian?”

Immigration: DREAM comes true

By Diana Gener | Managing Editor

Students who were brought illegally in the U.S. when they were children, usually called Dreamers, will be able to get financial aid from the state to pursue higher education. State lawmakers passed the Washington State Dream Act—Senate Bill 6523—which will extend financial aid to 1,100 more students from state universities. These students will benefit from $5 millions that will be provided to the State Need Grant in order to cover this increase of tuitions expenses.This is the first law that the Legislature has passed this year, according to the Seattle Times. Continue reading “Immigration: DREAM comes true”

Seattlites push back against bus privatization

By Katherine Morgan (Staff Writer) & Josh Kelety (Campus News Editor)

In an age of increasingly privatized public services, it is not uncommon to see citizens taking a stand against what they see as the corporate exploitation of the commonwealth. Stop Veolia Seattle (SVS), a local community organization of activists, aims to do just that by raising awareness of King County Metro’s contract with the multinational corporation Veolia, a company which operates Metro’s Accessible Service Program (aka “Access”). Access is a branch of Metro that provides specialized buses for transit riders with disabilities that prevent them from riding conventional buses.

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Facebook’s new gender features

By Reuven Pinnata | Staff Writer

As the world of social media has already noticed, Facebook (FB) has changed its gender-identification feature. FB users no longer have to choose between male or female when they define themselves in the digital world; FB has now given voice to those for whom the traditional male/female binary is inadequate.

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For some folks, these setting changes are a welcome sign of progress, while others see it as just a politically-correct move. To get some opinions on the matter, the Central Circuit interviewed Dr. Krystle Balhan (KB), professor of psychology at SCCC, and Zane Rapinan (ZR), secretary of the Triangle Club, a LGBTQ student club. Continue reading “Facebook’s new gender features”

How I became a hardcore feminist

by Sang W. Mendy | Student Contributor

My eyes searched the room only to find a sheet of black that cloaked me under obscurity. I noticed my hands but couldn’t tell their color. I lit the candle. I remembered my mother’s strict warning about playing with fire. I blew it out and peacefully found my bed. I wasn’t sure what time it was, but I knew it would soon be dinner time. I was hungry, but I had to wait a few more minutes, or maybe hours; there is a specific time when dinner is served. And, unless that time comes, dinner will not be served. I lay quietly on my bed staring at the ceilings for a few minutes before I dozed off and started to dream. In my dream, I was playing outside under the rain. At first it was a slow and light drizzle. Then it started to get heavier. Over some time, water started to pile up in our house. I heard my mother screaming at me to come inside, but I was enjoying myself under the rain. Then the rain started to swallow me and the house. I saw my father, my stepmother, and my half siblings on a boat sailing to safety. I looked behind me and saw my mother with my sister on her back begging my father to come back for us, but they were all laughing at her and sailing away. My mother loosened my sister from her back and also swam her way out. I was left all alone with my sister standing on top of our house roof surrounded by the liquid mass of water. Continue reading “How I became a hardcore feminist”

By the Numbers, February ’14

by Casey Jaywork | Editor-in-Chief