Capital in Context
Capital in Context is an ongoing stream of consciousness exploration that seeks to place late capitalism in an expanded worldview. It takes inspiration from Eileen Crist's crtiique of the Anthropocene as an event horizon "enclosed by a species-supermacist civilization (1)" This nebulous practice cohabitates with my very visual art practice but provides a space where this event horizon can be approached and a wormhole might appear.
Moore, Jason. Anthropocene or Capitalocene? PM Press, Oakland, CA 2016 p.28
The presentation below seeks to locate the expansion of capital inside a nonspecies-supermacist framework. The arbitrary fractal form of a tree is selected to put the expansion of exploitation inside the context of known phenomena. Removing the moral and ethical stigmas around capital could make it palatable to proponents and critics while holding it out to archivists of the future as a new primordial soup from which the new system had to emerge just before planetary collapse.
This project could take the form of collaborative exhibitions showing capital in its context
This project critiques the neo-liberal institutions that subsist on capital & offer blessings in exchange
This project can take the form of faux fund raisers using fun and humor to critique philanthropy
What is the dimensional jump away from capital towards eco-survivial? This project names the possibility, making it a reality.
The following two projects revise documents sacred to white Christian American capitalists. Putting critique in empathetic language both exposes hypocrisy and invites vernacular based reflection. Precious reason can be used against reasonable capitalists.
1. The American Declaration of Independence is revised replacing royal grievances with corporate ones.
2. An epistle of Paul is added to the Christian cannon demanding the abdication by fellow white men of power and wealth.
IN RESISTANCE, JULY 4, 2017.
The Unanimous Declaration of the UNITED PEOPLES OF NORTH AMERICA
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, A NEW station to which the Laws of OUR NATION entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of HUMANkind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all HUMANS are created equal, that they are endowed WITH certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among HUMANS, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute CORPORATE CONTROL it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these HUMANS; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present OLIGARCHS WHO MAKE UP 1% OF OUR POPULATION BUT CONTROL 40% OF OUR WEALTH, AND THE CORPORATIONS THROUGH WHICH THEY EXERCISE THIS ANONYMOUS CONTROL, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an INVERTED TOTALITARIAN REGIME over these HUMANS. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
THEY HAVE refused THEIR Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
THEY HAVE forbidden LEGISLATORS to pass STUDIES AND REGULATIONS of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation THEIR PROFITS THEY DO NOT THREATEN; and when so suspended, THEY HAVE utterly neglected to attend to them.
THEY HAVE refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to CORPORATE OLIGARCHS only.
THEY HAVE called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the STATE AND FEDERAL HOUSES OF GOVERNANCE, SUCH AS THE AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with THEIR measures.
THEY HAVE CAPTURED REGULATORY BODIES repeatedly, for opposing with HUMAN WISDOM THEIR invasions on the rights of the people.
THEY HAVE refused for a long time, after such CAPTURES, to ALLOW ANY REGULATIONS, THEREFORE the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise MANIFESTING IN SUCH MOVEMENTS AS: BLACK LIVES MATTER, THE WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON, 350.ORG, PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, THE INNOCENCE PROJECT AND OTHERS; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of EXPLOITATION from without, and PRIVATIZATION within.
THEY HAVE endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither BASED ON THEIR COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN AND RELIGIOUS CREEDS.
THEY HAVE obstructed the Administration of LAW by LEGALIZING BRIBERY WITH THE CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION SUPREME COURT DECISION WHICH ALLOWS UNLIMITED CAMPAIGN SPENDING to CANDIDATES, THUS establishing THEIR INDENTURE.
THEY HAVE made ALL HOUSES OF GOVERNMENT dependent on CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their ELECTION COSTS.
THEY HAVE erected a MASS OF CAPITAL, and sent hither swarms of LOBBYISTS to harass our people and eat out their substance.
THEY HAVE kept among us, in times of THEIR ABUNDANCE, HEGEMONIC AUSTERITY MEASURES without the FULL KNOWLEDGE of our CITIZENS.
THEY HAVE affected to render the Military INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
THEY HAVE combined with other MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS to subject us to a jurisdiction OF INVESTOR TRIBUNALS foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving SUPPORT to their Acts of pretended Legislation SUCH AS THE NORTH ATLANTIC FREE TRADE AGREEMENT AND THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP:
For quartering large bodies of UNTESTED TOXIC CHEMICALS among us:
For protecting THEIR MAKERS, by mock REGULATIONS from punishment for any Murders which THESE CHEMICALS DO VISIT UPon the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our HUMAN CONTACT THROUGH FEARFUL PROPAGANDA with all parts of the world:
For imposing REPRODUCTIVE RESTRICTIONS on us without our Consent:
For depriving PEOPLE OF COLOR in MOST cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be FODDER for WARS OF AGGRESSION IN VIOLATION OF NUREMBERG PRINCIPLES VI & VII FOR THEIR FURTHER ENRICHMENT:
For abolishing the free System of Laws in CITIES SUCH AS FLINT, MICHIGAN, establishing therein an Arbitrary PRIVATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into ALL JURISDICTIONS UNDER THE GUISE OF CRISES:
For BUYING our FREE ELECTIONS, UNDERMINING our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the MECHANICS of our Governments:
For CORRUPTING our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to LEGISLATE for us in all cases whatsoever.
THEY HAVE abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of THEIR PROTECTION and PLACING THE ACCUMULATION OF PROFIT ABOVE OURSELVES, OUR NEIGHBORS, AND OUR PLANET.
THEY HAVE plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
THEY ARE at this time UNLEASHING A TYRANT IN OUR 45TH PRESIDENCY to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
THEY HAVE INCARCERATED our fellow Citizens, DISPROPORTIONATELY OF COLOR, taken Captive IN OUR COMMUNITIES to WORK against their Country, to become LABORERS TO COMPETE WITH their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
THEY HAVE excited domestic insurrections amongst us: IN THE MURDERS OF SANDRA BLAND, DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND PRESIDENT JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY, AMONG OTHERS; IN THE BLOCKING OF HENRY WALLACE AND SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS FROM OUR ELECTION PROCESSES and HAVE endeavoured to bring NATIVE inhabitants of our CONTINENT, the FIRST NATIONS whose known rule of EXISTENCE, is an undistinguished ACCEPTANCE of all ages, sexes and conditions INTO FURTHER DESOLATION WITH PROJECTS SUCH AS THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. CORPORATIONS, whose character ARE thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, ARE unfit to be the rulerS of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our CAPITALIST brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their BOARDS AND EXECUTIVES to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our EXISTENCE here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our SECOND INDEPENDENCE, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the FREE PEOPLES OF NORTH America, in General RESISTANCE, CONNECTED, appealing to the GREAT SPIRIT of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of THIS LAND AND PLANET, solemnly publish and declare, That these united PEOPLES are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the CURRENT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WHICH IS FULLY CONTROLLED BY CORPORATE INTERESTS, and that all political connection between them and SAID GOVERNMENT, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent PEOPLES, they have full Power TO CONVENE AN INTERSECTIONALLY REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL OF WOMEN, to do all Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of MOTHER EARTH, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our BODIES, and our sacred PLANET.
Eric Carson Add your name:
Message to My People: We White Men Must Abdicate Power, Wealth, and Influence... and Step Aside
I think I understand you. I am motivated by the same hopes and fears. We aspire to succeed because we just want to have enough and to provide security to our families. Enough space, enough resources, and enough time… the life and liberty to pursue happiness. We believe this to be a universal motivation and expect others to compete for the same goal.
Our family tree needs space to grow. In a forest some trees naturally outgrow all others. What we don't realize that a tree grown too large always falls, and leaves only dead space in its shadow. Our aspiration, and the competition it creates, is the tiny fractal that tessellates into white supremacist late stage global capitalism. McDonald's grew from the best hamburger to a distributor of poison. Walmart grew from the best family store to a global enslavement company. We are the most successful invasive form of life this planet has seen.
Our aspiration has saturated foreign environments and expands backward into its cradle. We are now part of the impoverished global labor market we helped create. Other men who are the best at our beloved competition accumulate more and more leaving us with less and less. Why are we surprised? They are our heroes: the Kochs, Buffets, and Jobs among us.
As the mystic warns: “The arrow we have thrown returns against us. (1)” If we can hear it, this is a prophetic message. It comes to us in those small moments before sleep, in that extra second you linger outside the workplace on Monday morning. Something is not right. Our shortsighted morality is grinding on the gears of late stage capitalism.
Our ethos ends with our grandchildren fighting on the last tip of poisoned earth for the last Egg McMuffin before the dead oceans swallow up the victor.
Remaining a cog in such a system of death is wrong by every human ethic. I can't do it anymore. I appeal to our precious reason. Do you trust a murderer with weapon? A thief with a lockpick? A rogue state with an army? We have overthrown 14 democratic governments and decimated 4 entire nations. As executives and board members we have ushered in the sixth great planetary extinction. And we continue to push down, at any cost, those who are not like us. Our system of competition co-opts every attempt to amend it. Neither legislation, philanthropy, cultural criticism, nor charity can any longer address it. The reasonable thing to do with such perpetrators is remove their means of perpetration.
In the name of human survival, white males can no longer be allowed to hold office or own property.
Does this seem unfair? It is. We must unleash the full weight of our privilege against itself. This is the only moral act left available to white men. We must use the structure of our own supremacy to cancel itself out… then we must step aside. We must close the loop. We must save the world… from us.
“Perhaps this sentiment is not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.(2)” But information proliferates, coral faces extinction and our own cities flood. Time makes more converts than reason.
Before this message recedes into your curated river of information, consider for just one moment that you have the possibility to change the world. We are born into the world of the privileged, with all the actual capacity to effect change with simple and easy actions. Let us use our wealth and privilege for one good and true act, let us show history that we were not all bad. If we can't, if we won't remove ourselves from power, then we deserve to be deposed by any means necessary.
Today, Columbus Day, let's “discover” a new world: one we didn't drive to extinction.
Eric Paul Carson
(1) Kurdish Proverb. date & author unknown
(2) Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. 1775-1776. p. 1