Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

There is no quick fix for the Left’s impasse. The attempt to revive ideas of self-management are admirable in that they highlight the fundamental importance of challenging private property.

But the project’s dominant populism underestimates the limits of doing so within capitalism and overlooks the fundamental necessity of comprehensively challenging and overturning existing property relations — which cannot happen without developing the class cohesion and institutional capacity to confront the capitalist state.

The result is the worst of all worlds: while self-management is confined to the fringes, the dominant corporations continue on their merry way; the hated state is ignored and left to continue hammering us; there are occasional outbursts that absorb energy but leave little of substance behind; the working class, for all its potentials as an actor, stumbles aimlessly on.

Until the discussion is politicized such that it can go beyond a (legitimate) critique of statism, and begin to see the democratic transformation of the state as part and parcel of economic democratization — and the development of the class capacities to address this is made a priority — this “next big idea” will only be the Left’s latest failure.

christ this is good

Chasing Utopias by Sam Gindin 9 months, 2 weeks ago

There is no quick fix for the Left’s impasse. The attempt to revive ideas of self-management are admirable in that they highlight the fundamental importance of challenging private property.

But the project’s dominant populism underestimates the limits of doing so within capitalism and overlooks the fundamental necessity of comprehensively challenging and overturning existing property relations — which cannot happen without developing the class cohesion and institutional capacity to confront the capitalist state.

The result is the worst of all worlds: while self-management is confined to the fringes, the dominant corporations continue on their merry way; the hated state is ignored and left to continue hammering us; there are occasional outbursts that absorb energy but leave little of substance behind; the working class, for all its potentials as an actor, stumbles aimlessly on.

Until the discussion is politicized such that it can go beyond a (legitimate) critique of statism, and begin to see the democratic transformation of the state as part and parcel of economic democratization — and the development of the class capacities to address this is made a priority — this “next big idea” will only be the Left’s latest failure.

christ this is good

Chasing Utopias by Sam Gindin 9 months, 2 weeks ago

“What choice do I have?” ask the liberal gentrifiers, if you press them a bit. “This is the only place I can afford to live!” This sums everything up perfectly, puncturing the bubble of individual choices that make up liberal politics.

You have no choice; everything’s been decided ahead of time. If you want the American dream of a middle-class life with a home you own in the city in which you work, you have few other choices than to join the shock troops of the onslaught against the urban poor. Align with big capital and the repressive state in the conquest of the city, and maybe you’ll have enough equity to send your kids to college.

soooo good omg

Liberalism and Gentrification by Gavin C Mueller 5 months, 3 weeks ago

“What choice do I have?” ask the liberal gentrifiers, if you press them a bit. “This is the only place I can afford to live!” This sums everything up perfectly, puncturing the bubble of individual choices that make up liberal politics.

You have no choice; everything’s been decided ahead of time. If you want the American dream of a middle-class life with a home you own in the city in which you work, you have few other choices than to join the shock troops of the onslaught against the urban poor. Align with big capital and the repressive state in the conquest of the city, and maybe you’ll have enough equity to send your kids to college.

soooo good omg

Liberalism and Gentrification by Gavin C Mueller 5 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] Racism isn’t just a bad feeling in your heart, as a liberal believes when she insists that she isn’t at all racist. It’s a force that emerges from the pressures of maintaining one’s own position, and the resentments that spring forth from this process. It produces fear and hatred of the poor for being poor, for having any pretense of being on equal footing with the propertied. It is a hatred for the potential threat to the property values which underpin a tenuous future among the professional middle class: blackness.

nicely written

Liberalism and Gentrification by Gavin C Mueller 5 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] Racism isn’t just a bad feeling in your heart, as a liberal believes when she insists that she isn’t at all racist. It’s a force that emerges from the pressures of maintaining one’s own position, and the resentments that spring forth from this process. It produces fear and hatred of the poor for being poor, for having any pretense of being on equal footing with the propertied. It is a hatred for the potential threat to the property values which underpin a tenuous future among the professional middle class: blackness.

nicely written

Liberalism and Gentrification by Gavin C Mueller 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The lawyer we were fighting against, he basically told us, “You all cost too much money.” But you want to keep us though, right? Are we not valuable to you? Don’t you think we should have proper health care? Don’t you want us to be healthy in your facility?

When someone gets hurt, they go, “Oh man, oh, he’s down, he’s hurt now. Oh well, guess he’s not going to be working for us anymore. He’s out of commission. Let’s just hire another person.” They don’t understand the value of life. That’s what they do. That’s what capitalism is. It’s “we don’t care because we’re still going to make our money with or without you.”

My role is being able to speak about my experience, and bring to light the issues that are oppressing us — not just white people, not just black people, but as human beings. It doesn’t matter what the situation is or how people got there, corporations always say, “They did it to themselves.” But people deserve better.

“They Don’t Understand the Value of Life” by Meagan Day 6 months ago

The lawyer we were fighting against, he basically told us, “You all cost too much money.” But you want to keep us though, right? Are we not valuable to you? Don’t you think we should have proper health care? Don’t you want us to be healthy in your facility?

When someone gets hurt, they go, “Oh man, oh, he’s down, he’s hurt now. Oh well, guess he’s not going to be working for us anymore. He’s out of commission. Let’s just hire another person.” They don’t understand the value of life. That’s what they do. That’s what capitalism is. It’s “we don’t care because we’re still going to make our money with or without you.”

My role is being able to speak about my experience, and bring to light the issues that are oppressing us — not just white people, not just black people, but as human beings. It doesn’t matter what the situation is or how people got there, corporations always say, “They did it to themselves.” But people deserve better.

“They Don’t Understand the Value of Life” by Meagan Day 6 months ago

But under the guise of innovation and progress, companies are stripping away worker protections, pushing down wages, and flouting government regulations. At its core, the sharing economy is a scheme to shift risk from companies to workers, discourage labor organizing, and ensure that capitalists can reap huge profits with low fixed costs.

There’s nothing innovative or new about this business model. Uber is just capitalism, in its most naked form.

Against Sharing missing author 7 months, 1 week ago

But under the guise of innovation and progress, companies are stripping away worker protections, pushing down wages, and flouting government regulations. At its core, the sharing economy is a scheme to shift risk from companies to workers, discourage labor organizing, and ensure that capitalists can reap huge profits with low fixed costs.

There’s nothing innovative or new about this business model. Uber is just capitalism, in its most naked form.

Against Sharing missing author 7 months, 1 week ago

Meanwhile, Uber acts as if it’s doing drivers a favor by offering them work in the first place. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who loves giving inspirational talks about innovation, often claims that Uber helps people “become small business owners.” But working long shifts and forking over 20 percent of fares to a group of Silicon Valley app-engineers doesn’t really count as owning a small business.

“They think we are a bunch of losers who can’t find better jobs,” DeWolf said. “That’s why they treat us like robots — like we are replaceable.”

Uber, of course, disputes this characterization. “Uber succeeds when our partner-drivers succeed,” Behrend said.

But that is just empty spin: drivers aren’t partners — they are laborers exploited by their company. They have no say in business decisions and can be fired at any time. Instead of paying its employees a wage, Uber just pockets a portion of their earnings. Drivers take all the risks and front all the costs — the car, the gas, the insurance — yet it is executives and investors who get rich.

nothing novel but it's nice to see it spelled out

Against Sharing missing author 7 months, 1 week ago

Meanwhile, Uber acts as if it’s doing drivers a favor by offering them work in the first place. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who loves giving inspirational talks about innovation, often claims that Uber helps people “become small business owners.” But working long shifts and forking over 20 percent of fares to a group of Silicon Valley app-engineers doesn’t really count as owning a small business.

“They think we are a bunch of losers who can’t find better jobs,” DeWolf said. “That’s why they treat us like robots — like we are replaceable.”

Uber, of course, disputes this characterization. “Uber succeeds when our partner-drivers succeed,” Behrend said.

But that is just empty spin: drivers aren’t partners — they are laborers exploited by their company. They have no say in business decisions and can be fired at any time. Instead of paying its employees a wage, Uber just pockets a portion of their earnings. Drivers take all the risks and front all the costs — the car, the gas, the insurance — yet it is executives and investors who get rich.

nothing novel but it's nice to see it spelled out

Against Sharing missing author 7 months, 1 week ago

[...] there might be an alternate ending to this story. Recently, twenty thousand Google workers around the world walked off the job for a few hours. Spurred by anger at the multimillion-dollar payouts given to high-level executives accused of sexual harassment, the global organizing effort came together in under a week. Some of the San Francisco contingent expressed solidarity with the city’s striking Marriott workers, a marked disavowal of the industry’s typical hyper-individualism. If tech workers keep traveling down this road, and manage to elicit class consciousness in America’s white-collar professionals — a cause long thought to be hopeless — now that would be a true innovation.

The Self-Serving Myths of Silicon Valley by Miya Tokumitsu 7 months, 1 week ago

[...] there might be an alternate ending to this story. Recently, twenty thousand Google workers around the world walked off the job for a few hours. Spurred by anger at the multimillion-dollar payouts given to high-level executives accused of sexual harassment, the global organizing effort came together in under a week. Some of the San Francisco contingent expressed solidarity with the city’s striking Marriott workers, a marked disavowal of the industry’s typical hyper-individualism. If tech workers keep traveling down this road, and manage to elicit class consciousness in America’s white-collar professionals — a cause long thought to be hopeless — now that would be a true innovation.

The Self-Serving Myths of Silicon Valley by Miya Tokumitsu 7 months, 1 week ago

Capitalism is an effervescent elixir. People clamor to catch a lift upward on the latest bubble even though deep down, most know there is only air beneath them. Stocks, tech valuations, real-estate speculation — it’s not the stuff of the economy that really matters, but rather, the timely exit from each overvalued market. A few people win, most lose, and the victors tend to be those already advantaged by their class position. Nevertheless, we suppress that knowledge, because facing the truth is too painful. It’s nice to have something to hope, and to work, for.

The Self-Serving Myths of Silicon Valley by Miya Tokumitsu 7 months, 1 week ago

Capitalism is an effervescent elixir. People clamor to catch a lift upward on the latest bubble even though deep down, most know there is only air beneath them. Stocks, tech valuations, real-estate speculation — it’s not the stuff of the economy that really matters, but rather, the timely exit from each overvalued market. A few people win, most lose, and the victors tend to be those already advantaged by their class position. Nevertheless, we suppress that knowledge, because facing the truth is too painful. It’s nice to have something to hope, and to work, for.

The Self-Serving Myths of Silicon Valley by Miya Tokumitsu 7 months, 1 week ago

But this kind of branding exercise is a perfect example of how capitalism transforms its opponents into its promoters. Drawing on an advertising and technology industry that scours the social world for images, movements, and experiences yet to be commercialized, capitalism’s “creative” edge leaches any semblance that these could be utilized to create alternative social worlds. Any movement (be it a countercultural group, protest movement, meme, or activist ideology) that is looking to destabilize capitalism is viewed as a potential market to exploit.

Hence, capitalism’s “creative” power does not create — it appropriates.

It offers dissenting voices financial incentives, recognition, or even simply a rest from the emotional and physical exhaustion of constantly fighting. But in doing so, those anti-capitalists stop destabilizing capitalism: instead, they become fertile grounds to harvest more profit.

Against Creativity missing author 8 months, 4 weeks ago

But this kind of branding exercise is a perfect example of how capitalism transforms its opponents into its promoters. Drawing on an advertising and technology industry that scours the social world for images, movements, and experiences yet to be commercialized, capitalism’s “creative” edge leaches any semblance that these could be utilized to create alternative social worlds. Any movement (be it a countercultural group, protest movement, meme, or activist ideology) that is looking to destabilize capitalism is viewed as a potential market to exploit.

Hence, capitalism’s “creative” power does not create — it appropriates.

It offers dissenting voices financial incentives, recognition, or even simply a rest from the emotional and physical exhaustion of constantly fighting. But in doing so, those anti-capitalists stop destabilizing capitalism: instead, they become fertile grounds to harvest more profit.

Against Creativity missing author 8 months, 4 weeks ago

So we went back in and showed them our proposal, and they said no. Doris stood up and pounded on the table and said, “Are we not worth it? We’re doing this for you. We’re cleaning and working for you. Are we not enough?” And then she just looked at everybody and said, “Come on, guys,” and we all stood up and walked out.

I felt prideful in that moment. I felt very empowered. You’ll have to excuse me. I’m getting kind of emotional. But I was very prideful about it because for the first time, I felt part of something that I know I should be a part of.

I know this is what I’m meant to be doing. Not this job, this job means nothing. It’s about what I’m doing at this table, for myself and the other people that will come after me. For the guy who has something wrong with his lungs. For the lady who can’t walk, but she still has to work. That’s what this is for.

When we went back in, I told them my story. I told them, “I’m homeless and working for you. I started working for this company to better myself. It’s only me. I don’t have any children. I’m not married. I want to support me, and I can’t do that. At the moment, I can’t even pay a deposit and first month’s rent at the same time. These wages are still too low to do that. I can’t. And there’s many other people that can’t either. I take showers in your facilities. I’m sneaking around where I can’t be seen. I’m coming into work three, four hours early because it’s cold out. How would you feel in that situation?”

“They Don’t Understand the Value of Life” by Meagan Day 6 months ago

So we went back in and showed them our proposal, and they said no. Doris stood up and pounded on the table and said, “Are we not worth it? We’re doing this for you. We’re cleaning and working for you. Are we not enough?” And then she just looked at everybody and said, “Come on, guys,” and we all stood up and walked out.

I felt prideful in that moment. I felt very empowered. You’ll have to excuse me. I’m getting kind of emotional. But I was very prideful about it because for the first time, I felt part of something that I know I should be a part of.

I know this is what I’m meant to be doing. Not this job, this job means nothing. It’s about what I’m doing at this table, for myself and the other people that will come after me. For the guy who has something wrong with his lungs. For the lady who can’t walk, but she still has to work. That’s what this is for.

When we went back in, I told them my story. I told them, “I’m homeless and working for you. I started working for this company to better myself. It’s only me. I don’t have any children. I’m not married. I want to support me, and I can’t do that. At the moment, I can’t even pay a deposit and first month’s rent at the same time. These wages are still too low to do that. I can’t. And there’s many other people that can’t either. I take showers in your facilities. I’m sneaking around where I can’t be seen. I’m coming into work three, four hours early because it’s cold out. How would you feel in that situation?”

“They Don’t Understand the Value of Life” by Meagan Day 6 months ago