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).

17

The fact that for most people the risk of slavery is low, but the law sanctions it for others, turns rights into little more than a myth. The question of whether or not a person becomes enslaved depends on whether they stay on the correct side of the law, a law that is destined to be crafted far more by the powerful than the powerless (that is, after all what power means to begin with).

kinda obvious but still, nice way of putting it

—p.17 Slavery Is Everywhere (15) by Brianna Rennix, Oren Nimni 2 months, 4 weeks ago

The fact that for most people the risk of slavery is low, but the law sanctions it for others, turns rights into little more than a myth. The question of whether or not a person becomes enslaved depends on whether they stay on the correct side of the law, a law that is destined to be crafted far more by the powerful than the powerless (that is, after all what power means to begin with).

kinda obvious but still, nice way of putting it

—p.17 Slavery Is Everywhere (15) by Brianna Rennix, Oren Nimni 2 months, 4 weeks ago
18

Focusing on slavery as a set of theoretical property rights constructions is therefore somewhat bizarre. It considers the types of legal rights the owner holds or exercises, rather than the person in question’s actual experiences. Thus the same two experiences could be slavery or not, depending on how they arose. If we see a row of men doing back-breaking work picking cotton, whipped and beaten, working 12 hour days, they might be enslaved. But what if we learn that they’re employees, that they’ve signed up for this since it’s the only job in the area? Well, according to all the theories we’re not dealing with slavery anymore, but it sure looks pretty similar.

That’s one of the reasons the phrase “wage slavery” arose to describe industrial toil. By the people-as-property definition of slavery, it’s an oxymoron; if everybody in the factory is being paid, nobody is being enslaved. But workers’ rights campaigners used the term “wage slavery” to illustrate a crucial point: being given wages so pitiful you couldn’t afford to move elsewhere meant that a wage system and a slave system could end up feeling exactly the same for the worker. Some even argued that wage-systems were worse; a capitalist who rented his labor could brutalize and destroy workers’ bodies and simply replace them one they wore out, while a slaveowner had some incentive to protect his investment. Most people treat rental cars with less care than cars they own, thus leased wage-workers could be even more poorly treated than slaves in many cases. (Rather than justifying slavery, that fact indicts wage work.)

Because the boundaries of slavery are difficult to pinpoint, and people tend to associate it so strongly with the slave regime of the American South and the Transatlantic slave trade (far more than they think of Greek slaves, slaves in the Middle Ages, or, well, Slavs), many situations resembling slavery in “all but name” are ignored or treated as normal.

Yet if we honestly examine what sort of experiences constitute slavery or its equivalent, we find that the experience of brutal and effectively involuntary work, is everywhere. Slavery is invisibly present in the architecture of our lives. In fact, we are surrounded by innumerable symbols of slavery, cunningly-disguised, made anodyne by ubiquity and routine.

The experience of slavery is present in countless products we unthinkingly purchase, consume, and discard every day. These items were created or harvested, in whole or in part, by fellow human beings who have been conveniently hidden from our sight. Such workers are not paid a living wage. Their lives are devoid of the most basic necessities. They live under conditions of abject misery and fear. And so once we get ourselves out of the conceptual muddle, and look below the surface, we are faced with the disquieting reality that we are all actively participating in a slave economy: today, right now, this minute.

sooo good omg

—p.18 Slavery Is Everywhere (15) by Brianna Rennix, Oren Nimni 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Focusing on slavery as a set of theoretical property rights constructions is therefore somewhat bizarre. It considers the types of legal rights the owner holds or exercises, rather than the person in question’s actual experiences. Thus the same two experiences could be slavery or not, depending on how they arose. If we see a row of men doing back-breaking work picking cotton, whipped and beaten, working 12 hour days, they might be enslaved. But what if we learn that they’re employees, that they’ve signed up for this since it’s the only job in the area? Well, according to all the theories we’re not dealing with slavery anymore, but it sure looks pretty similar.

That’s one of the reasons the phrase “wage slavery” arose to describe industrial toil. By the people-as-property definition of slavery, it’s an oxymoron; if everybody in the factory is being paid, nobody is being enslaved. But workers’ rights campaigners used the term “wage slavery” to illustrate a crucial point: being given wages so pitiful you couldn’t afford to move elsewhere meant that a wage system and a slave system could end up feeling exactly the same for the worker. Some even argued that wage-systems were worse; a capitalist who rented his labor could brutalize and destroy workers’ bodies and simply replace them one they wore out, while a slaveowner had some incentive to protect his investment. Most people treat rental cars with less care than cars they own, thus leased wage-workers could be even more poorly treated than slaves in many cases. (Rather than justifying slavery, that fact indicts wage work.)

Because the boundaries of slavery are difficult to pinpoint, and people tend to associate it so strongly with the slave regime of the American South and the Transatlantic slave trade (far more than they think of Greek slaves, slaves in the Middle Ages, or, well, Slavs), many situations resembling slavery in “all but name” are ignored or treated as normal.

Yet if we honestly examine what sort of experiences constitute slavery or its equivalent, we find that the experience of brutal and effectively involuntary work, is everywhere. Slavery is invisibly present in the architecture of our lives. In fact, we are surrounded by innumerable symbols of slavery, cunningly-disguised, made anodyne by ubiquity and routine.

The experience of slavery is present in countless products we unthinkingly purchase, consume, and discard every day. These items were created or harvested, in whole or in part, by fellow human beings who have been conveniently hidden from our sight. Such workers are not paid a living wage. Their lives are devoid of the most basic necessities. They live under conditions of abject misery and fear. And so once we get ourselves out of the conceptual muddle, and look below the surface, we are faced with the disquieting reality that we are all actively participating in a slave economy: today, right now, this minute.

sooo good omg

—p.18 Slavery Is Everywhere (15) by Brianna Rennix, Oren Nimni 2 months, 4 weeks ago
25

But slavery does not just exist as the continuing reverberation of a tragic past, and by focusing on rooting out the symbolic and material consequences of historical slavery, we risk missing something quite important: the world is still full of actual, literal slaves. From the penitentiaries of Louisiana to the garment factories of Bangladesh to the coffee plantations of the Ivory Coast, slavery is ubiquitous but invisible. Faced with this disconcerting fact, each person must decide whether she is comfortable in continuing to passively participate, or whether she will accept the conclusion of our 19th century abolitionist predecessors: that one cannot coexist quietly alongside a slave system, and that it is one’s basic moral duty to find every available means of eliminating slavery from the earth for good.

—p.25 Slavery Is Everywhere (15) by Brianna Rennix, Oren Nimni 2 months, 3 weeks ago

But slavery does not just exist as the continuing reverberation of a tragic past, and by focusing on rooting out the symbolic and material consequences of historical slavery, we risk missing something quite important: the world is still full of actual, literal slaves. From the penitentiaries of Louisiana to the garment factories of Bangladesh to the coffee plantations of the Ivory Coast, slavery is ubiquitous but invisible. Faced with this disconcerting fact, each person must decide whether she is comfortable in continuing to passively participate, or whether she will accept the conclusion of our 19th century abolitionist predecessors: that one cannot coexist quietly alongside a slave system, and that it is one’s basic moral duty to find every available means of eliminating slavery from the earth for good.

—p.25 Slavery Is Everywhere (15) by Brianna Rennix, Oren Nimni 2 months, 3 weeks ago
31

Consider a recent article from “EverydayFeminism.com,” a fairly typical exemplar of progressive discourse. The author describes six indicators that one has “class privilege.” These include: 1. Waking up well-rested. 2. Paying for a convenience (such as deciding to buy a coffee so as not to have to make it). 3. The ability to call in sick. 4. Having reliable transportation. 5. Being paid for all of the hours that one works. 6. Being able to buy healthy food.

The author is, of course, right that poor people can’t be assured of these things, and that to have money confers an extraordinary amount of additional comfort and security in ways that often go unrecognized. But there is something disturbing about using the word “privilege” to describe something as basic as getting a good night’s sleep. Being well-rested seems like something that all human beings ought to deserve as a right. By classifying something as basic as “not having one’s wages stolen by one’s employer” as a “privilege” instead of a right, one erodes the degree to which such a guarantee should be universally expected by all.

—p.31 The Pathologies of Privilege (27) by Zach Wehrwein 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Consider a recent article from “EverydayFeminism.com,” a fairly typical exemplar of progressive discourse. The author describes six indicators that one has “class privilege.” These include: 1. Waking up well-rested. 2. Paying for a convenience (such as deciding to buy a coffee so as not to have to make it). 3. The ability to call in sick. 4. Having reliable transportation. 5. Being paid for all of the hours that one works. 6. Being able to buy healthy food.

The author is, of course, right that poor people can’t be assured of these things, and that to have money confers an extraordinary amount of additional comfort and security in ways that often go unrecognized. But there is something disturbing about using the word “privilege” to describe something as basic as getting a good night’s sleep. Being well-rested seems like something that all human beings ought to deserve as a right. By classifying something as basic as “not having one’s wages stolen by one’s employer” as a “privilege” instead of a right, one erodes the degree to which such a guarantee should be universally expected by all.

—p.31 The Pathologies of Privilege (27) by Zach Wehrwein 2 months, 3 weeks ago
34

Critiques of white privilege can therefore slip into the very callousness that we are attempting to critique in the first place. If white peo- ple are perceived to experience “undeserved” advantage, then creating a world of just deserts will involve removing those advantages. But if those “advantages” are necessities rather than luxuries, we may bizarrely find ourselves advocating to take away things we support. If only white people get fair criminal procedure, with a presumption of innocence, we could remove white privilege by giving everyone an extremely unfair system, but it’s hard to believe we would have successfully increased the amount of justice in the world.

—p.34 The Pathologies of Privilege (27) by Zach Wehrwein 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Critiques of white privilege can therefore slip into the very callousness that we are attempting to critique in the first place. If white peo- ple are perceived to experience “undeserved” advantage, then creating a world of just deserts will involve removing those advantages. But if those “advantages” are necessities rather than luxuries, we may bizarrely find ourselves advocating to take away things we support. If only white people get fair criminal procedure, with a presumption of innocence, we could remove white privilege by giving everyone an extremely unfair system, but it’s hard to believe we would have successfully increased the amount of justice in the world.

—p.34 The Pathologies of Privilege (27) by Zach Wehrwein 2 months, 3 weeks ago
35

The problem with privilege is not that it is an undue luxury, then. It is that all do not share in it equally. A failure to recognize that causes a doomed political strategy; it results in critiquing those who have privilege rather than granting it to those who do not. That means dragging entitled people down rather than lifting non-entitled people up; it’s a bit like responding to the racial disparity in death penalty sentences by resolving to kill more white people rather than to kill fewer black people [...]

—p.35 The Pathologies of Privilege (27) by Zach Wehrwein 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The problem with privilege is not that it is an undue luxury, then. It is that all do not share in it equally. A failure to recognize that causes a doomed political strategy; it results in critiquing those who have privilege rather than granting it to those who do not. That means dragging entitled people down rather than lifting non-entitled people up; it’s a bit like responding to the racial disparity in death penalty sentences by resolving to kill more white people rather than to kill fewer black people [...]

—p.35 The Pathologies of Privilege (27) by Zach Wehrwein 2 months, 3 weeks ago
69

Perhaps one should blame Barack Obama for this. Ahmed’s political worldview seems to be part Obama, part Warren Buffett: vacuous civil rights rhetoric plus vacuous “progressive” corporate rhetoric. Obama was the one who finally sapped the last substantive content from the words “hope” and “change,” and who used racial inclusion as a way of justifying the status quo. Obama was politics as image and iconography rather than power and policy, precisely the sensibility that Ahmed has inherited. Obama’s realization was the same one that corporate America had about the counterculture: if you incorporated the images of radical politics, without any actual threat to the existing power structure, you could produce a version of progressive politics that Wall Street would love. You could feel like a good person and get rich at the same time.

on Ziad Ahmed

—p.69 Riding the Hashtag (65) by Yasmin Nair 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Perhaps one should blame Barack Obama for this. Ahmed’s political worldview seems to be part Obama, part Warren Buffett: vacuous civil rights rhetoric plus vacuous “progressive” corporate rhetoric. Obama was the one who finally sapped the last substantive content from the words “hope” and “change,” and who used racial inclusion as a way of justifying the status quo. Obama was politics as image and iconography rather than power and policy, precisely the sensibility that Ahmed has inherited. Obama’s realization was the same one that corporate America had about the counterculture: if you incorporated the images of radical politics, without any actual threat to the existing power structure, you could produce a version of progressive politics that Wall Street would love. You could feel like a good person and get rich at the same time.

on Ziad Ahmed

—p.69 Riding the Hashtag (65) by Yasmin Nair 2 months, 3 weeks ago
94

The relatively harmless tweeting of today certainly leaves fewer human casualties behind. But it is still based on a common impulse – the expression of total contempt for one’s own society expressed through progressive language. In this internal psychodrama the oppressed appear as purely symbolic, rather than as real people for whom one is trying to generate real material gains. It is difficult to think of any positive political movement past or present that has changed the lives of human beings for the better based on misanthropy and radical performances of self-hatred.

Even the cruelest alt-right critics tend to regard extreme forms of liberal social media self-hatred as simply pathetic, a sign of a lack of self-respect. But in my own more ungenerous moments I wonder if it is something worse. Rather than merely being of benefit to no one, it could be of quite a significant benefit to just one person – the self-flagellator themselves. Publicly declaring your sins makes you appear a better person than those who have not declared them. It is not really a put-down of oneself, but a put-down of others, who are less morally worthy for having been less forthcoming in their confessions.

—p.94 The Scourge of Self-Flagellating Politics (89) by Angela Nagle 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The relatively harmless tweeting of today certainly leaves fewer human casualties behind. But it is still based on a common impulse – the expression of total contempt for one’s own society expressed through progressive language. In this internal psychodrama the oppressed appear as purely symbolic, rather than as real people for whom one is trying to generate real material gains. It is difficult to think of any positive political movement past or present that has changed the lives of human beings for the better based on misanthropy and radical performances of self-hatred.

Even the cruelest alt-right critics tend to regard extreme forms of liberal social media self-hatred as simply pathetic, a sign of a lack of self-respect. But in my own more ungenerous moments I wonder if it is something worse. Rather than merely being of benefit to no one, it could be of quite a significant benefit to just one person – the self-flagellator themselves. Publicly declaring your sins makes you appear a better person than those who have not declared them. It is not really a put-down of oneself, but a put-down of others, who are less morally worthy for having been less forthcoming in their confessions.

—p.94 The Scourge of Self-Flagellating Politics (89) by Angela Nagle 2 months, 3 weeks ago
110

The structure of Brice’s lyrics shows a keen awareness of socioeconomic class. But this is not the labor movement’s conception of class, with its exhortation to social change. The Lee Brice theory of class is empty of meaning. It’s hopeless and sad; nothing is left but solipsistic in-group pride and alcoholism. The vice neuters any revolutionary fervor. A member of the Drinking Class isn’t interested in social climbing and he would never dream of doing away with class distinctions altogether.

The Drinking Class man knows life is pretty rotten, that you work and drink until you die. But, strongly encouraged by millionaire tribunes of the working poor like the guy from Dirty Jobs, the guy from Duck Dynasty, and the guy from Larry the Cable Guy (plus fellow reality star Donald J. Trump), he adopts flimsy, prejudiced rationalizations to explain his very real feelings of being forgotten and exploited. He justifies his toil as morally necessary, rather than exploitative. And like a surly teen alienated from his parents and bored with masturbation, he joins a cultural clique and cements his place in it by lashing out at its real or imaginary enemies. To get back at the elites who mocked him for making little sense, he begins to do things that make little sense, such as flying a Confederate flag in Massachusetts. (Half-assed clique membership is often embarrassing, like when homophobic metalheads get tricked into wearing leather daddy outfits.)

analysing Lee Brice’s 2014 smash hit “Drinking Class”

—p.110 Peculiarities of the Yankee Confederate (105) missing author 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The structure of Brice’s lyrics shows a keen awareness of socioeconomic class. But this is not the labor movement’s conception of class, with its exhortation to social change. The Lee Brice theory of class is empty of meaning. It’s hopeless and sad; nothing is left but solipsistic in-group pride and alcoholism. The vice neuters any revolutionary fervor. A member of the Drinking Class isn’t interested in social climbing and he would never dream of doing away with class distinctions altogether.

The Drinking Class man knows life is pretty rotten, that you work and drink until you die. But, strongly encouraged by millionaire tribunes of the working poor like the guy from Dirty Jobs, the guy from Duck Dynasty, and the guy from Larry the Cable Guy (plus fellow reality star Donald J. Trump), he adopts flimsy, prejudiced rationalizations to explain his very real feelings of being forgotten and exploited. He justifies his toil as morally necessary, rather than exploitative. And like a surly teen alienated from his parents and bored with masturbation, he joins a cultural clique and cements his place in it by lashing out at its real or imaginary enemies. To get back at the elites who mocked him for making little sense, he begins to do things that make little sense, such as flying a Confederate flag in Massachusetts. (Half-assed clique membership is often embarrassing, like when homophobic metalheads get tricked into wearing leather daddy outfits.)

analysing Lee Brice’s 2014 smash hit “Drinking Class”

—p.110 Peculiarities of the Yankee Confederate (105) missing author 2 months, 3 weeks ago
115

The individualist position, which treats every person’s life outcomes as being entirely of their own making, represents both a deep moral callousness and a total indifference to empirical fact. We know that people are irrational, frail, and ambivalent, that they make choices they regret, that their brains lie to them about how much other people love them. Yet the “minding your own business” ethic is a core part of the national ideology. Your choices are your own, and if you don’t like the consequences, well, sucks for you. That line of libertarian-ish thinking is common even in cases where people’s choices are far less free than suicide; there is little sympathy for those devastated by economic crises, or drowning in medical bills. So it’s little surprise that suicide, which appears entirely freely-chosen, should be treated as an entirely private concern.

—p.115 Suicide and the American Dream (111) by Nathan J Robinson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The individualist position, which treats every person’s life outcomes as being entirely of their own making, represents both a deep moral callousness and a total indifference to empirical fact. We know that people are irrational, frail, and ambivalent, that they make choices they regret, that their brains lie to them about how much other people love them. Yet the “minding your own business” ethic is a core part of the national ideology. Your choices are your own, and if you don’t like the consequences, well, sucks for you. That line of libertarian-ish thinking is common even in cases where people’s choices are far less free than suicide; there is little sympathy for those devastated by economic crises, or drowning in medical bills. So it’s little surprise that suicide, which appears entirely freely-chosen, should be treated as an entirely private concern.

—p.115 Suicide and the American Dream (111) by Nathan J Robinson 2 months, 3 weeks ago