it will be ok
we will die
in our sleep.
what the fuck is this science bullshit
gif 1, explosive polymerization of p Nitro Aniline Video
gif 2, Sodium Polyacrylate mixed with water Video
gif 3, Sodium Acetate Video
gif 4, the smoke is vaporized wax, can still catch fire and travels back to the wick Video
gif 5, Ping Pong balls + Liquid Nitrogen in a trash can Video
gif 6, electrical treeing
gif 7, heating Mercury Thiocyanate
gif 8, ferrofluid sculpture Video
gif 9, flammable gas lit in a glass jar Video
GO HOME SCIENCE U R DRUNK.
SCIENCE CAN TOTALLY DRIVE OKAY. GIVE SCIENCE THE KEYS.
Theories of class composition and privilege
“To understand the dynamics of class formation in post-colonial Africa, we need first to examine the character of the preceding colonial state. Colonialism left independent African states with a neo-colonial economy, with the capitalist mode of production replacing the pre-capitalist modes; this entailed the subjugation of local labor and resources to the needs of capitalism.
The classes that developed after this integration do not reflect an autonomous economy, but a dependent economy — they show an artificial and truncated version of the class structure of the developed Western economies. This class structure is not the classical division into capitalist class, petit bourgeoisie, working class and/or peasantry, but rather a simplified division into an administrative class and working class/peasantry. That is, classes in the former colonies are composed simply of those who benefit from neo-colonialism and those who suffer from it.
The local business class effectively became a comprador class of agents, middlemen, and front men for foreign interests. As Franz Fanon put it, the national bourgeoisie of underdeveloped societies is not engaged in production or any creative enterprise, but in intermediary activities. The roles of the local and foreign business classes in post-colonial Africa are complementary, but the latter determine the activities of the former.”
African Anarchism: The History of a Movement, Sam Mbah & I E Igariwey
Does this description of a simplified class division into administrative class and working class, those that benefit from globalised/autonomous capital and those that suffer from it perhaps describe the state not just of (neo-)colonial Africa, but increasingly of the West/North/Advanced Capitalist/… countries as well?
While I would certainly disagree with those who claim that class is no longer a useful concept in understanding or classifying society, I do think it is necessary to consider how we understand class and how we use it as an analytical tool. To me class is best understood as a social relation, rather than a system of classification into which we can drop individual people, assigning each a specific, ongoing position. That is, I understand class society as one categorised by a division between capital and labour, one of the necessity and domination of wage labour, in which we all, at different times and in different places adopt divergent roles. Class relations are in this conception performative. When I have to take a job I would otherwise shun, in order to afford to pay rent to a landlord and secure the means of my reproduction, I take on the role of working class, of labour. When I invest the money I have acquired in the course of my labour in a pension, or even to a lesser degree in a bank account, I take on the role of capitalist, recirculating my capital in order to increase its value, to valorise it.
Though the distribution of time spent as labourer and as capitalist varies enormously between individual subjects, there is no doubt that the easy distinction sometimes imaged, and which was perhaps clearer in the past, between the capitalist and the worker is today more ambiguous. Most large enterprises are today run not by an identifiable natural owner, but are instead owned by other large corporations, by governments, by pension funds and other market funds. Very few people live merely by the proceeds of these capital returns without also receiving a wage. At what level do we make the distinction between worker and capitalist? When one receives enough income from investment returns to live by? when those make up the bulk of a person’s income? when any nominal wage is merely incidental? Perhaps, as Mbah and Igariwey suggest, a distinction between those who benefit and those who suffer is, at least, as useful additional framework in which to examine stratification in capitalist society.
Whilst the abstract separation of capital/labour is of crucial for the construction of an immanent critique of capitalism and an examination of its inherent dynamics and subsequent crises, I propose that a more concrete, personal formulation can also be of use. Here I want to compare the power dynamics with those of other forms of structural oppression, patriarchy, white supremacy, heteronormativity, and so on.
In an abstract, Marxist understanding of class I can claim that, as a wage labourer with little savings or capital, I am part of the working class, and as part of the working class I can call for working class solidarity, autonomy, consciousness and so on, and work towards the extension of such concepts. However, as a worker on an above average wage in the UK (far above average globally), with a comfortable existence, with no (current) worries about paying my rent and a degree of autonomy at my workplace, I should also note that I enjoy a degree of privilege in comparison to the majority of the class in which I claim inclusion. It would not be unreasonable to suggest that my position benefits at their detriment, in an indirect sense at least. However, this is not to say that my personal position would be made worse by an overthrow of capitalist society - I still have to work many hours at a job I consider, in the final analysis, rather pointless, I still live with the risk that at any point I could lose my job and be plunged back into the precariousness and anxiety I have experienced in the past.
In this way, my condition is similar to that I enjoy under patriarchy or white supremacy. As a straight, white, cis man I have a lot of privilege, though there are also ways in which these systems also reduce my own living conditions and I fully support the struggles to abolish these systems and the categories of gender and race entirely. Similarly, as a communist I aim for the abolition of class. In the case of oppression on the basis of gender, sexuality, ability, ethnicity and so on, however, I would support the position that these struggles need to be led by those most affected and that as best I can only by an (active) ally. Whilst class position is, as I have described, more ambiguous, and open to different definitions, given my own privilege, it is unclear to me whether a similar analysis would be appropriate. Am i better described as working class? or a working class ally? Should I not get so hung-up on terminology either way? Or have I got this entirely wrong and succumbed to a liberal, post-Marxist bourgeois deviation?
late capitalist ennui
‘In rod we trust’ #InanimateCarbonRod4NUSPrez