Friday, December 29, 2006

New Ideas for Economic Empowerment

Hope for the people springs eternal, as we draw closer to universal economic empowerment via new ideas.

First, from President Chavez:

He says he would “replace” capitalism with a system based on “solidarity” and barter, with a strong role for co-operatives and what he calls “social production companies”, which redistribute all or part of their profits to the needy.

And also from "Robin Hood" restaurants:

At a new breed of "Robin Hood" restaurants, diners pay what they can afford -- and what they think the meal is worth. These pay-as-you-can cafes have missions that are unapologetically altruistic—call it serving up fare Robin Hood style. "Our philosophy is that everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy, organic food while being treated with dignity," explains Brad Birky, who opened SAME with his wife, Libby, in October. Customers who have no money are encouraged to exchange an hour of service — sweep, wash the dishes, weed the organic garden — for a meal.

Combining the two, we get a fair system of "pay what you wish, in barter." This is the ultimate in humanity: The replacement of money and the bourgeois "ownership" dictators with system of compassionate and caring.

And so, I chose to spark this revolution right at home, in the food co-op.

I wheeled my People's Cart (I will spit on you if you insensitively call it a "granny cart") full of groceries to the cashier, who then charged me $27.09. In the past, I might have reluctantly paid this arbitrary amount with People's Stamps (don't you dare call them "food stamps") that I accept from my students in exchange for higher grades. (Is this not fair that they should be rewarded for equalizing the distribution of People's Stamps?)

But this time, I simply told the cashier, "Mister Bush is a cold-blooded monster."

The cashier responded with, "Of course he is! That will be $27.09."

And I said, "You don't understand, do you? We just completed a barter trade. The co-op gave me food, and in return, you received my professorial opinions that are worth the value of my groceries."

The cashier laughed, and insisted on receiving so-called "money"!

I sternly told him, "Listen, you insensitive little idiot, this food is now mine. You can no longer make any of your racist demands on me!"

He then had the audacity to call the manager over.

I glared at the manager. "Oh, Mein Fuhrer is here! But I will not go quietly as other groups did to your extermination camps, you fascist swine!"

He then demanded that I pay in cash. But my spirit was not crushed: "You owe ME, Mr. Hitler! Not only did I barter my thoughts to your brownshirt cashier, but I also enlightened you to the fact that you are worse than Hitler. And you can even repeat my words to the needy, those who need to hear my words! In fact, my evaluation of your aggressive war-mongering is worth another bag of groceries, you uneducated filth! I doubt that you have a single PhD, let alone three!"

At that moment, an enormous cockroach scurried out from under my pants cuff; I must have transported it all the way from my apartment! It ran into my People's Cart and into the groceries -- and, being an animal, it contaminated my vegan purchases! Who can say whether its antennae might break off into my soy-soy!

"Well, I can't eat this shit now," I remarked.

I then turned over the cart, and spilled everything onto the floor -- including the cockroach (and two more that must have stowed away in the produce).

"You win this time, Hitler."

Saddened by the experience, I stomped on a tomato that rolled out of my bag. And then I stomped on a block of tofu. And then everything else. I smashed the food the way we will someday smash this entire capitalist regime!

I scooped up the smashed food and hurled it in every direction. "Clean it up, you Nazis! Clean it up!"

I will return again to claim what is rightfully mine.


Unknown said...

You must have fallen off your teaching perch at a very young age and hit your head. Such left wing trash does not deserve to be dumped on our youth by goofballs like you. Even with three PHds you still come off as a pompous jerk!

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