Artists attack capitalism in the streets of San Francisco


A group of local artists and bloggers on the site Capitalism is Over! will hit the streets of San Francisco this week for a series of performance art pieces designed to highlight the damage that powerful players in our economic system are doing to people and the environment, an action they dubbed “Capitalism is Over! If You Want It (The Summer of Tough Love).”

“The inspiration was our fear about the insanity that's happening out there, with BP, with Goldman Sachs, with all the people who are out of work, with all the sadness about what's going on,” Megan Wilson, one of five event organizers, told the Guardian. “Our hope to to get people talking about it and hopefully get some political action.”

Among the pieces are a big pink pig giving back after going to the market, a repurposing of newsracks called Daily Slots, a consumer strike at Union Square, and distribution of “No We Can't” buttons in the Mission. Check here for a complete list, along with times and places.


The response to corporate greed is Stalinism?

Posted by matlock on Jul. 26, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

No, the response to corporate greed is standing around holding candles and singing ""Kumbayah."

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

Funny how many countries manage to find some ground between greedy social Darwinism and Stalinism. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to be one or the other.

Posted by Thomas on Jul. 27, 2010 @ 6:47 am

types who probably just use Che the same way that a high school metal head uses pictures of Charles Manson to freak people out.

If some right winger group used a picture of Rudolph Hess in some wacky way they would never hear the end of it. Using a neo-Stalinist like Che as a figurehead is fighting the power, although Che helped put an authoritarian anti-liberal regime into power in Cuba.

These are just more middle class radicals out to freak out the squares, in a real communist state like Cuba circa 1960 they would be in jail.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 27, 2010 @ 9:19 am

Obama is a major disappointment. Today although 90,000 reasons why we should pull out of Afghanistan have been revealed, our "representatives" voted Billions more for this wasted war.

Remember Catch 22 the book; the theme of funding both sides seemed unreal then. Now we learn 100s of millions of dollars of our tax money are going to the Taliban to give safe passage to the weapons and supplies that will be used to kill them.

Bravo to the artists. Hell yes, let's end Capitalism. It is unsustainable and global disaster awaits us if we don't act soon. the environment that we depend on is screaming STOP CAPITALISM. Fortunately, at least these artists hear it. Anyone else hear anything?

Posted by Jim on Jul. 28, 2010 @ 12:10 am

The former USSR is an ecological disaster.

Yes. lets end capitalism and hand over all of the concerns for the environment to the producers of goods, in the case of ending capitalism, that would be the government.

Somehow most every form of government I can think of has been involved in wars.

So by ending capitalism we hand over concern for the environment to the people we want to take the ability to make war away from? We trust the government as producers to protect the environment, but we don't trust them to do all sorts of other things?

Posted by matlock on Jul. 28, 2010 @ 8:28 am

Fortunately for us these artists have framed this in terms of Ending Capitalism and not what Economic Democracy form it's replacement will take.

It is interesting the either-or mentality which keeps us in the hands of the capitalists who have now taken $TWENTY SIX TRILLION DOLLARS out of circulation. For perspective the annual GDP for the WHOLE WORLD is $Fifty Four Trillion Dollars.

Do defend these thugs.

They don't give a shit about any of us.

How many countries on this planet have mixed economies with natural resources owned by the people as the Commons and private enterprise flourishing. Upwards of 30 at least.

Look no further than the Bush Gulf Disaster; Once Bush let BP regulate itself except for the sex parties it had with nominal regulators they dispensed with safety devices. Norway whose oil is in the Commons requires FOUR safety devices and thus they don't have expensive and disastrous for the environment. spills

Posted by Jim on Jul. 28, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

They used imagery of Che and Marx in that link, I think it's pretty obvious what they want.

The people voted for George Bush and all the other ass hats (including most of the democrats) who started the war in Iraq. These are the people you want to give more power to run your life for you. I'm not defending these people, you are, you want to give them more power.

For some strange reason people think that if given the power "the people"(TM) would all fall in line and think like them. Remember how outraged you were because the people were so stupid for voting yes on 8? When given the chance they will let you dreamers down every time.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 28, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

What's practiced in the USA is not free-market capitalism. Its state-run capitalism with oligarchical / plutocratic components and its certainly not free.

The simple fact is that most of the working stiffs in the USA pay vast sums of money to fund the single largest customer in the ludicrous reality we delude ourselves into calling a "free-market."

You cannot possibly have a free-market in which one customer (the US Government, on behalf of the citizens) controls the prices, policies and laws that dictate every movement of goods, services and cash. If you disagree or step out of line, they'll lock you up.

Hedge funds and wall street firms haven't liked this for years and over the past 20 years have set up a private banking system that has fallen apart several times, then spectacularly in 2008 because it could not control the market. Now the government is shutting that down because they don't like competition when they're not getting paid.

And remember good citizen if you're just not paying taxes, you're probably contributing to some sort of retirement plan, a 401K or IRA created by the US Treasury to delude you into the notion that you're getting something for nothing, while simply bolstering the inequity in the marketplace that has one giant customer.

Well done tax-payers and investors and thank you for playing.

"America, You Have Been Outright Lied To! Bamboozled! Swindled! Hoodwinked!" - as true now as it was then.

Posted by Art Action on Aug. 02, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

without a single party state.

And every single party state so far has been hell on the population. In the USSR, even the people who agreed with the single party state more or less were deported or shot.

Corporatism is bad I fully agree, but whatever the dreamers dream up will be far worse. Authoritarian corporate states leave people alone as long as they don't get involved in politics, we have not reached that state yet thankfully. True believer states such as the USSR, NAZI Germany, Iran, Syria, Che-Cuba, well those are worse.

Posted by matlock on Aug. 02, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

I think that'd incredibly naive to believe that; and also incredibly boring.

As the article stated, they are simply using art to raise awareness of the uselessness of corporations and as they clearly state on their website:

"Contradictory arguments, hecklers and grandstanders are welcome."

Sounds like everyone from the SFGate, SFBG and Yelp comments section should go.

Posted by Art Action on Aug. 02, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

Anyone who is not unconscious, and still doesn't understand that capitalism is a failed and completely unworkable economic model that is eating the planet alive and will cause the 6th great extinction an order of magnitude faster than the last meteor strike extinction event, understands neither ecology, nor economics.

The key problem is that for capitalism to function it -must- constantly inflate itself by creating new money (loans) which must then be paid off with interest - and then progressively and exponentially more and more of the real world (and labor pay and protections) must be devoured to gain the increased wealth needed to pay -off- that interest).

This is clearly not sustainable on a finite planet and the entire system's collapse is reaching its tipping point, both economical and ecologically; with a century left to go before a final massive crash if we are lucky.

So the question is not, "Is there better a system than capitalism?" The question rightly put is:

There damned well better be a better system than capitalism and we had better put it in place in the next five decades or our civilization, and likely our species, is toast.

We must start by completely greening, democratizing, and decentralizing energy; the core change through which we will then be able to leverage the remaining changes needed.

To get a good scope on the reality of how global capitalism works, listen to or read:

To get the basics on how ecological realities inextricably interlace with such economics read 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 02, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

Is that you can drop out and live in the woods with others of your kind.

Again, strangely, the worst abusers of the environment have been non capitalist states.

In collapse we learn that tribal states like Easter Island cut down all the trees to move large rock heads, likely because of religion and not capitalism. I would suggest to people instead, Chariots of the Gods, where we learn that Easter Island's heads are statues of ancient astronauts, a far more apt analogy to progressive authoritarianism.

In the future (and now) the worst polluters will be the rising economies in the second world, I don't see them knuckling under to the dictates of San Francisco dreamers with meaningless buzzwords.

Posted by matlock on Aug. 02, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

your rantitudes are so lovely and when you "chariots of the gods" on me....

oh brother!!

Posted by Chris Rock from 1997 on Aug. 02, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

Nonsense 'Matlock',

You clearly haven't even read collapse, which in its majority covers the collapse of highly advanced civilizations like the Maya, as well as the relative success that some advanced civilizations, such as Japan, have had at avoiding collapses.

The book does begin with a case study of Easter Island, but progresses far beyond that simple study to analyze 'high' complex hierarchical economies and agricultural systems and their interaction with their surrounding ecosystems.

As to State capitalist governments (state run economies taking part in global capitalism as essentially one giant corporation) like the Soviets having a worse environmental impact, this is also a myopic view. While internally, the Soviets had what can justifiably be called worse environmental impacts -locally- it is clearly capitalist enterprise that is rapidly wiping out the entire planetary ecosystem; hence capitalism itself has been far more damaging.

And in any case, I'm not arguing for a shift to a state run economy.

We need localized clean energy, and localized economies, run through networks of local direct democracy in which the actual residents in a region have far more control of their own lives, agriculture, and ecological impacts than state or federal governments.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 03, 2010 @ 10:15 am

the nations of the world are going to break things down like that?

Without the federal and state government handing out cash, dreamer hot spots like SF would be even more broke. Just giving the autonomous collectives with a rotating executive officer for the week their own taxing power would abet a race to the bottom. I'm somewhat for that, I doubt you are. Areas in the North West with hydroelectric would be getting all the business and places like SF would have only government employees.

The lessons to be learned from emerging countries is that they want all the benefits of first world nations. The states with the biggest environmental movements are western states such as Germany and the USA, they have got past the industrial hump and have a middle class. The ones with the fewest environmental laws, India, China, are still trying to move up, they are not going to let you tell them what to do. Oddly Americans are buying solar panels which create a lot of wast in their manufacture from China, because the environmental laws hardly allow it here. The economic bus is going racing by the USA as we wave.

It's sort of odd, I agree with the Chomsky left that the USA should butt out of other nations business. Like much of the lefts rhetoric this only goes so far when it works for them. It was bad that idiots like Reagan, Nixon, Kissinger were busy making sure the world's under classes stay that way, the leftists want to do same but for the under classes own good. Well, for the leftists world view anyways.

People want more control over their lives, thats why they immigrate to the USA, create wealth in places like India and other emerging nations, buy cars, work in factories making shoes... The choices you want to give them, they would think that is a pretty narrow set of choices, they might as well move to Afghanistan.

Posted by matlock on Aug. 03, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

Really Matlock?

Even in a sideways, lateral-thinking, reference sort-of-way, you've lost it.

Time to go home and watch "Matlock" kick some youngsters asses. Dammit!

Posted by Art Action on Aug. 04, 2010 @ 10:42 am