Become a member of the LA Chapter of the Democratic Socialists

Posted on January 16, 2021


I am very serious about selling shares in myself. You could even say Iโ€™m deadly serious. But the impulse of KmikeyM has always been to experiment and play with capitalism. The slogan I've used for years, "Community Through Capitalism" is about how relationships are built because of capitalism. It's a multiplayer game and by selling shares of myself we all get to play around with this concept that is so ubiquitous it is almost invisible in the rest of our lives.

"I suppose for me as an artist it wasn't always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture that I was living in. It just seemed like a challenge to move it a little bit towards the way I thought it might be interesting to go." -David Bowie

Playing with capitalism doesn't hide the darker aspects. We get to see the positive and negative impacts on my life and those around me. Much like the hollow victory of Monopoly, when you sit victorious overlooking your cardboard empire and the glowering faces of the family and friends you vanquished by the luck of the dice. But as dark as capitalism is, and as much suffering as it causes, KmikeyM is not anti-capitalist or designed to prove any specific point.

"A moral critique of capitalism, emphasizing the ways in which it leads to suffering, only reinforces capitalist realism." -Mark Fisher

If I were given a magic wand the best implementation I could imagine of capitalism is some kind of intensely regulated version. Something to make it a little more fair that would also counter the "rich get richer" aspect of the system. This pushes me pretty far to the left politically, which was why I was pleased when the shareholders chose Bernie Sanders as my candidate in the 2020 primary. In getting to understand his history and politics I also learned about democratic socialism.

"We seek to create a system based on justice and equality for all people. We believe everyone deserves to live their own life with dignity. We work to equalize political and economic power, because true democracy cannot coexist with inequality. We urgently fight to stop the many crises facing our most powerless members of society." -Democratic Socialists of America

Perhaps because it's a mission statement with broad strokes, it all seems pretty agreeable, right? Of course the devil is in the details, and the part of democratic socialism that is specifically anti-capitalist is possibly problematic for "the publicly traded person."

"If we use the standard definition, democratic socialists donโ€™t support capitalism: They want workers to control the means of production." -New York Times

On the other hand, I do think workers should control the means of production. I'm pro-union and generally believe that anything "at scale" is bad. And while I'm not anti-capitalist, I'm not pro-capitalist either. I enjoy playing with it as a way to contribute in some way to the culture I'm living in.

As much creativity as I think I have, I cannot imagine a world without capitalism. But I'm interested in seeing what happens when people try, and I'm especially interested in what happens if they are successful! So this is a proposal to become a dues-paying and card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Here's what I think I love about it: itโ€™s an exploration of a model that promotes fairness, equality, and ethics. The DSA is doing the work โ€” co-ops, unions, and medicare for all. These are all great ways to counter the aforementioned imbalance of our current system. Rather than just read about these notions, I'm interested in the practical application of these ideas in politics. I also want to learn more about mutual aid and direct action projects the Los Angeles chapter is doing.

"We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words." -Ursula K. Le Guin

Past Discussion

young9599 โ˜Ž๏ธ (4.0 shares, voted yes)
I think itโ€™s fascinating idea. What will new version of capitalism be moving forward? I donโ€™t agree but I vote aye for anyone who once to be politically active and find meaning in this interesting world. :)
Archbishop Dave Smith (1.0 shares, voted yes)
Of course! The American Democratic Party is right of center in the rest of the civilized world.
Robby Russell โ˜•๐Ÿ’ฏ (115.0 shares, voted yes)
To be clear, I am reluctantly voting to approve this. An ideal proposal would have a stipulation for how long such party affiliation is approved for...if for anything, to have Mike's proposal for a renewal to share his takeaways.
tNebula (4.0 shares, voted yes)
Join the CPUSA instead!
cdcox78 (2.0 shares, voted yes)
Yes!!! Accelerationism is the way forward! Down with the USD!
helldesigner (5.0 shares, voted no)
Hell no, I was born in USSR and can tell you socialism sucks. Any kind of socialism.
Gustavo (4.0 shares, voted no)
Being labeled as a socialist is bad for business. Nop.
CyberPunk2072 (5.0 shares, voted yes)
Vote aye. The US is an international pariah on basic items of equality; many of which a democratic socialist approach would solve in quick order. Notably, universal health care, poor minimum wages, and many other issues. These actually weaken a capitalist nation due to the majority having to pay for negative externalities. Solving them would improve quality of life for all citizens, including wealthy ones. Source: from a very capitalist nation where we have solved all those issues and our standard of living is much better than the US.
Cornelius (4.0 shares, voted no)
Rebranding required. Socialism seems a bit tainted by those millions of deaths committed under its name in the twentieth century.
kyanov1 (2.0 shares, voted no)
This would challenge your entire program. Socialism only works in small countries with folks who are sheeple.
rugger ๐Ÿ’ฏ (384.0 shares, voted no)
My vote is NO...for now. This is not a comment on party affiliation. Yes, there is an exploitative side to capitalism, just as there is a deterring effect for socialism. Something like regenerative capitalism (yes, it's a thing) that attempts to imitate the natural world (i.e., biomimicry) may be a better solution, though I've not really studied. And here's the thing, is this the best use of your time either? Would ask yourself: What are you best at? What does the world need from you? Is it to be a leader in the social democracy movement. If you are really sure about it, then okay, say so. What I've noticed is a gathering of interests and then going through a purging later. My advocacy is to pick one or two things and go really deep. If you update and say you are giving up x,y, and z to pursue this because it you have far more passion for it than some other areas of your life, and you are or have the potential to really change the world through it...then go for it. I'll hold the line until then.
@rugger I respect that thinking enough that I'm not going to even argue with you.
curtiszimmerman ๐ŸŽ–๐Ÿ’ฏ (203.0 shares, voted no)
No lol. Outside of the United States socialism isn't a buzzword people use when talking about social democracy, it's the intermediate form of communism, an institution which has killed over 100 million people over the last 100 years.
davehayden โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฏ (236.0 shares, voted no)
Yeah, that's pretty much the opposite of my experience. America is the only place I've been where people can't tell the difference between the government providing services to those who need them and Soviet-style communism.
nickdouglas โ˜• (23.0 shares, voted yes)
I am anti-capitalist, and I hope joining the DSA helps you get closer to that stance.
jutrnut (6.0 shares, voted no)
Voting yes is bad for business.
@jutrnut but think of it like a blue ocean strategy...
awmahan ๐Ÿ’ผโ˜•๏ธ (51.0 shares, voted yes)
Democratic socialism IS social democracy. God, it's not like most DSA members are Stalinist or Maoist tankies. There are SO many democratic socialist parties in Europe that support "free markets" with strong regulations and strong social spending that, you know, aren't "Communist". Denmark is consistently one of the most business friendly countries in the world but has a well-developed social democratic tradition. I'm not sure America's super individualistic and violent ideologies are super compatible with that, but it sure can't hurt to try and tax the perverse amount of wealth here and spend less money invading other countries and spend more on education/health care/housing here at home. Capitalism, fascism, and colonialism have also killed hundreds of millions :shrug: