Are We Free? Or Chained in Poverty?

Are We Free? Or Chained In Poverty?

I thought this sign up in response to a Bob Marley song I was listening to while traveling on the bus. The lyric goes: “Today they say that we are free / Only to be chained in poverty”. While this song specifically is in reference to the slaves of the colonial powers, I think there is some pertinence to society’s situation in general. In a certain sense this references my other sign “Debt Slaves“. We reside in the illusion of freedom yet we are all slaves to the mechanistic capitalist production machine. They tell us that we are free, increasing our “quality of life” (a “quality” which is manufactured and indoctrinated within us), through free trade and a 40 hour work week (except for all that overtime we work). Yet the truth is we are not free but chained in poverty as debt slaves to capitalism’s aristocratic class who fence themselves in with a police state. Time and time again it has been revealed that “free” trade, globalization, conglomeration and centralization has sucked the life and wealth out of all but the Capitalist Aristocracy: StatsCan – http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/11206/9543-eng.htm; OECD – http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/44/48/41525292.pdf; Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National_Office_Pubs/2007/Rising_Profit_Shares_Falling_Wage_Shares.pdf.

In the words of Bob Marley, “I think it’s illiteracy; its only a machine that makes money”. We have become the machines, or the unemployed, of the Capitalist Aristocracy; and we are too bloody illiterate, completely brainwashed and indoctrinated, to realize the state that we are in. So we continue to consume and increase our debt to the elites.

The Capitalist Aristocracy loans us the money so we can buy their useless crap in the hopes we will find happiness in the “freedom” to spend/consume ourselves into oblivion; and in this freedom we truly become debt slaves, chained in poverty.

So my question is: Are we free? Or just chained in poverty?

Slave Driver
By: Bob Marley

Ooh-ooh-oo-ooh. Oo-oo-ooh! Oo-oo-ooh.
Slave driver, the table is turn; (catch a fire)
Catch a fire, so you can get burn, now. (catch a fire)
Slave driver, the table is turn; (catch a fire)
Catch a fire: gonna get burn. (catch a fire) Wo, now!

Ev’rytime I hear the crack of a whip,
My blood runs cold.
I remember on the slave ship,
How they brutalize the very souls.
Today they say that we are free,
Only to be chained in poverty.
Good God, I think it’s illiteracy;
It’s only a machine that makes money.

Slave driver, the table is turn, y’all. Ooh-ooh-oo-ooh.

Slave driver, uh! The table is turn, baby, now; (catch a fire)
Catch a fire, so you can get burn, baby, now. (catch a fire)
Slave driver, the table is turn, y’all; (catch a fire)
Catch a fire: so you can get burn, now. (catch a fire)

Ev’rytime I hear the crack of a whip,
My blood runs cold.
I remember on the slave ship,
How they brutalize the very soul.

O God, have mercy on our souls!
Oh, slave driver, the table is turn, y’all; (catch a fire)
Catch a fire, so you can get burn. (catch a fire)
Slave driver, the table is turn, y’all; (catch a fire)
Catch a fire … [fadeout]

——————————————————————

This sign lasted about a week. It is interesting to note that the signs in the West End have been up now for over two weeks yet signs within major routes coming in and out of the city are barely tolerated for a week. While I doubt many, if any, of the citizens of the DTES minded my signs there are obviously those who feel that such critical posing questions are not acceptable within the “public space” of Vancouver. While I was not posting anything for profitable gain (that is the accumulation of more capital), certain members of the Vancouver public believe that my messaging is unacceptable. It would seem that posting non-corporate for profit signs is unacceptable everywhere in the Downtown Core of Vancouver but the West End. In Vancouver you must compel people to consume and not post anything which might disrupt this message. Remember, we are now the “Green Capital” of the world; watch us world as we consume ourselves out of this ecological crisis. Whatever you do, DO NOT STOP BUYING THINGS!!!

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