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Gillian Anderson narrates this clip about Karl Marx's theory of alienation. And it's fabulous.

Alienation from your work was a real thing that Karl Marx identified, and I still see it happening today. Here's two minutes about that, narrated in the lovely voice of Gillian Anderson.

Gillian Anderson narrates this clip about Karl Marx's theory of alienation. And it's fabulous.

So, here's the blow-by-blow.


All images via BBC Radio 4.

Alienation

Karl Marx believed that work is what makes us human. But the alteration of that work by capitalism was responsible for many societal ills, including the concept of alienation.


Ahhh, Capitalism ...

Marx researched, studied, and witnessed that alienation in Europe — circa 1800s, where working people barely got by, pulling 12-hour shifts, or even longer — for just enough pocket change to maybe get some scraps of food before doing it all again the next day until they died, frequently much younger than they otherwise would have. There were even some cases where workers literally lived next to their machines and almost never left, and some children working in factories were actually chained to the machines. Good times.

(I'll pause while you consider that in comparison to where we are in today's working world, not just here, but in countries where many jobs have moved to. Insert some adage about things changing but remaining the same... )

Marxism Redux

That was the essence of 1800s capitalism in Europe. It's what drove Marx to write about capitalism and to do several deep dives into developing his economic and philosophic theories on communism, culminating in the writing of his book, "The Communist Manifesto."

One of Marx's most famous phrases stems from this idea of alienation. "Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!" Those chains (sometimes actual chains!) were what he thought workers would willingly throw off if they could just understand it all.

But let's let this video from BBC Radio 4 dig in a little more:

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

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Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

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Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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