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FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Memo to the Left

Stop Crying About Facebook

by ERIC PATTON

The left loves to cry over shit it can’t do anything about, and one of the favorite objects of its whining is Facebook.

If you believe in capitalism — if you believe that an economy should be organized along the lines of private ownership of the means of production and market-based allocation — then you shouldn’t really give a shit how Zuckerberg runs his business.

Facebook isn’t introducing anything into the food supply.  It’s not putting anything into the air.  It has no animals it keeps in cages.  It does employ wage slaves, but every business in America does that, and as far as I can tell the left is totally fine with that.

Facebook is a social networking site.  So why does the left care what it does?  Well, because the decisions Zuckerberg makes potentially impact the ability of the small-to-medium-sized businesses that make up the left to make money.

That is, Zuckerberg can impact the left’s bottom line.

That’s really why every time Zuckerberg changes his socks, the left has a cow.  Left-wing businesses are worried about their income stream, so said businesses have to whip their readerships up into a frenzy against Facebook.

I don’t want to hear about privacy issues.  As long as the left is getting paid, it doesn’t really give a shit about that.

And look, if you really hate Facebook that much, why not use ZNet’s ZSocial networking service?  I personally have no interest in ZSocial and no intention of ever using it.  But all the things the left cries about are nonexistent on ZSocial.

Except one, of course — all the people are on Facebook.  So if you’re trying to raise money, that’s where you go.  Plus, since the left hates — no, loathes and despises — participatory economics, ZSocial can be given no love.

As I say over and over again, the left really doesn’t give a shit about the people it claims to be trying to liberate.  The left is a string of small businesses, playing to a demographic of people who really do want shit to change.  And the people who start those business may really want change, but once you start that business, you’re locked into running the business, not winning social change.

The left really needs to have a conversation about how to transcend this.  You can’t change society without institutions to fight for gains and then consolidate those gains once won.  But if your institutions aren’t fundamentally that different from the institutions in the society you’re trying to change, there’s a fundamental contradiction that I don’t see can be overcome.

But if nothing else, please just stop bitching about Facebook.

Eric Patton lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Hate mail can be directed to him at ebpatton@yahoo.com.