|Meanwhile, in the City of London...|
It all began when cops were doing this to Occupy demonstrators in London. Me and about thirty others were watching the brutality on a live stream, feeling impotent rage. What was even more annoying to some of us was that #TheVoiceUK was trending. Call us snobbish if you will, but we were just really angry that more people weren't getting to see "what democracy looks like", as the state violence-accompanying chant goes.
So I decided to use the spectacle against itself, and troll The Voice's hashtag. I tweeted "While you watch people singing, cops are beating the shit out of people in London, for crime of protesting ow.ly/aRYJY #thevoiceuk". I almost immediately got maybe fifty retweets, and hundreds clicked the link. But I also got some abuse from fans of The Voice. "you're a toilet mate" said one. "Wait, you're telling me the #Occupy assclowns are still polluting public spaces? Glad they're being removed." For the price of hundreds seeing some reality beyond 'reality TV', it was a price well worth paying.
But another individual, one @DannySwingRight (the clue's in the name really) rocked up with "Good!! Should shoot them as well, put them out of their misery." I couldn't really let that stand, so I came back with "Shoot the cops? I'd never advocate that! It's illegal!"
He'd didn't get the joke though:
DSR: I'm talking about the protesters
Me: Oh really? ;)
DSR: Well no one would care would they!
Me: Yeah, their friends, family, fellow concerned citizens of the UK. The image of the UK abroad would go down. Etc., etc.
DSR: Yeah hardly any.
I clearly wasn't going to convince him of anything, and I was trying to keep an eye on the pigs, which became even more infuriating as he was basically implying they were being far too lenient. Still, something told me we could get an interesting conversation going yet:
Me: The overwhelming majority of people in this country would be appalled if that happened to non-violent protesters.
DSR: Really? You sure? :)
Me: Certain. There would be quite a lot of idiots like you who would support it, but I would say 95% at least.
It was then he went off on one, insulting me in the third person:
DSR: It's funny how left leaners like to kid themselves! They are a bunch of annoying twats who will achieve sod all!
Me: Are you enjoying your weekend? Good! Lots of love, striking workers of the past!
DSR: Well done to the strikers of the past! Put your employer out of business that's clever! Where's your jobs now?
He was outright supporting a race to the bottom of working class living conditions. Either he was utterly brainwashed by ideology, or he was a capitalist himself:
Me: Well if you really believe that, go and donate your time to multi-national corporations for free.
DSR: No need to work for free, just get what is deserve, if you're shit you lose your job. When people don't fear, productivity go
Use of the p-word confirmed it. Now to draw it out:
Me: Well you're shit, do you have a job?
DSR: Haha come on don't make yourself out to be an idiot so soon! I employ 50 people, paid 350k in tax last year across board
Me: Which pretty much explains all your own views as stated in this discussion. No wonder you want people to work harder to make money for you then. You are part of the enemy.
DSR: That's the problem with you socialists you assume anyone in business is evil, you forget that they are creating jobs for people, and not all treat people badly, you're kind have no idea of what it takes to run businesses and employ people it seems to be the common perception from your kind that any corporation is evil
Ah, "creating jobs" and "evil". Those old chestnuts:
Me: I don't assume you're evil on a person [sic] level. You come across as a bit crass, but 'evil' is a strong term. However, you do not 'create' jobs. On the contrary, you make your money from the labour of others.
DSR: So the employees don't benefit?
Me: The employees benefit from the wage, but that is a small proportion of the wealth they create for the business.
Marx's theory of surplus value. He didn't try to deny it. Rather he tried to put it on me not being 'well-adjusted' to neoliberal times:
DSR: Look mate, I bet u r some northerner that hasn't got over the thatcher times yet, do itself a favour and move on
Me: Is that an argument or some kind of attempt an insult? I'm happy to move on from our discussion though. Because of our respective class positions, neither will convince the other
DSR: It's an observation, are you?
Me: I'm from Merseyside, yeah.
DSR: How did I know that! Listen mate generalisations are always a bad thing
Me: Generalisations are always a bad thing, except when it comes to material interests of conflicting classes.
DSR: All you northerners are born with a chip! Lol anyway I'm off, have a good night and keep up the good work!
Me: Haha! Will do!
So, what did I learn from this experience? Well...not a lot. Small business type is a bit of a fascist isn't exactly a shocking revelation. Although, perhaps, I got an insight into how in the mind of the capitalist it's perfectly possible to have doublethink going on where the origin of the profits is concerned - i.e. 'yes I'm getting rich off the backs of others, but I'm entitled to it'.
I notice that my capitalist friend has just moaned to Labour MP Chuka Umunna that "I lost 25k last year to two ex employees, I did nothing wron [sic]" due to "the strangling labour laws". It's ironic he was even talking to Umunna, considering "It's shit! Go to a hospital, school, anything that's free and you will be the only white man there".
Sounds like he'd get on well with Mr Pete Tierney...