The Anti-Christmas: Prices Reduced To Absolutely Nothing!

Chuck0's picture

It's the holiday season, shoppers -- That time of year when commodity fetishism goes ballistic, expressing what our most fundamental duty as obedient American citizens is: feeding the profit-hunger of our master's economy! Quick now, buy something! Buy anything, buy it all, and buy all that it implies! From plastic reindeer on suburban lawns and corporate office parties, charity concerts from millionaire rock stars and mawkish television all this, I say "Bah Humbug!"

But the death-trip of the market economy that the Christmas Shopping season expresses in frenzied form finds opposition from pissed-off proletarians every day of the year. As Harry Cleaver noted in Reading Capital Politically:

"Among those hit hardest by rising prices and lowered availability there has been growing militant direct action to counter the inevitable reduction of their income. They have passed from anger to direct appropriation...Throughout the United States, business losses, and working class gains, from shoplifting have been rising steadily as more and more of the lowest paid workers refuse to pay the rising prices...In places as diverse as Turin, Italy and Crystal City, Texas, workers have refused to pay rising gas and electricity bills and have practiced what has become known as the "self-reduction" of prices. Ripping off Ma Bell has become a widespread practice in the United States."

I'm dreaming of a Black Christmas

Tactics like shoplifting, "cheating" on bus and subway fares, ripping off your boss and boosting from merchants are expressions of our need to go beyond the rules and limits of an insane society where everything is based on money and the market economy. These acts are smaller versions of the massive breakdowns in capitalist social relations that occurred during the uprisings in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and more than a hundred other cities in the spring of 1992. Widespread looting has often played a positive role in mass working class uprisings against poverty and police repression from Britain, Nigeria and Brazil to Venezuela and Morocco.

Shoplifting and looting are intelligent responses to the system of exploitation that crushes our living conditions. In Italy in the 1970's looting was called "proletarian shopping." Class conscious rebels knew that everything in this society has been created by the exploitation of our labor power, and any goods we want to take or destroy should be ours.

Anything that you see and want to have in any store -- take it without paying. Have fun and don't get caught -- It's best to take some friends with you, get together a big group, and do it all at the same time. Go ahead. Take it. It should be yours.

The Poor, the Bad and the Angry

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