I don’t like misnomers. Sharing economy, free, independent, and democracy are all terms that have been perverted.
The sharing economy as labeled by Fortune magazine is not sharing.
Uber and AirBnB are not about sharing. They are not about cooperation. Until shelter and food can be gotten in exchange for services and that option is open to all people of all classes and races, then it is not about sharing. It is about exclusion.
The sharing economy where only the privileged who own property, a car, and can live on trust funds or the resources of historical wealth and education that was only granted to people of certain classes and races– is not real sharing and it is not fair.
If you don’t have anything to share, then you don’t get to participate. If you are hungry right now you don’t get to negotiate. Only those with money, access, and time –get to negotiate to pay the lowest price that won’t let you die. There is nothing liberating or free about people with money sharing with other people who have money. That is not groundbreaking. That is how racism and classism is done politely.
It is not freedom. It is not cooperation. It is micro free market capitalism with an urban outfitters purchased indy band t-shirt and an organic coffee.
There is no freedom when the entire labor system has been destroyed. There is no freedom when even progressive people will support paying people unfair wages if it is through a convenient app. There is no freedom when you have to earn $60,000- $120,000 a year to afford an “affordable” apartment in a major city.
And “affordable,” another one of those words that do not mean what it says it means.
For those of you who say live somewhere cheaper, somewhere cheaper is cheaper, because there are no JOBS THERE, ZERO money because of no jobs, makes a cheap place mighty expensive.
There is no freedom when we’re fighting not for $33.00 an hour, but $15.00 an hour –at some later date. A real sharing economy would work on things like public housing for all, single payer universal health care for all, and universal child care for all.
A real sharing economy would raise capital gains taxes, put an end to corporations as people, and stop the spread of brutal capitalism across the globe.
And what about democracy. The democracy where politicians are supposed to be fighting for our interest. No one is fighting for our interests. The Democrats have nothing for us, but we have to come together to beat Trump and before that we have to come together to beat Bush and before that we have to come together to beat some other Republican.
When are we going to come together to beat capitalism? When are we going to come together to beat war?
Our “democracy” is not one person, one vote, but a Electoral College which according to Finkelman in the 2001 article “The Proslavery Origins of the Electoral College” in Cardozo Law Review, was created to give slave holding a states an advantage.
Why can’t we have democracy? Why can’t our politicians help us?
Why must we continue to accept lies?
Why do we keep asking questions that we know the answers to?
We deserve a true sharing movement, where one person is one vote and you work if you choose and you work and live –instead of working to not die.
L@rk Lo has presented at Left Forum NY, Occidental College, Anarchist Book Fair LA, MOCA, Montclair State, LACMA, Ruskin Art Club, and UCLA. Her collection of satirical poetry on capitalism, Queen of Inglewood, was released on Word Palace Press in 2017. She can also be found doing interviews on Black Kids In Outer Space.