capitalist gains tax


I just saw this on a friend’s Facebook page; it made me laugh out loud before an inner rant ensued about its disturbing deeper meaning… Oh yes, there is so much I have to say in response to this, yet I have so little energy to right now. I’m already exhausted after being back at work for four days following two week’s leave. I am again reminded of how the profoundly taxing form of capitalism under whose regime we are currently subsumed is robbing us of significantly more than it is providing – my urge to write right now included, as my brain feels much mushier than is required for extended, coherent sentence formation. Another time.

For now, here is another favourite quote, one I originally came across at the Museum of Modern Art in New York back in 2005. My ex-partner was working for a US investment bank then and would often visit the Big Apple to work at its Wall Street offices. For the price of a cheap plane ticket, I managed to join him several times, getting budget trips with distinctly non-budget accommodation thrown in for free – a perfect way to enjoy culture on the other side of the pond.

It was one such trip that led me to these words, which stopped me in my tracks and which still draw me back periodically whenever the need for creative regrouping strikes, including now. A trip that occurred as a direct result of the capitalist machine… Oh, irony of ironies.


‘One of art’s crucial functions, personally and socially, is to propose new worlds, different from the ones you know; and this is unsettling enough in itself. But perhaps even more crucially, and potentially more important still for society, art can make you pay attention to things you take for granted, make what you think you know be strange to you, and thereby change your relation to life’s actualities and its possibilities. Part of growth is to recognize the profound ways in which both your learned feelings for what at first seems alien and beyond you, and your transformed understanding of what has always been at your feet and all around you, can become the most satisfying, intimate parts of your relation to the world, empower you and give the greatest texture and depth to your life. Otherwise you may remain deaf to music that might resonate with you, blind to forms that might become the touchstones of your vision, and pass through your life without living it’.

Kurt Varnedoc

Stanford Commencement speech, 1962