About the author

Joseph Natoli

Joseph Natoli

Joseph P Natoli is a retired college professor and author of numerous books on culture and politics.
He is a member of the editorial collective of BAD SUBJECTS, the oldest political online magazine on the web.
He writes regularly for a number of political and pop culture online magazines, including SENSES OF CINEMA, BRIGHT LIGHTS FILM JOURNAL, POPMATTERS, AMERICANA, DANDELION SALAD, GODOT, TRUTHOUT

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42 Comments

  1. 1

    Einar Nordgaard

    Here we go again diarrhea…
    and Sam Walton if you like him that much get a job at one of his great stores
    Medication time again for you.

    1. 1.1

      Einar Nordgaard

      one of the reason they can manufacture cheap things is because of their use of prison labour, aka the 21st century slaves.

    2. 1.2

      Einar Nordgaard

      your problem is you read what you wanna read and qoute wikipedia

    3. 1.3

      Einar Nordgaard

      where did you read forced labour?

    4. 1.4

      Einar Nordgaard

      You just don’t get it and never will

    5. 1.5

      Einar Nordgaard

      wtf freedom in the workplace…..prison labour

  2. 2

    Jeff Chelf

    We live in a finite world. Land, oil, iron ore, helium, clean fresh water, old growth virgin forests…all finite. These are the basis of wealth. If a small percentage controls the majority of these resources it therefore deprives others from obtaining wealth. And, more importantly, the ever expanding capitalist economy will come to a grinding halt when it hits the limits of the resources that we built our civilization around.

  3. 3

    Jeff Chelf

    In summary, wealth is limited in much the same way as your ability to reason.

  4. 4

    Jeff Baldori

    And you can go to Cuba where the monthly income is $20.00

    1. 4.2

      Jeff Baldori

      You may. Someone here needs your job

    2. 4.3

      Jeff Baldori

      I will buy your ticket.

    3. 4.4

      Einar Nordgaard

      Jeff Baldori ones again this shows
      my education was free yours was for nothing

    4. 4.5

      Jeff Baldori

      Havent you left yet?

    5. 4.6

      Einar Nordgaard

      Jeff Baldori left from?

    6. 4.8

      Einar Nordgaard

      Jeff Baldori is there a reason for leaving?

  5. 5

    Mike Skory

    Congradulations Joe. Is this just out?

    1. 5.1

      Einar Nordgaard

      Jeff Baldori You are too blind to see what is going on and where people come from.
      BTW your favourite Trump trumps all when it comes to empty insults and stupid allegations.
      That’s the reason you, bottom feeders, deserve him.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnpO_RTSNmQ

    2. 5.2

      Mike Skory

      I voted for President Obama on 2008. Everyday I want to throw up when I see how he is “changing” the country. Read some of Lenins writings. ..including the parts about “democratic socialism”. Lol! Nothing new here

    3. 5.3

      Jeff Baldori

      You and Donald would make a good couple Elnar

    4. 5.4

      Einar Nordgaard

      Jeff Baldori You even misspelled my name, that says enough about your education,

    5. 5.5

      Einar Nordgaard

      Mike Skory Always better than copying someone’s work.

    6. 5.6

      Jeff Baldori

      Let’s see we have “Lil Marco” “Lying Ted” “Crooked Hillary” and “Nasty Elnar” Sure looks like Elnar to me. Is that l an I? as in Weiner?

    7. 5.7

      Jeff Baldori

      Or Wiener? One must use upper case once in a while.

    8. 5.8

      Einar Nordgaard

      Jeff Baldori and then we have one to many chromosomes Jeff

    9. 5.9

      Jeff Chelf

      Einar, it seems they are picking a fight with you in your fourth langauge again. Seems a bit unfair.

    10. 5.10

      Einar Nordgaard

      Jeff Chelf this is the only way they dare to (speak out)

    11. 5.11

      Jeff Baldori

      How badly does Donald Trump scare you? Just a little bit??

    12. 5.12

      Mike Skory

      Doesn’t scare me. Let’s open up those spread sheets. Let’s get a close look at that budget. Let’s find that 2nd and 3rd set of books.

    13. 5.13

      Jeff Baldori

      I directed that to wiener or weiner. I think he feels something slipping.

  6. 7

    John Duffy

    uh… did anyone in this thread actually read this piece, or did we all come here just to complain about stuff?

    1. 7.1

      Mike Skory

      Complain…..it’s the Facebook way

    2. 7.2

      Jeff Baldori

      Trying to discuss this piece in this forum is lunacy. If people are not educated enough to know that money controls both party’s which implies “plutocracy” from both, then don’t point the finger. For example, are not John Kerry and Mitt Romney both monied interests? The list goes on and on.Time for a change.

  7. 8

    John Duffy

    Hey, Richard. Right on. Yeah, I hear what you’re saying about how tough it can be to maintain a certain level of discourse on FB. This kind of threaded discussion doesn’t seem very conducive to informed debate.

    One thing I appreciated about this piece was how it uses a few literary sources (e.g. Jarry’s experimental play Ubu Roi, references to the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard) to position the argument outside the realm of what we think are the kinds of taken-for-granted rules that guide our everyday lives (e.g. neoliberalism). We might term these rules “ideology.” In short, we’re asked to check our assumptions at the door and entertain another set of ideas–a counter-history perhaps, or a reshuffling of the order of things–that has lead us to our current moment. For what it’s worth, I don’t see your position (that entrepreneurs like the Waltons create cost-savings that help all people) and Joe’s position as mutually exclusive. Rather, Joe’s whole argument for a “pataphysical” reading of our current economic and political climate asks us to consider a realm beyond the kinds of unspoken rules of the market (e.g. wealth is an infinite resource, anyone can create it through hard work, all lives are made better by free markets, etc.).

    One thing you said that gave me pause had to do with all people enjoying their positions as retailers in a large chain like WalMart. Surely we can acknowledge that this can’t be the case for the many thousands who work there. I worked at a chain retailer once while I was at MSU (and taking Joe’s class, no less!). Please believe me when I say it was TERRIBLE. So I’m wondering if we can also consider the many thousands of people whose labor is required to create the Steve Jobs, the Sam Walton, or the Roger Smiths of our world. We can look to these figures as titans of industry, but left out of this story is the exploited labor of those who make their success possible. Miya Tokumitsu says it more eloquently than I can, so I’ll leave this here. Food for thought, I guess.

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/in-the-name-of-love/

  8. 9

    Jeff Baldori

    The only thing that slipped for you was that  your mom didn’t get an abortion. You bring me into the Trump fold. 

  9. 10

    Jeff Baldori

    Because with Trump you lose control of your fascist goals and a rebelling working class is fighting back. FYI the republican establishment hates him. Figure that one out. I am libertarian with no fondness for Trump. You argue like him with no substance.

  10. 11

    Jeff Chelf

    Richard, here’s the thing. These days I’m actually rather wealthy by most standards, and have never once felt that the sand is limitless. Most resources are not renewable. Trees for instance, not as renewable as we would imagine as it turns out that after the third cutting they don’t come back with nearly the same vigor. Just because some corporate boob figures out how to squeeze more juice from the turnip does not mean that the recourse, in this case oil (from your own example) is limitless.

  11. 12

    Jeff Chelf

    Sorry for the early reply, I’m a bit drunk in London, forgive me. Anyway, we are not able to tap into the resources of the universe, we have one earth. One home planet with a finite size. There is no scenario where we realistically harvest minerals from so far off galaxy this is our lot in life. Therefore the eart is finite, your reasoning (as well as mine) is finite.

  12. 13

    Jeff Chelf

    now, onto this horse shit about rich philanthropy. Sure foundations have done some amazing things for us, but so have the taxes of everyday individuals. To hire someone is intrinsically to exploit the resource that is their life, and to give back a library is a small reward for taking someone’s time. This may sound odd, but realize in my mind the only non exploitave society is a primarily agrarian society where each community is responsible for itself. Again, I’m not sober so my reasoning is nearly as impaired as yours but I will forever be an anarchist. Much love, peace and harmony- Jeff. Oh and in summary, I don’t always end with ad hominem arguments but when the opposing parties reasoning is indeed dead wrong, I can’t help myself.

  13. 14

    Jeff Baldori

    And by the way, crawl back into the fascist hole that you crept out if. Join the nazis! And stay out of the U.S. We own guns here.

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