hey you I'm a Peter who has been convinced I am an activist now I get myself into a lot of with people who think that they're consuming ethically people who have consumer oriented identity is that have been deemed ethical and the reason why I get into some is because ultimately when I say no when you consume this this is not suddenly ethical this is not suddenly better you are not talking about the means and relationships of production what you are talking about is consuming a product that is ultimately packaged nicer and exploits a different way of perhaps maybe not even that and I know it sounds wild but people get angry the thing is I don't really want those people to feel bad I don't want them to feel as if they're morally inferior in fact I would even argue that they're morally pretty sound they're trying to do something at least by my own morals these people are good they're doing the right thing they're trying to change something that they see as exploitative so this is not a moral criticism and even though it's not a moral criticism I understand why people take it as 1 because we are encouraged to believe our consumption is our identity I mean you are what you eat after all right that's the thing we've been told our whole lives and let's just say I've talked about it for years and it's one of the main projects of my life or something like that when somebody says animals are exploited they're treated badly in factories that produce food from animals it's it's hard to say like oh well yeah that's that's true but what do I do about it and the answer is in capitalism you consume ethical food people have reached the position I've just described will say to you well don't buy animal products I would argue though that just not buying animal products is consumption it is not activism it is consumer choice it's the idea that you can vote with your dollar it is the conflation of democracy with the market which is something that I think that we need to maybe be a little more serious about when we talk about things like the ownership and control of the means of production when we actually do discuss this and we talk about the idea that it would be good if in fact the means of production were owned and controlled democratically if when you went to work you had some form of democratic input on the mode of production the products made etc etc that stuff isn't market dynamics it is false it is outright false it is a lie it is something that has been pulled over our eyes as if we are meant to see only that it is not how we will help the animals or whatever I'm using vegan because they tend to get mad at me but whatever cause a popular example one that Slava Dziedzic is always bringing up is the idea that as you buy a Starbucks coffee there is some element of charity built into the cost as to offset the consumer element of it to offset the guilt of consuming something that is inherently exploitative that's also not activism that's buying a product and here's the thing a vegan that talks about the means of production a vegan who organizes in a manner that can disrupt the current dynamic that's not who I'm talking about an anti-capitalist vegan but not talking about that person and I haven't been like the whole time like at any point if you maintain a critique of capitalism if it influences your actions if you go around to people and organize with them or even just corroborate your experience with them talking about exactly what is wrong exactly what can be done that is beyond the elements that reinforce the system consumption again I'm not talking about you and if you thought that I've been talking about you maybe you're not hearing what I'm talking about I talk about consumer identity the cultivation of such in service of the protection preservation an ultimate veneration of the capital dynamics so when I say vegans need to stop thinking about consumption as the ultimate thing I'm not talking about anti-capitalist because let me tell you something while anti-capitalist may not like consumerism I certainly don't like consumerism I don't blame it on the consumer I blame it on an overarching mode I look at who has power and I say well maybe they have more control over this than I do and that's ultimately actually the real problem that I want to address that I hope that we all eventually address and to be clear if we all start cooperating and working together and stop criticizing each other's consumption and stop telling each other that we're good or bad maybe that's what we could work on there's something that people on the Left need to get out of their system it needs to go away it's the appeal to the idea of personal responsibility now if we lived in a completely different context a different system in which we all actually did have our own unalienable ''tis our own unalienable the time could we talk about personal responsibility in a different context to mean something completely different from what I'm about to say yes absolutely but in the context of a capitalist system in which everything is somehow controlled elsewhere than the individual to place personal responsibility on the individual to say your choice individually the consumption you do your participation in this market creates the consequences we all deal with plain and simple there's no other way of putting it it is a lot instead of looking at capital instead of looking at those with power instead of thinking about what they hold over us we look at our neighbor we look at our friend we look at somebody we don't know on the television screen and we say well they should have done something different yeah they got themselves into it whatever and as long as we keep saying that about each other as long as we keep pointing fingers and saying hey you this is your fault we're never gonna get anywhere we're not gonna fix climate change because frankly if I bought an electric car tomorrow that would mean literally nothing well other than that my economic position would have changed overnight but saying I can't afford an electric car but it's not just your food it's not just vegans it's not just people who buy ethical products that were made in America to good standards you know where our minimum wage is definitely a living one ethical products exist you consume content – this is content this is I mean I hope it's content that is making you think about your relationship to capital your relationship to the people around you your relationship to the system I hope that when you watch this it does actually start the connections they start happening I hope that but if you watch this content you say I guess I'm an anti capitalist now it's gotta keep watching I to be clear it doesn't make you not anti capitalist either it doesn't make you anything to watch this content it asks you to think of it that's it I ask you to think I ask you to consider your relationships with the world the system that's it am I an anti capitalist yes I am I very much um this is the thing that I know how to do and this is the thing that I hope that I'm trying to get into your head that the things that you know how to do you could put into service against capitalism while we're in capitalism you should definitely continue to try to have money so that you can continue to do those things but there will be a time when maybe we won't have to do that anymore buying different products consuming different content that's not going to get us closer to that and I know that that's not really ultra pleasant but it's also the truth I think it's true anyway I think that it's true enough that I'm willing to just say it's true there's a book called capitalist realism written by Mark Fisher that I would recommend it's very very good it helps to sort of reframe the way that one looks at things it presents the idea that alternatives are possible and I know that that might sound odd it might sound very basic but capitalist realism the idea of it is the sort of ok but the this side of reality this is what's possible and let's not pretend ok that's capitalist realism what I'm saying to you is that consumption as activism shopping at a different store not going to Amazon or Walmart buying organic or vegan food consuming anti-capitalist content instead of that horrible Jake Paul slot if you think that's enough that's capitalist realism I make this content because I think that everybody needs to see something I'm hoping that people can look at the world around them and allow it to be reframed in a more open fashion there is more possible the thing that we exist in now it is a product of power and control that's it but here's the thing money wealth all of that it's only power in the system that creates that money and wealth it's not power outside of it and if you say well I'm gonna start working together I'm gonna start organizing I'm going to start doing things that ignore this system that work outside of this system that directly work against this system that disrupt this system what you're doing there is a positive step and like I said this is what I do I'm not good at a lot of other things I can talk well I can attempt to you know get attention these are things I I honestly I get to some extent I wrote a book about attention the marketplace of ideas is the attention here's the thing this is what I do I know how to do this I know how to do it well I know how to talk I know how to criticize I know how to analyze I can do that stuff but I'm a person I'm a single individual person and we don't just need somebody criticizing stuff like we do need that I'm not gonna say like I shouldn't be doing this but we need a lot of people who are talented and a lot of different things doing those things not in service of capitalism and that's not voting with your dollar that's ignoring the dollar doing things because you're a human being and it would help human beings it would advance the cause it would advance our position as human beings that's the difference whatever the metrics are whatever the end of the year report on that is somebody makes one it doesn't matter what matters is simply that through those actions power was taken out of the hands of the powerful and and if you have a genuine concern for other human beings that's good give a genuine concern for animals that's good if you have a genuine concern for anything that's good we want people like yourself we want people who want to exist in the same world as everyone in everything we want you to collective eyes and to take responsibilities and power from capital in the state it's that simple well I mean that's not actually simple but yeah so now time for the value extraction portion of the video like it's not a strong word and if I met that fairly low threshold please do me a big favor and click the like button looks like this does help me out quite a bit with the algorithm and all that do you want to see more videos from this channel please click the subscribe button and do not forget to click the notification bell if you don't click the notification Bell sometimes just doesn't tell you when I upload a particular like this series and the other series on this channel very important documentaries and adversaries please do me a big favor and consider becoming a patron at patreon.com slash Peter coffin and I need to thank my current patrons you make this possible because advertising does not make this possible and neither to sponsored videos thus far I've gotten offers to do them and I'm not doing them because this really I don't know how much it would benefit from that now as for everybody that is patrons and non patrons alike thanks so much for watching many Peters do more do something with someone else and make sure that you're taking from capital and the state by [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I’m a struggling musician. In today’s music industry, selling merch is one of, if not the main way of making money. I want to make the most ethical merch that I can, but also tell people that consuming my merch isn’t enough. In order to sell this merch and survive, I have to make ads on places like facebook, and market my merch. It feels dirty, but it also feels like my only solution under capitalism. If I make it big, how do I prevent myself from becoming a capitalistic overlord? I feel since I am depending on other’s consumption, anything I do is cultivating an identity and exploiting and manipulating people. Building a fanbase without advertising is almost impossible for musicians, and the alternative is just working for a different capitalist institution. What should I do?

  2. Finaly, the best told lie of the xx and xxi centurys the illusion of choice when in reality we dont have any power ! Ethical consuption is just not available

  3. The argument night be stronger if you put more weight on how much industry has dictated the American diet so far, how bacon is a meme because of pork industry marketing what was once a byproduct into a delicacy, and the dairy industry doing the same thing to cheese but with Reagan's help. Consumers had no way to see that coming.

  4. If you're wondering why no one is posing an actual solution to the problem of capitalism, it's because there isn't one. We're reached the height of our civilization. We're bumping up against the glass ceiling and every discussion we have about it is simply verbal masterbation. Until we solve the problem of being human, we will always have Capitalism. If one day we find ourselves needing nothing but the free and abundant rays of sunlight supplied to this planet in order to function, then and only then will we be free of the economic chains that bind us.

  5. Interesting response to the "vote with your dollar" sentiment I recently heard: "When we say that we can simply vote with our dollar, that implies that a millionaire has so many more ways of voting than most people do. Can you really say that you are ok with that?"

  6. Operating under capitalism there is some expression of activism in what one chooses to consume and how it is consumed. Like a vote in a national election in the US, it is one of the few small things one may be confined by their circumstances to choose to do. We must do as needs demand. Be as active an activist as one can, just understand the limits and consequences of any activism is unknowable at the human super-organisms understanding of psychohistory;)

    Good stuff, PC. Thanks for the thoughts.

  7. I am an anti-capitalist who happens to also be vegetarian (and working towards veganism). For me those two things are linked. I don't want animals to be exploited, but I don't want humans to be as well. I'm well aware of the fact that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism, but some things are worse than other, so I see my ¨vegan consumption¨ as a way to reduce harm. I'm not a huge activist myself, but I'm working to build a cooperative, I buy mainly second hand clothes, I study and write on eco-feminism and marxist-feminism, etc. The fact that I buy almond milk instead of cow milk isn't activism and I wish other vegans would see it as well. I don't feel apart of the vegan community for all that you said.

  8. Being Vegan is not pointless, consuming all kinds of anti-animal products in the name of Veganism only adding to capitalism tho. How about becoming a vegan that grows their own food! Now that’s killing two birds with one stone.

  9. I have similar issues to this video as I did with your video on "Vegans(tm)".

    Basically, you're right that consumption is not enough. But you're wrong that it doesn't matter at all; at least when it comes to some issues like climate change and animal welfare (which I argue are two of the biggest issues in the world today), consumption is a significant piece of the overall puzzle.

    You didn't treat the idea of "voting with your dollar" very charitably, at all. The point people are making by saying that is that demand affects supply. As I linked to on your Vegans video, some number-crunching has already been done on how many nonhuman animals are, in expectation, spared from an abject existence when somebody goes vegetarian or vegan: https://reducing-suffering.org/does-vegetarianism-make-a-difference/
    Therefore, less demand -> less supply -> less animal suffering and greenhouse emissions. Maybe you can't regard this as "activism", but if the point of activism is to try and make the world better then this would still imply that activists should try and go vegan, possibly as one part of their activism.

    I think you're also too dismissive of the ethical differences between products. Yes, "ethical" products usually still have ethical problems – but they have fewer problems. You're still improving things in expectation by consuming them over other, less ethical products. It does depend on the particular case – for example, using paper straws instead of plastic ones really is an insignificant gesture, but not flying or driving or eating meat is much more significant. Again, you're right that this kind of ethical consumption can't save the world on its own, but it also isn't meaningless: it is one aspect of what we need to do.

  10. Not sure if anybody else has brought his one up, but what about crop rotation, and things like that when it comes to food consumption?

    A recent article on NPR about a list of “50 Foods to eat for a healthier planet”; as commercial as it sounds, it didn’t seem too far-fetched an idea considering what overfarming has done to the landscape and fauna….

  11. The force of good in this world died with the USSR. It's only an uphill battle from here, if there can be any battle at all (defeatism).

  12. I understand where you're coming from, but you have given people no options. You can't just pluck a new world out of thin air, these are the products and things currently available to us in our world and what should I buy to eat then? Cause I need to eat but as soon as I even decide which place to shop or eat at then I am instantly a consumer or a 'victim' of the institution that the place promotes and endorses. Pretty good points but you don't offer a way out. Telling people to 'frame' the world differently and 'work outside the system' is not really offering a way out.

  13. Probably should've focused more on the fact that this isn't talked about nearly enough in comparison to consuming more ethically, because people are getting a bit defensive when they could've been convinced. 😛

  14. Hey this might be random and way off topic I love your style so much. where do you buy your clothes? Do you make them? I am agender as well and I have a hard time finding cute clothes that fit a more neutral gender expression… but are cute. Love your show.

  15. BRUHH the Marina and the diamonds song at the beginning Lmaoo just took me by surprise but she’s an icon luv her !!

  16. Hear hear! I'm all for better treatment of animals and I barely eat meat, but I do once in a while hand-raise animals for consumption… I'm sick and tired of misguided vegans getting all pissy with me for defending eating meat… most of the "activists" I have to deal with are recent converts that often just use it as a identity stand-in.

  17. Food not bombs is a great example of subverting the "consumption as activism" idea. Most of the food served is vegan and is being shared towards those less fortunate. I constantly implore vegans that as long as food requires funds to eat. Ethical Consumption has its limits. If veganism really wants to subvert the flac it gets, vegans need to take part in serving the less fortunate more often.

  18. As an anti-capitalist vegan I totally agree with you! Lifestyle choices are not solutions to political problems. Only political movements can dismantle unjust systems of power. And consumption as activism completely ignores the socio-economic reasons that force some people into certain forms of consumption. Not to mention how the moral or ethical duty a lot of vegans have leads them to engage in unpaid labour (e.g. selling vegan products on the streets) for the vegan capitalists to make a profit. I actually had a video planned about the need for vegans to get political coming up, but you have given me a lot more to think about that I need to add, so thank you for your work!

  19. yeah but eating animals under capitalism or not it's still exploitative and your consumption, or lack thereof, still has moral ramifications.

  20. This had me thinking about how important it is to not perpetuate bigotry in activism. And to keep unlearning all of that noise.

    Like, how many environmentalists rail against easy-open packaging and plastic straws and the people who purchase such things. They may or may not realize such products are life-savers for disabled people and [intentionally or not] demonize them for needing this accessibility (these products are important for many's dignity and relative independence, for one).

    One person using straws is a drop in the ocean. Industry (especially energy and agriculture) is where our collective attention should focus (in the case of environmentalism) – because they're the primary contributor to the mess we're in. The personal responsibility narrative can get insidious when we end up harming those with already less power, to gain that social capital.

    It's fine if you, as an individual, would like to try to be as ethical as feasibly possible; there's is merit to "practicing what you preach." If everyone did and COULD do that, that would maybe make these consumption habits more impactful for your cause. But in our reality, it's only scratching the surface.

    As far as the hows of making the real difference against industry-caused pollution – I admit I'm out of my depth. The main things that come to mind range from supporting labor unions and public transit, to becoming a politician, and to being conscientious investor/CEO (which would be a huge stretch to not be warped by capitalism once you reach such a position, let alone the fact that that is not exactly obtainable by the masses, but at least you WOULD have the power to do something more significantly impactful in how companies operate).

  21. I'm an anti-capitalist vegan and even though you explicitly qualified it multiple times in the video, it still takes me a few days to fully process and accept the fact that that your cultivated identity criticism of uppercase V Vegans doesn't apply to me. I would challenge you to take it easy on Vegans because in my experience, someone who is motivated by the exploitation of animals is the most probable to be receptive to the message, if they didn't feel like they've been singled out and raked over the coals for choosing not to contribute to said exploitation via consumption. I know that is not your intention and I'm still with you, but just food for thought.

  22. The animal products industry is environmentally pernicious. It externalizes its costs of environmental damage onto taxpayers and future generations. Dairy production depletes aquifers. Admittedly vegan TV dinners and pre-prepared stuff like that for people who can't cook may be pretty capitalist – but vegan staples like beans, rice, fruits, vegetables and grains cause a lot less environmental damage, and even less so if synthetic fertilizers are used (violating the 70 year old "organic" dogma of prohibiting most chemicals). BTW, some people who have studied this a lot refer to "organic" labeling as a "stupidity tax". I could go on but it's not my field of expertise. "Organic", "grass-fed". "artisan cheese", "happy cows", "free range" and so forth are successful USPs established by business interests controlling the narrative of what the "good life" is for affluent people who wish to feel virtuous about their consumption habits. Please read a bunch of articles at https://thebreakthrough.org – there's a possibility you'll learn something new.

  23. "Do things you know how to do against capitalism"
    Well, all I got is working a cash register, so that may be difficult

  24. Here's what happens under capitalism:
    1) you start buying "ethically" produced animal products
    2) "non-ethically" produced animal products go down in price to reach supply-demand equilibrium
    3) eventually somebody poor enough to not be able to afford ethics ends up buying the "non-ethical" products

    That's part of what is meant by "there is no ethical consumption under capitalism".

  25. For what it's worth. I just want to say that I support you being 'Agender' – not that you should need me to say that. I also don't think that someone has to have a gender – i.e. I don't think being Agender has to be the same as being 'between' genders. Like with smell – there are people who posses no sense of smell, so it is not like they are between senses of smell.

    There is always a 'but' I guess or at least a 'question' when someone leaves a comment I guess (I mean, we are social beings aren't we 😉 ). My particular spasm is such: I think maybe there was a time, a long time ago, when I would perhaps accused someone of being 'Agender' out of paranoia of some political motive behind such an identification (even though even further back in time this wouldn't have been a problem). But hey, I am a more open person these days. And besides – even if people do have such political motives, I don't think we should be going around saying what is and isn't political in such a way. This shouldn't need explaining really. I would be interested if you wanted to talk about it though in a video or a livestream (which I can't actually watch because my computer is to sh*t to use for live streams).

    Carrying on from what I was just saying about we shouldn't be saying what things are or are not – akin to some kind of authoritarian stance at least anyway. I've noticed there are some gender identity tests out there on-line that share a similar problem – for example relying on prescribes rules about gender. They are aimed at helping transgender people identify if they have gender dysphoria (and even giving advice about what they should do given the results – for example of seeing a specialist in diagnosing gender dysphoria). But the joke out there amongst the transgender community is that such tests either give you an answer you want or you don't want.

    It seems to me that something like the John Kappas Hypnotic Suggestability Tests would be more reliable with at least identifying you had some sort of underlying problem – for example someone with gender dysphoria may have abnormally low levels of 'physical', 'emotional' or even may 'intellectual' hypnotic suggestibility.

    I would think that a phenomenologically inspired testing regime would be more useful for testing something as subjective as gender dysphoria – as in a Heideggerian sense, if the 'gender hammer' feels wrong to use all the time then it will feel like pushing that sisyphus boulder up hill more of the time than watching it roll down the hill. I.e. being cisgender is a trance like implicit state maybe, whereas being transgender is an incongruent explicit sort of state perhaps. Cogito, ergo sum? Aletheia?

  26. But sometimes by choosing "ethical options" you help to establish alternative systems. For example, if I choose to become part of community-supported agriculture (I just translated that via wikipedia, I hope you know what I mean), then I am not just consuming, I am also supporting an alternative system of agriculture which I think is a good thing because once we got rid of capitalism, we need new ways of doing things and it's easier when certain systems are already (at least partially) in place.
    I think a lot of those so called ethical options are working to figure out how we could produce and consume differently, even if it is still under capitalism, and that's an aquired pool of knowledge which is pretty important.
    Same goes for veganism. I agree that, in the end it doesn't matter all too much if you as an individual make the choice to become vegan, but since I do strongly believe that veganism or at least vegetarianism is the right thing to do (the only diet that could be ethical), it helps to practice it now.

  27. It also comes down to choice equals privilege, and I think a few vegans dont consider people who can't give up animal products due not only to a lack of will or access to information, but also things like cultural contexts and digestive issues.

    You could make the very same argument about those, like myself, who idealize a car-free lifestyle. I have to keep in mind that a lot of people couldn't go without a car even if they wanted to, due to disability, the real estate market, or other capitalist influences on land-use planning.

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