Submitted by lettuceLeafer in AskRaddle

Like in my experience small time capitalists usually pay worse, have less benefits, are really hit or miss if your boss will treat you like shit and allows the boss to take advantage of their workers (i.e. misogynistic reasons) than companies. Not saying I prefer big companies. Its just like joe biden or trump they are just so fuck off terrible that I no longer have the capacity to distinguish which is worse.

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existential1 wrote (edited )

Largely because the term "capitalist" can be too broad for all situations. For self employed, with no employees, they are still considered capitalists by most definitions. So to be able to survive in the global capitalist economy, you must either a. Not work at all, b. Work for a capitalist, c. Be a capitalist, or D. Work at a worker co-op. That's according to the extremely broad definition of capitalist.

Now some people, myself included, wouldn't consider no employee self employed people as the same type of capitalist in nearly any way with say, mcdonalds. Yes, they may or may not own their own means of production...they may actually rent their own equipment and lease a shop...so in effect can be just workers who maintain their own insurance liabilities and income caps. Uber and lyft drivers fit this bill in many countries.

However, you could also have people like landlords who do their own labor to maintain properties but charge other people to live in the homes. That is a self employed person who is similar to mcdonalds and should be treated as such. Honestly, there is just too much nuance to de facto brand all "small" companies as anything. The world is complicated. There's your answer.

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AnarchoDoom wrote (edited )

Largely because the term "capitalist" can be too broad for all situations. For self employed, with no employees, they are still considered capitalists by most definitions. So to be able to survive in the global capitalist economy, you must either a. Not work at all, b. Work for a capitalist, c. Be a capitalist, or D. Work at a worker co-op. That's according to the extremely broad definition of capitalist.

Wtf, NO.

And this is not a "broad", but a shallow, vague notion of what is a capitalist.

To just be making wage money or running a family restaurant or trading goods is not being a cap.... Capitalists are the ones making money with those, and others.

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existential1 wrote (edited )

I agree with you most of the way. But culturally, that "broad" definition is how the term is used. That's why i have capitalist in the first sentence of that quote in quotes. Most people today confuse commerce and ownership in-general with capitalism. Whether or not that fits the Prof Wolff definition, that's how people use it...which he laments often.

OP asked why "People"...not anarchists who I would expect understand the difference between personal and private property or what differentiates capitalism from other economic models by definition as opposed to by sentiment. So my answer is about the largely less informed, more hot-takey group of humans and internet users.

All that being said, even the examples you gave are too generalized. If a family restuarant hires even one person who is not a family member and that non-family member does not have ownership stakes of the company, they are a capitalist business. Honestly, if the parents own all the ownership and the children/nephews/nieces/brothers/sisters don't have ownership stakes, then it's still a capitalist business in the guise of a "family owned" establishment.

Also, merchants were the OG capitalists. So trading goods absolutely can be a cap enterprise. The distinction to be made is not if you are trading goods, but how you are trading goods.

Again I stress, there are too many variables to definitively state that one type of business is inherently cap or not.

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CaptainACAB wrote

When it comes to politics, people have this odd obsession with compromise and "lesser evils". Small capitalists do less damage in terms of scale, so they are seen as preferable; it's also easier to "correct" any illegal or unethical small business owner than a corporation. So that means that small business owners are better, in that they're less worse (though, working for them would be a more "up close and personal" experience, which could skew one's opinion either way). You can blame the enlightenment for adding utilitarianism to Western society's already awful Christian deontology. Now we've got this poisonous mindset that less bad = good and that trying to rid the world of bad is naive and tyrannical.

Not as confusing to me as why some "ACAB" US leftists say "not all troops", though.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

Honestly Im a little in the not all troops crowd tbh. In the US many children are groomed from a young age to sign the indentured servitude contracts as soon as they are 18 or sometimes even younger.

Especially considering how recruiters explicitly target vulnerable people to groom. I.e. people with no friends, children in abusive homes ect.

I've met some people who just got flat out groomer and once they joined the military they realized how they are against it but cant quit bc they are forced to keep working for the military due to their contract

It's literal child predators preying on the most vulnerable kids to have them agree to be slaves once they hit 18.

Don't get me wrong fuck the US military but someone doing fucked up stuff bc they where literally groomed from a young age to become a slave doesn't say anything about their personal values.

This prob isn't most troops but that still leaves a large amount of people who are moreso victims of the military than actual shitty people. Idk, shitting on victims of grooming and slavery isn't something I'm a big fan of even if they perpetrated something horrible.

Like if you join the US military at 18 and then the next day you decide to leave bc you realized how fucked up it is the military is legally allowed to hunt you down and kill you. Now it's more likely you'll just be enslaved in regular prison in times of non at but still.

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CaptainACAB wrote

Yeah, but you've also criticized ACAB before, so you're at least being consistent.

Feels kinda weird to say "fuck the entire domestic arm of US authority" while giving the non-domestic arm a pass.

Like, I'm not gonna throw a fit if someone from whatever countries the US is bombing says that they hope everyone in "our" military dies, that they deserve to die, or the like. I'm also not gonna go out of my way to say that anyone currently in the US shouldn't say "fuck the troops" or anything to that effect.

But, like, if you hate cops and don't care about whatever positives that individuals may do on the job or whatever positive traits that individuals may have; then you should also extend this view to the military because there really isn't much of a difference unless you believe in some form of American exceptionalism.

Basically, "fuck the troops" is every bit about the overall structure of the military in the same way that "ACAB" is about policing.

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halfway_prince wrote (edited )

I haven't seen this comparison drawn before but I think it's really good to see articulated.

The only distinction i would see is that the military service is contained to a short period of time while policing is a life long career. I guess it's easier for me to see individuals making the decision to say "alright if i just sacrifice the next four years so that I can have healthcare, education, some financial stability for rest of my life" rather than "i'm going to commit my entire life to this career and be stuck doing evil shit forever but i guess i gotta eat somehow".

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

I think ACAB n stuff is a critique of police as a whole and a statement of disliking cops as a whole. I feel the same way about the military and individual troops but due to the differences I think it's important to leave the door open a little to those who where taken advantage of the military in a way that doesn't apply to cops.

There are quite a few veterans I have met and seen online that fucking hate the military despite serving. Well there are probably some troops anarchists can get along with.

It's the troops that fucking hate the military that U can get along with and have some trust in as individuals. The troops who do like the military and individuals I don't really get along with and keep at arm's length.

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existential1 wrote

I'll second this sentiment. The military is shit. You can even say what troops do is shit. But, the way in which the military forces many groups of people of color and marginalized people in-general to receive an education or decent health care through military service is a tragic reality. It's ignorant to act like some people don't literally use military service for their own form of immigration.

The majority of black folks where I live are in the military, and most of them are from the south. If not for the military, they would never have been able to get out of where they came from without an entirely different set of shitty physical, mental, and spiritual risks.

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halfway_prince wrote

I think the usefulness of labels is quite limited. I judge small businesses (which i think is what you're referring to here, or at least the language used in my area) by their actions rather than the label. A small business can be bad or good, it shouldn't be judged as either just by nature of being "small" or being a "business".

For example, if a small business chooses to lay off it's workers to bust the formation of a union, then fuck'em and they should burn like the rest.

But if it's a small business that employs marginalized people (trans folks, ex-felons, drug users, etc.) in a non-exploitative way and provides health care, benefits, and support in a way that you could never see a large corporation doing, then ya i think that's a different situation and would try to actively contribute to their financial success.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

I'm an Agorist so I view all statist tax paying businesses very negatively.

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halfway_prince wrote (edited )

lol okay i agree with that ideology forsure, but there's still some need to distinguish allies vs. opposition to a certain extent at the very least as a way of where to focus efforts and direct action.

We all love direct action right? Well ya gotta distinguish which targets are worth attacking or defending from a DA standpoint. Isn't that fair?

The logic of this statement

I view all statist tax paying businesses very negatively.

is functionally "something that's part of a system can be equated to all other parts of that same system". following this logic, i think it would be pretty fair to say everyone (with minor exceptions) on this site are icky icky capitalists and deserve equal shame as Jeff Bezos...likely including you ¯\(ツ)

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

We all love direct action right? Well ya gotta distinguish which targets are worth attacking or defending from a DA standpoint

I go on a case by case basis with that kinda thing.

In fairness I definitely fit into the definition of capitalist and am pretty critical of when people talk about buying land and producing stuff and calling it personal property. Like nah you are definitely buying means of production. Most anarchist projects are about entrepreneurship in some level. So I view Marxist critiques of capitalism to not be helpful to anarchists.

I'm still working on it but I view hierarchal businesses as negative as working they condition the population to follow orders and value hierarchy rather than capitalists taking worker surplus value.

I guess workers are ok but it's only the entrepreneurial anarchists who will pose and actual threat to society and make better alternatives. Being a worker is a dead end for anarchists besides being able to gain money to divert into capital to do anarchist projects.

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Quicksilver wrote

A difference in scale and perception I'd wager. Small businesses are seen as one of the little guys, the under dogs, and all that. And there's the whole social push to "shop local and support the community".

Scale, in that, the exploration they do is often very localized, so it's not as felt in the public perception

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Kinshavo wrote

There are different scenarios in "small time capitalists". Even self-employed people are perceived as entrepreneurs. People selling candy bars in the subway could capitalists one may argue.

If we are talking about people that happen to hire someone to help get some job done, like contractors and shit, they could be a relative, a cousin, an in-law, or a friend. Or the medium business that will hire an entire community, this situations create the sense of belonging.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

Honestly my question wasn't really coming from that much complexity. I was more thinking on how in illegal I'm people will sometimes state how they don't shoplift from small businesses for a moral reason. But like I don't understand why. Less than a discussion of the intricacies of what small time capitalists is.

Honestly I'm not super happy with current class definition. I think SKIII was getting in the right track with aknowleging capitalism is kinda a not useful over simplification but I still don't quite like it. So I do have some thoughts in this in the works I'm just not solid enough to say anything atm.

But yeah I agree with ur criticism.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

Honestly my question wasn't really coming from that much complexity. I was more thinking on how in illegal I'm people will sometimes state how they don't shoplift from small businesses for a moral reason. But like I don't understand why. Less than a discussion of the intricacies of what small time capitalists is.

Honestly I'm not super happy with current class definition. I think SKIII was getting in the right track with aknowleging capitalism is kinda a not useful over simplification but I still don't quite like it. So I do have some thoughts in this in the works I'm just not solid enough to say anything atm.

But yeah I agree with ur criticism.

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Kinshavo wrote

Sorry, sometimes I got carried away lol

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

Nah, I think you brought up a really interesting discussion as most of the other users brought up. Normally I'm pretty glad when they happens. Just in this case I wasn't quite ready to join in that discussion. So I was pretty happen when u moved the discussion in that direction. In that way I kinda did answer the question. + I was a little vague so people didn't quite answer in the way I was hoping.

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Kinshavo wrote

I was not my intention to derail your question, but a thought that came by and following our recent talks, when we pay the rent is the same as a boss paying a employee? Sometimes the landlords live only by rent alone.. I spent some thoughts about how money build uneven relationships, and how we agree on some implicit contracts that are never verbalized..

But I agree with others that said it's a mix of ideologia (like having moral standards, etc) and some empathy& sympathy towards the small business.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote (edited )

we pay the rent is the same as a boss paying a employee

Legal landlords are a really a different situation. It's most often people who put their assets into really risky assets with limited competition due to incredibly government suppression of supply and criminalization of landlords who undercut their competition.

Most investors view land lording as a poor decision that is far worse than just investing index funds. And the best way to be a landlord is to have stocks in a landlord company.

Due to these factors I view landlords as more people who make their money due to government violence rather than providing a service.

If worker rights became really ramped up to an extent where they don't really need to work and business owners where basically required by law just to pay said workers maybe. They just don't share that many simulators to compare.

Sure many landlords fix properties up then rent them out but I ask why they just don't sell it. The answer is landlording provides a lot more additional money than just selling it due to people being destitute from government violence and being an industry where you can make a lot more money than if you just sold it where the power differential is more even.

Now I do think there is something to be said how many people can't just buy houses so landlord function kinda like a financial service allowing poor people to attain a place to stay when they normally couldn't buy.

So that's why I view most landlords as a horrible blend of people who make money through government policy rather than providing a good service and bankers who specifically work with poor people who must take really inadvantageous contracts.

Now I am far less critical of landlord who rent out building who are targeting to financially well off people. I'm not too concerned about that.

I've also toyed with a few illegal landlord projects which could benefit poor people.

  1. Illegal pod hotels for homeless people. It gives them a place to sleep where they are safe from thieves an cops and won't die of the elements. Providing some stability. And since it uses housing that can't be rented out legally it could be done quite cheap. Tho it would have to be something really cheap like less than 2 dollars a night.

So with the great risk of fines it wouldn't be something to profit greatly of of but more building good will with a group of disadvantaged people and help them better their lives.

Maybe for it to be feasible it would rely on public funding bc their are plenty of people who would pay money to give homeless people a safe place to sleep and keep their dignity.

A anarchistically run homeless shelter is in high demand as current homeless shelters are so horrible that sleeping in the street is far preferable for most homeless people. FYI I got this idea from a homeless blogger.

  1. A illegal squatter insurance company of sorts. People pay a cheap fee, no fee and don't on volunteer basis or funded via charity. People would get info and access to a secured squat with some of health risks removed (black mold ect) and has some utilities and ability of climate control.

So then it would provide additional security to people who can't afford rent but would pay money for a nicer squatting experience..

In the case of being kicked out of the squat a new squat would already would be available so they wouldn't have to worry about being homeless..

In case if being charged with crime a lawyer would be provided and things in their life that need to be taken care but can't access due to being jailed (child, pets ect).

Maybe could be paired with a cop watching program so there are people patrolling to watch for people invading squats to steal or cops investigating a squat while someone is sleeping there.

Idk this is all fantasy but has made me consider if there is a middle ground where people paying a fee to have a place to live would be ok..

Ideally it would be free but relying on people choosing to donate isn't a reliable enough way to fund a project with such importance.

Edit: feel free to derail at any time u want I usually fin derailed convos even more interesting than the initial question

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Kinshavo wrote

I want to comeback to this soon, even if you get some response in the post..

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veuzi wrote

They're more relatable to people with middle class upringings. Large corporations will almost always come across as faceless, inhumanly sized organizations with advanced bureaucracies where all public communication is either PR-speak or non-existent. Mom & Pop shops, on the other hand, will more often have a relatable "everydayman" face as you can interact with the owner as if they were any other average person, unlike a big shot CEO who you would have to book an appointment in order to talk to. A lot of middle class people also have "small business" owners in their family and friend circles, and so, attacking their property can end up feeling like attacking them personally.

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deeppurplehazedream wrote

I once was a proprietor, so, pettiest of bourgeois. For me it was better than working for someone else. I felt I had more freedom. I was still beholden to the Big Corporation that let me be a dealer. I know some small business people and in general they tend to be extremely conservative, even the ones who don't want to expand and be bigger capitalists, so ideology is one problem. Is someone who owns or is buying land and farming a capitalist? As others have suggested, it's complicated.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

Isn't this answering the question why someone would be a small time capitalism rather than my question why people think small time capitalism is less bad?

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deeppurplehazedream wrote

Probably. I ramble. Many definitions of capitalism. I don't think being a worker is way better than being someone trying to work for themself.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

I don't think being a worker is better than being self employed either..

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RatifyGuy1776 wrote (edited )

I don't think there are any small-time capitalists. There are many entrepreneurs who believe in capitalism, and may believe themselves to be capitalists on that basis. However, knowing... basically anything about how money and power actually flows tells you that those people are dupes. The capitalists are the guys at the top who dupe them.

My understanding is that the essence of capitalism, what makes it different from other terms Americans commonly conflate it with like "free market," "fair market," "entrepreneurship," or even (ugh) "property rights," is the idea of a guy with a big pile of money, i.e., capital, financing the creation of a business that they have nothing to do with the operation of, with the common but unnecessary exception of continuing to tell everyone what to do. In other words, to be an actual capitalist, your job is getting paid because you "created the opportunity" to work for you. The small-time guys, who more often than not get started with loans, are victims of this scamming jerk, even if they've been so thoroughly hoodwinked that they'll defend him to the death.

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anarchist_learner wrote

Largely it's due to the fact that they're not rich. Small business owners are just struggling to put food on the table, the same as you.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote

How is that relevant at all? Like cops are just trying to put food on the table too. Is a correctional officer who has kids to feed have a job that is any less shitty than a correctional officer who doesn't have to work? I think not. If someones existence is counter to my anarchist goals how poor they are is irrelevant.

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Kinshavo wrote

Petite bourgeoisie still get molotovs

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halfway_prince wrote

Ya the petite bourgeoisie should get molotovs, i think the more interesting question here is who is the petite bourgeoisie in a society where we all have to food on the table, and having your own business can be done in a somewhat ethical way (worker co-ops, family businesses, etc.)? At what point do we start generalizing anyone who "employs" folks as the enemy?

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Kinshavo wrote

I was just provoking the troll there.

For me, the whole original class categories are expired: middle class, proletariat, lumpen, bourgeoisie, third state, working class.. None of this make sense anymore, I don't want a new universal category, and maybe we don't need a new one. And I don't want to imply any reactionary argument of erasing economic oppression and domination, but with proletariat comes the proletariat ideology, herd-like behaviour etc..

in a society where we all have to food on the table

Setting this as the entry point is troublesome as many of the world population struggle to reach survival levels. And the mom and pop shop of our whole life is not a threat, the in-law who hires a couple of homies to help his contractor business grow is not a threat. These people support communities and even help ex-cons with "opportunities".

I would say that the average person, if given enough time, can figure out their main source of oppression and from what I hear is always the State and Big Capital

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halfway_prince wrote

I was just provoking the troll there.

lol ok that makes more sense

Setting this as the entry point is troublesome as many of the world population struggle to reach survival levels.

this i'm interested in. (the following is a take that i'm trying out, please argue with it if you think it's flawed) I feel like the rise in unhoused folks around the U.S. specifically has shown demonstrated that many folks in "developed"/"wealthy" countries are far more vulnerable to small perturbations in financial stability than we typically assume when comparing to a country that has highly visible poverty consistently. I'm definitely not trying to say the material conditions are near equivalent, but the mindset and social consciousness of the average person in the U.S. (for example) is far closer to the brink of extreme poverty rather than long-term stability. I think this mindset can be so entrenched that even when some folks are able to escape and reach a genuine stable position, they're not able to really escape that bottom couples of rungs on Maslow's hierarchy. This scarcity mindset shapes and influences their selfish wealth-accumulation tendencies in a way that is dissonant with their needs.

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Kinshavo wrote

Well I do think we will watch an increasing deterioration of the living conditions everywhere, and for many reasons, but I can't tell if the situation in the US is worst now than was with Reagan for example. Lots of crisis are cyclical, the difference being the US is in their final decline now.

I really don't have a firm position when comes to comparing people across borders, first because I only know some parts of the world and second because it is different to be poor and have access to quality public services and having money but need to spend it on everything. Maybe our perception is generational too.

And other thing we usually do in the internet is to disregard how low the standart for a person in extreme poverty is. It's People on this situation is struggling with food, with dietary deficiencies and derivated health issues. And this struggle is chronic. It is kind of a cognitive dissonance we have (internet crowd as whole).

And I totally agree with you, the perceived stability of the average 1st worlder is a total illusion. That's why in communists will say that if you receive a salary, even if a doctor's (or any other high prestige professional) salary you are working class. If can't stay more than a couple of months without working and getting paid, i.e. you don't have capital that allows you to "survive" without working, you are working class.

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lettuceLeafer OP wrote (edited )

For me, the whole original class categories are expired: middle class, proletariat, lumpen, bourgeoisie, third state, working class.. None of this make sense anymore, I don't want a new universal category, and maybe we don't need a new one. And I don't want to imply any reactionary argument of erasing economic oppression and domination, but with proletariat comes the proletariat ideology, herd-like behaviour etc

Yeah that's kinda how I'm starting to feel too

And the mom and pop shop of our whole life is not a threat, the in-law who hires a couple of homies to help his contractor business grow is not a threat

Idk, I think people who put themselves in a position of power over others kinda are a threat. While I think working for someone for a wage doesn't necessarily have to be done away with I think having workers is bad if they don't have the position to not be dependent on their employer. I'm not super sure what that would look like. Maybe have enough mutual aid services that workers don't need to work or this who own capital and workers having a more equal footing where one doesn't clearly have power over the enough would be good. Tho at the present level tho who run their businesses as dictators of their property are antithetical to my goals.

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anarchist_learner wrote

This right here folks is why anarchism still isn't ready to be a mainstream ideology.

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Kinshavo wrote

I truly don't want a global anarchist revolution. Your hope of mainstream anarchism is misplaced, if you check outside of the internet you know it

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anarchist_learner wrote (edited )

Yeah people who openly admit they don't want revolution yet claim to want to end the petite bourgeoisie are tripping. Whatever regressive ideology you adhere to is petite bourgeoisie to the bones.

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Kinshavo wrote

Feck off I said...

Crawl back to the gutters of reddit

Α̴͖̫͚̎͗̌̀͗̐̐̀̆̕Π̷̗̣̠̞̽͌Ὀ̶̢̛͚̏̉̉̀̉̐́͝ ̸̧̰͓͗͝͠Π̸̗̫̣͎̜̫̎̈́͆̽̈́̄̽͘͝Α̸̨̢̖̦͔̫̽̀͐͐̋̈́̍̚̕Ν̷̢͙͓̝͔̳̳͍̖̆̉̊̀̂̚͝Τ̶̛̠̥̺͐̓̄̓̇̆̀͋Ο̶̢̹͒̿̈́̇͌̆̈́Σ̷̡̺̖̖̮̹̱͎͓̂̾̃͑̾̈͗͜ ̸͔̝̱̎̇̂̓̆̔͑̿̚͜ͅΚ̷̢̗̥̯̗͇͌͋͑̃͂͋̎̄̚͜Α̶͉̊͋́Κ̴̧̹̮͔͎̹̓̂̓̀Ο̵̡̡̬͒͐Δ̴̨̡̘̤̙̩̫̘̂̎̿̒̌̏̀Α̴̢̲̺͖̤̗̰͕̦͋̍̚̚Ῑ̵̛̺̼̓̍͋̑̓̎̕͝Μ̶̦͓͗̊͆̾̏̆̍̇̂̽Ο̷̯̲̈́̆̒̏Ν̵̧͔͈̲̺̪̘̒͛͊̏̆̿̍̔͘͝Ο̶̨̘͚̠̫͓̘̞͖̣͆̈̋͛̀̐̍̆̚Σ̴̘̱̺̞͆̒͑̐̂́̓ͅͅ

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anarchist_learner wrote

Keep trippin radlib.

−4

Kinshavo wrote

Stop messaging me seriously I am about to jizz over a goetia sigil to banish you... Do not complain if your teeth start falling

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