The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Culture Corner—Books and Videos Worth a Look:

Aug 30, 2021

Movie: See You Yesterday, 2019 film on Netflix

This award-winning film, produced by Spike Lee and directed by Stefon Bristol, is a science-fiction film in which two engaging, loved, creative black teenagers discover how to time-travel and then try to use it to stop the horrific deaths of loved ones. It examines police brutality and murders and the dead end that society offers many young black men. The teens go back in time again and again to try and stop the violence, to no avail. The film offers no solutions, but perhaps that is the question, and the answer: there is no individual solution to the problems posed. The whole system needs to go.

Book: Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power by David Dayen, published 2020

This book is a damning catalogue describing how monopolies rule every corner of our lives. It clearly shows how this society seems to offer freedom and choice, but in reality all the choices are owned by huge multinational monopolies that fix high prices, constantly degrade quality, and take our very health and our lives.

The author presents a lot of detail to convince us, but he tells it in the form of real life stories, such as chapter titles like “Monopolies are Why a Woman Found Her Own Home Listed for Rent on Zillow” or “Monopolies are Why Teamsters Stormed a Podium to Tell One Another About Their Dead Friends and Relatives.” It is captivating reading. The only criticism is that the author presents this as a new problem when in fact it’s basic to the nature of capitalism; monopolies have been choking us for hundreds of years. No law or regulation will change the system that encourages and even demands their growth; only the working class that creates their wealth can sweep them away.