Become a member of the LA Chapter of the Democratic Socialists

I am very serious about selling shares in myself. You could even say I’m deadly serious. But the impulse of KmikeyM has always been to experiment and play with capitalism. The slogan I’ve used for years, “Community Through Capitalism” is about how relationships are built because of capitalism. It’s a multiplayer game and by selling shares of myself we all get to play around with this concept that is so ubiquitous it is almost invisible in the rest of our lives.

I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture that I was living in. It just seemed like a challenge to move it a little bit towards the way I thought it might be interesting to go.

-David Bowie

Playing with capitalism doesn’t hide the darker aspects. We get to see the positive and negative impacts on my life and those around me. Much like the hollow victory of Monopoly, when you sit victorious overlooking your cardboard empire and the glowering faces of the family and friends you vanquished by the luck of the dice. But as dark as capitalism is, and as much suffering as it causes, KmikeyM is not anti-capitalist or designed to prove any specific point.

A moral critique of capitalism, emphasizing the ways in which it leads to suffering, only reinforces capitalist realism.

-Mark Fisher

If I were given a magic wand the best implementation I could imagine of capitalism is some kind of intensely regulated version. Something to make it a little more fair that would also counter the “rich get richer” aspect of the system. This pushes me pretty far to the left politically, which was why I was pleased when the shareholders chose Bernie Sanders as my candidate in the 2020 primary. In getting to understand his history and politics I also learned about democratic socialism.

We seek to create a system based on justice and equality for all people. We believe everyone deserves to live their own life with dignity. We work to equalize political and economic power, because true democracy cannot coexist with inequality. We urgently fight to stop the many crises facing our most powerless members of society.

Los Angeles Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America

Perhaps because it’s a mission statement with broad strokes, it all seems pretty agreeable, right? Of course the devil is in the details, and the part of democratic socialism that is specifically anti-capitalist is possibly problematic for “the publicly traded person.” 

If we use the standard definition, democratic socialists don’t support capitalism: They want workers to control the means of production.

-New York Times

On the other hand, I do think workers should control the means of production. I’m pro-union and generally believe that anything “at scale” is bad. And while I’m not anti-capitalist,  I’m not pro-capitalist either. I enjoy playing with it as a way to contribute in some way to the culture I’m living in. 

As much creativity as I think I have, I cannot imagine a world without capitalism. But I’m interested in seeing what happens when people try, and I’m especially interested in what happens if they are successful! So this is a proposal to become a dues-paying and card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Here’s what I think I love about it: it’s an exploration of a model that promotes fairness, equality, and ethics. The DSA is doing the work — co-ops, unions, and medicare for all. These are all great ways to counter the aforementioned imbalance of our current system. Rather than just read about these notions, I’m interested in the practical application of these ideas in politics. I also want to learn more about mutual aid, and direct action projects the Los Angeles chapter is doing.

We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.

-Ursula K. Le Guin