Film/TV Mar 10, 2023 at 11:39 am

You Can’t Escape It, Even in the Zombie Apocalypse

Those are not bandits, they are communists. Liane Hentscher/HBO



“For reasons that are hard to believe, Joel decides to leave this functional, safe, and radically democratic village. He just doesn't like it.”

Or, you know, the entire point of his journey with Ellie is to get her to scientists, who can study her immunity to cordyceps fungal infection, and thus possibly save what’s left of humanity. Those scientists are not in this commune, and so Ellie must leave. Joel agrees to continue on with her because he has recent knowledge of survival outside the commune, which his brother (who intended to escort Ellie) lacks.

“The fortress communism in The Last of Us is powered by a dam,”

For now. Eventually, parts in that hydroelectric dam will wear out, requiring replacement or repair. These parts can be produced only with large-scale resource extraction and complex metallurgical processing. These are heavy industries that the commune lacks both capital and labor to create. Absent Joel and Ellie finding those scientists, this commune will eventually freeze in the dark.

“In this situation, a union does not offer salvation but only buys time.”

That shoe sure hit the floor with a loud clunk, now didn’t it? Charles really needed to set that one up better. (After all the times the Stranger has urged other workers to form unions, admitting it’s ultimately a futile endeavor seems kinda cruel, don’tcha think?)

Speaking of setups, Charles earns his Properly Humorless Marxist Merit Badge by quoting the setup for the “contractors” joke without including the punchline.


I love it when people try to extrapolate (or even demand) reality from a TV show. Especially one based on a fucking video game.


Lord no, I don’t want to be pontificating the merits of communism if my days are numbered like that, if my family is dead or lost, no carrying “the party” flag for me, choosing a side. What an absolute joyless chore. Let me just be the animal I am and enjoy the sunlight on my body and earth under my feet.


@2: TBF, most of the beliefs expressed by writers at the Stranger have much deeper bases in fiction than in fact.

@3: Marxism long ago ceased to be about economics, sociology, or anything resembling inquiry. Whatever merits it has or once had, it’s now a cult, pure and simple; Charles here even refers to Marx as “the master.” As with all cults, the adherents must filter all life experiences through their belief systems, all of the time. It does indeed seem like an exhausting waste of time and effort, but then, that may well explain why I’ve never joined any cults.


"For reasons that are hard to believe, Joel decides to leave this functional, safe, and radically democratic village. "

The reason Joel leaves is simple: a show about some guy who gives up on a difficult quest to spend the rest of his life doing odd jobs would be boring and tedious. Imagine Game of Thrones if Jon Snow decided to become a modest farmer instead of joining the Night's Watch.


@5: Also, all of the plot depends upon Ellie, and much of the story depends upon Ellie & Joel’s Great Big Road Trip Adventure. Swapping out her partner halfway through her journey would need a major narrative justification, and nothing in their world would seem big enough to suffice.


@5: “You know nothing about crop rotation, Jon Snow.” ;-)


Pretty soon Charles will say we need to be like Marxist countries… China? North Korea? Or former Marxist countries including Russia? I’m realizing how Charles and the sawant cult is batshit crazy…


@7, Ah, thanks for that! Made my afternoon. As usual, the best thing about a Mudede post are the comments.


Sorry, the quote from the show just reminded me of Monty Python’s “Constitutional Peasant” bit from “Holy Grail”.


Aside from the fiction and the dam this is a small group of like minded people who agree to live together under the same rules. Marxism does not scale up and it doesn't age well either. What happens with the youth that grow up and don't want that lifestyle or want to change the rules? Does the commune change and grow or does it become a cult. Will they allow a Rumspringa of sorts for the youth or will they need to be "reeducated?" When times get rough and resources are limited, how are you going to prevent a strongman or warlord.


so who here has
Post-Apocalyptic Plans?

don't remember the name of the story
but astronauts discovered a Vastly advanced Alien
Civilization that was PERFECT but they had to tell Earth
so One guy had to be sent back knowing he'd Never get back to Perfection

can go

for the
Rest of Us.

*& why not
Musky he's
Earned it


@10: I doubt that resemblance was completely coincidental, and the actors even seemed to be smirking during that moment, IIRC.

@11: “… this is a small group of like minded people who agree to live together under the same rules.” And they’re completely isolated, so no one can leave, appeal to other communities, or any higher authority.

As was noted the last time Charles got drunk on obscure Marxist theory, “… the only way to make [a Marxist system] work is through an authoritarian political structure that forces labor under the threat of punishment.” (Commenter District13, The elected leaders of the Jackson Hole commune have a completely effective threat of punishment, always immediately visible: expulsion, sans gear, into the zombie-infested Rocky Mountains. That’s a certain death sentence, and possibly a slow one as well. Dissent can be contained for a long time under that system, but as you noted, what happens as the founding electorate ages, and a new one grows into adulthood?


@13 thanks for the shout out. I always enjoy Charles meanderings. I'll definitely be open to giving Marxism a try should we suffer a zombie apocalypse. Until then my preference is to keep with the economic system that has done more to lift people out of poverty than any other system. Is it perfect? no. Is it better than anything else that is out there? Absolutely.


I should also mention the other communities in the Last of Us are essentially Marxist as well, they are just further along. Governed by Fedra, any dissent is punishable by death. Resources are slim and people are forced to scrape by unless they join the military dictators that rule over the community enforcing their brand of Marxism.
Good times!


@8 China is not marxist but purports to be Maoist and is in fact something much more resembling a cartel. N Korea is just a modern Feudal serfdom. Both countries scrambled into power using vaguely marxist ideologies that have long ago been scrubbed away. Hell the US is more Marxist then China or N Korea in it current economic structuring in that a higher percentage of people can survive well here and share the means here then there.

@15 thats facsism dog. Not all totalitarianism is marxism and in fact what you call marxist totalitarian regimes are hardly even marxist and more like personality cults of Stalin, Mao (and now Xi), and the Kims.

Chuckies point is that Marxism is much more democratic than you idiots on here get. Of course it may not be able to practiced at our current scale and hence devolves into dominator autocratic nonsense. Marxism is an ideology that has failed in practice, just as capitalism may currently be failing just slower then marxist derivatives.


Anti-Social MedIa capture
regulatory Capture
Judicial Capture

kicking the Fuck
outta Democracy.


@16 do you have cited sources to where they claim they are not Marxist? I only did a quick check online and saw three sources that said they were, but didn’t fact check each source. I just know after seeing how crazy Sawant is and how she wants to demolish the world I want nothing to do with her or her values.


@19: “…after seeing how crazy Sawant is and how she wants to demolish the world I want nothing to do with her or her values.”

No problemo! The next time a Marxist runs for office in Seattle, all of the persons who advocated for Sawant as the One True Socialist across her last four elections will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that she was not really a good example of a Marxist — but their current candidate, now that person is the real deal.

Marxism is a perfect ideology, and therefore cannot fail. It can only be failed, by the all of unworthy humans who ever try to practice it.


@17: All capitalism? Or is a little capitalism ok?


@19 exactly! It never fails because it’s a bad system it only fails because we didn’t go far enough. A trait it shares with our progressive urbanist advocates in Seattle.


speaking of De-
molishing the World

in dissed News
you may have Missed:


Socialist Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant is launching a national coalition called Workers Strike Back to fight for wages, universal healthcare, LGBTQ rights, a clean energy transition, and more.

Interview by Chris Hedges
3/ 1/ 2023

a wee bit
. . . This petition, in response to the railroad crisis, is also calling for free healthcare for all. Obviously this is an overall demand that rank and file Democrat and Republican voters agree with. But most immediately, obviously we know that East Palestine residents will likely suffer serious, and even deadly health conditions, from this toxic disaster.

We know that the railroad tycoons are attempting to evade any liability. So we need, as you said before, free state of the art Medicare for all, publicly owned and democratically run by working people. Of course, again, fundamentally all of this is also still tied to the need for a new working class party.

Chris Hedges: Well let’s talk about strategy. Only about 11% of the US workforce is unionized. I think it’s about 6% are in the public sector. Like the freight railroad workers by law, essentially, can be blocked from carrying out strikes.

The billionaire class itself has pushed through a series of measures going all the way back to the 1947 Taft-Hartley act that makes it difficult to strike. But right-to-work laws, very sophisticated union busting, units in large corporations like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart. So let’s talk about where we’re starting from and what has to be done.

Kshama Sawant: Yes, your point is very well taken. If you look at the proportion of workers who are unionized, it’s abysmally small. These are both historical failures by labor leadership, and also the fact that there has been a real concerted attack against the labor movement in the last 50 years, starting from the neoliberal era. So the reality is that the majority of young people are not in unions. At the same time, the popularity of unions among young people is historically high.

We have to be very clear. If we are going to be building a national movement like Workers Strike Back, then it’s not only for people who are today members of the labor movement. It is also for young people and other workers who are trying to organize a union in the workplace, but they don’t have a union.

It is for all working people who want to get organized to fight back. Not just on workplace issues. It’s also, whether it is a housing struggle for rent control,or it is a struggle against oppression.

tonnes more

it's All News
till ya Read it.


@22: One of my smaller annoyances resulting from failure of “Progressive” policies in Seattle comes from my sounding like a right-winger. As another comment from the same thread as yours noted, a huge gap separates Marx’ hard-nosed analysis from his utopian predictions. (A professor of mine in college, himself a refugee from the Communist regime in his homeland, told me flatly: “It will be a long time before anyone writes a history of any country without considering the Class Struggle.”) Much of Marx’ analysis remains valid, and the parts which have gone invalid did so because of massively invasive regulation and restructuring of capitalist economies, almost all done by democratic governments who derived their authority and orders from the free peoples they governed.

But it’s Marx’ utterly unrealistic pie-in-the-sky predictions which make him more than just an immigrant Adam Smith on British soil. Generations of self-appointed revolutionaries have taken the bait, and the ‘successful’ ones have caused disasters on scales which make coal-choked Victorian London appear absolutely a paradise by comparison. As Seattle has seen (and suffered) for almost a decade, having even one such self-appointed Marxist revolutionary in a position of power causes enormous waste and civic strife. Problems go completely unaddressed because no real resolution of them can ever possibly be as perfect as the mythical utopia of an otherwise-great thinker. (And, making things worse — or, at least, no better — provides fuel for the always-coming revolution, am I correct, comrade?)

As you noted, each generation of self-appointed revolutionaries tells itself that the predecessors failed not because no utopia can ever be realized, but because they didn’t go far enough, fast enough, hard enough. Instead of pause and reflection, extremism simply begets more extremism. Hopefully Seattle has truly had enough of this, and the citizens of District 3 can get a worthy Council Member.


the Moral Arc of the
damn Universe ain't
gonna Bend itself.


Heh — of course, I meant to address my previous comment to @21, not @22. Thanks, @22, for making so much of your comment a perfect fit for mine anyway! It’s like you intended to validate both it and @21.


tldr but
you read all that &
That's what you came Up with?

so you think Unions've
done a Good Job

you figure we've
about all's we need?
thought you was Pro-Union.

& yet you Ignore
all that. I hear ya.


Theory vs. Reality applies to communism and socialism and capitalism, too. We are witnessing the beginning of the end of our society because capitalism is killing everyone and everything and we allow corporate collusion, political corruption, and endless sacrifice of human life in the name of profit. The trains derailing and poisoning towns? Because corporations spent an untold amount of $ for deregulation, handed to them by Republicans. The bank that just failed in California? Because the banking industry isn't held accountable EVER and will be bailed out with taxpayer money. Nevermind the CEO of that bank was responsible for the destruction of Lehman Brothers in the 2008 crash or before that was responsible for helping Enron with its financial destruction. Capitalism doesn't self-correct, capitalism relies on exploitation of labor for the enrichment of the few, and capitalism will lay waste to the entire earth and when everyone and everything has been poisoned and killed because of it, it will just be over.

“We'll go down in history as the only society that wouldn't save itself because it wasn't cost-effective.”
Kurt Vonnegut.


@26: Sawant herself has repeatedly said capitalism must be overthrown. She therefore fits exactly the pattern of extremism I described @23. Had you read that entire comment, you might have understood it was a continuation of the conversation from @18 and @21. (What’s the point, exactly, of asking questions about a conversation you claim you haven’t read?)

I never claimed that unions had delivered everything workers want. I have noted they consistently deliver more for workers than have self-appointed Marxist revolutionaries. (Admittedly not a high bar, that.) I have also questioned why anyone should believe Sawant can possibly achieve her goals on her own, after a soon-to-be-decade of no great achievement in City Hall? (I notice you haven’t tried to answer that one yet. How about you answer before your next rapturously uncritical copypasta from her? As we’ve already noted, it’s not as if the Stranger is lacking in rapturously uncritical stories about her.)


@27: Or we could use the tools we have for a better society.

Vivek Ramaswamy for president 2024.


from the article:
"[Kashama Sawant] will launch a national coalition called Workers Strike Back this March in cities around the country. This coalition will organize for a $25 an hour minimum wage, build grassroots labor unions in corporations such as Amazon, and advocate for a shorter work week without a cut in benefits and pay.

It will also employ strikes when its demands are not met. It will work to build a massive green jobs program that can employ millions of workers in clean energy and prevent climate catastrophe, along with public ownership of the big energy corporations.

“Only the bosses profit from divisions among the working class,” she notes. Workers Strike Back will be a united, multi-racial, multi-gendered movement of working people. It will battle anti-trans legislation, and stand against all right-wing attacks on LGBTQ+ people.

It will organize to win legal, safe, free abortions for all who need them. It will campaign to end racist policing, putting police under the control of democratically elected community boards with full power over department policy, hiring, and firing.

Her new labor organization calls for rent control, with no rent increases above inflation, as well as a massive expansion of publicly owned, high quality affordable housing, by taxing the rich.

“We’re dying from unaffordable healthcare,” she notes, “As the pharma bosses and for-profit health insurance industry makes money from our sicknesses.”

She and Workers Strike Back will call for free, state of the art Medicare for all, owned and democratically run by working people."

but none of this really Matters
because Kshama Sawant said Capitalism must die.

Unbridled Capitalism'll Die
by its Own hand. but
Only after it's




As Regulators Race to
Stem Silicon Valley Bank
Fallout, a Second Bank Closes

Federal regulators said that they would ensure that all depositors of Silicon Valley Bank are paid back in full as they rushed to contain the fallout.

The agencies said they would enact a similar program for Signature Bank, a New York-based bank that the government closed on Sunday.

one comment on the Article:
If right wing fundamentalist capitalist Republicans have their way, FDIC would be abolished as would the whole regulatory structure of the banking and finance sector would be eliminated, plummeting the US back in time before the reforms of the Great Depression Era!

Instead, what we need to do is REPASS AND REAUTHORIZE THE GLASS-STEAGAL ACT and once again separate the bank deposits of Americans from investment speculators on Wall Street!
--Patrick; New York

relax. it's just


@31 cont'd: Risky Bet on Crypto and a Run
on Deposits Tank Signature Bank

Regulators said keeping open the 24-year-old institution, which held deposits from law firms and real estate companies, could threaten the financial system’s stability.

Biden Offers Assurance
That Banking System Is Safe

Markets wobbled as regulators tried to contain the damage from Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, closing another bank — Signature Bank in New York — and opening an emergency lending program. Regional bank stocks tumbled in premarket trading.

really Nuthin' to see here folks the
fat cats'll be Bailed out as per usual
but as anyone can see they've got it



@30: Yawn, more devotional copypasta, with absolutely no questions asked about how she’d accomplish any of it. (Bonus points for your obedient repetition of her blather about rent control, considering she’ll likely leave office having delivered absolutely nothing on that promise, either.) Thanks for validating my point @28, about promises vs. delivery records of unions and self-appointed Marxist revolutionaries. Looks like soon-to-be-ex-CM Sawant will keep that record completely intact.

No matter how little it costs you to repost this stuff, you should, on principle, apply to the IRS for a religious exemption.


fifteen bucks an Hour?


that don't Count?

and fuck off with
your 'advice' which
is worth even Less Than


@34 that happened 15 years ago and she was only partly responsible for the passage. She did none of the heavy lifting of actually writing the legislation. She simply used the threat of the bully pulpit to pressure the administration at the time to do it. Since then she's done nothing of substance and her use of "pack city hall" rally's has steadily waned as everyone else realized she is all bluster. As @33 mentioned her signature issue her entire time on the SCC has been rent control, she has ran that committee herself for the last 5 years and she hasn't even delivered a proposed draft of legislation. To think she is going to start some national movement for workers (and btw she hates most unions as well so she won't have support of union leadership) is comical on its face. You can believe whatever you want but those of us who see her know the only she is doing is milking the gravy train of her loyal followers since that pays better than a teaching salary at Seattle community college.


@34 sorry to break it to you but Sawant didn’t start the $15 hour movement, nor did she actually file the paperwork initially (Ed Murray filed after SeaTac had its $15 enacted first). She just took credit for it and had her boyfriend create a website the day after.


Sawants the perfect example of a sham…


@34: “fifteen bucks an Hour?


Although you can’t even manage to spell her name correctly, you continue your faithful regurgitation of her propaganda. As @36 recounts, $15/hour was known to be “POSSIBLE!!1!” for her entire time in elected office, because the voters in that well-known Communist stronghold of — wait for it! — SeaTac had enacted it at exactly the same time as her election.

But Seattle’s minimum wage differs from SeaTac’s minimum wage, and from Washington State’s minimum wage. Those two minimum wage laws, enacted by their voters in 2013 and in the ‘90s, respectively, do not allow employers to count tips as compensation. Seattle’s minimum wage does, thus allowing workers in Seattle to be paid less than counterparts elsewhere. Who delivered this concession to the bosses? None other than CM Sawant! That’s what you’re really giving her credit for: being LESS progressive than voters in SeaTac (!) were when she was elected, and LESS progressive than Washington state’s voters had been, ‘way back in the ‘90s. Feel the triumph!

But you’re not only celebrating CM Sawant’s sellout to the bosses. You know the slur which says socialists cannot create anything of value, but merely appropriate value created by others? Every time you mention “Kashama” and the minimum wage, you validate that capitalist sneer. Good work!


here's your
Capitalist Sneer

Regional Banks Slammed by Fear of a Broader Financial Crisis

Bank Stocks Skid Despite U.S. Moves to Calm Markets

March 13, 2023

The unexpected seizure of two banks in three days by regulators intensified fears of a broader financial crisis, sending the stocks of more than two dozen banks into free fall on Monday, even as President Biden reassured Americans that the banking system was resilient and that customers’ money was safe.

Banks of various sizes in different parts of the country — from San Francisco-based First Republic Bank to Salt Lake City-based Zions Bank — found themselves battling market turmoil as customers rushed to withdraw their deposits and investors, worried about more runs, dumped bank stocks.

Across the country, banks are battling market turmoil as customers rushed to withdraw deposits and investors, worried about more bank runs, dumped bank By Stacy Cowley, Rob Copeland and Anupreeta Das

nothing at all
to see here?


@39: So, given the only thing CM Sawant ‘delivered’ in Seattle was a vastly-inferior version of what voters in SeaTac had already done, what’s your prediction on her ever being able to deliver on anything she said in those tediously-long copypastas you dumped here?

Because if we expect her to fail nationally in exactly all of the same ways she’s already failed locally, there’s not much point to anyone reading any of your other copypasta, now is there?

Oh, and relevant:

SeaTac’s 2023 minimum wage: $19.06/hour
Seattle’s 2023 minimum wage: $18.69/hour
Seattle’s 2023 minimum wage*: $17.27/hour

*Including Sawant’s Sellout to the bosses

Feel the progressive victory, Seattle!

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