Howard Waitzkin is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of New Mexico and practices internal medicine part-time in rural New Mexico and Illinois. For many years he has been active in struggles focusing on health in the United…
Rinky-Dink Revolution: Moving Beyond Capitalism by Withholding Consent, Creative Constructions, and Creative Destructions—English (Spanish and Korean editions also available)
This pamphlet tackles the question: how do we get from A to B, capitalism to post-capitalism?
It is critical reading to understand why:
- Capitalist-oriented industrial agriculture and its destruction of habitat are the upstream causes that led to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other past and future pandemics of devastating, emerging viral pathogens.
- COVID-19 may trigger a collapse of the global capitalist system but it is not the cause.
- Health-care and public-health systems organized around capitalist principles don’t do well in pandemics, compared to those not organized around capitalist principles.
- The current economic collapse, triggered by a pandemic, opens a door for revolutionary transformation.
Rinky-dink Revolution involves actions and inactions that are easy, safe, mundane, unglamorous, and feasible within every person’s life.
Howard Waitzkin’s Rinky-Dink Revolution … is small to be sure—light-weight, unimposing in appearance, and with an abbreviated wing-span of just 72 pages total, including 11 pages of fore-and-after-matter. A quick read. But rinky-dink? Quite the opposite. …
Like the best revolutionaries in all times and places Howard Waitzkin is guided by a powerful sense of possibility as well as deep feelings of love. He’s pissed off to be sure, because he pays attention to the crimes of racial capitalism. But he also knows that “even anger at injustice makes the brow grow stern,” and that being pissed off will not take us where we need to go—only love and joy and generosity can do that. He illustrates over and over that the greatest weapon in the cause of liberation is our beating human hearts longing to be free.
This book is bantam-weight, as I said—the perfect mini-manifesto to slip into your back pocket or your backpack, a worthy companion as we mount the next action or tend the community garden. — Bill Ayers. Rinky-Dink billayers.org
But what exactly does revolution look like? Is it putting on a beret, slinging an AK-47 over your shoulder, and trying for that far-away look in your eyes? Well, no, that’s called suicide by cop (and nobody is going to put your face on a T-shirt). In the short pamphlet/e-book/PDF/audiobook Rinky-Dink Revolution (available on a donation basis from Daraja Press and at Monthly Review), Waitzkin suggests instead that we engage in postcapitalist forms of social organization. He gives us examples such as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, the Rojava in northern Syria, Jackson, Mississippi, and Rustbelt collectives such as the Horizontal Stateline Autonomous Zone in Northern Illinois. … Waitzkin calls it a Rinky-Dink Revolution because it’s everyday stuff that you can do while you scour the thriftshops in search of that beret.— Seiji Yamada On Howard Waitzkin’s Rinky-Dink Revolution. Counterpunch.org
Howard Waitzkin presents a clear, straightforward intervention for revolutionary change in the global capitalist economic system. He covers much ground, with sophistication, while keeping the argument grounded. His focus on ways to facilitate a challenge to capital and to build further revolutionary transformation is crucial at this historical juncture. The discussion of creative constructions and creative destructions is particularly useful. —Brett Clark, Professor of Sociology, University of Utah, and author of The Robbery of Nature: Capitalism and the Ecological Rift
The end of capitalism is possible. Waitzkin takes us a step further in the creative process for transformation. Through specific examples from organized groups within the United States and abroad, this work constitutes a practical guide for everyone. Waitzkin encourages our creativity for organized, safe acts and omissions to transcend capitalism. —Nylca J. Muñoz Sosa, lawyer, public health leader, and activist focusing on health justice and decolonization in Puerto Rico
Waitzkin is among the expanding list of authors who openly reject the imperative of capitalism for infinite economic growth. He clearly understands that the world can provide better lives for all of humanity while reducing the total mass of capitalist production, which is overwhelmingly wasteful…. Rinky-Dink Revolution is a great contribution to probing how we can live our lives in ways that prepare us for the society we hope to bring into being. It is more than worth reading – it is something to think deeply about.
Moving beyond capitalism now 8
Peculiar ways to struggle without confronting capitalism 12
Rinky-dink revolution and revolutionaries 21
Creative constructions 36
Creative destructions 49
The death of capitalism and the birth of something else 65
About the author 68
Vision statement: Moving beyond capitalism—now! — Howard Waitzkin and Firoze Manji 70
You can listen to the audiobook here:
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