Asbestos Head Chapter 11 - Capitalist Manifesto

Dead Head
-Capitalist Manifesto-

Asbestos smokes Pot Head's present on the walk to his next appointment.  He enters the city police station and an officer leads him to jail.  In the corner he notices a malnourished, scruffy, dirty and completely naked cell mate who looks overly happy to see someone.

"What are you in for, friend?"

"I increased the amount of truth being told by a park statue and got charged with defacing state property."

"They're very protective of their possessions, aren’t they?"

"The government takes tax money and builds war monuments to promote patriotism and military allegiance as an easy means to marble immortality.  But isn’t war hero a paradox?  The only war heroes I know are draft dodgers, protestors, and people who place peace over purple hearts.  Where’s their statue?  That's what I want to know.  But anyway, I'm stuck in here overnight to keep the wheels of justice in rotation.  Let the rehabilitation begin!"

"Exactly.  Prison's Our societal time-out.  Go stand in the corner with your head down and think about what you've done until We say come out.  And of course the corner's only for poor kids.  Rich kids get their allowances taken away instead.  Meanwhile We've got millions of trained psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, spiritualists and teachers twiddling their thumbs.  Why send your society's kids to the corner or take their money away when you can educate them?  Caging criminals with other mentally unstable felons has never helped a person on this planet. And think, all the money that's saved from not enslaving one percent of the population can be used to create jobs, promote education and mental health. No one experiences a lifetime of unconditional love then rapes and kills.  These are expressions of misguided emotion, as is the revenge taken against them.  I forgive everyone everything.  For many people justice is equality, an eye for an eye.  But increasingly, humanity is realizing that there is no justice in retributive punishment.  True justice is positive change.  An eye for an eye means committing the same act you're condemning while calling it the solution.  It may sound rational to Our government, but it sounds like insanity to me."

"I agree.  The Author Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, the old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.  It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert.  And Gandhi said there is no justice in retributive punishment, only hypocrisy and the continuance of evil.  For the decidedly immoral act of murder, the accused is then murdered.  Such a paradox cannot uphold any theory of Justice.

"Yeah, and just think, if everyone were served their due punishment, six million Nazis and neo-fascists would get the gas chamber.  Everyone near the Gaza strip would commit religious suicide.  All Christians in the New World would be beheaded by native Americans, then all remaining whites would be enslaved and oppressed for generations by black plantation owners until about thirty countries simultaneously bomb the rest.  Then all remaining women around the world would kill all remaining men for millennia of injustice, and soon Our equality would be left for the ants."

"If only this town had a square and We had a soapbox, We'd solve all these problems."  They exchange smiles.  "So why are you here?"

"Because I'm a simple man that doesn't want to build a big shelter or house a family.  Because I just want to move with the wind on my whims until I get swept away forever, but the current notions of public and private property, Our ancestors manifested destiny, has left me few options.  Public is patrolled and private property owners hate squatters, so I never last long anywhere. I can’t hunt or fish without a paid permit.  I can’t even pick the fruit, vegetables, and berries that I plant myself.  I can’t not wear clothes.  I can’t urinate or defecate except in designated receptacles. I can’t even build fires or temporary shelters to keep warm.  Basically all my necessities except breathing are well policed and that’s why I’m here - because I don’t believe in clothes, or money, or ownership, or property or most things modern man's decided are sane.

If I want to build a shelter, I have to find money to buy the land around it, then continue to pay taxes my whole life.  Should I not purchase the land, or refuse to pay tax, my shelter, my property, and myself are seized.  Should I try to rent from another man, they either demand money or slavery of some sort while maintaining control of the land and the laws that protect his ownership. Thus it is no longer legal to live nomadically nor to venture off and build a shelter with my own hands and the materials Mother Earth provides.

So every time they let me out I live off the land until policemen come back, stuff me in their cars and put me behind bars.  Nobody cares, not even me - that’s the problem.  I’m a naked nothing that people label and stow away where I can’t affect the hypocrisy of their comfortable compliance.  And meanwhile life’s pretty easy on me in here.  They feed me, I’ve got a bed and a roof, but when I’m here for too long I miss it out there, because it’s so beautiful isn't it?"

Asbestos agrees and asks:  "What do you do exactly  when you're not in here?"

“They interviewed me for a magazine once and called me a radical environmentalist - I like thatThey said I’m like Johnny Appleseed without the prejudice.  I plant trees, flowers, weeds, berries, fruits, vegetables - wherever there’s dirt, private, public property, I don’t care.  My mission is to overrun roadsides with roots until pavement all over the country crumbles, cars become useless and all that’s left is sustainable mass transportation in harmony with nature.  Nothing but boats, planes, trains, and monorails.  Can you imagine the beauty of cities without streets or cars?  Imagine New York City with roads made of grass!  Instead of huge cities containing little parks, they’ll feel like huge parks containing little buildings and people.  Every walk to work or the train station will be a stroll through the park.    Architecture is art, roads aren’t.  They represent laziness and selfish indulgence, ease of transport at the expense of nature.  The way I see it , We can travel anywhere Now but there’s no road leading anywhere without roads.  I long for a world with no exhaust, no horns, no traffic, traffic lights, street signs or road names.  No car accidents, no gas stations, no bus stops, no parking lots, no garages, no greasy mechanics or salesmen, dealerships or advertisements.  No car payments, insurance, registration, reparations, lube-jobs, fill-ups, or top-offs.  No highways, no truck stops or drivers, no more bums or hitchhikers, only nomads and drifters like me.

That’s my domestic American dream.  My American dream abroad is to practice the freedom We preach by allowing everyone everywhere to do anything they want free from Our persecution.  America's like a heavy-weight freedom fighter that's forgotten he can't win without peace.  The department of defense has been on the offensive since We changed the name.  During the last sixty years of supposed peacetime, America has bombed over eight million people to their deaths.  Our foreign policy supercedes diplomacy and force feeds compliance, capitalism, and pseudo-democratic policy, under America’s own super pseudo-mother democracy.  Then alongside the government, the military makes way for bases, corporations clear the path for capitalism, and ultimate profits always trace back to mother.

America's an aristocracy of plutocrats promoting autocracy via democracy.  But voting's a joke and everyone knows it, the nepotism and corruption is out of control, the bill of rights has been bullet-holed with strategic legalities, the president is the commander-in-chief of the military, though some call this fascist dictatorship.  Less than one percent of the population owns over twenty percent of the wealth.  The government maintains eminent domain over all property.  There are natural plants that if grown will land you behind bars for decades.  They’ve created situations in which inaction is illegal.  As the balance of wealth and power continues its logical progression into oligarchy, We can see ever more clearly that the current state of capitalism is destroying democracy, because beneath their undeniable benefits, one promotes equality and the other class exploitation.  If there exists a wealthy elite, there exists a class with the means to control both the political and economic functions of society.

The problem isn't necessarily that this class exists, but that through the current system, members of this class must engage in immoral selfishness to achieve and maintain such power.  The problem with politics are the politicians - they’re not a varied selection of the population, they’re not the voice of the people; republicans, democrats, they’re a very small selection of like-minded individuals back to back staring at similar futures.  All important political decisions should be decided by panels of poor people, farmers, philosophers, environmentalists, sociologists, poets, businessmen, white-collar workers, blue-collar workers, historians, anthropologists, priests, and everyone else who wants to participate.  In this world wide web of instant information, politics should be a hobby for conscientious citizens, not an occupation for power hungry money grubbers. 

In it’s current state, Our Democratic Capitalism empowers liars, cheaters, and stealers alike - selfish, business-minded, bottom-dollar, bizzaro-Robin Hoods, bent on squeezing out a little more benefit from others, at less cost to them.  Millions of poor struggle to stay alive and provide, while the rich have plenty of free time to find ways of taking even more money through advertising, institutionalizing, forcing insurance, reasons for registering or renewing this or that possession, regulating, licensing, fining, taxing, etc. etc.  I say once they can create symbolic currency based on love or selflessness, only then will Capitalism have achieved the nobility its so quick to claim and enforce around the world.


Dead Head lays spread-eagle on the floor, staring at the ceiling.  You know in my lifetime I’ve been arrested and charged with fifty-three different offenses.  They’ve got laws for everything Now and just keep adding more.  Laws are anti-freedoms enforced through the loss of even more freedom.  I have more faith in individuals operating under their own volition to tend toward the greater good, than I do policemen, statesmen, lawyers, and judges operating under this system of supposed justice.  We have more faith in Our silly laws than Our neighbors and that's the real problem.  Laws leave crime victims powerless to right their own wrongs the way they see fit, and instead pay and empower unaffected people to enforce standardized punishment.

If someone lies to, steals from, cheats, kidnaps, rapes, or murders someone I know, then me, my friends, and my family deserve to deliver the punishment.  Not only that, but in these intense situations, me, my friends, and my family do not want to sit still and wait for cops to do the best they can with what the law provides.  We're going to do the best We can with what God provides and use Our God given freedom to enforce Our own ethics, whether it's retribution or forgiveness, justice should be whatever just Us decide.

Suppose I watch you kill my daughter.  The law says for me to leave you be, call the police, collect evidence, consult a lawyer, then testify to a box of peers, who'll hopefully lock you away through years of appeals until finally you get the death penalty or die of old age.  If instead I do the natural thing in such a situation and kill you myself, then it's your daughter's turn to collect evidence, consult the lawyer, testify to a box of peers, who'll keep me in and out of appeals, each one feeding the system, paying police and judicial employee paychecks, greasing those greedy wheels of capitalist justice with years of Our grief, just for doing the just thing.

Furthermore, suppose I watch you kill my daughter and instead of wishing you dead, instead of pursuing retribution of some sort, suppose I wish to take the highest moral ground and end the cycle of suffering, to stop the continuation of evil with my unconditional forgiveness.  Suppose I wish to pardon you from all punishment, I wish you no harm and that your family need not grieve the way Ours does.  If after all this I actually wish for your forgiveness, We'll find it's against the law.  I have to destroy evidence, consult a lawyer, then testify to a box of peers that it's all insanity, forgive those fifteen sardines and send them home,  We love everybody and We're so sorry, please love Us and leave Us alone, stop locking Us up in courtrooms and let Us determine Our own misdemeanors!  At least give Us forgiveness as an option!”


  1. This makes me wanna read your book again :)

  2. Yeah, it is a very good book. Each line a punch.