For many Amerikkkans, shopping at Walmart has become the only realistic option for acquiring the bare necessities of life. Due to their blind acceptance of wage slavery, they live lives of quiet desperation, going from bed to work, many working at Walmart, then cashing their meager checks from one or two or three jobs, often chasing that check at Walmart, for a fee, then spending most of their free time shopping.
Much of what’s bought is so basically trash and junk food, also known as “American culture” or our “way of life”. This trash and junk food is “why terrorists hate us”. The good shopper may meet their drug dealer at the Walmart pharmacy, or their other drug dealer in the parking lot, casually ignoring the sex workers and houseless families living in their vehicles. In said parking lot roams armed guards, police, mobile camera towers and litter blowing in the wind. In the bushes of many Walmarts are homeless camps, beggars stand with hunger and signs at the entrance and exits to these temples of heartless wage slavery.
If the wage slave is properly conditioned they will feel a sense of gratitude and sentimental attachment to the seasonal decorations, ignoring that is from the very system that enslaves them. At home, if they are not homeless, they will sacrifice sleep and health to stare at screens, yearning to squeeze a few moments of fulfillment and meaning into their empty lives.
This routine is like a prison. The fences are made of limits imposed by poverty, gas prices, vehicle maintenance, lack of calories in diet and economic inflation. Wage slavery keeps people too tired and domesticated to even consider another option. In order to perform at their jobs they must ignore even family members who are struggling, and caring for homeless and hungry neighbors is out of the question. The busy day prevents them from noticing the deforestation of their community, or the non-biodegradable trash building up aside the roads, becoming part of the soil, with pieces of tires, plastic and aluminum cans as common as rocks and grass.
The sentimental Walmart shopper is emotionally bound to brands, fast food chains, and may openly declare themselves to be servants to an archaic diety. Think about these terms and their origins:
Brand names – cattle and slaves are branded. The reader can certainly remember a list of name brands, their colors, fonts, symbols and words. These are powerful images that occupy and colonize your mind. Your mind is branded by repetition. Chains of fast food encircle the earth, crowding out poor local restaurants, manufacturing the consent of wage slaves by removing any other option. They manipulate our perception of time, making themselves available on long routes between work and housing, so that we don’t have time to eat anywhere else.
The consumer becomes impatient. The worker is pushed to efforts that match the calorie-burn of higher paid employees of other industries. In order to find meaning in this flesh trade, the fast food chain wage slaves may turn to drugs or religion. They are like temple slaves making burnt offerings to the God of Profit – a historically inaccurate White Jesus, dipped in blood. It makes sense that these temples are installed in Walmarts, where the smell of burning cattle can remind the slaves that they are what they eat.
It is not just Walmart that enslaves masses, of course. Walmart just made the mold and set the standard for the prison industrial complex. Many of their brands are the same as those found in prisons – Hersheys, Mars, Heinz and Smuckers. But, now we see the “woke”, “conscious” Walmart shopper, buying organic, vegan brands. The next tier of social crust does not debase themselves by shopping at Walmart or Winn-Dixie – they go to Whole Foods, Publix and Greenwise, lest their pineal gland and third-eye be contaminated by common fare. These “higher beings” may pray to White Jesus for a new BMW, which they “manifest” by cutting the wages to the workers in Daddy’s business, which they manage, while cultivating blithe gratitude for such “divine abundance”. This mindset is justified by the lectures they just attended, in which the Christian leader extolled to them the virtues of business
The more open-minded upper crust shopper might go to Sam’s Club or Costco to buy organic, free range, all natural brands, in bulk, on their way home from hot yoga. In the name of “Good Vibes Only”, all the poor have been aggressively removed, or captured, from these areas. Instead of learning to cultivate compassion in action, and how to work for the liberation of all beings, this yoga crowd learns to market themselves in every single interaction, from the classroom to the office to the meditation hall, church, party, bedroom, and even while shopping. Any interaction which is deemed unprofitable is labeled as Bad Vibes and avoided.
The next tier prefers to shop at Walmart over the “fancy” options. This is the military and police who jealously guard the Walmart way of life. They aspire to shop at venues like Bass Pro Shop. Making sure to shop in uniform, they request the military discount while openly carrying firearms and other weapons. Thanks to this crowd, one can also buy rifles and shotguns while shopping for groceries. They are the slave catchers of Walmart culture. I’ve seen hungry mothers dragged out of a Walmart for trying to steal food and diapers, the babies screaming as they are taken from their mom, who the cops callously laugh at, telling her that she’s going to jail and losing her kids. She weeps and they stand above her in polished boots and crisp uniforms, bearing the badges and symbols of oppression. The babies may be “adopted” by cops and brainwashed. The cops think that White Jesus approves.
The owners of Walmart, the Waltons, may posture and claim to be like the commoners they enslave, but they do not work and shop at Walmart. That image is an illusion. Rich people live in gated communities with guards, golf courses, club houses and servants. Nannies raise their kids and do their shopping. They despise the workers who build and maintain their ridiculous mansions, distrusting their housewives and their neighbors.
To contrast this slavish culture of social quietude in the face of exploitation, is a culture of resistance. There is a green light, an agreement that all people living in poverty can and should take anything and everything they need to survive. All over the world there are migrating tribes of rubber tramps, full time travelers, who take full advantage of shallow Walmart “culture” in order to live free lives.
In addition to this phenomenon of dumpster-hopping drifters is the more recent revival of an old tradition of leveling the playing field by redistributing resources via flash-mob looting. Sometimes posted on social media, sometimes spontaneously popping up in response to killer cops murdering people of color, and in protest to working conditions, especially during pandemics, wildfires and during economic crisis’ brought on by constant wars, flash-mobs flood Walmarts with so many people that nothing short of a massacre can stop them. So far the slave-catchers have been too scared to go that far, realizing that the consequences would outweigh the lost profits. No one wants to die for Walmart.
When the Waltons created Walmart, it was in response to poor wages and high prices at K-Mart. Now Walmart employees and shoppers have a chance to create new alternatives. Using parts of plants that are capable of propagation, buying seeds, and planting these, we can build a new social ecology based on home and community gardens and homemade goods. Local farms and farmer’s markets will replace so-called “supermarkets” either by choice or because they are inevitably collapse, being inherently unsustainable. It’s already happening, just Google condemned Walmarts.
We don’t need supermarkets to have modern medical technology and a Star Trek-quality way of life. We will build utopia, either as an organic growth from seed to harvest, or by using the old as fertilizer for the new.
Dan Baker 25765-509, FCI Memphis, PO Box 34550, Memphis, TN 38184