Occupy Steampunk?

Issue #8 is coming along, but this whole “ending the corporate rule over our society” thing seems pretty important and a lot of our editors are losing themselves in that. But why separate our interests? We’re working on an article about steampunks in the occupy movement for issue #8. We’re looking for thoughts and reports from steampunks involved in Occupy Wherever, please contact us! collective@steampunkmagazine.com

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47 Responses to “Occupy Steampunk?”

  1. I was just thinking about how it seemed like Steampunk and the Occupy Movement could have parts that blended together well. This sounds like it’s going to be an excellent issue. I look forward to it.

  2. Have you contacted Steampunk Emma Goldman yet? She’s been involved since Day One for OWS.

    http://anachro-anarcho.blogspot.com/

  3. I am definately looking forward to issue 8. The occupy movement and steampunk do seem to go hand in hand.

  4. I recently watched the Newsies, an old childhood favorite, because of the talk about the Broadway Musical coming out. Thinking about Steampunk magazine connecting with the Occupy Movement reminds me a lot of Newsies with a twist. An interesting twist that has me intrigued and I’m excited to see what comes of it.

  5. What with the presidential elections coming up next year, I would not be surprised to see a few ‘MANSON FOR PRESIDENT’ banners appearing as wicked way of making the 1% a little less comfortable about robbing us all.

    I don’t think it would be wise to for it to be connected with SPM though, and that steampunk should remain quite universal, and reasonably ‘safely’ Apolitical.

    Having said that, how about ‘Occupy The Whitehouse’ – elect a steampunk president!!

  6. Surely you jest, Rev. Grimnir! While perhaps it would be advantageous to keep SPM from affiliating with a specific US political movement, Steampunk by its nature cannot be apolitical!

    Have we forgotten what “punk” means? Punk is rebellion. Punk is change. Punk is building a new order from the pieces of a broken system.

    Without an element of punk, we have only steam — little more than a bunch of wet, hot air.

  7. Uh – huh… Not even I can be totally apolitical, but the powers that be have a long reach and are arrogantly ‘above the law’ so I personally exercise caution in political dealings.

    Building a new order? That is exactly what the powers that be are up to – breaking the system with deliberate financial failings to starve the masses.

    Perhaps my suggestion of occuping the White House would have merit if we could guarantee that the ‘punk’ we elect will not be ‘nobbled’ by threats to themselves and family as would be the case for the surprise election of a non ‘Bilderburg fielded’ candidate.

    BTW – steam is a hot, live and dangerous animal with no air in it – this punk understands power.

  8. Okay, so I’ll probably be flamed for this but I’m going to say it anyway:

    Yes there are a lot of issues going on in America and the world today. Yes, solutions need to be found. But be very careful of

    a) what you call yourselves and
    b) who the target of your ire is.

    The Occupy Movement is not made up of “the 99%”. In fact, it may only be a total of 1% of the population (which is an achievement in itself, so props for that). Second, while 1% of the population does hold a large amount of the wealth, remember they also carry the largest tax burden already; on top of that, they are the ones responsible for creating jobs. No point in creating jobs when you aren’t going to make money, or if it all goes toward taxes.

    I’m not part of the 1%–far from it. I work 60 hour weeks to make the bills and they often fall short. But I don’t agree with everything the Occupy Movement says either. Yes there are problems, but is taking money from those who give people jobs and just giving to people who don’t have it really a sustainable solution?

    Instead of taking their money in a noblized form of government sanctioned theft, why not find a way to incentivise them opening businesses or increasing their payrolls to provide more and better paying jobs? That is a more sustainable solution and will provide longer-term benefits to everyone.

  9. What exactly do steampunks have in common with the Occupy losers? Steampunk is not about sitting around whining about how life is so unfair is it? Camping with signs? Smelling of urine? Rape and drug use? Crying about how the rest of the world is responsible for their personal mistakes? Disrupting vital commerce while begging for handouts? Taking wealth from people who produce it and giving it to people who produce nothing?

    I don’t think I ever got the memo about those things being adopted as part of the Steampunk ethos.

    -SD-

  10. Hear Hear Julien! Let us be mindful that meaningful exchange of ALL IDEAS not simply left leaning ones is essential to any viable interchange lest we should be guilty of the sins of those we purport to oppose! heaven forfend!

  11. As my right leaning comments were already censored out of this conversation once, I think it’s a little late to make any pretense that this is anything but a left leaning publication…

    -SD-

  12. Sad to see the 1% talking points here. Kind of depressing.

    The 1% carrying the largest tax burden..you mean in dollars or percentage? As Warren Buffet said and was widely reported outside of Fox News, he paid 17.% income tax and his secretary paid 30%. This isn’t an uncommon case.

    Job creators…every interview I’ve seen or read about a 1%er they said the same thing…while laughing they all said the concept that they would not make an investment because they’d only get a 50% return instead of a 75% return is ludicrous. They’re not dumb. One made a good point that if he made less money he would be driven to try and earn more. True job creators are like that, they love what they do. These people aren’t morons.

    Many 1%ers are coming out and saying they think the tax system is unfair. It’s just an amazingly few 1%ers using their money to try and take everything.

    It’s sad to see people can be influenced so easily. I just see no hope at all.

  13. Waterbug: Both dollars and percentage. That they dump a higher percentage of their income into the system than everyone else is ludicrous, and with the exception of very few, like Warren Buffet (whose expenses are high enough to reduce his tax bracket significantly-it costs a lot of money to be in insurance), they essentially carry the country.

    Is it really more fair for people to pay an unequal amount toward our government when it can’t even make the necessary decisions to keep us out of debt? Forget “1% Talking points”, this is a simple fiscal talking point.

    Occupy states that it is only fair that people pay according to their means, instead of an equal amount. “Equal” can mean either a flat rate or a flat percentage. I can see equal being percentage (which means you still pay more taxes the more you earn), but our lopsided, progressive tax system is both over-complex and not producing the necessary revenue. Taking more money from the people that produce jobs is not going to cut it; it will put more people out of work and end up creating a larger burden.

    From what I can see, what Occupy wants is a system where all people wind up with about the same paycheck, no matter what they do. This is considered “Fair” because no one is held above anyone else. While this can work in small settings where everyone agrees to do this, when you force it on people the way Occupy wants to, it creates a system similar to the Soviet Union.

  14. “From what I can see, what Occupy wants is a system where all people wind up with about the same paycheck, no matter what they do.” Straw man.

    It’s not Warren Buffet’s expenses that provide his low rate, you’re thinking of your tax system where deductions are important. Warren’s income tax rate is different from yours because he is paid in the form of capital gains, not salary. By law, with no deductions at all, the most he can pay on capital gains is 15%. The most you can pay on your salary is 35%. If the law were changed to call the money he gets a “salary” instead of “capital gains” his tax rate would more than double and be exactly what you’re required to pay.

    If you want to subsidize the wealthy by paying more in taxes it is certainly your right. Who knows, they may even toss you a bone and give you a minimum wage job in a sweat shop. I know this because for more than 100 years we tried the system of the wealthy running everything, paying no taxes and having no regulation. The 99% didn’t like it that much.

  15. Hey guys, there are bigger issues than 1% vs 99%. America seems to be advancing its world domination agenda ‘one dumb law at a time’ – a strategy that is more likely to bring about causing the rest of the world to begin considering managing without American interference.

    The burning questions I have are:

    Is the ‘American Way’ (or the west in general) truly still a democracy or has it descended into a ‘Corporate Dictatorship’ merely masquerading as a democracy?

    Will anyone you vote for actually re-instate the constitution and undo the ‘Bush Bastardisation’ when they get into office?

    What does the Senate and Congress actually do these days other than enrich themselves at the expense of our heath and liberty?

    There’s an old english saying: “It doesn’t matter who you vote for – The Government always gets in.”

    Food for thought indeed. Is anyone out there prepared to polish their crystal balls and give the rest of us an idea of what may come to pass?

  16. I really should proof read before posting – that should read ‘health and liberty’
    Thanks.

  17. There are endless issues. My focus today is the 1% only because there’s some awareness out there so there’s some small chance of at least some small change. And I think the 1% vs 99% and Corporate Dictatorship is the exact same issue.

    Government has always been corrupt and will always be corrupt because corruption is human nature and personal perspective. Not that many years ago the US Senators would proudly use titles like Representative of the Sugar Trust, Representative of Railroad, etc. My effort is to do as much as possible to move power away from corporations and the wealthy and toward more people. I do this only because I’m in the later group. I have no delusion that’s it’s altruistic. If I were a 1%er I might be a Republican, but I’m not.

  18. Waterbug, it is obvious you are a supporter of Bolshevik politics. This isn’t a matter of political parties; it’s a matter of pragmatism. The capital gains tax is low to encourage investment of funds instead of dumping what money you earn on unnecessary pleasures. XBOX Live may be a great distraction, but how much more useful would an extra $200 a year in capital gains be to your home?

    This doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with XBOX Live, it just means that those who invest will reap the benefits of that investment. The same rate applies to people that sell their house, and technically to money made off selling cars (as they are classified as capital, not personal property).

    In the long run, you can replace government with “The people” (in which case you have a Soviet-style method of governance–not a judgement just a fact) it can and is still corrupt. Moving power away from Corporations or established government for the sake of doing so doesn’t make it less corrupt. It just spreads the responsibility wider.

    There is one more thing I need to address: Corporate Dictatorship. If corporations were really the driving force behind all of the problems in this country, they could have easily overpowered the government and taken over. While some people in certain companies create problems, the Corporation, as a whole, is made up of people who largely just want to earn their check and go home at the end of the day. The purpose of a Corporation is to MAKE MONEY. If it wasn’t, there would be no purpose to having a Corporation. Get over it.

  19. Julien, it is obvious that nothing is obvious to you. Yes, thinking the most wealthy should at least have the same tax rates as us peasants certainly makes be a Bolshevik. Me, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and pretty much everyone up until a couple decades ago. We were all Bolsheviks.

    Name calling is really all you have isn’t it? Spoken like a true Republican-Tea Party-Fox News minion. Nothing original. Just the exact same talking points repeated over and over. Doesn’t actually make it true.

    I’d explain to what capital gains are but let’s face it, you don’t really care do you. I disagree with you so whatever I say is out of the mouth of Satan. I could reference the now dozens of interviews done with CEO’s and 1%’s who say they pay too little and paying more wouldn’t hurt job creation, that raising taxes might even create more investment. They’re all Bolsheviks too no doubt. No need to check facts. If someone disagrees they must be wrong. You’re so easily manipulated it’s sad. Millions of years to put that brain in your head and you refuse to use it.

    Corporate Dictatorship is not the driving force behind all of the problems in this country, oh great Straw Man. It’s A problem. The real driving force behind all of the problems in this country is a lack of education and laziness. Too many people listening to a single speaker filling their head full of propaganda and them being too lazy to take the 5 minutes to do a little research to find out they’re being lied to. And instead of being mad as hell at the propagandist, they do the propagandist’s biding. That has always taken down countries. The very people waving the biggest flags, the most un-American Americans. The hate slinging, name calling monkeys.

    I feel sorry for you. You clearly have enough intellect to listen to a few other sources. Consider other sides. But it’s just too damn much fun name calling, being mad as hell, blaming everyone else. What a waste.

  20. Julien, are you trolling or just ignorant? Because accusing anyone who disagrees with the status quo of being a bolshevik could be one or the other easily enough.

  21. Dear Julien,

    I hate to pile on but I do feel a need to respond to your post.

    I don’t want to get into a big boring thing about taxes but you are as misinformed about capital gains tax as you are about Bolshevism and thus a sane person could conclude that your opinions or “facts” about the Occupy movement may also be suspect.

    Fits the Capital Gains tax misconceptions are unjustifiable because they are public knowledge. First you claim “The same rate applies to people that sell their house, and technically to money made off selling cars (as they are classified as capital, not personal property).” The truth is you pay 0% on CGT when you sell your house if it is under $500,000 if married. This is assuming your home has no mortgage. If it has a mortgage it has to be $500,000 above the mortgage. It can be avoided by 103 exchange (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1031_exchange) . As far as your car goes, the Capital Gains Tax is calculated by subtracting the amount of the sale minus the purchase price. It is rare to have a gain on the sale of a personal vehicle because no depreciation deduction can ever be taken for personal use items. So it really happens with expensive classic/collectable cars. The assumption if CGT was 0% that it would be better for the economy because more money would be put back into the free-market and all of that nonsense…is just that nonsense. There is no real evidence of this. However there is over 30 years of hard economic data that stimulus of returning money to the poor and working class actually works. Even the right-wing know this and have supported this under Ford, Reagan and both Bushes. Did they do it because they loved the poor and working class…I think not. They did it to keep the economy running. Reducing the CGT doesn’t help anyone but the rich and has never shown to aid the economy. So excuse us if we are skeptical of your facts.

    You call Waterbug a Bolshevik but it is clear you are clueless about what the Bolshevik position really was. There were Occupy type movements during the Soviet Era in places like Kronstadt, Prague, Budapest, Odessa, Warsaw, etc. and the Bolsheviki/Soviet regimes repressed them just as our government does our local variation. The truth no government appreciates dissent whether that government is feudal, Soviet, capitalistic-representative democracy, etc. To equate the concerns of those in that participate in the Occupy demostrations now or in the past as being Bloshevik agents is not only uncouth it is ignorant.

    Then you say the truly asinine, “Moving power away from Corporations or established government for the sake of doing so doesn’t make it less corrupt. It just spreads the responsibility wider. “This boggles my mind. It may not make the corporations and government less corrupt but it certainly reduces their ability to inflict their corruption on us. It is exactly their power that allows the corruption to spread. When you say “There is one more thing I need to address: Corporate Dictatorship. If corporations were really the driving force behind all of the problems in this country, they could have easily overpowered the government and taken over.” It makes me wonder how someone on a steampunk blog can be so ignorant of history. Corporations and dictatorships have gone hand in hand from the beginning. They do not need to get rid of governments but just control them. Governments can redistribute wealth in a number of ways including taking money from the 99% and giving it over to the 1%. In fact the Victorian Age in this country and England have many such obvious examples.

    For steampunks the Occupy movement is interesting because much of the class struggles of the period are still with us: the growing division of Have and Have-Nots; the assault on organized labor; fear of immigrants; special police squads to stop internal radicals; out of control economic machinations dominated by an irresponsible and sketchy financial elite and so on. To me steampunk is using the lens of yesterday to make a better tomorrow. So let’s move off taxes and Bolsheviks and get back to seeing what parallels there are between the Occupy movement and the struggles of the Victorian past.

    Humbly yours,
    Prof. Calamity

  22. Julien’s post in a steampunk blog doesn’t surprise me. Steampunk Magazine is in the anarchist zip code and pro Occupy. But that’s a tiny sliver of steampunk. The vast majority of steampunk is a pretty conservative bunch. Pro military, forums heavily censored, and based on the posts and polls I’ve read. At best most are political agnostic or politically ignorant.

    Most of steampunk glorifies the Victorian and their class system. Many steampunk adpot titles like General, Lord, Doctor, Professor and it doesn’t seem to be satirical. Just “fun”. And the Victorian masses seemed OK with having industry control the government as long as they got more cheap crap in the deal. It’s impossible to mark a turning point but I put it at 1911 and the Triangle Building fire when the 99% started to think maybe industry controlling everything wasn’t such a good idea.

    So I see the struggles to throw off the Victorian as very anti-steampunk. I know most anarchist type steampunks would disagree, but I’m referring to the vast majority of people calling themselves steampunk. To the heart of the matter, this just shows the dichotomy of steampunk to me, that steampunk is a style of dress, not a lifestyle or subculture. Unless of course there are several subcultures all using the same label.

  23. I wish to clear things up.

    First, I’m not here to troll. Bolshevik philosophy had nothing to do with putting down that masses (that was Stalinism, much different–if you don’t know the difference, ask someone that lived in a Soviet state or read Wikipedia).

    I am totally aware of how Capital Gains works. I own stock in the company I work for; it’s kind of important to my tax returns and Form 1040 doesn’t fill itself out. Motor Vehicles do fall under Capital Gains tax, but only affect you if you are in car sales (as, like you said, depreciation outpaces the tax quickly, and depreciation is tax deductible).

    I am neither a Republican, nor a Fox News subscriber. I don’t deal with “recycled talking points” and haven’t in years. Honestly both US Parties are filled with morons.

    I called Waterbug a Bolshevik because these were the things that Vladimir Lenin said shortly before the October Revolution. The government design that Occupy uses and wants is Glossary Soviet Communism (direct democracy, decision by committee (Russian: Soviet), sharing of all goods without consideration to position(Communism). The statement is less a criticism and more a comparison. I may not agree with the model, but I do know how it works. I have several friends that lived in the Soviet Bloc that saw it in practice, both the good and the bad. None of them had much good to say about it.

    Contrary to popular belief, I have in fact considered both sides of the argument. But the philosophy of occupy, while nice to read and look at, is not practical from an Economic standpoint.

    Socialism, the act of taking from the rich and giving to the poor, has the ultimate goal of breaking even. You want your people to be as equal as possible, and to have close to the same pay, benefits, and options for the future. To do this, you tax the wealthy and subsidize the poor. As far as a philosophy goes, it can work; there are monasteries around the world that practice functional communism.

    As a grand scale economic model, however, it has been proven to not work in many countries. The CCCP (Soviet Union) collapsed when their economy went bankrupt not once, but twice. Soon after Perestroika was introduced and the former Soviets turned back toward a free-market system that rewarded smart investment, the economy recovered. China did something similar under their far more oppressive Mao system. Both systems were designed based on the basic premise that Occupy is using now.

    I don’t care about philosophy in this case; only math. Economics is a science. And until the Philosophy can work under the science, I will oppose it.

  24. Julien,
    Because Occupy thinks the current system is unfair that makes them socialists? And not even Norway type socialists, but Marxist-Leninist socialists?

    It’s a straw man argument to label people with a different opinion than yours with hateful labels in the hope people will believe your applied labels and therefore agree with you. That only works for morons. Like whoever told you all the misinformation stuck in your head.

    The Occupy movement has nothing to do with regular Socialism, let alone Marxist-Leninist Socialism. A few people got together to raise awareness of what they see as unfairness in American. No spokesperson or charter. That a group of people would sit in the cold for weeks to protest was once considered an American concept, a concept of Freedom. Is it because it’s been a peaceful protest that makes it socialist? Would it be, what, capitalist or righteous, if it were violent like the battles of Lexington and Concord? What yard stick do to use to go around calling people names? Whatever hateful label pops into that thing you call a head?

    Because Occupy members aren’t wearing suits doesn’t actually make them Marxist-Leninist socialists. That’s just your own twisted hippie phobia. I doubt seriously there are any facts in the world that would cure your phobia. It’s a different and unrelated issue. It can be treated.

  25. What IS “Steampunk” then???

    It is fashion for the frivolous at one end of the spectrum. Somewhere in the middle it is a retro-futurist romance for esoteric fiction. At the other end it is a good school of engineering for post apocalypse survivalists.

    As such there should be a niche for everyone to enjoy whatever aspects appeal to them. To say that you have to condone the corporate/politcal crap of the era is bulls**t.

    There is similar and worse crap going on today that is trying to steer the old crap world to a new tyranical crap world dictatorship – promising utopia for the gullible and delivering misery and death for the unfortunate ‘surplus’ population.

    The militarisation of the police force should have given most a clue as to what awaits careless resitance movements. The Nazis may have lost ww2 but their corporate financial backers are still trying to take over the world – and currently making serious progress to our (99%) detriment.

  26. Waterbug, its sad when I’m told I’m being hateful when the only defense you can use against me is “Straw man.” Just because I disagree with the method of government that Occupy wishes to have (take from the rich and give to the poor because it’s “Fair”) doesn’t mean I’m using hateful words; it means I’m using really good examples of history to say -why- I disagree with it.

    Norway Socialism isn’t much different than Marxism in its original form. Norway has the smallest gap in wages from poorest to richest, and a lot of nationalized companies. On the other hand, they also have the highest cost of living in the world, the highest tax rates, and it’s a country whose Chief Executive rules for life, since its a Monarchy. That kind of stability may facilitate a socialist society that can work, much like it does in Japan, but unless you want to be bowing to the King of America, then it isn’t going to work here.

    I have no problems with protestors. I’ve been in a few myself. Peaceful protest is one of the freedoms we enjoy that many other countries do not. I don’t have to agree with your points even if I agree with your right to protest. Violent revolution is never preferable to a peaceful solution; the mess afterward would be terrible and the loss of life unimaginable.

    My points of debate are:

    1) what real good is taking money from the people that earn it to give it to those who don’t, really going to do? Because honestly if I have to give away most of my salary to someone that doesn’t work, I may as well quit my job. It’s not worth the effort if I can just live off the system. I don’t mind helping someone out that has some trouble making ends meet when they work. But the system is so far beyond broken, let’s streamline and fix that -before- we take more money from the people that earn it.

    2) You are not the 99%. I am not the 1% but I don’t agree with you. Does that make me irrelevant? Like I said before, I think that the people you have managed to gather together is commendable–perhaps a full one or two percent of the US Population, which is a feat– but the other 97% of the population hasn’t spoken.

    And if using Science to make a point is hateful, the world is in a lot of trouble.

  27. Julien in your first point, you bring up one of the core issues. “What good is taking money from people who earn it to give it to those who don’t?” is -exactly- the point of Occupy.

    As it stands, we take money from wage laborers (the 99%, at least the employed part of it) and give it to people who make money with their money instead of by working. (the 1%). You will never be truly wealthy from salary alone. In order to become a 1%er, you have to make money with capital instead of with work. And that is my core contention with capitalism. In as much as there is wealth and money, it should be distributed (whether “evenly” or not) amongst those who labor for it.
    [well, my personal politics are a bit more radical than that, in that I believe in a wholly different economics without money, but that’s besides the point]

  28. Dear Julien ,
    First your much trumped knowledge of Bolshevism and Soviet history is a bit faulty and you should perhaps return to Wikipedia or wherever you got your information. To claim that the protests I mentioned only occurred under Stalinism (which I remind you was a Bolshevik and is the title he had on his tomb) is simply not true. I mention Kronstadt which occurred under Trotsky and Lenin’s watch early in the revolution, the same also of Odessa (which occurred before the civil war was even half over). The point is that Soviet/Bolshevik repression of popular dissent movements started at the dawn of the “Great Revolution” until the fall of the USSR in 1989.
    Unfortunately your understanding of Norwegian politics is just as faulty. You claim first that Norway has the highest tax rate among Western Nations. Norway actually has less of a corporate tax rate than the US and ranks in the middle of Industriualized nations New Zealand and Spain have higher rates. Belgium has highest rate of personal tax and again Norway is in the middle. Then you say” it’s [Norway] a country whose Chief Executive rules for life, since its a Monarchy”. Actually according to the county’s constitution and just a fleeting knowledge of the Norsk political system you should know the Chief Executive is the King’s Cabinet. It changes about every 3 years and must be made up of the leading members of various political parties (as of 1883). So the success of Norway is not the result of having a figure-head king or an astronomically high tax rate for corporations or personal property & income. It is a result of distribution of the natural resources that graces the small country (oil).
    You say this little thing about peaceful revolution and the terrible loss of life due to violent revolution. Not sure I have heard anyone talking about armed struggle among the OWS…maybe the Tea-Party but even that I think is for show. People are talking about change.
    I do like your first point however. “what real good is taking money from the people that earn it to give it to those who don’t, really going to do?” I agree. The question is your definition of earning it? I am not sure that the ceo’s, stock-gamblers, people born to rich parents, and most corporations that receive huge subsidies, preferential laws, etc. actually meet my definition of earning money any more than a bank-robber earns his money. You are right the system is broken but not for the reasons you believe. That is why you cannot understand the occupy movements and assume they are some Bolshevik cell. The same way you think Norwegians are licking the boots of their all-powerful Viking King while having their pockets picked by psychotic Norse tax collectors.
    As far as whether you are a troll or not, I cannot say but if you are you are not that web type but more akin to the fairytale type. A person who is cut off from the world because you live under a bridge and believe tiny bill-goats trampling back and forth are a serious threat to your life and need to be confronted with over-dramatic belligerence. Just watch out one of those hippy-goats may knock some sense into you while you are not looking.

  29. What IS “Steampunk” then???

    Good question. Took me several years to figure it out. My thinking is the term has several meanings.

    A. Literature genre.

    B. Aesthetic, both in fashion and crafts.

    C. Subculture. At least subculture is often mentioned, but to my understanding it’s a bit of a stretch. At best it’s many different subcultures all using the same label. To me dressing up for a comic con once a year is not a subculture. But saying it’s a subculture is part of the dressing up fantasy so they use it. A very few people wear subtle steampunkish clothes everyday and both say they’re part of a subculture. But I’ve never been able to see any commonality in dress or ideology. Can a single person’s lifestyle be a subculture? So I personally don’t see steampunk as a subculture, but many do.

    Then you have the Makers and Neo-Victorians using the steampunk label and calling their deal a subculture.

    I think steampunk is just cool sounding and people stick them on themselves for whatever reason they like.

  30. Waterbug. No comment, other than you still haven’t really figured it out. The concept and lifestyle was around long before the term ‘steampunk’

    Margaret and Calamity – it is a pleasure to see the extent of your knowlege and wisdom and it is a shame that we appear to be ‘casting pearls before swine’ here at the mo..

    Julien. WTF??? Occupy yourself with something else, preferably somewhere else.

  31. Rev, after several years and dozens and dozens of posts in steampunk forums not a single person could point me to this mythical definition of steampunk lifestyle. All agree it exists of course. But no one could describe it in a way that any other steampunk would agree. Everyone seems to have their own definition and assume every other steampunk believes the same. They do all agree to not talk about it. Better to believe the fantasy I think.

    For example, you could have enlightened me with a URL to the definition of this steampunk lifestyle in fewer characters than it took to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    It’s been better than a year since I’ve read anything steampunk, good to see nothing’s changed. Good day.

  32. Hopefully, all of the goings-back-and-forth here will be a sign to the editors to look elsewhere for a topic.
    Yes, do let us leave the occupy stuff to the occupiers and simply get on with the enjoyment of Steampunk.
    I agree with Rev. Mobius Leviathan Grimnir and Julien Harrison to be cautious where we align ourselves.

  33. How can there be steampunk with corporations? It was the corporations that created the industries of the industrial revolution.

  34. excuse me, correction. There would be no steampunk without corporations!!

  35. Becky: Obviously, we wouldn’t have society as we do now without the industrial revolution and corporate personhood. But that has no bearing on steampunk. Steampunk has never been about glorifying the industrial revolution, and certainly about glorifying the corporate influence on it. The same as cyberpunk didn’t glorify corporate governance… it depicted it as dystopic.

  36. Dear Margaret:

    You misunderstand me. I am in no way trying to glorify the industrial revolution or corporations. Someone had to have the capital to invest in the industrial experimentation and invention in order to have industry. I am just saying you can’t have one without the other. As I understand it, Steampunk is supposed to be a combination of “steam,” which is a form of power created and used at the turn of the century during the industrial revolution. Therefore machine parts, cogs, wheels, grease, smoke, grime are featured in the artwork/costume of the Steampunk style. The industrial revolution occurs during the Victorian age, therefore Steampunk is also inspired by the dress, ideas, gadgets of the Victorian era, a romanticism, which is odd because the Victorians were very sexually restrained, at least the nice church ladies were. And, as Waterburg mentions above, everyone has their own definition of Steampunk. I am mainly interested in the style and how it evolved, what inspired it, etc. Although you could say that today’s people live in fear of the future and feel dehumanized by such things as national healthcare, where everyone is becoming a number, or “unit.” I think of Steampunk more as Frankenstein than as Bladerunner.

  37. Also, Margaret, I am an artist, not a philosopher. I am interested in the visual elements and structure. I am very concrete.

  38. For Becky and others struggling to find their way through the corporate industrial smog and depressing disinformation.

    Perhaps it is time for me to start putting ‘The Gospel of Steampunk’ into print, it is almost ready. I hope this little primer helps in the meantime.

    At the heart of steampunk ideology is the Individual. The inventions that made the industrial revolution possible were the product of the hard work of gifted idividual people (not corporations). these inventions were bought up by businessmen who saw how they could become powerful corporations through exploiting and weaponising these inventions.

    Corporate greed and dominance, bought by corrupt dealings in the corridors of government, really began the process that is messing up the planet – using up natural resources at an unsustainable rate to fuel the incurably insane quest for power and control that afflicts the ruling classes.

    To cut a long gospel short (just for now), the engineering marvels that are so important to a sustainable steampunk world WOULD still have been realised and developed WITHOUT the consumerism forced upon us by the coporations, but in a far more wholesome, sustainable and earth-friendly way.

    Take this sacred truth with you:

    Individuals invent – Corporations corrupt.

  39. The Individual is at the heart of steampunk ideology…as long as the Individual submits fully to the ideology. Steampunks sure do like to hold themselves up as Individuals. Makes me wonder what the rest of us are.

    Steampunk is almost completely about the glorification of Military-industrial complex. Virtually all steampunk “art” uses industrial parts glorifying the machines that produced the work. The height of steampunk “art” emulates aged factory produced objects. Steampunk dress emulates factory made clothing or at least cloth.

    Steampunks always take Military-industrial complex pseudonyms. General, Load, Rev, Prof, etc. Is there a higher glorification?

    It’s possible of course to cite a few obscure items in steampunk that don’t glorify the Military-industrial complex, but the overwhelming genre is very pro Military-industrial complex. While at the same time saying war is bad, and corporations are evil. Love the machine hate the factory is delusional or naive (my personal fav is seeing this on a factory produced tee). I love to make, display and wear weapons…but war is bad. Transparent and juvenile. I believe actions, not words.

    I am of course referring to the 99.9% of steampunk. Not the tiny groups, like anarchist, who also call themselves steampunk for some reason.

    Individuals are corrupt. Individuals create corporations as tools to prosecute their corruption. It is up to Individuals to either allow themselves to be dominated by others (corporations) or stand up for themselves. For now at least we seem more than happy to glorify corporations by giving them our time, money, labor, identity and then sit in a corporate coffee shop bemoaning the evils of corporations. In return we get a cheap double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon. So it seems like a pretty good deal.

  40. Waterbug, the way you twist various statements and insert that weird demented logic of yours here is mildly entertaining in a sad kinda way. Anyway, you are getting off topic with this attack on steampunk.

    If, as it seems, the steampunk world of fashion, fiction, fantasy roleplay and eccentric lifestyle really holds nothing for you, what is your interest in just such a magazine forum?

    I see no point to your deliberately antagonisic naivety – unless you have been employed to run interference – in which case words fail you.

    I regularly deal with people like yourself who demonstrate limited comprehension when faced with various concepts of freedom, i.e. so brainwashed by the media and contemporary life and so addicted to the illusion of freedom that you could never actually adapt to the real thing.

    That basically makes you too affraid of it to campaign/fight for it, you and millions like you.

  41. I’d just composed a lengthy and fact filled comment about these pressing matters, but because your spambot detector appears BELOW the submit button, I could not ess it because I had a reduced window size. I refuse to recompose all of that crystalline essay, It would be encouraging lackadaisical web design to do so.

  42. But I WILL summarize it The progress trajectory of the industrial revolution was well established before the 1886 establishment of “corporate personhood” by the US Supreme court in the Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific RR case. That court was packed with robber baron sympathizing flunkys. Corporate tycoons have enjoyed the bonanza we pay very dearly for ever since. We would be smarter more creative and richer without all of them. You are about to see the REAL MAJORITY and they will not be as silent as Nixon’s imaginary one. Once people know how badly we’ve all been had they will RISE UP and throw off the chains of crony capitalism. Up with Charles Dickens! Down with Jeremy Bentham!

  43. Edward: I’m sorry that the the spam filter caught you. It’s a wordpress plugin that goes where it will, as we have no web designers currently on hand.

  44. Yes Rev, don’t refute my demented logic, just bring the hate. I’ll leave you to your fantasy world.

  45. No hate intended. I hope everyone will forgive me if I seemed a little judgemental there, but it does seem that Waterbug AKA Waterbugdesign (see Jha’s Rant) was up to his old tricks again attacking things he doesn’t really understand, like our freedom to be steampunk without the corporate baggage.

    Anyone remember Boiler Goths? Yup we pre-date the coining of the title ‘steampunks’ devised by K. W. Jeter to describe himself and two other authors, James Blaylock and Tim powers (way back in darkest 1987) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

    Here’s to the anti-establishmentarianism of Occupy and all other relevent activities of authors and journalists to raise awareness and get people thinking about our diminishing rights.

  46. People with different opinions obviously “don’t understand”. I’ve heard that “argument” from conservatives many times on many subjects. If a point can’t be won with logic and reason then character assassination is used. Serving up a big steamy bowl of hate followed by the excuse “no hate intended” doesn’t absolve the server.

    Steampunks certainly have the right to be steampunk without the corporate baggage. Neo-Nazis have the right to be without the Third Reich baggage. White supremacists have the right to be without the KKK baggage.

    But the rest of us also have rights. Like the right to question whether the baggage isn’t actually still there despite the insistence of members it’s all just fun.

    Steampunk is a corporation culture. The objects are just “found”, cast off from the corporation culture. If an object is recycled it’s anti-corporation? That’s thin. No mass production and steampunk can’t exist. And that’s modern day steampunk. The world glorified by steampunk is the Victorian, the dawn of the corporate culture. But in that fantasy world they heap even more corporation produced gadgets into the culture. I know of no subculture that glorifies the corporation culture more.

  47. I’m closing this thread and will no longer be approving new comments. The article in question has been published in #8.

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