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Poser Communist Kids At strk3.com Wear Outsourced Sweatshop Clothing

Radical kids these days have it tough. After all, it’s considered radical these days just to be someone who believes in the Bill of Rights and doesn’t like to call Mexicans “pieces of shit”. It doesn’t take very much to be radical in these days of right wing conformity.

So, what’s a young wanna-be radical to do? How can a radical be radical in a way that isn’t so darned conventional?

Wear a t-shirt with Communist icons on it. That’s it. That always angers the grownups who actually lived during the time when Communsm was a significant global force, and actually remember what Communism is. How about a t-shirt with Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Chairman Mao on it? Ooh, and you could make it a black t-shirt, so that everyone knows that you’re not just a regular Communist. No, you’re a black-on-the-inside moody Communist too – that’ll show ‘em.

sweatshop communist black t-shirtWell, how lucky are you? It turns out that they have just that sort of t-shirt over at a web site called stkr3.com that caters to young, angry people trying to establish their radical creds, just like you.

There’s just one catch: That t-shirt turns out to be made in an outsourced factory that uses sweatshop labor. Sweatshop workers are, you know, the people who have nothing to lose but their chains. You’ve heard that phrase somewhere before, remember? No, it wasn’t Scary Movie 3.

The truth is that we here at IrregularTimes.com are not Communists. Communism turned out to be about oppression as much as the capitalism that it tried to replace. We believe in using the mechanisms of online capital to give economic power to a wider base of people in a way that’s consistent with our progressive ideals of freedom, democracy, and a basic level of opportunity for all. It’s our hope that by working online, we can overcome the excesses of industrial capitalism without having to go over the edge into another oppressive ideology like Communism.

So, we try to be ethically consistent. We sell shirts with progressive messages to spread the word, but we don’t put those messages on shirts that were made by sweatshop workers. Sweatshop shirts are what you find at Wal-Mart, and we are not Wal-Mart progressives.

You won’t find Marx, Lenin, or Chairman Mao on our shirts, and you won’t find black t-shirts in our collection, because as of now every black t-shirt that CafePress sells is made by a company that uses sweatshop labor. However, you will find some strong progressive messages on our shirts, and you can be sure that all the shirts we sell through our CafePress shops are completely sweatshop-free. That’s because we make sure to only sell those kinds of shirts that are offered by American Apparel. American Apparel is a company that works in the USA, using non-sweatshop conditions, treating its workers fairly. All of our shirts feature progressive political designs that are our own, found nowhere else on the web.

Consider it your chance to really get radical, and go beyond the pose. Leave the sweatshop Communists behind. Get ethical in your political apparel. Far out.

16 comments to Poser Communist Kids At strk3.com Wear Outsourced Sweatshop Clothing

  • Damen

    As I’d said before in the diaries, communism in and of itself is not a bad thing. It’s those who pervert communism for their own ends that will cause communism to become a system of tyranny.

    That said, I can’t understand why CafePress can’t/won’t offer black T-Shirts made by American Apparel. I like black T-Shirts. If it gets stained, the stain won’t show up as well as on a white shirt. Are ethics becoming a thing of the past in the race for more profit?

  • The problem, as Hayek pointed out in The Road to Serfdom, is that communism (or socialism) inevitably leads to tyrrany. It requires central planning, which robs people of their chance to make decisions for themselves, which means they don’t get practice making ethical decisions. The result is that people growing up under communism don’t have the same ethical sense they would if they were free, which means they don’t feel driven resist when a sociopath takes control of the apparatus of central planning.

    It’s no coincidence that the US’s descent into tyranny was preceded by an explosion in social programs.

    (Side note: I like black shirts, too, but CafePress’s printing tech for black shirts is pretty lousy; the colors are dim and muddy.)

  • CafePress says that it has technical trouble printing on American Apparel’s black shirts, because of some kind of protective coating on the cotton fibers. I do believe that they’ve tried, but for right now, they haven’t had success, and aren’t getting any new kinds of printers that could do the job any time in the near future.

    Oh, well.

    We’re progressive capitalists here at Irregular Times, John. Selling stuff in the name of Communism, and sweatshop goods at that, just caught our love of irony.

  • We’re progressive capitalists here at Irregular Times, John.

    Oh, I know; I was responding to Damen’s claim that communism is OK until it gets corrupted. That’s not an excuse, for a system which corrupts people into corrupting it.Mind you, I’m not all that thrilled with progressivism, either. In the private sector, it’s fine; in government, much of it can be implemented only through socialism, which has the same problem. It’s no coincidence that the War on Poverty preceded the War on Terror.

  • Jim

    It’s no coincidence Milton Friedman preceded the War on Terror.
    It’s no coincidence Welfare Reform preceded the War on Terror.
    It’s no coincidence the Reagan Tax Cuts preceded the War on Terror.
    It’s no coincidence Barney the Dinosaur preceded the War on Terror.

  • Will Rogers

    Let me get this straight… you’re bitching about someone selling shirts on cafepress… and then you link to your own shirts on cafepress?

    wtf?

    dude, if you actually practiced what you were preaching, you’d pony up and screenprint the shirts yourselves.

    But, as we can see, laziness prevails.

  • No, Will. The point is that the strk3.com site sells Communist designs on CafePress’s black t-shirts, which are made in sweatshops. If you don’t see the irony in that, then you don’t know much about Communism.

    The shirts that we sell on CafePress are all made in the USA, in non-sweatshop conditions. We don’t sell the black t-shirts.

  • I don't get it

    “The shirts that we sell on CafePress are all made in the USA, in non-sweatshop conditions. We don’t sell the black t-shirts.”

    Well, yes, you do sell the black shirts. Maybe not directly out of your shop, but by driving traffic to the Cafepress website, you’re sending customers to the Cafepress marketplace with open wallets– who then buy black shirts with other stores’ designs on them.

    And while we’re on the subject: who do you think made that computer that you’re typing away on? A hundred bucks says it was MADE IN CHINA. BY SWEATSHOP WORKERS.

  • No, you don’t get it.

    We drive traffic to OUR shops on CafePress, where we only sell made-in-the-USA non-sweatshop shirts. By selling those shirts, we show CafePress that there is a market for ethically-made clothing. And, no, we don’t provide links to black t-shirts made in sweatshops. By selectively directing traffic only to ethically-produced clothing, we help the companies that choose to business in the right way.

    Yes, I’ll bet that there are many things in my house that are made in foreign countries, from the pens that I write with to my toothbrush. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about what Irregular Times sells… and it just seems to drive you crazy that we’re being ethically consistent.

  • strk3 is a fraud

    strk3, selltheranch etc etc is a fraud. he copies other artist designs and claim to be the designer. do not support the fraud

  • Barack Obama

    Most of strk3′s shirts are slogans or designs ripped off from movies and television shows. The “designer” probably doesn’t even know what communism is.

  • hmm

    You guys are repeating the same ruling class lies when you complain about how bad communism was. Marx, Lenin, and Mao were the greatest liberators humanity has ever seen – read some of the real history of Marxism, the Soviet revolution, the Chinese revolution, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution for some sense of this. Check out some of these guys’ actual writings before writing some garbage about these leaders and the only movement on the globe calling for an end to all oppression and exploitation.

    Meanwhile, you proudly sell Barack Obama t-shirts and support his presidency. “Yes we can” drop some more bombs on Afghan children? It’s not “time to leave our fears in the past” for the people who are getting killed, tortured, and raped by the US imperialist military – all at the orders of Pres. Obama who is the commander-in-chief of this murderous empire.

    But as long as you have your organic, sweatshop-free, fair trade t-shirts (made in the *great* USA), I guess that’s the trade-off, right? “Go beyond the pose,” indeed.

    • Jim

      My, you are so very 18. I’ve read history, fella. I’ve read Lenin. I’ve read Marx. Mao Zedong is your hero? Do you know how many people the man killed? Do you know how much the man destroyed?

      And next time you go on about our glowing support of Barack Obama, try checking out our extensive criticism of him, in writing and yes, on t-shirts. Is Barack Obama perfect? No. Are his policies wrong? Yes. Did I support his election? Yes. Why? Because he was, and still is, preferable to John McCain and the Republicans.

      Try holding two contradicting ideas in your brain at once, and consider how they might be compatible. I know, it’s not very dialectical. But try.

    • We need to read what Marx, Lenin and Mao wrote about themselves and what they were doing? Hmm, no. That’s studying history by press release. We might as well evaluate the Obama presidency by reading his Yes We Can speech.

      Evaluate Communism by what it does, not what it says it does.

  • Update: yeah, in case you were wondering, Strk3 is still selling sweatshop shirts. Ass.

  • Andrew

    Whoever Strk3 is they certainly are stealing ideas from others as well as designs to post to Cafe Press and Zazzle.com.
    About 90%+ of the shirts he/she has to offer are from memes online and I can easily recognize some of the clip art/vector images that come from design packs like GoMedia.

    I highly doubt whoever Strk3 is even cares if people think the Communist designs made in sweatshops is ironic. What is more evil: Complete ignorance or willful ignorance?

    I applaud companies taking a higher moral road and using domestic (North American) supply chains and labor. It might cost more, but it’s worth it.

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