Audio Commentary #253

May 12, 2013


Submitted to the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality on May 12, 2013.

Commentary Transcript:


Mothers’ Day: It is strange that we have a day to recognize those special people who are special every day.  On this day, I remember that when my mother died, close to her 90th birthday, it struck me that she had been a part of my life every second, every minute, [and] every hour of my life.  It is always daunting to come face to face with the reality of your own mortality.

For me on this day May 12, 2013, Sharon, of course remains a special force in my life, always there holding family together with a strength of personality and the power of a sense of humor.  In addition, Pat at the gym, provided an exquisite pathos to this day as she explained that her son, Ryan, was born on Mothers’ Day.  Ryan, who was murdered just a few months ago and no one [has been] charged.

Obviously, we need to create a culture where people look out for each other and protect the community, where the commons is protected as a vital part of our lives.  In other words, we reject capitalist individualism that celebrates the individual at the expense of collective accomplishment.  In that way, the community can suppress individual violence and promote community knowledge.  Justice is then defined by that of which protects the commons.

When we recognize [the] humanity of us all, when we respect human rights, not property rights, we transcend our individual limitations and address the ultimate question of our individual mortality.  Our community becomes all workers everywhere and justice becomes the demand for fairness and compassion.

Two weeks ago I discussed the tragedy in Bangladesh concerning the death of 368 workers.  That was neither analyzed nor comprehended by the corporate media.  Then this week we recognize that over 500 workers had died.  Now it is 1100 workers killed by capitalist system that is merciless as its sacrificed the lives of workers for money, for immediate maximum profit.  When workers die in Bangladesh, in West Texas, in Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, in the Gulf of Mexico, or on the streets of Detroit, the killer is the same corporate structure that kills for money, or more precisely for power and profit.

And the rulers, the thieves of Wall Street, the crooked executive officers are not only contemptible, they are incorrigible.  They demand privilege and when obtained they abuse it.  This morning I was reading in The Nation magazine how the financial industry spent over $1 Billion to attack and gut the Dodd-Frank bill.  And what is Dodd-Frank bill, it is certainly a solid attempt to limit the fraud, the speculation, the robbery now present in the financial sectors.  Now the financial industry are spending another $1 Billion to prevent implementation of that bill.

That is why we have so much difficulty reforming their culture of corruption.  They will spend everything to protect their power and privilege.  We must instead nationalize the banks, and then create state banks in every state in this country to decentralize their financial control.

One might ask how I got from Mothers’ Day to Bangladesh to nationalizing our financial centers; it is because we must go to the source of our misery – the thieves of Wall Street, the crooked executive officers, who appropriate our surplus value and impoverish our commons.  There is a direct link between the den of thieves and the thugs on the streets of Detroit.  With a fog of facts, the corporate media provides cover so the link, the chain link, if you will, is never exposed.  To put it more mundanely, the role of progressives is to prove and show that what is good for business is bad for society.

That is why Libertarians, Republicans, Snyderites are not only wrong programmatically – that is, what they promote is bad for Michigan, but they are wrong philosophically.  Capitalism promotes greed and selfishness and defines it as individualism.  By destroying the commons, privatizing the collective work of people, it destroys the basis for a fair society.  The necessary corollary is that they must then generate greed, and hatred and fear to maintain power.  Otherwise, workers and the working class will turn on them.

That is why progressives organize within the Democratic Party, not because Capitalism can be reformed but because that is where the commons exists, such as it is.  More importantly, it is in the process of that organizing that we create a true commons.  We recognize that we live in a society where individual opportunism is rampant.  But the basic human instinct to demand fairness is what has created our current social existence.

Progressives, of course, organize at all levels of society whether it is on Henry Street or in Lansing or Washington D.C. but ultimately we organize for power to create an alternative society, one that rewards altruism, and compassion and punishes privilege and greed.  We can and we will tax the thieves of Wall Street, nationalize their privilege and allow for the protection of human creativity at all levels.

I am Spartacus and so are We all.

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