Audio Commentary #254

May 19, 2013


Submitted to the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality on May 19, 2013.

Commentary Transcript:


This morning on Fighting For Justice, the professor raised two issues:  first, relative to West Texas, why do I blame Capitalism when there is some evidence that an individual may have started the fire with a pipe bomb; second, what is the alternative to Capitalism.

The two questions are closely tied together.  It is not only the corporate media that looks to blame some individual.  Because the so-called evidence has never materialized and there was no pipe bombs, it’s just corporate hype.  Besides, that is not the point.  The disaster occurred because of the illegal warehousing of ammonia nitrate and anhydrous ammonia.  Both can be handled safely but safety cost money and in order to ensure immediate maximum profit, safety of the workers and community is always sacrificed.  Therefore, Capitalism is the cause of the disaster.

And the second question is whether there is an alternative to Capitalism.  Of course there is.  But there is no road map.  Individual human beings are often narrowly selfish and enlightened self interest requires considerable wisdom, something that is discouraged within the Capitalist system in general and the corporate media in particular.  We can change this system.  In fact, it is a moral imperative that we change this system that destroys workers lives and is in the process of destroying our planet.  And it is only in the process of change that we can and we will create a new system that is both humane and environmentally safe.

The process of change begins with a progressive program, a program for change.  We must identify the problem and it is, specifically, the concentration of wealth in the hands of the most selfish, incompetent people in our society – people whose only interest is to accumulate wealth, regardless of the damage that is done to our society, the planet, and workers, and to the community in the process.  And that is the issue.  We have created a culture that idealizes wealth and by proxy those with wealth.  It is understandable because workers spend survival time to obtain sufficient funds to stave of collapse.  And the corporate media glamorizes those with wealth and hides the dirty underpinning of that wealth, which is the stealing of the surplus value of workers.

For instance, Tommy Hilfiger and Disney are shown with wealth and power but not as killers of 1100 workers.  Not as premeditated murderers. Progressives, therefore, face daunting challenges to both attack these glamorized figures and institutions and to organize against that which is accepted as charming, not evil.

Plus the corporate media provides no information.  Workers in Greece, Italy, Spain, Bangladesh and here in Detroit, fight daily for a more just society but those struggles are neither recognized nor accepted.  According to the corporate media and the professor, for that matter, the suffering of workers must be accepted because there is no alternative.

But the alternatives are clear: A program can be created, we can nationalize the banks and create state banks; end the war on drugs; establish a two percent transaction tax, provide protection of Union organizing; spend $47 Billion on industrial safety, not homeland security because it would save more lives; spend a $1 Trillion on public education instead of endless wars; eliminate the student debt; protect the environment, not big oil and big coal; establish a 90% tax on all wealth over $1 Million; provide for the right of all people to vote with resources to ensure the vote; provide resources for workers to sit as jurors; retrofit our housing stock to make it energy efficient.

This program would solve the vast majority of problems facing our workers and it would work.  And what is the main obstacle:  Libertarians, Republicans, and Synderites, who justify the current unsustainable conditions and who are prepared to destroy the planet by generating hatred and selfishness so that they can continue to maintain.

How does the song go?  All we need is love.  Why does this program sound so utopian?  Why is the first impulse that it is impossible?  Because the ruling class, spend billions to create a false consciousness in the working class to promote Capitalist individualism, which is the foundation for greed, hatred, and fear.  For instance, the Tea Party was generated, in part, because of the outrage against the bank bailout.  Now the Tea Party is owned, lock stock and barrel by the banks and the Koch Brothers.

Why is it so easy to outline programmatic solutions and so difficult to develop tactics and strategies to implement the program?  As I have said in the past, after each revolutionary upsurge by the working class, the ruling class learns new tactics for suppression.  The so-called war on drugs is the best example.  They simply replace segregation with mass incarceration.

In the 1960’s we spent considerable time and effort trying to expose the failures of free market Capitalism.  For a brief time, from 1945 to 1980, Capitalism appeared to work.  And that is the period of time when the vast majority of this population lived.  Looking beyond the false consciousness of that culture, created by that time, requires wisdom and study, something that the computer age depreciates and ridicules.  Why read books when the computer can give facts.

More troublesome is the fact that leftists appear not to have learned new tactics and strategies to match the ruling class.  As far as I can tell, Progressives appear ineffective and beyond their depth trying to function within the fluid and chaotic context of the mass political party, such as the Democratic Party.  But fight we must.  We have nothing to lose but our chains.

I am Spartacus and so are We all.


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