Audio Commentary #257

June 9, 2013


Submitted to the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality on June 9, 2013.

Commentary Transcript:

The one sensitive topic that agitates Liberals, Libertarians, and Republicans revolves around the issue of class war.  Right wing Republicans, of course, never admit to waging a class war against working people and when cornered, they insist they are winning the war because of superior forces.  Libertarians maintain that a free market benefits everyone and when obvious failures are manifested, Libertarians opt for the superiority of the ruling class.  Liberals shutter at the use of the word ‘war’ contending that a few simple reforms will suffice.

Even within the Progressive movement, the fact of class war is sometimes minimized.  Some contend it is not class, but it is race, or it is not class but it is gender, or it is not class but sexual preference.  There are certainly privileges extant within the working class and privileges often generate prejudice.  But the struggles by the most oppressed sections of the working class always benefit the entire working class.  And when the ruling class attacks one section of the working class it ultimately injures the entire working class.

The above statements may sound too general for practical application.  But a few examples can illustrate their application.  For instance, right now the Republican Snyderites are passing a bill to shorten foreclosure to 60 days.  While this will hit hardest in cities of Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw, it will ultimately harm all workers in all cities.  And the Republican Snyderites would not let real estate agents testify because the banks who control them, did not want any exposure of the destructive actions by banks that destroy our housing stock.

Another example is the fact that we pay a 6% sales tax.  But there is no discussion by the corporate media of a 2% transaction tax.  In other words, taxes on the working class are always imposed but no taxes on the thieves of Wall Street.

And then there is the demand from Libertarians that we recognize that we are all Americans, appealing to patriotism to blunt the demand that workers counterattack when the ruling class declares war.  But we are not all Americans.  Someone in the 1%, everyday, renounces their citizenship to avoid taxes.  The corporations hide money offshore to avoid taxes.  The ruling elite destroy communities for immediate maximum profit, whether in West Texas or Detroit.  Jobs are sent overseas where vulnerable workers are killed in death traps.

Progressive anger righteously directs fault at the rich.  Do I hate individual rich people?  I don’t know.  I never met anyone whom I consider rich.  Unless the person has assets in excess of $50 Million, they are neither rich nor powerful.  Those people are simply wannabes who will never be.  I can say that to the extent Mitt Romney personifies the ideology of the rich; they are smug, arrogant and hateful.

And we can extrapolate from the program of the Republican Snyderites and their Libertarian allies.  They have gutted the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act, the Unemployment Act, they imposed financial managers on Detroit Public Schools, the City of Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Benton Harbor, Allen Park, attacked Unions with Right to Work laws, opposed minimum wage laws, opposed health and safety laws and environmental protection.  Taken as a whole, their program is hateful and mean spirited and it is directed at the entire working class, ultimately, falling most heavily on the most oppressed sections of the working class.  That represents class war waged brutally.

A recent book, The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills, documents the brutality of austerity – the body count is in the thousands.  The cynics, even within the working class, blithely point out that the book states the obvious.  But the brutality of the class war is not obvious.  It is dismissed as unavoidable.  But it is only unavoidable because the ruling elite are not only incompetent to address these problems, but also psychopathically unconcerned, even aggressively demanding more killing.

Progressives recognize that there are special concerns of race, gender and sexual preference, all of which must be addressed as the class war, intersects each issue.  It is not simply economic concerns, although these are major issues but it is also the fact that the concentration of wealth draws a line precisely between the selfish and the altruistic, between the abuse of power and the democratic exercise of power, between the destruction of the commons and the respect for the protection of the commons.  Privatization is always an attack on working people.  The ruling elite attacks working people using wedge issues of hatred and privilege.  Hatred becomes generalized, and again, effects the most oppressed sections of the working class.  The counterattack by the working class always demands fairness, decency, generosity, values generated by the people, for the people, and of the people.

I am Spartacus and so are We all!

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