Thursday, September 29, 2011

What is All this Hullabaloo About Class Warfare?

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, like myself, making the minimum wage and living a comfortable life is near impossible. We spend at least half our wages just on rent alone. I myself am also part of the 12.1 percent of Californians and 10.6 percent of those in Alameda County who are unemployed. I count myself as lucky, for now, to be on unemployment insurance. Although it isn’t much, combined with my partner’s unemployment insurance (that’s right we’re both unemployed) we scrape by. But I wonder how those who do not have any source of income are surviving….. or not.

Many are living on credit. This is a symptom of a screwed up social, economic, and political system we currently have. When people feel forced to rely on credit to survive it’s not a good sign. Not to mention you have to go into debt to take out student loans, buy a car, or a house unless you can buy those things outright...which the vast majority of folks cannot afford. And all it takes is one big medical bill and you could be in debt for life. We still don't have universal health care. Most major debt is attributed to medical bills (from greedy health insurance companies which mark up the prices astronomically). In addition, financial institutions in recent years have created very sneaky ways to gain on the system due to being allowed to do so via unregulated activity. They used these opportunities, provided to them by the government, to totally screw people over by selling people bad home loans and then bet against them not being able to repay those home loans in order to make money off their misery. Financial institutions straight out stole thousands and thousands of people's money and caused them to lose their homes most recently during the 2007/8 economic crisis, which we are still feeling the effects of today.

It is corporate welfare I worry about at night not the poor few who get scraps from the government. Sure all people need financial education about how to spend within their means and balance their budgets. I think it should be a mandatory class in high school. But most people go into debt out of necessity. The fundamental financial issue of our time is greed. Not financial irresponsibility on an individual level but financial irresponsibility on an organized level. It’s organized crime if you ask me where corporations and the government conspire against people like you and I. But this is nothing new.

You may have heard a lot of talk in the media recently about “class war.” Some Republicans started calling out class war in response to President Obama’s plan to help the economy, in which he called for the rich paying equal taxes to those in the “middle class.” Ironic given our current economic situation in which the rich have been propagating a full on onslaught against the rest of us. If it were up to me we would be taxing the rich by a lot more, not giving them tax breaks or even making them pay equal to everyone else. I believe those who have more should pay more because that is the ethical thing to do. Those who have extra money they do not need must be expected to give some to those who need it. This of course comes in the form of taxes which go to the government. The government then creates public policies and social programs which benefit all people, not just the wealthy.

Republicans are claiming that we have to cut the taxes of the rich so they can create jobs for our unemployed. They go as far as to call rich people “job-creators.” But we know better.

We know by now that “reaganomics” or “trickle-down economic theory” (the theory that if we give money to the rich they will create jobs for the rest of us) has been proven not to work. Rich people take that money and invest it in assets which grow their money more than businesses do. Their attitude is that they would be wasting their money by employing people. Why employ people when investments make so much more money with so little overhead costs? Capitalism does not operate ethically—it only exists to accumulate wealth. Whichever method works best to do that-- that is what rich people do. The consequence and causality is you and I.

Capitalism does not in fact, “make all boats rise” as many pro-capitalist economists once claimed. It creates an incredibly stratified and unequal economic situation in which the majority of wealth in the society is at the top. Every day that situation grows worse as more and more of our money transfers into the hands of the wealthy and less and less is in the hands of everyone else.

We are seeing corporations willing to move operations to developing nations and/or cut their work force permanently—with no plans to ever bring back those jobs. They are proving that the American people are expendable workers. They are too expensive to employ with their demands for a minimum wage and benefits. Greedy corporations and the greedy individuals who run them only care about making more and more money and could care less who suffers in the process. If the corporation were a person, which it is not, it would be a psychopath—with no regard to others welfare or well being. And yet our own government empowers those psychopathic organizations we call corporations more and more every day to do untold damage on every day Americans and their families.

We now have a seemingly growing group of people who are permanently unemployed because no new jobs are being created. Instead of taxing rich people and corporations and using that money to create jobs for people, the government is trapped in gridlock once again trying to figure out how to create jobs with no funding to do so and talking about cutting essential social services instead of cutting off the rich from the money train. There are solutions out there but no one will try them because to do so would be to compromise the values of the rich and powerful to grow in riches and in power even though they already have amassed gross sums of concentrated wealth and assets which continue to grow exponentially every day. Anything that challenges the power of corporations or rich people and their ability to make more profits is something Democrats and Republicans would dare not do because they depend on them for their campaign contributions so they can keep getting re-elected.

Money in politics is not the only problem we have, but it is the largest problem. Corporate power is our number one threat in America today because it is the corporations, and the rich people who run them, who control this country not the workers, not the voters, and not even really the politicians who are just puppets for the multinational corporations. Oh yes, class war is nothing new.

In fact, we have had an underlying class war since the founding of the country. And even before our founding when many of our ancestors lived in Europe and else where there were class struggles then too and there are class struggles all throughout the world both past and present. There have been periods of strife throughout our history where the lower and working classes have risen up and organized for better conditions for their lives. These included union strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience, fighting for better wages, working conditions, fighting for better housing conditions, and for better social programs, a social safety net, and jobs. There has always been push and pull among the upper and lower classes in America and a deep class consciousness in the past. 

However, the upper class and the government would rather we forget there is something such as class at all. It has been their job via brainwashing propaganda and mental slavery to convince us all that we are a classless society in America and that this is the best country on earth. They try to convince us that this is the land of good and plenty and that each American has the same opportunity as the next to pursue happiness. But it is a lie. Their mains strategy to enforce their rule and play on our insecurities is divide and conquer—meaning they pit us all against each other. Based on race, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, and any other difference. It is one of the largest victories of the capitalists that they have instilled in us the insidious notion that some of us are better and more superior than others based on some of these non-sense made up classifications (called social constructs) and that we have nothing in common. The truth is that we have a lot in common. First, we’re all human beings. And second, the vast majority of us are exploited by a tiny group of us who use various means to do so. One mean is to divide us along class lines so that we maintain a false consciousness and are more likely to follow what they say.

In fact, anyone who is not an owner and is not accumulating wealth and making money off of money is of one class—the working class. So in fact there are not three classes in America—the lower, middle, and upper. There are only two classes—the working class (the workers) and the owner class (the rulers).

We need to realize that we are all in one class together—that of the working class. As such we should unite in solidarity and organize together for our collective needs, wants, and desires. As long as we stay apart we are doomed. If we are together nothing can stop us.

In addition, the owner class exploits us out of what our labor is really worth. We are the creators… they are just the takers. They benefit off of our hard work way more than we ever will because they are only willing to pay us so much—which is proving to be less and less every day. Meanwhile they are paying themselves way more than any fair-minded person would think reasonable and far off from what is ethical and right. They claim since they own the means of production they should get the most money but it’s all trickery. Who says they deserve the means of production to begin with?

They only own them because they paid for them off the backs of workers and often times slaves. Most rich people inherited their money, stole it from workers, and become wealthier by not having to pay their fair share of taxes and being able to invest the money and assets—all from money they got from us. They claim they “earned” it but it’s not true. One may wonder how the heck they get away with these schemes they are so outlandish and unbelievable….

They throw us a bone here or there to keep us content enough so we do not overthrow the entire system. Things like employer health insurance (which has been getting more and more expensive for us when they are supposed to pay for most of it) and unemployment insurance (which only lasts so long). However, as days go by workers are getting less and less and employers are gaining more and more. If workers fight back or complain, the owners and the government, who work in tandem to maintain their hegemony and hierarchy, work hard to suppress us. Nowadays it is even harder to put up a resistance of any kind. Protesters as I write this are occupying Wall Street and have been beaten, sprayed with pepper spray, and arrested by riot police even though there have been no riots. The police know they can get away with it most of the time.

People know what is at stake when they lay their bodies down in civil disobedience. Even when it is non-violent direct action, the police are an apparatus of the state and as such they protect property and the rich that own it by any means necessary.  The police will also do anything the government asks them to do. If you go to jail as a result of your activist actions and are charged with a felony of any kind your life becomes very difficult because you become criminalized. It is challenging to find a job, a place to live, you are denied student loans, and your rights are taken away in many ways. This is already happened in massive numbers to many African-American men in our society. There are now more African-American men in prison than there were in slavery at the height of slavery. That is no accident. Policies have been deliberately created to make that happen from sentencing laws, to drug laws, to laws that unfairly target the poor and ethnic minorities. The prison industrial complex works to corporate advantage because it employs people to run the prisons and it creates a large pool of virtual slave labor via prisoners being forced to work while incarcerated. America now has more prisoners incarcerated than any other nation in the world—over 2 million people.

Social control is out of control. People saw what happened to those in the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, and to the Black Panthers. Many were systematically murdered, systemically suppressed, and systemically eliminated as a threat. Because any threat against the established order, economic exploitation, and capitalist rule must be crushed. Right now most people are not at the point of being willing to risk their lives to fight back against class oppression but that does not mean there is not a resistance building and that eventually people will be willed to act—they will have no other choice because they will be literally fighting for their lives.

In many ways class oppression and economic inequality as a result, is worse than it has ever been in our history as nation. The majority of us are being totally exploited by the rich people in our society. This has been increasing over the years and the concentration of wealth is now so disproportionately in the hands of the super wealthy that our society barely functions. The politicians, who are supposed to represent us—the people who elected them, are solely influenced by corporations and the rich people who run them. So politicians in turn create policies that only benefit the wealthy and their corporations. It’s a symbiotic relationship that the American people are not privy to. We are left out to fend for ourselves. The transfer of wealth upwards is undeniable. So the only thing left for us to decide is do we believe it is moral or immoral for those folks to amass all society's money or do we think the ethical and right thing would be to share those resources with people in need? And if we do believe it to be immoral and wrong, what are we going to do to right the wrongs?

I, for one, believe it to be totally wrong, immoral, unethical and frankly anti-American what is taking place. For a large period of time the tax rates on the rich were very high... now it's super low..and all the loopholes, shelters, and subsides allow them to pay virtually nothing. The "middle class" is disappearing. I think many of them are a proud people not willing to admit it. And not willing to admit they need help either. In addition, their false consciousness of being “middle class” keeps them thinking things will be okay. That is part of why we don't see a larger outcry and action from the average person among other reasons. However, it is all a matter of time before people simply cannot take anymore. Then we may see a massive panic as people get a hard reality check. Right now the government relies on those people to prop up our society with their labor, their taxes, and their spending. Soon that labor, tax base, and spending will dry up. Then what? Who will pay? How will people survive?

It’s time for the average working class American to stop being the one to pay. We can only sacrifice so much. And the time is coming.... to say enough. Our society should be one that benefits all and one that helps people obtain basic needs when they do not have jobs or enough money to pay for them. Our society should work for the common good of all people. We need jobs, homes, food, clothing, healthcare, childcare, education, transportation, and the ability to survive without debt. How do we have that kind of society-- one that would actually be civilized and humane? It’s simple: create it through public policy.

What is hard is changing the policies given who creates them and the underlying reasons they do so. Right now our government policies favor the rich for reasons already explained. Those policies need to change so that everyone can be helped through programs of social uplift. It will take re-prioritizing on the government’s part. The majority of the American people are already on board the re-prioritizing but the government is still stuck in their old ways because the congress still want those checks made out to them from the rich and powerful.

Policies many Americans are on board with that we need are: ending foreign wars, cutting the military budget, ending the drug war, and taxing the rich and corporations by a lot. Americans realize that then we would have plenty of money to do what needs to be done without compromising social programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, or other vital essential services our country has guaranteed to our citizens for generations. Every single one of those policies favors the rich and powerful and that is why they are still on America’s agenda instead of peace, economic and social justice, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness.

There are two main competing veins of philosophy for looking at social policy. Either you think individuals are fundamentally capable of taking care of themselves or you think we need each other. As an observer of society, cultures, history, and sociology, I believe it has been proven that we need each other and thus we must take care of each other. We are mutually dependent and interdependent on each other to help fulfill each others needs. Also I just think we would have a better society that way overall. Taking care of each other builds community. Many conservatives believe differently.

Many conservatives believe that we should take care of ourselves. They think American should remain all about “rugged individualism.” No need for social programs or public anything really. Privatize it all-- and base everything on making profit. They believe everyone can be self-sufficient and self-sustaining. And those very few who cannot, well enough charity will come from churches to cover it. Well, we live in the real world and we know it simply doesn't work that way.

Where would all that privatized money go? Does it benefit everyone? Reality has shown us it doesn't benefit us equally. The rich get richer from exploiting the workers and on top of it privatization creates more corruption because there is less accountability to the community since these private entities are not regulated and have no oversight or checks and balances. Charity barely helps anyone since there are so many in need. In addition, as the government stands right now it is becoming privatized in a way because it is bought out by the rich and corporations. However, if government did function the way it is supposed to... as representatives of a democracy in which politicians ran their campaigns in a non-profit way, through publicly funded campaigns, then they could represent all of us since our tax payer money would fund their campaigns instead of corporations. This would create a healthy environment in which to deliver services we all collectively need.

For example: take out the health insurance company. There would be no more middlemen. We could have universal socialized health care with a single payer—the federal government. The tax money goes to the government and comes out in the form of services that we all collectively and socially own together for the good of all of us. The government would not jack up prices for medical services or deny medical procedures people need like the greedy health insurance companies do. Everyone is guaranteed quality health care no matter what. That is what I believe in and that is what I think a big part of the solution is. It would drive costs way down and cover everyone because we believe health care is a human right.

Profit motives pervert systems and organizations. We need our society organized for human need, not for profit. To meet all of our basic needs we need government to work on our behalf instead of on rich people and corporation’s behalf. That is what it would take and that is what it would look like.

Just think about this: in “the past 20 years, more than 80 percent of the capital gains income realized in the United States has gone to 5 percent of the people; about half of all the capital gains have gone to the wealthiest 0.1 percent." "Most of the richest Americans pay lower overall tax rates than middle-class Americans do. And this is one reason the gap between the wealthy and the rest of the country is widening dramatically” (from the Washington Post). 

That is a big part of why we as a society (our government) have so little money—because the rich don’t pay their fair share after stealing it away from us to begin with. It’s really incredible that they get away with that. 

Just between 1979 and 2005 “the income of the very rich, the top 100th of 1 percent of the income distribution, rose by 480 percent. No, that isn’t a misprint. In 2005 dollars, the average annual income of that group rose from $4.2 million to $24.3 million” (The New York Times). 

Think about this: the average American household in the bottom 90% of the country, we are not even talking just a single person but the ENTIRE household, only earns $31,244 in income per year. I don’t even know how people get by but they find a way. It’s not right that people have to work so hard and suffer so much. As people we just don’t deserve it and we can all live better lives if we create a more egalitarian society. A better world is possible. 

The rich, corporations, the financial industries and institutions, are in bed with the politicians and the results are deregulation, corruption, and neo-liberal policies that hurt working class Americans only to benefit the very top of our society. The concentration of wealth at the top is enormous and undeniably a bad thing for the majority of us. It creates a society in which corporations and rich people have all the power and privilege and the average person has very little to none. Think what we could do as a nation if we had that money…and how it could change all of our lives for the better.  

The rich, corporations, and the government have conspired in a plutocracy and oligarchy to steal our hard earned money in a multitude of ways and oppress us to boot. Our bosses exploit our hard earned wages and pay their CEO's 150 times what we make. Our government makes us pay taxes but doesn't make our bosses pay their fair share of taxes. Our bosses overwork us, don't give us enough time off, often don't give us healthcare or other benefits we need, often put us in unsafe working conditions, create work related stress injuries and mental illness, threaten our jobs, etc. 

The government and the rich work together through a system of the most destructive form of capitalism to decimate us, destroy our spirits, and crush our souls. The rich say they don’t believe in redistributing wealth but there has been a systematic and deliberate massive transfer of wealth from us to them-- upwards. 

Even after the economic crisis hit in 2007/8, the Obama Administration bailed out the financial sector, Wall Street, many banks, lending companies, and others with tax payer money. He did that in order to make those institutions financially solvent so they could keep making record profits and giving bonuses to their CEO’s—it was if he rewarded them for screwing the average American over. That means we got triple screwed. Screwed once when these institutions gave us bad loans that they knew we couldn’t pay which resulted in us losing our homes, screwed twice when a Democratic president used our money to bail these thieves out, and screwed three times when no regulations were put in place to hold these institutions accountable, no one was charged with any crime, and no one was stopped from being able to pull the crap that lead to the crisis to begin with again. 

Did Obama or congress pass a bill to help out the average American get through the financial crisis? Nope. America has had a high unemployment rate since then and it has never let up. Many people have lost their jobs and their homes. Obama did nothing to hold the people responsible for the crisis accountable. He not only let them walk away scot-free, he gave them our money so they could go on spending sprees at our expense (they gave huge bonuses to top executives). What has been the result? More income inequality and less political, economic, and social power for the rest of us. We also now have less of an ability to survive day to day. As if matters were not bad enough, government policies have been making things worse when we needed help the most.

Income inequality is a fact and it is not occurring because we stopped working, the rich are working harder, because of bad luck, and not even because the economy is just “bad” right now. We work harder now more than ever we just get paid less. The rich work less more than ever and just get paid more (and don’t have to pay much taxes). The economy is not some mysterious thing. People made it up. So people can make it do certain things… like make rich people richer and make the rest of us pay for it. It all depends on economic policies and the social and political barriers created to keep people out of the economy. That is one thing being in the owner class buys you… whatever you want. They get privileges and opportunities we cannot. This just goes to show you we don’t have a democracy on any level. Not a political democracy, not a social democracy, and not an economic democracy. The rich have just gained the system against us and they bought the government off. It’s not government of the people, by the people and for the people… It’s government of corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. This is the new world order. 

So who is to blame for this mess and who is responsible in fixing it? Let us be clear where blame and responsibility lies. The government is responsible for this mess and they should be responsible for fixing this mess that they created on purpose to screw us over so they could get more money and power. In addition, corporations and those who run them are responsible. We should never blame the victim and say it is up to them to right the wrongs. So it is not our fault. However, as it has been for all of time it seems we do have to hold those responsible accountable because people who do wrong on that level usually do not correct things themselves without any pressure, demands, or any rules put in place. 

Outrageously and unfairly so we're going to have to force the government to fix it, yes, because they won't do it on their own. We are going to have the force the corporations to do the right thing too. Hopefully the government will do the heavy lifting with that one eventually. But should we have to do any of this? No. We shouldn't because we did nothing to deserve this and we shouldn't have to fight for our rights and fight to be treated fairly in this society. We deserve it just for being human. Freedom should be free and is supposed to be guaranteed. Unfortunately, I know the reality is we'll have to do whatever it takes to survive and eventually thrive..... but let’s put blame where it lies, be angry at those who are at fault, and hold those truly accountable to be the ones to fix things.

One way already mentioned that could help fix things would be to raise taxes on the rich. And the people are with me on this. Taxing the rich and corporations, closing tax loopholes, ending tax shelters and subsides, and rescinding the Bush tax cuts is very popular among the American people. Here are several polls proving it below:

Of course politicians on the other hand don’t want to raise taxes on the rich at all or too much because then they could threaten their own ability to get re-elected and stay in power. They represent the rich and corporate interests above all else. The government is not willing to raise taxes on the rich even though the American people want them to. I have now proved in the case of taxes, (however there are many more examples) that the American government is not a representative democracy.

Read this wonderful article below for some facts on inequality in America today displayed in numbers and graphic charts. The facts speak for themselves…….

It makes one wonder why haven’t people rebelled yet? It really does boggle the mind just how patient, hard working, positive, resilient, humble, and hopeful the American people are in general. For instance the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in July that “the employment-population ratio for youth—the proportion of the 16- to 24-year old civilian noninstitutional population that was employed—was 48.8 percent, a record low for the series.” Given the same conditions somewhere else we would have seen riots, rebellions, mass strikes, civil disobedience, uprising…etc. by now as we have seen in several countries recently including Britain, France, Greece, and the Middle East. Another possibility as to why Americans have not risen up on mass level yet is just how beaten down the American people are. 

So many are tired... overworked and over stressed. Along with those who are hopeful and optimistic there are those who are depressed and nihilistic. There are those that are hopeless and those that have given up looking for work or trying anymore. It could also very well be a combination of feeling oppressed, beat up, knocked down, suppressed, beat down, embarrassed/ashamed, disillusioned, and defeated too that keeps people from acting. These are people who may have even become cynical and jaded. They don’t believe the system or government can work for them anymore but also they don’t think they can change it or their circumstances. 

They may feel stuck and may have turned to other methods to get their needs met. Some may be using substances to escape, dealing substances to make some cash, or participating in any number of activities on the black market just to survive. In addition, there are those who feel asking the government for help is beneath them. Many people are proud and they are influenced by their own culture and/or that of American culture which is very individualistic and demands people pull themselves up by their bootstraps even if they have no boots. Many people are too proud to look for what they see as “hand-outs” and even if they receive government assistance are very grateful for the little they get. 

Many who are industrious have turned to the black market—a type of underground and off the grid economy to scrape by. This is “work that doesn't get regulated by the government or reported to the IRS, and it's a far bigger part of the economy than most of us are aware—in 2009, economics professor Friedrich Schneider estimated that it was nearly 8 percent of the US GDP, somewhere around $1 trillion” not including any illegal activity (Alternet).  For women this type of work can mean sex work but also “braiding hair, babysitting, selling CDs/DVDs, drugs or other skills like sewing and laundry” (Alternet). 

This sort of thing is often the result of the government not creating effective public policy and creating a common good, social safety net, and social contract that includes all Americans. Those marginalized and left out… make ends meet whatever way they can even if it means doing things they don’t want to do. 1 in 7 people in American now receive food stamps because they can’t afford food to feed themselves and their families. Some sell their food stamps to pay rent. Since Welfare Reform which was signed into law in 1996 by then president Bill Clinton, many families have not been able to get government assistance past two years without finding a job and five years total in their entire lifetimes because that is the life time cap. This dooms many single mothers.

Not to mention people of color have much higher rates of unemployment and underemployment in general. For instance the African-American population’s actual unemployment rate is closer to 25%. People are forced to do things that often times compromise their safety or pay them much less than their labor is worth, just to get by. Everyone wants a job and a place to live. Most people would take a job over welfare or unemployment insurance any day!

I worked in a homeless shelter as part of my Masters in Social Work internship for a year and all my clients wanted was a job and housing. The entire time I worked there only two people found work and in the end we were able to find temporary housing for only a handful. We must ask ourselves is this right? Is this the society we want, need, and deserve? And if not, what can we do to change it?

We can’t wait for government action or response. We do need to create our own work, gardens, and social services. Become a volunteer in your community and support your friends, family, and neighbors through these hard times. Start co-opt businesses. This is a form of fighting back… because we can create better and more democratic systems and communities outside of corporate control. Becoming self-sustaining as possible will move us in a positive direction. 

Here is a website that helps one do just that:

We must remember though that simple random acts of kindness, generosity, and charity will not fix what is wrong with America fundamentally. While it is important that we heal our own communities to the capacity in which we can... it just simply is not possible that we can organize the type of and amount of help that people need that the government can. When it comes down to it... what is the point of the government if it does not take care of us when we are need on a mass level?

The people who have orchestrated this deserve scorn—the government and the rich. They deserve to be excoriated and exposed. They deserve to be held accountable for what they have done and what they continue to do. And they MUST be stopped by any means necessary! We will not be wage slaves any longer. We are 90% and all they have is money. We can go on a nation-wide general strike tomorrow and their money will not save them. Mark my words... we will not stand for this for too much longer........ We will reach a breaking point and the signs are already beginning to show if you observe carefully enough.

I believe when push comes to shove the American people will stand up and fight. While some are too stressed, too disconnected, or too disillusioned with the system to think they can ever be responsive to our collective needs, others are still holding on to hope and believe in the good of America and the government. They think eventually our luck will turn around. But sooner or later the anger will bubble up to the surface and the discontentment and lack of ability to survive will force people to act. Sometimes only when people have lost everything do they feel they have nothing left to lose…… 

Right now many lack the will to revolt. They may think it would be pointless or they may feel isolated or alienated. If the working class do not unite, organize, and work in solidarity together, they won’t be able to accomplish much. In addition, the type of action needed calls for sustained coordinated mass demonstrations, boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience, etc. over a long period of time in every part of the country. In fact, we probably need several campaigns akin to the civil rights movement. 

I keep waiting for the tipping point and every day I feel like we are getting closer and closer. There will be a point at which people will not be able to sustain themselves and survival instincts will kick in. The flight or fright reaction will begin, anger will overwhelm this country, and people will do what is needed—whatever that is. It may be that people will only be willing to risk it all...when they have had everything stripped away from them. But that day is coming…faster and sooner than most of us realize. And when it happens, that will be the real class war. 

I may be against foreign wars and the war on drugs, but I am pro-class war. No war but the class war. If we are going to be liberated and emancipated….we will do it from below. They have made it obvious that they will not give us what we need so we will have to take it. When we’re done with them, the government, the rich, and the 
corporations will be begging us for something as simple as a tax increase on the rich.  

I think the best alternative to capitalism is democratic socialism. We must abolish the capitalist system and replace it with a democratic socialist one. Democratic socialism is a concept embraced by people ranging from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Albert Einstein, to Hellen Keller and George Orwell. To learn more about democratic socialism read here:

Given the way the global community is now connected in many ways, including transnational corporate power and capitalist oppression, it is only a matter of time before the whole world is united in a world-wide revolution. "Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains" --Karl Marx.

I leave you with the words of the great Fredrick Douglass:

Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reforms. 

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions, yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and, if needs be, by our lives, and the lives of others.

The time has come to demand justice. Let the struggle continue and let the spark of resistance begin with us.

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