Sunday, February 20, 2011

Two Words: On Wisconsin!


Two Words.

Self Determination.

Corporate Fascism.

Your Choice.



TWO WORDS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkFOBx6j0l8









From the debate raging online and via twitter, I see miseducation is alive and well. Workers from teachers to firefighters once called public servants are now being called freeloaders. It reminds me of something RZA said in the documentary, Rhyme and Reason [paraphrasing]: why am I beefing with this brother and he has nothing and I have nothing while these other folks over there have everything and nobody is beefing with them. That doesn't add up..I deal with mathematics.

Well, here are some numbers to consider:

1. The Walmart Corporation is richer than over 150 countries.

sources: http://www.globaltrends.com/features/shapers-and-influencers/66-corporate-clout-the-influence-of-the-worlds-largest-100-economic-entities

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2010/full_list/

2. And a good amount of that wealth goes to 4 people: The Walton family members who take 4 of the top 10 spots on the Richest Americans list, with net worth totaling 80+ billion dollars.

http://www.forbes.com/wealth/forbes-400

3. While the pay gap between a company's CEO and its employees has a ratio of 11 to 1 in Japan and 12 to 1 in Germany, the United States ratio is an exorbitant 319 to 1.

source: http://csis.org/blog/us-tolerance-income-inequality

4. And for the most staggering numbers: the 500 richest individuals in the world have the same income as 416 million people on the poor end of the pay scale....416 million.

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/13/opinion/13kristof.html


TWO WORDS: CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS

Probably the two most dreaded words in American politics = class warfare. But they are still embraced quicker than these two hated four letter words: Karl Marx.

The reason Karl Marx is so feared is because he rightfully exposed the fallacy of wage labor.

Capitalism is a way to make money off of other people's labor. But Walmart could not make any money without the cheap labor it gets from the workers that make the manufactured goods it sells [usually Chinese workers making slave wages], or the employees that provide the labor and customer service at its stores [making near slave wages with few benefits], or the customers who buy the goods its WORKERS produce [and those customers are spending money that they earn working for (sometimes near slave) wages ].

Marx predicted that this alienation (outlined above) would eventually lead to class consciousness...and the truth is, we may finally be seeing forms of class consciousness playing out all across the globe as we speak..from Egypt to Wisconsin...Bahrain to Iran. And the bigger truth is, we have corporate fascists and overreaching leaders to thank. As I've said many times, power will take as much as it can get away with and no less...people must fight for what we rightfully deserve. No one will give it to you.


The choices in this country could not be clearer. On one side is the language of "cuts" and "deficits" and "sacrifices", but in this language only one side of the coin is being shown. As I tell my classes all the time, one's advantage is directly linked to another one's disadvantage. They are inevitably linked. The big lie that hegemony in society perpetuates is that folks gain at no one's expense. But on a finite planet, the pie of resources is limited. And how it is dished out at the dinner table matters. If one person takes 99 slices, that leaves 1 slice for 99 people to fight over. The other option is a more equitable distribution of resources. Only people that get more and are okay with others having less prefer the former.

What free trade did to the private sector, political corporatists are now trying to do to the public sector...weaken collective bargaining and workers' rights. Instead of all seeing the reality of a new gilded age where the rich are getting richer, the middle class is being asked to accept the new "reality" and join the ranks of the working poor while big banks get bailed out with our tax dollars so they can horde that cash or use it to open markets overseas.

The truth the U.S. middle class has not been told is that it is expected to join the global race to the bottom, where we will be expected to compete in a global market where workers make less than a dollar a day. They are setting up Americans to "sacrifice" ...to get used to a lower standard of living and accept this new world order where a small elite of corporate fascists get 95% of the pie while 95% of the world must fight for the 5% crumbs...including you now America.

Unfortunately it never is the 1% that does its own bidding...it always is the manipulated who have bought in to the narrative that the elite has sold them. People that believe that giving tax breaks to corporations and busting unions will bring jobs to America have no geopolitical sense of reality.





example = http://www.huffingtonpost.com/video/video_4000.html?1298147211

Instead of bashing me and my fellow union members for collective bargaining and securing better wages and benefits, why not demand the same for yourself?! Stop doing the bidding for corporate fascists and start putting your interest first!




TWO WORDS: STAND FIRM!

Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill Protest from Matt Wisniewski on Vimeo.


link = http://vimeo.com/20089255

Despite the resistance to change by some, resolve and growing class consciousness may be too strong to stop this time. But know this, even where peaceful protest can not overcome police state barbarity, universal law will. The house of cards will fall...it always does.

Two Words:

Stay Strong

Keep Pushing

People Power

In Unity

....On Wisconsin!

For more on this topic. please see my previous note: The Fire this Time: A Few Thoughts on Egypt

Link: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150134175456131

23 comments:

Olga Khmelnytsky said...

*it's its, not 'its'';
*it's 'gilded age,' not 'guilded age';
*Marxists killed 4 to 5 million Ukrainian peasants between 1932 and 1933 alone.

Tina said...

@Olga Khmelnytsky - thank you for pointing out the errors; i think they have all been corrected. While I may argue with some historical accuracy of your statement, my point is not to say that there have not been atrocities in many names (religion, ideology from all spectrums), my point is on his idea of class consciousness and how it is playing out today organically. An argument can be made as easily that corporate fascism has killed thousands a day and multi-millions over a generation through poverty.

Anonymous said...

I think one of the problems Americans face, all Americans, is you don't know what real suffering is like.

Over the past century the illegal Bolshevik regime in Moscow starved millions of Ukrainians to death. Millions more were enslaved in work camps -- where most worked until they died -- and millions more were enslaved in "collectives."

Then, of course, millions more were murdered by Nazis -- real fascists.

And that doesn't even count the Jewish Ukranians, who were hunted down and shot, gassed, and worked to death -- also in vast numbers.

Then, of course, came reoccupation by our original oppressors, the Marxist regime in Moscow.

Political and economic self determination were squashed again.

Another wave of ordinary people were sent to prisons and slave labor camps, where the vast majority would die in the bitter cold of Siberia.

That's suffering on a scale that has not occurred in the United States in living memory. Look at the cold hard facts. Visit the vast boneyards that surround Ukraine's cities. Visit the work camps in far Siberia.

Corporate 'fascism' cannot compare.

Tina said...

@Anonymous - while your point is valid and well taken that Americans today don't know what real suffering is like (although I can make a strong argument against that in terms of Black and Native Americans and the millions that died during early founding days of this nation via the middle passage, slavery and "manifest destiny"), i disagree that corporate fascism has not caused havoc on the world...as I stated in a previous comment, the concentration of wealth that I outlined has killed millions via poverty and left billions more barely living. The fact is the last 30 years or so of suffering is largely due to corporate practices, and the complicit governments that empower them.

Charlie said...

@Anonymous said.....

While I am extremely sympathetic to the plight of those in Ukraine and those that were mentioned in your response, there is no hierarchy in oppression (not mine, Audre Lourde)and once we start playing that game of whose situation is the worst, we're immediately defeated. Be it corporate fascism, military or government regimes, they all operated and moved in the same motive: To gain power. How it was done is not what's important...however, what was done is what matters.

Be Peace

Tina said...

@Charlie - I appreciate your comment...thank you.

dtwo said...

great post. The post reminds me of a book I’m currently reading titled; The Politics of Fear: How Republicans Use Money, Race, and the Media to Win written by Manuel G. Gonzales and Richard Delgado. Have you read it? It really breaks down how the haves exploit the have not’s among a host of other things. Amazingly eye opening book.

Lezlee said...

Inspiring! What can I say? I'm new at posting to a blog but felt compelled to do so by the urgency of the times. Marilyn Chin has a book out "Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen" where she discusses the forgotten lessons of the U.S.-born daughters of immigrant Chinese. The Grandmother taught the girls to work hard and many other lessons of poverty. The book's narrator bemoans the fact that the girls grew up, gained wealth and drove around in their "little white Mercedes's." The point being not that their choice of car was wrong, but that in the process of wealth accumulation they forgot the lessons of poverty. I interpret this to mean a loss of class consciousness. Your blog reminds me how important this is. Thanks, too, for the Mos Def (?) video at the top. Matt's video from Wisconsin is amaaazing, too! Stay Strong...indeed!

Anonymous said...

You want oppression? Muammar Qadafi is machine gunning and bombing his people right now.

We won't hear about these massacres from the left, however, since Ronald Reagan once tried to kill the crackpot leftist.

Well it looks like the long-suffering Libyan people could be about to finish the job.

Tina said...

@dtwo - Thank you for your comment. I have heard of the book but have not read it yet. I will definitely try to check it out, thanks!

@Lezlee - Hey! Thanks..i really appreciate your comment and great example :)

@Anonymous - Thank you for your comment. Yes the barbarity of Ghadafi is undeniable but as you say, the Libyan people are about to finish the job, which is basically the point of this essay - class consciousness and self determination. I think previous comments speak to your points well. Instead of repeating them, I hope you will take the time to read them, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I grew up in a liberal environment, so I've been hearing that sort of stuff for decades.

It just doesn't add up though. None of it does. You know those little contradictions that really bug you? Well those cracks go deep. I've been exploring them for years now. It's all bunk. All of it.

Hopefully Libya's economy will recover, because like all North African Islamic nations they owe Europe reparations for the millions enslaved by the Islamic slave trade.

Yeah, put this in your multicultural pipe and smoke it.

http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Slaves-Muslim-Masters-Mediterranean/dp/1403945519

Anonymous said...

READ IT. READ ALL OF IT. I'M TIRED OF BEING TOLD I NEED TO FEEL GUILTY OVER SLAVES MY FAMILY NEVER HELD.

WHAT AFRICANS DID TO EUROPEANS WAS WORSE THAN THE TRANS ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE.

READ THE BOOK, IF YOU DARE. IF YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO SEE THE TRUTH. THE GAME OF GUILT AND SHAME, VICTIM AND VICTIMIZER IS THE DEVIL'S GAME.

FREE YOUR MIND. I MEAN THIS SINCERELY. STEP OUT OF THE MINDSET OF BEING A 'VICTIM' AND EMBRACE BEING HUMAN.

Tina said...

@Anonymous - while I could argue with some historical accuracy of your statement, even if the book you cite is 100% valid in its claims, the Islamic Slave trade does not come close to the the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade BY EUROPEAN Colonial powers(even according to your own source) ...so I guess Europe will get its reparations, right after it gives reparations to the African Diaspora around the world.

Anonymous said...

Once in North Africa, it was tradition to parade newly-captured Christians through the streets, so people could jeer at them, and children could pelt them with refuse. At the slave market, men were made to jump about to prove they were not lame, and buyers often wanted them stripped naked again to see if they were healthy. This was also to evaluate the sexual value of both men and women; white concubines had a high value, and all the slave capitals had a flourishing homosexual underground. Buyers who hoped to make a quick profit on a fat ransom examined earlobes for signs of piercing, which was an indication of wealth. It was also common to check a captive’s teeth to see if he was likely to survive on a tough slave diet.

Tina said...

@Anonymous - again, i think you are missing the point of the blog..it is not about victimhood. It is about class consciousness and self determination. I think your framing it as victimhood speaks more to your closed mind than mine.

Anonymous said...

Ah but you brought it up first. You were endorsing Marxist ideas. Yet when I pointed out that Marxism has caused more suffering than any living American can imagine, you brought up slavery... implying it gives African Americans some kind of unique perspective on suffering.

The truth is that the suffering of African American slaves was terrible, but not unique. “Between 1530 and 1780 there were almost certainly a million and quite possibly as many as a million and a quarter white, European Christians enslaved by the Muslims of the Barbary Coast.” This considerably exceeds the figure of 800,000 Africans generally accepted as having been transported to the North American colonies and, later, to the United States.

Why is there so little interest in Mediterranean slavery while scholarship and reflection on black slavery never ends? As Prof. Davis explains, white slaves with non-white masters simply do no fit “the master narrative of European imperialism.” The victimization schemes so dear to academics require white wickedness, not white suffering.

Prof. Davis also points out that the widespread European experience of slavery gives the lie to another favorite leftist hobby horse: that the enslavement of blacks was a crucial step in establishing European notions of race and racial hierarchy.

Not so; for centuries, Europeans lived in fear of the lash themselves, and a great many watched redemption parades of freed slaves, all of whom were white. Slavery was a fate more easily imagined for themselves than for distant Africans.

Tina said...

@Anonymous - while i have appreciated your comments and dialogue, I can no longer take this debate seriously given this statement: "This considerably exceeds the figure of 800,000 Africans generally accepted as having been transported to the North American colonies and, later, to the United States."

miseducation is a serious problem in society and it is critical we deal with historical facts and promote historical accuracy, and nobody of good scholarship or knowledge of history would promote such a misleading number. As you hopefully know, the North American colonies were not the only destination of African slaves via European powers. On the conservative end is 10 million, including the millions that died during the voyage.

And although we could discuss colonial rule beyond slavery in many places through the 1960s, we won't.

now, to once again correct the record, you actually first made the statement that Americans don't know real suffering which is why I brought in the history of Native and Black Americans...and to my larger point that the concentration of wealth and poverty kills millions a year you still can't counter because once again it is a historical fact. The other historical fact that will not allow you to miseducate others is the world dynamics of he last 400 years...and if you need to look at the influence and wealth charts of European and western nations v. North African nations...you will see your interpretations of history are invalid. If you would like a more well rounded understanding of history, I have a number of sources I can offer you, but if you are not open to that, please at least, try to be consistent in your assertions with reality.

Dr. Wright

Anonymous said...

Well, it took a bit of work, but I managed to flush the number out of you I wanted to see.

For the sake of argument, I will accept your figure that 10 million Africans were scooped up by the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Marxists KILLED 100 million people over the past 100 years, according to "The Black Book Of Communism," published in 2007 by the Harvard University Press.

Yet you view the world through the prism of Marxism, a philosophy that has created more death and suffering than even Nazism.

Checkmate.

My work here is done.

Tina said...

Please define for me "Marxists" and then please tell me what "Marxists" killed 100 million since Karl Marx ideas came to be in the mid 1800s? If you are referring to communist governments, capitalism and communism as economic systems are very differnet than communist governments as totalitarian regimes. Communism as an economic system at its roots focuses on communial ownership over private ownership..and Marxists as you like to refer to them are speaking in these terms. Oppressive regimes that obviously do not share communely do not fit that definition. This entire essay is about class consciousness, an idea of Marx as related to capitalism, the economic system. So in this whole debate, you are missing the point. China as a communist government does not have a socialist/communist economic system where the people control the resources. That is the class consciousness Marx advocated...not a new form of feudalism.

Anonymous said...

In its majority, America is still a christian nation, not muslim or of any other creed (though those other religious groups do exist). To me and most "real loving" americans, any other movement (religious, atheist, political, etc.) that threatens christian values as protestants that most of the christians in this nations are, it is simply NOT NEEDED. It is the liberals who destroy (and continue to eat away) the rights and freedoms we have in this country.

That's all!

Tina said...

is this last post from the same @anonymous that posted before? if so, you have now revealed your "real" self...i hope you will listen to other "real loving" Americans featured in these links and open your mind.

see "real loving" American at 5:50 mark:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0D4_hFnRlU

another "real loving" American:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJnHNu5eD44

not so "real loving" Americans protesters bullying kids:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkZhAtNfcBE

Anonymous said...

"is this last post from the same @anonymous that posted before?"

answer: no.

Tina said...

okay, i appreciate the reply.