We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, June 18, 2010

Twenty-Two Reasons Why American Working People Hate the State

by James Petras from Global Research. 
I will argue there are many sound, rational, material reasons for working people to be in revolt against the state.
The state, as in the US and most other countries, is controlled by the class of owners of the main sections of the economy, usually referred to as capitalists, ruling elites, governing classes, etc. This class exploits its dominant position in the state as well as in the economy to the detriment of working people--those people who actually produce wealth. 

The author's list of twenty-two reasons is a very good list for working people to hate the state. But there are many problems that working people face when trying to change the state. First, the problem of identifying the real source of their problems. The governing class is very successful at obscuring any understanding of where the real causes lie through their control of all significant media. Moreover, they are adept at deflecting the anger away from them onto others. Typically this is directed toward minorities, either racial or ethnic, social-economic groups such as "welfare cheats", unwed mothers, illegal aliens, etc. Thus ordinary people often hate these targeted groups as well as the government.

The anger at the government can be directed at usually one other political party or individuals in those parties. Their carefully controlled election systems always provide the illusion of choice so that people feel that they can get rid of the bad political leaders and elect good ones. Witness the recent euphoria over the Democratic candidates that were presented as candidates in the US in the 2008 elections. One was of mixed race, but identified as African American and the other a woman. Thus both were seen as providing different kinds of leadership, and were packaged by mainstream media as offering real change. 

Once again, the "wool was pulled over the eyes" of US working people and they now discover that nothing has changed. Nothing will ever change until working people take charge of their society by taking away the private ownership of the economy and putting it under the real democratic control of ordinary people. The same applies to the agencies of indoctrination--the media and educational institutions.