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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Class War in America

by David Rosen from CounterPunch

The author provides an excellent overview of the history of class war in the US. His history makes clear that as the rich increasingly win this war, so has the class war been increasingly hidden from its citizens.  

For those of us who have maintained their grasp on political reality, the ignorance of our fellow Americans about this issue has created a nation where it often resembles an insane asylum. We can only hope that the inmates stop taking their corporate media drugs and break out of the asylum. It is our duty to assist them to escape, and this task should become easier as the spread between media delusions and reality widens.
Today, class war no longer dare speak its name. Manufacturing has given way to financial capital as the defining sector of the global economy. And one of Standard Oil’s progenitors, Citibank, strongly influences the decisions determining federal economic policy. Sadly, today’s super-rich, whether members of the country club set, contributors to the Republican party, subsidizing a right-wing think tank or financing the “populist” Tea Party movement, are rarely derided as robber barons.

Today’s robber barons know that the media matters and have effectively bought-off the popular opinion makers. Stylishly groomed corporate executives and financiers, who are morally no better then slick thieves, have become celebrities. They are flattered on reality TV shows, praised on business programs and voyeuristically celebrated by the popular media. The American media knows better then bite the hand that feeds it.