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
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Banker on How to Solve Debt Crisis: The Public Needs to Work Harder for Less Money and 50% Fewer Benefits
Of course, this European banker is right. And, of course, he is assuming the continuation of capitalism. Like his fellow one-percenters he cannot imagine any other system.
Energy and other resource materials are becoming more expensive which limits the growth imperative and profits of capitalism. His solution is the only solution for capitalists in order to continue their appropriation of worker-produced value at past rates of profit.
In contrast to many European capitalists, US capitalists have managed to subdue private sector workers and their unions by simply sending most of their jobs to countries with cheap labor and low environmental standards. With a few exceptions US private sector employed workers have already negotiated away all the gains made in the post WWII years in order to keep their remaining jobs from going to cheap labor countries. The only exceptions for US workers has been in military related industries (for obvious reasons) and public sector workers (most cannot be outsourced). Hence workers in the public sector are the current targets for cutbacks as we are now seeing most dramatically in the Mid-Western States.
If we all sit back and do nothing, this assault will continue, until we have a thoroughly polluted world with limited resources and extreme weather, a world that consists of small islands of well-guarded, gated communities surrounded by oceans of poor wage-slaves. Never in the history of the human race has more been at stake for working people than is the case today.