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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Class War Goes Retail

Click here to access article by Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins from Other Words.

This website advertizes itself as "progressive" and is a part of the liberal Institute for Policy Studies, and this article also contains content that is typical of liberal media. However, sometimes liberals stray a bit far into recognizing features of capitalism that usually go unrecognized by them and completely by mainstream media. This article illustrates this observation.

Their sub-headline, "Why does Wall Street tank on news portending economic gains for most Americans?" reveals the naivete, or deception, of liberals when confronted by obvious contradictions between the way capitalism actually functions and its self-serving propaganda. If you follow stock evaluations as I sometimes do, you will readily become aware that very frequently when corporations cut jobs, their stocks climb. Likewise, when news of wage increases, as reported in this article, increase for employees of corporations, their stock valuations decline. After all, under a capitalist system, labor costs are subtracted from profits, and profits go to the owning, and ruling, class. This is old news, but somehow these authors think it is an anomaly. Or, at least they want you to think that, as well as think that the system is only experiencing minor and temporary defects. They conclude their article with this incredible statement:
Until more U.S. political and business leaders decide they’ve had enough, this nation will become less of a democracy governed by the people and more of a plutocracy ruled by the rich.
Plutocracy based industrialism, and now finance, has been firmly in place in this nation from at least 1900 after inflicting many defeats on labor organizing and the Populist movement that challenged their rule in the latter 1800s.  

USA has always been a class structured society with a wealthy ruling class from its founding in 1776 by rich merchants and slave-owning large landowners like George Washington. To accelerate their wealth and power, the original ruling class, reverently referred to as "founding fathers" by mainstream institutions, had to enlist the support of small farmers and working people to fight in their war of independence from Britain whose governing class (a blend of monarchy, aristocracy, and a rising merchant and industrial class) wanted to keep the colonies as only a source of raw materials to the mother country. The US ruling class enlisted this support by proclaiming radical ideas about democracy. This is precisely why the moving Declaration of Independence differs so dramatically from the Constitution in its original form. Only later was the Bill of Rights, which the ruling class mostly ignored, tacked on to insure passage. (Please see my commentary in this 2011 post for further details.) The American ruling class has tried to maintain these democratic myths ever since; and as you can see, have been largely successful.