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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wealth distribution in the United States and the politics of the pseudo-left

Click here to access article by Eric London from World Socialist Web Site.

This writer carves out an important strata in our capitalist structured society known as the upper middle class, a class consisting of about 9% of Americans who lie just below the 1% rich ruling class. These people are identified by sociologists as the upper middle class. London shows how this particular class plays such an important role for the ruling 1%. Malcolm X graphically described the role played by the middle class to a largely African-American audience with a metaphor drawn from an historical context of American slavery that is relevant here: the difference between field negroes and house negroes, or the difference between most workers and a special subset of workers who identify with the ruling capitalist class.

London zeros in on the critical role played by the upper middle class (business executives, academics, successful attorneys, professionals, trade union executives and trust fund beneficiaries) in supporting the ruling 1%, and specifically how they have used identity politics (aka "multiculturalism") to successfully divert attention and energies away from class-based political activism. Likewise this class have obscured their own role in perpetuating identity politics by pretending to be left oriented activists. His research shows that this upper-middle class loves and serves their capitalist masters so well and that they have been richly rewarded for their efforts--unlike those classes of workers below them. London concludes his analysis with this political lesson:
The working class comprises the vast majority of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants and produces all of the world’s wealth. It possesses immense potential power. But it can advance its own interests only if it is armed with an anticapitalist and socialist program based on the class struggle. In advancing the slogan for a party of the 99 percent, the pseudo-left is perpetrating a fraud aimed at preventing the development of such a struggle and preserving the capitalist system.