Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/31/working-class-america-needs-real-change-not-slogans
The SCOTUS’ transformation from stacked to heavily stacked this week will result in way more than Roe and ACA being consigned to the dustbin of history. The GOP’s half century long court stacking’s master plan tasks the courts with implementing the ENTIRE GOP agenda which includes dismantling what remains of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society…as in no more Social Security, no more Medicare…no more “domestic programs”…our taxes will fund corporate welfare…with the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) continuing to be the biggest corporate welfare recipient by far.
Both Trump and Biden are operating within a symbolic/performative political frame that supposedly addresses the real needs of the American working people. Yet the competing slogans and the performative politics we have witnessed over the past few months have done more to perpetuate the bitter partisanship keeping us “trampling on each other for our scraps of bread,” as E.L. Doctorow pointed out in 1992. So, what we instead need is a transformative (redistributive) politics that directly answers the complex quotidian concerns of the majority working-class people across race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and civic or legal status now and after the election.
And the DLC will never allow us to have this because their owner’s don’t want it.
“American poor and working-class people demand better from a republic that promotes freedom, equality and the pursuit of happiness.”
Are these slogans to which you refer?
“In the end, the American voter is expected to make an important choice on which party will bring about those kinds of transformative changes.”
This is pure comedy. The american voter - at least those with eyes to see - is compelled to make a completely symbolic protest vote every 4 years in a futile gesture to slow down what appears to be a meticulously planned negligent societal collapse and a descent into full-blown fascism.
Q: You’re article nibbles at the suggestion that both political parties are “full-of-it” (gaslighting the electorate at every turn), are controlled by the same wealthy “Donors”, are propped up by a wholly owned and complicit press - how on earth does the working class attain real change within these circumstances?? Serious question - really want to know.
Working class solidarity? I’m not holding my breath. I see Trump signs in front of what amount to peasant shacks compared to McMansions and greater.
In one of our southern states, there was a union organizing effort at a car plant; the ownership of the plant did not oppose the formation of a union, and in fact at one point urged workers to join the union. By ballot, the union was rejected.
Real solidarity huh?
I have at the very least two problems with the premises of this article.
- Since when has the Republic been promoting ‘equality?’
- Since when has the Republic been promoting ‘freedom?’ Studies show that the empire-state has been involved in overthrowing at least 80 governments around the world infringing on liberties and freedoms of many people - in addition to outright invasions and wars.
As for this euphemism ‘performative politics’ - let’s call things by what they are, US presidential elections are by facts, just marketing campaigns.
Thanks Carlos & lulemali foe focusing on the most important meta-causal factor of this Disguised Global Crony Capitalsit EMPIRE!
I just posted this diagnosis of the EMPIRE in the NY “Times” — and which they allowed to be published:
Ron (Suskind), my first comment is that the standard terminology of calling all American Presidents, “The President”, “Mr. President”, or specifically “President Trump” is, IMHO, totally inappropriate both currently before his regime is cast out, and throughout all the history of our country.
Certainly, I would not deny him any title, but the only accurate one would be faux-Emperor Trump — in that he certainly deserves to be immortalized and remembered, but accurately as the nasty ‘Chucky-doll’ puppet of a camouflaged and hidden Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire, which is owned and controlled by a ‘Ruling Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCC, self-appointed “Masters of the Universe”, and “Evil Geniuses” [Kurt Andersen] — and which unfortunately has suborned both of these dual-party Vichy-facades of faux-democracy.
Best to Pablo (NYT Graphic Artist) and you, Ron, on ‘E-day’ and thanks for your symbolic fuse graphic to expose and peacefully ignite a Second American people’s peaceful “Political, economic, social, cultural, and racial Revolution Against Empire” — similar to our First One, but without the Muskets.
Liberty, democracy, equality, and justice
Violent (and Vichy)
There just far too many articles like this. The author premises something that is demonstrably false and then builds the entire piece on those falsehoods.
It much like the person concluding “democracy always fails” while using the USA as example. The USA is not a Democracy.
They do this with “Socialism always fails” as well using as an example a Country that was never Socialist.
As you point out, The Republic of the United States of America was never build on the concepts of freedom and equality. It was designed by rich white men for rich white men. Women, the poor and blacks never had a voice because they were not seen as equals. Blacks were not “free” because they were seen as slaves. Women were never equal because they were not men.
As to the First Nations peoples, that Countries original inhabitants , they were never Free or the equals of the White men. They were deemed “savages” from whom all of that land could be stolen.
Let us be clear, it will be working people who will pay the cost of the pandemic. And it will happen even if Biden is president.
Who says so?
Nobel economic prize winner and inequality expert Sir Angus Deaton who says the current boom in the stock-market is because businesses are expecting to be able to cut wages
“Working class?” I’d not heard a Democrat say those two words together since they’d realized they’d need us to stop Nixon? Between NAFTA and Schumer’s dumping us “blue collar” jagoffs for Philly Republicans (!) just to add several million disenchanted deplorable victims to Trump’s chumps, Obama, Bill, Hills & Kerry seemed to figure we’d all just died of Fentanyl, obesity or COPD? What us working class types needed, was each and every policy Democrats kept from us, what we’d elected them to fight Nazi Republicans to WIN for us. To DO their fucking job (as they sold us out). The crazy bourgeoisie has the luxury of delusional fantasy; we’re stuck with drinking or doping ourselves into an early grave. Those who survived the post Powell Memo duopoly don’t actually expect OUR party back. Our parents lied to us about having any say… at least WE liked & understood our parents
Hey you poor slobs have no money and The Democrats have found it easier to get masses of money out of the 1 percent then out of the masses that make up the 99 percent.
That they found it much easier to do this means they will pass policies to ensure that gravy train keeps rolling.
The percentage of people in the USA that are participants in the work place is just over 62 percent. In the OECD Countries this one of the lowest in the World. There are millions of Americans not counted as unemployed that do not have jobs.
This means of course wages are depressed.
This is by design. It is Capitalism and that so called “free market” at work.
Well, don’t forget our iPhone & i8 keyfob clutching Creative Class™ and all them perfectly-timed-onset demented ex-Yuppies, never quite retiring from a productive lifetime of smug hypocracy, dazed denial and virtue-signalling; as they trickled OUR labor, homes, equity UP to their 1% masters? If you’re going to pull a protection scheme on anybody, they’d best have STUFF worth redistributing?
I can’t agree more with you that capitalism requires what Marx called the reserve army of labor to regulate wage levels.
I’m not defending immigration controls but one reason the capitalist class supports the mobility of labor is to increase competition for jobs and that keeps wages low. The solution isn’t walls but strong unions.
Workers need to internationalize their labor just as Capitalists have done with Capital.
It a lot easier for the latter.
That said the way they use that mobility of labor is that those workers flooding across borders to find jobs are much easier to control because they fear deportation and do not have the protections of full citizens. The Capitalist class is always looking for another way to exploit, be if exploiting labor or the natural world.
I know it is still only an unfulfilled aspiration, SDP, but the Industrial Workers of the World signal the way workers should be organizing, cross borders, cross unions, with an injury to one is an injury to all being the guiding principle.
And at the political level, my own organization calls itself the World Socialist Party, recognizing that the nation-state should not hold back the internationalism of the workers, But once again, the task is to still be accomplished but, remember, Marx and Engels, began only with a small circle of a few correspondents
Can either you or @alanjjohnston explain what tactics an international union would use against companies that hire workers who aren’t allowed to work in the US and pay them substandard wages and work them in substandard conditions? My only answer in the past as been strict workplace enforcement where anyone not following the rules face strict enough financial penalties to make it not worth it. Will unions be able to do this better than government enforcement? How can unions do anything about a group of 5 landscapers or a single individual doing a service job? To the extent that stronger unions overall might change the political climate and make it more feasible to have workplace enforcement, I can see that, but I’m wondering if you are claiming some other mechanism.
Declaring a mandatory minimum wage and legalizing all workers so they could go to court would have an immediate effect, dara.
You are right, individual businesses may escape regulation but tackling the under-payment of the agricultural H2A visa program would deal with millions of workers and drive rogue farmers underground
Compare policies with your northern neighbor Canadians who are increasingly open to welcoming immigrants and refugees.
A recent study from the polling firm Environics Institute found that attitudes among Canadians have become increasingly positive, even as millions remain out of work and the country faces grim economic projections.
“These views are not a blip. They’re not chance. They seem to be deeply rooted and widely spread,” said Andrew Parkin, executive director at Environics. “At first, we thought maybe Donald Trump would knock these positive trends. Maybe Canadians would catch the vibe of what’s going on in the States and start pulling back. That didn’t happen,” he said. “If these views are not going to get knocked back by politics in the United States or a major health or an economic crisis, they’re probably not going to get knocked back.”
One particular issue directly addressed was Atlantic Canada a region often compared to the US rust belt or northern England – rural areas where industry has left, the population is poorer and residents are older.
“In other countries, this all correlates with less openness to immigration. But in Atlantic Canada, they’ve realized that the more immigrants they have, the more businesses that are going to get started there.”
Canada plans to bring in more than 1.2 million new immigrants over the next three years
Canada isn’t perfect. It has a tiered policy of admitting migrants and there is a campaign to change that points-system. But that does not effect asylum-seekers
I suggest attitudes are determine at the top-down. What if the prevailing narrative is that migrants create paying customers, and with decent wages, a lucrative business opportunity.
I don’t claim all the answers. Unions and social justice organization are better informed and have specialist experts who can design better policies than those being impose today to ensure both native and migrant workers are both better protected. For example, ending legal child-labor on farms would mean the need to employ more adults, wouldn’t it? Ending the gig-economy and creating secure employment conditions would benefit all.
It won’t be easy taking on government and business especially considering the weakened state of the labor unions. It won’t be over-night. But historically unions have been in worse times and recovered.
It is as you correct say…building the political climate and so far all i have seen as someone outside looking in, is gesture and identity politics resulting in tokenism which is distracting from the class politics.
Just as an example of “attitudes” in Canada towards immigrants what is probably the most right wing Politician that is in power in Canada (Kenney in Alberta) recently came out and openly condemned a group of protestors that were lobbying for closing the borders to more immigrants and especially those from third world Countries (read darker skinned). He went out of his way to suggest this not the values people in Alberta had and that peoples from any Country would be welcomed.
This is because he knows full well that the majority of Canadians do not buy into that message and it would cost him more votes then he would lose if he embraced them. This is also why the Conervative party booted members out of the party the last election when they made racist comments. This is a stark contrast to the USA where such messaging from Trump gains him more support.
Now back in the 1960s Canada had a very restrictive immigration policy that favored white peoples from Europe. This was changed with Trudeau and his push to multiculturalism. That Canadians have evolved in their thinking towards immigrants suggests to me it very much a top down thing. Leadership at the top is needed to end racism and discrimination.
There still racism and systemic racism in Canada but I do not think it growing.
My account is dead and I had to sign in with this one from Google.