How do we fight back?

Homepage | Forums | Main Forums | General Discussion | How do we fight back?

Viewing 12 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #360480
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,270

      Most days I read through the posts here – check the headlines at a few news sites… one story, article and personal story after another, I read of pain, anger, sorrow, despair.  There doesn’t seem to be much hope these days, for change, for the betterment of our people, our Country, or our world.  There is so much to try to come to grips with.  More than anything though, is the (to me) undeniable reality that our people are failing, falling ever deeper into a life in which the wealthy control everything, in which everyone else has to struggle and suffer, hunger, put one foot in front of the other in spite of damned near impossible odds.  I learned years ago, in studying sociology and coming to terms with American politics, business and so on… that the haves have damn near screwed the planet and all of its people.  Bush’s favorite people, Obama’s buddies, Clinton’s friends – and Trump’s.

      All of the money from whatever “economic recovery” they have spoken of, goes to the top.  Our roads crumble.  They get tax breaks – our schools close.  They “reform education” into charter and private schools – and our teachers lose their jobs.  They build “foundations” and Countries fall to oligarchy – corruption, to the self interested, the deeply conceited, the morally bankrupt.  In Haiti, in Iran, in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Mexico, Venezuela – even, ever increasingly, the U.S.A.

      Somehow, in spite of a record low tax rate, the wealthiest corporations: https://itep.org/60-fortune-500-companies-avoided-all-federal-income-tax-in-2018-under-new-tax-law/#:~:text=An%20in%2Ddepth%20analysis%20of,and%20Economic%20Policy%20said%20today.

      “An in-depth analysis of Fortune 500 companies’ financial filings finds that at least 60 of the nation’s biggest corporations didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes in 2018 on a collective $79 billion in profits, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy said today.”

      That isn’t “tax relief”, that’s what ought to be called tax evasion, fraud, bribery – the result of decades of lobbying on behalf of the wealthiest of us.  These lobbyists fill the halls of congress and the Senate – and even the former President Obama, still much beloved by Americans who didn’t pay much attention – is now a lobbyist.  Clinton and her 250K-300K speeches.  Senators who blather on about “fiscal responsibility” while eagerly voting to give the wealth of the Nation to the military, to “private contractors” (mercenaries), to banks, financial institutions, super PACs, to god damn Kanye West.

      The minimum wage has risen slightly in most states – but what does that really mean?  What does it mean that entry level positions offer say, 10-15 dollars an hour?  It means that your income (if you earn such) is still below a living wage.  It means that the bosses, the corporate overlords and so on and so forth – still earn millions a year, while you struggle to buy diapers, or pay for milk and bread.  Healthcare was reformed, right?  So why the hell are Americans still ending up over a million dollars in debt from a few weeks in a hospital with covid19?  Why are Americans still choosing between paying for rent/groceries/utilities – or their medications?

      How is it that we have lost tens of millions of jobs – yet the wealthiest continue to grow wealthier?  Isn’t it painfully obvious?  Even ridiculously so?  The rich own the wealth of this Nation.  Your job, your social security, your medicare or medicaid, it all depends on politicians and their backers maintaining even a little bit of human decency.  With every passing year, whatever decency is left in our politicians and politics fades even further.  Oh, they will fight on television, they will use sound bites to lash back and forth – but the proof is in the pudding.  It is in the tax rate, it is in the reality of our desperate struggling infrastructure.  It is in the reality of low wages, healthcare (or health insurance) that we cannot afford.  It is in the fact that the largest corporations pay nothing back into the coffers of the Country that enabled their success in the first place.

      This isn’t capitalism.  It isn’t democracy.  It is not a constitutional republic.  It is becoming more similar to the Monarchies and Empires of old.  That all of us should be serfs – spend our lives working for the 1%, because we have no choice, because they own everything – all of the “capital”.  Now some might call that capitalism, might say that the private sector made it all happen.  I would in turn point out that our politicians, media, medical infrastructure and damn near everything else is lobbied, bribed, bought and paid for by the wealthiest of the wealthy.

      So how do we fight back?  How do we create a system in which the rest of us have, at least, a better chance?  I think the things most valued and prized need to be re-examined.  Wealth for its own sake, equating “success” with wealth.  The notion that “job creators” (who create thousands of minimum wage jobs with no benefits) are somehow deserving of our praise.  The Industrial Revolution not only began the poisoning of our planet – but it created a rot deep within the soul of this society.  It abandoned regard for life.  The notion that we lived in a democracy, a free Country, gave way to the notion that everyone should succeed or fail alone, that society had no obligation to help those less fortunate.  Noblesse Oblige gave way to “pull yerself up by yer bootstraps.  If yer dun like it, yer can git out”

      Why are the institutions that were intended to serve the public overwhelmingly failing us?  Well, because our leaders are, because we have allowed it, because those with the means to support and improve such are not paying taxes.  You cannot maintain reliable infrastructure with rising debt and falling revenue – and the more extreme this becomes, the more we see a Nation of the “Have everythings” and the serfs.  We are not at that extreme level yet that most of us are begging for food on the street, that we cannot own land or homes… but it is entirely possible to get there.  Everything our ancestors fought for, every revolution, every rebellion… it comes down to a breaking point.  A point at which the poorest and most desperate say “No more.”  When we get there, change will come, for better or worse.

      Evidence of this is clear in the protests and riots, the violence in so many cities and states.  Evidence of this is clear in the tens of millions of unemployed, the disability crisis, the healthcare crisis, social security, retirement, overall infrastructure – and, well, almost any damn thing you can think of.

      We are heading for that point.  The point at which the most desperate will fight, because they can see the writing on the wall.  If they do not, the only change to come will be that which further takes from the masses to give to the wealthy few.  Crack open those history books if you do not believe me.  The inevitable violent revolution to come is just beneath the surface.  Perhaps this newest farce of an election will light the fuse.  Perhaps it will be something even worse than this god damn pandemic.

      At some point, it becomes the duty of all good people to resist the crime, the corruption, the arrogant demands of the elite… to support the many.  Whether fighting back is literal or figurative, that choice is upon us now.

    • #360482
      mmonk
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 904

      .

      Fear not the path of Truth for the lack of People walking on it. - RFK

    • #360487
      MizzGrizz
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,551

      But thecworking class has been so divided by the media,so sliced and diced by religious and social issues,that such may never come to pass.Look at how so many won’t even do the simplest things anymore,like wear a mask in the middle of a public health emergency due to the pandemic.

    • #360488
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,270

      Who cannot afford decent food, housing, healthcare or much else on their low wages going to engage in a general strike?  Millions of us are one accident or illness, one issue away from being broke.  Millions of us are already there.

      As such, those who still have work can’t really afford (and their families can’t afford) a strike.  Most of the unions are broken.  Precious few Americans have any savings.

      Such is the case, I believe, that it will be forced.  That people will become so desperate, with little or nothing left to lose, that violence becomes inevitable.  We aren’t going to willingly starve or freeze.  If there is no relief, war will come.

    • #360499
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,869

      @mizzgrizz The oligarchy and their police will make sure of that. Whenever there are major strikes in the US, there is always violence, usually started by the business owners or the government, against the strikers, who sometimes fight back.

      Just saying.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #360505
      Fasttense
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,603

      Civil Rights took 13 years from the time Rosa Parks stayed seated on the bus to the time Johnson signed the Civil Rights act. Thirteen long, frustrating, deadly years it took to do away with some of the worst abuses of Jim Crow. And today Congrss won’t even pass anti-lynching laws.

      It took Ghandi more than 25 years to free India. The French Revolution with a smaller land mass and near famine like conditions took about 3 years.

      We can probably begin the countdown to the resistance of our current oligarchy with the protests against W. I don’t know if folks remember but there were constant protests against W, especially when he started a war to attempt to get reelected (And he still had to cheat with the Ohio vote count.). Then there was Occupy against Obama then the constant protests under Trump.

      Just remember, we have Not quietly stood by as the filthy rich consolidated power in their little monsters. We have already been protesting for 20 years.

      Now we need to get bigger and noisier. Scare the crap out of Trump. Force him to call out the military. Let the world see our filthy rich oligarchy in action.

      The portion of American public that support Trump and the filthy rich is very, very small. I bet it is no more than 15%. But it is amplified by corporate media and the power of the filthy rich.  Social media distorts the voice of America.

      Americans do not support Trump or Biden or the filthy rich. They support democracy no matter what that small portion of fully funded pro Trump dictatorship say.

    • #360509
      Mindwalker
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 382

      This will take no effort on our part since the nation is doing a very good job already.

    • #360512
      xyzse
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,790

      I’m sorry David, I have no idea.  Honestly peaceful protests are not enough, it has always been with the actual threat of violence that change does happen.  That is almost never discussed because mainstream lionizes peaceful protest leaders since they can be controlled.

      The problem with that situation, is that they are tightening the vise on most folk, and the fact that more and more people can not even afford food any more is an explosive situation.

      Thing is, they don’t feel it yet, and they think the armed policing that we have is enough to quell the threats of violent protests that might trigger the guillotines coming out.

      Maybe two-to-three more election cycles it will erupt, but they are girding themselves with a very militarized “Policing” force.

      I’m not saying I condone the violence or want it.  In fact, I DON’T want it.  The problem is, that is where I think we’re heading with what they are doing.

    • #360519
      ThouArtThat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,544

      @davidthegnome

      Hi David,

      The short answer is we don’t for all the reasons posited.

      As suggested, the situation will eventually explode and thousands will perish in state sanctioned violence.

      That will either further suppress the masses for decades or ignite a conflagration the 1% cannot control.

      About the only thing one can do is organize locally for self-protection and support as the country devolves.

      Expecting anything nationally to progress or improve is a lost cause as was proven by Bernie’s subverted 2016 and 2020 campaigns.

      Time will tell how it unfolds.

      TAT

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
      - John F. Kennedy

      "The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
      - George Orwell

      "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
      - Jiddu Krishnamurti

      "Sometimes a pessimist is only an optimist with extra information."
      - Idries Shah

      "A riot is the language of the unheard."
      - Martin Luther King

    • #360523
      bazukhov
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,996

      The whole world and everything on it will be different tomorrow than it is today.

      Many people throughout history have tried to change the world or, at least, the people inhabiting it.

      All that “fighting back” usually (if not always) ends up as another session of “Old Boss meet the New Boss”.  Alas for the idealists and dreamers nothing much ever changes.

       

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

    • #360527
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,869

      Nichevo, as the Russians say. There will come a time, though, probably next year, though I might be overly optimistic there. Sooner or later, so many people will take to the streets that the government will have to try to call in the Army, and then the Army will face a choice. I am more optimistic on that front.

      If we’re really lucky, we’ll get some sort of a provisional government and then a constitutional convention. If we’re not as lucky, we’ll get an American Cromwell or Napoleon, though not with the religious implications of the real Cromwell or the world-conquering ambitions of the real Napoleon. I’m talking domestically–both leaders did materially improve the lives of their own people, meaning the English and the French themselves.

      If we’re less lucky than that, well, I’m not even going to go there.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #360576
      MizzGrizz
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,551

      @ohiobarbarian,I think you may be right.

      Gandhian resistance was the first thing that came to my mind,being old enough to remember the Civil Rights movement (as you are too,I think,OB)But we may have moved far past that now.

      So for now….we sit on our hands and watch it fall.

    • #360590
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,869

      @mizzgrizz I was regularly harassed and sometimes lightly beaten up by other kids while walking home from elementary school, because my parents were outspoken supporters of LBJ, the Great Society, and the Civil Rights Acts. It was in predominantly Anglo suburb of San Antonio, with maybe 20% middle and upper middle class Mexican-Americans, some of whom were descended from families that had been in San Antonio for over 200 years. They had status, even with los gringos.

      Anyway, most of the whites there were Goldwater Republicans at best, and closet Fascists at worst. They hated LBJ and the Democrats. It was gratifying to see them politically defeated time and time again for awhile. I loved it when Roe v. Wade came down. Their wails of agony was music to my cynical teenage ears. What made it even better was that Sarah Weddington, the lawyer for Roe, was a third cousin or something of mine.

      In Texas, that gave one bragging rights. Winning, and sometimes just being proved right all along, was widely respected by most Texans. I haven’t been there for any length of time in 30 years, so I don’t know if that’s changed. I do know I didn’t recognize the place the last time I went back. I didn’t like what I saw. Suburban sprawl is just insane there.

      Anyway, just telling you a story so you’ll know why I remember that time very well indeed, and my father was very active politically. He talked politics all the damned time, and was pretty well-informed. So that made an impression, to say the least.

      Sorry for the ramble. That was a different time. There was still a majority belief that government, properly and mostly fairly managed, could accomplish great public good. LBJ’s proudest accomplishment was making sure some 99% of Americans had electricity and indoor plumbing. And then there was NASA…There’s nothing like that now. There is not much hope that the federal government will act to prevent tens of millions of Americans from falling into severe poverty and quite possibly hunger. Back then, Great Depression levels of homelessness and utter destitution was unthinkable.

      Now, it’s not only thinkable, it’s probable. Governments do not survive when they act like ours does for too long.

       

       

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

Viewing 12 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.