Category: Worker’s Rights

via ffffound
via ffffound

The so-called “Super” Congress tasked with finding a means of cutting the deficit is a pure and simple joke. A joke few, if any, are likely to fall for. It is most simply designed to further the austerity agenda and steal from the poor of this country in order to further fund this stumbling empire’s tragic mistakes. If these wise old members of our congress fail to come up with spending cuts and revenue increases by late November, the cuts get made anyway, though they are across the board. The whole arrangement is the most obvious attempt at planned dead-lock I have ever seen. Who seriously believes that this group will come up with an agreed upon solution, or that if they do, it will be passed by their peers in congress? Or beyond that, that any measures that would possibly be passed by this monied body would be satisfactory to any portion of the working classes? Maybe 9% of Americans that still approve of Congress do.

With a legislative body only known for its inability to do anything, they have finally found a process which uses that inability to further the agenda of Power. I mean, look at the “solutions” these idiots are providing us. This isn’t a hard task, the deficit is not a complicated subject – no matter how much it is mystified and obscured for us. Stop the wars, close the bases, end the funding of death, tax the shit out of the rich, invest in our infrastructure, forgive people’s debt. But because the debt is such an important weapon against the poor, it goes directly against the interests of those in power to even fix it. We are in a position where the U.S. government can not right this ship because this is a country designed to cannibalize our poor in order to aid corporate-wealth. It is the same people warning us that the ship is sinking all the while hacking away at the hull.

The Occupy movement is a movement of class consciousness in America that is directly against those interests creating structures like the “super” Congress. It shows that we have entered a period of rebellion against the interests, but it doesn’t necessitate the working classes’ victory. This movement, like all liberation movements, will be attacked, will sustain attempts to hijack it, will have to fend of usurpers from the Power classes. The most important strategy will be understanding that those who have previously attempted to speak for the “people,” like the Democratic Party, are not allies to the Occupiers. Liberals, Progressives, Democrats do not have agendas that are compatible with liberation, but only seek to put a more friendly face on the crimes perpetrated against workers.

If in control, these forces will direct the massive energy of the Occupy movement into the process of our government, a place where all good ideas go to die. Like the Wisconsin union protests, if directed into a ballot-box, the Occupy movement will wither and accept a loss. A loss which will be portrayed as a victory by its new leaders, when they tell us not to be enemies of the “good.”

via Wikimedia
via Wikimedia

The Occupy Wall Street protestors have had a rough time of it so far, and I think that speaks to their potential for change. If ineffectual,  the protestors would almost certainly not be beaten, harassed, or attacked. The liberal culture might even co-opt their ineffectuality and make it their own, as is seen all to often within protest movements that wither and die. We can take heart (no easy task, watching the brutality against these brave innocents) knowing that we are scaring power, and hope that these voices aren’t silenced. Ironically, our society advertises a celebration of protesting the status quo – as long as one keeps it cosmetic. As soon as protest is born of an action that has the potential to cause change, those pretenses quickly fall away. As we’ve seen several times in the recent past like the Battle in Seattle, Anti-War protests leading up to the Iraqi Invasion/Occupation, and the latest being the Occupy Wall Street protests; when the working classes’ protests become mobilized to an extent that Power sees a potential for destabilization of the status quo – we see the so-called freedom and liberty of the state instantly wash away.
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IWW
IWW

The names I see surrounding on this Labor Day weekend are my enemies. On a weekend that exists to commemorate an American tragedy against our fellow workers (despite American capitalism’s efforts to erase that from our collective memories [best encapsulated for me by Apple's iTunes Labor Day Weekend Movies featuring only movies about pregnancy and child bearing]) I am still continually bombarded with these name. The names, or brands. Everything that surrounds me right now as I sit on my couch and eat junk food (I eat whatever I want on Sundays) is tagged with the brand of companies that have spent their entire personhood trying to grind my fellow workers to a streamlined pulp.
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peoplesworld via flickr
peoplesworld via flickr

When Republican Governor Scott Walker instituted destructive new rules for public unions, public outcry was enormous. I watched the news and saw pictures of thousands of protestors decrying unfair treatment of Wisconsin’s workers. It was obvious the energy was there, so what did the unions do to funnel that energy? Into a fucking voting booth where anything worth your time goes to die. In reality, if the union bosses wanted anything meaningful to happen to reverse these new limitations, they would have shut the state down with mass wild cat strikes within and without the public sector. It was obvious that the public was on their side, so why not? Because the union bosses have become part of the establishment, stationed to maintain the status quo rather than upset it. Now, we can look and see what a pitifully meaningless outcome has come from funneling all that anger into a voting booth.
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habeebee via flickr
habeebee via flickr

The current debt ceiling crisis is just camouflage for a further enforcement of austerity measures against the workers of this country. Raising this country’s debt-ceiling, an action that has been done nearly 100 times since the 1960′s – seven times within the previous president’s tenure – has now been turned into a giant controversy and a strategy for which the austerity agenda is being pushed forward. The panic inducing threats surrounding the present situation reminds one of the days leading up to the bank bailouts of 2008, where Americans were encouraged only to ogle the looming spectre of the collapse of their way of life, and not to think over the billions of dollars being handed to the very people that created the crisis. While the panic sets in, our rulers will sign away every measure the working classes have fought for in the last century, while continuing the budget draining policies that created the situation. Where does this leave us? As leftists, we work for the emancipation of all women and men while simultaneously working to dismantle the system that creates such crises, but what about when one task interferes with the other?
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daskar via flickr
daskar via flickr

We have discussed already that our nation’s debt is used as the rulers’ greatest asset. It is the ever-present excuse to why again and again our social safety-net is slowly being destroyed by those rich enough to never need it. The tax-cuts made to benefit the rich and the U.S. government’s multiple forever-wars ensure that a debt is maintained for this very purpose. We will see this again very soon with whatever comes to us as a “deal” to raise the debt limit our country can take on. To prevent default, the U.S. government will of course cut some more of the remaining strings of our already barely-there safety net. The discussion surrounding this “deal” will never be whether to cut them or not – but rather how many and how much to cut.
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May 24

The National Debt is Power’s Greatest Asset

by fwoan | Comments Off
Rose of Academe_ via flickr
Rose of Academe_ via flickr

It is the garnish on every politician’s platform. The repeated refrain in every speech listing America’s woes. Not a day goes by where it is not held over our heads, this ominous figure far too large for the human mind to really comprehend. It is the standard excuse for why Americans “can’t have nice things” like even a meager social safety net for its most susceptible citizens. The debt. The huge, disgusting debt. But what if, by some miraculous sequence of events we were to manage to erase this monumental debt of America’s? Would that mean we could finally enter the modern era in regards to welfare for our citizens? For that matter, would these politicians, the ones who constantly beat us over the heads as we cower at their feet, even allow this blight on the land to be removed? Of course not.
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3dom via flickr
3dom via flickr

The unions have been busted. Scott Walker, with the helping hand of the establishment, has stripped public unions of their collective bargaining rights. The rights of unions in this country have been won inch by inch with the blood of thousands of workers, and to see them stripped so easily from us speaks to the traitorous and naive leadership that labor has entrusted with its interests. Nothing should be moving in Wisconsin right now, general strikes should be shutting down everything in the state in order for workers to stand in solidarity with these public unions. We wont see that simply because our labor leaders are just as much a part of the status quo as Walker.
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Mar 2

Those Look Like Comfortable Shoes

by fwoan | Comments Off
LordJumper via flickr
LordJumper via flickr

“And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States.”

Barack Obama, 2007

Could this be any more degrading? I know others have written about this but I think it needs to be spread. The man who has just recently frozen the pay of federal workers for two years is the same man who found it within himself to make this statement without laughing. A pay freeze, a unilateral decision that seems to cut the entire process of collective bargain out of the loop, seems like nothing less than a denial of the rights of working men and women. I want to thank Governor Walker of Wisconsin for giving our country yet another example of how little regard Obama has for those of us without millions (or billions) of dollars and helping to expose another lie of our president’s. At this point in his tenure, I would find it hilarious to see President Obama on a picket line for worker’s rights.
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