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by c. j. macq
Sunday, Oct. 06, 2002 at 5:07 AM
In Part One of this two part series I demonstrated through personal experience how the leftist elite is stifling progressive growth and preventing constructive social change in the United States
(part two: General strategies questioned and proposed)
In Part One of this two part series I demonstrated through personal experience how the leftist elite is stifling progressive growth and preventing constructive social change in the United States making them just as conservative within their own ranks as the people they claim to be fighting against. If I am any indication, and I believe I am, people are leaving the movement by the 100’s or are never being encouraged to join because they aren’t being given the credit due them for their own contributions and sacrifices! I’m about to leave the movement and I haven’t been “allowed” to participate in it yet! We must stop treating those who agree with us like shit. We NEED the disenfranchised to succeed. They are the one’s we’re fighting for! Yet we continue to claim we know what’s best for them and they should just shut up, continue suffering and follow.
It has been about three weeks since the programming director at KPFK has been informed of the error his station made (see Part One) and he still has made NO attempt at correcting it. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable, irresponsible, oppressive and unjust. The people at this station are fraudulent when they claim to be seekers of social justice.
The kind and encouraging statements I made about them at the end of part one are being revoked. They have proved themselves to be no different than the fascist mainstream media they claim to detest and thus have no right to claim they represent the community in any way shape or form. If KPFK doesn’t give a damn about me how can they claim to care about anyone? Aren’t I part of the community?
In my case there were so many avenues of correction KPFK could’ve followed yet they have offered none. The simplest avenue was to merely let me be heard. They didn’t even have to voice an opinion on the matter or take sides. Just let me explain the fact that I was first to suggest a possible connection between 9-11 and the U. S. government and that I was ignored by the leftist elite and that would’ve been the end of it. But unfortunately… they chose to take the cowards way, the capitalist way, the elitist way and refused to allow me my right to correct an error that actually involved me personally.
Why is it so hard for people to admit when they are wrong? This is an elitist and capitalist habit and all it does is perpetuate failure. We on the “left” cannot adopt and practice these same forms of corruption.
Damn I’m wrong all the time… it’s called being human. I make no apologies for it but I damned well have the integrity and ethical character to admit it. As humans we have an obligation to learn from our mistakes not to cover them up and continuously repeat them.
Capitalism is failing all around us, it’s crumbling and disintegrating, yet it is being propped up through propaganda and simple denial of the weaknesses that are inherent in predatory economics. Instead of correcting the real problems that create social misery the capitalists deny these problems and claim the solutions lie in passing more laws, building more prisons, making more arrests and creating more criminals from the masses of poor. The capitalists answer to social ills is to incarcerate everyone capitalism doesn’t benefit. This in fact is the removal of human rights!
And it’s so sad that the left has adopted similar strategies; which in fact, by definition, makes them no longer progressives but conservatives.
Let me comment on other, specific, examples of how leftist conservatism is undercutting the social justice movement. Karl Marx, next to Jesus himself, is probably the most misunderstood and abused man in written human history. Why do we keep referring to him? Marx was wrong about so many things but that’s not the point I’m making. Marx, like all humans, was basically a product of his time. Whether we on the left want to admit it or not he had more relevance to his time than he does today. (The same can be said about Adam Smith.) There are so many intelligent and insightful social philosophers alive today that aren’t being heard because we are too busy quoting (and often out of context) poor ole Mr. Karl. Marx himself, I bet, would be appalled at how we ignore those people who live today, have relevance today, who have new ideas and directions that apply today. Marx was a stepping-stone just like in a hundred years time I’ll no longer be needed because there will, hopefully, be people to take my place and, through the lessons of history, will not be intent upon continuing my mistakes.
Furthermore, the mere mentioning of Marx turns away at least 3 out 5 people who would otherwise support us. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or not, it’s true. So by even mentioning him we are hurting our own cause. Let’s put Marx to bed and move on.
Also the use of the word comrade just alienates people. It is not a social-neutral word. I suggest the simple word friend. It’s universal and inviting… and true.
Simplification is the key to being understood and eventually accepted. Why do as elitists do and overcomplicate matters just to make ourselves appear more intellectual? Economics and human rights are not complicated issues. But the elite intelligentsia (economists, lawyers, industrialists, doctors, published writers, stock brokers, professors, entrepreneurs and politicians) all want you to believe they are.
And let’s stop the overuse of the colors of black and red in out graphics and logos. Let’s broaden our public appeal by reflecting our goals with vibrant and multiple colors that represent all of nature’s varieties.
One thing that Marx stressed that has no application today was who he claimed was most harmed from capitalism. He claimed the workers were the most harmed and he was right in his day. Back then the workers were nearly all poor and the middle class were mainly small-shop owners and barely existed. But, in the west, the socialist union movement created a huge middle class of working people and changed that. Eventually the middle class and the unions turned against the socialism that created them and began to identify themselves more with the elite believing the falsehood that they too will one day be among them.
So now it’s time to shift our focus from the working classes to the poverty classes who today are most harmed by capitalism. In the U. S. there are 50 million of us and include workers (85% of all American poor are employed), single mothers with children, Native Americans (98% of which are poor despite their elite turning to the thieving gambling industry), racial minorities and immigrants, unknown (starving) artists, the elderly, shut-ins, ex-cons (90% of all arrested and 95% of all convicted are poor), people who have lost everything because of family illness... the disenfranchised. We must reach these people who already recognize they’re being screwed and have no where else to turn; LIKE ME!
Three groups of people that we should continue to pursue regardless of their social position are pot enthusiasts, gays and the young; college and high school students. Historically it’s the young who have yet to become so disillusioned as to give up hope of a better world. Many older people who claim to be capitalists are simply socialists who’ve just given up on justice but maintain a shrivel of optimism that they will someday, somehow become rich.
Of course one obstacle to this strategy is leftist funding; membership fees and the constant pursuit and demand for donations that most social justice organizations claim to need to continue their fight. We seek working class members to our organizations because those who can’t pay can’t support us. We need to re-examine this common rationalization. We have no right to demand or even expect payment from the poor, or anyone, in order to join and participate in the social justice movement. That is hypocrisy to the absurd. Participation in and memberships to all social justice events and organizations must be free and open to all who seek to better the world.
Why on Earth do we need so much money? Some of it is for overhead, office space, supplies and just plain operating costs. Okay, I accept that. Regardless of what we believe we are forced to play the capitalist game to some extent.
But most of the money goes to paying exorbitant salaries to administrators as they profit from free material and financial donations and uncompensated volunteers. Our entire movement has been reduced to nothing but another industry scam and the elite who claim to act in our best interest are no better than slick, corporate salesmen who thrive off the labor of others. The large profit-seeking charities like the United Way pay their top administrators millions of donated dollars annually. PBS, Habitat for Humanity, legal aid organizations, the NAACP, Care, labor unions, the ACLU and People for the American Way, religious based charities and all the others act similarly. (sigh.)
Charities and “non-profits’ have become the new “opiate of the people.” Their only function is to create the illusion of elitist philanthropy and bourgeois altruism while offering tax shelters to the rich and making the middle class feel less guilty while perpetuating the social conditions that create the need for a charity industry. Their end result is giving false hope to the poor and creating apathy for the poor. “Why should I do anything to better society when I can just pay someone else to help the poor?” WAKE UP! The poor are not being helped. In fact our conditions are worsening and our numbers are growing.
Just recently I saw an ad KPFK radio posted for a program director that pays ,000 annually! Michael Moore’s books have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for him. Jesse Jackson and son are millionaires. This pattern is now the norm among the leftist elite. My gawd people what have we been reduced to?
When you join the social justice movement sacrifice, not profit, is part of the deal. You have no right to behave and live like the very capitalists you claim to abhor. I DON’T! I live on ,000 a year. I am about to loose my 14 year old vehicle because I can’t afford the registration fees and insurance. I run out of money and can’t buy food nearly every month. I can’t afford simple haircuts or essential eyeglasses. My rent is due to increase again and when it does I will become homeless. Where is my cut of all those billions of dollars in donations you receive? Why aren’t you helping me? That money doesn’t belong to you it belongs to the movement and you aren’t even a real part of the movement. You are all liars and hypocrites and it’s time you step aside and pursue your profits like the rest of the greedy scum who are ruining MY planet.
Poverty fucking sux and I would never ask anyone to purposely enter this socio-economic bracket. The solutions are simple and many. One is all administrators of any organization who seek and exist on donations, use volunteers and that claim to help the poor and seek progressive social change to end poverty and elitism must NOT be paid more than 5% over the poverty level. When they are over compensated they lose touch with the social horrors we who exist in poverty suffer through everyday.
I refuse to become like those who I despise. WE MUST REFUSE TO PROFIT FROM THE MISERY OF OTHERS AT ALL TIMES!
Raising the self-esteem of the poor and disenfranchised must be a priority. Most of the poor I’ve talked to have actually been brainwashed to believe they deserve their plight; that they are inferior and have less to offer society and are in essence worthless. Nothing can be further from the truth.. The leftist elite do nothing by example to squelch that lie.
Also the leftist elite have an enormous attitude problem. Like all elitists they do not believe common courtesy and moral support are important. Phrases like, “good job,” “I never thought of it like that,” “thank you,” “I’m sorry” never pass through the lips of the elite unless it is to manipulate and control.
There are numerous historical strategies, names, phrases and images that fit this problem. It’s time to put away failed strategies people. Yes the elite of the left do what all members of the status quo tend to do; strive to keep things as they are. But for us on the left it’s a different story. Our elite keep preaching the necessities of change while demonstrating the propensity to perpetuate failure. This is a new era. This is today and only the future lies before us so why do we continue to follow those who think in the past?
I like all humans need and deserve encouragement. We poor don’t need to be ignored or pushed into a battle every time we turn around. A mere “yes” rather than the assured “no” would be so damned refreshing. For all the effort I’ve made, people I’ve contacted and organizations I’ve notified I have yet to be given a pat on the back, to hear a “good job’, I have yet to experience any solidarity whatsoever.. This is a divisive path. This is a self-destructive path. This is the path toward failure.
One of the biggest problems on the left is its disunity. The social justice movement MUST encourage, invite and unite if it wants to grow, learn and succeed and I have begun a campaign that will achieve these three essential goals and fuse the movement in a common cause.
A major problem the left faces is being heard by a mass audience; an audience say… like the Ford Motor Company reaches everyday in television commercials alone. Not to mention the enormous audience the combined might of wall street buys every second. Through the media monopoly the elite have sole control over the disbursement of information. I’d say the odds are against us. And it’s deliberate. It’s designed that way. It’s just another example of how capitalism fails society yet it is working perfectly. It denies media access to the critics of capitalism due to a convenient lack of capital. This my friends is where we got ‘em. This is illegal. It’s a crime. It’s not only a human rights violation but a constitutional violation.
The American first amendment that protects freedom of speech doesn’t protect merely our right to talk like every so-called constitutional expert I’ve ever heard will lead you to believe. It protects the right to be heard!; to bring grievances to the attention of the government and have those grievances acted upon and to have those grievances heard by the public without middleman (corporate) censorship so the flaws of society can be corrected. What the hell good is free speech if you aren’t allowed to be heard by anyone and your most basic needs and rights continue to be ignored? So it is quite fundamental and factual that the Bill of Rights protects your right to be heard and don’t let anyone convince you differently.
Why the hell aren’t we suing to protect this human right? And why haven’t we been suing the system itself for the past 40 years? For all the hardship the fighters for civil rights endured in the ‘50’s and 60’s they still accomplished only two major goals. They ended public segregation and poll taxes. And both of these victories were court ordered victories.
Justice IS on our side and the constitution IS on our side. The U. S. Constitution is really a remarkable thing when it isn’t being abused and convoluted to deny rights rather than protect them. We can never forget this.
Eventually our law suits can be broadened to apply to numerous matters but initially we must concentrate on the following four legal objectives: Legal objectives one and two concern equal access to the legal system:
1). The right to free access to the legal system. “Filing fees” and other court costs are exactly equivalent to poll taxes and are designed to achieve the very same goals. Whereas poll taxes prevented the poor from access to the political system “court costs” prevent the poor from access to the legal system. In a capitalist economy taxes are designed and intended to pay for the costs of running the government and, indeed, this includes the courts. When taxes fail to meet these requirements then it is yet another example of the failure of capitalism. Court costs are nothing but additional and selective taxes; user fees. They prevent those who are the most helpless and vulnerable from the ability to seek and gain permanent protection from their abusers.
2). The removal of beauracratic and deliberately confusing forms just to file a law suit. The ridiculous pettiness concerning court and governmental protocol and forms and the strict adherence to how the forms are filled out and when and why… and that each line be filled and only black ink can be used and this line must be left blank and only this form can be used for that and that form can be used for this and that’s the wrong form and you left this line blank and what the fuck is this line and what the hell does this mean?… IT’S ALL DESIGNED TO DENY JUSTICE TO THOSE OUTSIDE OF THE REALM OF THE ELITE; who simply rely on lawyers who spent tens of thousands of tax payer dollars to go to college just to learn what forms do what. It’s all designed to guarantee profits for and demand use of the lawyer industry and to deny legal access to those who can’t afford it. By human rights standards all that is needed to file a lawsuit is to notify the court system of your name and address or phone number so they can reach you to arrange a time for you to appear in court to tell it what the problem is. Then the court does all the rest. It fills out the damned forms (they’ll be simplified then) and notifies the parties involved and you go from there. Problem solved. It ain’t hard to fix problems all you have to do is sincerely want to do it
Legal objectives three and four concern “equal time” laws.
3). The right to be heard and protest without being forced to participate in and contribute to the very system we are protesting against. This is referred to as an “Equal Time Law.” It’s already being practiced but only in one small and meaningless way. Once a year the section of the American capitalist party, be they democrats or republicans, that the president does not belong to, is allowed some time to comment on the president’s state of the union address. (Yes America we have one political party in the U. S. and it is the capitalist party and it’s divided in two to create the illusion of a two-party political system.) The capitalists claim that all opposing views can be heard … with one stipulation. It’s the same stipulation they use to deny other political parties and candidates access to the political system. All political parties and initiatives must prove they represent a certain percentage of the population. In other words if you can afford to get your opinion out there… go for it. This of course is illegal. How can anyone or any organization gain the members to reach that officially required percentage of the population if the capitalist controlled media won’t allow us to be heard to begin with? This applies to the right to publicly protest without paying fees as well. The last time I read the constitution there was no stipulation that the political process can be limited by wealth.
4). To force all businesses, Better Business Bureaus, chamber’s of commerce and governmental consumer protection agencies to open up all records to the public and to have one random complaint accompany each commercial. Corporate America does not have the right to just lie and lie and lie because they “pay” for air time. All consumers have a right to respond to those lies and expose the truth of how these corporations steal from and otherwise abuse their customers.
We cannot use profit seeking lawyers in any of these lawsuits. The phrase “Anyone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client” is nothing but a marketing strategy to scare people into contributing to the lawyer industry. Of course in many cases capitalists have designed the legal system to force the use of lawyers but more about that at another time.
Lawyers, of course, like all people, will be welcome to join the movement. And lawyers will be encouraged to participate even in a legal capacity but each lawyer must meet two criteria; first they must adhere to the financial standards I will outline later in this article and secondly they must admit to the real role lawyers were meant to play in any legal system and act accordingly; and that roll is as advisors only. Lawyers were never meant to become tyrants who tell their clients and society what will be done. They, like medical doctors, were, from the beginning, only meant to be advisors; to give numerous options and strategies to their clients and let those clients make the decisions on which options or strategies to pursue.
In each legal battle we encounter was must ALWAYS use juries. For every lose, and we will loose a lot at first my friends, we file 5 more suits. We sue in federal courts, in state courts and local jurisdictions. We sue and sue and sue and WE NEVER GIVE UP! We will use, but never abuse, the same system that oppresses us to demand and ultimately gain our freedom! That’s what the courts are for.
The right to court access will apply to everyone regardless... it is a universal right. But the right to media equal time will not apply to every person or organization that isn’t being heard. There must be standards. And I suggest the standards are as follows:
1). A declaration of the fact that predatory economics is detrimental to society.
2). A declaration of intent to abolish the use of a monetary system and to establish a money-less economy. I’m not referring to a cash-less economy which is more tyrannical than what we have now but a completely non-monetary economy. If you do not agree with this then you can use the monetary system we have now and buy time just like all the rest of the capitalists.
3). Denounce elitism in any form. Lifelong appointments and professional positions must be denounced specifically; including politicians, corporate and union executives, news anchors, entertainers and the like. I, for one, never agreed to give Clinton, Gates, Jennings, Cruise, Jordan or anyone else lifelong luxury because of the elite positions they luckily have attained. But this also includes lifelong appointments of those who use force to perpetuate this elite like cops and other government officials. The police and all power positions MUST be maintained by a rotating use of voluntary citizens. This is the best way to assure social power will never be concentrated or abused.
5). Donations can not be sought or even hinted at nor products sold on the air but the invitation to free participation and membership will be essential.
6). The administrators of any organization or any individual who applies to use this right must not exceed an annual salary of 5% over the poverty line. This standard applies to any lawyer who wishes to aid us in the cause of social justice as well.
7). After compensating the administrators and volunteers their fair allotted amount, all donations received by anyone will go equally towards local/national funds to immediately house the homeless, then directly to aid the rest of the poor themselves and finally to continue financing our legal battles. (Funding for our events, protests and the like will be provided by each participant in those respective events and protests).
I think I covered about everything there but of course it’s open to additions. Remember though, we don’t want to become bureaucratic and make the list too long. After all, uniting the left is part of the objective here. The standards must remain simple and direct so as to represent all who seek real social justice.
This of course will be slow process so I am advocating the use of protests now to get the word out… THERE IS A NEW LEFT, COME JOIN US! But maybe we should change the focus of our protests. We need to protest those very organizations earlier mentioned like the ACLU, legal aid societies, Unions, the NAACP, United Way, PBS, leftist and liberal publications and Amnesty International to get them to get their acts together and start demanding the social change needed to eliminate the need for their own existence. These and all social justice organizations are not careers but a means to an end.
Unless you are willing to accept these universal ideals and goals you have no right to further consider yourself a seeker of the solution but a continuation of the problem. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t listen to what people say, even me, look at how people act and live then you’ll see the truth about them. And this applies as much to Bush’s joke of “compassionate conservatism” as well to the “radical” elite.
One of my biggest complaints with the now defunct TV show “Politically Incorrect” was how damned insulting it was to hear rich people discuss and rationalize the problems of the poor. I think of this stuff every waking moment. I think of the pain and misery of others constantly because I live it!
Once recently, while car-pooling to a socialist meeting a friend mentioned how she was pursuing a career in real estate. Uh? A socialist dreaming of profiting from the selling and buying of the property of others; property that in fact belongs to us all. I tried to kindly tell her she would only become part of the problem but she would hear none of it. This is the type of mind set among our own ranks that need corrected. We must stop seeing the future while wearing capitalist blinders.
We must stop thinking in capitalist terms. We must re-invent ourselves; our very nature: as we see ourselves as well as the image that we present to the world.
While we are suing and protesting why not spend some of that money we acquire on poli-mercials. Hell if the media elite won’t give us news coverage we’ll buy air-time until the law suits have an impact. What better way to re-introduce ourselves to a disillusioned America and show them what we are really all about; optimism, compassion, equality, upbeat encouragement, humanhood, progression and justice. Greenpeace and PETA have both gone this route. But we must adhere to the same conditions and intent as outlined above. And if any local stations refuse to air our message… there’s another law suit right there.
Also we need to protest evictions; every eviction we can find. And then actively help those evicted. I once conducted a one man protest against my own inevitable homelessness. I contacted numerous organizations and was, of course, completely ignored (except for one organization that actually betrayed me) and the protest failed miserably… bit I TRIED!
And we must begin to re-utilize the “sit-in.” It is the best passive resistance method out there. I actually prefer the sit to street protests but why not do both and much more often? There should be a protest or sit-in every weekend!
It’s time for a change my friends; for a new direction. It’s time we act as we preach and unite in this new sincerity to achieve these universal goals of social justice through these added strategies. It’s time to turn our land of sour-milk and money into the fair and just society that it can become. The American poor are crying out in desperation and hopelessness. Who wants to join me and unite in these new objectives and strategies? Who wants to help me in this new campaign to unite the left, gain legal access and media equity?
c. j. macq
equality IS freedom!
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