We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

With Our Opponent On The Ropes, It’s Time To Go On the Offensive

by Richard Mellor Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2009 at 3:16 PM

The pages of the capitalist press reveal the level of concern they have over the survival of their system

Richard Mellor
AFSCME 444 Retired
Oakland CA

And they are on the ropes---just ask them

“A reckoning looms if ordinary people come to believe that US capitalism is a rigged system run by insiders for their own benefit.” So writes Matt Miller in today’s Financial Times.* He is attributing this understanding to “patriotic chief executives” who he sees as different from the bad executives that have acted with abandon and taken $100 million dollar bonuses as they drove their companies in to the ground.

Miller is a strategist of capital, one of their theoreticians. He is a management consultant and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Like many of them in the midst of the worst crisis since the great depression, he is concerned about the future of the system. Progress for Miller, is a stable environment for the accumulation of capital, stable in the sense that the exploitation of human beings can take place with the least resistance. There is a need to curb some of the excesses that might threaten this stability.

Miller is no egalitarian. What scares him is the potential power of the working class, not just in the United States, but also throughout the world. He appeals to the “patriotic” capitalists to curb the excesses of the greedy ones; those who have given themselves exorbitant bonuses and executive pay. To those capitalists who are concerned about the public flaunting of wealth and unrestrained plunder but have said nothing he warns them that this is not the best form of class solidarity. They think it is not “their fight”. Their fear, although he doesn’t admit it, is that curbing profit taking in any area could spread; a daunting prospect. But the risk is worth it. “I have news for this silent majority” he writes, “If you care about the future of American business, the brewing revolt makes it your fight now.” The “brewing revolt”. We should take note; Miller is not a sensationalist, but a sober representative of the capitalist class.

Along with curbs on pay-----an issue of note primarily because it is information more easily accessible to the public as opposed to profit rates and all the other forms of plunder hidden between the pages of business ledgers------Miller wants a more progressive capitalism, a better “social contract”. He stresses the need to make American workers feel “more secure in an era of accelerating change”. The new capitalist visionaries who can pull the system out of the quicksand must deal with health care, a basic human need. He wants the outdated system where business is a major provider of health coverage changed and the burden shifted to the taxpayer; it has become too expensive for business and is a tinderbox waiting to explode on to the streets if something isn’t done about it: “14, 000 people a day have lost their health coverage during this recession” he adds. The state of health care in the US is abysmal. In 1993 health care spending was $912 billion and there were 37 million uninsured. In 2008 health care spending was $2.5 trillion with 47 million uninsured, a failure by any measure. See Facts For Working People at: http://www.clnews.org/forums/showthread.php?p=16101#post16101

This crisis along with job losses and home evictions is a major factor in the family annihilations that occur almost daily in the US. People who have worked all their lives, done everything right, and have found themselves without access to medical care or a roof over their heads simply snap. With no significant social movement to which people can turn, the future offers only darkness and with the dominant ideology that we are in control of our own destiny and solely responsible for our condition, the guilt and feeling of personal failure is overwhelming.

Miller is basically calling on a section of the capitalist class to show a way forward as many theoreticians of capital have done in response to the crisis of their system; which amounts to the failure of the US model and discrediting of its heroes like Alan Greenspan. He recognizes the freedom of capital to go where it pleases throughout the globe and that this means a loss of manufacturing jobs in the west but he hopes the service sector can provide the benchmark for entry in to what he calls the “middle class” as auto did in the past.

This mobility is crucial: “How can the US turn this kind of work into jobs that can sustain a family?” he asks his readers. He adds, “Failure to acknowledge the centrality of this question will only deepen the perception that there is a corrosive gap between the interests of US based corporations and those of Americans.” There has always been a corrosive gap between the interests of workers and capitalists, their goal is to soften this experience, to convince people that that gap can be bridged, that it is not a chasm---this is, after all, the land of opportunity.

One commentator stated that if you want the American Dream, go to Norway. The end of the post second world war upswing has seen a steady decline in living standards and opportunity for American workers. There have been within organized Labor attempts to drive back the offensive, particularly during the eighties, and while the leadership of these efforts bear some responsibility for their failures, the main reason for these defeats is that every strike, every struggle was faced with a powerful opponent, a combination of the employers and the heads of organized Labor.

The capitalist class, their political representatives in the Republican and Democratic parties and the trade Union officialdom, are equally terrified of the revolutionary potential of the working class. There is a daily ideological war being waged to convince workers that the system is not at fault, it is just a few rotten apples. Union leaders, local officials, academics and politicians are all soldiers in this ideological war, a war to contain class hatred and anger at the system and those that benefit from it. It is a war waged to prevent us from seeing our existence as it really is.

But in the last analysis, consciousness has a material base. They will not contain this anger forever. This is a lesson we should learn from our enemies, bourgeois strategists like Matt Miller. They read history. They remember the factory occupations of the 30’s, the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s and the rich militant history of the American working class that has been driven underground. They know better than the liberals who see the American working class as this reactionary mass incapable of acting in our own interest and that needs to be led----by them. The capitalist class is concerned, afraid of the potential power of the working class, as is the Union hierarchy, that, like rotten apples on a tree would fall with the first strong gale.

Miller warns his colleagues, the captains of industry, “Chief executives face a choice. They can help bolster workers’ security, or they can hire more security guards and hunker down.” These words alone confirm the real state of things, the ever-present class divide, and reveal why the patriotic nonsense about national unity and all being in this together is a con game. Capitalism will emerge from this crisis in the absence of an alternative. It will almost certainly pass through a period of some restraint and regulation. But the system itself drives it to exploit Labor power in is rapacious thirst for profit and will enter deeper crisis ahead.

As a representative of capital Miller is telling us that we are strong, stronger than we think. That we can bring down this rotten system, this so-called free market. Even when anger takes the form of indiscriminate rioting as it often does in its early stages, political currents inevitably develop as people begin to question the system itself and look for alternatives. Miller appeals to his rescuers to step forward, appeals to the new leaders to take the helm. We are in a similar position, but our goals are different.

If we have doubts about the fragile nature of the system in the present crisis we should heed Miller’s parting words: “With business nearing the brink, who will answer the call?”

* Business Needs To Speak Out Against Greed FT 4-21-09

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

test O06 10:01AM

test O06 9:59AM

test O06 9:59AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

Weaponizing Frequencies O02 2:41PM

Google Abuses: Worldwide Spying, Censorship, War Promotion, Spying On Children, Etc O02 11:08AM

Paraphysique de l'administration O02 8:34AM

Paraphysique O02 8:31AM

Affordable Rents? A State of Emergency Intensifies O01 11:36AM

A Few Of Many Impeachable Acts by Trump Sessions And Others O01 4:41AM

Désengrammation, l'éloge de la suite S30 7:01AM

someone Should Work In Hollywood - Good Acting! S28 2:55PM

Ford Gives Psych Drugs To Lower Class To Shut Them Up? S28 2:51PM

Hilllary Calls Ford Trailer Trash? S28 2:47PM

Most Rapes Are In Marriages S28 2:43PM

Nice Boys Dirty Deeds S28 2:41PM

Minnesota 2nd Largest Rape State S28 2:39PM

Paraphysique de la plus-value S28 7:18AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy