This 1920 political cartoon pretty much sums up the relationship between working people and the United States government (the protector of rich people). Uncle Sam, who likes to see everyone working, and not causing "trouble" (for rich people), uncovers the socialist IWW (International Workers of the World) leading workers in a rail strike. Uncle is having none of that, as his number one job is to protect American business from labor. As the National Archives explains this cartoon: "The I.W.W. leadership was viewed with great disdain and fear by company owners and by many government leaders, and the country was already gripped by the "red scare" about socialist/communist ideas." By the time the capitalists had wrecked the world, once again, in 1933, and Americans were suffering horribly in the Great Depression, the "socialist/communist ideas" no longer seemed so worrisome, even to Uncle, who tried out a child's menu portion of socialism in the New Deal. Of course, it wouldn't last.
We are told, constantly by the fascist MSM, that America is the model of the world when it comes to the freedom to choose what you want to do—if that is defined to mean “what you want to do—within the narrow scope of choices offered by a capitalist economy and its defects”.
People chant: jobs! jobs! jobs! as if having the opportunity to make somebody else wealthy in return for getting crumbs on the dollar of your labor is better than starving on the street, or as if a system where that’s the choice for the vast majority of people is worth keeping.
The capitalist system deranges people’s thinking, from the nitwitted president currently in charge of the maniacs and monsters of the United States government (the Congress is completely despised and trusted only by crony capitalists, who own it), to the poor workers, who (we are told again and again by the "liberal" side of the fake debate) just want a chance to work hard—to stay poor.
The few people who speak up to say: but this is nuts!, at the least let’s raise the minimum wage, are denounced as “socialists”—like that’s a bad thing—and America haters. Again, that derangement comes down to how you define things. And if America is, as it always was, made by and for rich white men (sardonically referred to as "the people"), it will be defined in such a way that the interests and values of the rich are the only ones given respect and authority and power.
That is where the myths of the American dream and working hard to succeed come into play in the terrible, cynical game. For a while, after the much-hated labor unions had finally won a few concessions from business, many workers (not most, but many) had better chances than before to give their families, their kids, better lives. The capitalist apologists who tell you that was all about "the system" working are lying.
It was about the rich people being afraid. For a while, they were afraid—and they were taxed, regulated, and looked upon with justifiable suspicion by most Americans. That all changed when the Republicans managed to convince the stupid white people in the nation—i.e. half-educated rubes down South and in the West—that voting for rich people was a way to insure that the "right" to be a racist, woman-hating, gun-loving fool would be protected.
Off came the regulatory protections against unrestrained capitalism. On came the war against labor unions, and against worker rights and at least a modest share of the wealth unions had obtained in the first half of the 20th century. On came the war against minorities, against poor people, against women (the majority demographic), and most recently and repulsively, against immigrants.
Clear Evidence Of The War Against Working People
So, we now learn that in Seattle, an alleged socialist worker’s haven, where the city leaders had the compassion and supposed wisdom to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, the city’s business community, viewing itself as the chump in the city’s plan, is fighting back. As Reuters reports this week:
“A Seattle business group has submitted signatures to try to force a public vote to repeal a municipal measure that would raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, a leader of the organization said on Thursday…The proposal would ask Seattle voters to repeal a $15 minimum wage increase that was approved by a unanimous vote of the City Council last month and signed by Mayor Ed Murray.”Why would voters do such a thing?
Oh, how about these two reasons:
1. The business community is well organized and obviously well funded to dominate any media campaign informing people before the public vote. The opposition, made up of the many workers who actually need to have their measly paychecks increased to a minimum of $15/hour, certainly have no financial resources to oppose the businesses.
2. The business community is using a heinous (and usual) form of coercion, threatening that whatever is in the interests of workers—given that this must automatically be opposed to the interests of businesses (since it represents higher costs) will force many companies to leave Seattle altogether, and this will ultimately harm workers by sending them from low-wage to no-wage.
That the debate should be carried on in these terms, without the business community being deemed domestic terrorists, is a sign of the essential absurdity and hopelessness of the capitalist system gasping its last.
For one thing, the business community, always seeking lower and lower costs, has a plan: and that is to drive wages down to the lowest point possible—not lowest point a decent human being would allow himself to pay to poor fellow human beings, but lowest possible. And that is why so many undocumented workers are preferred to legal workers in the USA.
Given the first priority of business, to make money, eliminating the human worker from the system, first by impoverishing workers to the point of slavery, and second by automating all operations so that no humans are required—thus even making slavery economically more costly than automation—the position of the American worker is doomed.
What that means is that no matter how cheaply a business can be made to run, by impoverishing and eliminating workers, a key component of the alleged benefit business is supposed to supply to society, has gone missing. The market is not filling up with more and more workers making more and more money. Quite the opposite. So where will the demand to sustain business growth come from?
Millions of American workers have simply dropped out of the work force over the past six years. That is a key reason the unemployment rate has dropped. The “recovery”, which is true for businesses and rich Americans, has never happened for everyone else.
But that's OK.
Because in this age of globalization, rich people can simply sell things to people—all over the world. And if that doesn't make them enough money, the rich (and the very soulless smart beasts on Wall Street) have an even better idea—running stock market scams on the aspiring rich.
All of this comes down to a simple, ancient, truth: if you allow someone to dominate you, to tell you what to do (because they claim it is good for you), to tell you what is right and wrong (because their definitions of morality and justice really work out great—for them), to tell you your life has value only insofar as it serves the wealth-building (stealing) schemes of capitalist monsters, you deserve what you're getting.
There are alternatives to being a fool.
Wolf Up!—or sheep out!