[Marxism] YADL (Yet another disillusioned liberal)/all class unity is wrong
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Sat Apr 4 14:26:03 MDT 2009
Ideology accounts for much of the passivity of the American workers.
The ideologies of all-class unity have been ingrained in the public psyche
for generations. My own thoughts is that this ideology is not peculiar to
America but an important component of the ideological landscape of all the
leading capitalist countries. These ideologies have roots in the capital labor
relation itself, as systematic production and is reinforced as the self moving
logic of reproduction. Labor at all times live and reproduces itself at the
mercy of capital.
Perhaps chief among them is the philosophical assertion that lies at the
heart of the case made for American exceptionalism, i.e. that we are essentially
a classless society because American society is founded upon the primacy of
the individual. Hence the role of government is simply to provide the
"opportunity" for each individual to become all they can be. So the workers find
themselves pitted against one another in the market place competing for fewer and
fewer low-wage jobs. It is every man and woman for themselves, and if they
don't succeed, then it must be because they made bad choices. This ideology
mask the capital-labor relation, which appears as a law of nature to each
successive generation. Beneath the ideology is the proposition that capital lives
and thrives on wage labor and wage labor rest exclusively on the basis of
competition between wage laborers. Being pitted against each other in the battle
for survival is not a natural condition of human existence; most certainly
not in a society of plenty.
Competition between laborers for wages means a lot of people must lose in
order for some to win.
The ideology of individual and personal responsibility means that you don't
begrudge the success of the rich and you are opposed to anything resembling a
handout from the government. Entitlements - (sovereign birth rights), mean
"something for nothing," and in a time when jobs are disappearing, the ethic
of hard work is upheld (as the ideological pivot of the bourgeois order). So
the individual is to be unfettered by downsized government and reduced taxes
on the rich. Well, human being have sovereign birth rights, spoken and
unspoken and a government not responsive to and protecting these rights has no moral
right to existence and should be overturned and replaced with a civic
authority responsible to the people. Revolution is a sovereign birth right
legalized in our Constitution as perhaps the most sacred right in the whole document
and most certainly the single idea that needs to be preserved forever.
It is right to rebel.
In these uncertain times people see the decline of their culture and find
their families in peril. They experience the erosion of "traditional" values;
they look out of their windows and it looks like the end of the world; they
look to their faith for moral absolutes, for guidance and personal salvation.
"The system has always recovered and today is no different. I need patients,"
is the thinking of millions.
Well, patients are important . . . . But mostly to nurses. Weight broke the
camels back and while waiting one must consider their civic and moral
responsibility to opposed and overturn an unjust social order.
Appeals to patriotism and national unity are another expression of all-class
unity. Each generation gives its pound of flesh in wars of aggression, that
in the last instance only feed the war machine. In time of war and global
instability, pride of country gets translated as a justification for empire, and
even immigrants are scapegoated as a threat to the American way of life.
Reinforced with the steady drumbeat of fear, all are called upon to unite in
defense of the "homeland." Yesterday in fact, some frustrated man in New York
killed 13 people - immigrants, learning English in order to make their
transition into our society easy. Patriotic chauvinism fuels crimes against new
Month after month at least 500,000 (half a million) people are being laid
off and thousands each month become homeless. The March 2009 figure is 660,000
addition workers have lost their jobs. Who is to blame? More importantly,
"what is wrong?"
As the deteriorating economic conditions undercut the foundation of all
class unity ideologies, there are signs that the entire complex of ruling class
ideologies is beginning to lose its grip. Not all at one time, but a process of
loosening is taking place. Within the evangelical communities of faith, for
example, there is an emerging concern about the plight of the poor, the
environment and human rights. Individual workers, no matter how hard they toil,
see their lives and their families destroyed due to no fault of their own as
they are swept up in the race to the bottom. Government does not answer their
needs. Persuaded to put their faith in corporate solutions, they find these
too fail to deliver.
None of the solutions offered within the electoral arena offer any real
answers to the millions of Americans who are engaged in a search for solutions to
their plight. At the start of this months, the indigent of Michigan began
receiving $40 addition on their bridge cards (food stamps) due to the actions of
the Obama administration. $40 a month helps, but millions are left out of
the social safety net. The people want change, but the only options they are
offered are one or another version of all-class unity. Indeed, when the content
of our time is polarization, antagonism, and social destruction, the
ideological complex of all-class unity can ultimately only be a call for a fascist
solution to the crisis.
The objective polarity today is between absolute wealth and absolute
poverty. The ideological polarity is between the ideologies of capital and
capitalism versus the ideology of the new proletariat increasingly finding itself
outside the civic society of the bourgeoisie and entire layers of workers being
pushed lower and lower.
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