[Marxism] Big Brother’s Eye on the Hood/Roll Over George Orwell!/Corporate Solutions to Corporate Problems

Bonnie Weinstein giobon at comcast.net
Mon Aug 4 13:35:21 MDT 2014

Big Brother’s Eye on the Hood

By Bonnie Weinstein

In a June 4, 2014 article in the New York Times by James C. McKinley, Jr., titled “Police and DA Team Up to Reduce Crime,”

“As part of a new template for relations between the two agencies, the district attorney’s office will provide the police with more than $20 million from drug forfeiture cases to pay for new technology. That money will go for security cameras, fiber-optic information systems and hand-held tablets that will feed police officers data about suspects…”

“The Police Department, in turn, will provide the district attorney’s Crime Strategies Unit access to more of the data it collects not only on reported crimes but also on suspects…

“The commissioner said he envisioned a ‘seamless web’ of information flowing between prosecutors and the police.”

In another Times article dated June 8, 2014 by Matt Apuzzo titled, “War Gear Flows to Police Departments,”

“Weighing 30 tons and built to withstand land mines, the armored combat vehicle is one of hundreds showing up across the country, in police departments big and small.

“…as President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s ‘long season of war,’ the former tools of combat—M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more—are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice….

“During the Obama administration…police departments have received tens-of-thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.

Putting two and two together

Clearly, the United States government is preparing for an outburst of outrage by working people at the increasingly deteriorating quality of life they must endure. Capitalism is helpless to stop the decline of living conditions. It must inflict austerity on workers in order to increase the rate of profit and accumulation of wealth among the tiny, one-tenth-of-one-percent who are the commanders of the capitalist class and their minions.

They will not aim these grenade launchers and armored tanks inside the gated communities of the wealthy. They won’t send drones into the backyards of the mansions to look through their windows to spy on their private lives. These weapons of mass destruction and the spyware associated with them will be planted in the communities of the poor and working class.

And while the CEOs collect billions in bonuses, the pennies, credit records and bank statements of the masses of working people will be scrutinized under a microscope to expose even the tiniest irregularity that can be used against someone, turning poverty into the ultimate crime.

This is the nature of a dictatorship—rule by force of violence by a tiny minority. It is barbaric. Capitalism is the highest stage of barbarism—there is no democracy under capitalism.

The only solution to this horror is to take democratic control of our society and create a world without hate, greed, war and injustice—a world where production is based on need, not profit—a loving and compassionate world where the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

The only way to achieve this reachable goal is organize democratically and in unity and solidarity with each other based on our common interests and desires. We must stay committed to the idea that an injury to one is an injury to all. This is the fundamental basis of power behind our ability to create a new and beautiful world. We are the majority. Together we can win a new world!


Roll Over George Orwell!

By Bonnie Weinstein

Two articles on the same subject, workplace surveillance, appeared in the June 21, 2014 New York Times. One was titled, “Unblinking Eyes Track Employees Workplace Surveillance Sees Good and Bad”1 and the other was titled, “Workplace Surveillance and the ‘Transparency Paradox’,”2 both were by Steve Lohr.

In the first article, “Unblinking Eyes Track Employees Workplace Surveillance Sees Good and Bad,” the author points out, “Advanced technological tools are beginning to make it possible to measure and monitor employees as never before, with the promise of fundamentally changing how we work—along with raising concerns about privacy and the specter of unchecked surveillance in the workplace.” The article explains how some companies are “…using sensor-rich ID badges worn by employees. These sociometric badges, equipped with two microphones, a location sensor and an accelerometer, monitor the communications behavior of individuals—tone of voice, posture and body language, as well as who spoke to whom for how long.”

In the second article, “Workplace Surveillance and the ‘Transparency Paradox’,” this “surveillance” was referred to as, “transparency, on workers’ behavior and productivity.”

Isn’t it ironic that asking corporations to open their books to public scrutiny is called “invasion of privacy,” while watching and recording every word and every move an employee makes is called “transparency?” Roll over George Orwell!

1	 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/technology/workplace-surveillance-sees-good-and-bad.html?ref=business

2	 http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/21/workplace-surveillance-and-the-transparency-paradox/?src=busln


Corporate Solutions to Corporate Problems

By Bonnie Weinstein

In an article that appeared in the June 23, 2014 New York Times by David Gelles titled, “An Employee Dies, and the Company Collects the Insurance,”

“Employees at The Orange County Register received an unsettling email from corporate headquarters this year. The owner of the newspaper, Freedom Communications, was writing to request workers’ consent to take out life insurance policies on them. But the beneficiary of each policy would not be the survivors or estate of the insured employee, but the Freedom Communications pension plan.”

This insurance swindle has taken hold throughout the corporate world. In fact, according to same the article,

“Bank of America’s policies have a cash surrender value of at least $17.6 billion. If Wells Fargo had to redeem its policies tomorrow, it would reap at least $12.7 billion. JPMorgan Chase would collect at least $5 billion...”

In another article appearing in the Times the same day by Hilary Stout, Bill Vlasic, Danielle Ivory and Rebecca R. Ruiz titled, “G.M. Prepares to Count Cost of Suffering,” the authors explain that after years of inaction to address the problem of a defective ignition switch in Cobalts and several other models of General Motors cars, GM will have to,

“…deal with hundreds of injury claims that the company has refused to discuss or characterize. Some experts predict the cost to the company could run into the billions of dollars, exceeding the payouts related to deaths linked to the defect.”

Poor GM. Maybe they could take out life insurance policies on all of their employees and then give each one of them a brand new Cobalt!

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