Here’s why people stormed the senate yesterday.
This is class war, what does that mean?
For me, hearing that the guards in the senate/house did nothing means that there is a level of fellow feeling between the protestors and the people who work as police or security guards in these buildings.
That means that there could be a sort of understanding, like, “how dare they get healthcare for life when I lose healthcare as soon as my body breaks down and I can no longer work?”
Class war is part of white supremacy. It is part of how it is perpetuated. “We” know better than “them”, and them usually means poorer people. It can also mean people who are not white. Let me back up a few hundred years.
When slavery happened in the US and people ancestrally from Africa started having babies with people ancestrally from Europe, elites started to worry about a blurring of lines between “Black” and “White” people. (Learned this from a book called “The History of White People” by Nell Irvin Painter).
So they had to figure out a way to separate people who economically were suffering the same struggles, poor whites and blacks. They decided to create terms like “crackers” which were euphemisms for poor whites, and enter eugenics stage left to explain why whites were superior.
Bringing us back to the present, and yesterday’s protest, and I quote “The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite by Michael Lind” page 133,
“Repression is cheaper than co-optation. It is easier for the managerial overclasses of the West to simply marginalize populist politicians who represent legitimate popular grievances in the name of combating one or another illusory menace to democracy.
… Overclass establishments will then exaggerate the danger of populism to dismantle democracy, triggering a vicious cycle of oligarchic repression and demagogic disruption.”
The next chapter is entitled: Workerless paradise, the inadequacy of neoliberal reform, which I thought was a pretty good summation of why we need UBI. (But we can’t stop there, of course!)
What’s the alternative? “The alternative to technocratic neoliberalism and demagogic populism is democratic pluralism. .. (which means) electoral democracy is a necessary but not sufficient condition for democracy,… “substantial areas of policy dedicated to rule-making institutions representing different portions of the community.”
Contemporary Philanthropy Perpetuates Class War.
What people need are mutual aid societies more than holding up the precarious environment of individual nonprofits. As I went to 6 online conferences last year and listened to people attending, I heard that what was working for community organizing was just becoming a hub for what people need. Turn your field office into a food pantry, a place for people to work on their resumes and find jobs. We come from the community. We ignore what it needs at our peril. No matter what our missions, we need to look at how to be more helpful to the community now.
Cynically call it staying relevant if you wish. I prefer to think of it as looking at the desperate need in this country for stability and security, and trying to provide it as long as we can. Whether it’s making PPE devices, organizing for policy initiatives like Universal Basic Income, or forgiveness of student debt, you have a machine that can work for what the world needs now.