Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The Boot

People who are ideologically prohibited from seeing capitalism as the obvious source of society's ills are forced to make up other things to blame those ills on like elite pedovore cabals, Jews, immigrants, the LGBT community, and Satan.

Vastly outnumbering your rulers but choosing not to overthrow them because you think the status quo might someday make you wealthy is the same as having all the power in the world and trading it away for a lottery ticket.--Caitlin Johnstone, For Warmongers It's Always 1938

The Boot

by C.A. Matthews

Have you ever felt like you had the weight of the world on your shoulders? How about the weight of the world resting upon your neck like a giant yoke? A yoke you're forced to wear in order to keep pulling and pulling a heavy load uphill without ceasing?

Most Americans have learned since the BLM Summer of 2020 just how dangerous having an immense weight resting on your neck can be. But can you imagine having this weight resting on your neck, crushing your shoulders, breaking your back without reprieve since the day you were born, perhaps even before you were born? Can you imagine never experiencing freedom from this immense weight in your lifetime or even in your children's or grandchildren's lifetimes?

That's what "the boot" of capitalism feels like for most Americans. We realize as we grow older that we can never escape the boot's weight no matter what we do. We discover through life experiences, for good and for ill, that we'll never be rich enough or white enough or the "correct" gender or connected to the movers-and-shakers of our society enough.

We learn that there's no way for a poor worker to get ahead of the day-to-day grind to survive in a society run by insanely wealthy oligarchs (or billionaires if you like to think of them that way). There is no one in a position of leadership who can stand up and plead our case, either, because these self-same oligarchs own the vast majority of our political leaders. It's a most effective form of slavery, too.

Our political leaders love to be owned by these capitalists. Cash passes freely from the briefcases of the corporate lobbyists and into the pockets of our elected representatives at all levels--federal, state, and local. The oligarchs, emboldened with how easy it is to own the US government, openly mainstreamed this activity through a Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United. The courts state that spending massive amounts of money to influence politicians is "free speech." We who struggle find now that we have no voice.

Money--or capital--talks. And many people who are struggling seem to listen to the money/capital rather than to their own insights or those of  their fellow strugglers. These misguided folk somehow think that they're what John Steinbeck called "temporarily embarrassed millionaires." Tomorrow they'll be flying around the globe in their own luxury jet or sailing the seas on their own $500 million yacht just like Amazon's Jeff Bezos. Just you wait and see.

 Whether they realize it or not, American workers have much more in common with each other than they do a billionaire clown like Bezos.  No matter where or how they work--white collar, blue collar, no collar at all--all workers are powerless to raise the federal minimum wage, which hasn't increased in decades and remains at $7.25/hour. Workers are powerless to move it even one red cent. The Haves make sure the Have-nots will never get ahead or even get close to their level of financial security. The Haves knowingly and without empathy for the workers' plight maintain their superiority in capital and political power at our expense.

 And still, some struggling American workers idolize these tormentors, praise their persecutors. Perhaps you're one of them. I've got to ask you a question then: What has a billionaire ever done for you personally? Why do you think they'll care about you enough to do anything for you in the future?

Has Bill Gates ever walked up to you and given you food when you were hungry and didn't have a penny to your name? Has Elon Musk ever offered to make good on your past due rent or mortgage payments? Is Jeff Bezos currently paying off your medical debt or student loans?

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then I could see why you'd sincerely love that person. They were kind and helped you out when you needed it. Otherwise, why do you assume oligarchs (or Haves) like Gates, Musk, or Bezos give a rat's ass about you or any other working class American?

Wake up and smell their stinky foot fungus!

The Haves wear "the boot" of capitalism. They will continue to rest that boot heavily upon your neck until you do something to stop them from doing so. What can you do? You must learn to work together with your fellow strugglers to throw off the billionaire class that oppresses all workers everywhere.  

Stop pretending you're better (or worse) off than others who live under the tyranny of capitalism. Reach out and join or form a union with your fellow workers. Propose and establish workers' co-ops and the like. Be creative!

Practice caring and support for one another through mutual aid societies. Don't leave anyone behind. Why? you ask. Easy--would you like to be left behind? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Workers organizing and coming together to demand fair pay and fair treatment is what the oligarchs fear the most. United, workers have the power and ability to kick "the boot" off each others' necks. Freed from tyranny, they can build a fair and just society for all.

Together we can create a beautiful and healthier planet where the weight of the world will be shared by all, not only by those without capital.

Very revealing quote of the week: 

"A Bank of America executive stated that “we hope” working Americans will lose leverage in the labor market in a recent private memo obtained by The Intercept. Making predictions for clients about the U.S. economy over the next several years, the memo also noted that changes in the percentage of Americans seeking jobs “should help push up the unemployment rate.”

The memo, a “Mid-year review” from June 17, was written by Ethan Harris, the head of global economics research for the corporation’s investment banking arm, Bank of America Securities. Its specific aspiration: “By the end of next year, we hope the ratio of job openings to unemployed is down to the more normal highs of the last business cycle.” (...)

The memo is an uncanny demonstration that the economist Adam Smith was right when he described the politics of inflation in his famed 1776 work, “The Wealth of Nations.”

“High profits tend much more to raise the price of work than high wages,” Smith argued. “Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price. … They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.”

Thus, exactly as Smith would have predicted, Bank of America complains loudly about the bad effects of high wages in raising prices, but appears to be silent about the pernicious effects of high profits.

This is especially remarkable given the role that corporate profits have played in the recent increase in inflation. After-tax corporate profits stood at 8.1 percent of the economy at the beginning of 2020 but have since shot up to as high as 11.8 percent of the GDP. In an economy the size of the U.S., that equals an increase of more than $700 billion in profits per year. These higher corporate profits have been the cause of over 50 percent of recent price increases.

Instead, the memo is focused on the enticing prospect of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, slowing the economy, and bludgeoning workers back into line. (...)

The memo therefore tells us what we suspected all along: The most powerful economic actors in the U.S. — entities like Bank of America and its clients — do not like working people to have power. But it’s nice to have it in their own words." --from  Bank of America Memo, Revealed: “We Hope” Conditions for American Workers Will Get Worse

Related Articles:

Bank of America Memo, Revealed: “We Hope” Conditions for American Workers Will Get Worse https://theintercept.com/2022/07/29/bank-of-america-worker-conditions-worse/

For Warmongers It's Always 1938 https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/for-warmongers-its-always-1938-notes

Moby Dick and the Soul of American Capitalism https://popularresistance.org/moby-dick-and-the-soul-of-american-capitalism/ 

Europe's "Apocalypse of Heat" Highlights Capitalism's Climate Crisis https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/07/19/aesc-j19.html 

Child Labor Is Alive And Well in the US  https://popularresistance.org/child-labor-is-alive-and-well-in-the-united-states/

The Age Old Wealth Problem:The Rising Age and Bank Accounts of the US Congress  https://jesseventura.substack.com/p/the-age-old-wealth-problem  

Trapped in the Slaughterhouse https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/trapped-in-the-slaughterhouse 

Almost No One Trust the US Media After Decades of War Propaganda and Lies  https://popularresistance.org/polls-show-almost-no-one-trusts-us-media-after-decades-of-war-propaganda-and-lies/ 

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