Fellow Travelers

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fertile Ground for Revolution

A Superpower In Decline?

In 1898, Eugene V Debs said
Wherever capitalism appears, in pursuit of its mission of exploitation, there will Socialism, fertilized by misery, watered by tears, and vitalized by agitation be also found, unfurling its class-struggle banner and proclaiming its mission of emancipation.

The income inequality is here, and it is real, and the gap is widening. But it is its own worst enemy. The top has gotten too greedy. When countries in Europe and Asia were turning to innocuous democratic socia...lism, or abhorrent totalitarian state communism, or even goosestepping fascism, the US avoided this largely by releasing the pressure on the working class.

In Europe, there was a system of oppression in place, there were Aristocrats and Peasants. It was unconscionable that any inch be given to the Peasants, and so the pressure built up until it boiled over and, in some cases, exploded. In the US, pressure was relieved, through regulation, through unions, through social security and the minimum wage.

Now there's a crop of corporate-backed conservatives, within a Republican Party that is decidedly no longer the party of Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, or Abe Lincoln, that wants to do away with those regulations. They want to shut off the relief valves. Greed has taken over. This has the potential to backfire.

When things have condensed down into 5% of the country with wealth and power, and 95% in debt slavery to the top 5%, pressure will be building. If the US is turned into a third world nation with the elimination of social security, unions, pensions, the minimum wage, people will feel there is no hope and no chance for a better future. And then, the ground will be fertile and ripe for a revolution. This could be a good thing, but we could also just as easy wind up with a revolution led by totalitarian fascists or communist.

The greedy on top will, unchecked, create a system that will ultimately destroy them. When you remove hope from a large section of the population, when they think they have nothing left to lose, and when the wealthy are sitting over them like gods on Mount Olympus, then anything can happen, and nothing good. The question is whether or not it destroys the rest of us first. This coming century isn't looking good, and not just for America but for the whole world.