Author Topic: Refuse to be Penned in By U.S. Imperialism  (Read 2638 times)

Roger

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Refuse to be Penned in By U.S. Imperialism
« on: October 19, 2011, 05:39:48 PM »
I am posting this as a contribution to the discussion we were having - Roger.


Refuse to be Penned in By U.S. Imperialism

From Voice of Revoltuion - US Marxist leninist Organisation  - October 17th 2011

On October 1, police led demonstrators onto the traffic lane of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Then when the hundreds of protesters were only part way across, the police blocked both ends of the bridge and penned them in. Protesters were forced to stay on the bridge and then were shipped out to police stations across the city. More than 700 people were arrested by this police entrapment.

Since that time, the on-going demonstrations, known as Occupy Wall Street, have received almost daily coverage in the monopoly media. President Barack Obama, in response to a press question about the protests said he thinks “It expresses the frustrations the American people feel” that “the same folks who acted irresponsibly [are] trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place. So yes, I think people are frustrated and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.”

It can be said that the entrapment by police of protesters and efforts to entangle them in the legal system are symbolic of efforts by the U.S. rulers, and Obama as their current champion, to do the same to the working class. To pen it up in public spaces and limit its struggles to those imposed by the rulers and reacting to their brutal anti-social, anti-worker cuts and police attacks. It is to block the working class from striking out on its own independent path, with its own thinking and genuine alternative to the current system – with its economic crises, imperialist wars and threats of fascism and world war. The fight by the working class for a new direction for the economy is to be blocked and silenced. The fight for a human-centered society where the rights of all at home and abroad are put at the center is to be blocked and silenced.

One form this silencing takes is the broad promotion that the “solution” to the current crisis is restoring “balance” or “fairness” to the existing set up, using taxes or similar instruments of the government. As Obama put it, “We’ve got to make sure that everyone in this country gets a fair shake, and a fair shot, and a chance to get ahead.” This is the limit, the corral, the rulers want to impose, of “restoring fairness” in a situation ripe for a new direction, a new content — not for a “chance to get ahead” but for a human centered society where the constitution enshrines the rights of all and they are guaranteed in law. Today, all past arrangements that provided the bourgeoisie’s definition of civil rights with a guarantee and based labor relations on bourgeois notions of fairness are finished. The more unequal the system divided between rich and poor is revealed to be, the more the promotion of fairness as the guiding principle to sort out relations between competing interests rings hollow.

Bringing human-centered social consciousness and politics into the center of the political and economic life of the country is necessary and is the task of the working class. This requires refusing to be penned in by U.S. imperialism and its “solutions” and consciously rejecting the imposition of agendas whose aim is said to be to “pressure” those in power. This negates the historical need to set one’s own agenda by analyzing how to defend rights and organize to be the decision makers.

It is also the case that the concentration of economic wealth in fewer hands, which is indeed broadly opposed by people across the country, is being accompanied by the concentration of political power in the hands of the executive, the Office of the President. We are witnessing the disarray and disintegration of the two parties of the rich, their inability to function within the old arrangements. Discrediting and limiting of the power of Congress and promotion of the president as the force able to “get things done” is taking place. The “debt deal appointed a Super Committee for budget matters, which likely will remove these matters from Congress. Elections, and funding of them, are directed much more to the backing of individual candidates, not parties.

Within this, Obama is developing machinery for people to support him as president, against Congress. This includes the newly established “We the People” site at the White House website, where anyone can “petition” the president and call for action on issues of concern, like the environment, economy, education and so forth. It is a “direct line” to the president. In attempting to get his jobs bill passed, Obama has gone not to Congress, but across the country appealing to people to “agree with me” and tell Congress to “pass this bill right away.” These actions reflect institutionalizing arrangements for far greater concentration of power in the executive while directing the working class into the corral of supporting the president against a Congress that “refuses to act.”

It is within this context that Obama expresses his sympathy for the protesters and says they “are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.” For Obama, the opposition to corporate greed and influence being expressed by protesters can be utilized as a mandate for his program for jobs, taxes, and so forth. As he says, it is an expression of “broad-based frustration” with Congress and “folks [on Wall Street] who acted irresponsibly” and their “abusive practices.” He supports protests “giving voice” to frustration, indeed he hears the “voice” and will be the one to act on it.

In this manner, the necessity for new political arrangements that favor the working class, that empower the people themselves to govern and decide is removed from the thinking and discourse. The voice of the working class for a new direction for the economy and for new political arrangements where the people themselves have power is silenced. Consistent with this, since the demonstration October 1, there has been almost daily media coverage of “Occupy Wal Street.” Organizations known to be main backers of Obama, like MoveOn.org, Rebuild the American Dream, and others are joining nationwide efforts, including a “virtual march” that coincided with the NYC march on Wednesday, October 5, where unions also joined in support. It is notable that the media, forces like MoveOn and various union presidents that participate in the Obama administration and campaigns, are all promoting the protest when normally protests face a wall of silence. Indeed, there is just such a wall against the courageous hunger strike by prisoners now occurring in California, involving more than 12,000 prisoners defending their rights and opposing solitary confinement and torture. There is little being said and certainly not similar support for the struggle of longshore workers in Longview, Washington, defending their rights against brutal police repression. The promotion of the New York protest is not accidental, any more than police leading protesters onto the bridge was an accident. There should not be illusions as to the ability of Obama and the monopoly media to manipulate the situation in their favor.

The task facing the working class together with the youth is to refuse to be penned in by the rulers and their false solutions. It is to elaborate and organize for a new direction by taking up the defense of rights in a manner that organizes the working class to be effective and to exercise control over its affairs.

The working class of the United States must deal with the elimination of rule of law and institutionalizing of the lawless violence and “might makes right” dictate of U.S. Empire all over the world, over which President Obama is presiding. He has now authorized the targeted assassinations of U.S. citizens abroad, as took place in Yemen. This reverses a long-held expectation that the president alone cannot and would not authorize assassinations of U.S. citizens. It reflects the increase in state violence, extending FBI assassinations, like those against African American and Puerto Rican leaders, to anyone the president brands as a “threat,” and orders executed. It is being accompanied by the greatly increased use of torture and solitary confinement against prisoners inside the country and criminalizing of resistance by the youth and workers.

Drone assassinations and massacres, open use of CIA and Special Forces wherever the U.S. decides, military intervention in the name of regime change, torture and indefinite detention, are all examples of how this lawless violence is escalating to keep the rivals to the U.S. striving for world domination in check. The brutal U.S.-led invasion of Libya and Obama’s demand now that the U.S. “must insist on unrestricted humanitarian access,” anywhere in the world, is further indication of the reactionary and fascist direction of U.S. imperialism with which the U.S. working class must settle scores if it is to make headway in its own struggle for rights and empowerment within the United States.

Roger

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Re: Refuse to be Penned in By U.S. Imperialism
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2011, 05:57:45 PM »
Owen Jones. Protest without politics will change nothing

Friday, 21 October 2011 Owen Jones is the author of 'Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class'

©independent.co.uk


My first experience of police kettling was aged 16. It was May Day 2001, and the anti-globalisation movement was at its peak. The turn-of-the-century anti-capitalist movement feels largely forgotten today, but it was a big deal at the time. To a left-wing teenager growing up in an age of unchallenged neo-liberal triumphalism, just to have "anti-capitalism" flash up in the headlines was thrilling. Thousands of apparently unstoppable protesters chased the world's rulers from IMF to World Bank summits – from Seattle to Prague to Genoa – and the authorities were rattled.


Today, as protesters in nearly a thousand cities across the world follow the example set by the Occupy Wall Street protests, it's worth pondering what happened to the anti-globalisation movement. Its activists did not lack passion or determination. But they did lack a coherent alternative to the neo-liberal project. With no clear political direction, the movement was easily swept away by the jingoism and turmoil that followed 9/11, just two months after Genoa.
Don't get me wrong: the Occupy movement is a glimmer of sanity amid today's economic madness. By descending on the West's financial epicentres, it reminds us of how a crisis caused by the banks (a sentence that needs to be repeated until it becomes a cliché) has been cynically transformed into a crisis of public spending. The founding statement of Occupy London puts it succinctly: "We refuse to pay for the banks' crisis." The Occupiers direct their fire at the top 1 per cent, and rightly so – as US billionaire Warren Buffett confessed: "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

The Occupy movement has provoked fury from senior US Republicans such as Presidential contender Herman Cain who – predictably – labelled it "anti-American". They're right to be worried: those camping outside banks threaten to refocus attention on the real villains, and to act as a catalyst for wider dissent. But a coherent alternative to the tottering global economic order remains, it seems, as distant as ever. Neo-liberalism crashes around, half-dead, with no-one to administer the killer blow.

There's always a presumption that a crisis of capitalism is good news for the left. Yet in the Great Depression, fascism consumed much of Europe. The economic crisis of the 1970s did lead to a resurgence of radicalism on both left and right. But, spearheaded by Thatcherism and Reaganism, the New Right definitively crushed its opposition in the 1980s.This time round, there doesn't even seem to be an alternative for the right to defeat. That's not the fault of the protesters. In truth, the left has never recovered from being virtually smothered out of existence. It was the victim of a perfect storm: the rise of the New Right; neo-liberal globalisation; and the repeated defeats suffered by the trade union movement.

But, above all, it was the aftermath of the collapse of Communism that did for the left. As US neo-conservative Midge Decter triumphantly put it: "It's time to say: We've won. Goodbye." From the British Labour Party to the African National Congress, left-wing movements across the world hurtled to the right in an almost synchronised fashion. It was as though the left wing of the global political spectrum had been sliced off. That's why, although we live in an age of revolt, there remains no left to give it direction and purpose.

Much of the Occupy movement's rank-and-file understandably wish to bypass a political process that seems either irrelevant or part of the problem. But the stakes are far higher than they were during the heyday of the anti-globalisation movement. Capitalism is in a crisis without apparent end; Western governments are manically hacking chunks off the welfare state; and millions are being stripped of secure futures. In these circumstances, anger will inevitably grow; but unless it is given a political focus, it is set to erupt in ugly, directionless ways. We could be staring at a future of desperate youths rampaging through city centres; and masked riot police officers charging at crowds. But those with economic and political power would remain safely in place, possibly helped by an even greater backlash at rising disorder than that witnessed after the August riots.

Those swelling the ranks of dissent have to choose: are we making a point about the 1 per cent, or are we trying to dislodge them from power? We've certainly achieved the former. But – unless we develop a coherent alternative that resonates with the millions being made to pay for the banks' crisis – the people at the top aren't going anywhere.
 
 

Roger

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Re: Refuse to be Penned in By U.S. Imperialism
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 07:36:48 AM »
Robin Hood Tax. Occupy Movement now marching straight off the globalist cliff
Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
October 26, 2011

It was inevitable that a movement which has struggled to agree on a manifesto, would in the end, do the bidding of the very elite globalist powers that they are demonstrating against to begin with.

Instead of achieving freedom from Central Bank debt enslavement, naive Occupiers appear to have taken the bait, pulling the mob towards endorsing a global taxation system, and one to be administered…by a brand new global government body.

As the Occupy Movementsets its sights on the upcoming G20 Summit in France on November 3-4, its globalist handlers behind the scenes have succeeded in carefully directing its crowds towards the Holy Grail of all socialist super-states - the celebrity supported, trendy “Robin Hood Tax”, also known as a Tobin Tax, a financial transaction tax levied on all transactions involving shares, bonds and derivatives. Or so the plan goes…

The resulting funds, they claim, counted in the hundreds of billions of dollars per year, would go toward popular Bono-led liberal heart-string fantasy causes like ‘reducing poverty in the third world’, social programs and surprise, surprise… “combating climate change” and perhaps even saving polar bears – a move that would surely please desperate men like Al Gore (but a complete waste of money seeing that man-made global warming has already been thoroughly discredited).

The rallying cry for this globalist wet dream is coming directly from the supposed brain-child of the Occupy Movement, the globalist-backed and Soros foundation-funded organization, Ad Busters, quietly shepherding its flock towards one of the biggest revenue spinning and control scams ever conceived.

Reuters reported Monday:

“Canada-based Adbusters wants the Occupy Wall Street protest movement against economic inequality to take to the streets to call for a 1 percent tax on such deals ahead of a November 3-4 summit of the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies in France.

“Let’s send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3 trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day — enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world,” the activist group said on its website, www.adbusters.org.

Adbusters put out the initial call for Occupy Wall Street and since protesters set up camp in a park in New York City’s financial district on September 17, they have inspired solidarity demonstrations and so-called occupations around the world.”

One might feel some compassion for Occupiers, keen to grab all of that “easy money sloshing around”… if only utopia was that easy.

In many ways, the Robin Hood Tax is an identical transaction-tax scam to the one proposed by globalists at the 2009 UN COP15 Climate Summit in Copenhagen, where a number of new taxes on financial transactions and new carbon taxes would be put into a giant “slush fund” to be handled by none other than the World Bank.

Ultimately, any Robin Hood Tax will most likely end up in a giant fund to “ensure that banks are adequately capitalized”, and one which will be used to bailout, or insure big bank losses and trillions in gambling derivative bets gone bad.

In reality, a Robin Hood Tax does just the opposite of what its name represents. Rather than stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, it is designed to steal more money through taxation from working people- money witemshich will end up directly in the hands of institutions like the US Federal Reserve and its cartel of Wall Street banks.

In addition, such a power to levy tax will bring with it new taxes bolted on later, blanket financial taxes will eventually end up on the end of things like cash withdrawls and money transfers. Sadly, this is how governments behave.

OWS losing the plot

It’s very easy for the throngs of young protesters to fall into an obvious socialist, or collectivist trap, as many naive young Americans are unable, or unwilling, to liberate themselves from the Hegelian dialectic which tells them that the government must raise taxes and spending in order to achieve any social progress.

It’s obvious that the number one and two problems in America are a lack of jobs and creeping inflation, a duel plague which is fueling a dropping standard of living in the US and Europe- and ultimately dissent globally. Occupiers are not asking why their government allowed US corporations to ship millions of American jobs off shore, and why it never bothered to offer incentives to foreign corporations to relocate in the US. Likewise Occupiers have not identified that their own Federal Reserve is robbing them every day by creating artificial scarcity, driving the kind of boom and bust cycles which ultimately rob Americans of their life saving and assets.

Rather than demand an additional new monster system of taxation, Occupiers should first be asking if any government can be trusted to spend their tax revenue responsibly. Certainly today it seems that pork rules in Washington and Obama’s Administration is presiding over the biggest budget deficit in the history of the US. This should be cause for alarm, yet, it’s hardly mentioned by the Occupy crowd.

Incredibly, the Occupy Movement are not asking the government to cut spending- and become fiscally responsible.

They might also consider asking their beloved government in Washington – and elsewhere around the globe too, where all their tax revenue actually goes right now. If they understood that at present, their Federal Income Tax(in some cases, collected at gunpoint by the IRS) goes directly to paying off the debt which their government owes on each and every dollar printed by the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank.

Any market tax would have to go global in order to keep industry within participating nations. Occupiers would surely be wary of allowing a Federal or global government to erect a new massive taxation system, no? Apparently, one of the great features of the Occupy Movement in America is their overwhelming loyalty and trust in the Obama administration. If it were a Republican administration in power, then it is certain that demonstrations would take a much more anti-government tone.

The OWS has, to their credit, urged protesters to close their bank accounts and transfer their money to credit unions with a bank transfer day on November 5th, certainly a step in a positive direction. But is it enough?

Real Solution: Disengage with the financial system

It’s an age-old saying, “If you’re not happy, then get out”. OWS protesters should be talking about taking steps to completely disengage from the system that enslaves them- this might include removing their hard-earned liquidity from the system by canceling all credit cards, not taking out student loans, or pointless car and electronic loans.

Another obvious trap of the Robin Hood Tax is that it could(and will) be used target all transactions – including pension funds. Occupiers might instead consider not paying in their pensions and 401K’s into stock market-indexed retirement funds. For older protesters, it might be a case of shifting their IRAs into gold and silver-backed retirement funds, disallowing the speculators and gamblers on Wall Street to decimate their life savings any further.

Has their been any call for a mass protest against the IRS, who continue to defy the US Constitution by robbing each and every working American of their labor and property in order to service their national debt to the Federal Reserve cartel? Certainly this would rock the establishment overnight. The Occupy Movement would have struck the most serious- and the most obvious blow imaginable, one which would finally call into question the legitimacy of the unconstitutional Federal income tax.

Or even better, Occupiers might consider taking the total expenditure of the US military domestically and overseas , and divide by the number of working Americans, giving them an individual figure of money which each protester will refuse to hand over to the Federal government in taxation- a peace protest combined with an intelligent liberty move by free men and women.

Sadly, none of these kind of truly revolutionary ideas have come out of the Liberty Square protests. Instead, all they could manage in the end, is to latch on to one of the most misleading and tyrannical establishment schemes, The Robin Hood Tax - where the 99% end up giving the 1% even more of their hard-earned cash. It addresses the symptom of the financial collapse, not the problem, leaving all the old players still in play to create more bubbles and make fortunes by crashing new markets.

Ironic, but this is the current direction which the angry, but naive OWS mob is being led.

If any of the 99% truly believe that the top-tier banks would happily give away billions per year to the new Robin Hood Taxman, then think again.

As history shows, their new tax will likely be imposed more stringently on small to medium size institutions and fund managers in an effort to drive out any competition to the mega banks- who already enjoy cuts to corporate income tax, and in some cases, pay no tax at all. Big banks are safe, but smaller competition will surely be hit hard by a Robin Hood Tax- ensuring the current hierarchy stays exactly as it is. This has always been the way when blanket government regulations and punitive taxes come into play.

In typically disingenuous fashion, when a mob has no clear objective it normally plays follow the leader. In this case, the leader is foundation-funded Ad Busters, who have supplied the directionless, brainless OWS movement with the very master plan to its own demise.

There, the Supreme General Assembly has taken the bait.

Here, here, Robin of the Hood.