The Mission of the “Homeless March on Washington”

Why is a “Homeless March on Washington” needed to force the implementation of a Basic Income Guarantee? The question is not whether Basic Income Guarantee is either possible or desirable. The question is why any kind of force should become necessary to implement such a simple and reasonable idea. The second installment of this series closed with such questions, and this final installment will outline some possible answers to the riddle.1

The most general answer is that our current economic system – Capitalism – is by far the most formidable barrier to implementing a Basic Income Guarantee, hereafter referred to as “BIG”. Richard C. Cook and many others throughout American history have effectively maintained that BIG is entirely possible, rendering homelessness and unemployment both unnecessary and inexcusable. Many others, especially those who now find themselves unemployed or homeless or both, certainly consider BIG desirable. Meanwhile, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. suggests, “deep structural change” will be necessary to implement a Basic Income Guarantee and to eradicate poverty overall.2 This makes sense intuitively, but it also raises at least one other important question: Should “deep structural change” precede the implementation of BIG or follow it?

All this in mind, let’s briefly examine how our economic system works and explore how and why BIG might change that system to discover why a “Homeless March on Washington”, among other extreme measures, might become necessary to force its implementation. To begin, Richard C. Cook maintains, “People simply do not earn anywhere near enough to buy what the economy produces.”3 Others argue that “those who produce the goods and services of society are paid less than their productive contribution.”4

So what’s the difference? Do we overproduce, or are we underpaid? Is the glass half full or is the glass half empty? Does it really matter? Technically, it does. But in a general sense, it doesn’t — because either way the result is nearly always the same: Unearned income is siphoned from producers daily and hoarded by wealthy non-producers, eventually resulting in some form of economic crisis characterized by rising levels of unemployment.

A Basic Income Guarantee would convert the life-threatening conditions of “unemployment” to more livable and less fearsome conditions of “leisure”. Instead of working two or three minimum-wage jobs just to pay the rent and keep the family fed, Americans might work one part-time (or full-time) job, and still have plenty of time to spend with their families and for self-improvement like continued education or vocational training. Instead of living in fear of job displacement, every American worker would have a permanent safety net to fall back on in the case of job loss, illness, injury, maternity, etc. As a “birthright heritage” all American citizens, including children, would be guaranteed a monthly income to provide for their basic needs — regardless of employment status.

Moreover, Richard C. Cook suggests that technological advancement makes BIG an economic imperative:

“In an advanced mechanized economy, fewer workers are needed to produce the same amount of goods. This should result in a societal “leisure dividend” but instead puts people out of work and forces them to compete for the remaining service economy jobs. There are estimates that by 2030 robots will take over fifty percent of the jobs in the U.S. economy.”5

But others suggest unemployment is a structural feature of Capitalism.6 Like the supporting beams of a building, unemployment is not an accident that can or should be corrected or removed under the terms and conditions of the current economic system. As long as labor is a cost of production, employers are highly motivated to drive wages as close to zero as possible in order to maximize profit. Therefore, conditions of unemployment must remain as unpleasant and unattractive as possible to discipline the existing workforce and drive wages down. With these unspoken rules in place, workers are typically forced to accept nearly any sort of employment for any available wage in order to avoid the perilous conditions of unemployment. If unemployment or the fear of unemployment is removed, the system will collapse.

So in a very real sense, there is a lot of incentive under Capitalism for employers and political leaders to restrict or actually prevent people from getting their basic needs met. This is the main reason why the system itself — Capitalism — is the most formidable barrier to the implementation of Basic Income Guarantee. If unemployment is converted to leisure as Richard C. Cook suggests, then workers are no longer forced to sell their labor to employers in exchange for “wages” just to get their basic needs met.

Does this mean BIG is impossible? No, not at all. But once again, “deep structural changes” will probably be necessary for its implementation. In fact, author and professor of philosophy, Michael Howard, outlines some pragmatic advantages that might result from implementing a Basic Income Guarantee:

Work sharing would become more feasible, because a full-time job would not be necessary to make ends meet; this would tend to reduce unemployment. The coercive nature of the employment contract would be undermined: no one would be forced to work for wages out of economic necessity. A possible further consequence is a rise in income for unattractive, dangerous, or dirty work, because the economically desperate who now take such jobs at minimum wage would be free to refuse such work. Work conditions generally might be made more attractive, and work itself more intrinsically rewarding, as a way of attracting workers. A floor of income for everyone would make possible a deregulation of the labor market and greater flexibility and innovativeness in the economy.

7

Such results might seem very attractive from a labor perspective, but dubious or even threatening from an employer point-of-view. If workers are no longer forced to sell their labor to employers in exchange for basic survival and they are no longer willing to accept any wage that happens to be available, then employers risk losing absolute control of the workforce and wages and therefore profit.

So if structural change precedes the implementation of BIG, it will most likely be tinkering around the edges organized from the top down in the interest of employers and others who stand to lose the most from implementing BIG. As such BIG might never actually be implemented at all. We already see this in Barack Obama’s promises to “create more jobs” to save the failing “American middle class”. But for a number of reasons, Obama’s promises fall short short of the “American Dream”, even if he successfully implements them.

First, there is no clear definition for “American middle class.”8 So it’s very easy for Obama to issue any rhetorical claim in this regard when so many Americans with annual incomes ranging from $30k to $250k tend to consider themselves “middle class”. Second, Ralph Nader insists the “American middle class” is not the most urgent problem when easily 40-percent of American households live in “poverty.”9 Turns out every nation tends to measure and define “poverty” more clearly than “middle class,” as Wikipedia estimates at least half the Earth’s human population is forced to live in poverty under the dominance of Capitalism.10 Third, Barack Obama observes that the new jobs being created tend to pay far less than the old jobs that have been lost by American workers.11 This corporate “race to the bottom” — driving American wages as close to zero as possible — is no more “accidental” than either unemployment or the current economic crisis overall. Moreover, Obama’s plan to “create more jobs” doesn’t “save the American middle class”, it merely forces more Americans of every skin-color and race further into poverty.

Conversely, if BIG is implemented immediately, then the needs of every citizen will be satisfied right away, forcing employers and other “leaders” to readjust accordingly. Some enterprises might be forced to raise wages. Others might go out of business. Still others might find they can actually reduce wages in proportion to the dividend provided by BIG. The smartest firms will reorganize more cooperatively — removing wages and employers altogether — to thrive within a new socioeconomic structure. In this view, Basic Income Guarantee could be an effective strategy to initialize or even “revolutionize” a needed transition from the instabilities and inherent contradictions of Capitalism toward more balanced and sustainable conditions of genuine Economic Democracy.

But all of the preceding information posits a fundamental choice: If American workers honestly prefer corporate domination, then American workers must also adjust their lifestyles to accept the lower wages that are currently being paid in countries like Mexico, China, India and the Philippines. If this seems unacceptable to American workers, then at least one alternative is to reorganize American workplaces more regionally, democratically and cooperatively to eventually reject the dominance of global corporations altogether.

There are probably more perspectives to be considered. Meanwhile, these seem the most urgent reasons for the implementation of Basic Income Guarantee to precede “deep structural change” rather than follow it. From any perspective, there is bound to be a struggle, as certain “Americans” jealously defend their “right” to passively draw income from their private ownership of securities and the employment of wage-labor. As such, a “Homeless March on Washington” is probably just a first step in a much larger struggle — some prefer the term “revolution” — for social and economic justice.12

In conclusion, the current economic crisis necessitates a nonviolent march of homeless Americans organized from all corners of the United States. As a matter of national security, how can Americans bravely protect their “homeland” from the rest of the world if they can’t even defend their “homes” from their own government?

The overall mission of a “Homeless March on Washington” is to transport and transplant “American Homeless Ambassadors” (AHA!!) to Washington, D.C. — the origin of their disgrace — so the accused can meet their accusers face-to-face, and so “The Deciders” in Washington can no longer evade the consequences of their criminal behavior. The central objective of a “Homeless March on Washington” is a combination of purchasing power and debt relief, arrived at through the “Cook Plan” including Basic Income Guarantee.

With financial support from their respective communities, American Homeless Ambassadors should set up camp in the streets and the parks and the areas surrounding the Capitol city, and remain there until a Basic Income Guarantee is established. If Americans can organize to protest a “stolen election” as David Swanson suggests,13 then Americans can mobilize against homelessness and unemployment in favor of a Basic Income Guarantee. If communities can support unemployed and homeless citizens within their own regions, then communities can afford to support a few of their homeless representatives in Washington, D.C. Moreover, if Congress can pass a bill in one week to “bail out” Wall Street, then Congress can pass another emergency bill to save “Main Street.”

A plan like this might not seem very attractive right now. But as the current crisis escalates, and more people lose their incomes and their homes, perhaps the idea will catch on. The purpose of presenting this article series has been to sow some seeds of reason into the minds of those who are as concerned about the future of humanity as I am. Until they come to their senses, our “leaders” in Washington, D.C. should receive a fresh shipment of American homelessness each month:

“East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’,
We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.
We got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.
Well, I’m eastbound, jus’ watch ol’ Bandit run!!”14

  1. Kendall, David. “‘East Bound and Down’: A Homeless March on Washington,” Dissident Voice. []
  2. King, Dr. Martin Luther (1968). Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community?. New York, NY: Beacon Press, pg 150. []
  3. Cook, Richard C. (04/26/2007). “An Emergency Program of Monetary Reform for the United States,” Global Research. []
  4. Schweickart, David (June 2002). After Capitalism. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. pg 36. []
  5. Cook, Richard C. (06/072007). “Poverty in America: Progressive Schemes to Reduce Poverty will Fail without Monetary Reform,” Global Research. []
  6. Schweickart, p. 97. []
  7. Howard, Michael W. (10/2001). Self-Management and the Crisis of Socialism: The Rose in the Fist of the Present. Rowman & Littlefield. pg 48. []
  8. Wikipedia (11/17/2008). “American middle class,” Wikipedia. []
  9. Nader, Ralph (11/2004). “The End of the Beginning: 2004 Concession Speech,” Mediazine. []
  10. Wikipedia (11/17/2008). “Poverty,” Wikipedia. []
  11. Obama, Barack (2006). The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Crown Publishing Group. pg 174. []
  12. Ghista, Garda (05/03/2008). “Building a new world: Cathy Garger interviews Garda Ghista,” The Greanville Journal. []
  13. Swanson, David (10/20/2008). “A McCain “Win” Will Be Theft, Resistance Is Planned,” OpEdNews. []
  14. Reed, Jerry (1977). “East Bound and Down,” Nashville, TN: RCA. []
David Kendall lives in WA and deeply cares about the future of our world. He can be reached at: davidlkendall@comcast.net. Read other articles by David, or visit David's website.

35 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on November 22nd, 2008 at 8:39am #

    David read James Keye’s artical posted yesterday and the comments. I put one comment with James Hansen’s new post and unless we get started on this homeless doesn’t begin to explain it and I think your idea is a good one.

  2. Calm said on November 22nd, 2008 at 6:40pm #

    Why does it need to be a march on Washington.

    It is doomed to failure because it is too small an event and not everyone can afford to go to Washington.

    What we need is a concerted effort by nameless individuals in promising to break one window on a specific day everywhere in the country.

    If countless individuals set out on a specific day and in every community across the country and at their time of choosing broke a window belonging to any business ….. slashed the tires of any vehicle operated by buisness …. scratched the paint off any car in the business district of any city …. it could hardly go unnoticed.

    There should be a further promise to repeat the protest each month thereafter until the demands are met.

    In this day and age, protests can not be organized in such a way that the Ruling Class are able to arrest or infiltrate the group leadership as they have done so many times in the past.

    Calm

  3. David Kendall said on November 23rd, 2008 at 8:16am #

    Thanks very much for your comments and creative thinking. To clarify, a march on Washington is just one possible measure of action. This part of the idea was primarily inspired by David Swanson’s call for such in the case of a stolen 2008 election.

    But Americans can, and eventually will, use whatever measures are at their disposal — organized or not — to protest the criminal behavior in Washington and get it corrected. Crime, as you suggest, is certainly one of those measures, and that tendency is already growing along with suicide and other tragedies.

    So one goal of this article series was to suggest legal and nonviolent measures that can be organized and sustained from the community level. Of course not everyone can afford to go to Washington — especially the unemployed and homeless. Please see the first installment of this series for details. Hopefully, that will explain further. Thanks again for contributing to the discussion.

  4. Calm said on November 23rd, 2008 at 9:09pm #

    Breaking a window is nothing compared to the “Protest” I just witnessed in Washington.

    That Senatorial Clown “Stevens” in Alaska was just convicted of 7 felonies and the complete group of Senators gave Steven’s a standing ovation!!!

    A convicted felon got a standing ovation from his peers!

    No …. the cost of replacing a few windows will never rise or surpass the shame (the cost) I felt while watching that spectacle.

    Calm

  5. Calm said on November 24th, 2008 at 10:10am #

    I would not join any protest “Group”.

    There is a 90% chance that the group has already been infiltrated by the cops and other security institutions.

    Every contact which an interested person makes with the leadership of the group most likely has been stored on the Group’s computer hard drive.

    I would think that just to get the “Licence” to have a street protest or gathering, the Group Leadership was required to indicate the protest route and people to contact or responsible for leading the protest itself.

    The time for an “Parades” is over!

    The People leading the parade have most likely been infiltrated by government policing agencies.

    Any type of protest now must be by an individual action.

    The Group’s Leadership might choose the day for a national protest, but the actions decided upon by people inside their own communities is a personal decision.

    In this day and age, this is the only form that a protest can take and with any hope of success.

    A broken window for “Glory”.

    Calm

  6. Calm said on November 24th, 2008 at 10:24am #

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Group Leadership should choose the day or the date of a “Sheduled Action Day”.

    But, everybody would need to decide exactly what type or form of dissident action they will do on that day.

    The individuals themselves will choose the time and place …. It could be 2 O’clock in the morning or during rush hour traffic.

    It only takes 10 people to shut down a rail line.

    It only takes 10 people to stop traffic at an intersection in any community.

    Windows are easily found.

    Calm

  7. bozh said on November 24th, 2008 at 3:49pm #

    what calm says makes sense. but if on a street just 2+ people who think as i do talk to gardeners, passerbys or anyone who wld listen, ab. what is going on, it can’t bring any harm.
    once more dissidents join the the original ones and links w. like groups who knows what may develop?
    i’v done some of that. as member of a vancouver org, StopWar.ca, i passed leaflets and talked to people.
    thnx

  8. bozh said on November 24th, 2008 at 3:53pm #

    to add, as the ancient persian proverb says, If don’t do s’mthing u r like a man who plows and plows but never sows.
    even posting is an action. it is much better than doing nothing and thereby make uncle verrrry happy. thnx

  9. Calm said on November 24th, 2008 at 11:28pm #

    Parade time is over!

    Nothing has been gained by an “Organized” parade of protesters because the organizers themselves have been infiltrated by the State Security apparatus.

    The problem with a parade is that they create alot of noise with screams and yelps …. and it does more harm than good when viewed in TV Land. A parade is viewed differently on the ground then how it is viewed in TV news clips.

    If the cops decide to raid the Organizers’ or Group offices, they will seize all the computers with every contact and every e-Mail. The cops will have the comments or words of support from people who intend to actively participate in an “Organized Parade Of Protesters”.

    Within a week your name will be on the No-Fly List.

    In this day and age, only the day of protest can be organized.

    And, where people commit their “Special Protest” …. all by their lonesome …. in the dead of night ….. at a time of their choosing.

    Quietly …. And with Stealth!

    Calm

  10. Calm said on November 25th, 2008 at 1:04am #

    Front Window Alert

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/xw3voe

    Calm

  11. Calm said on November 25th, 2008 at 1:40am #

    If people insist on performing an “Organized and Infiltrated” protest, then they should all carry a picket sign which might read:

    What Is The Isurance Deductible On Your Front Windows?

    Then start “Negotiating” your terms at that time.

    Other than that …. Any “Organized-Infiltrated Protest is doomed to failure.

    Calm

  12. Calm said on November 25th, 2008 at 1:54am #

    What if everybody just agreed to “Jay Walk” somewhere on any street of their choosing and do it on a specific date …. perhaps even a specific time?

    Just that act of defiance …. by millions of people in the middle of rush hour would be easily done.

    Chaos in every major city on a Specific Date.

    Calm

  13. Calm said on November 25th, 2008 at 3:21am #

    Here Is The GPS Interview:

    I downloaded the entire show and then edited the clip for the specific segment of the show. I then uploaded it to SendSpace.

    Fareed Zakaria GPS
    A comprehensive roundtable discussion concerning the economic collapse and bailouts.
    CNN GPS
    Host Fareed Zakaria
    Guests:
    Thomas L. Friedman
    Anne-Marie Slaughter
    Niall Ferguson
    November 23, 2008
    (Podcast)
    http://www.cnn.com/services/podcasting
    Or:
    (Windows Media Presentation)
    SendSpace: (File Size: 20.34MB)
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/o2lqyu

  14. Calm said on November 25th, 2008 at 4:05am #

    Maybe it is time to bail ourselves out?

    People just just quit paying their creditors and that way they can bail themselves out first …. and they don’t need any government help to do that. (I’m all for smaller government.)

    I think that before we allow any more bailouts, we should start to bail ourselves out today …. just walk away from all your credit. Refuse to pay our creditors …. Let the creditors fight for their own bailouts.

    Calm

    “Get off this estate.”
    “What for?”
    “Because it’s mine.”
    “Where did you get it?”
    “From my father.”
    “Where did he get it?”
    “From his father.”
    “And where did he get it?”
    “He fought for it.”
    “Well, I’ll fight you for it.”

    –Carl Sandburg–

  15. bozh said on November 25th, 2008 at 5:47am #

    parade, eh? good way to put it.
    i’v said this before. educating people by talking to them or delivering leaflets may be a better way.
    do it, and forget ab result. i have done it and do it now. protest can’t hurt. but it must be organized and held on saturdays. the organizers need city permit and marshals to direct walkers and ensure orderly march.
    again, don’t expect much if anything. at least not for decades or even centuries.
    for me, it’s always been, Not in my name! i feel shame/guilt.
    98% of people, being members of the gang, have no pang. but if one annoys them, it can only worsen the sit’n. thnx

  16. David Kendall said on November 25th, 2008 at 6:02pm #

    Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. Turns out I agree with a lot of what you folks suggest — except for the crime part, of course. You can break all the windows and slash all the tires you want, but I can’t advocate that. Who possibly could or would?

    Meanwhile, it might be useful to understand that my article series is a response to David Swanson’s call for nonviolent direct action in the event of a “stolen 2008 election”. If we are to “protest” or “march” or “parade” about something, then why not protest something that matters more than which power-hungry criminal gets appointed to the U.S. Presidency? Like Dr. King, I believe any form of “economic withdrawal” is far more powerful than any march or “parade” (as you call it) to bring about socioeconomic improvement. His movements, like “Operation Breadbasket”, were extremely successful in this regard. But when people find themselves unemployed and homeless, what more have they got left to withdraw?

    It might also be helpful to consider this article series in terms of the emphasis in the final installment on regional, cooperative and democratic organization of production. While the pursuit of centralized “power” might be a fun game, it tends to be self-destructive, and it’s not likely to survive for much longer. Likewise, protests and parades probably won’t accomplish much in terms of “change” because ya can’t negotiate with a capitalist — not now, not ever — period. So the most viable alternative is to reorganize production to exclude 1) wages and 2) employers altogether so that workers control the means of production.

    But this doesn’t require “protests” or “parades”. It requires awareness and action amongst individuals and groups within communities and small regions. It requires regional cooperation amongst individual producers and consumers, and financial collaboration amongst cooperative groups. While suffering might be a fun way to impose “discipline”, it doesn’t provide much in terms of “education”. Beating people into submission doesn’t teach them anything about fending or thinking for themselves. It only teaches them to avoid beatings through unquestioning obedience to irrational authority. So I doubt the current economic crisis will produce any sort of positive socioeconomic “change”.

    But it might produce a “protest”. If it does, then such a demonstration should certainly extend beyond the restrictive boundaries of the 2008 election. As many have observed throughout “American” history, “the lesser of two evils” is still evil — regardless of skin-color, gender or religious affiliation.

    Sadly, Barack Obama already has at least two major strikes against him. He voted in favor of the Wall Street bailout, and after only two weeks since his landslide election he recently renigged on raising taxes for the rich. Do we really have a new “President”, or is Senator Obama really George W. Bush wearing black face?

    Any way you look at this mess, it’s infuriating. But even so, violence will not solve the problem. In fact, recent political decisions are most likely an attempt to provoke violence in an effort to villify those who are most deeply affected by the injustice. This is one of the main reasons why nonviolent direct action is key in opposing social injustice — so that the reform movement itself does not come under public attack enabling the political opposition to discredit or disempower it.

    In closing, here’s the last half of David Swanson’s recent article entitled “Nonviolence Now”:

    “The only way we will successfully resist… is through nonviolence… Many will want to object, and some will be tempted to do so violently. People will need to be organized and focused by activists who understand the power and the techniques of nonviolence.

    “The idea that our only options are acquiescence or violence ignores the Indian victory over British rule, the Polish victory over Soviet rule, the resistance to Nazism of the Danes, Dutch, and Norwegians, the popular overthrow of dictatorships in El Salvador and Guatemala, the restoration of rights in Argentina and Chile, the return of democracy to the Philippines, the reversal of a French coup in Algeria, the Czech and Slovak end to occupation, the workers’ victories in Namibia or on U.S. farms, the end of Apartheid and Jim Crow, the people’s struggles in Latvia, Russia, Thailand, and Serbia, the eight-hour day, the weekend, women’s suffrage, and on and on.

    “I don’t care what new weapons the U.S. military and “homeland security” possess. They are no more powerful to stop a people’s uprising than were fire hoses to stop the civil rights movement. But we must be so consistently nonviolent that provocateurs stand out and are disciplined by us. If we are nonviolent and fearless, and if we are strategic — applying our force where needed, and if we persevere in the face of repression, we cannot lose.

    “The title of this book has it right: “A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict,” by Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall (also available as a video), and this book is invaluable: “Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential” by Gene Sharp. And you can never read this one too often: “A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.” Let’s hope none of the lessons found in these books are needed on November 5th. Let’s realize that they will all be needed during the coming months regardless of election outcomes.” [1]

    [1] Swanson, David (October 22, 2008 ). “Nonviolence Now”. OpEd News. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Nonviolence-Now-by-David-Swanson-081022-171.html

  17. Calm said on November 25th, 2008 at 11:29pm #

    A “Organized Parade” will only ensure that more people’s names are added to the “No-Fly” list.

    A “Parade” looks okay when your the one walking in it.

    But, in TV Land, the “Parade” faces we see are those wearing masks and weird costume-like clothing.

    In TV Land, a “Parade” is described as a “Threat” and couch potatoes don’t like to feel threatened.

    In TV Land, the “Parade” supporters are vilified.

    Nothing is gained by any “Parade”.

    Only direct, individual action on any number of fronts.

    Any act of disobedience.

    Calm

  18. Suthiano said on November 26th, 2008 at 12:36am #

    In solidarity with Calm:

    I think that those on the U.S./Canadian/European “left” ( who feed their inner appetites for performance and recognition by staging parades) are some of the biggest obstacles to change in the world. They are the most fierce defenders of their own right to protest, peacefully…. as if their protests mean anything, while at the same time condemners of those who use alternative means. These are the people who should be putting their lives on the line to forcibly prevent their fellow citizens and leaders from committing endless crimes, rather than marching in the streets; a strategy that has been proven to be futile time and time again. (If anyone wants to argue that this is historically inaccurate, I would be glad to help the record speak for itself.)

    Anyone who sees any “hope” now, must be a washed up baby-boomer feeling guilt that they fucked the dog when a generation actually had enough people power to do something (a demographic instance that will not arise in the West again in any foreseeable future), and which proves that the number of protesters have no real power over international or domestic policy.

    As Calm said, the media always controls the way a “protest” looks/is presented. Given this fact, why would a protest have some kind of magical power for inducing change, when none of the atrocities the media has “covered” in the past done so?

    Given Obama’s staff selections thus far, it is clear that he has no vision, and feels no obligation to the public. If his campaign didn’t connect him to the people and make him feel their pressure, why would a fucking parade?

  19. David Kendall said on November 27th, 2008 at 11:34pm #

    Thank you, Suthiano. I look forward to your historically accurate records in solidarity with sister “Calm”. That should be very entertaining.

    Meanwhile, “the record” has already spoken, as cited in preceding articles and related comments. Please do try to provide verifiable citation with any of your additional ventriloquism.

    Thank you.

  20. Just Me (Again) said on November 28th, 2008 at 12:32am #

    As I see it, an organized protest is a waste of time.

    Just to obtain the “Right” to protest, you need to obtain a licence from the same group of people who the protesters are protesting against.

    You would need to detail the exact route of the protest and any other “information” which the security apparatus of the Ruling Class demands of the protest organizers.

    If ever the Ruling Class feel that their position is threatened or that the rights of the establishment are about to be compromised, anybody who ever thought of participating in such a protest will have their names added to the No-Fly list. Anybody who even slightly supported such a protest is an immediate “Suspect” and any information concerning the protest will be used against any defendant in a court of law.

    If any protester is arrested, the Ruling Class will have page after page of every protest you ever participated in.

    The larger the protest, the more likely the organizers of the protest have been infiltrated by the state security apparatus.

    Undercover cops will be posing as protesters and will be the ones which the television crews focus upon when telling the story in TV Land.

    Undercover cops posing as protesters will scream and yell profanities and threaten harm to the state while suitably justifying the “crack down” on the protest by the cops themselves.

    This is what a “Parade” is up against …..

    The cops themselves will infiltrate the group and undercover cops will be filmed acting as legitimate “Parade” member or supporter.

    Undercover cops will be committing acts of violence and the blame will be heaped upon the “Parade” supporters.

    These are the forces which are now in Washington and waiting for your arrival.

    Special Events Planning
    2008 Republican National Convention
    Homeland Security And Emergency Management (HSEM)
    Keeping Minnesota Ready
    Presented By Terri Smith
    2008
    (PDF Document)
    http://www.wikileaks.org/leak/rnc-2008-homeland-security-planning.pdf

    Only fools would participate in an “Organized” protest because the organizers of the protest will never have the element of surprise.

    Every detail of the protest must be made available to the State Security Apparatus prior any protest.

    Without “Surprise” …. all the forces of the state will be out in countless numbers awaiting your arrival.

    A very foolish move.

  21. David Kendall said on November 28th, 2008 at 12:08pm #

    “As you see it” is fine, Calm. Logging in under a variety of different names doesn’t make your opinion any more or less valid. It’s still just an opinion. Everybody has one.

    Meanwhile, I asked for some documentation. Other than a slide-show on Homeland Security, you still haven’t provided any. Where is it?

    One reason I ask is because I’m honestly curious what the statistics might be regarding the success rate of nonviolent direct action. It would also be interesting to see a comparison between the historical success rates of nonviolence versus other approaches. A couple of the books mentioned by David Swanson (above) might provide such information, but I haven’t read those books yet.

    Meanwhile, Swanson does provide an impressive list of successful nonviolent campaigns while nobody here seems able to list any failures. I’m sure there have been many failures. As with any sort of effort, there have probably been more failures than successes.

    Can you list any? Can you list more failures than the number of successes Swanson cites above? Once this data is collected, the next step is to research why those efforts failed so we can avoid those mistakes in the future.

    Regarding all the “security” measures you’ve mentioned, the possiblity of “surprise” actually seems less likely to succeed than a more direct and transparent approach. In fact, with all that covert “security” in mind, the only way to effectively reorganize our dysfunctional system is for every move we make to be as candid and transparent as possible — for the whole world to see.

    Moreover, it’s time for some intelligent discussion about how to more consistently achieve success through nonviolent direct action — particularly in view of the disasters typically generated by a more violent approach.

    Documentation please? Thank you.

  22. bozh said on November 28th, 2008 at 12:34pm #

    violence against violent people (cia, fbi, police, army) wld make matters worse.
    but having a ‘parade’ or protest is still better that doing nothing. yes, a protest can be easily usurped.
    but since no protest yet had ever prevented or stopped an US war, the ruling class is not worried. or, yes?
    in add’n, even if 10mn marched in washington, the ruling class declares victory anyway.
    as just 2% r protesting. big deal? where r their cia, fbi, army?
    a better way to go is to protest against businesses, middle class, churches as these always side w. the uncle. thnx

  23. Just Me (Again) said on November 28th, 2008 at 6:01pm #

    Hi! David Kendall

    I never realized you asked me about documentation. I thought you were directing the question to somebody else. Sorry about that.

    The reason I chipped in with a different name was because discussion was not being posted and it was either because of the censor or because my I.E. browser cookies were screwing things up.

    It seemed to work when I cleared my cookies.

    I guess the best example I could give with first glance or thought is when the “New Deal” was implemented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1936.

    Roosevelt and The Clowns did not implement this about face in financial equality or the distribution of wealth because it was “Kind To Animal Week”.

    The Ruling Class was being threatened from all sides.

    Riots, demonstrations and even a plot where a group of wealthy pro-Fascist industrialists were threatening to seize the White House.

    Is breaking a window really violence?

    I think not.

    It is only money. I was not suggesting that people hit the streets and hit every telephone wire coming down the pole with an axe or destroying some small neighbourhood hydro stations.

    It’s only a damn window. Easily replaced but not forgotten.

    Calm

    The Role of the Entrepreneur

    For a riot to begin, it is necessary but not sufficient that there be many people who want to riot and who believe that others want to riot too. One more hurdle has to be overcome. Even in an unstable gathering, the first perpetrator of a misdemeanor is at risk if the police are willing and able to zero in on him. Thus, someone has to serve as a catalyst–a sort of entrepreneur to get things going–in Buford’s account usually by breaking a window (a signal that can be heard by many who do not see it).

    In civil rights, anti-war or anti-abortion marches, it is probably pretty common to find participants eager to expose themselves to arrest in exchange for the chance to optimize the desired impact of their protest. This sort of self-sacrifice is certainly rare in ordinary riots, where potential rioters’ behavior is consistent, we suppose, with something like the following calculation: “If somebody else gets the riot started, I can participate without much risk. But if I stick my neck out and nobody follows, I’ll be the only one arrested. So I’ll wait for somebody else to go first.” If every would-be rioter reasoned thus, nobody would cast the first stone, and the riot would not ignite. This is a typical free-rider problem, as economists have called it. It is usually sufficient to prevent riots from occurring, even where there is a plentiful supply of disposed participants. Riots await events that surmount the free rider problem.
    http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj14n1-13.html

  24. Just Me (Again) said on November 28th, 2008 at 6:14pm #

    I’m suggesting that this “organized” protest scheduled for Washington might have 100 thousand turn up.

    What the hell is that in the big picture?

    But, if a protest was organized for a specific date and people were encouraged to commit an act of defiance and civil disobedience in every town and city, the impact would be huge.

    No witnesses either. Because each person would commit their action without fanfare or parade.

    A Jay-Walk during rush hour on a specific date would be one method. Where people all over the country were encouraged to Jay-Walk and slowly cross a busy street.

    Another is for a day to be chosen where individuals go out into the Upper Class neighbourhoods and break a window or scratch the paint on a car.

    The only thing that “Power” understands is “Money”.

    They care little about anything else.

    A protest must cost the Ruling Class money or it is a worthless cause.

    Calm

  25. David Kendall said on November 28th, 2008 at 7:41pm #

    “A protest must cost the Ruling Class money or it is a worthless cause.”

    Bravo. You still haven’t provided any documentation, but this deserves some response.

    Breaking windows and slashing tires costs somebody money, but those finite costs can be managed. Jay-walking causes an inconvenience which potentially costs the community money, but the cost is temporary and entirely manageable.

    But you’re on the right track.

    The trick to changing the system overall is through permanent economic withdrawal. . .

  26. David Kendall said on November 28th, 2008 at 8:04pm #

    Sorry. I see the documentation you provided, and it makes some sense. But what I’m looking for is historical data. Whether or not one or more persons are willing or able to lead is not in question.

    The questions are: Can the movement be led? Is the movement viable overall? Can there be solidarity in the movement? Will solidarity help the movement to achieve specific goals? Can the movement be maintained indefinitely? How can such a painful experience be maintained indefinitely?

    The crisis imposed will likely generate some answers to these and many other questions. I think there will be a lot more than just broken windows in the long-run.

  27. Just Me (Again) said on November 28th, 2008 at 11:47pm #

    Hi! David Kendall

    First of all, I would want you to know that I don’t have an “Agenda” because I’m 61 years old and not about to trip around my community and slash tires or break windows.

    I’m simply having a coversation of ideas.

    The historical data which you request is easily found just by reading American history from 1929 – 1939. As I mentioned, Roosevelt only gave what he was forced to give and not a dime more.

    The civil unrest in the 30’s was huge.

    The only other time that such unrest occured was during the 60’s. Each instance was seen as an immediate threat to the Ruling Class.

    As a direct result of the “Threat” during the 60’s, the “Druggie” was invented just as the “Terrorist” was invented recently.

    Every protester with long hair during the 60’s was a “Druggie” and not to be trusted. (A possible communist.) When I led protests during the early 70’s, I had to ensure that nobody had long hair if they were to stand out front of the protest. TV crews were always on the prowl for guys with long hair.

    Then came the “Town Drunk” …. and where police forces drummed up a reason to begin stopping people and searching their cars without a just cause. They introduced this method of control during Christmas time and used kids and babies crying about some “Town Drunk” killing their Mom in an auto accident. In no time at all, the police were on the road everyday and all day chasing “Town Drunks”. Truth is, all they needed to do was to close down hotel parking lots and not allow any drinking establishment to have a parking lot.

    In the 60’s, Martin Luther King was a “Movement” and not just a man with ideals.

    It was the “Movement” which frightened the Ruling Class.

    Make no mistake …. the only thing that those in power recognize is “Money”. The loss of money puts them right over the edge.

    A protest must have financial consequences or the protest will never be known to have taken place or forgotten after the 23 hour news cycle.

    I mentioned windows and tires as an example because I could not think of something else which might have an immediate financial cost or effect.

    You asked if the movement could be led?

    I’m not sure about “Leadership” …. but it must be a “National Protest” and be scheduled for a specific date …. and with a further date of action if the first date does not bring about the changes demanded.

    The protest must have these two specific dates set out in stone.

    The organization can not be by “Individuals” but by a “Movement” …. a direct call to action and aimed towards the country as a whole.

    Anybody living anywhere can participate …. Only the date of the action and the additional date for effectiveness needs to be organized or broadcasted.

    It must have a unique name or description. That is why I chose the “Front Window Alert” name.

    I well remember the immigration protests of 2006 and where they protested in several U.S. cities. Had the protests continued for the second day, many businesses would of been bankrupt because no traffic was moving. That is why Congress began using the term “Comprehensive” and backed off the confrontation.

    It was not because a single protest took place in Washington as an example. It was because the protests were Nationwide or within 10 large cities.

    The cost to business was huge!

    All it would take to organize a nationwide protest, and to encourage people to commit an act of disobedience and/or break a window is a “Text Message”.

    The Subject Line:

    Front Window Alert

    Calm

  28. Just Me (Again) said on November 29th, 2008 at 12:07am #

    I guess I should mention that I have always believed that the Patriot Act was introduced because the Ruling Class saw this financial collapse on the horizon.

    The futurists working inside government saw this coming as far back as the Ronnie Ray-Gun era.

    They knew that the 75 million people born immediately after WWII were going to be turning 65 and would be lining up for the social security benefits promised by the Capitalists to the Working Class.

    And, they knew the cookie jar was empty.

    Bill Clinton was the first Clown who first introduced the Patriot Act and appointed a “domestic military czar”. Clinton and his furturists recognized the decline of the American empire and financial collapse.

    Google:
    Presidential Decision Directive 62, Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Overseas, dated May 1998, and Presidential Decision Directive 39.

    Let’s not forget …. this financial collapse began with a fraud committed by the American government and in collusion with the U.S. banking system.

    For 25 years, banks were selling “Securitized Mortgages” and their friends at the rating agency worked in cahoots with the banks and rated all these securities as Tripple AAA .

    600 Trillion dollars worth! And guess who owned the banks where these financial intruments were first introduced? Guess who these “Economic Terrorists” were? This Capitalist-Fraud has polluted every bank with a nuclear bomb containing worthless securities in every bank in the world. Nobody knows who has a part of the 600 Trillion dollars in worthless paper in their vaults. Everybody is afraid to lend anybody money just in case they might have some of that “Fraud Money” in their vault and be bankrupt in the morning and unable to repay the loan.

    People are lining up and demanding to be paid the value and if not, then they trip over to the company who insured the securities …. A.I.G. is the insurer. Everyday, the American government is bailing out A.I.G. because the “Derivatives” were insured.

    There is no end in sight! We are talking about a 600 trillion dollar fraud!

    And now …. after the party is over …. After we watched the Upper Classes “Party-On” since the time of Ronnie Ray-Gun and The Clowns were first elected …. After the Ruling Class protected their dynasties and moved all their investments to China and India …. It is now that they choose to walk away from all the promises these auto companies made with their workers and communities dependent upon the industry.

    I mention this because the Ruling Class feels “Terrorized” with the knowledge that every promise made by the capitalists during the past 50 years are about to be broken. That is why all the anti-terror legislation has been introduced.

    Let’s face it …. if the Muslims were on the prowl to such an extent that all our civil liberties needed to be curtailed, one would think that with 5 million Westerner’s tourists travelling around the Middle East, that there would be killings and muggings galore.

    I mention this because it must be known that the Ruling Class are sitting in wait …. all the laws are now in place …. they know that unrest is just a rock-throw into the future, or a broken window at the break of dawn.

    Any protest must be just as serious and as consequential as what the Ruling Class has planned for us citizens.

    Calm

  29. Just Me (Again) said on November 29th, 2008 at 12:36am #

    A lobbyist buys what he wants with money …. a citizen needs to buy what they want with the “Cost” of money.

    Both amount to the same method of influence for change.

    I don’t have the money to pay the “Specialists” of the Upper Class … but I do have a method of taking money away from them …. A broken window is a poor man’s lobbyist.

    If people want to “Fix” the system like they claim Roosevelt did or like Obama intends to do ….. then line up for your parades and protests.

    If you want to “Change” the system …. Now that takes a “Method” and not some simple protest.

    We need to use “Fear” in the same way that the Ruling Class have used fear to control the Lower Classes since 9-11 and especially during this economic crisis.

    They are using fear to steal whatever is remaining in the bank.

    As per violence …. nothing can compare to the violence the State has inflicted upon me and my grandchildren during the past 50 years.

    Nothing can compare to the violence my government has inflicted upon others in different countries around the globe and in my name.

    If a corporation was a country and not a corporation, and if they were threatening to breach every contract made with the working Class or as to our place as a nation, we would all be lining up and threatening to nuke them all.

    A broken window is nothing compared to the violence that these Ruling Elites have passed on to me and my grandchildren. The cost of a window repair falls short of the costs which the Ruling Class have heaped upon me.

    The Ruling Class have used threats of violence against me and my community since time began. They are constantly making threats of plant closings and whatever.

    Calm

  30. David Kendall said on November 29th, 2008 at 2:50pm #

    I can’t argue a thing you’ve said here, Calm. Thank you once again for your thoughtful commentary. This is the best stuff I’ve heard from you, and I genuinely appreciate it. You still haven’t cited any particular failures of organized nonviolent direct action — but I am willing to overlook that in view of the other information you’ve provided.

    One essential point you make is that any sort of “protest” needs to be as expensive as possible to the “Ruling Class”. Martin Luther King was a genius in this regard, and his “protests” were generally very successful as a result. Unfortunately, I am not such a “genius” — and apparently neither is David Swanson. Dr. King’s vision for the eradication of poverty was permanent economic withdrawal from the capitalist system. But in order to withdraw completely from Capitalism, we must have an alternative system in place, and there will also be an awkward period of “transition”.

    I think the best “alternative” system that has been proposed involves regional and democratic “cooperatives”. But those systems are still in the infant stages of development. The current economic crisis indicates a need to accelerate that development somehow, for worker cooperation is by far the most formidible threat to Capitalism.

    Meanwhile, the “transition” is not for everybody to run off into “communes” or whatever, but to convert existing enterprises to “self-managed cooperatives”. The only way to do this is to fire the bosses and start running production cooperatively and democratically. You mentioned “breaking windows”. The people of Argentina literally broke into the factories that had been shut down and started running production again — this time “cooperatively”.

    All fine and good — but where does the financing come from?

    Well as many experts suggest, “financing” for new investment should come from productive surplus. There are a number of ways to do this. In Argentina, Hugo Chavez might have provided a lot of support in this regard. In the United States, cooperatives will probably have to fend for themselves.

    In order to expand the cooperative movement, existing cooperatives will need to form a publicly-owned bank to pool and distribute their funds for the creation of additional cooperative enterprise. We cannot trust the existing financial industry with this task. In my view, a publicly-owned bank would not charge or pay interest, and it would provide grants (not loans) for new investment, so “fractional reserve” would not be an issue. With both interest and fractional reserve out of the picture, these “banks” would be nothing more or less than a channel for the expansion of the cooperative movement. While I’m not sure, I doubt there is any U.S. Federal law that prohibits giving money away. If there is, then this is subject for further discussion.

    But all this depends upon a cohesive cooperative alliance between existying cooperative enterprises. I have absolutely no control or even a vote in any of that, since I myself do not belong to a “cooperative”. Wish I did. But as David Schweickart has observed, cooperative enterprise does not tend toward expansion.

    I also want to express my genuine sympathy, Calm, for all the loss you’ve experienced as a result of your activist involvement over the past 50 years. But as cold-hearted as it might sound, “Americans” need to begin now to make similar decisions about their own lives and the lives of their families. As you suggest, these problems will not simply “disappear”. They’re going to get a lot worse, according to the terms and conditions established by the “Ruling Class” all along.

    Now, where does a “Homeless March on Washington” fit in all this picture?

    Well, as you also suggest, maybe Washington, D.C. shouldn’t be the only target. Maybe the protest should take place in every major city throughout the United States. Would this make the event any more or less manageable by the “Ruling Class”? I’m not sure. But I think the movement itself does seem worthwhile — not entirely “foolish”. What else have “homeless” people got to do? Break windows? Well — who says they can’t? They most certainly will, regardless of whether the effort is “organized” or not. You seem to advocate at least some level of organization, Calm. I’d like to hear more about that.

    What infuriates me in general is that there IS a “Ruling Class” and a “Working Class” at all, and that the “Rulers” have quite successfully blinded most of the population to the fact. Only when people themselves become “homeless” do they even begin to ask questions about the system that deliberately forced them into that position. But by then, it’s too late. They’re powerless to even send an email or write an article or comment upon an article about a “Homeless March on Washington” or “organize” any other sort of action.

    So if a Homeless March is “foolish”, and you don’t want to participate in any tire slashing or window breaking — then what sort of action do you think we should pursue, Calm?

  31. Just Me (Again) said on November 29th, 2008 at 3:23pm #

    David Kendall Wrote:
    You still haven’t cited any particular failures of organized nonviolent direct action

    I thought that was self explanatory. For 50 years or more there have been organized protests and to what end? What results have they produced which is of any real consequence?

    Just do a Google search for “The New Deal” or “1930 Depression” and read all about the unrest during that time. There were alot of broken windows and alot of riots. That is why Roosevelt stepped out front. He spent a few bucks and most importantly, he gave the protest organizers government jobs or appointments to keep them quiet. Corporations do the same thing with unions. When I was a local union president, the company was always asking me to take the salaried staff position. Everybody admires leadership while fearing it as well.

    Has the standard of living dropped dropped during the past 50 years? Is your wife now having to work outside the home just to pay the damn rent?

    All we got for 50 years of parades is more toys!

    David Kendall Wrote:
    Dr. King’s vision for the eradication of poverty was permanent economic withdrawal from the capitalist system

    I thought that Richard Cook had a rather fine idea.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11120

    Rather then withdraw from the capitalist system, we should all be bailing ourselves out first …. by refusing to pay our credit cards.

    The organization which I mention needs to be anonymous. Nobody can publicly take the lead. It means an outreach here in Mouse Land and with text messaging as well. It means acting like a spammer of sorts.

    This can all be done without an “organizer” needing to stick his head in a noose.

    Calm

  32. David Kendall said on November 29th, 2008 at 8:20pm #

    There are a number of ways to look at what you are saying. Yes, I agree with the “more toys” theory. But to say that has been the only accomplishment since the last “Great Depression” is not realistic.

    For instance, are you Black, Calm? If so, then you were certainly Black in 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000. Even if you’re NOT Black, what can you tell me about the changes in the quality of life for a Black person in the United States over that period of time?

    Now tell me that Martin Luther King Jr. and his “parades” didn’t have anything to do with those changes.

    For the rest of your claims, I’ll have to research, though I already have some idea what I’ll find. For instance, as Ralph Nader constantly laments, the “labor movement” has been neutered since the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, and I agree.

    But the solution for that is simple. Eliminate both wages and employers from the economic system by forming worker cooperatives and a network of publicly-owned banks to support them. Easier said than done — but this is the ultimate solution.

    Meanwhile, I recently suggested that all Americans simply close their bank accounts and stop paying ANY debts to the bank. The general response was that this was a dangerously irresponsible suggestion that could bring me up on criminal charges. So I’ve since tried to avoid giving any such advice.

    But now I see you are at least familiar with the “Cook Plan”. Good job, Calm. Now, other than a “parade”, how would YOU suggest we get the “Cook Plan” implemented? — specifically, Basic Income Guarantee?

  33. Just Me (Again) said on November 30th, 2008 at 10:23am #

    David Kendall Wrote
    But now I see you are at least familiar with the “Cook Plan”. Good job, Calm.

    Well, I’m familiar with alot of plans and things. I follow this kind of stuff rather closely.
    http://tinyurl.com/6bucnl

    David Kendall Wrote
    Even if you’re NOT Black, what can you tell me about the changes in the quality of life for a Black person in the United States over that period of time?

    The State of Working America, 2006/2007
    — Mean wealth (household assets minus liabilities) in 2004
    Black: $101,400 White: $534,000 Black/White: 19.0%
    — Median wealth in 2004
    Black: $11, 800 White: $118,300 Black/White: 10.0%
    — Mean financial wealth in 2004 (liquid and semi-liquid assets such as cash, trusts, retirement, pensions, stocks, etc)
    Black: $61,500 White: $402,500 Black/White: 15.0%
    — Median financial wealth in 2004
    Black: $300 White: $36,100 Black/White: 1.0%
    — Households with zero or negative net wealth in 2004
    Black: 29.4% White: 13.0% Black/White: 230.0%
    — Home ownership rates in 2005
    Black: 48.2% White: 72.7%
    http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org
    http://www.counterpunch.com/yates06212008.html

    I was watching Chris Matthews today and he kept mentioning just how angry American’s were. I found it amazing that during the primaries, Obama was chastized for suggesting there was anger out there. But, the media knew this all along. They must of been getting a zillion e-Mails a day expressing anger for the past 4 years at least.

    I guess each person has a breaking point and where they decide to get off the couch and take matters into their own hands …. the “enough is enough” routine.

    I see the complete world as being “Class Warfare”. I see everything through that lens.

    You never hear the media mention it too often because that is the worst fear of the Ruling Class. But that is what it is.

    We have been trained by the media to always look down the food chain and see who is getting money which they don’t deserve or because they are not “Hard Working” people but rather just “Working” people.

    It seems that when we are looking to control spending, we look down the food chain and resent what those below us are receiving in Welfare or whatever.

    Why aren’t people looking up the food chain?

    I think that any person who can afford an outdoor heated swimming pool, is the median or the place to begin clawing back money to redistribute lower down the food chain.

    It irritates me to no end that people with heated swimming pools are printing pamplets advising us all to be “Green” while they surp up all that energy just to heat their swimming pool and refuse to finance public swimming pools in poor neighbourhoods. The people with McMansions are telling me to use less energy and smell the armpits on public transit or walk to work.

    I guess you and I have different tolerances for what we find acceptable within our system of governance. What might outrage you to the point of a protest might not be sufficient to get me off the couch.

    You seem to want to “Fix” certain items and where I see the complete system of governance as a failure and which requires “Change” and that this “Change” is not about to happen just because of a protest.

    The “Change” I seek or the “Change” I feel would be enough to get me off my couch is quite an encompassing “Change”. Not a simple “Fix”.

    You mentioned the “Basic Income Guarantee” …. Now, that is a “Change” and not a simple “Fix”. The Ruling Class are not gonna finance this redistribution of weatlh without putting up a fight. The Ruling Class will use the military and shoot us down like dirty dogs before they agree to a more equitable share of the wealth.

    “Change” will take a revolution of sorts. And with revolution comes violence and broken windows.

    Calm

  34. David Kendall said on December 1st, 2008 at 3:49am #

    Interesting statistics, Calm. But you’ve managed to evade the question again. I didn’t ask for statistics regarding current inequalities between whites and blacks. I asked what you could tell me about the changes in the quality of life for a black person in the United States between 1950 and 2000.

    Much of Dr. King’s last book is devoted to the inequalities that remain between blacks and whites — even though the segregation problem had been resolved to some extent. In his book, King discusses the initial triumphs of the Civil Rights movement, the remaining inequality between whites and blacks, and the need to abolish poverty for all races worldwide to eliminate those inequalities. He suggests the first phase of his vision had already seen some great success, but that much deeper problems remained. The eradication of poverty was”phase 2″ of his vision, and that is where we find ourselves today. King strongly recommends the Basic Income Guarantee as the best immediate solution, and I concur BIG is probably the simplest and quickest beginning.

    But in my third article regarding this (see the article above?), I not only acknowledge the Ruling Class opposition you describe, I also explain why it exists. I think it’s essential for people to understand that opposition before we start “parading” around “breaking windows”. As you’ve suggested throughout, it would be a serious mistake to underestimate the fierce opposition to an idea like Basic Income Guarantee.

    “Revolution”? Yes, that is mentioned in the article as well, though I’m really not sure what people are referring to these days when they run around shouting for a “revolution”. Broken windows, maybe. Good luck with that. I have a few more realistic thoughts on the matter, some of which I have discussed here, and I might write more about “revolution” at some point.

    Meanwhile, we might have saved a lot of time here if you had read my article. Below are some pertinent excerpts from Dr. King’s book:

    ____________

    “With Selma and the Voting Rights Act one phase of development in the civil rights revolution came to an end. A new phase opened, but few observers realized it or were prepared for its implications. For the vast majority of white Americans, the past decade — the first phase — had been a struggle to treat the Negro with a degree of decency, not of equality. White America was ready to demand that the Negro should be spared the lash of brutality and coarse degradation, but it had never been truly committed to helping him out of poverty, exploitation or all forms of discrimination.” (pg 3)

    “The emergence of social initiatives by a revitalized labor movement would be taking place as Negroes are placing economic issues on the highest agenda. The coalition of an energized section of labor, Negroes, unemployed and welfare recipients may be the source of power that reshapes economic relationships and ushers in a breakthrough to a new level of social reform. The total elimination of poverty, now a practical possibility, the reality of equality in race relations and other profound structural changes in society may well begin here.” (pg 142)

    “In the treatment of poverty nationally, one fact stands out: there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike.” (pg 161)

    “I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” (pg 162)

    “The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” (pg 165-66)

    “However deeply American Negroes are caught in the struggle to be at last at home in our homeland of the United States, we cannot ignore the larger world house in which we are also dwellers. Equality with whites will not solve the problem of either whites or Negroes if it means equality in a world society stricken by poverty and in a universe doomed to extinction by war.” (pg 167)

    King, Dr. Martin Luther (1968). Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community?. New York, NY: Beacon Press

  35. Me said on December 1st, 2008 at 12:28pm #

    Please quit telling me that I have not read what you wrote. You might say that I misunderstood something, but not that I failed to read.

    The Ruling Class saw no real threat with Martin Luther King until he started to instigate the labour unions. It was then that they set out to destroy him.

    I’ve read quite abit about racism within America.

    Scroll down the page and find this information:

    The Destructive Pathology of White Privilege
    http://tinyurl.com/6pvxnz

    I guess we can leave this conversation. In 10 years time we can return to it and see what ideal or method of instigating “Change” proves to be correct.

    Calm