Monday, December 06, 2010

Working Class Heros...Or Else...

I read the news today, oh boy.
-- The Republicans are holding unemployment benefits hostage to make sure the ultra-rich get to keep their tax break...and Obama seems to be willing to pay the ransom.
-- The "elite can’t easily visualize the pain of Social Security cuts" on those earning far less than they do, so that's why SS is a favorite target of those earning over $250k a year.

-- That tax cut for the Fat Cats will cost us $60+ billion a year - imagine what else it could buy instead.
-- "Many state and local governments have so much debt — several trillion dollars’ worth, with much of it off the books and largely hidden from view — that it could overwhelm them in the next few years." That means, of course, that the poorest and least able suffer most: cutbacks in food stamps even though food assistance claims are way up, reductions in Medicare coverage, fewer cops on the beat and teachers in schools, shortchanged pension funds, cutbacks in mental healthcare services.
-- Meanwhile, the elite are more worried about the deficit, because that potentially effects returns on their investments, than on whether the economy is recovering. "Deficit hysteria is just a pretext for ideological and class warfare by 'bipartisan' means."
-- And don't forget the big picture of wealth inequality that's fuelling all this. :
Forget the poor souls who had to try to make ends meet on a dole of $320 (£200) per week for a family of four...Wealth in America is now concentrated to a degree unprecedented since the Great Depression. The top 1 per cent of taxpayers – roughly those making $500,000-plus annually – now receive almost a quarter of all national income, and own more than a third of the country's private sector assets. The same pattern is visible in the financial sector, whose recklessness was the main cause of the crisis. Since the crash of 2008, the concentration of power in a handful of giant financial institutions has only increased.

As the Middle Class continues to shrink and we wonder who will stand up to the super-rich, it's time we admitted that America is in the midst of a full-on Class War.
That war can be waged with rhetoric, with protests and strikes, with support for a true party of the labor movement instead of wasting our time voting for the whiggish Dems. But we also need to gain popular support, a pop-culture realisation that something is rotten and needs a revolution. Without that, it'll always be a minority of activists pitting themselves against an overwhelming national preference for Apathy and Ignorance ("I don't know and I don't care") created by the corporate media. As long as we're kept divided by the manufactured bigotry of "social issues" - guns, Gods, gays and faux-patriotism - the people will always be defeated.
Yet nothing seems to have really changed since I lamented in a 2007 post that all the good working-class protest songs were from yesteryear, that few modern bands were writing songs that could be the soundtrack to a revolution. If I'm wrong, please educate me in comments.
In the meantime, here's a soundtrack for the Class War and a song that is over 40 years old that could serve for orchestral background music of tomorrow....It's a snappy little number with  really catchy lyrics....


Laci the Chinese Crested said...

I have to admit that I would love to see a class war happen in the US. As time passes, I begin to think this is more and more unlikely. Instead of people who are upset at what they should be upset at, we have people like sepp.

That about says it all!

UInfortunately, the US MSM has been able to brainwash pretty much the whole of society.

microdot said...

Have any music to suggest for my soundtrack?

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

Billy Bragg particularly the Internationale album

Jefferson Airplane --Volunteers of America

Ian Dury--What a Waste

Clash--Career Opportunities

Jam--Man in the Corner shop
Pretty Green

Cabaret Voltaire--Sensoria

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

How could I forget Chumbawumba's English Rebel Songs 1381-1914?

Steve Butabi said...

Salute to John Lennon, what a great song.

microdot said...

There has been a lot of passionate great political songs...We have a rich legacy of protest and socially conscious music...Billy Holliday wrote Strange Fruit, the great folk musicians, Pete Seegar, Woody Guthrie. Bob Dylan at his early anthemic best. I grew up in a politically charged insane music scene in Detroit. MC5, White Panther Party, John Sinclair. These were not hippies, these guys were freaks and for a while militantly believing they could change the world with sex drugs and rock and roll. Then Chicago happened and people started to blow stuff up in Detroit. It was a tinderbox then and we are on the verge of igniting a tinder box now...
I think my point was that today, we have an commercial music industry that thrives on apathy...though bands like Green Day have broken through with real songs with real ideas...most importantly, that actually sell records and leaves a footprint on brains where ideas were stomped in...
Gaslight Anthem comes to mind....Bruce Springsteen is a true believer.Could Curtis Mayfield get a contract today?
But, give me the Clash!
The Clampdown!

sr said...

Sorry to be picky...especially for such a well done post of music & story...but STRANGE FRUIT was written by Abel Meeropol, not Billie Holiday. Meeropol and his wife adopted the Rosenberg sons, whose parents had been executed as Soviet spies.

microdot said...

Tank you for the correction and the information which I never knew. Here's a bit from wikipedia:
"Strange Fruit" was a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-school teacher from the Bronx, about the lynching of two black men. He published under the pen name Lewis Allan.[3][4]
In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, possibly after having seen Lawrence Beitler's photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. He published the poem in 1936 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine. Though Meeropol/Allan had often asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set "Strange Fruit" to music himself. The piece gained a certain success as a protest song in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden.[5] (Meeropol and his wife later adopted Robert and Michael, sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of espionage and executed by the United States.)[6]

-Sepp said...

I love Lennon but, he was a fucking hypocite. All his socialist beliefs went out the window when he came to the U.S as a tax exile from GB.
Sure he could preach and sing about things but, when it came down to HIS earnings, he came here.

microdot said...

Thank you Sepp, ever true to form, a turd for every parade, but could you have walked a mile in his shoes with out getting shit on your feet?
I really do not want to get into a pissing contest with you here as it is not relevant to what the focus of this post was about. So chill, babe!