Naomi Wolf’s essay on “The Shocking Truth About the Crackdown on Occupy”
brings to our attention some very important issues in the current struggle.
Naomi is hitting the nail on the head when she says:
“…our own national leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from transparency and reform, are now making war upon us.”
It is not just that our “leaders” see their own personal wealth under attack, but that of the people whose interests they represent and from whom they gain their ill-gotten wealth — not the 1% but the .01%.
I am however not shocked at the attacks, I expected them — which is not to imply I am any less outraged that they occurred.
It is a sad truth that the history of the United States is full of instances of oppression by the rich against workers and the poor. Being shocked about this is to miss the systemic nature of the oppression and think, as Naomi does, that corruption is the main problem. As Naomi says:
“The inflated fees to lawmakers who turn lobbyists are common knowledge, but the notion that congressmen and women are legislating their own companies’ profits is less widely known – and if the books were to be opened, they would surely reveal corruption on a Wall Street spectrum. “
This is true but it is not the main problem, and distracts from the main problem, which is that the capitalist system, by requiring constantly expanding exploitation of workers and resources, strengthens the position of those in our society dedicated to short-term planning focused on quarterly profit goals at the expense of meeting the needs of the great majority of constituents in the society, the 99%, the workers.
Furthermore, the state is not a tool for equitable resolution of conflict, it is a tool that exists to facilitate the oppression of movements exactly like Occupy. Zinn’s “People’s History” documents this from the first days of the new state when the starving in New York (for example) who marched to demand food were imprisoned or forced to “go west” in a conscious planned migration in support of expanding colonial genocide against Native Americans.
I share Naomi’s outrage, and join her and others who stand against the corruption she describes. We are indeed in a now open, now covert, civil war in which we need to correctly identify the enemy (both as a set of mutually supporting classes and as an economic system that is dying around us), and organize to fight for our survival and our priorities as workers. A strong Communist Party based on Marxist/Leninist principles is needed, as well as a strong labor movement that is independent of the Democratic Party, which is a party of the wealthy.
Occupy is correct in condemning the corrupt electoral system in this country. We are beyond primarily electoral struggle to struggle in the streets – for our survival as workers and our families and communities. Read Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain if you don’t think we are struggling for our lives. Even the Democrats are talking about the need to lower workers wages in response to the “debt” crisis. The imposition of austerity measures is a code name for increased exploitation of the working class by the rich. Debt servicing is merely the transfer of workers money to the rich when workers didn’t choose to “invest” in the imperialist wars, increasing globalization of wages to the lowest paid, robotics replacing manual labor on factory lines, and the steady downward pressure on wages that contributed to the “debt” and the systemic crisis of overproduction. Workers can’t buy the products of their own labor.
Socialism is the only real solution to a corrupt and corrupting — dying — capitalist economic / social system that has proven itself unable to meet the needs of the 99% — the vast majority in this country and globally who labor for their survival. Socialism is simply the imposition of a working-class state for a capitalist state.
A key goal: Socialize the wealth — bring the wealth under democratic control.
In unity and struggle,