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Arts and Culture

Workers of the World Show Who’s Boss

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Posted on May 15, 2009
ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Demonstrators march through downtown Chicago in December 2008 in support of the laid-off workers of Republic Windows and Doors.

Across Europe and even in the U.S., a new wave of direct action to “rebuild the economy from the ground up” is rising. Some workers are responding to layoffs and workplace shutdowns by ousting their bosses and seeking to run things their own way. Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis report on the state of worker-control movements today in light of the current economic crisis.

CommonDreams.org:

In 2004, we made a documentary called The Take about Argentina’s movement of worker-run businesses. In the wake of the country’s dramatic economic collapse in 2001, thousands of workers walked into their shuttered factories and put them back into production as worker cooperatives. Abandoned by bosses and politicians, they regained unpaid wages and severance while re-claiming their jobs in the process.

As we toured Europe and North America with the film, every Q&A ended up with the question, “that’s all very well in Argentina, but could that ever happen here?”

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

UAW sells out again…this is why Unions dont work here in the uS.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/22/business/22auto.html?_r=1&hp;
DETROIT — The United Automobile Workers union said Thursday that it had reached a tentative deal with General Motors and the Treasury Department that would help G.M. cut its labor costs and reduce its obligations to a new retiree health care fund by billions of dollars….

The U.A.W. did not release details of the deal, which is subject to ratification by G.M. workers. The agreement is expected to be similar to one reached last month with Chrysler, which allowed that automaker to substitute equity for up to half of the $10 billion owed to its retiree health care fund. G.M. owes about twice that amount to the fund for its workers….

The deal is one of the government’s requirements for G.M. to win more loans but is not enough in itself to keep the carmaker from having to file for bankruptcy protection on June 1, the government’s deadline. More important, G.M. needs to persuade nearly all of the bondholders who hold more than $27 billion of its debt to swap their claims for stock in the restructured company. Most analysts expect the offer to fail…”

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By ThomasG, May 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Freedom Monkeys

The United States has, for the most part, a population of “freedom monkeys”.

A “freedom monkey” is a patriot to a rag that is a flag, rather than to all of the people of the nation that believes in freedom as an objective concept, rather than as a right of all of the people to live without oppression; the freedom of a fool; freedom without benefit of “the absence of oppression”.

A patriot is patriotic to the objective freedom of all of the people.  A patriot is patriotic to all of the people of the nation, not a rag that is a flag, that is patriotic to the peoples absence of oppression, their objective freedom, the people not being burdened, subdued and forced by harsh and wrongful use of power and authority.  A patriot wants the benefit of freedom for himself/herself and all of the people of the nation.  A patriot is not a “freedom monkey”.

The people of the United States must strive to not be “freedom monkeys”. 

The people of the United States must strive to be patriots to all of the people of the United States, and the absence of all of the people being burdened, subdued and forced to perform actions in the interest of others by harsh and wrongful use of power and authority;  that is what objective freedom is.

The people of the United States must strive to shake off their subjective indoctrination and propaganda in the public school system and the entertainment media that directs them to be compliant “freedom monkeys” that do not get or even expect the benefit of objective patriotism and freedom; that willingly accept subjugation as “freedom monkeys” as patriotism and freedom.

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By KDelphi, May 20, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

re—what do yu want to do? jump high and I will show up. Its better than waiting until we are so weak that they cant squash us like bugs…

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By re, May 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course it could happen…but you need BALLS.
We are out.

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By KDelphi, May 19, 2009 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

johannes—we’re not all that stupid. where are you from?

G Anderson—Id go with the devil. He might be the most physically attractive.

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By ThomasG, May 19, 2009 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WEALTH and POVERTY

POVERTY

Poverty is achieved by PAYING a revenue stream from work force wages for acquisition, personal use, maintenance and storage for hoarding of consumable goods and services.


WEALTH

Wealth is achieved by ACQUIRING CAPITAL with work force wages, RECEIVING a revenue stream from CAPITAL and using the revenue stream from CAPITAL to both create more CAPITAL and pay for acquisition, personal use, maintenance and storage for hoarding of consumable goods and services.

*********************************************
The choice is yours; if you want to be affluent, rather than poor, invest both your own personal time and work force wages in CAPITAL, rather than consumable goods and services that by INTENT are provided to produce CAPITAL for others by your purchase and consumption.  The choice of poverty is that of a CONSUMER.  The choice of wealth is that of a CAPITALIST.

The handbook of the Reagan administration, “Wealth and Poverty” by George Gilder gives the Conservative RIGHT-WING REPUBLICAN EXTREMISTS rhetoric on wealth and poverty; this is the real deal, folks, on how you can accomplish either wealth or poverty by your own actions.

President Reagan handed out George Gilder’s book “Wealth and Poverty” to friends and advisors. “Wealth and Poverty” was embraced by Washington with a warmth not seen since the Kennedy’s adopted John Kenneth Galbraith book, “The Affluent Society”, according to Jacob S. Hacker in “The Great Risk Shift, The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream”.

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By ThomasG, May 19, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American style undefined freedom with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all is freedom as a TROPE, freedom with the highest standard for the American aristocracy, the second highest standard for the toadies of the American middle class singularity and the lowest standard for the 70% majority common population of the United States, which are NOT represented in the Legislative, Executive or Judicial branches of U.S. Government, and are systemically denied a political party as an institutionally accepted means of control of the 70% majority common population of the United States, so that the 70% majority common population of the United States can be used as a collective group of self-charging batteries, that the combined 30% minority of the American aristocracy and the American middle class singularity can use as consumers to generate CAPITAL for the benefit of the 30% minority of the American aristocracy and middle class singularity of insufferable toadies.

While listening to NPR this morning I heard yahoo….[benjamin net’n].... talking about educating the Palestinians for PEACE, and I thought about the 70% majority common population of the United States that have been educated for FREEDOM, with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all, that has reduced the 70% majority common population of the United States to a collective of self-charging batteries to generate CAPITAL for the benefit of others without substantial benefit for themselves, other than minimum maintenance as a battery; surely the 70% majority common population can start to wake up and do better for themselves than being used by the minor dominant classes and cultures of the American aristocracy and middle class singularity toadies as self-charging batteries to generate CAPITAL that the 70% majority common population does not share in, that is for the benefit solely of the American aristocracy and their insufferable toadies of the American middle class singularity.

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By johannes, May 19, 2009 at 2:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Funny country your America, every body is smyling, as they give away all the money to the thieves, and take every thing from the people who make this money.

Its a real shame that citizen can be that stupid, to beleave one afther the other from this promising man.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, May 18, 2009 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

From their lofty perch on Mount Olympus, the Gods in Congress barely notice the screaming of the Ants below.  Without any urgency, they debate ours and our children’s fate with poetic phrases and little concern, for their country or their fellow men.

And if one were not looking closely, it would be hard to tell that, the Democratic Party won by a substantial majority.

It seems instead of conquerors, they have become beggars.

While we were fighting for freedom someone sold us into slavery. Who would that be?

And if you had your choice which would you choose, a contract drawn up by a Republican lawyer, a credit card company or the Devil himself?

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By photoshock, May 18, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

In the name of all that is ‘holey,’ we the people must take back control of the workspace and the government.
For too long now, the government has been run by an elite, an elite which cares nothing for and does not consider the worker or the person who cannot work, either because of disability or the person who cannot find work because of their economic shenanigans.
Too many of these so-called ‘moneyed-elite,’ have nothing to offer society, case in point, Gov. Duhhhbya Bush, or more commonly called ‘the shrub.’
Under his command, this country has become a second world country, and is fast becoming a third world country under the administration of Barack Obama.
The glitter is off of the ideals set forth in President Obama’s campaign, he is showing his true face and it is not pretty. He is more beholding to the moneyed elite than even the previous person who occupied that hallowed home.
Until now, there was hope that promises made would be
kept, but as is now unfolding, the ideals were just that ideals, and nothing more. To still believe in the revolution of Barack Obama, is to have your head stuck in the sand and your ears covered by your hands
so that you don’t have to listen to the promised change bend and crack.
We the people, cannot and should not count on the government to change what we see as the faults of the
Far Right Wing Nut establishment, we the workers and non-workers who cannot and have not found work, must rise up and create work for ourselves without the help of government or the banks. We cannot live on promises of change, we have to change things ourselves.  Give peace a chance, change the world, and live life free from the Oppressor!  Take back the government and the monetary system. Do not cave into the demands of the establishment, do not give your children to war or the police, we are the answer
and we must work for ourselves and not the robber barons and thieves of Wall Street.

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By rockinrobin, May 17, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our GOV is BASED ON CRIMINALLY RUN BASIS folks! it is NOT for the PEOPLE at all! EXPLOITATION is the TARGETING and HARMING for PERSONAL GAIN & PROFIT; THIS is the AGENDA of the POLITICAL SYSTEM in the USA; WE the PEOPLE are the TARGET; THINK that our GOV is “good”????? RUMSFELD, KISSENGER fabricated ALL of that to HIDE what they were up to; based on GUNSMOKE; I strongly recommend searching: rumsfeld & asparteme; rumsfeld & monsanto; Rockefeller owing 93 per cent of the PHARMA, by MISUSE of MEDIA who WORKS WITH the criminal political system here in USA: has thru DELIBERATE FALSE PICTURES and FALSE REPORTS which is ALL this entire Gov sytems is BASED ON FOLKS: deliberately defrauded, purposely poisoned with premeditated cold blooded malicious intent to THIS nation & now on to GLOBALLY.
  Manipulation of MEDIA, manipulation of LAWS, manipulation of MARKETS: they want to FORCE you to BUY from them, to get ill, and PAY them AGAIN to get “healed” again. It is DIFFICULT for the MIND of DECENT FOLKS to understand this CRIMINAL activity. The PAYOFFS to THEMSELVES folks is so incredibly much, at the EXPENSE OF LIVES: they do not even CARE! THIS is the nation using BROMINE, FORMALDEHYDE, and every other POISON they CAN in everything: it is NOT CHINA!
What POISON are YOU feeding YOUR family today? and JUDICIAL system full of “judges” more criminal than any appearing before them. It starts in the CITY, the COUNTY, the STATES, the FEDS: do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want: have all the money you can ever want & NEVER be brought to JUSTICE. WE have SUCCESSFULLY gotten away with it for YEARS!

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 16, 2009 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

Thank you KDelphi (May 16 at 8:39 pm #) for you feedback to a previous post of mine. Here below is a good article with bearing on the issue under discussion!
=============
Changing Obama’s Mindset
By Howard Zinn

http://www.countercurrents.org/zinn150509.htm

“Wherever progress has been made, wherever any kind of injustice has been overturned, it’s been because people acted as citizens, and not as politicians. They didn’t just moan. They worked, they acted, they organized, they rioted if necessary to bring their situation to the attention of people in power. And that’s what we have to do today…”

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By KDelphi, May 16, 2009 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

Fadel—I agree, but, beg to differ as to whether the working classes here are “cowardly”—they have been lied to , kept in the dark, and, had their Unions defanged and pulled out from underneath them.

As long as the “middle class” remains “comfortable enough”, they will only express how they “feel the pain” of the lower and wokring classes, and send them of to pay for more “education”, for a job that they are, very quickly, going to ship off to somewhere where they can exploit workers even further.

http://www.marxist.com/consciousness-of-masses.htm

Is the consciousness of the masses too low? Or is the problem one of leadership?
By Josef Falkinger
Monday, 04 May 2009


“It is fashionable among some layers on the left to blame the workers’ “low consciousness” for the lack of a genuine left alternative emerging within the labour movement internationally. This is utterly false and represents a lack of understanding of how the working class moves historically. The working class is fully aware of the situation it is in. What it requires is a leadership up to task of leading the class in its struggle to change society
Not the masses but the leaders are the problem
The crisis of humanity today, as in the whole of the 20th century, is the crisis of the leadership of the working class, which includes the leadership of the Communist, Labour and Social Democratic parties as well as the trade unions. Even those leaders that put forward a left reformist programme, at every decisive turning point prove to be unable to offer a real alternative policy to the main leadership. They may criticise this or that counter-reform, but in the end they accept the logic of capitalism by not presenting a concrete socialist alternative….

(quote)...Even worse are the petit bourgeois intellectual lefts that seem to dominate in the academic world of the universities. They treat the working class as if it were an unintelligent mass that is incapable of “understanding”. From this flows their approach of attempting to carry out reforms for the workers. Their aim is to win one position after another, step by step, thus achieving “intellectual hegemony” directed against so-called neo-liberalism. This in effect means not mobilising the working class against capitalism. By accepting the logic of capitalism while proposing reforms that go against the logic of capitalism, and by believing that universities, state institutions, NGOs, the media and so on - anything but the organised working class - can be used as instruments of profound social change, these ladies and gentlemen only reveal their own lack of consciousness!....”

Sadly, it seems that it will take a huge reduction in the standard of living of the middle classes for them to act. When they see that it is they who will pay the full price of capitalism’s failure, they will act, or we will become a Third World country…we already have a class gap large enough that we fit the description. Only in the UK are the so-called working classes’ standard of living so different form the elites, although the uS have the majority of the truly elite rich.

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By Jaded Prole, May 16, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

American workers have much to learn from our European and South American comrades! The US has avoided worker strife through the artificial propping up of a disnelyand delusion of “middle class” America along with dumbing down the population, undermining organized labor and censoring real news but times are changing. The Disneyland funhouse has collapsed and US workers are being forced to face the ugly reality of this system. No one can organize and radicalize workers like the corporate ruling class. Unfortunately the police state is already written into law and the Army—THEIR Army, is station here in the US and they aren’t here to fight anyone else. “Terrorist” will now come to include those who won’t just shut up and starve.

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By herewegoagain, May 16, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

About globalism: right now, Corporatist Obama is showing Americans who’s boss. And it’s not us. Did you hear he just appointed the CEO of a transnational chemical company as ambassador to China? Let me rephrase that in Corporate Media-speak: “Obama just reached across the aisle to appoint Utah Governor Huntsman, who is fluent in Mandarin and has adopted Asian children, to ambassador of China.”

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 16, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

“As we toured Europe and North America with the film, every Q&A ended up with the question, “that’s all very well in Argentina, but could that ever happen here?”
====================================================
Yes, it could and it should! If it doesn’t happen here then it would be a reflection of how sheepish and cowardly American working class are, and how tyrant the American political-police establishment is!

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By mark dworkin, May 16, 2009 at 6:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most recent film about the success and lessons of worker run businesses in Argentina is ARGENTINA: TURNING AROUND (Bullfrog Films - 2008).  A short version of this film was selected for the 2008 Media That Matters on-line film festival.  Watch it here - http://www.mediathatmattersfest.org/watch/8/

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