Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why Aren't Americans Fighting Back?

From Truth Out:  http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/17498-why-arent-americans-fighting-back

By E. Douglas Kihn
Monday, 15 July 2013


This is the big question, right? It's what people are wondering everywhere.

The answer is simple and plausible - but the explanation is a bit more complicated. The majority of Americans are suffering terribly from the current economic crisis, but they do not yet have a political self-identity that will allow for a successful fightback. They don't know who they are or what they're fighting for. Neither do they understand whom or what they are fighting against.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles . . . if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle." These are the words of Sūn Zǐ, a 6th century BCE Chinese general, military strategist, and author of The Art of War, an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy.

All fighting is the same. Self-knowledge and knowledge of the enemy confer on the fighter the outlines of a winning strategy, based on the best utilization of available weapons of offense and defense.

The majority of Americans, unknowingly, are members of the working class, AKA the proletariat, and will be fighting for the kind of socialism in which sharing, cooperation, volunteerism, and wellness replace the drive for individual profits, competition, ego, and the desire for power over others. Most Americans would like to see an end to global poverty, war, and injustice, and one day, we shall discover that the means to this end involves the social ownership and democratic control of the world's wealth. Only with this in place can the benefits of that wealth find their way back to the vast majority - the bottom two-thirds of the economic ladder.

That accomplishment will prepare us for the next stage, which will fulfill most of the needs that we "earthlings" currently have. These essentials include saving the environment, automating all boring and unhealthy jobs, developing the individual person, living wherever and however we wish, and benefiting from the astounding medical and other technological advances of the future.

The American majority will be fighting against the other pole of attraction - the ruling class, AKA the capitalist class, AKA the bourgeoisie, and their particular version of class society, which could be referred to as the Dictatorship of Capital. The rulers are fighting for the status quo - their supposed right to own, control, and accumulate wealth - and the power over the majority that that wealth provides.

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