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During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program: 1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.
Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1% Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico
February is Black History Month
Images and Quotes of the Day:
Beard’s interpretation of the Civil War was highly influential among historians and the general public from its publication in 1927 until well into the civil rights era of the late 1950s. The Beards downplayed slavery, abolitionism, and issues of morality. They ignored constitutional issues of states rights and even ignored American nationalism as the force that finally led to victory in the war. Indeed, the ferocious combat itself was passed over as merely an ephemeral event. Charles Ramsdell says the Beards emphasized that the Civil War was caused by economic issues, and was not basically about the right or wrong of slavery. Thomas J. Pressly says that the Beards fought against the prevailing nationalist interpretation that depicted, “a conflict between rival section-nations rooted in social, economic, cultural, and ideological differences.” Pressly said the Beards instead portrayed a, “struggle between two economic economies having its origins in divergent material interests.” Much more important was the calculus of class conflict. The Beards announced that the Civil War was really a “social cataclysm in which the capitalists, laborers, and farmers of the North and West drove from power in the national government the planting aristocracy of the South”. They argued that the events were a second American Revolution. The Beards were especially interested in the postwar era, as the industrialists of the Northeast and the farmers of the West cashed in on their great victory over the southern aristocracy. Hofstadter paraphrases the Beards as arguing that in victory:the Northern capitalists were able to impose their economic program, quickly passing a series of measures on tariffs, banking, homesteads, and immigration that guaranteed the success of their plans for economic development. Solicitude for the Freedman had little to do with northern policies. The Fourteenth Amendment, which gave the Negro his citizenship, Beard found significant primarily as a result of a conspiracy of a few legislative draftsman friendly to corporations to use the supposed elevation of the blacks as a cover for a fundamental law giving strong protection to business corporations against regulation by state government. — Civil War and Reconstruction
Moreover, the economic power, political independence, and social weight of the capitalists in the United States considerably surpassed that of their German and Italian compeers. The American masters of capital were no political tyros. They had taken almost a century to prepare themselves for this final showdown; they had once held supreme power and felt it was theirs by right. They had already created their own parliamentary institutions and taken legal possession of the state apparatus before the battle was joined. They entered the arena with their own party and program. The role of the bourgeois Republicans as defenders of the Union and its democratic institutions enabled them to rally around their banner the progressive forces within the nation and throughout the civilized world. The North could count on support from the Negroes in the South whose sympathy weakened the Confederacy even where the Union leaders feared to encourage their self-action. They succeeded in winning over the mass of small farmers to their side, while the slaveholders failed to draw their sympathizers among the governments of Western Europe into the conflict. The importance of these alliances can be estimated when it is remembered that the rebel colonists were enabled to defeat their British overlords through the military intervention and financial aid of France, Spain and Holland.The economic strength and manpower of the Northern bourgeoisie were no less superior to that of their adversary. The boom preceding the crisis of 1857 poured streams of wealth into the coffers of the Northern industrialists and financiers and placed large resources of capital and credit at their disposal. The Unionists had an extensive and solid industrial and agricultural base beneath their feet. The Confederacy, on the contrary, had neither an adequate industrial foundation (they exhausted their energies trying to improvise one under stress of the civil war), quantities of liquid capital at their command, nor easy access to the resources of the world market. The war, which depleted the assets of the Confederacy, crippled its slave economy, and cut off its great saleable crop from the market, only lent an impetus to the expansion of industry and agriculture and the accumulation of capital within the loyal states. Finally, the clear-cut and irreconcilable antagonism between the slavocracy and industrialists on the one hand, and the immaturity of the proletariat on the other, enabled the radical bourgeoisie to carry through the struggle against their class enemy to the end. The German bourgeoisie had to reckon at every stage of its conflict with the princes and Junkers to its right and with a distrustful working class on its left. Except for a brief explosion in the middle of 1863, the industrial workers in the United States did not assert themselves as a powerful independent factor in the revolutionary struggles. The revolution was led by the Radical Republicans, the most resolute representatives of the bourgeoisie. The Radicals were the last of the great line of bourgeois revolutionists. Thrusting aside the conciliators of every stripe and crushing all opposition from the left, they annihilated their class enemy, stripped the slaveholders of all economic and political power, and proceeded to transform the United States into a model bourgeois-democratic nation, purged of the last vestiges of pre-capitalist conditions. George Novack, The American Civil War: Its Place in History
But in becoming an icon, Parks has been turned into a shadow of her real self. Few people are aware of her lifetime of struggle before and after that fateful day in 1955, when her refusal to give up her seat on an Alabama bus triggered the 13-month-long boycott that launched the modern civil rights movement. “How many people know that, unlike Gandhi and King, she refused to rule out the righteous use of force? Not only did she admire Malcolm X, she flew down to Monroe, North Carolina, just a few years ago for the funeral of Robert Williams, the outspoken advocate of armed self-defense by the black community.” One of the main virtues of this book is that it demolishes the myth that Rosa Parks was just a good-hearted, middle-aged seamstress who was simply too tired from working all day to give up her seat. Historian Douglas Brinkley, also the author of award-winning biographies of Jimmy Carter and Franklin D. Roosevelt, reveals the difficult decisions that educated Parks politically and empowered her not only to say ‘no’ on December 1, 1955, but to give permission for her ‘no’ to become the basis for a constitutional challenge to Montgomery’s bus segregation ordinance.—Diane McWhorter, Rosa Parks: The Story Behind Her Sitting Down” Slate
Videos of the Day:
Trump, Pence Rain on Koreas’ Olympic Unity Parade In a show of unity, athletes from North and South Korea marched at the Winter Olympics’ Opening Ceremony under the same flag. But the Trump administration is doing its best to thwart hopes for peace on the peninsula, says Christine Ahn of Women Cross DMZ
US Ambassador Confirms Billions Spent On Regime Change in Syria, Debunking ‘Obama Did Nothing’ Myth The United States spent at least $12 billion in Syria-related military and civilian expenses in the four years from 2014 through 2017, according to former U.S. ambassador Robert Ford, Ben Norton reports.
Corporate Looting: Sub-Saharan Africa Loses $100B A Year A recently released World Bank report shows that the wealth of sub-Saharan Africa has been steadily declining over the past several decades, as transnational corporations extract mineral wealth without adequately compensating the region, says economist Patrick Bond
Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln, Penpals Karl Marx invented communism. Sort of. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves (not because he actually thought blacks were equal to whites, but because he thought “live and let live, right bro?”). So what the hell were these two writing to each other about? Apparently slavery, and how it sucked. I first stumbled upon this letter from Karl Marx (on behalf of the International Working Men’s Association) congratulating Lincoln on his re-election. Marx acknowledges that working white folks have been pretty shitty to black slaves and that laborers everywhere should unite on behalf of the battle over slavery. He writes: While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war. By Eugene Wolters
An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln Paperback – May 16, 2011 by Abraham Lincoln (Author), Karl Marx (Author), Robin Blackburn (Editor, Introduction), Raya Dunaevskaya (Contributor) Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln exchanged letters at the end of the Civil War. Although they were divided by far more than the Atlantic Ocean, they agreed on the cause of “free labor” and the urgent need to end slavery. In his introduction, Robin Blackburn argues that Lincoln’s response signaled the importance of the German American community and the role of the international communists in opposing European recognition of the Confederacy. The ideals of communism, voiced through the International Working Men’s Association, attracted many thousands of supporters throughout the US, and helped spread the demand for an eight-hour day. Blackburn shows how the IWA in America—born out of the Civil War—sought to radicalize Lincoln’s unfinished revolution and to advance the rights of labor, uniting black and white, men and women, native and foreign-born. The International contributed to a profound critique of the capitalist robber barons who enriched themselves during and after the war, and it inspired an extraordinary series of strikes and class struggles in the postwar decades. In addition to a range of key texts and letters by both Lincoln and Marx, this book includes articles from the radical New York-based journal Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly, an extract from Thomas Fortune’s classic work on racism Black and White, Frederick Engels on the progress of US labor in the 1880s, and Lucy Parson’s speech at the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World.
Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:
Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:
In that article is the picture shown here of William Bradley, who is the man that I had seen in the Audubon Ballroom and in the photos that the Harlem police showed me while I was being interrogated. Bradley was the man I saw coming out of the men’s room, walking by me, past the desks of the secretarial pool, and into his office inside the police station, as I was going to the men’s room! As I wrote in my original 2009 essay (above): “At that point I knew that he and the government either killed Malcolm X or were part of the assassination plot.” And now I know his name. William Bradley is the man that Talmadge Hayer identified as the one who shot the shotgun. Zak Kondo also identified William Bradley as the assassin with the shotgun.
The Coal Miners Had Secured the Right to Strike for Safety During the 1978 UMWA Strike. Now ‘Clean Coal’s’ Claims its Victims as UMAW President Trumka Gave Up That Right, Paving the Way to Austerity and Deregulation That has been Applied By Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump: Doctors floored by epidemic levels of black lung in Appalachian coal miners The cases are more severe, and miners are dying younger. An epidemic of severe and rapidly progressive black lung disease is emerging among coal miners in Appalachia. Case counts from just three clinics in the region reveal the highest disease levels that doctors have ever reported, according to a study published in JAMA this week. Between January 2013 and February 2017, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health documented 416 coal miners with the condition. Prior to the discovery, researchers largely thought that black lung cases were a thing of the past. Diagnoses have been rare since the late 1990s By Beth Mole
Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: