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March 25, 2007

Comments

Jennifer Cascadia

And yet the "squares" -- bill gates , etc -- continue to earn billions.

Mike B)

Billions are going into the war economy, not much for people though, including the wounded/maimed soldiers who expect to be treated with dignity and care at VA hospital facilities.

The people who are sucking up the wealth are the same people who sucked it up before the hippies came along, only now they're sucking up a large percentage. Here's a speech on those people made by a woman I respect:

A speech given by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz at the 2007 Bay Area Anarchist
Bookfair, held this past weekend in San Francisco, on March 17 & 18.

By ROXANNE DUNBAR-ORTIZ--Wobbly

"The rich are not like you and me." "The poor will always be with us."
Get real and accept it we are told. Give alms and aid to the poor, tax
the rich. Establish private foundations, be a responsible trust baby
and give. You've heard it all, and maybe even believe it in your heart.
But, it's toxic thinking. I have a suggestion for clarifying our
consciousness: learn to hate the rich. Hate, yes. You can dress up the
language and call it rage. But, hate is a concept underrated. Everyone
does it, but no one wants to admit it, usually hating the wrong person.
Hate is the opposite of love. Do you love the rich? Like the rich? If
not, then maybe you can learn to hate the rich. I don't mean shame the
rich in order to get money out of their guilt, as has been a long
practice on the left and among non-profits. I mean NOT taking money
from the rich, isolate the rich, make them build tall walls around
their estates and corporate headquarters as the people force the rich
to do in Latin America. How dare they have plate glass windows! We are
held back and diminished by the claim that hating is bad for us, bad
for everyone. You can hate the act but not hate the person. You can
hate wealth or capitalism but not the rich. It's a ridiculous logic
that keeps us hating and blaming ourselves for not being rich and
powerful. Anyway, it's not consistent; it's all right to hate slavery
and slaveowners, fascism and Hitler, etc. Why not hate the rich, the
individual rich, not an abstract concept?

Ah, but who are the rich? We have to be careful about that, living in a
country that does not admit to class relations, and class is subject to
little analysis even on the left. It's not a matter of income per se.
And it's essential in hating to target the enemy and not some front for
the enemy. High income can certainly make a person full of herself, and
most US citizens who live on high fixed or hourly incomes due to
circumstances of a good trade union or a professional degree have no
idea that they aren't rich. In polls they say they are in the top fifth
of the income ladder, and they aren't. A majority of US citizens don't
want to tax the rich more, because they think they will be rich one
day. They won't. The rich own not just a mortgaged house and a car,
maybe a boat or a cabin in the woods or a beach house to boot; rather
they own you. Even the cash and luxury soaked entertainment and sports
stars are not the rich; they certainly deserve contempt and disgust,
but not hatred. Don't go for scapegoats--Jews, Oprah, Martha Stewart.
Hatred should be reserved for those who own us, that is, those who own
the banks, the oil companies, the war industry, the land (for corporate
agriculture), the private universities and prep schools, and who own
the foundations that dole out worthy projects for the poor, for public
institutions-their opera, their ballet, their symphony, that you are
allowed to attend after opening night. My oldest brother, who like me
grew up dirt poor in rural Oklahoma, landless farmers and farm workers,
rebuts my arguments by saying that no poor man ever gave him a job.
That says it all. The rich own you and me.

In all the arguments about the crimes of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim
religions, rarely is their greatest crime ever discussed--the leveling
of class, rich and poor are the same in god's sight. What a handy
ideology for the rich! The same with US democracy with its "equal
opportunity" and "level playing fields," absurd claims under
capitalism, but ones held dear but liberals. Hating the rich means also
hating the state, the United States of America that is the ruling
corporate body of the rich.

Why are we so silent about this, grumping over the increase in the
income gap, trying to figure out how to narrow it? What do we expect,
that the rich will empower the people to overthrow them as they almost
did in response to the labor movement in the 1930s or the Civil Rights
Movement with the War on Poverty? Not again will they make that
mistake. I'm not saying we shouldn't point to it as evidence of the
crimes of the rich, but we should not delude ourselves that the rich
will give up their ownership of us. So, we need to stop longing for the
return of the New Deal or savior Roosevelt. Passionate, organized
hatred is the element missing in all that we do to try to change the
world. Now is the time to spread hate, hatred for the rich.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a longtime activist, university professor, and
writer. In addition to numerous scholarly books and articles she has
published two historical memoirs, Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie (Verso,
1997), and Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960-­1975 (City
Lights, 2002). "Red Christmas" is excerpted from her forthcoming book,
Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, South End Press,
October 2005. She can be reached at: rdunbaro@pacbell.net

http://www.counterpunch.org/dunbar03202007.html

Hattie

Hey, Mike, we were members of the Socialist Labor Party ourselves, in the day.
How about that.
People like us are well aware that we exist at the sufferance of the rich.With my background, I could never identify with the rich,so my attitude toward them is that given the imperfections of existence, I will be at least sure that I will use their wealth to see to it that the needs of my family are met.
What really grinds me is that for ex-"middle class" people, there is no way to ensure even a modest economic security.
At no time in American life since the robber baron era have economic relations been as crass as they are today.

Brandon

Again I recommend James Howard Kunstler's site at www.kunstler.com. He's been warning about subprime mortgages for a long time now.

Hattie

Correction: we were members of the Socialist Worker's Party.

Hattie

Hi, Brandon. I am really frightened for people. The whole situation has become goofy beyond belief. The worst hit places are the Denver suburbs and the exurbs of Los Angeles, where people with minimum incomes have been getting loans on $350.000 houses and defaulting in droves.

Mike B)

Haw! That's funny. I was a member of the Socialist Labor Party!

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