LUMPENPROLETARIAT—[Thursday, 25 FEB 2021, 04:06 PST] So, what do you do? “I make money,” an American said coldly.
Today is Day 37 of Biden’s First 100 Days in Office. The notion of an admirable populist executive ushering in a transformative first one hundred days in office is a withering myth in American political history. At this point, we are questioning the validity of the presidential political model. The executive branch seems to collude with the other branches of government, more than it provides a meaningful check on them. In our schoolhouse understanding of the USA’s system of governmental checks and balances, the three branches of government—executive, legislative, and judiciary—are expected to provide a check on each other to prevent any single branch of government from dominating the others. In our current plight, not only have we allowed power imbalances among the three branches of government, since the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980s. But, more recently, we are seeing a trend toward concentration of power in the executive branch of government. U.S. presidents, especially since Mr. Bush II and 9/11, have increasingly acted unilaterally to implement policy by signing executive orders.
The trend of presidents signing executive orders leads to political instability because it leads to yo-yo policies, such as those, which Mr. Biden has summarily repealed post-Trump, but which will likely return with a vengeance post-Biden. These types of policies, which can be seized upon by the two wings of America’s oligarchic two-party dictatorship, the Republican and Democrat parties, become political footballs, to be tossed back and forth on a political field, which prevents any leftist participation. Meanwhile, the state increases its power over working class lives and the underclass, by constantly chipping away at our Constitutional rights, as we saw with Mr. Obama, as Democrat voters spin their wheels engaging in culture wars, and support a political party that always betrays them.
As far as the heroic president, increasingly, we are learning, as more historians speak out that the great FDR was not so great after all. We knew the only reason FDR ever provided Americans The New Deal was because of pressure from the left, from below, from the grassroots. And we knew it was the political pressure from the left, from socialist and communist parties, which had the greatest impact. But what we often forget is the profound importance of the waves of mass strikes, which happened across America at that time, and which generated the political heat necessary to truly pressure FDR to act for socioeconomic justice by enacting the New Deal policies, poverty relief, and jobs programs.
Things are different now. Since at least the 1970s, labor has been sacrificing its own leverage, its own power, in favor of proximity to the Democrat Party. Business unions and Gomperism have hollowed out union solidarity and union power. Unions have largely lost all power, even the ability to go on strike. Under Mr. Bill Clinton, the Democrat Party became a neoliberal party. Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden represent a clear continuity of government. But we could also draw a clear throughline across all presidencies since Mr. Reagan to show that Americans have been re-electing varying shades of the same neoliberalism since 1980.
As liberals have increasingly acquiesced to the evils of the Republican Party, with its xenophobia, racism, anti-labor, and anti-democracy impulses, the ability to speak freely is becoming an increasingly dying art, especially in academia and among the intelligentsia. We can’t even speak freely about facts, as Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Norman Finkelstein, and others have warned us.
In academia, educators have so thoroughly internalized capitalist social relations, that fear and self-censorship runs rampant.
As an observer of American politics since the 1980s, your author can attest to the dwindling national leadership in America. Americans appear captives of this two-party system, which only offers the illusion of choice, but not real, meaningful choice. Maybe white folks can point to a plethora of national leaders, to which they can relate. For people of color, it’s more difficult to point to meaningful national leadership. As a kid, according to all the 1970s and ’80s TV images we saw in the Oakland-SF-San Jose Bay Area, many of us thought it was unanimously understood that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the greatest leader America had ever produced. We even remember Bay Area TV channels airing pro-multicultural community announcements in the early 1980s, which featured young people of color saying things like, “I’m proud to be Mexican-American,” or, “I’m proud to be African-American,” or “I’m proud to be Asian-American.’ The TV spots showed young people of color, aspiring to become productive members of society, like doctors or firefighters. It seemed obvious that the long arc of time bends toward justice.
As kids, however, 1980s American TV made us think that Ronald Reagan was benevolent, mainly because of his acting talents, and winning smile. And, perhaps, because of media gaslighting. We were also politically naive, those of us in grade school at the time. As we matured, politically, we learned that Reaganomics was never intended to help the fractured American working classes. Many of us didn’t even know we were working class.
Such was our class consciousness in the 1980s. We all thought we were middle class. As long as our kicks looked fly; we didn’t want to confront our class oppression anymore. We soon learned that Mr. Ronald Reagan abused his presidential powers to brutally suppressed striking workers. At that time, America should have been heeding the warnings of its finest scholars and political observers, voracious readers, who could connect the proverbial dots better than any of us, such as Dr. Noam Chomsky and Ralph Nader. But, instead, we turned to the liberal class for answers, but only found craven duplicitousness. Liberal gatekeepers, essentially, blacklisted honest intellectuals, such as Dr. Noam Chomsky. As teenagers, we may be forgiven for being deceived by the liberal class. They seemed like a benevolent alternative to the evils of the Republican Party in the early 1990s. Even Mr. Chris Hedges supported Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, as we supported Clinton in the 1990s. We were wrong. We finally saw the light, the evil of this neoliberal two-party dictatorship we live under. Better late than never.
Now, we must wake the folk up!
How do we understand and address today’s continued support for the morally and spiritually and ethically bankrupt Democrat Party? How do we understand the political black hole known as the Democrat Party, which absorbs all light and resistance and leftist energy and disappears it.
“Chris Hedges Greatest Speech Ever Made” by Reflection of Passion, 25 FEB 2021.
We should have been heeding the messages of revolutionary love from Dr. Cornel West, who was speaking out against the evils of society, heroically picking up the baton of Dr. King’s campaign of “the three evils” of racism, militarism, and materialism (i.e., capitalism). But moral outrage fell on deaf ears in the USA during the giddy, decadent, and immoral 1980s, as those of us old enough to remember will recall, and as Chris Hedges, discussed in his book, The Death of the Liberal Class. We, Pacifica Radio listeners, recall when we first heard Chris Hedges deliver a powerful address in Berkeley during his book tour for The Death of the Liberal Class. (KPFA got a lot of fundraising mileage out of that presentation.) As we’ve emphasized previously, Chris Hedges, like Dr. King, has become a living prophet because he has had the courage to say before a large audience what others do not, and their unheeded warnings have seen their nightmarish forecasts coming to pass. The sieges of state capitols around the nation on January 6th is one example of a prophecy foretold. Unfortunately, America is sleeping now. But January 6th was a big wake-up call for many people for different reasons. As more people speak out, it becomes harder to deceive the people.
In the post-Reagan ’90s, instead of listening to our elders, our scholars, our prophets, naively, we turned to the liberal class, foolishly thinking the Democrat Party was still the same political party, who put JFK in the White House. But just as the Civil Rights movement had lost all of its principled leaders of national prominence to state-based violence (cf. COINTELPRO, etc), after the assassinations of principled black leaders, so, too, did the Democrat Party lose all remnants of its principled leaders, since the assassination of JFK. Civil rights leaders and Democrat Party leaders continued to bank on their past credibility with the American people, as they increasingly went to work for big capital, wages stagnated since the 1970s, and our economy began to fall apart, gutted by both corporate political parties.
Today, the last few principled intellectuals, such as Dr. Cornel West, have become increasingly isolated in academia as the ongoing death of the liberal class continues to flounder and acquiesce to the burgeoning fascist politics of the Republican Party and its infatuation with Mr. Trump’s name brand. If we go back to the speeches of people, like Chris Hedges, we find prophetic messages we must heed, if we are to overcome the politics of despair.
As Dr. King said, we need a revolution of values; so, we say, be revolutionary.
You’re gonna have to say that we are the proletariat. We have to make a distinction.
Where there are people, there is always hope. All power to the people!
@LumpenProles, 08:02 PST
Notes from a working class left perspective…
Download the Pacifica Radio Network app to easily tune in to the live broadcasts of the terrestrial radio signals across the free speech radio network.
Chris Hedges at Left Forum 2016
Cf. Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies.
08:00 WPFW & WBAI (simulcast) > [tw] […] 0821 on Venezuela 0830 music break song What is to be done 1975 Haitian protest song code pink radio | next topic: Haiti, ‘move towards authoritarianism’ “executive orders” clearly, bad US influences. […] “We see a trend there.” ‘Unconstitutional changes to the Haitian Constitution’ […] So, in Haiti we’re seeing more pro-fascist tendencies, as in Burma/Myanmar, Ecuador, and elsewhere in the world. […] 08:39 PST, ‘protestors have been shot, as have journalists as they have been filming the protests’ [TW] 08:40 PST, ‘the OAS and the US supports authoritarianism, since the 1991 overthrow of the democratically-elected president [Aristide?] and the imposition of death squads.’ […] 08:42, ‘2004 overthrow of democratically elected government was also backed by OAS, US, et al. Also, 2010 we witnessed an electoral crisis in Haiti.’ […] 0846, ‘1804 revolt against slavery’ ‘Also, the Bolivarian Revolution’
08:00 PST, KPFT [HD2] > Background Briefing with Ian Masters > 0842 author woman on ‘putin’s cronies’ and cyber attacks [TW]
09:00 PST, KPFA > Democracy Now! | topics: COVID-19; the Fight for $15/hour; Sieges of January 6th, update | News Headlines
09:00 PST, WBAI > The Gary Null Show | […] 09:13 PST, Null’s principled and soft-spoken ranting. [TW] It was revealing to hear Gary Null, yesterday, engaging in anti-communist rhetoric. Dr. Null conflated Stalinism with communism, for example.
10:00 PST, KPFA > | News Headlines [TW] […] c. 10:05 PST, news. | c. 10:08 PST, Mitch Jeserich gave a summary of possible upcoming changes to federal and state pandemic public relief. […] Re-run(?) broadcast of interview with ‘Michael Hilzig(sp?), author of The New Deal book’ […] 10:16 PST, THIS IS A FUND DRIVE BROADCAST. PLEASE SUPPORT FREE SPEECH RADIO KPFA & KPFK. […] 1.800.439-5732 […] 10:18 PST, begin interview clip […] 10:20 PST, ‘the first 100 days of FDR were actually the first 100 days of the U.S. congress.’ Indeed. Contrast that with today’s executive orders under Mr. Biden, Mr. Trump, Mr. Obama, back at least to Mr. Bush, Jr. […] 10:22 PST […] ‘NIA’ ‘anti-trust and other New Deal failures’ […] 10:25 PST,
10:00 PST, WPFW > […] 10:25 PST, real talk. [TW]
11:00 PST, KPFA > Talkies > crossculturalsolidarity.com(?) […] Kris Welch was at acting school at 19. Hm. […] It’s interesting to learn more about Welch’s background. We remember listening to her on the KPFA Morning Show with Philip Maldari. (…] […] 11:31 PST, ‘Bohemian Grove Action Network‘ Indeed. We remember attending a KPFA event near the Bohemian Grove place. Kris Welch and Dennis Bernstein were there. I also met Abby Martin there, and got to hang out with Dr. Peter Phillips and the Project Censored crew. The name of the small town escapes me, near Russian River? […] 11:34 PST, […] Poet Raymond Nat Turner. 11:39, Whoa. The living room theme was by Chick Corea. I always wondered about that. […] Remembering Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who died this week. Yesterday, if memory serves us. He was over 100. […] 11:40, other Pacifica stations… […] 11:47 PST, back to Mr. Turner’s prose. […] 1151, KW pitch. Right on, Kris. Speak truth. […] Caroline Casey is “trippy”, said Kris Welch. Indeed, even without LSD.
11:00 PST, WPFW > […] 6th [TW] 11:40 PST, ‘We black journalists saw that this was serious, not just entertainment.’ […]
11:00 PST, KPFK > […] 11:42 PST, talk. The Beatles. Sounds like a celebrity guest. Jackson Browne called in to KPFK yesterday, when they featured a preview of new music coming out from Willie Nelson tomorrow, That’s Life.
12:00 PST, KPFA > Behind the News with Doug Henwood | […] 1202, ‘Becerra is too radical’ if so, then so is the entire GOP. […] Mike Laughgren(sp?) on GOP; Lawrence Ferlinghetti from 1996 | mL articles on Truthout and Common Dreams. […] 12:14 PST, As the discussion gets into party politics, there is no analysis of the false left-right paradigm mythology, which is usually perpetuated by these types of discussions, which fail to point out the nature of our two-party dictatorship. […] 12:17 PST, quick pitch. THIS ISAFUNDDRIVEBROADCAST. PLEASE SUPPORT FREE SPEECH RADIO KPFA. PLEASE DONATE TODAY. […] 12:18 PST, ‘Senators Hawley, Cruz, et al are Ivy Leaguers, including Mr. Trump. Yet, they pander to ignorance. […] ‘on fascism’ ‘mostly it’s syncretism. Then, it mashes together disparate elements. Then, it changes as the needs change. [TW]
12:00 PST, WBAI > […] 12:21 PST, real talk. It sounds like Resistance Radio. […] 12:22 PST, female co-host. ‘We do recommend that people watch it.’ ‘assimilationalist politics’ and Native American cabinet pick by Mr. Biden. Evidently, she was grilled and reminded her that ‘she could have more power if something bad happened, being 8th in line for president in an emergency. Therefore, the Senator argued she should not be confirmed. […] 12:26 PST, […] 12:47 PST, We can hear BET laughing under his breath, as Alan Ginsburg reads from his poem, “Howl”. Next, we hear archival audio of Pacifica Radio founder Lewis Hill interviewing Lawrence Ferlinghetti. “I was arrested during the first week of June.” […] ‘the charge was selling obscene literature’ ‘the ACLU is defending your case’ […] 12:49 PST, [TW]
Mr. Trump to speak at CPAC; he is expected to announce his plans to capture the GOP. Will he pursue a pro-fascist agenda? Many on the left, center, and right are saying, unfortunately, yes. Please monitor Mr. Trump’s hatemongering, antidemocratic agenda. Cf. American Mythology: The Presidency of Donald Trump.
13:00 PST, KPFA > Fund Drive Special Broadcast: Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication. […] We heard this years ago on KPFA. This is good stuff. This resonates strongly with us. […] 13:18 PST, studied under Carl Rogers(sp?), Center for Nonviolent Communication, emerged out of work with civil rights activists in the 1960s. […] 13:27 PST, ‘The highest form of intelligence is being able to observe without evaluation.’ Indeed. This is true at the interpersonal level.
13:00 PST, WBAI > Democracy Now! > […] 1337, fight for $15 [TW] ‘Raising the minimum wage does nothing but good for working Americans,’ said the Democrat congress woman Jen Shegowski(sp?). […] 13:43 PST, […] 1351, author Brendan, Blood Red Lines.
14:00 PST, KPFA > The Visionary Activist | […] 14:10 PST, More Democrat Party apologia. Why? Why not a show called, The Revolutionary Activist, instead? […] 14:14
14:00 PST, WPFW > Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod > […] 14:14 PST, “Malcolm X” […] 14:19 PST, clip from “By Any Means Necessary”, about Malcolm X. What did he know that was so threatening to the state, the filmmakers ask. […] 14:25 PST, ‘the house negro, the field negro, and the master’
14:00 PST, KPFT [HD2] > […] 14:27 PST, technical glitch: overlapping audio feeds of Sojourner Truth and other audio. […] 14:30 PST,
14:00 PST, KPFT > […] 14:31 PST, live stage performer speaking on local KPFT culture.
14:00 PST, KPFK > […] 14:32 PST, music; indy; clean electric guitar with chanteuse.
16:00 PST, KPFA > Hard Knock Radio with Davey D | KPFA News Headlines with Kristina Aanestad | host: Davey D. topic: “black-Asian solidarity” THIS IS A FUND DRIVE BROADCAST. PLEASE SUPPORT FREE SPEECH RADIO KPFA. PLEASE DONATE TODAY AT KPFA.org. […] 16:10 PST, ‘Antioch, Ca cop recently killed a man using a knee to the neck.’ […] 16:12 PST, next speaker Council Woman Nikki Fortunato Bas: ‘We must name the struggles, history, and structures of white supremacy and show up for equality’ Indeed. “We are not the model minority. We are usually silenced.” Indeed. Even we tended to think Asians kinda just kept their heads down, did their homework, and worked to assimilate into the oppressor’s society. But here we find narratives of resistance to the oppressors and for freedom. […] 16:17 PST, […] 16:38 PST, Davey D: ‘Kumbaaya is all good; but who is gonna stop this violence against people of color?’ Nikki: ‘The hard thing in our society is to find empathy for others.’ […] 16:44 PST, real talk. […] 16:45 PST, ‘Roberto Bodega’ on ‘disbeloging’, ‘civic trauma’ […] Kev Choice: ‘be more radical about how we present our art.’ […] 16:51 PST, Davey D, fundraising. PLEASE SUPPORT FREE SPEECH RADIO KPFA. PLEASE DONATE TODAY.
17:00 PST, KPFA > Flashpoints with Dennis Bernstein > topic: police accountability. ‘Lilian House (26 yr old, facing 48 years!) and Richard Becker (ANSWER Coalition, act now to stop war and end racism), on the brutal beating murder of Elijah Mclean(sp?) in Colorado. [TW] […] 17:07 PST, ‘And none of the […] 17:10 PST, Dennis Bernstein: Are you facing ’12 felonies and 11 misdemeanors’ for peacefully working for police accountability via First Amendment rights?’ ‘Yes.’ […] 17:10 PST, Becker: ‘This legal attack is intended to crush police accountability movements.’ Indeed. This is proto-fascist repression and political persecution. […] 17:15 PST,Inquisition sltyle persecution […] ‘Lilian: I was held for eight days in a covid-ridden cell’ […] ‘Aurora , a suburb of Denver had never seen such police accountability activism. So, they want to smash it. […] 1719, others, too. Share it. DenverDefense.org. write to the DAs and tell them you see what’s happening and you will pursue accountability. Meanwhile, Kyle Rittenhouse is photographee under qge drinking at a bar with cops, and Trump loyalist marauders roam free. “What a country,” notes Dennis Bernstein. […] 17:22 PST, music break. […, KPFK] 17:30 PST, “forced migration” […] ‘Camilo’ […] 17:38 PST, Wow, Dennis. A vegetarian for decades, huh? That’s very healthy, we hear. Cheers, mate. […] Come on, folks, please donate. Dennis said his moral outeage ‘turns certain listeners off’. That’s a shame. Those impassioned appeals motivated me to go from being a passive listener to an active listener, as Dennis Bernstein would often say. It’s stressful and unhealthy for Dennis, but it really grates on our conscience. That’s the only reason people complain about Dennis’s impassioned appeals for listener support. Bourgeois people don’t want to feel ashamed. Yet, Dr. George Simon says shaming shameworthy people helps correct toxic behavior. Character matters, says Dr. George Simon. […] 18:07 PST,
1700 PST, KPFK > Background Briefing with Ian Masters. […] 17:23, book: Killswitch by Adam Gentelsen(sp?), a self-described “Democrat”, on the two-party system politics in congress. ‘The party out of power tries to win by making the other party look bad.’ Yes, but the obstructionism is mostly from the GOP, who never, or less often, backs Democrat legislation. On the other hand, the Dems almost always back GOP legislation by making lame deals. […]
18:00 PST, KPFA & KPFK (simulcast) > Pacifica Evening News with Mark Mericle > […] 18:21 PST, ‘two Dems are holding out against the $15 minimum wage bill?‘ This is what we mean. This is an example of how the Democrat Party is a false opposition party. Where is the party solidarity? […] 18:45 PST,
18:00 PST, WBAI > […] 18:41 PST, A filmmaker discusses getting his film to the Sundance Film Festival. […] host: ‘ a new Broadway production’ “We’ve been shut down for almost a year.”
[25 FEB 2021]
[Last modified on 27 FEB 2021 at 05:57 PST]
[TW = Transcript Worthy, transcription pending volunteer labor. These are segments of radio, which would make excellent short-length, easily-searchable videos to share and, hopefully, make viral news and information from a working class left perspective.]