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Sat

13

Dec

2008

Chicago Today - Shades of '68...but it's Paris, not the Daley's Riot Fiefdom
Saturday, 13 December 2008 21:18
by Michael O’McCarthy

The Chicago workers takeover of their factory brings memories of the Parisian worker’s strikes of 1968 when members of France’s working class had enough of the post De Gaulle corporate government and moved for equity and fairness.

In Obama’s support of these workers right to use a strike and occupation of THEIR factory it is essential to define his initial support as an endorsement for workers throughout the nation to demand equity. Unlike the sell-out UAW management who are once again using the hard earned working people’s fiscal and physical sacrifice to bailout and shore up one of the most corrupt corporate structures in American industrial life; one driven to the highest levels of greed and incompetence as measured by the inherent Peter Principle, (as exemplified on the federal level by Bush’s failed Whiz Kid, Donald Rumsfeld, successor to JFK and LBJ’s failed whiz Kid, Robert McNamara.

When the argument is mounted by those in the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party that it is their job to drive Obama to his natural Left position, it is an argument without historical understanding of power and politics. The raw truth is that it is only when those whose day-to-day life and death, bread and butter interests are confronted by the steel knives of class warfare, and their very livelihoods and the welfare of their families are at stake in modern society, or when the mass of the electorate is confronted with life and death, as was faced in the Vietnam-Nixon era is any political leadership forced to undertake more democratic measures.

However, even when the “peace movement” brought it considerable strength to bear on LBJ and Nixon, it failed to engage the strength of the working and middle classes, thus, the failed Carter presidency was quickly consumed by the rise of the beginning of the next stage in the ruling class’s destruction of the rights of workers under Reagan which then laid the foundation for the rise of the Bush regimes and that of the Neo-Liberals and their corporate thieves who have now bankrupted the US treasury.


The stark contrast of the Chicago workers with the sickening, pathetic sellout of the legendary struggles of the UAW, begin ning with their battles for equality of life and pay under the driving machine of Henry “give’m a dime” Ford, by the current UAW leadership, and the pathetic acquiescence of its fear enveloped membership could not be clearer. And allowing for the weakness of “spontaneity” of struggles against the class warfare of the corporate state, nonetheless, the lesson is there to learn and to be acted upon. Were the so-called “progressives” of the Democratic Party worth their labels they would be on the front lines with the unions at the gates and rather than discussing their position visa Obama’s tacking center to be driven Left on national television talk shows.

Will this spontaneity spread across the nation as the working and decimated middle class fight against the rape perpetrated upon them by Bush’s Republicans and their bosom allies in the corporate leadership of the Democratic Party? Only if action, history and thought become synthesis. But there are two problems with the “progressives” bring historical analysis and strategy to the workplace:

1- They fail in their analysis of the nature of the problem: it is not the Big Three — Wall Street — The Banking Industry or the Mortgage Industry. It is the nature of the state which is now owned by a new ruling class of corporate manger-owners of all the major private and state institutions that control all of the levers of power of the corporate state. The battle then must be joined against the State.

2- Their failure to render an analysis of the current economic structure. It’s at best something we now understand as “Pseudo-Capitalism” which is the euphemism for the corporate state’s big lie that “capitalism” is alive and well; that the “free market” exists outside of flea markets. What we now have is a corporate monopolist control of production and distribution, resources and profit and the tax payer socialized indebtedness of loss and cost. The short answer for the Chicago strikers –sit-in is an equitable share of the control of their company and a share of its profits as part of their compensation package; as part of the bailout deal given to Bank of America.

As for the problems of the “Big Three” — what Neanderthal historian doesn’t know what “Czar” represents in the discussion of power. For those living in the anti-historical United States, it reads royalist dictatorship, as in Czar Nicholas in pre-revolutionary Russia... or Iran as in Shah... or Sheik as in Saudi Arabia. Jesus — only morons would buy into that form of management. Wait... how does that differ from the dictatorship of the Corporate State, other than 1-2-3 many more Czars throughout the monopoly state government.

Lastly, when it comes to finding the means by which the auto industry can modernize and become consumer and environmental responsive? The answer lies in the decades of wisdom of the auto workers who would be the best stewards once they dump their management partnership with “Big Business.” The time has come for all good Progressives to join with the work ing and middle classes, learn from their actions in struggle and bring with them an arduous understanding of the lessons that history has taught so that corporate state class warfare is defeated and social democracy on the assembly and checkout line takes its place.
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