Five new pics for propaganda use (a day late). Thanks!!!
Cory Booker is a US senator from New Jersey and a Democratic presidential candidate. On April 24, 2019, an op-ed piece penned by Sen. Booker was posted on The Guardian’s website as a part of their Broken Capitalism series. Booker’s piece is entitled, Workers are Creating Massive Wealth. Why are Corporations Hoarding it All?, followed by the subtitle, Our Economy Works Best When No One is Left on the Sidelines. Now let’s look inside.
Booker supplies a few anecdotes throughout the piece that are tragic and show the crushing effects of capitalism, like this one story of a woman named Carol Ruiz:
Every day Carol Ruiz wakes up at 3.30am and goes to an airline catering service at Newark airport, where she helps prepare the food carts that flight attendants push up and down the aisle…. At the end of her 40-hour week she takes home $345. The average airline CEO makes that amount in about 20 minutes.
Last year, while Carol was undergoing treatment for cancer, her kids and husband went without health insurance so the family could afford her medical bills…
He then follows most of the stories with statements like these:
Workers are increasingly stuck in an “I win, you lose” economy, a zero-sum game in which those in power relentlessly pull out the rungs of the ladder behind them, ensuring that opportunity is limited solely to those who already have it.
Booker than goes over other aspects of the cruel capitalist system and how it hurts the working class in the form of corporations using intermediary contracted workers which keeps wages down, stock buy-backs by companies using Trump tax cut-gained funds to enrich stock owners, and the unfairness of non-compete agreements between employees and employers at low-wage jobs.
So here is Mr. Booker’s sort-of solutions:
There’s no silver bullet, but we can start by making it easier to join a union, giving workers the ability to fight corporate power with power of their own. Second, we must reinvigorate our tepid antitrust agencies, which have long-served corporate interests at the expense of workers. We should also restrict anticompetitive practices like non-compete agreements and “no-poach” clauses and maintain strong rules that hold parent companies more accountable for outsourced employees. And we should crack down on the proliferation of corporate stock buy-backs, or, at the very least ensure that if a corporation buys back stock to increase shareholder value, workers are cut in on the action.
What Booker and other liberals are guilty of is in taking half-measures and falling into the trap of reformism. They want to change society, as they call it, and spew enough fake promises to the masses in order to get enough votes to take office. They want to usurp any momentum by the people.
They want to maintain the current capitalist system while offering crumbs to the workers that often don’t end up even falling from the table. There are enough GOP members and right leaning Dems to halt any of these reforms before they are out of committee. These goals are merely “pony promises” in today’s system.
What we need is true, far leftist change. We need to smash capitalism and found a new system not based on greed and inequality. The point is to make real change, not reform. A radical left remake is the true answer to address these economic and social injustices.
We want what the people want:
Mr. Robertson, the carpet cleaner, has his own idea: nationalizing the companies. “I think forcing them to pay higher alone is inefficient,” he said, “and taxation alone is inefficient.”
I have been searching over at the New York Times Opinion Page for the words “Trump socialism.” I read through the search results to learn what the point of view of the “Paper of Record,”or the liberal elite, feel about the radical left, and I was greatly disappointed. (Find four of the most relevant articles below).
The majority of the op-eds mention, especially among young people, that socialism is getting a better favorability rate than maybe ever before. Polling even shows that people under 30 have a higher liking towards socialism than to capitalism. But in ingesting the context around this polling data, the writers were giving socialism an extremely watered-down treatment.
They are starting to state, just a little, that a social democratic direction for the country is preferable to our current brutal and oppressive system which the bourgeoisie labels as “capitalism” (Remember, it’s capitalism for the masses, socialism for the rich. No “laissez faire” there). But yet I hated to here that so many of the authors were advocating the pointless, suffering-inducing, gradual style of a movement towards socialism through the means of a social democratic movement among politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. This is a totally unacceptable strategy.
As I read through these articles, they all outlined how Trump and the rest of the GOP are out to produce another “red scare” to frighten people away from any type of movement towards a real leftist system. It is time for the people to act. We don’t need little barbs in our editorials reassuring people we’re not Venezuela, or that Lenin or Trotsky will not be our new “Founding Framers.” We need to take a real step towards true equality and justice and move towards socializing big business, such as utility companies and manufacturers, which live off the blood of the workers. We need real change, right now. We need to take it to the streets and strike while the iron is hot. With such a high favorability of socialism among the young we do not need any gradual, long-ended social democratic candidates in Washington to eventually change the system over a hundred-year period.
Let’s get it together, NOW!
A far-left system is the best form of government for the working class to live under. So what we need to do is smash the current, so-called Democratic system we have now that is controlled by the 1%. What to replace it with?
Put a transition government in power: A group or party to move us through the steps of building a new, just society. We must support responsible leaders to take us through the ideological battle with those who will want to keep the old capitalist system in place, namely, the rich and powerful.
But during this time, we may sacrifice some of our freedoms for a short amount of time during the conflict between the rich the workers. Freedom of the press, free speech, freedom to demonstrate maybe stopped for a certain amount of time because we need to crackdown on these current so-called rights because they are controlled by the rich and their dominant ideas which wish to maintain the current, corrupt system. For example, freedom to demonstrate, like a general strike, which means everyone in every occupation goes on strike, will be fought against by the rich by replacing striking workers with scabs, i.e., people who will take the striking workers’ jobs. And believe me, demonstrations will be met with violence from the authorities.
Yet, we must watch the transition leadership very closely.
The USSR tried this idea out, with calling the transition government the “vanguard party” and it led to history’s greatest monster, Josef Stalin, coming into power. Stalin came to power under the force of the newly suppressed rights and became a dictator who committed such crimes that are too many to list here.
So, take this warning seriously. The government of and for the people can be high-jacked if we do not make leaders accountable.
What the people of the working class need to do is smash the current corrupt system controlled by the rich and powerful and replace it with responsible leaders who can lead us through the war of ideas, and probably against violent suppression. And this will mean a crackdown on some of our most cherished freedoms, but they will be returned in time once the rich and powerful have their control over us destroyed. Yet we must keep our eyes on this transition party because a rising leader or group could use the loss of these freedoms to create a dictatorship.
This is what we need.
As I have stated in the subtitle and the About section of this website, Sparking The Left comes from a radical leftist point of view. And I do not use the term “radical” as a negative designation but as a realistic description of our current situation for the current system needs radical change.
The forms that make up a radical or far left system of government here at STL are socialism, communism, anarchism, and all their subsets.
Do not close this tab after reading that!
I know what people think of when hearing of far-left systems: Stalin, gulags, purges, mass starvation. But those are the result of authoritarianism rather than of a radical leftist government. A true form of socialism, much less communism or anarchism, has not been practiced in history. And what a true form of a radical leftist system is about is putting power in the hands of the workers.
Workers should own the companies they work for because they are the ones who are doing the labor. Right now, major stock holders on Wall Street own and control our factories and corporations but do nothing but sit and collect profits while we get crumbs. They don’t unload trucks, sort freight, work a cash register, fill orders, or what-have-you, for often at more than 40 hours a week. The fruits of our labor have been torn away from the rightful owners; that is us, the workers.
If a far-left system were to be won, the new government would take power over, or socialize, the factories and corporations in the name of the people. And when the time is reached, they will be democratized for and by the workers. But I know what you are thinking right now. You’re saying, “How can a corrupt system like ours ever turn over the power to the workers?” The answer is we smash the current approach; the so-called democratic system. It must go.
Now which form of a far-left government we construct in its place is up for debate, and, in all honesty, I’m not sure which exactly one should be. But what I do know is right now socialism is the best form of government possible. In general, I believe the best practice for creating our new society is that we must take the best ideas from socialism, communism, anarchism, and, yes, our current capitalist-state to create a new, truly democratic government. And we must leave behind the Gulags, purges, and mass starvation.
In conclusion, the view of this blog comes from the radical leftist point of view. I take the best ideas of the four forms of government outlined above to build a fairer system for the working class. And although it sounds extreme, our current so-called democratic system must be smashed.
Five new images for the peoples’ cause!
You can also find the entire collection, past and present, at the link below:
Just added five new images to the Sparking The Left image gallery!
Hoping you find them inspiring and will lend to any propaganda-spreading action you may participate in.
The headline reads above an article from the leftist publication “In These Times”, published on February 8th, 2019, by Rebecca Burns, “Tax the Hell Out of the Rich, When They’re Alive and When They’re Dead.” Without saying, I was already on-board.
What the article outlines is a comparison of the three proposed ways that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sen. Bernie Sanders want to create a fairer tax system for the 99%. Here’s the rundown:
First Warren’s plan
…(A) 1 percent tax on the wealthiest 0.1 percent, or those with assets of over $20 million. Warren’s proposal would tax fewer people—those with more than $50 million in assets, an estimated 75,000 families—but she would bump up the rate to 2 percent. Households with more than $1 billion in assets would get a 3 percent rate.
Where Warren’s proposal would probably be insufficient on its own is that it wouldn’t offer a particularly aggressive corrective to inequality over time. It would raise trillions for social programs, which is crucially important and would certainly have other beneficial political effects. But, as a result of the tax, the fabulously wealthy would be only slightly less fabulously so.
But right now, correcting the immense rate of economic inequality in American society is not going to fix itself with one tax plan. So, don’t get down, writer Rebecca Burns. That’s going to take something truly radical to happen (hint, hint).
Second, AOC’s plan as outlined in a “60 Minutes” interview,
“You look at our tax rates back in the ’60s and when you have a progressive tax rate system. Your tax rate, you know, let’s say, from zero to $75,000 may be ten percent or 15 percent, et cetera. But once you get to, like, the tippy tops—on your 10 millionth dollar—sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent.”
By even the most optimistic estimates, this would bring in only a quarter of the revenues Warren’s plan would generate.
So, once again, it will not cure the economic inequality in our society as Warren’s will neither. Yet, it is a starting point and one that may be more palatable to everyday-progressives.
And lastly, the Sander’s plan,
Bernie Sanders’ plan involves restoring top marginal tax rates on inheritances to where they were in the 1970s: 77 percent for estates over $1 billion.
The plan would also decrease the threshold for the inheritance tax from $11.18 million to $3.5 million and impose a 45 percent rate on this lower (but still very rich by any normal standard) tier. Even with this new threshold, just 0.2 percent of Americans would ever pay an estate tax. Thus, in the style of Occupy, the plan is called “For the 99.8 Percent Act.”
Again, Sanders’ plan would probably raise less revenue than Warren’s: About $315 billion over a decade.
Then it continues,
But by taking aim at the ultra-rich as a class, it also singles out the kind of dynastic wealth that allows a few families to wreak havoc on our political system. Just three families with multi-generational wealth—the Waltons, the Kochs, and the Mars—have a combined fortune of $343 billion, more than 3.5 million times the median wealth of U.S. families. And they use that wealth to fund all manner of right-wing policies.
The Sanders plan makes the least revenue for the government and will not even come within seeing distance to the eradication of the exspanse of inequality in the United States. But it could be the most acceptable not only to progressives but even centrists if the argument is framed properly by Sanders.
What I am trying to do up above is, first and foremost, to educate everyone on the strides made by modern politicians (two of the three deeming themselves so-called “socialists”) towards income equality which would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. It’s almost amazing, when you really think about it.
Yet my main point comes out of the analysis of the Warren plan, namely, that her plan is the most effective regarding a shrinking of the income gap in this country, but it does not really even make a scratch. As Burns was writing above, “the fabulously wealthy would be only slightly less fabulously so.” That’s all. And this is the reason why we need real change in this nation. We need real radical leftists in power, not just democratic socialists, but real revolutionary thinkers. That is the only way to get any immediate help with the income gap in the U.S. and, later, around the world.
So, I am greatly impressed with the ITT article by Burns in that, first, it has a cool title and, secondly, she respects that even these so-called sweeping tax plans will not truly affect the disparity between the rich and the poor in this nation.
But it’s a start…now let us take advantage of it.
In my previous post, I expressed the opinion that a major mistake made by Communist nations, both past and present, is that they moved too fast to make radical economic changes after their respective revolutions. Stalin’s “Five Year Plans”, Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”, and the very radical economic and societal moves made by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge left tens of millions dead. What I propose instead is that once a revolution is won here in the U.S., and a vanguard/transition party is established, we then move slowly into a socialist system.
Now, we can make major societal changes regarding human rights issues like LGBTQ issues, women’s equality and abortion rights, and of course, minority rights. And we should also start socializing major industries, like utility companies, the medical system, and other day-to-day human rights issues. But the last thing we want to do is something as radical as eliminating the money-based system or forcing people into collectives.
The reason for this is because the people are not yet informed about the nature of the Socialist/Communist system as of today. We need to create a new hegemonic culture based on equality and the new government-to-citizen relationship first. Italian scholar and Communist Antonio Gramsci iwrote about how capitalism is the hegemonic culture. So everything we know is based on that brutal system and, therefore, it is hard to think outside of it, especially in America where the entire history of our young nation is nothing but capitalism. We don’t have the history of a feudal system. Other nations do. So they have something to fall back on, culturally. So that’s why we need a vanguard/transitional party so immensely.
In conclusion, we must make a gradual change in our economic system. This will help the masses ease into a new leftist system. I arrived at this notion because, according to scholars, it took France’s democratic system to work itself out all the way from the storming of the Bastille in 1789, until 1898. So we must be patient and live with a gradual economic change. Plus, Ionce comfortable with the socialist system, the masses can then move into a Communist system for they will be educated in terms of the next steps towards emancipation.
So we cannot have a radical economic change in the U.S. after a far left revolution. The people need to be eased into a new system. Then we will be ready for a Communist system in the a post-socialist stage… even if it takes 100 years.