Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Crashing the gates

Oh, yeah: we are in fact the "wild-eyed progressives" the Beltway insiders warned their children about. This is the same old, old, alliance between and including all the have-nots. Matt Stoller's got it:

The informal alliance between African-American progressives, white progressive organizers and bloggers, and disaffected union members can beat any Democrat in any primary anywhere in the country. If you can attach an effective general election strategy to that alliance, we have a progressive America.
This is precisely the alliance (ethnic minorities, progressives, writers/authors/artists, and workers) that the Populists and Sockless Jerry Simpson and the Farmers and Workers Union tried to put together in the 1890s, and that the Wobblies tried to put together in the 'Oughts, and that Gene Debs fought and went to jail for. Hell, they called it "Progressivism" even then.

This is the real "Rebel Alliance"--it has fuck-all to do with ethnicity, or inter-trade warfare, or "conservativism" versus "liberalism." It has to do with the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

For centuries in this country, the oligarchs in power have used ethnicity, competition, or red-herring social/ethical disputes to divide and distract those below them on the economic ladder. If you could keep "True Blue Americans" fighting with recent Irish immigrants, or poor Southern whites fighting with poor Southern blacks, or farmers fighting with industrial workers, then you as the "owner-class" (e.g., the small economic minority who derive income, trust funds, possessions, and their children's inheritances from owning things rather than working for things) had a chance of maintaining your hold.

But if those have-nots ever figured out that all those other issues were red herrings, used to divide them and to distract them from the economically-exploitative world the oligarchy intentionally set up to keep their own snouts in the trough (keep them dumb with lousy public education, keep them distracted with mindless mass media, keep them divided by choosing the "wedge issues" of personal ethical convication which no politician actually wants to legislate but which every politician will use to divide)--if they ever figured out, I say, who the real enemy is, then watch out, Jack--because then it'll be your gates that the barbarians will be crashing, and your power, money, and privilege that will fall.

Class warfare? Betcher ass.

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