The 234 Years War (or, It’s Not Class Warfare if the Lower Classes Don’t Fight Back)

October 14th, 2010

Inspired by The current U.S. tax system is tilted toward the haves, Shadowy players in a new class war (Washington Post 10/11/10), and What Sherrod was telling us (Michelle Singletary, Washington Post 7/25/10).


“The 2010 election is turning into a class war. The wealthy and the powerful started it.” – E.J. Dionne


Remember the Shirley Sherrod case?

I thought I’d bring it up again to discuss the issues of class and race.

Sherrod was no racist (in fact, she’s the converse),

But she may be a classist, and for Republicans, that’s worse.


One reason Republicans always try so hard

To distract attention with the race card

Is that they don’t want poor whites to realize

That minorities are their natural allies.


They use “social issues” to divide,

And get the lower classes to vote as they decide.

If on occasion the lower class resists,

The elite the “populist” Religious Right enlists.


They themselves are of course not religious

And have attended universities the most prestigious,

Yet they still use misinformation and deceit

To vilify their opponents as “out of touch elite.”


Let me be clear: I’m no Marxist

(Most of his theories are easily dismissed).

Nor do I agree with the view Marxist analysis often cites

That the Founding Fathers only wanted to protect their property rights.

(BTW, I do agree property rights should be protected,

And that the rule of law be respected.)


But one thing old Karl did get right:

If the lower classes want to win, we need to unite.

(Not, of course, in armed revolution;

We’re a democracy, so violence isn’t the solution.)


And it is true that the rich and the poor have different interests,

And it’s clear upon whose the GOP insists.

That’s why the power elite wants to keep the rest of us divided.

(A cowed population is more easily guided.)


The irony is, right-wing policies are self-defeating,

Leading to repeated excesses like BP and Charles Keating.

Corporatists don’t understand that lack of effective regulation

Ultimately results in the free market’s degradation.


Society does need to reward hard work and skill,

Which it under communism never effectively will.

And not all rich people are self-serving;

Many are of praise and thanks deserving.


Alas, that group of class interest line crossers is painfully small,

Far outweighed by the lower classes who to help the rich crawl.

Mobs are always easier to fool,

And convinced to let fear their interests overrule.


That was the crux of Shirley Sherrod’s realization:

Compared to racism, a far more dangerous allegation.

If average people of all colors realize the common interests they share,

Things might not look as good for the average billionaire.


“Class warfare, class warfare,” the wealthy proclaim,

“You want to incite people against us,” they claim.

But the lower classes aren’t the one who started this war—

It was already going on long before.


It started during the Constitutional Congress

When states-righters sought the federal government of power to dispossess.

The 19th century robber barons exploited and despoiled

Until the trustbusters their fun and games spoiled.


Yes, wealthy interests have been fighting this war since 1776;

It’s among the oldest of all types of human conflicts.

It’s a war in all but name,

The duration of which puts the Hundred Years War to shame.


The lower classes are constantly under attack.

The only thing is, they rarely fight back.

And that’s the way the power elite wants things to remain,

So if you’re lower or middle class, don’t complain.


Just remain by divisive social issues distracted,

Taken in by criticisms of the solutions Dems have enacted.

Watch Fox News and believe what they say,

And don’t bother voting on Election Day.


They’ve fooled us many times before

So if you don’t want to be fooled once more,

Vote Democrat in November,

And don’t forget to

Remember.

***

Here’s the Colbert Report’s 10/13/10 report on the class warfare sweeping the nation. I like the comparison Council for Economic Advisors chair Austan Goolbee makes between the Chilean miner rescue and rescuing the economy from the Bush years.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Tax Shelter Skelter
www.colbertnation.com
 
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Austan Goolsbee
www.colbertnation.com
 
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive

Here’s your theme music for today, Bob Dylan’s opus about how power elites use race to win poor whites to their side, Only a Pawn in their Game.
 

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