Even my union comrades are drinking the Kool-Aid. When a lunchtime discussion turned to the French national strike, my economics teacher friend said that pensions are unsustainable. And yet, as of today (December 7, 2019), the New York Times reports that “about half of Americans have no access to retirement savings plans, and have little or nothing saved for retirement.” Perhaps the elderly can sell their body parts.
“War is the health of the State”, as Randolph Bourne once famously said. The U.S. military is officially fighting wars in seven countries, according to the White House’s latest war report. Unknown to most Americans, we conduct ops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger — all bypassing Congress in the name of the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force to fight al-Qaeda-linked militants, at the discretion of the Emperor. Surely a trillion dollars tax on the middle class is well spent by the Defense Department and Homeland Security since they protect us from non-existent enemies. A lot of money to be made here, by someone.
It’s not a welfare state, it’s a warfare state. Soft totalitarianism herding us toward the right attitude and behavior. The State needs perpetual war to accomplish this, as Orwell noted. Michel Luc Bellemare writes in his Structural-Anarchism Manifesto, on page 27, a warfare state is at war internally against its citizens in addition to ostensibly being at war with external enemies. The American Empire has been practicing this at home and around the world, as I have written. Evo Morales of Bolivia is gone. He wanted to use the Bolivian lithium monopoly to reduce poverty, by setting the world price. Suddenly, after 13 years, he has been removed from office. Pompeo backs Duque in Colombia because the US prefers the trillion-dollar worldwide drug trade over the well-being of the population. Why should the Colombian people have a minimum wage or state-run healthcare?
State-capitalism is the name when the corporations run the government. Corporate fascism prefers profits over people. They never liked the New Deal. They have been chipping away at it for decades. Trickle-down economics is one of their big lies. Their state by state cookie-cutter legislation has been systematically undercutting unions, culminating in the Janus Supreme Court decision. This neoliberal agenda is worldwide and its enforcement is the reason the US has 800 military bases around the world. Enforcing the race to the bottom is the key.
If working people of the world could somehow organize into One Big Union, so much suffering could be averted. As a species, we produce more than enough for everyone on the planet. We don’t have to burn down the Amazon rainforest to accomplish it either. Unionized, democratized production, responsive to the needs of people, will never decide to slaughter millions in senseless wars and waste trillions of dollars.
The first step is to stop drinking the Kool-Aid.