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The Occupy movement has sent out a Call to Action for a June 20th   “Global Festival” to celebrate their global demand for a Universal Living Wage:  

The regime of wholesale robbery — what the 1% call “austerity” — is already falling across Europe, and soon will fall across the world. But the inevitable collapse of austerity is not enough. We, the 99%, demand a world beyond Wall Street. We demand a system where everyone can not only survive, but flourish.  To reach this world, we are raising our voices to demand a universal living wage.

We call on all occupies, unions, community organizations, immigrants rights groups,  bodies, religious organizations, environmental groups, anti-poverty activists, and everyone to join us June 20th, 2012 for a new holiday for the 99%: A Global Festival for the Universal Living Wage.

No, Karl Marx, dead since 1883,  is not now able to report on the events of the Occupy Movement, as he did on events of the U.S.’s Civil War for the NY Herald Tribune in the 1860's and the Paris Commune in the 1870’s, but strangely, to this day, the mere mention of his name still strikes terror into the hearts of global capitalists and their media puppets, such as Sean Hannity.  [Link to http://thinkprogress.org/...  

There must be a reason that the capitalist powers of the 21st century tremble at his name 129 years after his death, his writing must have been very dangerous indeed.  How much they must be fear of Tim Poole's live-streaming.  No wonder they arrested him this month in Chicago!.  Read below to understand why Karl Marx, and especially his writing on the Paris Commune, was such a danger to capitalism.

One of the reasons is, no doubt, that there is still so much trembling at the name of  Karl Marx is that he analyzed so accurately and thoroughly in his economic work, Capital, the very basic elements of the operation of the capitalist economic system, starting from the profits gained from the simplest commodity, the same profits which have accumulated to the phenomenal wealth now controlled by our elites.  He showed that their wealth flowed from stealing the labor power of their workers: pay a worker for 6 hours work, but work him for 10, 12, or 14 or more. Steal enough hours and you become rich.

Accumulate enough of those stolen hours and you end up with the wealth of Bank of America and J.P. Morgan and similar cronies.  And,  not satisfied by stealing from workers and pensioners, they voted themselves more from the public treasury via Congress and the Federal Reserve.  Thus we now have all profits and bailouts to the banksters, while the workers, the taxpayers and poor pay the banksters gambling losses, lose their homes and their jobs, and are left to stand on lines at the Unemployment Office and the Food Bank.

Karl Marx was not only an economist and a historian, but a revolutionary journalist who reported on the Occupy events of his day, including The Paris Commune (Introduction by Frederick Engels) of March 29, 1871 to May 28, 1971.  

Marx, (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a consummate internationalist who would have roundly applauded Occupy Wall Street’s call for a global living wage and their focused attacks upon Finance Capitalism’s big banksters.  One can can imagine him on the ground with a live-stream microphone in his hand, reporting from Tunisa, Spain, Greece and New York.

Originally trained in law, history and philosophy, Marx’s revolutionary writings precluded an academic post and then brought threats of arrest in his native Prussia (Germany), forcing Marx to move to France, where, as a socialist  journalist, he was thereafter expelled, moving then to Belgium, which stay ended shortly after Marx and his long-time collaborator, Frederich Engels, published The Communist Manifesto at the behest of Belgium’s Communist league.  When Belgium workers began to put The Communist Manifesto into practice, Belgium likewise expelled Marx.

After returning briefly to Germany before yet another forced exile, he moved to England in 1849, where he remained and published most of his major works, maintaining active contacts by letter with his socialist friends and associates throughout Europe.  (Oh, how he would have loved the internet, Skype and, especially, live-streaming! )

Many of Marx's European contacts were to become active members of  the International Working Men’s Association Link to, later known as the First international, of which Marx was a founder and general secretary. French members of the First International were to play an important role in the formation and actions of the Paris Commune of 1871.

Karl Marx, reported on the Paris Commune of 1871 from England, later published as a part of "The Civil War In France"   [link
http://www.marxists.org/... ], from which the following quotes are taken, unless otherwise indicated.

In Paris, in March of 1871, the workers, artisans and general population , the 99 Percenters of those days,  had taken control of its government by forming self-organized communes (councils) in each of 20 “Arrondisments”  (administrative districts) of Paris and held off the French Provisional government and independently ran and defended Paris for two months, ending in a bloodbath by provisional forces when they re-took the city.

Karl Marx, writing in his Third Address to the International Workingmen’s Association, only two days after the fall of the Commune wrote:

The great social measure of the Commune was its own working existence. Its special measures could but betoken the tendency of a government of the people by the people. Such were the abolition of the nightwork of journeymen bakers; the prohibition, under penalty, of the employers’ practice to reduce wages by levying upon their workpeople fines under manifold pretexts – a process in which the employer combines in his own person the parts of legislator, judge, and executor, and filches the money to boot. Another measure of this class was the surrender to associations of workmen, under reserve of compensation, of all closed workshops and factories, no matter whether the respective capitalists had absconded or preferred to strike work.
Interestingly and perhaps relevant for today when Occupy Wall Street has focused on the big banks and financial institutions as the cause of the globe’s massive economic inequality, was the fact that Marx criticized the Communards (in a private letter to Kugelman in 1871)  only for being too cautious in running their city, and not making use of the money that was sitting in the national bank in Paris, although they did issue a decree nationalizing all church property.  They likely could have fed all of then starving Paris with the proceeds of the money that had previously been stolen from the people and was sitting in the bank and the coffers of the church.  In his public writing, he was more circumspect:
The financial measures of the Commune, remarkable for their sagacity and moderation, could only be such as were compatible with the state of a besieged town. Considering the colossal robberies committed upon the city of Paris by the great financial companies and contractors, under the protection of Haussman,[J] the Commune would have had an incomparably better title to confiscate their property than Louis Napoleon had against the Orleans family. The Hohenzollern and the English oligarchs, who both have derived a good deal of their estates from church plunders, were, of course, greatly shocked at the Commune clearing but 8,000F out of secularization.
The Paris Commune was ultimately unable to sustain itself against the attacks of the counter-revolutionary Thiers government, a provisional government which had taken over after Louis Bonaparte, then the French President, had lost his capricious war against Prussia.  Bonaparte’s was had been initiated “for the greater glory of France” to re-take a few hundred kilometers of land lost to Prussia in a previous war.  The unpopular Thiers, although forced by the Parisians to retreat in tatters from the Paris capital to Versailles, had signed a peace treaty with Prussia and was in the process of paying Prussia’s Bismarck huge war reparations, to be paid, of course by the 99%, not those who had supported and lost the disastrous war.  

As part of the reparations, Prussia had agreed to aid Thiers in taking back Paris by releasing thousands of French soldiers held hostage since the French debacle at the battle of Sedan.  The Paris Commune, despite courageous street-fighting had thus been vanquished by the resulting over-whelming numbers of French provisional troops.  Thus did the Prussian and French oligarchs unite to fight the common enemy: the working class uprising.

Indeed, the Paris Commune was itself a product of the devastating war which had resulted in a four month Prussian siege of Paris. Ordinary French citizens had banded together into militias to defend Paris, even raising their own money to buy canons and small arms, which they controlled.  The siege had officially ended when Thiers signed a peace treaty which was hugely unpopular in Paris.  Thiers immediately tried to take back the canons and arms from the militias, going as far as ordering his putatively “loyal” troops to fire on the population which had taken to the streets to defend their arms.  The troops, however, began to mingle with the people and refused to fire on them.

Thiers then took his provisional government and fled Paris in disgrace to Versailles.
After the Thiers capitulation to the Prussians, the organization which had run the militias defense of Paris,  composed of many socialists and militants, subsequently called for the election of new communes in Paris.  

A majority of those elected to the Communes had been active in the militias and continued their efforts to supply and run Paris, this time as ordinary citizens under the flag of the Paris Commune, declared on March 29, 1871.  The councils were established in each of the 20 Arrondissments, meeting daily to debate, decree and take actions, issuing their directives by pamphlets and “word of mouth” communications.  (There were no microphones in existence then, so no "Mic Check" then, “word of mouth” was standard procedure.)

Marx hailed the fact that this was the first French government to not only legislate but act themselves to carry out the new laws, and their actions were carried out by ordinary French citizens who were democratically elected and subject to immediate recall if they did not carry out the directives of their councils.  

In a rough sketch of national organization, which the Commune had no time to develop, it states clearly that the Commune was to be the political form of even the smallest country hamlet, and that in the rural districts the standing army was to be replaced by a national militia, with an extremely short term of service. The rural communities of every district were to administer their common affairs by an assembly of delegates in the central town, and these district assemblies were again to send deputies to the National Delegation in Paris, each delegate to be at any time revocable and bound by the mandat imperatif (formal instructions) of his constituents. The few but important functions which would still remain for a central government were not to be suppressed, as has been intentionally misstated, but were to be discharged by Communal and thereafter responsible agents.
The Paris Commune‘s very first decree had been to separation of the church from the state and the nationalization of all church property.  At that period in France, the church was enormously wealthy and officially controlled many facets of French life, even generating an official “Morality police” to enforce its edicts.  The Commune disbanded the “morality police”, and removed the church from its control over French education.   As to the regular police, the Commune re-organized the force and put them under the direct supervision of the Communes. The Commune declared education free and open to all, without religious instruction.

Other decrees removed all special benefits previously accorded to their elected officials   that all those working for the Communes would be paid equal wages, equivalent to that a ordinary working person.  The factories that had been closed or abandoned by their owners during the previous Prussian siege were declared to be turned over to their workers to run and manage (subject to later compensation to owners).  Thus creating the potential for worker-owned cooperatives on a city-wide scale.  

The communards hoped, of course, that their model of self-government would be taken up throughout France, if not all of Europe. This was effectively undermined by seizure and burning of all information from Paris to the outlying districts and towns by the Thiers government.  Isolated from support from Paris, communes started in other cities were easily suppressed.

The Paris Commune deliberately and consciously eschewed the national chauvinism of the day, especially attacks on individual Prussians, by electing those of non-French ethnicity to positions in the commune, including electing a Prussian worker to head its Labor Committee, many other Europeans participated as well.  In so doing, they put their internationalism into practice.

Just as Arabs, Spanish, Greeks, Canadians,and British citizens contributed to the early developments of Occupy Wall Street on the spot in New York, (and Americans participated in Britain’s occupy movement and elsewhere), so the Occupy Movement today is demonstrating its internationalism by maintaining close contacts with hundreds of groups throughout the world who are in the streets protesting the gross economic and social inequality created by a relatively small group of global capitalists.  Thus, New York Occupy  requests a living wage for all – world wide.

Marx stressed the historic significance of the Commune's principles of political and economic self-rule:

The multiplicity of interpretations to which the Commune has been subjected, and the multiplicity of interests which construed it in their favor, show that it was a thoroughly expansive political form, while all the previous forms of government had been emphatically repressive. Its true secret was this:
It was essentially a working class government, the product of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economical emancipation of labor.
Except on this last condition, the Communal Constitution would have been an impossibility and a delusion. The political rule of the producer cannot co-exist with the perpetuation of his social slavery. The Commune was therefore to serve as a lever for uprooting the economical foundation upon which rests the existence of classes, and therefore of class rule. With labor emancipated, every man becomes a working man, and productive labor ceases to be a class attribute.
Marx likewise points out a problem faced by the Paris Commune that is likely common to all the current world movements:
In every revolution there intrude, at the side of its true agents, men of different stamp; some of them survivors of and devotees to past revolutions, without insight into the present movement, but preserving popular influence by their known honesty and courage, or by the sheer force of tradition; others mere brawlers who, by dint of repeating year after year the same set of stereotyped declarations against the government of the day, have sneaked into the reputation of revolutionists of the first water. After March 18, some such men did also turn up, and in some cases contrived to play pre-eminent parts. As far as their power went, they hampered the real action of the working class, exactly as men of that sort have hampered the full development of every previous revolution. They are an unavoidable evil: with time they are shaken off; but time was not allowed to the Commune.
Apparently, the Communards faced their own “Black Bloc” problems, and likely had to deal with the egoists and those who otherwise obstructed or held the movement back.

Some in the Paris Commune feared taking the offensive against the bourgeoisie and its Provisional Government supporters.  Thus Marx noted that the failure of the communards to follow Thiers and his Provisional government when it retreated in tatters to Versailles and continue the attack on them gave Thiers the time he needed to rebuild his army and generate massive propaganda against the Paris Commune from Versailles.
(Rather than Thiers calling them "dirty hippies", he probably used similar attacks against "dirty street vermin", different century but similarly slandering "P.R." techniques.)

Eventually, Thiers became strong enough to completely suppress news from the Paris Commune from reaching the rest of the country.  Commune movements in several cities were individually picked off and suppressed.  Thiers put an effective “information cordon” around Paris, seizing and burning any pamphlets or letters originating in Paris which carried news from the Commune.

Our modern gang of capitalists can “cordon off “ news of Occupy Wall Street and other movements in the world simply by ordering their corporate media to give it no coverage, but they haven’t been totally successful.  Thanks to the internet our independent journalists have been able to live-stream events and independent blogs reporting Occupy News have been able to embarrass the national media to giving some paltry coverage.  Unfortunately, only a minority of our citizens have access to the efforts of independent our independent media..  If it had not been for the wide-spread police violence, the national media may have ignored Occupy completely.

In the U.S., as in Paris of 1871, the violence came from the counter-revolutionary forces, not the rebels.  Indeed, Marx noted that the streets of Paris were completely crime and violence free while the Communards were in charge. All the violence was initiated by Thiers and his provisional government.

The actions and ideas of the Communards have been passed on to the world by the independent revolutionary journalists of their day, by letters smuggled to the outside world, by articles written after the events, such as those by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels and many other revolutionary journalists of the time.   And all this despite the Provisional Government’s efforts to “cordon off” their ideas and actions from the world.

So, without, e-mail, text-messages, YouTube or live-stream, without microphones or Skype, without even telephones, the communards not only managed to communicate with each other, debate their ideas and programs and organize themselves into their work committees.  

Despite the limitations under which the Communards lived and fought, their historic actions in the Paris Commune have reverberated throughout subsequent history: The workers took over and ran the city of Paris in 1871, they called for direct management of communal government by the people “to the smallest hamlet”, economic equality among workers and worker control and management of the factories.

Let us hope the ordinary people across the world, those of the 99%, of today, can do likewise  and can take over and create their own Paris Communes throughout the world in the near future.  Surely Occupy’s demand for a “Global Living Wage” is a first step in stopping the theft of human labor and the degradation of human dignity we have all suffered under global capitalism for far too long.

An excellent compilations of manifestos, declarations, minutes of Commune meetings and reports by actual participants can be found in Communards: The Story of the Paris Commune of 1871 As Told By Those Who Fought for it, by Mitchell Abidor (Marxist International Archive, 2010), available from Amazon for download. A French Commission interviewed participants in the Commune in 1898, asking them why they had been there and what they done.  Their interviews, reproduced in Communardsmakes for fascinating reading.

Originally posted to Justina on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Anti-Capitalist Meetup.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:49:46 PM PDT

  •  There is an obvious reason people dislike Marx (0+ / 0-)

    that you didn't mention. And it has little to do with Marx himself.

  •  Justina, thank you for such an excellent diary (13+ / 0-)

    and for wonderful comparisons of movements throughout capitalist history; for all the rhetoric about governments by the people, for the people, what we are seeing are governments far more concerned with propping up the MNCs and international financial institutions than actually covering the needs and demands of the people they are purported to represent. A true government for the people and by the people has never been one that bourgeois democracy has ever wanted; they only want the illusion of democracy. Parties that only represent the needs of the corporations and the wealthy are what we have now. How many times have people around the world tried to establish a real government of their choosing and had them overthrown by the military and foreign interventions?

    I agree, Marx would have loved this time with access to the internet and SKYPE where information beyond what is reported by the mainstream media is available, where knowledge can be rapidly shared, where discussion between people outside the mainstream can occur and debate can happen w/o waiting for the post to deliver it or for newspapers to spread the information. Of course, access is dependent still upon access to the internet, which means access to regular electricity and computers, but think how much information was able to be shared from Egypt, Tunisia and Libya that would never had been seen w/o access to the internet.

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:37:17 PM PDT

  •  Working Class Government (6+ / 0-)

    Despite my immense respect for Marx, he exaggerated in calling the Commune a "working class government." In fact, power within the Commune was hotly contested between several factions, including an explicitly socialist one associated with the First International, but latter-day bourgeois Jacobins who hadn't updated their ideas of freedom to include social rights, were a larger grouping.

    Probably the most pro-working class action undertaken by the Commune was the abolition of night-work for bakers, which was undertaken because of the advocacy of the bakery workers themselves. The Commune debates over the proposal reveal sharp divisions between the socialists and those who still believed that freedom of contract and property were still the pinnacle of human rights.

    Why was this the most pro-working class action of the Commune? As Marx had said of the passing of the 10 Hour Law in Britain some years earlier, these policies constituted victories of the political economy of the working class over that of the bourgeoisie, specifically at the critical point of production.

    As much as I find to admire in the Occupy Movement, and despite the invaluable role it has played in advancing a critique of capitalism in terms of the 99% v. the 1%, it is not a working class movement; not in terms of most of its membership nor in terms of its policies.

    "When Adam delved and Eve span, Who then was a gentleman?" Fr. John Ball (1381)

    by Le Gauchiste on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:37:38 PM PDT

    •  If the Occupy Movement is not a 'working class (4+ / 0-)

      movement,' then it is only because so many members are currently un- or underemployed.

      You're not going to maintain with a straight face that the Occupy Movement is a ruling class movement, nor that it represents the petit bourgeoisie, are you? If so, your Occupy is entirely different from my Occupy (Los Angeles).

      •  Working class movement (5+ / 0-)

        I'd certainly include the under- and the un- employed in the working class, as the political economy of capitalism requires a large reserve army of such people to keep wages down.

        I don't know what class Occupy "represents," nor what that really means, but I do know that most of the program advanced by it is essentially reformist in character, and there is little that challenges capitalism as such. Rather, the idea is to make capitalism kinder and gentler, which I certainly support.

        To say that Occupy is not basically a working class movement is not to condemn it, nor to imply that there is no working class influence, but to point out that its fundamental ideas include respect for private property and the wages system.

        If you want to check out an actually radical program, read the 40 point program of Syriza here: http://www.greanvillepost.com/...

        "When Adam delved and Eve span, Who then was a gentleman?" Fr. John Ball (1381)

        by Le Gauchiste on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:15:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks So Much For Link to Syriza's Program! (6+ / 0-)

          The Syriza's election platform is wonderful, let's hope that they win enough seats to form a real working majority and can begin to implement it.

          Yes, I agree that Occupy Wall Street and its brethran have not reached the a revolutionary stage as in Greece, it does have the potential to advance to that point.  Building true mass movements, especially revolutionary ones, takes time, as Marx (and Chomsky) would be the first to tell you.  In fact, Marx's initial take on idea of the Parisians actually taking power was that it was premature and doomed to be crushed.  And that in a city where thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, had already taken to the streets.

          Watch Chomsky's talk to Occupy Boston on YouTube, wherein he points out how nitty-gritty, talk to your neighbors, friends, co-workers, organizing is a hard and long term job, but absolutely critical to a successful movement.

          Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

          by Justina on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:40:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Marx (8+ / 0-)

            Sadly, Marx was right on the money about the Commune being premature and doomed. But he modeled an important lesson in solidarity: Once the Commune had seized power and the armed struggle was on, Marx did all he could to support the Commune, despite his misgivings about their strategy. We should all, of course, do the same when it comes to Occupy or to Syriza: support the self-activity of working class and other radical political movements in challenging capitalism.

            "When Adam delved and Eve span, Who then was a gentleman?" Fr. John Ball (1381)

            by Le Gauchiste on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:48:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, Marx Concerns Were Only in a Personal Letter. (4+ / 0-)

              I don't recall exactly where I read that now, but I don't think his reservations were ever expressed in public documents, only in personal letters.  Marx understood that when masses of people were in motion in the streets, as they were in early 1871, before the Commune was officially elected and declared,   then the correct move was to support them, not try to stop them.

              Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

              by Justina on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:58:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Another point (4+ / 0-)

                about the ill-advisedness of the Commune's seizure of power is that it had terrible long-term consequences for the French working class. The working class of Paris led the working class of France from the French Revolution onward, but in leading it also took heavy casualties over the years. The slaughter of the Communards, however, was unprecedented in its savagery and its extent, and recall too that thousands were imprisoned and/or exiled, many for years. The upshot was that the decimation of the most advanced elements of the Paris working class  seriously weakened the French working class for the next generation. Revolution, as CLR James once said, should never be entered into lightly.

                "When Adam delved and Eve span, Who then was a gentleman?" Fr. John Ball (1381)

                by Le Gauchiste on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:06:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have tried to make this point often... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  northsylvania, isabelle hayes

                  but get shouted down again and again. Although violent overthrow is dramatic and is always noted in the history books, it is rarely successful in the long run. It leaves scars on the society that do not easily heal and sets the society up for friction between groups that lasts generations. Much of the time this results in a worse long term outcome--such as take over by totalitarian governments.

                  It is much better to employ a long view and more subtle approach. Though these approaches don't create changes dramatic enough to be noted by history texts, they are more likely to be successful changes.

                  Think of the changes that happened after the Civil War vs. the changes that happened after MLK.

                  Better yet, think of the changes to our education system after a concerted and orchestrated effort from the right to create a generation of conservative work slaves. The left did not and still is not resisting that change because it was too subtle to see until it was done.

                  De air is de air. What can be done?

                  by TPau on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:16:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I am not certain that I would say that Greece is (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Justina, tardis10, Funkygal

            even in a pre-revolutionary period, but SYRIZA'S programme is a major step forwards. Btw, I am watching an interview with Yiannis Milios an economic advisor to SYRIZA being interviewed on Hardtalk, you can listen to how condescending the bbc interviewer is, he just said that they are the 99% of the population, enjoy!

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/...

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:54:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the arse from the beeb has described SYRIZA (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Justina, TPau, tardis10, Funkygal

              as a student organisation; Milios has laughed in his face. This has to be the most obnoxious interviewer in bbc history, Milios is doing an excellent job.

              "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

              by NY brit expat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:55:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  oops realised that made no sense, it was the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Justina, tardis10, Funkygal

              economist from SYRIZA that said that they are the 99% not the idjit from the bbc who has simply demonstrated everything I have said about the decline of the bbc in one interview ...

              "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

              by NY brit expat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:39:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  wonderful to see you, when I saw the statement (4+ / 0-)

      about night-bakers in the diary, I thought of you and was hoping that you would show up! Glad to see you Le Gauchiste. As always you raise important points.

      I was thinking of the Chartist movement some of which advanced radical perspectives and others which were more bourgeois democratic in orientation. In many senses, the failure to complete the bourgeois democratic revolution led to the Commune and there were points of reform that were relevant towards building a future movement. I also agree with your comment on Occupy, that it is not a working class movement ... rather it is a broad movement and many of the points raised by the two (and the internal contradictions between the groups) are similar.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:50:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for Your Comment, Although We Disagree... (6+ / 0-)

      on some things.  Occupy has focused a major attack on the big capitalist banks, with their support for the "Move Your Money" to credit unions and local banks.  That is certainly not an action that the upper class members of the population would take.  Now they are calling for a global "universal living wage", nothing whatever "upper class" about that!

      From the perspective of our age, we have little way of knowing  the precise number of Communards who were workers themselves or from working class backgrounds, what we do know is they were unlikely to be either royalty or large factory owners.  In my research, I did read that a portion of the middle class did support the Commune, those who had been badly affected by the policies of both Bonaparte and the Thiers provisional government.

      Not sure we can access anything like an accurate census of the Occupy Movement either, but from the stories and videos I've seen, there are a hell of a lot of working class and working class unemployed participating.  Also, under current conditions, the working class, including teachers and other intellectual workers, as well as factory workers are all suffering badly from under and unemployment.  Many of those folks have participated in Occupy Actions.  We may have re-define traditional notions of the working class as including only those who work with their hands.  In the last 30 years, finance capitalism had changed a whole lot of traditional notions.

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:54:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do not think that he was defining working class (4+ / 0-)

        as excluding those that do more mental rather than physical labour; that is, of course, an old argument on the left going as far back as 1825 in discussions between Thompson and Hodgskin. Rather I think that he was referring to the large numbers of students that participated whose class background is not of the working class. The ability to sleep out excluded large numbers of people that had responsibilities such as work, child care, etc and was more amenable to the young.

        I think Occupy has done tremendous work (just for reviving a fight-back in the US and for challenging the idea of working within the law, I would be applauding loudly and they have done more than that) and does have working class members, but it is a far broader movement than something even like the Chartists who were fighting for working class suffrage in the UK in the 19th century; the arguments advanced by them take a reformist trend (clearly some members do challenge the capitalist system itself, but they are reformist in nature). So, I am reading his comment along those lines; it is a broad cross-class movement that has members of various tendencies w/in it.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:28:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10+ / 0-)

    ...an Agreement by the UN that nearly all nations have signed off on, is inexorably being implemented in nations throughout the world -- especially the developed nations (with the exception of the US, of course). Indeed, two African nations have now come close to making the grade.

    The article that pertains to this is:

    Article 23.

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

    (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

    (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

    (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

    Also related is this Article, which insures that workers and their families stay healthy.
    Article 25.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

    (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Again, these are Human Rights.

    They are not policies.

    They are not privileges.

    They are not politics.

    If you are born as a human on this earth -- these are your primary rights from society.

    Conversely, if you are born on this earth as a human -- these are your primary obligations to society.

    http://www.un.org/...

    Nice work, Justina.

    Thank you for speaking for future species enlightenment on this extremely primitive planet.


    According to the Tea Party, there are three kinds of Conservatives: "Those who can do math and those who can't."

    by Pluto on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:06:41 PM PDT

    •  Thank you Pluto!... (5+ / 0-)

      I would create a movement to Amend our Constitution to reflect this ground breaking document, but that would only add to the long list of Amendments the government ignores.

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:23:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm Priviledged To Live in Venezuela, Where... (4+ / 0-)

      all the human rights enumerated in your comment are guaranteed in the written Constitution of 1999, passed under the Chavez government.  The Chavez government has progressed rapidly in putting those rights into real life practicalities of programs:  universal free health care, government subsidized markets and restaurants, stipends, not only for students attending free public universities, but for "amas de casa" (Stay-at-Home moms and caretakers), the disabled, and low income seniors.

      The government has recently raised the minimum wage by 32%.  It is the highest in South American.  They also started a new employment and training programs which has enrolled almost two million people for training and placement in jobs focused on areas of needed agricultural and industrial development.

      The social services programs are amazing here.

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:10:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I keep an eye on Venezuela (4+ / 0-)

        ...and all of South America. The future lies in the Southern hemisphere and it is an exciting time to be alive there.

        Meanwhile, did you read about the Summit of the Americas last month? Many or most of the national leaders walked out on President Obama.

        The US and Canada will not be invited back until Cuba is involved and drugs are legalized.

        They also suggested that the US and Canada do not belong to the Americas. That they are an invading species and do not share in the values of the indigenous Americans.

        I'm rather glad it did not make the news cycle.


        According to the Tea Party, there are three kinds of Conservatives: "Those who can do math and those who can't."

        by Pluto on Wed May 30, 2012 at 11:05:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Western world says auterity is the... (3+ / 0-)

        only way their nations can survive. They claim such lush programs would bankrupt the nation. I realize Venezuela is oil rich but the Western nations also have resources and incomes. Overall, many of the nations, including the US, are comparatively rich compared to Venezuela. Did Chavez avoid the whole banking snafu? Is he putting Venezuela into debt in order to give its citizens such benefits? Or are the claims that austerity is necessary proven false by Venezuela?

        De air is de air. What can be done?

        by TPau on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:10:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Venezuela Closed Its Corrupt Banks Quickly. (0+ / 0-)

          When the 2008 banking crisis hit, Venezuela audited many of its banks, closed or nationalized those in trouble, and jailed the corrupt bankers who were defrauding their depositors by using their money for speculative gambling. The depositors were repaid by the government in full.

          Since those actions, there have been few problems with the banks here.

          The many social programs here are being funded by profits from oil sales by Venezuela´s nationalized PDVASA, and have the effect of invigorating many other parts of the economy.  The majority of people here seem to be thriving.

          Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

          by Justina on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:21:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Social Networking and Reposts of this diary: (6+ / 0-)

    We are broadening our reach. Check us out on:

    The Stars Hollow Gazette

    Docudharma

    My Fire Dog Lake

    We are also now on Facebook and Twitter.

    De air is de air. What can be done?

    by TPau on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:57:29 PM PDT

    •  brava TPau! :) (5+ / 0-)

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:01:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you are on Facebook please be sure to... (5+ / 0-)

      join our groups so we can update you.

      Also, if you are so inclined, help us choose an Avatar for the group.

      Help me decide what my topic will be in June. Come by and leave a comment on the announcement of my upcoming post. My options are:

      Economic Judo: Four moves to take the momentum of our economy and redirect it in our favor.

      Yes, we Kahn: How Anarchist thought is changing the way we learn.

      Is the Law really Necessary: Just what it sounds like. An argument against having law. (Sorry Justina)

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:42:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for Your Work, TPau. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TPau, NY brit expat

      Especially in light of the fact that you working such long hours and having to travel to do it!

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:19:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Its own working existence (7+ / 0-)

    Picked those words out of what Marx said for that is the whole of it.  As long as we maintain a working existence in some form they can not crush us.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:11:34 PM PDT

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