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Daily Archives: October 13th, 2008

Rouge Forum Update: Banks Crash, Babies Born, US Loses War and More!

 

A Message from Rich Gibson

 

 

Perhaps the most auspicious event of October: the birth of Hurricane Ian Boyer whose eyes might see into the 22nd century. Congratulations to the entire Boyer family who showed there is no room for the failed system of capital, and Ian, on the same planet.

Here is Karl Marx himself, who, when every capitalist economist has to admit, “everything we knew for certain was wrong,” and when so many capitalist economists are proclaiming, “This is socialism,” when in fact it is national socialism, deserves more than a nod:

From Marx, Capital Volume 3, chapter 30 [the words New York and Federal Reserve added]:

“In a system…where the entire continuity of the…process rests upon credit, a crisis must obviously occur — a tremendous rush for means of payment — when credit suddenly ceases and only cash payments have validity. At first glance, therefore, the whole crisis seems to be merely a credit and money crisis. And in fact it is only a question of the convertibility of bills of exchange into money. But the majority of these bills represent actual sales and purchases, whose extension far beyond the needs of society is, after all, the basis of the whole crisis. At the same time, an enormous quantity of these bills of exchange represents plain swindle, which now reaches the light of day and collapses; furthermore, unsuccessful speculation with the capital of other people; finally, commodity-capital which has depreciated or is completely unsaleable, or returns that can never more be realized again. The entire artificial system of forced expansion of the [ecomony] cannot, of course, be remedied by having some bank, like the [FederalReserve], give to all the swindlers the deficient capital by means of its paper and having it buy up all the depreciated commodities at their old nominal values. Incidentally, everything here appears distorted, since in this paper world, the real price and its real basis appear nowhere, but only bullion, metal coin, notes, bills of exchange, securities. Particularly in centers where the entire money business of the country is concentrated, like London [or New York]…the entire process becomes incomprehensible.”


In our current circumstances, education workers who are the most organized workers in the US, who sit in the centripetal point of social and economic life for most people in this society, schools, who look out at about 50 million students (1/2 of them draft eligible in the next three years), who are among the last working people in the US who have fairly predictable employment (granted, there are thousands of layoffs), health benefits, and wages, who set up the vision of how and why the world works for kids—education workers may well be the next target for elites. Merit pay tied to test scores, more regimented curricula, what will likely be booming class size, more militarization of working class schools will mean not merely reaction, but resistance as school workers like other workers before us will have to fight to live.

At issue will be whether or not the Rouge Forum can take the lead to make sense of why these struggles must occur, whether the resistance can be girded by solidarity or whether we will be unable to convince people of the truth of the old labor saw, “An injury to one goes before an injury to all,” and whether or not we will be able to link the fight in schools to the fight against the system of capital itself.

In a Detroit suburb, Westland, teachers went on strike from Monday to Thursday last week. Teachers rarely want to strike. Nearly all teacher strikes are illegal (though the only illegal strike is a strike that fails). But the Westland teachers struck to save their health benefits and for class size caps (class size in Westland is far over the top). Those two demands tied the teachers, students, and parents together.

When a judge ordered the teachers back to work on Friday, they chose to return–against our advice. But on Friday, the students struck the school system on their own, with parental support—more than 200 students staying out. We can learn from this all these lessons and one more—the great potential of Freedom Schools, built on real issues outside the atmosphere of fear and coercion inside most schools. The student strike continues on Monday.

In the state of Morelos, Mexico, school workers entered there 48th day of a strike against both their employers, demanding that the educators concede all job security, and their union bosses, who demand the teachers cave. The school workers set up their own, separate, organization to lead the strike which is supported by students and most parents. Morelos educators were joined by teachers from Oaxaca who arrived with considerable experience about union leaders’ betrayals from their 2006 massive strikes.

On Saturday, the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice held a teachin with plenary sessions led by Marjorie Cohen, Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, Mike Davis and others. It brought together high school students fighting JROTC, Vietnam vets, peace activists, teachers, university students, Rouge Forum members, and community leaders. Despite considerable effort, the entire local press blacked out any coverage of the event.

A month ago a serious discussion about the system of capital would have been actively opposed by many of the leaders of the group. But in this meeting, Capitalism was put on trial by nearly everyone (but for four Navy spies who were sent to watch and disrupt). This is one short speech on the Political Economy of Capitalism and the Emergence of Fascism:

Here is Monthly Review’s John Bellamy Foster: Can the Financial Crisis be Reversed?

Thanks to Joe B, Gil G, Bob A, Amber, Tommie, Wayne, Adam and Gina, Greg and Katie and the girls, Bertell, Roxanne D. O., Tina S, Chandra, Sandy and Van, Colleen, Chantelle, Nancy, Beau, Roxie, Candace, and congratulations to the about to be Mom who shall remain anon.

All the best

Rich Gibson

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas, is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk