Collective Action and the Ruling Class
what the ruling class fears more than anything is collective action. instead of directing your anger at every ignorant rando fox news cnn the daily show can scrounge up for ratings (and to make you feel superior) why not direct it at the cause and source. there is only one oppressor. the people w actual power responsible for the normalization of fascism over our lifetimes.
This past Sunday i was lead by a tweet to a bernie unity march from hollywood blvd to the cnn building maybe 10 blocks south. It was a lovely day in the middle of December. There was a relatively light police presence; the group was large enough and diverse. i didn’t join in the chanting. but i was happy to document and to be there, i find any resistance affecting at this point.
in this moment: https://twitter.com/Kirkdify/status/805597313787777024 hearing chants of “show me what democracy looks like. this is what democracy looks like,” a bystander mumbles “this is also what democracy looks like.” he goes on to say “i’m a working man. i voted for trump.” as he’s listing the states he phonebanked, a passerby hisses and snarls “Slime!”
it was intense and i appreciated that
my revolt for hillary clinton’s primary voters and trump’s general cancel each other out. i feel allegiance to neither. (liberals’ continued animosity toward bernie sanders after everything that’s happened is just frightening). and anyway this random man is not responsible for trump. it’s a system we have no control over.
we carry on. there’s a surreal quality to the chanting. the most often used was “water is life” which is eerie in one low frequency monotone. i remember the first time i heard black lives matter chanted. it was (though delivered w more energy) odd to suddenly being saying something so obvious, loudly as a group of people in the streets. having to say it was almost a defeat in itself. but it must be said.
we arrived in front of cnn. the sight was impressive and familiar. #occupycnn began as a meme when i was newer to la (during the primary, as protest against the unfair and skewed exclusion of bernie sanders from coverage). it’s one of my favorite ideas but never goes far enough.
the ends of the march fill in the street. at this point speakers take over and, unenthused, i wander through a nearby farmers market. i return. loiter. wander. i wonder what i would say if i took the mic.
i would say
we are an exploited class. we are enslaved through wages. the profits of our labor are stolen from us if we are permitted work at all. the ruling class manufactures and manipulates factions of working class and upper class people (foreign and domestic) against each other in order to maintain power, to profit, to prevent us from uniting against them, rentier capitalists, exploiters of labor, a small inbreed of psychopaths and sycophants who’ve taken our social wealth and used it to invent, construct and impose a structure over the tops of our lives through which they maintain control, denying us the fruits of our labor, as a species.
bent on ending the world or at least pushing it to the point of constant emergency in order to secure their rule, they keep resources scarce in a centuries long effort to keep us fighting amongst ourselves.
the enemy is not russia. it is not the random cuck on samantha bee. it is capital. the enemy is the show that put him there and the system which put the show there. it is, exclusively the rich, which nearly no one in or of that class has the capacity to understand, but which controls our entire society and seeks to privatize it further. they are the enemy. Capitalism is built on false and immoral assumptions that can only persist bc of our cultural conspiracy of silence, and what they fill it with: ahistorical, anti-intellectual factionalism and repression, enforced civic illiteracy. trump will be worse but obama was awful. whether you’re a good president should not be relative esp considering our history. people have been suffering and destroyed for far too long and our numbers continue to grow.
the normalization of fascism began w the media and can end there. it began when anti-trust values were disappeared from our discourse. when the watchers and watched were consolidated into one. it is our single party democracy and all the monopolies. technological, media. the privatization of our government: legal, executive and congress. it is the surveillance state, corporate welfare, wage slavery, political dynasties and an anti-science consumerist tabloid culture built on an immiserated and subjugated working class.
i would suggest we enter the cnn the building. occupy it, shut it down. that would be a meaningful act of civil disobedience to me..
there should be riots. maybe next time. a general strike has been called for #j20. don’t work. don’t let things work. the only resistance they recognize is commercial. if the ratings are down if their products aren’t moving then we may enjoy some power. through solidarity, we may realize we are political subjects not objects to be managed, ignored, persuaded. boycotts work. collective action works. civil disobedience that keeps the metaphorical trains from running works. tis the season.
in new york one december the streets were filled with black lives matter protests. we refused to follow our police escorts, pursued an erratic route and improvised tactics, going into large shopping centers in midtown, spontaneously disrupting traffic and business. entering large stores in the midst of the holiday shopping season, we would occupy, holding assemblies over the people’s mic as shoppers fled or produced their camera. and we would impact sales. business, as usual, would come to a halt. hit them in the wallet. don’t go to work. don’t let it work. shut it down.
in all my wandering, i later discovered i had missed the moment they announced the dapl had halted construction.
these protesters, (primarily Native Americans in rural north dakota whose victory in the context of history holds a meaning that is hard if not impossible to compute), braved experienced and endured vile state violence and repression bc as we’ve seen across far too many administrations: when you threaten capitalism, state violence is not only an option, it is the preference.
collective action works. collective action works. collective action works.