Many European countries have working class citizens willing to stand against corporatism and crass capitalism run amok. Actions taken by international banksters have plunged economies all over the world into various levels of chaos. It’s heartening to see working people standing up, wherever they are.
Look at the photo slideshow HERE and see what is going on in France in response to proposals attacking pensions and other conservative actions of the Sarkozy government, now seen as a failure.
What can American workers learn from their French brethren? Don’t sit idle, don’t let yourself be misled into thinking that corporations from around the world financing candidates through the Chamber of Commerce is a good thing. Don’t trust rich elites who want to privatize Social Security and rail against it as insolvent when it’s not.
While there are activists in America who know we are in danger of being swept aside by corporate power in a growing plutocracy, there aren’t enough. Who is the most vocal and most angry in America? The Tea Parties, and for all the wrong reasons.
Manipulated by corporate money and astroturf organizations fronting as grassroots, Tea Party groups are acting against the interests of workers and for the interests of those who would see them whittled down to poverty. That so many have been so mislead by the right wing propaganda called the Tea Party movement is a testament to just how powerful corporations are already.
Tea Partiers, and the behest of the likes of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the right wing noise machine, have been the biggest inhibitors to what we really need to be doing. We need stronger financial reform, more complete health care reform, and real action to address energy policy and climate change. We need labor laws that take away the absolute advantage management has when it comes to organizing.
While the Democrats over the past months have been able to take steps to real reform, right wing obstructionism has kept them from being able to make the kind of real progressive changes we need. And yes, there are far too many corporate “Blue Dog” type Democrats helping them along.
It seems like what we may end up getting out of the 2010 elections is a still Democratic controlled Senate, holding on to just enough seats. The House, unless turnout surges, may well go to the Republicans. If so, look for two years of complete obstruction, versus the all-out, but not completely successful obstruction we currently see.
To borrow a phrase from more than one movie, we can “hold the line!” against the far right.
What American workers should be doing is letting Washington know, in no uncertain terms, we will not stand for being pushed more to the margin. We will no longer be the losers in what has been a classic redistribution of wealth. The very top has been stealing from the rest of us in a rigged “free market.” We should be pushing for labor rights, so big companies like Wal-Mart can’t abuse employees.
And if it takes more action, we need workers willing to hit the streets and stand up for each other. We can do it now, or we can do it later, after right wing corporate strategies have made all but the very top working poor, health care is only affordable to few, education is considered a privilege and not a right, and our landscape is polluted and scorched. Then we will stand, but it will be too late to stop the damage.
If Tea Party candidates and other right wingers take the House and shut down government, or obstruct all positive legislation, we should take a lesson from the French, and from the Spanish – A las barricadas!