Earlier this week, the US Federal Congress went on vacation while letting an eviction moratorium expire. This lead to millions of people potentially losing housing, many without receiving the promised rent assistance from that same government. Three days prior to the expiration, Rep. Waters introduced a bill to extend the moratorium, but it did not pass before Congress went on recess, with up to twelve Democrat representatives telling Politico anonymously that they opposed the bill.
The article also features members of The Squad calling out Pelosi’s attempt to lie about the notice of expiration, along with demonstrations doing everything they can except getting the required votes for the bill’s passage. They did, however, force a means-tested concession that protects some from eviction.
When internal communications are alluded to, like in this article from The Hill, it shows much more personal concerns from the party: “Moderate Democrats, eager to leave Washington, were fuming at leadership for keeping the caucus in town until late in the day.”
So their concern is preserving their vacation time, while refusing to prevent an eviction crisis that Press Secretary Psaki warns “Given the recent spread of the delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability,” and went on to say the Supreme Court prevents an executive order solution.
Between those two sources, there’s at least twelve Democratic House Representatives that made the choice to favor their feelings for wanting a vacation over the lives of people forced out of their residence and made to live on the street during a burgeoning Covid-19 outbreak. When they do this, they employ a subjugation tactic that the United States’ ruling class has been using to blunt righteous outrage since before its founding.
With Thanksgiving three months away, Grace Donnely recaps the origin point of this lethal tradition:
Relations between the Wampanoag and the settlers deteriorated, leading to the Pequot War. In 1637, in retaliation for the murder of a man the settlers believed the Wampanoags killed, they burned a nearby village, killing as many as 500 men, women, and children.
Not “proven by evidence”, but believed. Given that the descendants of these same settlers staged a false flag operation by destroying British tea while dressed as Indigenous people, they are not a group whose word can be taken as gospel. Governor William Bradford would later declare this act of mass murder a “great victory”, all based on the belief and feeling, not the evidence, that Wampanoag people had murdered one settler. In that same speech, Bradford would re-iterate the false equivalence of feelings over lives:
Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them.
To Bradford, the only downside to this detestable campaign of violence was that the murderers’ nostrils were assaulted by the corpses they burned. No regard for their innocence, the sanctity of their life as humans, just a complaint that they should have burned to death in a less odorous fashion.
The white supremacist culture that birthed the United States now uses this false equivalence in every dispute. Giving material harm of the oppressed and exploited a lesser value than the feelings of the exploiters.
This has played out more rapidly in recent years, as the cracks in the US Empire begin to show more prominently. Hundreds of news outlets owned by billionaires parroted after the 2016 election that Trump voters weren’t racist, but driven by feelings of “economic anxiety”. Demographically, those interviewed are the wealthiest and best protected class in the US.
This scholarly article provides a data-driven debunking of those claims. A further conjecture is, just like Bradford, these statements are an invention to protect their ill-gotten plunder and silence dissent against their violence.
After a summer protesting hundreds of police murders, predominately against Black and Brown people, most police departments saw a budget increase despite the object of the protests being defunding. Bloomberg delves further into the rejection of the popular and data-driven demand that higher police spending does not reduce crime. It reveals violent crime spikes in multiple large US cities that directly coincided with police budget increases, eliminating that argument from any logical discourse.
Wealth may not trickle down in society, but values always do, and combatting this at both the personal and political level demands that the following thought process be adopted:
The most basic change starts with oneself, by adopting the principles of historical materialism and explicitly rejecting historical pieces deriving from the “Great Man Theory” of history, wealthy academic “objectivity”, or ones provided directly by a societies’ ruling class (whitewashed depictions of the first Thanksgiving, for example). Specifically, this is what’s demanded:
When Marxists look at society they do not pretend to be neutral, but openly espouse the cause of the exploited and oppressed classes. However, that does not at all preclude scientific objectivity. A surgeon involved in a delicate operation is also committed to saving the life of his patient. He is far from neutral about the outcome. But for that very reason, he will distinguish with extreme care between the different layers of the organism. In the same way, Marxists will strive to obtain the most scientifically exact analysis of social processes, in order to be able to successfully influence the outcome.
If a person seeks an improvement to liberal republics and empires, then there can be no accommodation between oppressed and oppressor classes. That balancing act, which ultimately only serves the ruling class, is the exact foundation of liberalism. It derives directly from the false dichotomy that a ruling class’ feelings are of equal or greater value than the lives and material consequences of those they subjugate.
To improve from this system, one must be an explicitly partisan entity for all oppressed classes in that society, but that approach is only effective if one’s rhetoric and action are rooted in verifiable fact. The oppressor uses lies to enforce their stranglehold, how can that be broken if the people fighting back do not reject their rule by adhering to the truth? In the case of the United States, it does so many horrible things domestically and internationally that there is never a need to lie in the first place.
There is one genre of lie that anyone walking this path will need to embrace: the lie of omission and/or obfuscation to protect oppressed people and fellow revolutionaries. The left is, at its heart, a movement for collectivist policy, so preventing individuals from being targeted by reactionary forces is not just a practical demand, but a moral and ideological one as well.
A word of caution: this principle is only to be applied to situations where a person could encounter material harm should the full extent of their actions against reactionary forces be known. An individual lying about failing personal commitments, overstating positive connections or understating negative connections to individuals and groups, or denying an assertion that is rooted in independently verifiable evidence without countering with their own (conversely, making such unsubstantiated claims) is identifying themselves as an embedded reactionary and they should not remain in an organizing group if they are not willing re-educate.
To that end, the benefit of the historical materialist framing is that it allows everyone to remain in the shared reality when discussing an issue, unfettered by individual whims that only seek to obfuscate.
While renters are justifiably outraged about the eviction moratorium expiring, it would be no less an injustice even if responses were generally favorable. The shared reality shows that up to fifteen million people will lose their residence amid a burgeoning round 2 of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is why corporate news stations place such a great emphasis on opinion polls over in-depth statistical analyses.
Every struggle oppressed people are engaged in today is not one of feelings, but one of material subjugation. Palestinians are bombed, murdered, maimed and taken from their homes so a Trump supporting chud from Long Island can get a vacation spot. Earning the trust of the masses means never disrespecting the struggle by reducing it to an ephemeral emotion, and instead maintaining a laser focus on the material reality. Never let a ruler convince people that a powerful person’s desire for a vacation is equivalent to the need for fifteen million people to have housing.