This post is a compilation of comments from a Facebook page post I made – I’m going to attempt to stitch them together elegantly, but if I fail, my apologies.
So, let’s talk about this. Did you know about it? Howard Zinn goes into depth on it, so does James W Loewen, but I bet your high school history textbook didn’t pay it much, if any, space. And this is from a site that admires HENRY GODDAMN KISSINGER (fucking warmonger) so there should be no accusation of getting this from “fringe Leftist sources” ????
So why, after they’d just exited war, would they do this?
American labor organizing was growing and many workers wanted socialism. The ruling class was obviously opposed to this and so the government worked to squash these efforts, not only domestically, but anywhere they saw workers gaining power over their masters (a policy stance that continues to this day and has been seen repeatedly enforced in the Global South). When a worker’s revolution happened in Russia after the WWI, the US was eager to try and help put it down by fighting alongside White Russian counterrevolutionary forces, because they couldn’t risk worker solidarity on a global scale.
From here, let’s let Howard Zinn take the wheel:
“War is the health of the state,” the radical writer Randolph Bourne said, in the midst of the First World War. Indeed, as the nations of Europe went to war in 1914, the governments flourished, patriotism bloomed, class struggle was stilled, and young men died in frightful numbers on the battlefields-often for a hundred yards of land, a line of trenches.
In the United States, not yet in the war, there was worry about the health of the state. Socialism was growing. The IWW seemed to be everywhere. Class conflict was intense. In the summer of 1916, during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, a bomb exploded, killing nine people; two local radicals, Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, were arrested and would spend twenty years in prison. Shortly after that Senator James Wadsworth of New York suggested compulsory military training for all males to avert the danger that “these people of ours shall be divided into classes.” Rather: “We must let our young men know that they owe some responsibility to this country.”
This is a small sliver of our working class history that the ruling class has worked to suppress. As the URL above states correctly: “History is a weapon.” So, we have to choose whether to wield it or have it used on us. We have the knowledge to deprogram ourselves from the propaganda they served us up as history in high school, preparing us to become part of The Machine that makes them rich. This is our opportunity to expose the man behind the curtain and get what we need. Ask yourself whether you you want to use objective truth to protect yourself and your loved ones from the ruling/owner/1% class, or be beaten by them with lies, gaslighting, and abandoning us to the climate collapse they have started and will continue until they retreat to their survival bunkers, which they have been preparing for some time now, all while luring some members of the working class into a false sense of invincibility regarding the climate, in order to keep them complacent and continuing to perform labor to produce valuable goods and services, so that the owners can steal wages in the form of profits.
These literal battles against workers used to be commonplace, and as labor rights continue to roll back, do not doubt that the ruling class will use these same tactics. They’ve become more sophisticated, so have their techniques. Just like attempted de facto genocide is happening in the refugee concentration camps by denying the people medical care, INCLUDING FLU SHOTS THAT HAVE BEEN OFFERED FOR FREE, we will see their schemes become more nefarious, manipulative, and highly propagandized in order to pit the working class at one another the way the have used the Trumpist movement to polarize and pit the working class against one another. This is all despite the fact that increasingly, most of us, including the racist, homomisic, transmisic, ablelist, white supremacist “just folks” who show up for The Fanta Menace’s rallies, all have more in common with unhoused people than we do or ever will with billionaires. And yet, with even scientists telling us that we must disrupt the economic system that has enabled these billionaire predators and parasites to get rich and powerful on our backs, these fools gladly defend the very system that could kill them and all their loved ones, all of humanity moving forward. And it isn’t simply Republicans or Conservatives – Liberals and Democrats and just as complicit in upholding these systems, and more people seem to be waking up to that fact.
Capital has only been an element in human lives for a few hundred years. Commerce, trade, even international trade, can be traced back at least 150,000 years. Capitalism, which enslaves the working class to varying degrees and severity of exploitation, depending upon privilege and other factors determined by the ruling class, in order that what those workers produce may be extracted by the owners and redistributed amongst the ruling class. The ruling class fears and loathes the term “wealth redistribution” because they have been doing it to us for millennia and don’t want to be found out. Remember, these are the same people who employ the Nazi propaganda tactic of “accuse the other side of that which you yourself are guilty” (paraphrased).
Capitalism is a system that requires exploitation of workers and ecosystem, and extractions from both that benefit a small minority of people (ruling/owner/1% class) while imposing suffering and struggle upon the majority (working class). It cannot be reformed to benefit workers because it cannot function without exploiting them and extracting from what they produce. That is literally what profits represent.
Billionaires, owners, “job creators,” ruling class – whatever you label them, they are a small minority of humans who regard other people as prey. That’s the bottom line, and it’s reflected in the fact that Bezos just stripped health insurance from employees because he was “losing” money, as if that’s even palpable to the richest person on the planet.
We are surrounded by ruling class propaganda, including in our history. And that’s just one of the weapons they use against us. Don’t fall for it! I’ve been identifying their tactics for the past couple of decades and can help. Keep reading, and more podcasts are soon to come.