Anger over Health Care Bill Creates Uncertain Future
by Jane Slaughter January 20, 2010
A Massachusetts local union president called it before the January 19 vote for senator: "I've never seen this much anger at the Democrats from union people," said Jeff Crosby, president of a General Electric factory local near Boston, as he prepared a last-minute leaflet to hand out in the plant. "It's worse than NAFTA."
Top union leaders had bargained a compromise slowing down the health care benefits tax President Obama insisted on, but it was not enough to placate union members-and others-infuriated that Obama had broken his campaign promise not to tax benefits.
Crosby said his members were threatening to vote Republican to stop the tax, since 60 Democratic senators and no Republicans had voted for it. In Massachusetts' special election they chose empty-suit Republican Scott Brown over a Democrat bound to cement the benefits tax in place.
In a Suffolk University poll conducted a week before the election, union-household voters in Massachusetts reported only 45 percent support for the Democratic candidate; union voters nationally backed Obama by 60 percent in 2008. From: email@example.com Sent: 1/20/2010 3:31:30 P.M. Central Standard Time
Trade unions, primariy, are organized by workers to defend and advance the immediate economic interests of its members. Were there a functioning trade union financed labor party, based socially in working class neighborhoods and districts, it would be a united front of workers. It woud be both union and not yet unionized, employed and unemployed labor leagues, that insomuch as it becomes a class organization fighting the capitalist class, and every class struggle is a political struggle to keep or win political administrative management of State Power, the legislating of laws this State would enforce, a collective economic organization of workers as a class for itself would actualize their collective interests as objective class and political interest promoted by the Labor Party on the political offensive.
But, the American working class has no such class party, and individuals that comprise the working class, including the unions have illusions that the Democratic Party is 'pro-labor', the party of the 'Middle Class' and the 'Average American'. The trade unions, blacks and gays, Latino/as and feminists, and those 'progressives' who even believe themselves to be 'socialists' and 'communists', went all out, spending time and donating treasure to achieve the Presidency of Obama, together with super majority of Democrat seats in both the House and Senate.
This is one reason that trade unionists and the working poor who were suckered by the union bureaucray and into campaigning and voting for Obama and the Democrats expected that Obama, with the Democratic Party's domination of Congress, would implement his campaign promises to labor and the poor. He didn't, and the Congress didn't, but instead broke their campaign promises e.g. Card Check legislation to enable unions to organize the unorganized, Single Payer national Health Care legislation, ending the US wars of occupation in Middle Asia and so on. The workers feel 'betrayed'.
In ChatAfriK@yahoogrou ps.com, "Fubara David-West"
The fact is that President Obama was not elected to be bi-partisan. Thus, the voters gave the Democrats control over the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
President Obama started fumbling the ball, when he decided, during the push for a stimulus package, to work hard at getting a bipartisan bill. Indeed, he spent more time lobbying Republicans than Democrats. In the end, the solid Republican opposition ensured that no Republican would vote for the bill: a demoralizing outcome for Democratic voters across the country.
Did the president learn anything from that experience? No. Following that Republican firewall against the stimulus package, the White House spent months on end, giving the impression that a Health Care bill would not be worth its weight in reformative gold, without bipartisan support. By the time the White House learned the lesson one more time, that Republicans were in no mood, to give the President such a political victory on an issue as crucial as health care reform, the harm was done.
Meanwhile, President Obama decided, against the passions of the key constituencies that helped finance his campaign for the presidency; the constituencies that voted overwhelmingly for him, to send more troops into Afghanistan, and to drop the ball on the closing of the prison in Guantanamo.
Without those missteps, this surprising victory for the Republicans in Massachusetts would not have come about.
This 'feeling' of workers of their interests having been betrayed is, however, based on the myth spun by the Democratic Party and illusion propagated by the Democrats in press and electronic media that it is the workers political representative.
On 1/20/10, northllaw
If the Democrats are a pro capitalist party, how can any of sound mind make out they ''betrayed'' the working class ?"
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That's exactly the point. They don't represent the working class. Those workers and poor who believe that Obama and the Democrats have betrayed them are not yet conscious of the reality that the Democratic Party is a capitalist class party. Therefore it represents economic and political interests of capitalists. The material interests of capitalists and workers are economically mutually exclusive and consequently politically diametrically opposed.
There is no 'middle class'. Yet, the workers, trade unionists and ethnic minority members who were 'fired up' by the Obama 'progressive' image campaign, &/or his color and morphological characteristics, style and charisma are now disillusioned. The disillusionment has a potential element of critical thinking to break from their socialized false consciousness mentality.
"The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance. The individuals composing the ruling class possess among other things consciousness, and therefore think. Insofar, therefore, as they rule as a class and determine the extent and compass of an epoch, it is self-evident that they do this in its whole range, hence among other things rule also as thinkers, as producers of ideas, and regulate the production and distribution of the ideas of their age: thus their ideas are the ruling ideas of the epoch. ...
"The division of labour, which we already saw above as one of the chief forces of history up till now, manifests itself also in the ruling class as the division of mental and material labour, so that inside this class one part appears as the thinkers of the class (its active, conceptive ideologists, who make the perfecting of the illusion of the class about itself their chief source of livelihood), while the others' attitude to these ideas and illusions is more passive and receptive, because they are in reality the active members of this class and have less time to make up illusions and ideas about themselves. Within this class this cleavage can even develop into a certain opposition and hostility between the two parts, which, however, in the case of a practical collision, in which the class itself is endangered, automatically comes to nothing, in which case there also vanishes the semblance that the ruling ideas were not the ideas of the ruling class and had a power distinct from the power of this class. The existence of revolutionary ideas in a particular period presupposes the existence of a revolutionary class; about the premises for the latter sufficient has already been said above." (See Marx and Engels The German Ideology @http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01b.htm#b3)
The elements among the working class who are becoming disillusioned and consequently are coming to their senses, the awakening praxis of class struggle. Because of the present context of economic crisis, in which the Democratic Party dominated government is openly siding with finance capital and industrial capital at the expense of workers on one hand, and reneging on their campaign promises to advance working class interests on the other, American workers, who are 'angry' are also now open to critical thinking on their part. This praxis can lead to an objective analysis of the economics of class politics and the recognition that the Democratic Party is not a workers party but a partisan capitalist class party, the same as the Republican Party is.
Massachusetts is a state that already has a version or form of public option health care. Obama /Democrats carried by 26 points due to rhetoric about 'change we can believe in' - viz: Single Payer Health Care Legislation, the lowering cost of perscription drugs by reimportation, Card Check Union organizing legislation, peace in the Middle East, &c. These campaign promises were all rejected once the Democratic Party was in power in both the Executive and Legislative Branches of government, ostensibly because of the 'conservative' faction of the Democratic Party, in union with the Republican Party.
The feeling of 'betrayal' is what Hegel would call the first negation of false consciousness but not yet self-conscious being for self. Rather it is a rejection of being for others, a tool in the hands of the master. This first negation is the slave coming to have and be a will and mind of its own. The expression of this at this point results only in his or her refusal to be a being that is a tool manipulated by and in the interest of the owner. The disillusionment of this individual in the first instance resulting in 'stubbornness': "a type of freedom which does not get beyond the attitude of bondage".
"Since the entire content of its natural consciousness has not tottered and shaken, it is still inherently a determinate mode of being; having a "mind of its own" (der eigene Sinn) is simply stubbornness (Eigensinn), a type of freedom which does not get beyond the attitude of bondage. As little as the pure form can become its essential nature, so little is that form, considered as extending over particulars, a universal formative activity, an absolute notion; it is rather a piece of cleverness which has mastery within a certain range, but not over the universal power nor over the entire objective reality." (Hegel: The Phenomenology of Mind @ http://www.class.uidaho.edu/mickelsen/texts/Hegel%20Phen/hegel%20phen%20ch%204%20A.htm)
The majority of American workers don't realize that they are wage slaves. Thus their gullibility. Workers in that are still manipulated by Democratic Party or Republican Party candidates demogogic campaigns and informed by television ads and phone calls who continued to vote for the Democrat candidate, in this instance Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and also those who felt betrayed by "their" Party, the Democratic Party, because in power it has obviously shown itself to be committed to the status quo and thus it's refusal to implement campaign promises, consequently voting for the Republican Party candidate Scott Brown as protest vote, are in both cases still gullibles and political tools in the possession of the ruling class, still without a will and mind of their own.
The transfer of trillions of dollars from worker's paycheck taxes to finance capital to bail-out banks while purchasing 'toxic loans' to enable those banks to foreclose on the homes of workers whose wages were beneath the cost of providing their families with means of subsistence.
"Labour, like all other things which are purchased and sold, and which may be increased or diminished in quantity, has its natural and its market price. The natural price of labour is that price which is necessary to enable the labourers, one with another, to subsist and to perpetuate their race, without either increase or diminution. (See David Ricardo: Principles of Political Economy @ http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP2.html#Ch.5,%20Of%20Wages)
In modern industrial democracies the means of subsistence figured in wages of labor power include housing and health care. But, this is being resisted by organized labor, the same unions that campaigned for Obama and the Democrats in 2008.
Machinists Remain Opposed to Health Care Excise Tax
Fri. January 15, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., January 14, 2010 - Despite the so-called agreement
announced today by various labor organizations, the International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) reiterated its
opposition to any health care reform legislation that is funded by
taxing the value of workers' existing health care benefits.
"The IAM opposes the excise tax, period. We believe it is unfair to our
current members and particularly unfair to those members we hope to
organize in the future," said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. "If a
temporary exemption is the best this Congress can offer the American
people after the promises of the last election, they will have earned
the wrath of voters in the next election."
"By stringing this 'fix' out until 2018, our members will be pressured
to agree to benefit cuts year after year in the vain hope they will be
able avoid the excise tax. Companies will seek to shift costs while
still cutting benefits to avoid eight years of health care premiums
accelerating at fifteen to twenty percent per year.
"This is a huge ping pong ball that our elected leaders are trying to
shove down the throats of hard-working Americans," said Buffenbarger.
"On the installment plan or all at once, a 40 percent excise tax on
their health care benefits is hard to swallow. But the White House and
the House and Senate Democratic leadership appear determined to play
ping pong with this legislation until they get the votes they need.
"We will continue our opposition to this egregiously unfair tax."
The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America,
representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members in dozens of
All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551
Email: nursenpo@aol. com
http://unionsforsin glepayerHR676. org
Machinists Remain Opposed to Health Care Excise Tax
The capitalist system is presenty undergoing its periodic crisis:
The global economy, like any economy, is affected by regular and recurring fluctuations in the levels of economic activity. If a country's economy is experiencing a boom or recession its domestic demand for goods and services can be affected. The combined effects of the level of economic activity of individual countries will in turn affect the global economy.
The periodic and irregular expansions and contractions in world output can be measured by changes in real world GDP.
Characteristics of the phases in the business cycle:
* An upswing in economic activity, or recovery, is usually associated with rising levels of GDP, consumption expenditure, investment expenditure and decreasing levels of unemployment. This may lead to a boom with high levels of GDP with businesses operating at close to full capacity, inflation rising due increasing costs and interest rates at higher levels.
* A recession is a downturn in economic activity and is associated with falling levels of GDP, consumption and investment expenditure. Inflation and interest rates are declining and unemployment is rising. A recession will have a trough at the lowest point. A trough has GDP, consumption expenditure and investment expenditures at the lowest levels. Unemployment is high and inflation is low.
Historically there is a strong relationship between the business cycles of the world economies. To identify a global recession is a difficult task, even when they are occurring. This is why most recessions are not determined until after the economic event has taken place. Gross world product (GWP) tends to go through upswings, booms, downswings and troughs.
International Business Cycle
Graph of the International Business Cycle Factors that can affect the level of global economic activity
The boom in new Software and Internet industries in the 1980s were not due to the political policies of the Clinton Administration and the busts which begain under the presidency of George W. Bush, and continued decline presently while Obama is in office were not and are not caused by political or even economic policies of Bush or Obama. It is not the political and economic policies of Presidential Administrations that determine the activities of capitalist commodity production and appropriation on the basis of exploited wage labor, but on the contrary the internal laws governing this mode of production and appropriation that determine economic activities of capitalists and workers, and governments can only respond by policies - the Bush administration responded with monetarist policies and tax cuts ostensibly 'supply side' policies to 'encourage' capitalist investments, whereas this failing to 'stimulate' the global and national economy the Obama administration is responding with Keynesian demand side policies.
The buying and selling of commodities, including labor power as a commodity is competitive capitalist production for national and international markets. The greater market is workers who purchase from capitalists these commodities that they were paid to produce, as means of subsistence.
"The power of the labourer to support himself, and the family which may be necessary to keep up the number of labourers, does not depend on the quantity of money which he may receive for wages, but on the quantity of food, necessaries, and conveniences become essential to him from habit, which that money will purchase. The natural price of labour, therefore, depends on the price of the food, necessaries, and conveniences required for the support of the labourer and his family. http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP2.html#Ch.5,%20Of%20Wages
The demands for final goods and services are directly related to the capital market, the production of means of production to be bought and used in production of means of subsistence. Due to its own internal contradictions: the anarchy inherent in the market and displacement of human labor power by more efficient machines engaged in capitalist commodity production by wage labor engendering lay-offs and an unemployed surplus population outside the market for means of subsistence on one hand, and by having fewer though higher skilled laborers working the new machines, since labor is the source of new value added to the produced commodities the rate of surplus value increases in the short term but the prices of the commodities decrease and there is therefore an objective tendency of rates of profits to decline. Unemployed workers are not on the demand curve, thus side by side with this surplus population is growing surplus products that cannot be sold, relative overproduction is the result.
"We have seen that the ever increasing perfectibility of modern machinery is, by the anarchy of social production, turned into a compulsory law that forces the individual industrial capitalist always to improve his machinery, always to increase its productive force. The bare possibility of extending the field of production is transformed for him into a similar compulsory law. The enormous expansive force of modern industry, compared with which that of gases is mere child's play, appears to us now as a necessity for expansion, both qualitative and quantitative, that laughs at all resistance. Such resistance is offered by consumption, by sales, by the markets for the products of modern industry. But the capacity for extension, extensive and intensive, of the markets is primarily governed by quite different laws that work much less energetically. The extension of the markets cannot keep pace with the extension of production. The collision becomes inevitable, and as this cannot produce any real solution so long as it does not break in pieces the capitalist mode of production, the collisions become periodic. Capitalist production has begotten another "vicious circle". (See Frederick Engels Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Science Anti-Durhing http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm)
"In every stockjobbing swindle every one knows that some time or other the crash must come, but every one hopes that it may fall on the head of his neighbour, after he himself has caught the shower of gold and placed it in safety. Apres moi le deluge! [After me, the flood] is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society.  To the out-cry as to the physical and mental degradation, the premature death, the torture of over-work, it answers: Ought these to trouble us since they increase our profits? But looking at things as a whole, all this does not, indeed, depend on the good or ill will of the individual capitalist. Free competition brings out the inherent laws of capitalist production, in the shape of external coercive laws having power over every individual capitalist.  (Marx: Capital Volume I @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch10.htm#S2)
Having internalized by education and socialization in a culture of illusions of "American exceptionalism" and delusions of national grandeur gullibility, American workers are easily manipulated by the flowery rhetoric in the language and speeches of demoagogic politicians and print and media propagandists who present American society as a 'unique' society, a 'classless democracy', and that social groups are comprised at best of income bracket determined social classes that have no basis in the modes of appropriation's relations of production. Thus the deliberately gullibilized workers are diverted from an objective scientific analysis of the American version of the capitalist mode of production and appropriation and consequently from an understanding the economics as class struggles based on relations of production and forms of appropriation.
American workers therefore do not recognize the contradictory processes in capitalist commodity production by the exploitation of wage workers resulting in displacement of human labor by machines engendering declining rates of profits on the one hand, and cronic unemployment on the other, cut backs in production and more layoffs. These increasing mass of unemployed further limits the demand curve to fewer customers, resulting in more cut backs and more layoffs.
Americans are lied to in political science, sociology and economic text books. The political science texts and professors claim that America is a classless democracy.
Sociology admits that there are social classes, but reject economic classes based on relations of production and corresponding forms of income distribution of value as wages of labor, profits of industry and industrial agricultural, commercial and finance capital, and rent of landowners and landlords.
These sociologists assert instead that the social classes in America are determined not by the quality of income - wages, profits, interests and rent - but separately by the quantity of income, so-called 'income brackets' - the so called Upper Income Brackets [upper upper, middle upper and lower upper] Middle Income Brackets [ upper middle, middle middle, upper middle] and Lower Income Brackets [upper lower, middle lower, lower lower] where by these income determination of where on 'class' in the schedule ends and the next begins is completely arbitrarary. Middle income bracket, and Lower income bracket, consequently 'rich' doctors, entertainers, middle capitalists, rich apartment owners, and so on are put into the same 'class' - the lower upper class].
Thus, the sociologists 'income bracket' determination of 'class' by 'income bracket', the so-called lower upper class income bracket dumps together members of different modes of income as "rich" entertainers, capitalists, sports figures, petty bourgeois elements, lawyers, apartment owners, doctors and so on, without regarding whether their mode of income are wages or 'salary', profits, interests or rent.
The economic texts and professors, however, admit that classes exist, but claim that capital, labor, and resources are 'factors of production'. Thus, claiming that wages, profits, interest and rent are 'factor payments' - that capitalist profits are not derived from the exploitation of wage labor by capital, but the 'payment' of capitalists for organizing production and 'risk' of money invested.
As the ideas and illusions spun by the ideologists of the ruling class are the dominate ideas and ideologies of American culture, internalized by new members of the working class community through socialization and upbringing American politicians and media skillfully manipulate ignorant and therefore gullible American workers by red herrings and ad hominem attacks on the Party in power. The red herring is that their ignorance of class economics enables politicians and media to divert workers from an objective, cold analysis of facts resulting in critical analysis of the laws of motions of capitalist commodity production by wage labor resulting in an understanding of why there are periodic slumps, recessions and depressions inherent in the capitalist character of production and appropriation itself.
On 1/22/10, jamboarder
"What happens next, and when, will depend on our collective threshold of stimulus to exploitative pain. And each time we start making noises about the pain they'll throw us another shiny ball, promising all the relief we could ever dream of, and then proceed to further grind in their boot heels while we're distracted."
Democrats as well as Republicans traditionally divert attention from the internal contradictions that are inherent in the very nature and processes of capitalist commodity production by the exploitation of appropriated labor power [wage workers] in the labor process itself. Instead, depending upon which party is in power when upswings or downturns in the economy occur, the party in power take credit for the upswing and when the opposition blame the downturn on the President, depending which party the president belongs to. This degenerates into ad hominems rather than an objective analysis of the economic data that address the inevitable breakdowns inherent in the capitalist commodity by wage labor, itself.
Blaming an economic downturn and recession on the policies of whichever Party that happens to be in power is a diversion. The downturns and recessions occur as a natural phase in the business cycle. Giving the Party in power credit for the upswing is as crazy as crediting the Rooster's crowing as causing the sunrise!
A staple in American politics is playing on the ignorance of America voters in negative campaigns: candidates for both the Democrats and the Republicans when out of power respectively blaim the Party in power for capitalist crisis. This gullibility on the part of Americans in part is the reason for the Brown Republican victory against the Democrats in the Massachusetts Special Election 2010.
If Republicans are in power when the economy is in an upswing their government takes credit by attributing it to their Party's economic policies of investment, tax cuts and deregulation: to supply side economics. If a recession occurs, Republicans campaign for more and deeper tax cuts as capitalist incentive, and blame budget deficits derived from tax cuts coupled with military spending on the Democrats social welfare spending.
If Democrats are the Party in power when a recession occurs they ignore the internal contradictions in the capitalist mode of production and appropriation as causes and blame it on Republican tax cuts and deregulation policies. The Keynesian Democrats slap taxes on capitalists and workers to pursue more government intervention and deficit spending to stimulate demand by increasing government generated jobs and income for workers. When the cycle's down turn bottoms out and the upswing commenses, Democrats as the Party in power, assume full credit and attribute it to Keynesian interventionist theory and policies: demand side economics.
However in the present crisis which became manifest in the collapse of finance capital -"Wall Street banks" - both Parties, the Democrats as well as the Republicans are blaiming the workers who are loosing their homes to big bank mortage foreclosure. According to Democrat and Republican politicians, along with print and media propagansists and pundits are claiming the present crisis cycle is due to foreclosures because of the 'irresponsibility' of workers who couldn't afford the loans, rather than examining the stagnation of wages. This stagnation of wages, has resulted in the decrease of real wages compared to increased costs of means of subsistence, including housing.
Moreover Democrats in the Senate want to tax workers medical benefits, which were gained through negotiations with capitalists as a concession in exchange for increases in needed to cover health care costs, rather than tax the capitalist's profits. American sociological theory of income brackets determining class, together with its version of economic theory, both mentioned above, enables the Obama led State to tax 'upper income' workers of the 'middle class' &/or 'cadillac health care benefits', as well as the 'upper classes'. The question of fairness is bandied about and thrown around, as profits of capital is posited as 'factor payment' for their part in production.
Actually, labor, together with nature is the source of all wealth through the labor processes where value is created or transferred by work, the capitalist's profits are derived from unpaid work of the laborers.
"The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. What every thing is really worth to the man who has acquired it, and who wants to dispose of it or exchange it for something else, is the toil and trouble which it can save to himself, and which it can impose upon other people. (Adam Smith: Inquirary into The Wealth of Nations @ http://www.adamsmith.org/smith/won-b1-c5.htm)
"The value of a commodity, or the quantity of any other commodity for which it will exchange, depends on the relative quantity of labour which is necessary for its production, and not on the greater or less compensation which is paid for that labour." (David Ricardo: Principles of Political Economy @ http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP1.html#Ch.1,%20On%20Value)
"We started with the supposition that labour-power is bought and sold at its value. Its value, like that of all other commodities, is determined by the working-time necessary to its production. If the production of the average daily means of subsistence of the labourer takes up 6 hours, he must work, on the average, 6 hours every day, to produce his daily labour-power, or to reproduce the value received as the result of its sale. The necessary part of his working-day amounts to 6 hours, and is, therefore, caeteris paribus [other things being equal], a given quantity. But with this, the extent of the working-day itself is not yet given.
Let us assume that the line A–––B represents the length of the necessary working-time, say 6 hours. If the labour be prolonged 1, 3, or 6 hours beyond A—–-B, we have 3 other lines:
Working-day I. Working-day II. Working-day III.
representing 3 different working-days of 7, 9, and 12 hours. The extension B--C of the line A---B represents the length of the surplus-labour. As the working-day is A---B + B--C or A--C, it varies with the variable quantity B--C. Since A---B is constant, the ratio of B--C to A---B can always be calculated. In working-day I, it is 1/6, in working-day II, 3/6, in working day III 6/6 of A---B. Since further the ratio (surplus working-time)/(necessary working-time), determines the rate of the surplus-value, the latter is given by the ratio of B--C to A---B. It amounts in the 3 different working-days respectively to 16 2/3, 50 and 100 per cent. On the other hand, the rate of surplus-value alone would not give us the extent of the working-day. If this rate, e.g., were 100 per cent., the working-day might be of 8, 10, 12, or more hours. It would indicate that the 2 constituent parts of the working-day, necessary-labour and surplus-labour time, were equal in extent, but not how long each of these two constituent parts was.
"The working-day is thus not a constant, but a variable quantity. One of its parts, certainly, is determined by the working-time required for the reproduction of the labour-power of the labourer himself. But its total amount varies with the duration of the surplus-labour. The working-day is, therefore, determinable, but is, per se, indeterminate. 
"Although the working-day is not a fixed, but a fluent quantity, it can, on the other hand, only vary within certain limits. The minimum limit is, however, not determinable; of course, if we make the extension line B---C or the surplus-labour = 0, we have a minimum limit, i.e., the part of the day which the labourer must necessarily work for his own maintenance. On the basis of capitalist production, however, this necessary labour can form a part only of the working-day; the working-day itself can never be reduced to this minimum. On the other hand, the working-day has a maximum limit. It cannot be prolonged beyond a certain point. This maximum limit is conditioned by two things. First, by the physical bounds of labour-power. Within the 24 hours of the natural day a man can expend only a definite quantity of his vital force. A horse, in like manner, can only work from day to day, 8 hours. During part of the day this force must rest, sleep; during another part the man has to satisfy other physical needs, to feed, wash, and clothe himself. Besides these purely physical limitations, the extension of the working-day encounters moral ones. The labourer needs time for satisfying his intellectual and social wants, the extent and number of which are conditioned by the general state of social advancement. The variation of the working-day fluctuates, therefore, within physical and social bounds. But both these limiting conditions are of a very elastic nature, and allow the greatest latitude. So we find working-days of 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 hours, i.e., of the most different lengths.
"The capitalist has bought the labour-power at its day-rate. To him its use-value belongs during one working-day. He has thus acquired the right to make the labourer work for him during one day. But, what is a working-day? 
"At all events, less than a natural day. By how much? The capitalist has his own views of this ultima Thule [the outermost limit], the necessary limit of the working-day. As capitalist, he is only capital personified. His soul is the soul of capital. But capital has one single life impulse, the tendency to create value and surplus-value, to make its constant factor, the means of production, absorb the greatest possible amount of surplus-labour. 
"Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him.  (Karl Marx: Capital Volume I @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch10.htm#S1)
The activity of worker's changing nature [natural resources] into commodities - raw materials as commodities, means of production as commodities, finished products as commodities, tax on wages and health care - is a form of exploitation of wage labor: appropriated by the State as taxes or by the capitalists as surplus value.
"From this point of view the form in which the conditions of production themselves enter into the labour process is also entirely irrelevant. E.g. it is a matter of indifference whether they only give up their value to the product gradually, as in the case of a part of the constant capital, machinery, etc., or enter into it materially, as with the raw material; whether, as in the case of the seed in agriculture, a part of the product is directly re-employed by the producer himself as a means of labour, or is first sold and then converted afresh into a means of labour. Whatever their role as use values in the production process, all the means of labour that have been produced now function at the same time as elements in the valorisation process. To the extent that they are not converted into real money, they are converted into money of account, they are treated as exchange values, and the value element they add to the product in one way or another is precisely calculated. ...The conditions of production, the elements of products, naturally become commodities in the same measure as the products do â€” for they are identical with the products â€” and in so far as the valorisation process comes into consideration they are calculated in the independent form of exchange value, as monetary magnitudes. The direct production process is here always and inseparably a labour process and a valorisation process just as the product is a unity of use value and exchange value, i.e. a commodity. (Marx: Economic Manuscripts of 1861-1864 @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1864/economic/ch01.htm)
To pay for a national single payer heath care institution by taxing profits and interests - on valorised labor translated into capitalists monetary expression in profits, interests and rent - really doesn't take anything from capitalists, bankers and landlords because they have nothing to do with the labor processes. Capitalist's and banker's contribute nothing to the creation of value because they don't even participate in the work occuring in production, they just take from it, exploit the worker's value creating labor power.
A tax on industrial, agricultural and commercial capitalist profits, finance capital's interest and fees, and landlord and apartment owners rent is said by Republicans and "conservative" Democrats to be an 'unfair' tax, on the one hand, and on the other that to "raise taxes in times of a severe recession will be a 'disincentive' against investment and job creation, and therefore a 'job's killer'".
In actuality, a tax on industrial, agricultural and commercial capitalist class profits is nothing but the government appropriating wealth created by the working class from the appropriating capitalist class to pay for the health care of the working class. The capitalist's are not giving up anything. A portion of the profits derived from unpaid labor is redirected from capitalist wallets to the working class in the form of national health care for all.
It is therefore not 'unfair' to tax capitalist's profits, bankers interest and landed capitalist money rent to insure uninsured workers, because profits, interests and rent is all derived from the labor power that is appropriated by capitalists, bankers and landlords as profits, interests, fees and rent. As far as these taxes becoming a 'disincentive', this shows workers the practical necessity to have a trade union -working class community based labor party that will understand the economics of class struggle from the working class' interest's perspective to pass legislation that will penalize or expropriate by nationalization without compensation any and all capitalists, bankers and landlords that refuse to further invest in production or distribution, as a way of punishing workers for forcing them to pay these taxes.
Though it masquerades through the rhetoric of its politicians to be a party representing "the middle class" (they are careful to not say 'working class' ) yet a Democrat dominated US Senate health care bill has shown itself as capitalist class partisan. It would never expropriate capital in the interest of the working class, the proletariat. Rather the opposite: to appease "Conservative Democrats" and Republicans and please finance capital - of which the insurance companies are part and parcel as a class - Senate Democrats instead dispensed with single payer health care, rejected 'the public option' and even the expansion of Medicare to cover workers over 55 years of age.
Meanwhile Senate Democrats at the same time has in their Bill that it will appropriate from the already appropriated and exploited working class wages in the form of taxing union negotiated benefits. Democrats, as representatives of the capitalist class will tax workers medical benifits, so called "Cadillac tax". But, this is not all. Giving more goodies to the insurance industry the Bill will force 30 million presently uninsured workers to turn over money to insurance companies or face fines or jail time. Talk about a 'redistribution of wealth' and 'socialism' for the ruling class, the tax on worker's so-called Cadillac benefits will be appropriated by the government from workers and given to the insurance companies ostensibly as 'subsidies' to insure the uninsured.
To any critical thinking worker who recognizes the material essence of class interests it is clear that a Senate Democratic majority, although in the language and masquerade as being for 'the working man' and 'capitulating to the demands of the "Conservative Democrats"' actually work on behalf of these profit driven capitalist classes. When subjected to empirical analysis 'appearance' is not deceptive.
"The Essence must Appear or shine forth. ... But appearance (forth-showing) is not to be confused with a mere show (shining). Show is the proximate truth of Being or immediacy. (See Hegel's Encyclopedia or 'Shorter Logic' @ http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/index.htm)
"Illusory being, therefore, contains an immediate presupposition, a side that is independent of essence. But it does not have to be shown that illusory being, in so far as it is distinct from essence, sublates itself and withdraws into essence; for being in its totality has withdrawn into essence; illusory being is in itself a nullity; all that has to be shown is that the determinations which distinguish it from essence are determinations of essence itself, and further, that this determinateness of essence which illusory being is, is sublated in essence itself. ...What we have here is not an illusory show of being in essence, or an illusory show of essence in being; the illusory being in essence is not the illusory being of an other, but is illusory being per se, the illusory being of essence itself. What we have here is not an illusory show of being in essence, or an illusory show of essence in being; the illusory being in essence is not the illusory being of an other, but is illusory being per se, the illusory being of essence itself. (See Hegel: The Science of Logic Volume I @ http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/index.htm)
Given the cultural illusion that America is a 'unique' classless democracy, where the concept of 'status' and 'income brackets' displace economic categories by which classes are determined by modes of income and corresponding relations of production the Democrats are able to masquerade as political philanthropist and the games played out in the Senate on television so- called Democrat "progressive" faction that ostensibly supported the 'public option' are presenting themselves as individuals and as a Party as representing the 'common man', and 'working stiff' of 'the so-called middle class', the 'Joe Sixpack' and 'the average American' vis-a-vis Republicans. Moreover Democratic Party populism, the same as Republican Party populists do not attack the capitalists as a class, but specific institutions, and more particularly individuals - demonizing them as 'immoral' and 'selfish' finance capital executives for instance, what they call 'Wall Street Bankers' for giving themselves 'outrageous bonuses they haven't earned'.
The language is political and ideologically significant: Democratic Senators, in other words, masquerade as 'compassionate' and 'pro-labor' and as representing the 'middle class working stiff', the 'little guy' and 'the average American' and 'the 'poor' and ethnic and gender minoriries. This Democratic Party does not, and given the Party's financial and social base in capital it cannot, present itself in the language of class struggle politics as representing the working class, the proletariat as a class in opposition to the capitalist class.
Consistent with their masquerade as the 'friend of labor' and for 'the average American' and 'the common man', to avoid the actuality of class interests the Democrats present their Republican 'opponents', the Republican Party's members of Senate, as corrupt individuals who are opposing the middle class, common man and average Americans, supposedly because individual Republican Senators that oppose the Bill do not do so because of that Party's capitalist class partisanship but as individuals 'in the pockets of the insurance companies'. To present the Republican Party's voting record as capitalist class partisanship would require the Democrats with the same or similar voting record as also making Democrats openly rather than covertly capitalist class partisan.
Yet, it wasn't the potentially out voted Republican Party opposition but Senate Democrats that opposed the medical care bill, provision by provision: single payer health care coverage, to the 'public option' and to expanding medicare, as well as opposed taxing capitalists. Senate "Democratic Caucus" of 60 members went behind closed doors and worked quid pro quos to win the "Conservative Democrats" votes thus the 'progressive' Democrats sacrificed the interests of the working class and poor - the 'public option' and even 'medicare buy in' for all over 55 years of age, while forcing 30 million uninsured workers to turn over money to insurance companies, being paid for in part by taxing workers health care as "Cadillac" wealth. The revised bill was written by Democrats on behalf of insurrence companies.
Senators Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Jim Webb, Claire McCaskill, Kent Conrad, Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, Bill Nelson and Tom Carper together with Joe Lieberman are explicit in their activities as being and having a mind and will in common interest with their capitalist financiars and class buddies, and openly share common politcs with the Republicans. Yet, the Obama Administration the writing of the Senate's version of the Health Care Bill, ultimately to the Senate Finance Committee, including Baucus, the Chairman, Conrad, Lincoln, Bill Nelson and Carper, who together with Republicans Grassley, Hatch, Snowe, Kyl, Jon, Bunning, Crapo, Roberts, Ensign, Enzi, and Cornyn to delay and water down the Bill to really nothing but forcing 30 million insured workers and poor folk to give money to the insurance companies and taxing workers to pay for it.
A significant number of Democrats in Congress joined with Republican Party cadres to dismiss even the consideration of Card Check union legislation to organize the unorganized, to reject the Public option, to defeat legislative amemdments to enable American workers to take advantage of global average prices in contrast to domestic inflated prices, and so on. "Compassionate" or not, it is not the subjective sentiments of politicians that determine their votes, but objective material interests of the class that finance them. The Democratic Party is a capitalist class party.
This is why the American working class must of objective necessity protect and advance their material class interests by forming a Labor Party that is financially based on the trade unions and socially in the working class as a whole, rooted and grounded in working class communities that comprise voting districts. Such a Party would by its financial and social base be compelled to run candidates to win seats in the House of Representatives, in opposition to the Democratic as well as Republican party candidates.
When the American working classes, especially organized labor, the leadership of which is part and parcel of the Democratic Party, recognized the Obama Administration and Democrats in Senate were giving them the shaft, the Democrats paraded its 'progressives' on television to reinforce the disappearing illusion that it isn't the fault of the Democrats, but an number of 'corrupt' individual members [ really, fictitius factions] of it. Ron Wyden, Charles E. Schumer, Debbie Stabenow, Sherrod Brown, Barney Frank, Dennis J. Kucinich, Joe Sestak and Lanny Davis, Bill Clinton and other "progressive Democrats" went over the air waves talking about the 'concessions' to Conservative and Blue Dog Democrats was a 'necessity' to maintain a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.
On 1/20/10, BENJAMINA
"It is good that democrats lost their super majority status. It is also good that the loss occurred in Massachusetts, the bluest of states. It is also good that the lost seat was Kennedy's and that the 41st Republican vote to scuttle Kennedy's life's work would come from one of those he represented for 47 years. What makes this loss so good, inquiring minds want to know? "Nothing was actually lost. The super majority was a fiction to begin with. With the likes of messers Lieberman, Nelson, Bayh, Web, etc., who needs opposition? These men were less useful to the democratic agenda then say senators Collins and Snowe. The so called democrats are so conservative that to call them progressive is to give the word a bad name. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NIDOA/?yguid=318638900
The Democratic Party's 'progressive' fiction of a faction is part and parcel of and in solidarity with the conservative and blue dogs. The policies of the Obama administration and Senate Democrats are not watered down as a compromise from negotions with enemies, but the basis for political solidarity in that party.
The obvious function of the so-called "Conservative" &/0r "Moderate" Democrats in the Senate, together with the so-called 'Blue Dog Democrats' in the House of Representatives is to openly side with the "Moderate", and even "Conservative" Republicans in Senate and the House, as so-called 'fiscal conservatives' to attack and defeat ostensibly "pro-labor legislation", such as mimimum wage increases and 'big government entitlement programs' on the one hand, and to legislate tax cuts and perks for the capitalists, primarily the big three: finance, agricultural and industrial capitalists; ostensibly, as helping 'small business', 'farmers' and 'main street' on the other.
On the other hand the function of Congressional "Progressives", including ostensible "pro-Labor" politicians, feminists, and the ostensibly "Black", "Latino" and "Asia Pacific" caucuses masquerade as progressive women, Blacks, Latinos, Latinas and Asian Pacific partisans. Yet, critical thinking American workers must be made to recognize game - those politicians are part and parcel of the Democratic Party, the same one together with the "Consrvi-Dems' in Senate and 'Blue Dog Dems' in the House. Consequently, the objective role played by these 'pro-labor', 'women' 'gays', 'Blacks', 'Latinos', 'Latinas', 'Asian-Pacific' so-called 'progressives' is to sucker workers, women, gays and ethnic minorities into campaigning and voting for Democratic candidates for President and senate, as well as the House of Representatives. Moreover, once in office the Democrats break their campaign promises to workers and minorities, and to the poor, e.g. the present Health Care Bill, Card Check, ending the Wars in Middle Asia &c., the function of these 'progressive' Democrats is to sooth the masses with apologies, excuses and justifications.
The Obama Administration, and Democratic Party 'progressives' in Senate and House appear impotent wimps because they cannot really come out in the interests of labor and the poor without offending their capitalist base, and therefore appear to capitulate to the Democrat "Conservatives" and Republican "Moderates". These Democrats are exposing themselves as capitalist class partisans, but the workers, women and minorities do not understand this in real economic class political actuality, thus they feel 'betrayed' by a Party that has in fact always been their class enemy.
To be 'betrayed' by someone those who betray and those who are betrayed must first to have been on the same team or side of the class divide. The workers are betrayed by the trade union officers in the Democratic Party, because as members of the Democratic Party they represent capitalist class interests. The trade unionists political - i.e. class - function are not as members of the working class of the Democratic Party representing labor and workers; rather they function as members of this capitalist class party operating in the working class on behalf of the capitalist class, every time they get unions to campaign for Democrats or vote for Democrats.
The cunning of the Democratic Party as objectively presenting the capitalist classes, whose "income" is derived from appropriated workers as profits, interests and rent accumulated by the exploitation of wage workers as producers of commodities and consumers of means of subsistence.
Notwithstanding that it presents itself as the party 'representing' the working class - at any rate the 'middle class' - in actuality, because it is financially and socially based in sectors of the capitalist classes the truth is that in its activity the Democratic Party is a capitalist class party. This has been making itself evident over the past year of Democratic governmental majority in the House and Senate and the policies of the Obama Adminstration.
The presentation of the Democratic Party as by progressives, women, gays and ethnics as 'pro-labor' is nothing but a political masquerade because the class interests of workers and the class interests of capitalists are mutually exclusive, both as producers and consumers. This is becoming clear because workers can see for themselves the Democratic Caucus in Senate block Card Check and defeat single payer health care, public option and expansion of Medicare, and defeated reforms to reduce prices on perscription drugs. It was the Democrats in the Senate Finance Committee that slowed down the progress of the Health Reform Bill, ostensibly to convince Olympia Snow to vote for it and make it 'bi-partisan'. But, these are only examples of the Democratic Party working in the interests of capitalists.
As Hegel says of Show is the unessential masqueraded as essential. For instance, a representative of the State, say a policeman's authority appears to be in the authorization of wearing a badge. In reality, the authority of the cop is the power of the gun. The badge is for show, the unessential masqueraded as the essential, to get people to accept the armed individual representative of the State having the 'right' to go armed and use the gun to arrest, jail and kill.
"As the state arose from the need to keep class antagonisms in check, but also arose in the thick of the fight between the classes, it is normally the state of the most powerful, economically ruling class, which by its means becomes also the politically ruling class, and so acquires new means of holding down and exploiting the oppressed class. The ancient state was, above all, the state of the slave-owners for holding down the slaves, just as the feudal state was the organ of the nobility for holding down the peasant serfs and bondsmen, and the modern representative state is the instrument for exploiting wage-labor by capital. ...
"The State is therefore by no means a power imposed on society from without; just as little is it "the reality of the moral idea," "the image and the reality of reason," as Hegel maintains. Rather, it is a product of society at a particular stage of development; it is the admission that this society has involved itself in insoluble self-contradiction and is cleft into irreconcilable antagonisms which it is powerless to exorcise. But in order that these antagonisms, classes with conflicting economic interests, shall not consume themselves and society in fruitless struggle, a power, apparently standing above society, has become necessary to moderate the conflict and keep it within the bounds of "order"; and this power, arisen out of society, but placing itself above it and increasingly alienating itself from it, is the state. ...
"This public force exists in every state; it consists not merely of armed men, but also of material appendages, prisons and coercive institutions of all kinds, of which gentile society knew nothing. ...
"In order to maintain this public power, contributions from the state citizens are necessary - taxes.
"In possession of the public power and the right of taxation, the officials now present themselves as organs of society standing above society." ... (F. Engels: The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/ch09.htm)
The Actuality or 'essential' constituency of the Democratic Party is the capitalist class, its most decisive financial and social base determinate the political ideology, politics and legislation to be pursued by candidates and members of Congress, the Presidency and the decisions of the Courts.
"A class can rule, but not govern, for a class is a formless mass, while only an organisation can govern. It is the political parties which govern in a democracy. A party is, however, not synonymous with a class, although it may, in the first place, represent a class interest. One and the same class interest can be represented in very different ways, by various tactical methods. According to their variety, the representatives of the same class interests are divided into different parties. Above all, the deciding factor is the position in relation to other classes and parties. (Kautsky: The Dictatorship of the Proletariat @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1918/dictprole/ch04.htm)
Politics isn't, nor has it ever been about integrity, rhetoric, race, gender &/nor ethnicity, but determined by class interests in class economic and political warfare, class conflict. Every class struggle is a political struggle, the fight to either keep or gain control of the State - to use the State's bureaucratic-military machinery in it's interests against it's class enemies.
"A class can split up into various parties, and a party may consist of members of various classes. A class may still remain the rulers, while changes occur in the governing party, if the majority of the ruling class considers the methods of the existing governing party unsuitable, and that of its opponents to be more appropriate. Government by parties in a democracy changes more rapidly than the rule of classes. (See Karl Kautsky: ibid. @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1918/dictprole/ch04.htm
The United State's political economy is no different than any other advanced industrial democracy, the capitalist classes are the most powerful, economically dominate classes, the owners of the means of social production and finance, appropriators of proletarian labor. It is by the exploitation of purchased labor power by capitalists that the capitalist's own the wealth generated by labor in the work process, the processes of production and distribution.
The Democratic Party, the same as the Republican Party, is economically and financially based in the capitalist classes and both are political instruments of capitalist economic and political interests. The "Liberal" "Progressive" faction in the Democratic Party is nothing but an ostensiblt 'Left' face on this right wing capitalist class party.
After the defeat of Single Payer even coming up, notwithstanding Obama's campaign pledges to organized labor and the poor to promote it, and then the defeat of even a watered down 'public option' and defeat of the expansion of medicare, and forcing another 30 million working class and poor to give money to private insurance corporations at penalty of fine or jail if they don't.
Now in come Ron Wyden, Charles E. Schumer, Alan Grayson and other so-called "progressive Democrats", in the House as well as the Senate paraded by the insurance and drug companies on television 'news' outlets telling disillusioned workers who voted for the Democratic Party that it's still 'their Party', and that they should support this Bill because 'there's some good things in it' and, as Wyden put it folk shouldn't "oppose the good to the perfect".
Mature class-conscious workers must not regard the final form of the Democrat's Health Care Bill as a 'betrayal' of the working class and the poor as a result of 'progressives' in the Senate, and Obama himself, being 'wimps' who 'caved in' to the 'Conservative Democrats', and by them to the Republican cadres that ideologically dominate the government. No, this too is show - rather, the role of the progressive in this connection is to fake weakness and to have caved in as opposed to open betrayal of their campaign promises because they never intended to legislate or sign into law the campaign promises that opposed capitalist class interests. This illusion ties gullible workers and poor to the Democratic Party by presenting the issue as one of individual psychology, a wimp can be replaced in the next election by another Democrat, who has 'spine'. That's the game.
So, what do we learn from the Massachusetts voters choice of a Republican candidate who openly campaigned in opposition to passing the Democrat's Health Care Bill?
1: That there is no such thing as a political Independent voting bloc in a democracy where there are only two political parties, both of which are financially and socially based in the capitalist class, namely the Democrats and the Republicans.
Massachusetts workers and trade unionists who in 2008 voted for Obama and the Democrats as a vote for the rhetoric of 'change', only ending up with 'more of the same' so-called status quo 'business as usual' - and in 2010 as a protest vote voted for Brown, whether again for 'change', or to punish Obama and the Democrats for their perceived 'betrayal', are still gullible because they don't realize they are manipulated by these parties into a vicious cycle.
2: That only a labor party that is financially based in and dependent upon trade unions economically, and socially rooted and grounded in the working class communities generally, can be a fighting alternative to the Democratic Party, as well as to the Republican Party. This is so because by being financially based in and dependent upon the trade unions to fund candidates, and socially based in working class communities and Congressional districts from which the voters will be electing, it will economically and socially be based in objectively mutually exclusive universal economic class interersts and consequent national political antagonism that will unleash the rebellious soul of the materially exploited and as consumers cheated working class vis-a-vis the parasitic capitalist classes.
Massachusetts' workers and trade unionists who voted for Obama and the Democrats as a vote for the rhetoric of 'change', only ending up with 'more of the same' so-called status quo 'business as usual', but instead of voting for the Republican this time sat the election out, was silently and perhaps inadverdently boycotting this round of elections! Sometimes inactivity is a form of activity.
The Democratic Party has presented itself as the political representative of the working class, the poor and the oppressed races and genders. The rhetoric of Democratic Party demagogic political candidates is presented as the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Those who voted for Obama and the Democrats fell under the spell of illusory common interests with the candidates.
However, one years experience with the Obama presidency and super majorities of seats held by Democrats in both the House of Representatives and Senate has demonstrated that that Party, forget the individual demagogues, is just as much a party of capitalist banking and industrial capital, and of imperialism and wars as was the Republicans, is engendered a disillusionment and rise of practical elements of class consciousness.
TalkNigeria@ yahoogroups. com, "akink47"
....even if Martha ran a bad campaign, the lost was solely an indictment
of weakling Obama..about 20% of the votes that went to Brown, were from
progressives, who think the president is failed them on health
care....another 18% sat their butt at home....the base is betrayed, they
want a _______real change______ __ not this bullshit...
The passive stay at home 'boycott' of the election by not voting engendered by critical thinking is the first negation of illusory false consciousnes and as such must be distinguished from demoralization and depression: subjectivity as 'unhappy consciousnes'.
In contrast to demoralization and depression, which operate within illusion as disappointment, disillusionment on the contrary is not the self-pity of feeling 'betrayed' by Obama and the Democrats, which leads from inaction to cynicism and estrangement from the class struggles waged in politics. Rather than feeling betrayed, those workers who consciously, personally 'boycotted' the Special Election by refusing to campaign and vote for the Democrat, also has been showed by the year of Obama's presidency and Democratic Party dominated House and Senate that this Party is just as much a capitalist class party as is the Republican Party.The negation of false counsciousness is engendered by the realization that worker's and capitalist's interests are mutually exclusive, the politics of the Democratic Party and the interests of workers are economically incompatible and therefore politically antagonistic.
"Proletariat and wealth are opposites; as such they form a single whole. They are both creations of the world of private property. The question is exactly what place each occupies in the antithesis. It is not sufficient to declare them two sides of a single whole. Private property as private property, as wealth, is compelled to maintain itself, and thereby its opposite, the proletariat, in existence. That is the positive side of the antithesis, self-satisfied private property.
"The proletariat, on the contrary, is compelled as proletariat to abolish itself and thereby its opposite, private property, which determines its existence, and which makes it proletariat. It is the negative side of the antithesis, its restlessness within its very self, dissolved and self-dissolving private property. ...
"It cannot abolish the conditions of its own life without abolishing all the inhuman conditions of life of society today which are summed up in its own situation. Not in vain does it go through the stern but steeling school of labour. It is not a question of what this or that proletarian, or even the whole proletariat, at the moment regards as its aim. It is a question of what the proletariat is, and what, in accordance with this being, it will historically be compelled to do. Its aim and historical action is visibly and irrevocably foreshadowed in its own life situation as well as in the whole organization of bourgeois society today. (Marx-Engels: The Holy Family @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/holy-family/ch04.htm#4.4
There is a fundamental and essential difference between disillusionment of workers recognition that the Democratic Party is a political formation of the alien and hostile class of capitalists on one hand, which recognition being engendered by objectivity and critical thinking on the part of individual workers who are learning from behavior of Obama and the Democrats as the Party in power that they as workers were mistaken in their identification with that capitalist class party, and demoralization of individual workers who collapse into despair and depression.
Just the same, all workers who felt 'betrayed' by Obama and the Democrats are in fact still under the illusion of that Party's masquerade as being for 'the average American', ethnic minorities and the poor.
Disillusionment through critical class conscious thinking is the first negation. Setting the election as an act of conscious or unconscious boycott of both capitalist parties is only the first negation: "stubbornness": "a type of freedom which does not get beyond the attitude of bondage" (Hegel op. cit). The criticism of the Democratic Party is, in embryo, the criticism of the capitalist class of which that Party is politically representative.
"Criticism dealing with this content is criticism in a hand-to-hand fight, and in such a fight the point is not whether the opponent is a noble, equal, interesting opponent, the point is to strike him." (Marx: Introduction to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/critique-hpr/intro.htm
Inward rebellion, or "stubbornness" expressed in the stay at home boycott operate in the attitude of rebellion that "does not go beyond the attitude of bondage" because to be free is to act upon and change the world by confronting the ruling class and its political quislings in the external arena of class political combat.
In Hegelian terms it is the second negation that is engendered by the the first and is its opposite, that is the self-criticism of one's first act of rebellion by subjectively boycotting the election by not participating in it, as stubbornnss, such critical activity of praxis engenders consciousness to be and act in the political arena by participating in the formation of a working class party that will confront and defeat in the political arena both capitalist class parties - the Democratic Party along with the Republican Party. The 'positive' is arrived at through the negation of negation [(-)(-) = (+) ...].
To confront the capitalist class as a class, the formation of the labor party embodying the political will of the working class in opposition to the capitalist class parties, the American workers must overcome their fear and pragmatism of 'lesser evilism', which is the Democratic Party's stock and trade in presenting the Republican Party as dangerous fascists.
Recall Jean-Jacque Rousseau:
"Nothing can be more certain than that every man born in slavery is born for slavery. Slaves lose everything in their chains, even the desire of escaping from them: they love their servitude, as the comrades of Ulysses loved their brutish condition. If then there are slaves by nature, it is because there have been slaves against nature. Force made the first slaves, and their cowardice perpetuated the condition." http://www.constitution.org/jjr/socon_01.htm#004
The greatest barriers to American workers forming their own, independent labor party, are fear and pragmatism. Scared and pragmatic, American workers run to the Democrat candidate for 'protection'. But, this time around, at least some workers recognize that the policies of Obama and the Democratic Party majority in House and Senate are in actuality as hostile to labor as were/are the Republican candidates and legislature.
The Democratic and Republican parties will become all the more financially rooted in and dependant upon the capitalist classes because of today's Supreme Court ruling:
U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign spending may undermine elections
By Ted Sherman/The Star-Ledger
January 21, 2010, 7:02PM
A 63-year-old law limiting political spending by labor and big business was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court today in a landmark decision that called any ban a restraint of free speech.
The ruling by a sharply divided court lifted restrictions on what corporations and labor organizations may invest to sway voters in federal elections, meaning both groups now have free rein to pour money in support of races for Senate and the House of Representatives in all 50 states.
"The First Amendment protects more than just the individual on a soapbox and the lonely pamphleteer," wrote the court in its 5-4 decision.
But those who have worked to limit campaign spending warned of a huge influx of corporate money that would undermine the integrity of elections large and small.
"With a stroke of the pen, five justices wiped out a century of American history devoted to preventing corporate corruption of our democracy," declared Fred Wertheimer, president of the Washington-based government-watchdog group Democracy 21.
The decision, which now also threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states on state and local races, will change the rules of engagement for congressional races this fall, allowing corporations and unions to target individual races in an effort to influence policy.
The ruling covers the money corporations and unions may spend from their own profits on independent ads and other advocacy efforts on behalf of candidates or issues. It does not change restrictions on direct contributions to candidates for federal office, which remain prohibited under federal law, but are allowed in New Jersey state races.
However, the closely watched case could end New Jersey's own long-time ban on political contributions from casinos and regulated industries - such as banks and utility companies - which may now be unconstitutional in light of the high court ruling.
"Somewhere, John D. Rockefeller is smiling. This goes back to the robber baron days," said state Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Mercer). "This is a rollback of decades of campaign finance law. It's going to affect every campaign from fire commissioner to President of the United States."
...The ruling by the court's conservative majority found that any limits on independent expenditures by corporations violate First Amendment free-speech rights.
"The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas all supported Kennedy's opinion.
The decision essentially means that if a corporation wanted to spend millions of dollars of its own money on its own issues ads in support of a candidate, it may do so. The ruling does not change spending rules covering the thousands of political action committees by corporations and special interest groups.
In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens, calling the decision a "radical change" in the law, said, "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation."
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, all joined his 90-page dissent.
The case grew out of a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission by Citizens United, a conservative group that made a 90-minute movie that targeted Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/01/us_supreme_court_ ruling_on_cam.html
The following is a commentary by the Democratic Party liberal talk show host, Keith Olbermann, said in an editoral on the Supreme Court decision:
Today, the Supreme Court, of Chief Justice John Roberts, in a decision that might actually have more dire implications than "Dred Scott v Sandford," declared that because of the alchemy of its 19th Century predecessors in deciding that corporations had all the rights of people, any restrictions on how these corporate-beings spend their money on political advertising, are unconstitutional.
In short, the first amendment - free speech for persons - which went into affect in 1791, applies to corporations, which were not recognized as the equivalents of persons until 1886. In short, there are now no checks on the ability of corporations or unions or other giant aggregations of power to decide our elections.
None. They can spend all the money they want. And if they can spend all the money they want - sooner, rather than later - they will implant the legislators of their choice in every office from President to head of the Visiting Nurse Service.
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And if senators and congressmen and governors and mayors and councilmen and everyone in between are entirely beholden to the corporations for election and re-election to office soon they will erase whatever checks there might still exist to just slow down the ability of corporations to decide the laws.
It is almost literally true that any political science fiction nightmare you can now dream up, no matter whether you are conservative or liberal, it is now legal. Because the people who can make it legal, can now be entirely bought and sold, no actual citizens required in the campaign-fund- raising process.
And the entirely bought and sold politicians, can change any laws. And any legal defense you can structure now, can be undone by the politicians who will be bought and sold into office this November, or two years from now.
And any legal defense which honest politicians can somehow wedge up against them this November, or two years from now, can be undone by the next even larger set of politicians who will be bought and sold into office in 2014, or 2016, or 2018.
Mentioning Lincoln's supposed ruminations about arresting Roger B. Tawney, he didn't say the original of this, but what the hell:
Right now, you can prostitute all of the politicians some of the time, and prostitute some of the politicians all the time, but you cannot prostitute all the politicians all the time. Thanks to Chief Justice Roberts this will change. Unless this mortal blow is somehow undone, within ten years, every politician in this country will be a prostitute. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34981476/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/ /
The ruling may signal doom for the Democrats, as the industrial capitalists and domestic commercial capitalists and trial lawyers upon which it is financially based cannot compete monetarily with the finance capital and transnational capitalists which fund the Republican Party to represent them when factional class interests collide, e.g. tariffs vs. free market globalization. However, from the standpoint of the working class being forced to be not just a class-initself, an Object or tool to be economically exploited by capitalists and politically manipulated by the Democrats, but forced to become the Subjectivity of its own interest: a class for itself.
That capitalist's are now able to flood money into the coffers of the Republicans and the Democrats, forcing them to act completely as agents of capital v labor, will force the trade unions out of the Democratic Party and into the formation of a fighting Labor Party cadre.
About the Labor Party
The Labor Party is a new political party of, by and for working people. It was founded in June 1996 at a convention of 1,400 delegates from hundreds of local and international unions as well as individual activists. We believe that on issues most important to working people â€“ trade, health care, and the rights to organize, bargain and strike â€“ both the Democrats and Republicans have failed working people.
The Labor Party is national in scope and includes state parties, chapters and local organizing committees which organize members and promote the activities and policies of the Labor Party in its jurisdiction, and elect delegates to Labor Party conventions. The convention is the supreme governing body of the Labor Party and has final authority in all matters of national policy, program and constitution.
Between conventions, the National Council is the governing body with full authority to issue policy statements in the name of the Labor Party. The National Council is made up of representatives of the major affiliating unions and worker-supportive organizations, Labor Party chapter representatives and individuals who represent constituencies not otherwise adequately represented. The National Organizer directs the Labor Party's activities on a day-to-day basis.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Labor Party
Call for Economic Justice
Labor Party Constitution
Labor Party Press
Labor Party candidates have workers and representatives of the poor whose candidates campaigning for winnable seats in the House of Representatives must be completely and soley financed by trade unions. The so-called progressive allies of the working class cannot be allowed to make direct campaign contributions to Labor Party candidates, but turn over to the Union's campaign committees whatever funds or resources they wish to contribute to the Labor Party, which will itself determine which candidate gets what. That way no candidate that wins election will be financially beholden to anyone. Any and all capitalist contributions must therefore be refused by the trade union labor party campaign finance committee as a matter of principle and a labor party rule.
Any candidate caught accepting money or resources from capitalists must be immediately exposed and expelled from the Party, and any Labor member of Congress caught accepting capitalist lobby money or perks also will be expelled from the Party, and in addition excommunicated and 'blacklisted' from union, party and neighborhood activities. They will be opposed by the Labor Party candidate in the next election.
The Labor Party is not only financially based on the trade unions, which constitute the organized sector of the working class in the economic arena, but socially based in working class and poor neighborhoods, particularly those Congressional Districts. It will be these communities that candidates are recruited, and members from which will be the personel of the campaign staff. Once elected to the House of Representatives, these folk from the 'hood will constitute the Congressional office staff as well.
The struggle by the working class for state power is a political struggle that requires an active and energetic American Labor Party that competes in the electoral arena against the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party.
The formation of an American Labor Party must be financially based in, and therefore accountable to only the trade unions, and social basis in the class as a whole.
This requires nothing short of internal revolutions in the trade unions -- throwing out of office the Democratic and Republican parties' advocates and representatives in the trade unions, and by the placing of these Democratic Party operatives in the trade unions by union representatives and officers that are committed to building the American Labor Party.
This is the praxis -- the practical-critical, revolutionizing activity in the self-organization of the working class. The focus is on this praxis as a strategy toward winning the battle of democracy in order to become the majority in the American House of Representatives, and to engage in class war with the Senate, Presidency, Judiciary, and their Constitution.
The 'winning the battle of democracy' - the self-conscious class of the electoral majority being the working class in the interest of the working class -the immense majority in the interest of the immense majority - thus this struggle for democracy is necessarily the struggle for a Labor Party majority in the House of Representatives. The overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives filled by Labor Party members will be a House of Representatives that is in majority comprised of workers (industrial workers, agricultural workers, service workers, salaried medical professionals, sanitation workers, etc.) and members of oppressed ethnic and gender communities who are also overwhelmingly working class.
This working class majority in the House of Representatives will:
> 1: Legislate the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Law;
> 2: Restrict the Labor Relations Board to working-class members;
> 3: Place the Civil Rights Commissions in the oppressed ethnic and gender communities;
> 4: Legislate a Living Wage equal to the Median Income;
> 5: Reduce the working-day from eight to six hours a day in order to re-employ the sectors that capital has displaced and tossed out as a surplus population;
> 6: Legislating the expropriation of all plants and factories and agribusinesses that refuse to implement these changes or move abroad;
> 7: Legislate free health care facilities for everyone in America regardless of national origin;
> 8: Legislate the free movement of workers in the NAFTA countries, together with the formation of cross border transnational trade unions;
> 9: Legislate free public education with open enrollment from kindergarten through graduate school, open to all who live in America without regard to race, ethnicity or national origin;
> 10: Legislate the funding of these programs with a progressive income tax, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax written into the tax code, so that capitalists who try to worm out of these taxes by loopholes will go to prison, and the expropriation of any and all capitalist businesses that refuse to continue to invest in those taxed companies or seek to relocate. http://laborpartypraxis.org/
Such a Labor Party can bring the working class to power only by fielding candidates that oppose the Democratic Party, as well as the Republican Party. It is only by the self-activity of the working class as a class for itself, the financial and social independence of which is that it is based on trade unions and working class communities that can defeat its wealthy opposition, the capitalist's class parties.
- "Yes, we can!" -
Workers politics being financially based on organized labor and voted into office by constituents in Districts of working class and poor communities, Labor Party candidates will be politically independent of capitalist's finances and lobbies and once in Congress to be accountable only to the working class and unions.
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