FOR THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN'
by Bob Dylan
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of way
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
July 9, 2011
by Lil Joe
Given the objective character of human physical existence and behavior, notwithstanding delusions and illusions, objective affirmations and deceptions, deliberate or the result of ignorance and gullibility of self-consciousness, individuals are part and parcel of group consciousness. Analysis of human behavior must be objective - i.e. scientific, empirical analysis of empirical behavior of individuals and of groups of individuals who are in similar or conflicted situations, empirical analysis does not classify the individual or group - social individuals - by what she or he, or her and his personal opinion of themselves or the self-consciousness of the group. Rather, what an individual human being and group do for a living, the material conditions of life that compel those individuals to do and think of themselves determine his and her socioeconomic category in which he, she and they exist. You are what you do.
The State is the State, the empirical fact thereof is that it is an instrument of class domination by repressive violence, police, courts, prisons ... Governments are in the management of material violence that function as its 'legitimate' power, together with its propagandists that use ideology of divine right or legislative authority to declare or legislate laws that make State violence legitimate. (See Max Weber's Politics as Vocation @ http://www.ne.jp/asahi/moriyuki/abukuma/weber/lecture/politics_vocation.html
I am in this article dealing with the State of the United States, in which the political lackeys of the capitalist classes - the Democrats, as well as the Republicans - dominate the bureaucratic -military State machine of management of it, the military, court and prison structures with a constant staff and officer corp, the empirical apparatus of domination and repression. Whereas, on the other hand, the faces in high places of the visible Government, the members of Congress, the office of the President, and so on are, are variable, i.e. change, as results of elections.
Yet, what must be clearly recognised is that the classes that dominate the U.S. economy, which possess the material productive forces, and thereby the means of life, are members of capitalist classes, landlords and government, and that this class ownership does not change.
What is and what isn't is determined by scientific analysis of objective facts that are classified for the categories residing in Understanding based upon empirical data and dialectical Reasoning. [See e.g. Hegel's Phomenology of Mind @ http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/ph/phac.htm] .
In America -its culture, there has here not yet been a mass worker's party, not in name only but having empirical power with which to capture State power for itself, and therefore the ability to, as a rising class, by means of revolution become the new ruling class, there is deliberate ignorance of the actual relation of government.
American workers, as a class, have not yet grasped the essence of State power. Because of ignorance of the actual class basis of State power, workers have been cajoled into believing they have power based on voting, i.e. deciding at the polls those who are periodically elected or re-elected to manage the State, to legislate or decree laws in the interest of the capitalist ruling classes.
The actual, institutional embodiments of State power - i.e. special bodies of armed men, police, army &c., with prisons at their disposal - is never discussed by politicians, professors, pundits, and so on. Instead, what is presented to U.S. workers is clap trap slogans viz 'small government and less taxes' v. 'big government and more taxes'. The present 'discussion' in U.S. media, by politicians and pundit ideologists, concerning 'taxes [revenue] and spending on social programs [bread and circus], is irrelevant to the actuality of State power, its coercive institutions [police, soldiers, prisons] that are 'off the table' because both Democrats and Republican in Congress and the presidency are committed to keeping this State in tact, even expanding its power, and therefore 'spending' to pay for it by taxation.
Members of Congress and the Predident do not constitute the permanent staff of State institutions of military and judicial dominance, though empirical relations of production upon which political power is based is never discussed, and thus remain unchallenged. Changes of faces in hight places of government does not constitute changes in the Staff of institutions of State Power.
Thus, by the clap trap of politicians and political propagandists, in electronic and print medias, that change of members of Congress and the Presidency, the ideological dominance of the false consciousness spouted by demogogic politicians and print and media propagandists, workers have internalised the false consciousnes that changes from a Republican Congressional majority or/and president, displaced by Democrats, and subsequently vice versa, is believed to constitute 'revolutions'.
This culture of false consciousness is deeply rooted in U.S. history.
What is wrongly called the "American revolution" - that is the War of Independence that seperated the Thirteen Colonies from the British mercantile empire - was no revolution. The relations of production, i.e. slave owners and slaves, capital and wage labor, and so on, remained unchanged.
The American Civil War, however, was a revolution, the result of class warfare between the slave owning class of agricultural commodity producers by chattel slave labor, the Confederate States with its army, in opposition to industrial capitalist commodity production by wage slaves, represented by the Union government's army.
A revolution is an insurrection by which one class overthrows another, crushing the political- military power of it's State, displacing it by the rising class constituting a different State on a new economic foundation, constituting different relations of production.
Had the insurrections associated with Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner or John Brown been successful the slaves themselves emancipating themselves by armed insurrection, that would have clearly constituted a revolution by the exploited oppressed classes. This was so of the slaves revolution in Haiti.
But, insomuch as in the U.S. the slave insurrections associated with Vesey, Turner and Brown were crushed, even before getting started - John Brown was hung by the military forces that was to become the Union Army - the American Civil War was a class war between different classes of capitalists. The interests of the Northern industrial capitalists against Southern agricultural capitalists was to abolish chattel slavery in the South. This constituted changed relations of production by expanding capitalist relations of production of the North into the South.
'Only in America', because here there is not yet even the formal representative of the toiling classes, can changes in the membership of Congress, the Presidency and the Judiciary, be called a 'revolution' viz. e.g. the so-called 'Reagan Revolution', and the Obama 'change that we can believe in'.
The Democratic Party, its Senate millionaire capitalists and millionaire presidents and high judiciary, along with their counter-parts and 'good friends' on the other side of the isle, the Republicans, are presently discussing cuts in social spending that is required to maintain and expand the military industrial complex and its 'prison industrial complex'. Every State is a military and prison 'industrial complex', and as such is an instrument of violence and coercion to keep the toiling classes and oppressed masses in check.
The ruling classes and their political lackeys and lickspittle propagandists, advocate the 'rule of law', because those laws are in their class and political interests, decreed or legislated by Democrats and Republicans. It is this that determines what is lawful and who are 'criminals' [because they violate laws].
In the framework of capitalist commodity production [tobacco, sugar, cotton, &c.] on the basis of chattel slave labour in the agricultural Southern States, the ownership of human beings by other human beings, was not just legal but respectible business. The slaves that rose up in opposition to themselves as being, legal property, such as were the cases of e.g. Denmark Vesey, and Nat Turner - also John Brown: were law breakers, therefore criminals. Moreover, so were those of the underground railroad - viz. e.g. Harriet Tubman and Sourjoner Truth.
Once agricultural capitalist commodity production by chattel slavery was overthrown by industrial capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labour, the social 'stigma' remained but transitioned to the new condition of former chattel slaves becoming share croppers and the political institution of racial segregation and discrimination emerged. Those who opposed this racial segregation and discrimination by breaking those laws were deemed, arrested, jailed or killed as criminals - viz. e.g. Rosa Parks, Robert F. Williams, Martin Luther King Jr. ... Yes, from the standpoint of the State and its laws, Rosa Parks, Robert F. Williams, and Martin Luther King Jr were criminals!
Moreover, for that matter, Socrates, Spartacus, Jesus, Boethius, Becket, Giordano Bruno, and others were also 'criminals'. These individuals were in each case killed by the State, ostensibly for their behavior as violating so-called 'rule of law'. Of course the ruling class and their political representatives believe in the 'rule of law', insomuch as those political lackeys of the ruling classes legislate or declare what is and what isn't lawful.
It has been reported, that in response to the State's fire hosing, jailing and killing Black protest civil rights advocates in Birmingham, Alabama, that Robert Kennedy, as Attorney General in the Kennedy Administration, called King and told him to stop the demonstrations, marches and protests because it was breaking the laws of the state of Alabama, saying what they were doing was illegal, to which King replied: Yes, its illegal - but that as far as law was concerned, everything done by the Hitler Administration in Germany was legal!
In the era of Prohibition America, the capitalists in the business of production, transport and selling of liquor were considered 'gangsters' and their armed protection forces were called murderers. Today, following the repeal of prohibition, these 'gangsters' are called 'businessmen' and respected, and the armed forces that guard and protect their enterprises are the police, including the AFT and FBI!
The State is the State, the empirical fact thereof is that it is an instrument of class domination by repressive violence, police, courts, prisons ... Governments are in the management of material violence that functions as 'legitimate' power, together with its propagandists that use ideology of divine right or legislative authority to declare or legislate laws that make State violence legitimate.
Obama campaigned as a Progressive Democrat to become President, the face of the Democratic Party as governor of the State, its violence at home and abroad - repression and war making abroad is the nature of the State. A friend and comrade of the days of the Black liberation movement in the 60s said it all: "The change of the color of the skin, does not constitute the change in the essence of the State". As a progressive Democrat, it is Obama's behavior while in office that defines what it is that is a Progressive, not previous demogogic speeches viz. "Yes we can", can do what?
"Change we can believe in"? Dedan was right: the change of the color of the skin of the individual who is the one that is the President, does not constitute a change of the essential character of the State.
Hegel observed that history repeats itself, the distinction of what was first taken as mere accident of persons, places and things of history is revealed by repetition to be an exegesis of historical necessity: "By repetition that which at first appeared merely a matter of chance and contingency becomes a real and eatified existence" (Hegel's Lecture on the Philosophy of History p. 313).
The job of the Democratic Party's 'populist' ideological lickspittles, who masquerade as 'progressives', and 'representatives' of unions, blacks, Latino/a, women qua 'feminists', LGBT and other so-called 'constituents', is to pretend to be socialists, communists and even anarchists in opposition to 'Empire' and 'corporate' policies, between election seasons, but to capitulate and campaign for Democrats as 'individuals' when election season returns. This happens repeatedly; therefore, this behavior is not accidental but an essential role.
Judging behavior of Democrats, when they are in power as majorities in House, Senate and the Executive authorities legislating and executing laws in the interest of the capitalist as a class, this objective, empirical behavior contradicts - indeed refutes! - the subjective demogogy and 'progressive' rhetoric spewed by Democratic Party politicians, ideologists and pundits when not in power.
It is when there is national crisis, such as war and economic chaos, that workers are forced, by praxis, to become critical thinkers, but rather than organizing itself as a class for itself in opposition to Democrats, as well as Republicans, that Democrats seeking to capture the power of governing, coax into their 'big tent' workers and minorities, by 'populist' rhetoric, repeatedly hoodwinking and bamboozeling workers and oppressed groups to vote for Democrats as the protector and savior of the aforementioned voting blocks.
The Clinton presidency was the first to reject the title of liberal, to instead define his administration as business friendly 'New Democrat', which he called 'progressive'. Thus, what was previously meant as 'progressive', as associated with Teddy Roosevelt and his breed, was given this new content. Progressive Democrats, since Clinton, qua 'New Democrat', is repeated by the Obama Administration, which is comprised, in part, of former Clinton administration officials.
The Democratic Party's 'progressive caucus' is conservative and therefore fits hand in glove on the Democratic Party as a capitalist class party, in that it wants to preserve the Keynesian economics of the status quo.
The Obama administration, in keeping with the class partisanship of industrial capital's interests, together with majorities in the House and Senate, funneled hundreds of billions of dollars to the bankrupt US auto industry. But, instead of doing so out right in class partisanship of industrial capital, the progressives', including radio propagandists such as Ed Schultz and others also on NSNBC, claimed that this was done on behalf of auto workers keeping their jobs. Yet, as stated in the premise, behavior trumps rhetoric.
But, as the so-called 'progressive Democrats' are in actuality conservative, the faction of so-called 'conservative Democrats, aka 'Blue Dog' Democrats, are not only not 'conservative', but in an historical sense indeed are reactionary. It is in this connection that these Democrats join together with the reactionary Republican party objective of destroying the Keynesian economic policies as 'big government', and want to go back to the days of Herbert Hoover, where government was restricted to maintaining its coercive institutions and military forces as the only legitimate government activity, protecting and serving the interests of the ruling capitalist classes.
Democrats in the Clinton Administration attacked the 'welfare state', as Clinton referred to the Newt Gingrich Republican majority as his 'fellow Republicans', and went on to say 'the era of big government is over', throwing single moms off welfare and into the street - 'ending welfare as we know it', he said. It is therefore not accidental that the Obama progressives are destroying Social Security, opposed card check legislation, forced Medi-Cal recepients into private insurance companies coming between them and their doctors, and so on. Obama is not making 'concessions' to Blue Dog Democrats, and non-existent 'Moderate Republicans' - Nay, he shares their class interests against the working classes and surplus populations.
The Democratic Party is a capitalist partisan political party. Yet, it uses high sounding demogogic rhetoric about being 'the party of the middle class, and of 'the working man', when elections roll around. It is to be judged, however, not by its demagogue's campaign rhetoric, but by what it actually does when it is the party in power.
Raspoet Amiri Baraka worships at Obama's feet in one 'ode' after another: the self-proclaimed 'communist', Baraka, and 'socialist' Cornell West, the 'Anarchist' Noam Chomsky, Communist Party leader Jarvis Tyner, the Democratic Socialists of America, Richard Trumka & AFL-CIO officialdom of the Democratic Party, The Nation magizine, Solon.com, Eugene Robinson & The Washington Post, Ed Shultz , Al Sharpton, Huffington Post, Lawrence O' Donnell, Melissa Harris-Perry, Newsweek's Howard Finemen, Cenk Uyger, and all the rest of this cadre of Democratic Party propagandists and the hosts and guests on MSNBC - all are "Progressive Democrats". Their function is to use what integrity they have left to hoodwink American workers and unemployed masses of the surplus populations into voting for the Democrats.
Cornel West, Jamal Simmons, and so on, campaigned hard for Obama, as an 'individual', claiming he was, as a 'black man' [whatever that means], a world-historical individual, and that the election of this rich Democratic Senator to the office of presidency would be the fullfilment of Martin Luther King's mission.
American workers were told that the election of Obama was all about the so-called American Dream, and class categories were changed from observable relations of production in proletarian work through the labor process of aleinated labor creating wealth appropriated by the capitalist, to instead 'define' classes in America by income and that they are a 'middle class'.
Playing to the illusory themes of 'politics of the individual' and 'identity politics' of race and gender, as well of the Left's fear of fascism, workers and minority groups in every election season are told by 'liberal' / 'progressive' operatives of the Democratic Party, pretending that they're concerns is not as Democrats but as Blacks, Latino/a, feminist, LGBT activists, anti-war activists, and other categories of 'left' fakers, that the Republicans were evil 'fascists', and that the Democrats in Congress, Presidency and Court appointments were needed to 'protect' workers and oppressed groups from the Republican fascist's economic and political attacks on them at home, and war making abroad.
2 min - Jan 13, 2009 Uploaded by AssociatedPress
4 min - Dec 20, 2010 Uploaded by keywiki
Cornel West on Obama (3/3)
51 sec - Oct 24, 2008 Uploaded by cornelwestvideos
PHOTO: President Obama shakes hands with Princeton University professor Cornel West,
center, after delivering remarks at the National Urban League 100th Anniversary Convention
in Washington. (AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Los Angeles Times - Michael A. Memoli - 3 hours ago
A series of statements from liberal groups Thursday came as the president acknowledged that "there is going to be pain involved politically on all sides" as negotiators try to hammer out a deal by Aug. 2. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent ...
Obama: 'Everything is on the table' (including entitlements) USA Today
Do you support Social Security, Medicare cuts to reduce deficit? Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)
Obama proposes cuts to Social Security CBS News
The Employee Free Choice Act A growing, bipartisan coalition of policymakers supports the Employee Free Choice Act, proposed legislation that would ensure that workers have a free choice and a fair chance to form a union. Simply put, the Employee Free Choice Act will allow workers to once again choose to form unions without the fear of being fired.
The legislation would give workers a fair and direct path to form unions through majority sign-up, help employees secure a contract with their employer in a reasonable period of time, and toughen penalties against employers who violate their workers' rights.
Why is this bill so important? It's plain as day: workers are struggling in this country. Today's workplaces are tilted in favor of lavishly-paid CEOs, who get golden parachutes while middle-class families struggle to get by.
The Employee Free Choice Act can restore the balance, giving more workers a chance to form unions and get better health care, job security, and benefits – and an opportunity to pursue their dreams.
The Employee Free Choice Act, supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, would enable working people to bargain for better benefits, wages and working conditions by restoring workers' freedom to choose for themselves whether to join a union. It would:
Remove current obstacles to employees who want collective bargaining.
Guarantee that workers who can choose collective bargaining are able to achieve a contract.
Allow employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.
+Read the text of the Employee Free Choice Act.
+Download a summary of the bill (PDF).
+Key facts about the Employee Free Choice Act.
+AFL-CIO Executive Council statement on the Employee Free Choice Act.
+Employee Free Choice Act questions and answers.
+Why Does America Need the Employee Free Choice Act? (PDF)
The Obama Administration's and the Democratic Majority in the Senate and House of Representatives rejection of the Free Choice Act, single payer health care, continuing Bush era tax cuts for capitalists, firing of public workers and school teachers, the continution the oil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, extending them into Pakistan, Somilia and now into Libya, were not and are not concessions to the Republican 'fascists', but bipartisan politics of the State in the interests of the same capitalist classes to whom he and Bush gave over a trillion dollars for 'bail-outs' of those 'to big to fail'.
All the individuals and organisations mentioned above, who and which call themselves as 'left' and 'progressive Democrats', define the new normal of what the Democratic Party is, their demogogic rhetoric notwithstanding.
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