Monday, November 14, 2011

who pays and who benefits from the economic crisis: What moment is it?

What moment is it?

Who pays and who benefits is the basic question we must answer
...Jeanne Gauna

By now we all of us know of or have been personally affected by the ‘economic crisis’ in the United States. The capitalist system (profit system) throughout its history has had cyclical economic slumps, falls and crashes as in the 1930’s. Economic analysts for a long time have attempted to establish patterns of capitalism to predict and intervene to stop the economic events seen as ‘abnormalities’ of capitalism growth. In view of the present economic crisis, many agree that it is different than any other economic time in the life of capitalism. Why different? It is a prolonged and some argue a permanent economic crisis. Some call it the failed state of neo-liberalism (program) and capitalism. Others argue that it is a cyclical crisis but prolonged because capitalism is re-structuring itself and consolidating capital and concentrating the wealth.

A broader social movement sector in the United States and globally argue it is not only an economic crisis but one accompanied with multilateral crises; environmental, climate change, violence and endless wars, torture and clandestine jails, the crushing of public education, public workers and social programs in return for privatization and corporate control. The pattern of changes taking place go deeper than mere short term trends, the changes indicate a 'paradigm shift' in particular to the role of government, a radical shift in the role of the state and the overbearing power of the corporate state (rich class) in an environment of ravishing neo-liberal capitalist global system accompanied with a military machine strategy of 'endless war' moving to a one country dominant system for the 21st century. In the 21st century agenda Obama, as the first African American President, is but a neo-colonial President to allow the same system 'get over the crisis' and continue to rule after it reconstitutes, centralizes capital, and concentrates power post crisis.

The Obama administration marks a great accomplishment for social systemic change in the United States for Social Movements, the 21st Century global system's propaganda holds a post-modernist viewing claiming this period as post-racism. The post-racism philosophical argument opens the door to undoing ethnic studies, and to negate desegregation, voting rights, because we are all equal now and have no need for 'special' programs or state & governmental intervention.

What are the characteristics of this political moment that make it systematically different than the past?

The national agenda at the intersection in 2012 is the Right wing/Hawks 21st Century world domination by one nation (Redefining the Empire).

The crises: A Civilization meltdown: Points for Discussion
  • 2012 election: not just another election
  • Banking and financial meltdown
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental catastrophe
  • Governance questions:
  • Corporate domination (state)
  • Tea party & Rep move center to the right in an ideological regressive trip
  • Attack on Civil Rights
  • The debt is highest ever taxing the poor and enriching ever more the rich
  • US Pacific trade overtook European for first time in history/US dominant
  • US driven & financed Endless (energy) wars
  • Patriot Act/terror, torture, hidden prisons, targeted assassinations, loss of civil liberties & civil rights
  • Anti Immigrant /Border Wall of Death/Anti LGBTQT/Racist Hatred
  • Crushing of Public Education
  • Destruction of collective bargaining
  • The Social services (privatization)
  • Aging population & new majority
add on...

On our side, we have a much bigger base of social movements in the United States today. Many of the grassroots and Indigenous or People of Color organizations know each other or know of each other and communicate. Today, the social movements have completed two United States Social Forums that have had tremendous impact in broadening the social movement horizontally. The power base of the three organizations in the South X Southwest Experiment, for example, has grown horizontally but has deepened its roots in the communities and its power base.

The present social struggles demonstrate a broad based mobilization is taking place nationally on a 'mass based social movement' fronts of struggles. The electoral strategies of struggle are now strategic to defending basic tenets of democracy like the voting rights act, redistricting, and one person one vote. A garden is now, food sovereignty and the fight against globalization and the corporate control of food, water, air, and guaranteeing the basics needs for of life.

A social movements 'paradigm shift' is taking place and needs to continue to take place taking us from the platform of what we are against, to the define our platform of what we are for and how to begin to construct it. It is a transformational moment now of dismantling the old failed system and constructing the new.

Organizing processes such as the Peoples Movement Assembly (PMA) associated with the US Social Forum process, the Southern Front (of struggle), the South X Southwest Experiment, the Families of the Incarcerated, Domestic Workers National Network, Right to the City, Inter-Alliance Dialogues, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Jobs with Justice, LGBTQ networks, Food Sovereignty movements such as Roots of Change and Feed the Hood, and moreover youth movements such as the Youth Summit hosted at Southwest Workers Union this summer are examples of the growing power of the social movements.

Important to this analysis is the geo-political centering of the South and the Southwest as pivotal for national social change in the United States. SWU in 2003 defined its geo-political center as connecting the South and the Southwest of the United States, but also connecting the global south with the US southern half which historically have more in common than with the north of the US. In this view of geo-political centering we include colonialism and its role in the US South, and the commonality with the history of the US southern half to the Caribbean and Latin America (includes Mexico and Central America).

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