RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Chomsky writes: "If you're a serious revolutionary, then you are not looking for an autocratic revolution, but a popular one which will move towards freedom and democracy."

Noam Chomsky has been awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. (photo: Ben Rusk/flickr)
Noam Chomsky has been awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. (photo: Ben Rusk/flickr)



May Day

Noam Chomsky, Reader Supported News

29 April 12

 

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns


eople seem to know about May Day everywhere except where it began, here in the United States of America. That's because those in power have done everything they can to erase its real meaning. For example, Ronald Reagan designated what he called "Law Day" -- a day of jingoist fanaticism, like an extra twist of the knife in the labor movement. Today, there is a renewed awareness, energized by the Occupy movement's organizing, around May Day, and its relevance for reform and perhaps eventual revolution.

If you're a serious revolutionary, then you are not looking for an autocratic revolution, but a popular one which will move towards freedom and democracy. That can take place only if a mass of the population is implementing it, carrying it out, and solving problems. They're not going to undertake that commitment, understandably, unless they have discovered for themselves that there are limits to reform.

A sensible revolutionary will try to push reform to the limits, for two good reasons. First, because the reforms can be valuable in themselves. People should have an eight-hour day rather than a twelve-hour day. And in general, we should want to act in accord with decent ethical values.

Secondly, on strategic grounds, you have to show that there are limits to reform. Perhaps sometimes the system will accommodate to needed reforms. If so, well and good. But if it won't, then new questions arise. Perhaps that is a moment when resistance is necessary, steps to overcome the barriers to justified changes. Perhaps the time has come to resort to coercive measures in defense of rights and justice, a form of self-defense. Unless the general population recognizes such measures to be a form of self-defense, they're not going to take part in them, at least they shouldn't.

If you get to a point where the existing institutions will not bend to the popular will, you have to eliminate the institutions.

May Day started here, but then became an international day in support of American workers who were being subjected to brutal violence and judicial punishment.

Today, the struggle continues to celebrate May Day not as a "law day" as defined by political leaders, but as a day whose meaning is decided by the people, a day rooted in organizing and working for a better future for the whole of society.


Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+39 # wfalco 2012-04-29 10:39
I believe most Americans have limited knowledge of May Day as it has the reputation of something that is celebrated in Cuba or Socialist countries. Of course this "watered down" American May Day version is the result of our ever present underground propaganda machine. Our propaganda lurks beneath the surface but is always present in the headlines we view, the commercials we see, and the overall spin that is part of Main Stream News.

Our corporatized nation will always attempt to keep the overwhelming majority in a state of ignorant bliss. "Occupy" may have been a good start to cracking the shell of ignorance,howev er, MSN never has really covered this movement with the fairness and respect it deserves. It always seemed as if their coverage was of an "us versus those unemployed radicals" mind set-intended,of course, to sway the minds of the white working class against "Occupy." Convincing an angry white working class that a leftist movement is for their best interests is very challenging. The message is always a bit muddled, while the right wing nationalists (Tea Party)keep it real simple for the angry masses.
 
 
+19 # DPM 2012-04-29 16:02
Lack of media attention is the a good reason to be in the street. Everyone.
Occupy!
 
 
0 # Glen 2012-04-30 14:34
You are correct, wfalco. Most Americans have limited knowledge of May Day. It is an ancient celebration of the "pagans" that morphed into a christian version of a holiday, as so many others have been. Of course, now, we have seen that particular celebration morph again, into a resistance and workers protest.

So ends the joy of life and the May Pole and all things related. That is the course folks have set for themselves. Rather than children celebrating with ribbons and flowers, we hurt and protest. Do you realize that it hasn't been very many years since American schools actually held that day as a celebration?
 
 
+18 # 2wmcg2 2012-04-29 10:44
May Day should be celebrated by a renewed effort to reduce work time - for all working people. Anyone interested in this can go to http://www.shorterworkweek.com.
 
 
+1 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:13
Worked well in Greece...
 
 
+41 # Listner 2012-04-29 10:52
These are encouraging words in times like these. We must return this country to Democratic rule and sensible government. It starts with the right to vote. Please get everyone in your circle to vote above all else and whatever you can do above and beyond that is even better. Corporations are NOT people.
No civilized society exists without taxes,in one form or another. To think we will never again raise taxes is foolish. For rich , powerful people to think this country is here for them alone is selfish and fails to recognize the true "power of the people". Vote and save this country.
 
 
+32 # JCM 2012-04-29 12:32
The very wealthy, without fair taxes, are parasites on society.
 
 
-10 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:14
What are the people not working but getting government handouts? And I don't mean thise who lost thrir jobs in a bad economy, I mean those who will not work.
 
 
+5 # Roseand 2012-04-30 01:14
Quoting Noni77:
What about the people who are not working but are getting government handouts? And I don't mean those who lost their jobs in a bad economy, I mean those who will not work.

Hmm. May I make an observation? Thank you: Did you work hard in your tax payer funded english classes? I am thinking that you are a pot calling a kettle black. Perhaps some truth in that?
Note my corrections.
We have to set the example in many ways, people.
 
 
0 # robbeygay 2012-04-30 17:45
Perhaps that's nearly against RSI policy? Nearly offensive of a student or mogrant effort to fit in.

Perhaps Banks needing bailouts are also not working and bludging, ior perhaps they are all symptoms not causes as you suggest.
 
 
+23 # Capt Couchpotato 2012-04-29 10:54
Representative democracy no longer represents people. Unless you consider corporations to be people.
 
 
-62 # joehonick@gmail.com 2012-04-29 11:19
Chomsky talks big but ignores big things tht need to be addressed...lik e Charley Taylor's inflicting a new Holocaust in Africa and other events that seem not to qualify for his narcissistic rhetoric.
 
 
+21 # noitall 2012-04-29 12:38
Narcissistic rhetoric?! What do you think of your candidate, 'Mittins'?
 
 
-7 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:16
Obama lite? George Soros has bragged to the European leaders that if his boy Obama doesn't win then he's fixed it si his boy Romney will - no non-New World Order types allowed.
 
 
+33 # genierae 2012-04-29 12:53
joehonick: Mr. Chomsky ignores nothing. He has spent his life working to inform and educate the people of this country. There are millions of causes around this troubled world, do you really think that this good man has the time to address all of them? He has to focus on those issues that affect us the most. What have you done for the world lately?
 
 
+2 # CharlieABQ 2012-05-01 10:07
Perhaps Chomsky would rather "talk big" about something that matters now. On 4/26/12 Charles Taylor was judged guilty on all charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Court at The Hague where he has been imprisoned for the last several years. His sentencing is scheduled for 5/30/2012. Keep up, Joe.
 
 
+1 # soularddave 2012-05-05 18:49
You're implying that someone needs to interfere in the ongoing process at the International Criminal Court. I don't understand where that process needs to be addressed here.
Other problems now await the attention of Civilization.
 
 
0 # robbeygay 2012-05-05 20:16
Yes Soularddave it does appear the UN-ICC is doing the job fine, they are painfully slow as most courts, when they aren't US Supreme Republicans trying to kill Obi-laws, for electral brownioe points.
 
 
0 # CharlieABQ 2012-05-06 11:11
I'm implying nothing of the sort. I am responding to this earlier post "# joehonick@gmail.com 2012-04-29 09:19
Chomsky talks big but ignores big things tht need to be addressed...lik e Charley Taylor's inflicting a new Holocaust in Africa and other events that seem not to qualify for his narcissistic rhetoric." I pointed out that Chomsky "ignores" Charley Taylor because it's an issue that is being taken care of and has nothing whatsoever to do with his essay, not because of Chomsky's "narcissistic rhetoric." I was pointing out that joehonick is wrong, and you accuse me of making an imaginary implication about the International Court. That's a pretty big leap!
 
 
+48 # hutlee 2012-04-29 11:31
Make no mistake about this, it IS going to take a people driven revolution to change the direction this country has been taken down by the 1%ers. Thank God we have such a movement in OCCUPY.

But, without you doing your part, Occupy can not make it happen. Please join the nearest group, and work to take back your country. Yes, it still is your country, but it won't be if we fail to turn back the corporate take down of democracy.
 
 
+21 # Rita Walpole Ague 2012-04-29 14:02
So right you are, hutlee. (And I join in with thanks to prophet-truthte ller Noam Chomsky). It will take a revolution by we the 99%, most likely led by workers, environmentalis ts, peace and justice activists to reinstate rule of law and.....

OCCUPY LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!
 
 
-14 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:23
Consider that the Socialist track the Democrats took starting in the '60's hit critical mass and drove the Republican business and corporate leaders to push towards a fascist response to the perceived Socialist threat. And a revolution in the US already took place in 1776, what you are talking is counter-revolut ion. The Tea Party formed to return the country to the pillars and foundation that made us great and give s voice back to the middle class before one or another tyrannt class takes over - though it is apparent that our choices are being severely controlled. Romney is merely the New World Order flip side of Obama.
 
 
+8 # neohip 2012-04-30 10:01
If you think that was the reason for the formation of the Tea Party then you obviously have not researched the organizations behind it or the funding. The Tea party was a manipulated front for the NEW WORLD ORDER. The last thing the puppet masters behind the TEA PARTY want is a voice for the middle class.
 
 
+8 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-30 11:03
Noni...please start communicating with TEA partiers...they mostly do not understand or care for Founding Fathers principals...th ey tend to racist in thoguht even if they deny it. Most I have met are older, educated but step in step ewith Fuax Noise. Founding Fathers didn't like taxes either but knew they are needed tfor a society to thrive. Washington road ina 2 wheel horse drawn cart rather than a 4 wheeled coach because the number of wheels were taxed. We all try tp pay the least...has nothing to do with "Taxed Enough Already", nice slogan but doesn't address any real problems or issues.
If you mean socialist track, like we are all citizens and should be treated equal, or at least have equal opportunity...t hen call me a Socialist-Democ rat...names don't hurt me. I desire a better society for all.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-05-01 12:04
Noni77, please provide any examples or evidence at all for your claims...the Democratic party has in fact been moving steadily to the right since Nixon and the Republicans adopted their race-based (and race-baited) "Southern Strategy." Kennedy (both JFK and RFK) were rabidly anti-communist (though both, unlike today's drone politicians, learned and grew though neither -- unfortunately INHO -- ever embraced socialism i.e., "workers control of the means of production" as the organizing principle for the economy let alone communism at least as how Karl Marx defined it in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Programme: "In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!" If only the Democrats embraced such a vision and program
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-05-01 12:28
Noni77, in fact the "counter-revolu tion" was the Consitution which without the Bill of Rights (which was not in the original draft) was fundamentally a document meant to protect the property rights of white property (including slaves) owners and even though it professed to promote a democratic republic it in fact was created (even with the Bill of Rights)to and did deliberately exclude the majority of the population (women, african americans and poor whites)...see e.g., Charles Beard's "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution in the United States"; or Herman Melville's "Israel Potter" for a fictional account of the post American Revolutionary years and the early/founding betrayal of the "american dream"; or even Theodore W. Allen's very important two-volume study "The Invention of the White Race" on how race has always been used in this country to divide the black and white working class (and initially native americans as well) to make sure they did not make common cause against the real enemy namely the rich white male property owners who designed the system (i.e., the Constitution) to protect their "rights" (which are really privileges) and screw the rest of us...perhaps you should also check out Thomas Frank's "What's The Matter Wtih Kansas" to better understand why you keep supporting those that fundamentally are not now and have never been in or for your own self-interest
 
 
0 # soularddave 2012-05-05 18:55
Many who were drawn to the T-party were then drawn to the Occupy movement. It's about Government not doing the right thing and needing to be redirected to do the will of the majority - not the 1% or their front groups.
 
 
+27 # tomo 2012-04-29 11:33
This is a thoughtful effort--as usual--on Noam Chomsky's part. Surely Chomsky is right in saying that genuine reform has to be MORE than a reform in the way the body politic is RULED. When we vote for a new set of rulers, as we did in electing Obama in 2008, we are hoping that new rulers will effect a reform. Chomsky, Nader, Zinn have correctly predicted that reform won't come this way. It's why the immense amount of time being spent on this year's presidential election--in which each party is rallying its supporters to outspend the other party--is largely a waste of time. Real reform requires something more than a change in how the body politic is ruled; it requires a change IN the body politic. And to nerve people to resolve to effect such change requires, as Chomsky says, that spokespersons for reform establish the LIMITS--the boundaries, the definition--of the reform sought.

The one thing I regret in the brief statement here is that it seems to leave open the door to violence. The great insight of the Buddha, of Jesus, of MLK, is that a resort to violence is a surrender on the part of the would-be reformer. The "reformer" has begun speaking the language of the oppressor. History shows that conversion to the language and rationalization s of the oppressor invariably paves the way for further oppression. We're back where we started--with a mere change in personnel.
 
 
+14 # noitall 2012-04-29 12:42
There is a yin and yang to everything. There needs to be a strong peaceful body to keep the aggressive in line. God knows there's plenty of 'equipment' out there to do it. Remember something that the media ignores, there is a difference between aggression and self-defense.
 
 
+24 # genierae 2012-04-29 11:37
In my view, the best way to take this country back from the plutocrats who have captured it, is to organize in our communities across this country. Why couldn't the Occupy movement morph into myriad small groups who work to politically infiltrate local and state governments in the interests of the common good? A grass-roots effort that is loosely connected, yet uniquely suited to the local political environment. This movement could recruit from community colleges, and also join with local unions to become a force to be reckoned with. Supporting the political arm, there would have to be a public relations wing that would be responsible for educating those who are woefully uninformed. People are waking up and they are ready for a new kind of democracy, one where the people are in control and corporations are regulated and taxed into submission. We must also take over the local Democratic Party, pushing out those who go along to get along, and electing progressives who have the courage to stand their ground. Along with the wisdom of elders such as Chomsky, we must have lots of young people who will supply the energy and passion to sustain and carry the movement into the future. There is absolutely nothing stopping us from this kind of grass-roots revolution, EXCEPT the utter lack of will of the majority of Americans. Apathy must be overcome if we are to prevail.
 
 
+5 # noitall 2012-04-29 12:43
You're not doing all of this in your community? Better get with it, you're falling behind.
 
 
+1 # genierae 2012-04-29 18:58
You mind your community and I'll mind mine.
 
 
+9 # JCM 2012-04-29 12:53
Solid comment! The people financing the Tea Party knew enough not to start a third party but tried to take over the Republican Party. This is what we must do to the Democratic Party. Solid 99%ters, Progressives and Liberals can restore the Democrats. It didn’t really take a lot of people to create the Tea Baggers; it took a lot of money. That money came from the Corporations, i.e. the Koch Brothers, which are sucking the life out of the working class. In this respect we are at a disadvantage. Apparently there are few who will finance the necessary action to empower the Democrats. I’m not sure how we can win this war; the chips are stacked against us. The one sure way is for everyone who did vote for Obama in 2008, whether or not you are disappointed, to go out and vote for every Democrat you can in every election you can. If we did that for 2010, history would be far different. Note - this includes great statesman such as Bernie Sanders who is an independent.
 
 
-8 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:31
Take over - no, take back the Republican party to represent conservative, human beings not corporations. The corporations and businesses had hijacked the Republican party and was creating a fascist reaction to the replacement of Democrats with socialist/Commu nists. Yes, please do take back the Democratic party from these Stalinist spawn and let the Tea PARTIERS put the Republican Party back on a pro-Americans, not corporate serf track.
Let "We the People" be represented again, not those dogs who fight over us and all we have and are as if we were bones.
 
 
+5 # JCM 2012-05-01 02:38
The Tea Partiers in Congress, by their actions and votes, have only represented the very wealthiest. They have done everything to block legislation for the wealthiest to help pay for our society. Instead they want the 99% to pay for the mess the very wealthiest have created. The fraud is that they made you think that they represent you and our country..
 
 
+4 # JCM 2012-05-01 15:54
The Tea Baggers have only been voting for the very wealthiest. In the name of Debt, they will not let taxes go up on the wealthiest, so the rest of us have to pay for the destruction they caused.
 
 
+1 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-30 11:09
Grass Roots...there are more little guys (us the 99%) and we will have to recover our country and our governemnt with "baby steps"...I sdwear to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
 
 
+6 # SF tower 2012-04-29 13:29
Excellent suggestions, and certainly education is a major part. The question is, who does the public trust? The answer to that question is whether a campaign could be successful in alerting the public to the reality of our situation. The public must be educated to trust the educator.
 
 
+3 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:32
Question ALL authority. No educator is beyond reproach or its not education, its indoctrination.
 
 
+1 # soularddave 2012-05-05 19:34
The right wing has never let up when there's a chance to vilify the thinkers and educators that don't espouse the right wing party line. Witness the vitriol when Michael Moore's name comes up. They see the media as a left wing conspiracy, and say so every chance they get.

Right now, there's a conservative, somewhere, typing just exactly the opposite of what I write. This won't be easy, but we need to go out and just do what we do - and do it better and more often.
 
 
+1 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-30 11:07
Start locally, establish the planks that are best for success and find the local candidates that will endorse and follow up. Could you imagine a Congress of all independent socially progressive individuals not beholding to Corporase dollars/masters and/or the party leaders (remember that booth the Democratic Party and the Republican Parties are private clubs open to membership (i.e. you get on the mailing list and they keep asking you for money...and if you switch parties or go Independent, they keep you on th elist asking for money!)...
 
 
+9 # Merschrod 2012-04-29 12:12
Many folks have the image of colorful ribbons being woven by dancing folks around the May Pole - some sort of a pagan tradition or rite of Spring.

Let it be known that the 1st of May was not a spontaneous uprising. It was a protest that began with at least a year or so of organizing and demands for a decent work day and conditions. It was not even a full blast walk out, nor the occupation of factories. It was a parade with speeches in the evening and then the police began an attack on a peaceful crowd. Propaganda has it that the police were responding to arms and bombs, but what started the violence was "preemptive" police rioting not unlike we see in some efforts to break up the "Occupy" presence.
 
 
+4 # Sirviver 2012-04-29 13:04
Organizing for reform is strategically flawed. Its organizing efforts trumpet the implicit but loud message that the targeted institutions are legitimate caretakers of the decisions the organizers are asking or demanding of them. Whether the organizers want to convey this message, or not, isn't the point. It is not possible to simultaneously seek reforms from an institution and teach that the institution is not legitimate, so people learn from participating in organizations seeking reform that the institutions ARE legitimate WHETHER THE REFORM IS SUCCESSFUL OR NOT. When reform campaigns are unsuccessful, organizers either burn out or move on to their next reform campaign. Revolutionary organizations work to create new institutions.
 
 
+16 # brianf 2012-04-29 13:09
I think it is going to take a revolution, or something very close, to make the changes that must be made to save our country. Corporations and the 1% have such complete control over all 3 branches of our government and the mainstream media that it will be virtually impossible to change things in a meaningful way within the system. This is why after years of trying we have not been able to pass meaningful campaign finance reform or to restrict the power of lobbyists and corporations or pass any bills that threaten large corporations, like single payer healthcare or a realistic plan to fight global warming.

But revolution would not be easy. The entire Homeland Security system, including militarized police, extensive domestic spying powers, and the biggest incarceration system in the world, will be turned full force against anyone who truly threatens the system. Only if huge numbers of people join together can we fight forces like that.
 
 
+6 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-04-29 13:46
Chomsky's second point "Secondly, on strategic grounds, you have to show that there are limits to reform" fails to address reform by POPULAR referendum.

We have witnessed our constitution amended and abridged by the supreme court and congress, and although many of those changes (ie Patriot Act) may need to be reascended and outlawed, we must always keep in mind that times change and citizen's lifestyles and beliefs change as well. Laws need to keep pace with evolving changes, but those changes should not be left to the whim of congress without it really being mandated by popular support.
 
 
+14 # seeuingoa 2012-04-29 13:48
Wfalco: (quote)

"I believe most Americans have limited knowledge about May Day"

please!

Most Americans have a limited knowledge
about everything!
The average American is as complacent as
a seriously, senile, elderly person being fed by an equally complacent media.

And how can it be different, when the
very few investigative journalists are
mostly writing for the alternative media
that the average American never reads.
 
 
+6 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-29 17:11
Right! When we read Glenn Greenwald or Counterpunch or Tom Dispatch or Ted Rall, we get a false sense of solidarity with a great number of people. What we may forget is that the same group of dissenters are applauding each such blogger. We are really very few, measured against, say, the voting public.
 
 
+6 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-04-30 10:02
It isn't a case of us against the voting public, but rather, us enlightening those who are complacent. We can't treat our awareness as some unique club of knowitalls. What we each know we should collectively share with one another and then enlighten those consumed by TV and sport distractions. WE need to bring whatever knowledge we can share to those that need to be awakened.
 
 
+3 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-29 14:10
In a day when the police were just a brutal as now, Marx believed that revolution would come when workers realized they had no alternative.

Lenin believed that day would be too long in coming; that the revolution had to be organized and implemented by a cadre of revolutionaries.

With today's technology in the hands of the state, I do not see Lenin's method as a possibility. The leaders and their cadre would be rounded up and sent to Uzbekistan for the tender mercies of the Empire's friend, PM Mirziyoyev.

Chomsky's approach seems like Marx's. What was it H.L. Mencken said, "Never overestimate the intelligence of the average American!" Maybe Chomsky forgot that.

If democracy is to bloom again, I think it will first have to be nourished in more fertile soil; maybe in a Latin American country.
 
 
-6 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:52
How does the Marxist/Stalini st philosophy that got tens of millions of people slaughtered in the 20th Century to merely install Socialist masters in the place of aristocratic masters, accomplish "Democracy"? You're mixing cement with food coloring and expecting to create cheesecake. The "Revolution" was in 1776, you're talking counter-revolut ion. The OWS people are being set up as the tinderbox upon which to light a fire, create social chaos, declare martial law, and cement evil people into power forever. End of story, end of freedom.
Have you not noticed that the tremendous increase in our debt under Obama (see Cloward-Piven theorum) has put us under attack by China and other countries who want to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency, which would remove the safety net that is keeping the dollar from free-falling and throwing us into a hyperinflationa ry, ruinous economic situation. No country in history has ever recovered from borrowing more than 50% of its debt wihout a crash of its currency, the loss of EVERYONE's savings (except the politicians and bankers), the devaluation of buying power, and severe shortages in basic goods that our worthless dollar can no longer buy. Welvome to third world America, Socialist Utopia.
 
 
+2 # genierae 2012-04-30 08:17
OWS is the public expression of our frustration, yet its effectiveness is limited because of the lack of media support. My grass-roots idea would be more likely to succeed because it would be an under-the-radar movement across this country, using legal methods to infiltrate and influence local and state governments. A democratic underground, working to effect real change. I agree that without the full support of the American people, a counter-revolut ion would not be successful. The forces ranged against us are just too formidable.

The systems of Socialism and Communism are not wrong in themselves, it's just that they are co-opted by those who use them to gain personal power. "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.", is a beautiful idea that must be implemented by people whose characters are just as beautiful.
 
 
+1 # robbeygay 2012-04-30 17:38
Yes all they ever did was change the mandarins through labor swooned by the more glib opportunist and selfish pretending benevolence.
 
 
0 # neohip 2012-04-30 09:52
I studied with Professor Cloward. You brought back lots of memories by mentioning him. I was not certain what your position was however. Do you think it is possible to have a socialist state with becoming third world America? If the OWS is being used "to cement evil people into power forever," are you abdicating your power to resist? If not, what would you target and how would you "counter revolt?"
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-05-01 12:43
Noni77, to blame Marx for Stalin is simply bad historical analysis and suggests to me that you have in fact never read teither one (though i am prefectly willing to be corrected on this point). Marx always supported ("bourgeois" as he called it) political democracy though he recognized that this did not in any way get us to economic democracy/equal tiy and thus he also rigorously and consistantly critiqued its limitations. Again, as i mentioned in a prior response to you, the counter-revolut ion already happened, it was called the Constitution and it enabled slavery to remain intact (again, protecting white male "property") and deliberately excluded the vast majority of the population (other than white male property ownwers) from (democratic) political representation and participation. Cloward is turning in his grave and Piven is throwing up at your using them to justify support of the Tea Party so stop using people who would never support you and your positions to supposedly "prove" them.
 
 
0 # soularddave 2012-05-05 19:44
I was hoping that it might be Egypt, and the Hillary butted in. Maybe it's Wisconsin, but that's taking a long time to play out. I was hoping that the example would be OWS, but our force withered in the face of overwhelming state force.

Learn the drill - and BE part of it.
 
 
+8 # seeuingoa 2012-04-29 14:15
brianf: quote
"I think it is going to take a revolution, or something very close,
to make the changes that must be made to save our country....
Only if huge numbers of people join
together can we fight forces like that"


OCCUPY OCCUPY OCCUPY !

Gandhi style:

Step 1: sit down and get arrested
PEACEFULLY.

Step 2: when released after a few hours
repeat Step 1.


Where will they put all these people?

Guantanamo?
Concentration Camps?

and show their true face.
Overload the whole system!

(Please google Gandhi and see how he managed)
 
 
+2 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-30 11:10
Occupy the Ballot Box...that is modern revolution...St and up and be counted...and help get everybody registered to vote.
 
 
+10 # paddyrican 2012-04-29 14:26
Noam: If you REALLY want a revolution, do an expos'e on the $16 TRILLION the Fed. dispursed to U.S. and foreign banks between 2007&2010 per the GAO audit released in July,2011!
 
 
-3 # anarchteacher 2012-04-29 15:18
May Day (or International Workers' Day) - as Noam Chomsky notes - as day of celebration of labor and left-wing movements is of recent vintage. Adam Weishaupt founded the Order of the Illuminati in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria) on May 1, 1776, a date commemorated by subsequent revolutionary organizations, particularly socialists.

"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."

-- Adolf Hitler Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by John Toland, Adolf Hitler (1976, p. 236).

Hitler's first act as German chancellor was to make May 1 a national holiday.

Here are some more inconvenient facts of history regarding socialists Hitler, Marx, and Engels of which you are also no doubt unaware:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3uFUxMwA1w&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL6FB95CEDFF22BB3E

This above YouTube video excerpt features Professor George Watson, St. Johns College, Cambridge. Watson is the author of The Lost Literature of Socialism, discussed in the article below:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/burris/burris15.1.html
 
 
+4 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-29 17:05
To describe Hitler as a socialist is like saying that Caligula was just a boy who loved his family!
 
 
0 # 666 2012-04-29 20:54
Well caligula did love his family (especially his sisters), but that loving was more in the biblical or should we say carnal sense...
 
 
-5 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:56
Quoting Innocent Victim:
To describe Hitler as a socialist is like saying that Caligula was just a boy who loved his family!

Rotten analogy devoid of historical knowledge, I.V.
 
 
+1 # lcarrier 2012-04-30 05:46
Rubbish, Noni77. It's apparent to me that you have no knowledge of history.
 
 
0 # neohip 2012-04-30 10:07
I came to that same conclusion through care reading of the text and application of my critical thinking skills. Thank you.
 
 
+1 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-04-29 17:07
I doubt many people knew that May Day was an American creation, but I highly doubt that even many more knew that Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Illuminati, had purposefully coincided the creation of the Illuminati with May Day.

Readers should consider the creation of Hitler's National Socialist Party, Soviet Socialist Party and American unions were founded and supported by the Illuminati. The Illuminati's ultimate goal is to unify everyone globally and thus creating a global social order. Is it any wonder that May Day is an international holiday?

If Illuminati has their way, there will be many more global holidays and mutual celebrations commemorating this new order which has been in the works since Weishaupt's creation of the Illuminati. That new order of course is the New World Order which is now a subject openly declared by both George Bush's, Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and a few other notable figures.

May Day commemorates the beginning of this new social order, not what we all think it commemorates.
 
 
-4 # robbeygay 2012-04-29 21:19
I will certainly think on that Freeman 1776, but it's not just Freemasons, Illuminati, reverse of the USAV $1 note, but many mass movements and great people in the past worls seekignthe NWO you suggest of May-Day. But like OWS and all public forum for good, need participants to get anywhere forward of status quo. So Mayday as Laborday is an appeal for lower educated worker solidarity against Capitalist natural greed and excesses. I think. PR for Better good. Give em a beer and workers will be diverted, unless a solid alternative is offered and explained on their level.
 
 
+1 # neohip 2012-04-30 10:09
Not if we take this opportunity, perhaps our last, to resist the new social order.
 
 
0 # mjc 2012-04-30 09:31
Americans have been so sensitized to the word itself...social ism...that we don't know it has any appeal, which it certainly does and did to Europeans of almost every country. It was perceived by citizens in a country as government watchfulness over each citizen to prevent those with wealth and power destroying the poor and powerless but also as the most successful way to organize the means of production. Unfortunately, in Germany, National Socialism had the villain at the root of the societal problem as Jews, some of who did have wealth but mostly just buy into the same religious milieu as those named Christians. And this was...and is...a long standing hate. It translates to this country as well. Pure capitalism is the result of Christian virtues such as "pulling oneself up by the bootstraps", wealth is a sign that the person having it is blessed, ordained by God/Christ. Social Darwinism.
 
 
-2 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-30 11:14
Please be clear. Are you stating that because a facist and murderous dictator made May Day a holiday, it is therefore forever an evil? Are you saying that a video has all the truth you need...or does the video have the slant you prefer?
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-05-01 13:58
anarchteacher, whith all due respect, the fact that other events in history also happened on May 1 is prrof of nothign and certainly not proof )let alone even evidence) that they had antythingg to do with the May Day that we have come to know as a "workers holiday" or day of working class struggle. As for the rest of your historical analysis, Hitler never brought socialism to Germany and the first folks he went after were in fact the german socialists and communists. Hitler left German capital and capitalism very much intact and does not even do much to control the economy until he needed to rebuild and expand the german war making capabilities leading up to the second world war. With regards to May day....On May 1, 1933 German unions are raided by the SA and on May 2, 1933 unions are banned, their funds seized and their leaders put in prison and then yes, after this the workers are given may 1 as a holiday but this is hardly proof that hitler was a socialist or in any way supported workers rights or the german working class movement...in fact, it shows just the opposite was true.
 
 
-2 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-29 16:11
Isn't it time to get to the 4 day 6 hour work week...the only thing we do here is play...governme nt jobs should be limited to top scale 2 x minimun, wage (which should be doubled immediately)... government and bureacratic jobs should not be careers...this is post High school work...especial ly in the computer age...It isn;t like the people on the other side of the counter at governement offices are doing any thing very difficult...why the high wages and ridiucylous benefits...wgic h seems to change people that had been very nice when first hired...and with each year approaching the retirement package they get more and more guarded, dot every "i" and cross evry "t"...and are constantingly watching thier backs...this condition usually clears up after they retire and have thiers (which we continue to pay for). Think about it!
 
 
+2 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-29 16:11
National Strike Day: May 1, 2012
 
 
+1 # okie_mule 2012-04-29 17:26
As I read about May Day I was reminded of any ship, downed pilot, etc. in extreme danger frantically calling out those two words in search of the nearest help. So....to America I say "May Day! "May Day! May Day! Come to the aid of your country, it is in grave danger of dying." Get to work in the OCCUPY Movement and do it 24/7 until we bring about the necessary changes.
 
 
-1 # Noni77 2012-04-29 21:59
The "May Day" in that respect is our transliteration of the French words "Help me" sounds like to us.
 
 
0 # charsjcca 2012-04-29 17:26
Freedom and democracy-an oxymoron. They never sleep together. The key dynamic today is cyberspace and the that ability to
set your own agenda apart from the bureau. Chomsky seems to have forgotten...
 
 
-3 # Noni77 2012-04-29 22:05
Democracy and freedom are an oxymoron? Under NO other form of government has freedom ever flourished. Tell me the exception.
 
 
0 # robbeygay 2012-04-29 17:44
Not USA but whole World is working to balance Capital & Labor worth. You can't keep increasing productivity to pay all what they want and a profit to Capital. Not by greater autiomation/mec hanization and less labor.
Overproducing means export surplus or die. Export unbalances domestic consumption in other countries developing to achieve the same full employment and a profit share for Capital. Banana republics can't consume Developed World surplus.

The revolution that is forthcoming is the Un-Industrial Revolution, or War the destroy for new consumption demand.
 
 
+2 # cordleycoit 2012-04-29 19:31
May Day is the day to down tools and think about those went before. The Battle of the Bridge, the Bread and Roses Strike, Western Federation of Miners and the IWW, Ludlow, Bisbee, Crested Butte, the Red Trains, Emma Goldman and Lucy Parsons, The Haymarket Martyrs, The March of the Ten thousand: a safe and sane place to work and pay to match. May Day belongs to us.
 
 
-4 # Noni77 2012-04-29 22:02
Why did Marx specify that the United States alone was not in need of his Marxist Revolution? Look it up. Darwin's wife also advised her husband to resist getting involved with Marx despite Marx wanting to use Darwin's Theory of Evolution to his benefit.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-05-01 13:06
Noni77, no reference, source or citation? First, Marx never referred to a "Marxist Revolution"...H e talked about "bourgeois" and "socialist revolutions (communism would evolve out of socialism with the "withering away" of the state and so it is even questionable whether he talked about a "communist revolution" though he certainly talked about communism and communist revolutionaries . As for Darwin, in Oct. 1873 he wrote the following to Marx: Dear Sir:
I thank you for the honour which you have done me by sending me your great work on Capital; & I heartily wish that I was more worthy to receive it, by understanding more of the deep and important subject of political Economy. Though our studies have been so different, I believe that we both earnestly desire the extension of Knowledge, & that this is in the long run sure to add to the happiness of Mankind.
I remain, Dear Sir
Yours faithfully,
Charles Darwin

Darwin's wife's objection to Marx was that he was an atheist and had nothing to do with his ideas on political economy so this point is both highly misleading and seems hardly relevant at all. As for "Marx wanting to use Darwin's Theory of Evolutioon to his benefit" i presume you are referring to the myth that Marx wanted to dedicate Das Capital (or at least Volume 2) to Darwin...sorry, but this is myth (i.e., wrong, didn't happen) and not history -- see e.g., http://friendsofdarwin.com/articles/2000/marx
 
 
+8 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-04-29 20:11
We need more than a Revolution: we need a Renaissance.
 
 
-1 # lcarrier 2012-04-30 05:43
Let's all celebrate May Day by helping a progressive candidate win a primary. In this age of technology the phone-bank has replaced the barricade. Only by actively becoming a revolutionary can we effect a revolution.
 
 
+3 # Shanti 2012-04-30 07:25
A friend recently said that when she mentioned something about evolution in front of a group of fundamentalists , they grew silent and turned away. We can talk political parties, and I know there is overlap, but as long as religion divides people into more groups than politics it is going to be impossible for "the people" to act together.
Add together divisions caused by politics, religion, race, and gender, and unity seems all but impossible.
 
 
+1 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-30 11:03
The theme of this May Day, in my opinion, should be the illegitimacy of our governments, federal, state and local.

All legitimacy in our country derives from the consent of the governed. This was asserted in the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776 in its second paragraph. That consent was achieved in 1789 through the ratification of the new Constitution of the United States, and that ratification was based on the promise of guaranteed rights to be amended to the Constitution. They were amended among the first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights.

Now and since the presidencies especially of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama, many of those promised rights in the Bill have been weakened to the point of futility.

The Constitution is no longer our principal law. It is being ignored by all three branches of our government. Therefore, there is no longer the consent of the governed for which the separation from British rule was fought.

The government of the United States is now an illegitimate government. It rules not by law but by force!
 
 
+1 # barbaratodish 2012-05-01 00:28
On MAY DAY, 2012 and every day, BE ANARCHY instead of HAVE ANARCHY
 
 
+2 # hillwright 2012-05-01 13:06
Methinks most of these blogs have gotten off subject. For me, the Haymarket Riots of May 4, 1886 were the beginning of American labor's May Day.

Hitler "borrowed" most of his symbolism, such the swastika, from other cultures. He also borrowed May Day and spoke of Socialism and rejection of Capitalism however where did he get the money for his re-armament, for the building of the new state buildings and the payment of the SS and army?
It was from the Capitalists,Kru pp and the rest of the German military/indust rial complex as well as financing from the Union Bank in New York, with members of the Bush family as directors.
 
 
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-01 16:44
Good reminders, Mr Hillwright! Thanks!

I am so fed up with references to Hitler and the NAZIs, as if they had something good to offer that we are overlooking!
 
 
+1 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-01 16:48
All this chatter about revolution or revolutionary movements is just that, chatter, ineffective chatter, noise. Until there are new political parties that can get candidates on numerous state ballots, there is no hope of changing our plutocratic system. Democracy must start over in a country that has a more open system. Ours is locked up!

Ask Ralph Nader about getting on state ballots. He could tell you what a fight that is.
 
 
0 # Natureboy 2012-05-02 23:02
What a wonderful cacophony! Would humbly suggest that all who have commented here re-read the entire "string". Yes it could legitimately be called chatter, or such. However, were we gathered physically as a group, as many were on May Day, we would have to work out some rules of discourse to allow a winnowing of ideas. I found dkonstruction's citing and quoting Marx's 1875 Critique very useful and informative. To that I would add John Nichols' book, The "S" Word, A Short History of an American Tradition - Socialism. Within which, wonder of all wonders, are facts about Lincoln and the anti-slavery genesis of Republican Party and, before that, about Thomas Paine and Walt Whitman, all neglected or expunged from even college history texts, which make even the Republican Party of Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine so much more understandable (and palatable). If you think the mainstream Democrats of today have lost their way, please consider this book and see if you don't develope some compassion for some friends, who are conservative, whose party has abandoned them or just run off a cliff. As one who counts former African enslaved people amongst my ancestors, I believe I must hear something of what the would-be revolutionary loves about this country before I can get to enthused about his/her revolutionary schemes.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN