Kararak RS: vocal, guitar, bass; TomP: percussion & production
Plutocracy is defined as a government by, and for the wealthy– which is the United States of America in 2015. It has actually always been this way, since its Constitution was first enforced in 1789, as wealthy landowners wrote the rules. But the point was, the Constitution had ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, which offered certain protections for individual & legal liberties, placing restrictions on governmental power.
Today, the U.S. Constitution is a dead letter, obvious to anyone who thinks; and the horrible truth is none of us are actually free. We are all held prisoner by the fetters of capitalism, which bind us in all forms– visible & invisible.
The American Heritage dictionary definition of free is– to not be bound or constrained; at liberty.
Constraints are all-too-real to ignore for those with limited means, as they include: money debt, re-occurring bills that become harder to pay, and the threat of unemployment with no pension or retirement savings.
Those with a job they dislike are the lucky ones among today’s U.S. proletariat (working class), as the unlucky ones face an inability to obtain a workable job at a liveable wage, homelessness, being the target of police violence, imprisonment, and premature death.
The hooligans of the working class are defined in Marxist terms as lumpen-proletariat; a mixture of criminals, provocateurs, and bigoted ignorance. They are a relatively small (but dangerous) portion of the working class, that needs to be recognized & ruthlessly crushed by an educated proletariat, for any progress to occur. Otherwise our society ends up with fascism, followed by obliteration.
The petty bourgeoisie (formerly the middle, now upper-middle class), are financially stable, but certainly not free. The petty bourgeoisie are full of disorders, mostly stemming from their insecurity in not being rich enough (and therefore not good enough), by capitalist standards. They are (like the U.S. proletariat) equally divided among Democrats & Republicans in their illusions, usually focusing passionately on a single issue or two. Those who remain apolitical, become pawns in the grand chessboard of politics.
Petty bourgeois politicians always miss (avoid) the big picture. Trotsky correctly summarized liberalism as “half-thinkers with half-baked ideas, pronouncing half-truths they half-heartedly support, all to justify their political half-lives.”
V.I. Lenin once remarked, “The power of Marxism is that it is true.”
The petty bourgeoisie are the professional class of doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other vital problem-solving intelligentsia. They also run the universities & the mass media, and their conformity to the plutocracy is critical; as all capitalist ideology rewards them, in return for their services & obedience. It’s a Faustian deal one makes.
Capitalism must be understood dialectically, as a global system that is constantly evolving. The only source of wealth is human labor, and capitalism extracts it at below actual cost, more efficiently than feudalism or chattel slavery. This extracted wealth is defined as capital.
Marxism is the only scientific method of studying economics, as money is created through commodity production by human labor. It’s philosophy is dialectical materialism. Dialectics is the study of change and revolutions. Materialism is the insistence that all thinking be rational– based on actual matter.
Marxism rejects all forms of idealism, which always leads back to god; insisting on a rational scientific method in all questions of political economy.
At an earlier stage, say the pre-Industrial Revolution era, capitalism was a spur to creative development and free thinking; in other words, capitalism of that time could (at least in some sense) honestly claim it was progressive– because it was founded on Enlightenment principles.
Today, understood dialectically, capitalism is in its death throes– an impediment & mortal threat to our future. Human civilization needs an international socialist revolution in permanence, as capitalism is pushing its ruling class towards nuclear extinction.
The truth is: the ruling class isn’t even in charge, as the combined forces of a global political economy under the irrationality of capitalism are determining what each nation’s political leaders must do. Their marching orders come directly from the global economic powerhouses, such as the IMF, ECB, Downing Street, and Wall Street; who are ruled by the logic that profits always come first.
This completely dehumanizes the leaders of these institutions, which of course makes them thoughtless, self-serving slaves of the capitalist system; and thus, by definition, not free. The bourgeoisie which controls the world’s wealth is the sickest, and most decadent class in human history. Even the most gluttonous of Roman emperors, medieval pontiffs, and royalty would surely envy the level of luxury & destructive waste among today’s richest of the rich.
Their disorders are among us everywhere, most conspicuously in the never-ending glorification of their celebrity & money. This can be seen as an ideological offensive by the bourgeoisie, in insisting that brains & real work have little value in comparison, in order to justify their pathologies & parasitic existence.
Official bourgeois ideology is called post-modernism, which simply states: there is no truth, except what is in your mind– so therefore anything can be true. Post-modernism is a convenient ideology for a class with all the money. The bourgeoisie monopolize all the levers of power, allowing corporate fascism to broadcast nationalist consumerism 24/7, while marginalizing any expression of free thought.
All this leads to a pathological need to own & control everything, hence domestic spying operations by the FBI, CIA, & NSA. Every bit of electronic data from every American, is stored in vast intelligence databases; for analysis, profiling, and the marketing interests of the ruling class. The police & military are increasingly the favored tools of the bourgeoisie for mass enforcement of undemocratic policies, at home & abroad.
Domestic spying never includes sharing with the public of high-level, closed-door meetings concerning major economic, political or social policies. Disclosure is always made to flow in the same direction as the money & power. Presidential and top administration emails, texts, & phone conversations over policy are always ‘national secrets’, and if revealed, becomes their paranoid nightmare ‘threat to national security.’ All this is simply couched language to justify concealment of bourgeois criminality.
Therefore, secret discussions of nuclear war with Russia & China, by top U.S. government officials & military commanders of all the armed forces, are never honestly revealed or discussed with the working people.  This Orwellian logic keeps us ‘safe’ we are told.
Instead of mindlessly consuming the Great American Holiday, step outside of the jingoism and notice this mad parade we’re all made a part of. When the fireworks dazzle the crowd, eliciting reflexive “oohs” and “aahs”– think about what they represent.
They represent shock & awe, which began on March 19, 2003; and since then has claimed over a million Iraqi lives. The most advanced society in the Middle East was destroyed, by insatiable capitalist greed for oil. It is precisely this impulse that will kill us all, if we don’t stop it.
Today is the 239th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, which declared the United States of America a sovereign nation.
True nationhood wasn’t that simple, as Great Britain was the mightiest Great Power of its time; but through determination, the richness of its resources, and bitter struggle– the newly-born United States prevailed.
In today’s epoch, our struggle is different, as the leaders of all nations– the U.S. foremost– are war criminals. Here in the U.S., its proletariat is faced with the task of having to disarm the mightiest and most sophisticated military/intelligence apparatus in human history, in order to head-off mutually assured destruction.
Any help from the petty bourgeoisie is appreciated, but not expected. It is now the task of the working people of all nations to unite, and overthrow its capitalist paymasters.
The alternative is to go on as if none of this matters, as human civilization eventually becomes consumed by a nuclear fire-storm, through the inexorable logic of capitalism; which prefers that outcome over socialism.
To those of us who think homo sapiens are better than that, we must truly begin to reflect on what these days really mean; and what needs to be done; as the time for action is coming soon.
TomP: percussion & production
RS: bass, vocals & guitar
Inspired by this piece, and John Dos Passos’ USA Trilogy.