Enough is enough: Workers of the World Unite!

Karl Marx predicted that capitalism would destroy itself by exploiting everything and everyone to exhaustion, The excesses of the 1880s and 1890s appeared to confirm his predictions. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire ironically proved he was mistaken. Wikipedia describes the disaster.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan, New York City on March 25, 1911 was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and 23 men – who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged 16 to 23; of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was Providenza Panno at 43, and the youngest were 14-year-olds Kate Leone and “Sara” Rosaria Maltese.

Because the owners had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits, a common practice used to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and pilferage, many of the workers who could not escape the burning building jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors to the streets below. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU), which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.

The factory was located in the Asch Building, at 23–29 Washington Place in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, now known as the Brown Building and part of New York University. The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.

I say ‘ironically’ because the predictable disaster so offended the people’s sense of dignity, fair play and decency that the fight to legitimize labor unions suddenly gained momentum and could not be stopped. For all his brilliance, Marx did not see that change coming.

What a change it was. Workers making a living wage became the consumers who purchased the products produced by the capitalists. Henry Ford saw the possibilities for his own enrichment by mass producing the Model T Ford and paying his workers higher wages than any other employer so they would choose to work for him, continue to work for him over the long haul despite working a boring job on an assembly line, and purchase their own personal automobile. That was a hulluva big deal. Nothing like it had ever happened in history. Wage earners became the middle class that eventually transformed the United States into the richest and most prosperous nation in history.

Economists call that phenomenal transformation, “consumer capitalism.”

But those days are long gone as the wage-earning class disappears into poverty and the Koched-up capitalist class celebrates its fleecing of the middle class and the death of its foe, organized labor.

The TPP represents more of the same. We the People lose more jobs and in return we get more shitty crap to buy at Walmart.

Four things are certain.

1) The capitalist class, whom we know as the 1%, but more accurately is the 0.1%, are parasites;

2) Killing the host, whom we know as the middle class or wage earning class or the metaphoric goose that laid the golden egg, is a colossally self-destructive strategy;

3) The next Triangle Shirtwaist Factory incident already happened in Bangladesh and other places; and

4) It’s going to take another revolution to prove Marx wrong and reclaim what we have lost.

Enough is enough. I’m tired of being nice. Time to get it on. Workers of the World Unite!


FYI: Los Angeles Mayor Signs Anti-Poverty $15 Minimum Wage Law

16 Responses to Enough is enough: Workers of the World Unite!

  1. Malisha says:

    One thing we do not hear about Dylann Storm Roof is who is this person’s MOTHER? We hear that his father had a “bitter divorce” — from his STEP-MOTHER, who always made sure the children (two of whom were not her biological children) visited their father. We hear about his uncle who has jumped into the spotlight with a rather bizarre splash (offering to perform the execution on his nephew). WHERE is the mother?

    I am guessing good ole dad took the kids away from their mother before marrying the woman who later divorced him as a dangerous abuser. Just a guess, but an educated one…

    Pretty pathetic little terrorist there. Looks to me like a motherless child. Congratulations to some judge somewhere who decided on the parental fitness issue, if that is what happened.

  2. Malisha says:

    So it turns out that OF COURSE a big influence on Roof was a big donor to Republican candidates (most of whom are so obviously racist you don’t need to sleuth around to find evidence of it).


    “The Times just reported:

    The leader of a white supremacist group that has been linked to Dylann Roof, the suspect in the murder of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church last week, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns, including those of 2016 presidential contenders such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul, records show.
    Ted Cruz’s campaign has already announced it would be returning the $8,500 it has received from Earl Holt III of Texas, who lists himself as president of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens.

    If even Ted Cruz — who, in the wake of last week’s tragedy, has been particularly vocal and defiant against criticism of South Carolina’s continued flying of the Confederate battle flag — can move this fast to distance himself from Holt’s toxic racism, surely the other candidates should too.”

  3. Malisha says:

    What bothered that little petulant impotent punk, Roof, was that Blacks have a legal right to defend themselves and that they are insisting on the punishment of racist murders. What bothered him in the Trayvon Martin murder case was the outcry against the police giving Fogen a pass for his murder. He was among those Nazis who were outraged that African Americans (and decent whites everywhere) insisted upon the prosecution of Fogen for his crimes.

    My characterization of the people who were outraged (that Martin tried to defend himself against the murderer) includes Turley. He is unlike Roof in that he has power; he is like him in that he is indignant that Blacks are allowed to try to defend themselves without his specific permission. I have no respect for him. Pretty soon we should be hearing from Dershowitz about the innocence of poor railroaded Nazi Storm Roof Punk. I have my composine all ready for it…

    In a way I wish these people were not permitted to defend themselves when somebody came for them. But only in a way…

  4. Malisha says:

    The State of South Carolina wants whites all armed and Blacks all unarmed and for the most part imprisoned and deprived of the vote.

  5. Malisha says:

    Roof’s father didn’t put the gun in his hand; the State of South Carolina put the gun in his hand. The State of South Carolina took part in the encouragement of his purported defense of the confederacy. The State of South Carolina has a conflict in prosecuting him; it should be a federal prosecution because the State of South Carolina still flies the confederate traitor-rag.

  6. Nef05 says:

    Prof – If you get some time in the next few weeks, can you post something about the legal differences between federal hate crime and terrorism charges; and how either/both apply to Roof. I’m pretty clear on the hate crime itself. That seems like a lock, based on his own statements. But, a compare/contrast of whether both could apply simultaneously, and how a prosecution could proceed if both were charged, since I would guess you have to prove separate points.

    Tsarnaev’s trial seemed to me to be mostly about mitigating his culpability enough to avoid the death penalty, rather than proving terrorism. Any thoughts on what the feds would have to find in Roof’s background in order to be able to charge him with terrorism, whether they already have enough and/or if you (from a legal perspective) think they should?

    • gblock says:

      Professor, while this is no longer news, I would be very interested in you posting something on what federal charges of “depriving someone of their civil rights” really mean. For a police officer like Darren Wilson and for a civilian like George Zimmerman, what would they need to show to convict someone on such a charge? And what evidence would they have wanted/needed to have for an indictment to be appropriate, and therefore what does it really mean that neither of these men was indicted? (Assuming that it is not because of political cowardice or racial bad will , which is also a possibility.)

  7. Nef05 says:

    There was a minute of prosperity under Clinton, NAFTA’s impact didn’t become visible for a few years. I started predicting a revolution based on a historical understanding of French/Russian revolutions about a decade ago. The first time gas hit $4, I was taken aback there was no response. When the market crashed in ’08, I was genuinely flabbergasted there weren’t riots in the streets as 401K and pension plans were decimated, people began losing homes at record paces and bankruptcies skyrocketed. I literally could not believe there weren’t the proverbial pitchforks and torches.

    Now, with the militarization of the military by far-seeing wannabe oligarch/plutarchs, who began that process shortly after trickle down economics were put into effect, I’m afraid it would take a bloodbath. The authoritarian members of law enforcement are too heady with their ability to beat down minorities with no repercussions to realise they’re being used. I ask myself is there any hope? Any chance of maybe Sen Bernie Sanders getting in? And, if he did, any chance the oligarchs/plutarchs who own congress will let him work? Unfortunately, I don’t think so. The few on the .01% who do see the writing on the wall are far outnumbered by those who intend to see us back in English feudal times. My only question now is not if there’s a bloodbath, but when.

  8. Malisha says:

    So apparently Westboro Baptist Church intends to picket the funerals of the nine victims of the Charleston AME Church slaughter with signs claiming that “God sent the shooter” and “God h8s your prayers” and “your minister was a whore” etc. blah blah blah.

    It shows that there is nothing too disgusting for these subhumans and that they are all useless unemployed punks on government dole who have time to go to anybody’s funeral to say anything. None of them is a responsible citizen OF COURSE.

    But I’m remembering what happened when the US Supreme Court upheld their right to behave like monsters at someone else’s funeral a while back. He was one of those liberals who votes for himself alone. He said regardless of this and that, free speech was the most important issue, blah blah blah. Never once had he extended himself or risked anything for free speech.

    Shortly after that comment from him (huzzah huzzah) a little situation arose. One of his employees learned of his having lied in a way that never would bring him public scandal or dismay, but she was also aware that his lie hurt individual people who deserved to be supported, and not lied about. She wrote up what she knew to post it on social media, and he forbad her to do it. She claimed that she had PROOF of what she was saying, although he pretended there was “no proof either way.” She told him, “Go ahead and post your own version on your own website then.” So he fired her from her job.

    She was the sole support of herself and her son at the time, and she had been a good employee for ten years. He was not able to deprive her of her First Amendment rights (she posted her material) but he did her as much damage as he possibly could (without endangering HIMSELF, that is) at the time.

    Westboro Baptist Church and this man (who is a well known author, by the way, who preaches about things like the value of transcendental meditation) have a lot in common. They will do as much harm as they possibly can to others who don’t accept THEM as the authoritarian masters of the universe.

    I actually have equal contempt for the Westboro thugs and for those who, like this author, do not blab their mouths in public so as to call down upon themselves the kind of public outrage and opprobrium that the Westboro dumbthugs earn on a daily basis. Nauseating.

  9. MichelleO says:

    @Carnelia8—what’s up?

  10. I don’t think we’ll prove Marx wrong – I think capitalism and socialism will be combined to create a more equitable society. Either type of thinking leads to different problems, but the two situations working together in a conscious, compassionate way can balance out the deficits of both.

    • gblock says:

      That is probably the way. But we need to be careful not to confuse democratic socialism, such as currently exists in many European countries and which can coexist with capitalism, with Marxism/communism.

  11. Malisha says:

    What worked once will not necessarily work again. I have very little faith in the power of revolution any more because of things like FERGUSON MO and the failure of our courts. We don’t organize any more because everything is made of money and NOBODY opts out except the unbearably enraged, who do not opt out, but lash out, and they get “dealt with” very efficiently and picked off one by one.

  12. MichelleO says:

    JEB will be a shoe-in for those parasitic 0.1 per centers. The Bushes are back again to continue and the destructive job on America’s economy and jobs that Dubya did not complete.

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