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This Is What Class War Looks Like

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This chart puts the class war in simple, visual terms. On the left you have the "shared sacrifices" and "painful cuts" that the Republicans claim we must make to get our fiscal house in order. On the right, you can plainly see why these cuts are "necessary."

Jack Dean, Posterous.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Billy Wharton

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Maggie Griffitt for this contribution

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Related:

The Must See Chart (This Is What Class War Looks Like), Daily Kos
It's good to see that an aggressive Middle-Class Defense is already under way in Wisconsin.  Following the chart is my video tribute to those courageous men and women who have woken up, smelled the coffee, and started to roll!

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Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand

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  • “The whole history of the progress of human history shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of struggle. ... If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will..."  Frederick Douglass
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  • The liberal class has busied itself with the toothless pursuits of inclusiveness, multiculturalism, identity politics and tolerance—a word Martin Luther King never used—and forgotten about justice.
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  • When Is It Time for a General Strike?
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This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

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Damon Terrell speaks to demonstrators at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., during a series of protests against a then-pending bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers. Last Friday Gov. Scott Walker signed the legislation into law. AP / Andy Manis

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Chris Hedges, TruthDig

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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The liberal class is discovering what happens when you tolerate the intolerant. Let hate speech pollute the airways. Let corporations buy up your courts and state and federal legislative bodies. Let the Christian religion be manipulated by charlatans to demonize Muslims, gays and intellectuals, discredit science and become a source of personal enrichment. Let unions wither under corporate assault. Let social services and public education be stripped of funding. Let Wall Street loot the national treasury with impunity. Let sleazy con artists use lies and deception to carry out unethical sting operations on tottering liberal institutions, and you roll out the welcome mat for fascism.

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The liberal class has busied itself with the toothless pursuits of inclusiveness, multiculturalism, identity politics and tolerance—a word Martin Luther King never used—and forgotten about justice. It naively sought to placate ideological and corporate forces bent on the destruction of the democratic state. The liberal class, like the misguided democrats in the former Yugoslavia or the hapless aristocrats in the Weimar Republic, invited the wolf into the henhouse. The liberal class forgot that, as Karl Popper wrote in “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

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When Is It Time for a General Strike?, Laura Flanders, Nation Magazine

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  • Few Americans remember the demands 30,000 women and girls shirtwaist factory workers made… not just for wage increases, but for the ability to have a say in the conditions of their workplace—the workplace that killed them. Those are the rights that will be taken from American workers if the Republicans’ power grab is allowed to stand.
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  • Imagine, a century ago, if the rest of New York had stood with the women of the factories. Imagine if instead of 20,000, it had been 2 million workers marching. Or if it were to be today.
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Union-Busting Is Theft -- a Weapon of Class Warfare from Above

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  • Union-busting allows bosses to rig the labor market in their favor.
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  • The War on Public Employees
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  • 12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin
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Joshua Holland, AlterNet

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If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Union-busting gives employers the means to manipulate the labor market in order to squeeze out more profits by paying workers less than what a free and fair market would bear. It's wage theft of another kind – perfectly legal, but just as costly for working people.

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As the drama playing out in Wisconsin shows, union-busting is not only a weapon in the class war being waged by the richest Americans – it's also a means of waging political war on Democrats and progressive organizations.

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Both sides in the battle raging in state capitols across the country agree on just one thing: we are witness to a defining showdown pitting union-busting conservatives against the last group of American workers that enjoys a high rate of union membership, and the economic security that comes with it.
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Related:
12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin, Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Public workers and supporters picketing the mansion of Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, February 13, 2011
What's happening in Wisconsin is not complicated. At the beginning of this year, the state was on course to end 2011 with a budget surplus of $120 million. As Ezra Klein explained, newly elected GOP Governor Scott Walker then "signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues (among other things). The new legislation was not offset, and it turned a surplus into a deficit." (Update: please see this note for more detail on the cause of the budget gap.)

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Shut Down Wisconsin!

Socialist Party USA Statement on the Wisconsin GOP Attack On Unions

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Andrea Pason and Billy Wharton, co-chairs Socialist Party USA

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It has just been reported that Wisconsin Republicans have approved the provision in Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Bill that strips public employees in Wisconsin of their collective bargaining rights. Collective Bargaining is necessary to the functioning of trade unions and is a right that should be held by every worker in both the public and private sectors. As socialists, we condemn Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans in Wisconsin.

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We call on students, workers and all who are opposed to this decision to converge on Madison tomorrow (March 10) to protest. We support the resolution passed by the South Central Federation of Labor (Wisconsin) that calls for a general strike of all workers in the region. We support the immediate formation of strike committees by all union and non-union workers in the state. We support all acts of civil disobedience and non-compliance to protest and reverse this Bill.

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Workers and students shut down Wisconsin! As popular movements throughout the world claim their democratic rights, Walker and the Republicans have trampled on workers in Wisconsin. By building on the spirit of Tahrir Square, Madison can be the site where a new militant worker’s movement is built. Our democracy is not contained within the Assembly Houses and State Capitols; we build it in the streets!

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For a General Strike of all Wisconsin Workers!

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Kill the Bill!

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Build Democracy in the Streets!

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***

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Get Organized! Contact the Socialist Party USA
Download the Flyer here.

Section(s): 

Chris Hedges on "The Death of the Liberal Class"

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  • A frightening critique of anybody who falsely believes that electoral politics might save the planet from the cannibalization by the ruling elite.
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  • Michael Moore: "America Is NOT Broke"
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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Gary Kohls

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

Here is a very sobering speech by Chris Hedges on his new book "The Death of the Liberal Class". Please pay attention to his frightening critiques of and challanges for the liberal churches (especially the clergy), the environmental movement, Progressives, Democrats, Obama supporters, the corporate and investor classes, as well everybody else who falsely believes that electoral politics might save the planet from the cannibalization by the ruling elite.

Hedges issues a desperate call to action that must not be ignored by any of us. Please do not ignore it. There is not much hope if action is not taken.

This message is more important to take seriously than Michael Moore's recent inspiring speech in Madison.

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Related:

Death of the Liberal Class ~ Chris Hedges, Nation Books
For decades the liberal class was a defense against the worst excesses of power. But the pillars of this class—the press, the universities, trade unions, the Democrats, and the liberal church—have collapsed as effective counterweights to the corporate state. In its absence the needs of the poor, the working class, and even the middle class no longer have a champion. The death of the liberal class has permitted the rise of a new and terrifying political configuration. In his devastating new book, Chris Hedges chronicles the gradual corruption and decline of the liberal class, which no longer provides an institutional check to mitigate corporate control of politics, education, labor, the arts, religious institutions, or financial systems. Without any impediments, the corporate state is dismantling the last vestiges of protection for ordinary citizens once put into place by the liberal class.

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Michael Moore: "America Is NOT Broke"

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  • 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.
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  • Chris Hedges on "The Death of the Liberal Class"
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Stop the Austerity Craze! Massive Budget Slashing Can Lead to Economic Disaster, Violence and Repression

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  • The DC-Wall Street power circuit, with a big assist from the corporate media, is blindly pushing an agenda that could lead to massive social upheaval.
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  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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  • Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic option
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  • Anti-Austerity Alliance Wins in Illinois
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Mark Ames,  AlterNet

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Now that the shock of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting is starting to wear off and the country is returning to its more familiar climate of insanity, we’re back to facing a far worse, far more serious, and far more violent threat than mere rampage shootings: Austerity.

The Washington-Wall Street power circuit has already decided for the rest of us that “austerity” will define the 2011 political agenda. Austerity is what the oligarch-sponsored Tea Party demanded, what the Republicans are promising to deliver now that they’re in control of drafting the budget in the House, and what the Obama administration is going to try to enact as part of its neo-Clinton triangulation strategy. And the DC pols have the total endorsement of the corporate media, which have been hammering home the same message for months now: Austerity is the answer to our problems — problems that were created by the same establishment which wants to make us scream in pain again.

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Related:

Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy, David Blanchflower, Bloomberg News/Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • You want evidence? Take a look at what's happening in Britain now.
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  • Lesson From Europe: Fiscal Austerity Kills Economies
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  • Media Unwittingly Plays Republicans' Deficit Game
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Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic options, Alex Alben, Seattle Times | WA

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  • U.S. political culture and our education system have roles to play in the dire straits of our economy.
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  • Some ideas for building a better, more informed national consensus.
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  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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Anti-Austerity Alliance Wins in Illinois, David Moberg, In These Times

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  • A 300-member coalition helps raise taxes to save essential services.
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  • The Responsible Budget Coalition’s victory ‘provides a model for organizing,’ says Jeff Blum, executive director of USAction. ‘We can’t just be defensive.’
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  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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  • Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic options
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How You Can Boycott the Kochs

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  • The backlash against the Kochs' influence in Wisconsin is gaining steam, with labor supporters starting to boycott Koch Industries' many products (listed here).
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  • Scott Walker Runs on Koch Money
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  • Scott Walker to 'Koch Caller': Thanks for All the Support
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Lauren Kelley, AlterNet

Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue on Flickr

Over the past few weeks, the billionaire Koch brothers and their front groups have steadily increased their involvement in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's efforts to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights. The Kochs' outsized wealth and influence are forces to be reckoned with; that's why we should all be grateful that a Koch backlash, including a boycott of Koch Industries' products, has started picking up steam.

AlterNet has been keeping a close eye on the Koch-financed support for Walker's anti-union campaign. As we reported last week (Feb 20-26), Walker is deep in the pocket of the Kochs, having received some $43,000 from Koch Industries while running for governor in 2010. Once Walker was elected, he made sure to take care of his friends/financiers, giving out massive tax breaks to Koch Industries, and more recently, launching the ongoing effort to quash Wisconsin union workers' rights.

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Scott Walker Runs on Koch Money, Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy

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  • The Republican Governors Association and the Kochs' Investment in Scott Walker
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  • Who Is Writing the AP's Headlines on the Protests -- the GOP?
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  • Citizens United v. FEC: The Decision, Its Implications, The Road Ahead
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  • A Supreme Act Of Judical Treason Against The People Of The United States
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Scott Walker to 'Koch Caller': Thanks for All the Support, John Nichols, Nation Magazine

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  • "Koch": [Laughs] Well, I tell you what, Scott: once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.
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  • Walker: All right, that would be outstanding. [Author note: ethical violation much?] Thanks for all the support…it’s all about getting our freedoms back…
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  • "Koch": Absolutely. And, you know, we have a little bit of a vested interest as well. [Laughs]
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