Sunday, November 27, 2005


Question - Why don't working people simply tell the bosses to go to hell and organize work to suit their needs? After all, there are 10 times as many of us as there are of them...

Answer - Cause we would all be fired if we tried something like that.

What does it mean to be fired? Tossed out in the street, evicted from the workplace - bodily chucked out if need be. What if you refused to go? If management can't do it, they call security. If security can't do it, they send for the cops. If somehow you kept the cops at bay, then here comes the army. At this point, a couple of you might get shot just to make sure you understand who is really in charge of your life.

Thus, capitalism is in the final instance based upon violence, and all wage labor is ultimately forced labor.

Imagine a situation where the repressive forces of the state ceased to exist, or were converted into popular democratic forms - such as a workplace-based militia. Without the threat of boss violence, there would be true equality of contract. Workers would be free, if not to totally dispose of their labor power according to their wishes, at least to be in an equal bargaining position with their employers. They could decide which hours they worked and how the work was organized. They could demand "an opening of the books" when the bosses claimed there wasn't enough in the till.

For sure, the bosses wouldn't like that. Pushing people around is one of the joys of bossism. The more humane and decent among them would adapt to the new egalitarian situation, but most would not. They would flee to those countries where bullying and exploitation was still the norm. The rest of the world’s economy would take on an ever-increasing cooperative nature. With freedom, capitalism disappears...

* According to the Great Squeeker, Mouse C. Dung


For the US Empire to be replaced by a new empire, a potential candidate must exist. Rome had an obvious successor in Byzantium and possibly the revived Persian Empire. At the end of WW1 everyone knew the US was about to replace Britain. We do not have any obvious candidates to succeed the USA. The most powerful economy in the world is the European Union, the most important states of which are ex-empires and are aware of what a terrible burden the imperial mantle can be. The citizens of these countries would be against the resumption of empire. Other potential candidates are India and China. Both countries have internal problems that make the social, political and economic difficulties of the USA look mild by comparison.

China and India are such huge and populous nations they are virtual empires or worlds to themselves. They have enough problems of their own without taking on the rest of the world. Problems like massive demographic and environmental disasters, towering corruption, minority nationalist movements, and three quarters of the population in abject poverty. As well, China has yet to undergo a transition from dictatorship to “democracy”. Both economies are fundamentally weak, being dependent on cheap exports to the developed world – a free ride that could end suddenly with high petroleum prices or political changes in the importing nations.

The old empires could rely on military power alone. A modern empire must have some level of appeal, some aspect of universality allowing it to expand and hold populations. The road to empire for America was paved by several hundred years of “Occidentalization”, a result of European colonialism. American culture, attitudes and politics were not altogether foreign to peoples who had already imbibed Western notions of “democracy” “rationalism”, science, education and clothing styles. Keep in mind these Western notions, now universal in at least half the world, were initially adopted at gun point. The cultures of China and India, no matter how much the rest of us might appreciate their cuisine, philosophy or the music of Ravi Shankar, are cultures still too “national” to have universal appeal.

Consciousness plays a major role in empire building. Arrogance, xenophobia, racism, chauvinism and militarism are the attitudes that underlie the imperial ideology the majority of the population must possess in order to successfully pursue empire. One must hold others in contempt in order to dominate them. The ordinary person must believe in the righteousness of empire to willingly pay the taxes and give their lives in the inevitable imperial wars. The imperial ideology was at its height in the first decades of the 20th Century. Today, other than the Neocon lunatic fringe, it has few takers. As shown by the world-wide opposition to the Iraq War, most people reject militarism and empire-building.

The people of the world reject the Globalist’s New World Order – for what it is, a US dominated and driven global corporate state, Theirs is a new vision, of a world without empire, militarism and corporate greed. Theirs is a vision of grass roots, and therefore true cooperation among peoples, not states. Theirs is a vision of justice and peace, and thus the antidote to the disease of empire.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


There is much talk of late, even from Republicans, of a need for the US to withdraw its troops from Iraq. I hope they don’t withdraw. Stay the course Bush-shites! No, I haven't gone nuts and joined the Brown Shirts. Simply put, the American people must be completely and totally inoculated against the twin diseases of militarism and empire. For this to occur, the Empire must be dragged ever further into the Middle East quagmire and unequivocally DEFEATED. War, empire and the Neocons must arouse as much disgust among the average American as kiddie porn and child rapists. The results of Neocon policies must be such that America will finally decide to mind its own business and leave the rest of the world alone. To withdraw now would leave behind many vestiges of the imperial cancer. The disease could metastasize any time in the future. Many people would see the war on Iraq as only a failure, not as an immoral policy that must never be duplicated in the future.

There is also the fact the attempted conquest of Iraq is tying down the US corporate state. It is evident to even the most bone-headed racist Neoconazi, that the Empire’s hold on the rest of the world is thereby rendered tenuous. The jewel in the Imperial Crown is not Iraq, but Latin America – its old (quiet literally ) stomping ground. If it weren't for Iraq, the Neocons would be attacking Venezuela, turning Columbia into another Viet Nam, and happily installing military dictatorships wherever possible.

Too bad for them, but the Southern Continent is in ferment. A powerful wave of democracy is pushing thru the region. Anti-corporate populism is on the rise. In a few years this populist revolution may be irreversible. A populist Latin America could then unite with the growing progressive and libertarian forces of Europe. A democratic social and economic model could arise and challenge the authoritarianism and corruption of the US corporate state. The beginning of this process exists within the Social Forums occurring in Europe and Latin America over the past few years.

The US Empire is the last empire and the sooner it is brought down, the better it will be for all of humanity.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


The boss class and its mass media pimps constantly tell us there is not enough money in the till for decent wages, better education, and health care. We are endlessly reminded of the need for "frugality in government" and "care with the tax-payer's dollar." Recently in Vancouver I was once more made aware of what a great and smelly load of BS this is.

The municipal, provincial and federal governments have banded together to use taxpayers money to build a transportation link between Vancouver and the southern Lower Mainland municipalities. This is known as the RAV Line. There are two different routes, one far more expensive than the other. The Arbutus Street route would follow an existing - and recently abandoned - rail road track. The Cambie Street route requires tunneling and the building of an elevated track through a residential neighborhood. The Arbutus track would save tax-payers a billion dollars. Which system do you think our frugal and tax conscious neocons choose? If you said Arbutus go stand in the corner, dunce, why Cambie, of course!

This is a classic example of "When it's something WE want, there is no money in the till, When it's something THEY want, the sky's the limit." It also shows how government is a racket, a means of funneling tax money to friends and associates of the politicians and bureaucrats. Why chose the expensive route? A billion extra dollars channeled into the pockets of the construction companies which back the politicians, that's why.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I am back in Montreal again after two weeks in Naniamo on on Vancouver Island. Great weather, mile upon mile of bike paths and so many people walking. You can buy fish right off the boat in the harbour. If you are in the old part of the city you can walk to just about everything you want. There is a whole street of book shops and music stores. Then there is the down side. Naniamo used to have a large and thriving coop, a cooperative shopping center, in fact. We went to visit it, finding to our despair that the Coop went bankrupt last year and is no more. The same happened in Campbell River, we were told. When the big box stores moved in, the Coop couldn't compete. Low wages and lousy working conditions won out over reasonable wages and working conditions. The loss of the Coop is a loss for the city as a whole, for lower wages mean less wealth to recycle through other businesses and Coop profits remained in the community instead of feeding a foreign corporation. (They do have a credit union system which seems more popular than the banks, however.)

Funny thing, the city can tell you in great detail how to build your house, yet there are no zoning regulations to protect the public against these monsters. Naniamo is a small city, yet all the big boxes are built on the far northern reaches of the city limits. Not only have they killed the Coop, but also gutted the down town core by draining the customers away from the city center and forcing people to drive ten miles to buy a bed or a wheel barrow. Fine for the auto and petroleum industries, but piss poor for a people who pride themselves on having environmental consciousness.
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