Saturday, August 30, 2014

Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism


Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism
In 1916, V.I. Lenin wrote one of the most important of all Marxist analyses: Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism. World War I was dealing death to millions, but few people understood what it was about. For that matter, many people today look without comprehension at the continuing wars .
Lenin's short 128 pages illuminate our understanding of present-day war and the international intrigues hiding under the ludicrous euphemism of "free trade." The booklet is an easy read, but there are two reasons that impatient students might want an even easier version:
1. The statistics used, while very timely in 1916, are old now
2. As was often the case, Lenin was forced to argue against misleading theoreticians who have now been discredited, first by Lenin in this booklet, and then by the passage of time and subsequent developments. The arguments may now be superfluous.
Previous modules have explained the basic roots of capitalism. In the present work, Lenin shows that capitalism had reached a qualitatively different stage of development. The simple schematics of supply and demand that, even now, make up college courses in economics, had long since become obsolete as monopoly capital replaced "free enterprise." By the beginning of the 20th century, prices were set by monopolistic collusion, not "the market." Massive monopolies expropriated their wealth through servile government officials rather than business know-how.
Lenin showed the truth of the new monopolistic relations with statistics from basic industry in the major industrialized countries. He was particularly interested in iron, steel, railroads, and electricity. Today, students might want to consider their own observations of such phenomena as home computer production, which took place in people's garages only a few years ago, but has matured into an oligopoly of a few giant corporations.
As companies combined into behemoths, their bankers assumed more and more importance, or the giant corporations became bankers. Banks and other financial institutions ("finance capital") came to control the substance of each economy in each industrialized country.
Once finance capital had completely taken over their home markets, they set about to penetrate the rest of the Planet Earth. The word "imperialism," which had formerly meant the conquest of territories by armies, was more likely to take the form of a giant loan with a great many strings attached. Since World War II, we can see this much more easily in the behavior of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which commands the economies of most of the non-industrialized world at the behest of the richer nations.
Penetration by finance capital went quickly, as Lenin shows with statistics from around 1870 to around 1900. By that time, the non-industrialized countries were thoroughly submissive. The main obstacle to further penetration by finance capital from a given country was - capital from other countries! In other words, finance capital from a few industrialized nations had saturated the world. Bankers from one nation, usually England, profitably controlled the finances and economic activities of dozens of less-developed countries. The dominant industrialized nation, using its economic control, could successfully keep capital from other nations out!
The world was divided among the imperialists, with England getting the largest share.
All of India's profits went to England. French bankers were taking over Tsarist Russia. Africa and much of Eastern Asia were formally divided. The United States was successfully driving the Europeans out of South America.
Even though the imperialists had already divided the world, they continued to compete. As their basic economic strength continued to vary, their "rightful share" changed over time. Thus, contradictions emerged which had to be settled and re-settled. Their ability to negotiate with each other was severely tested. Representatives from major capitalist nations may hold meetings and discussions, but their ultimate recourse is their military power.
World War I was fought to re-divide the planet among the imperialist powers. Virtually all subsequent wars have that same dynamic. They are originated by imperialist powers in order to maintain or obtain financial prerogatives over a given territory. When the industrialized nations have saturated all markets with their exports of capital, they are reduced to fighting one another. Despite their noble claims, the world's capitalists are essentially no different than mobsters using their "muscle" to gain or preserve their "turf."
Karl Kautsky was one of the so-called "Marxist theoreticians" of Lenin's day. He held forth the idea that the worldwide penetration of finance capital would eventually lead to a kind of "ultra nationalism" and a peaceful world government. This nonsense continues today. It is usually perpetrated by the very transnational corporations that are gobbling up the world, or by the petty politicians who serve them.
Lenin proved Kautsky wrong, but we should not need his arguments, as time and dozens of wars have already shown Kautsky's error. Capitalists cannot stop competing against each other. For most of the 20th century, capitalists tried to blame the Soviet Union for their wars, but even the implosion of the USSR did not cause the slightest hesitation in the regularity of capitalist aggression.
Any serious student of history should, by now, be able to see that imperialist aggression, worldwide exploitation, and war are built-in aspects of capitalism. Lenin showed that capitalists cannot do otherwise.
Further Study: Take a look at U.S. Marine General Smedley Butler's interpretation of his own military career!
Michael Parenti has a long treatment of imperialism, especially in the classical old Roman sense, on Youtube. It is called "Lies Wars and Empire, Part 1." 2007, 57 minutes.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The bigger picture here is that the Republicans have no policy position

by  apostasyusa.
forewarded  by John Thompson
Shared by John Thompson from a poster in PBS News Hour blog, by the screen name of apostasyusa. It pretty much sums up the way I feel about what the Democratic party stands for.
"Republicans voters are exhausting types of people. They can't take credit for anything, so they take responsibility for nothing. They just keep doubling down on the same nonsense. Republican leaders don’t have a single thing to show their increasingly crazy constituency. For all the years of chastising government and Democrats. For all the anger, hate and confusion spewed by Republicans has only resulted in a hateful, angry and confused Republican base.
See the bigger picture here is that the Republicans have no policy positions to offer other the tired rhetoric that, "tax cuts and deregulation" are the answer to the problems with our country. It's obvious by now that cutting taxes for the rich did not create jobs and the war in Iraq was a huge unnecessary burden on the US taxpayer. There’s a huge chunk of the national debt right there. The cost of the war in Iraq alone could have funded Social Security for 75 years!
Hating gay folks and immigrants isn’t going to help anyone. People argue about presidential administrations incessantly, but Republicans set a new standard during the last puppet they installed in the White House. Republican failures are acknowledged, massive and easy-to-understand. Two failed wars (one actually started in error), a crashed economy caused by unregulated fraud, tax cuts for the rich, and callous indifference to natural disaster. Before the GOP gets national office they need to make a convincing case that they're on meds and their critical thinking has been restored. “Fake to the core” and “eager sellout” are not Party platforms.
Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither.
who fights for higher wages? who fights cuts to programs that help the poor survive? who fights for education grants? who fights for equal pay for women? who fights for consumer protections and regulations? who fights for the rights of the gay community? who fights for the rights of women? who fights to protect our environment?

Reverse and abolish Reaganism
  • In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.[1]
    —Ronald Reagan
    Reaganism was a political perspective in the United States based on a friendly-seeming, grandfatherly-type ex-actor telling us that government could do no good, and then proceeding to become the head of the executive branch of the United States government, drastically expanding the public debt as he saw fit. Why anyone believed it is beyond us.
    Prominent lies promoted by Mr. Reagan include:
  • The "free market" is always more efficient than the government at providing solutions to problems. (See universal health care)
  • The "government" is incapable of solving a country's problems (See Hurricane Katrina)
  • Some woman somewhere on welfare had a Cadillac and a color TV. (He made this up).[2]
  • Hardworking blue collar Americans should hate suffering poor Americans for eating their tax dollars instead of working their asses off for giant corporations themselves. (See trade union)
  • The "rich" are a beleaguered and overtaxed suffering demographic. (Who pay well for political campaigns!)
In Britain, there was a very similar political movement referred to as "Thatcherism," named for the Iron Lady who advocated the same principles. The impact of this was slightly less than that of the States.

Ferguson Violence Exposes America's Political Decay

  By Thomas Adams



Portside Date: 
August 20, 2014

The Age (Sydney, Australia)
For anyone with a consciousness of American history, the events of the last week and a half in Ferguson, Missouri, a predominately African-American suburb outside of St. Louis, should seem all too familiar.  A police officer murders an unarmed black man.  As days go by and more information on the shooting is released, residents take to the streets to protest.  Their protests are met with force utterly disproportionate to a free society.  In response, the protests turn sporadically violent themselves, producing and even more violent response on the part of authorities.
Harlem, 1943; Philadelphia and Rochester, 1964; Watts (Los Angeles), 1965; Newark, 1967; Camden, 1971; Tampa, 1987 and 1989; Washington, D.C., 1991; Los Angeles, 1992; Cincinnati, 2001; Benton Harbor (Southwest Michigan), 2003; Brooklyn, 2013 - all these incidents, and many others, contain the basic contours of the situation in Ferguson.
By now many in the United States and across the world have weighed in on the underlying causes of the escalating violence in Ferguson.  Analysts have rightly pointed out the massive build-up in American police militarisation, the depths of poverty that are endemic to many American neighbourhoods, a broad culture that equates young African-American men with criminality, a failed war on drugs that has led to the incarceration of generations of the American poor and the corresponding transformation of much of urban America into a police state.
Those who probe deeper look to the end of basic rights to housing, the lack of economic opportunity resulting from deindustrialisation, the corollary unwillingness of American society to envision contemporary employment opportunities as viable avenues into the middle class, education policy that stubbornly refuses to give poor communities the resources to produce better schools, and predatory lending that preys on poor Americans.  The conflicts in Ferguson are symptoms of a larger problem of American racial and economic inequality. Militarised police committing a horrible injustice become the easy and immediate symbol of the multiple oppressions that characterise neighbourhoods and communities across the country.
Such accounts are absolutely correct.  They are not though, the entirety of the story. The sheer length of the list above points to a deeper problem in American life - the utter decimation of a politics capable of changing the immediate and underlying facts that led to the tragic murder of Michael Brown.
The basic outlines of this political atrophy are already apparent. President Obama has urged Americans to “comfort each other and talk with each other in a way that heals”.  He has suggested that Americans are “going to move forward together - by trying to unite each other and understand each other”.  In the coming days there will be similar calls from people across the political spectrum,ranging from civil rights leaders to tea partiers.  President Obama will direct the Justice Department to investigate the shooting and its aftermath.  Perhaps he or Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will even form a blue-ribbon commission to study the underlying causes of the shooting, as was done in the aftermath of many 1960s-era uprisings.
Among those that are outraged by Michael Brown’s murder, the protests in Ferguson and satellite solidarity marches across the country will continue for a week or two.  Many people across the world will express anger at American racism and inequality by liking a post on Facebook or making #HandsUpDontShoot trend on Twitter. Both responses, the “it’s time to heal” rhetoric of political leaders and the more vocally militant but equally as ineffectual witness-bearing associated with individualised protest and social media moralising get us no closer to real justice for the millions caught in the underlying conditions of poverty that events like those in Ferguson occasionally bring to light.
For more than a generation there has not existed in the United States a political force - be it based in a civil rights organisation, a political party, a labour movement, or some other institution - capable of demanding the kinds of changes that would curtail the daily oppressions faced by people like the residents of Ferguson and tens of millions of Americans like them.  Opposition to these injustices takes the form of sign carrying, hashtags, morality plays, and the occasional thrown rock.  In moments like these, building effective institutions that can some day imagine challenging these injustices seems boring.  In more mundane moments it is forgotten entirely. Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans alike continue to push policies that decimate the meagre remains of the US welfare state, continue the quotidian criminalisation of the American poor, turn cities into particularly profitable loci of global land speculation, and increase economic inequality by the day.
And so, some time next month, or the month after that another unarmed kid will be murdered by the police in an American city.  People might protest, or they might not.  Good jobs will still be mostly inexistent, healthcare will still be largely out of reach, rents will still be rising too fast for poorer Americans, schools will still be underfunded, the militarised war on drugs and the incarceration of generations of poor young people will continue.   A few months after, the police will murder another unarmed kid.  People might protest again, or they might not.  President Obama may even direct us to heal and have a conversation, or he might not.  As a proud urban American, I hope I am wrong.  As an urban historian who has seen these same events happen over and over again for more than a half-century, I fear that I am not.
Thomas Adams is lecturer in history and American studies at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. 
Read more:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mayor Young would ask where are the jobs in Ferguson, Missouri

Sam Stark
St. Louis Jobs with Justice is in the news regarding Ferguson, Missouri:
"... Some 47% of African American men aged 16-24 in St Louis county are unemployed. Even that understates the economic crisis since many of those who do have jobs, men and women, earn a pittance in service jobs. “It used to be McDonnell Douglas was considered a good job. Now it’s McDonald’s,” said Teresa Mithen Danieley, rector of an episcopal church.
"The scenes of looting, tear-gas and boarded up stores looked bleak, said Lara Granich, director of the Missouri branch of Jobs with Justice, an advocacy group, but they could herald positive change. “I hope we make this a turning point.”
"The energy unleashed by the protests could galvanise efforts to unionise McDonald’s workers and give home care workers the right to collective bargaining, among other causes, said Granich. “Getting rid of the idea that there has to be poverty jobs is a very important step. Economic inequality and racism are mutually reinforcing forces.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Russ Bellant :The takeover of DWSD is near ; Finley, Duggan, Orr/Snyder Patterson brokering deal.

AttachmentsAug 18 (2 days ago)

The takeover of DWSD is near, says Finley, Duggan, Orr/Snyder Patterson brokering deal.

They promise to keep suburban rates where they are but pay Detroit $50 million a year for 40 years. The money would come from "efficiencies" - which in Fausone and McCormick language means job losses of essential personnel. I suspect other measures that will hurt Detroit will be on the table, measures that will reduce capacity to provide essential services, especially in emergency conditions.

It is clear to many and should be clear to all that this is an outright theft of a constitutionally protected asset by a scofflaw governor and his lawless regime. The passivity of those who know better and do nothing is allowing this outright thievery.

Although it has been previously sent out, attached is a brief history of how Detroit built this system because the suburbs asked and even begged us to. As soon as we did it, some opportunistic suburban politicians began trying to take it from Detroit. This will be their posthumous victory and a testament to the destructive power of race over truth, reason and justice.

The Second Amendment and racism

The Second Amendment and racism

Posted to February 19 2013

The Second Amendment continues to provide cover for racism just as its original intent was to protect slavery.
As clearly demonstrated by Prof. Carl T. Bogus in his remarkable article, “The Hidden History of the Second Amendment,” in the Univ. of California Davis Law Review in 1998, James Madison wrote the Amendment after narrowly winning support for the Constitution in Virginia’s ratification convention.
The Constitution was a compromise that Southern states would only support if the federal government was denied power to end slavery, but the proposed document had a provision giving Congress authority to arm and control state militia. The slave owners, outnumbered and living in constant fear of slave revolts, depended on being able to muster and mobilize militia composed of all free white males. Others, led by Patrick Henry, vigorously opposed ratifying the Constitution fearing Congress could disarm state militia as a way to abolish slavery.
Madison led the fight at the Virginia convention to endorse the Constitution. His resolution, adopted by a vote of 89-79, also set up a committee to write a proposed bill of rights including a provision to let states continue to be able to arm militia on their own. That is exactly what the ultimately adopted Second Amendment does in asserting the necessity of a “well-regulated militia to secure a free state” and denying federal infringement of the “right to bear arms.”
Like the Third Amendment prohibiting quartering soldiers in homes without the owner’s permission, the Second Amendment is an anachronism. Its purpose ended with the abolition of slavery.
But what hasn’t ended is racism. In 1997 the National Rifle Association was taken over in a coup by an extremist right wing group led by former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Harlon Carter. Carter had been convicted as a teenager of murdering a Mexican boy he believed helped steal the family car. The conviction was overturned on appeal on grounds the jury had not considered a self-defense argument.
According to Adam Winkler, a Second Amendment scholar at U.C.L.A. Law School, in his 2011 book, “Gunfight: The Battle Over The Right To Bear Arms In America,” Carter’s top deputy, Neal Knox, believed Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were killed by the government as “part of a plot to advance gun control.” The same claim has been repeatedly made by NRA fanatics about the massacres in Newtown and Aurora.
In “Bowling for Columbine,” Michael Moore’s documentary on gun violence, NRA Pres. Charlton Heston states the Second Amendment “was passed on to me by those wise old dead white guys that invented this country” and claimed the high level of gun violence in the U.S. is due to the fact that “we have a problem of more mixed ethnicity than other countries….We had enough problems with civil rights.”
This irrational racist fear of African Americans and other minorities goes far to explain the clearly defined political divide over gun control. Republican leaders who seek to suppress the vote of minorities, use code language about food stamps, and “takers” and “makers,” oppose immigration reform and have treated the first African American president with unprecedented disrespect, are the same people promoting unrestricted gun ownership.
It also explains the startling finding by the 2010 Univ. of Chicago General Social Survey that most gun owners are Republicans. In fact, 50% of Republicans own guns, but only 22% of Democrats. Assuming the Democrats are not hostile to the Obama Administration, it would seem they primarily own guns for hunting, sport and legitimate self-defense. If the same proportion of Republicans own guns for those reasons, that leaves 28% of Republicans who amass weapons out of political reasons and racist fears.
This is the tea party base of the GOP. It shows why the fight to end gun violence is not only an urgent matter of public safety but is also key to the fight against racism and essential to secure American democracy from right wing extremism.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Detroit is Haiti: unforgivably Black

Blast from the past applied to 2014

The Detroit protest rebellion of 1967 had the impact of crystallizing or aggravating a capital boycott  on the citizens, the 99%ers of Detroit,  that had then been developing for 15 or 20 years, a divestment by the bourgeoisie - big capital - something like that economic blockade or embargo on Cuba. However, not by law rather by private agreement to disassemble Detroit, as Labor Giant. The relationship of business to Detroit as a result is something like the relationship of world capitalism to Haiti since the revolution there a couple of centuries ago.

With the corporate flight  from Detroit , a capital boycott was inflicted on a former concentration point of capital investment, by suburbanization of factories, plant closings , runaway shops to the South, globalization of production .

There was the bullet and then the ballot, a la Malcolm X in reverse: the rebellion, a mass protest or demonstration, guerilla theatre against white supremacist unemployment, poverty and police brutality.  Then the 1973 election of Coleman Young as Black mayor extraordinaire, an excellent urban technician. For these exercises of Black power, in leaderless protest demonstration as Free Speech in the form that was developed in dozens of Inner City Ghettos at that time; election of a proud Black Mayor, ;and really for now being 85 percent majority Black population, Detroit is still under economic blockade punishment by the powers that be.

 "The newsmagazines called Detroit a model city. They marveled at its
strong chin and gushed over the heroic benevolence of Mayor Cavanagh,
who had become the gallant knight of the War on Poverty by spearing
forty-two million federal dollars for the city's poor people. Cavanagh
was widely portrayed as a sort of Great White Sympathizer, and the
fact is, he worked hard at maintaining a symbiotic rapport with Black
leaders. In that spirit, he had established an amicable relationship
that let observers to think of Detroit as being immunized against the
_outbreak of inner-city rioting that had torn apart Watts in 1965,
bloodied Chicago and Philadelphia, and in 1967 was sweeping the
country at a rate that would produce 164 incidents, among them major
revolts in Cleveland and Newark _ (emphasis added -CB)" - page 170 of
_Hardstuff_: the autobiography of Coleman a. Young; "The Big Bang"
Chapter 7

The federal government's Kerner Commission report essentially agreed tha the "riot" protests in the dozens of majority Negro ghettoes around the country had legitimate gripes.

“Our Nation Is Moving Toward Two Societies, One Black, One White—Separate and Unequal”: Excerpts from the Kerner Report

Detroit's 1967 mass, spontaneous guerrilla theater, protest were the culmination of a socioeconomic historical shift which was marked by segregating of residence based on race through white flight to the suburbs especially beginning in the 1950s, escaping the move toward integration represented in open housing law. (See Thomas Sugrue, "The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Politics in Postwar Detroit," and Coleman Young's autobiography, "Hardstuff.")
It was also part of a relative scattering of some main points of industrial production from a concentration in the city of Detroit ( and neighboring Dearborn) to the surrounding suburbs. It was a breaking up of the World War II era Arsenal of Democracy, which had many left-wingers, naturally.
In a way, it seems to have been a shifting of the location of basic production from the Midwest to the South, from the U.S. to other countries, in what gets termed post-industrialism, post-Fordism, restructuring. The concentrated proletarian powerhouse was busted up and racially resegregated, on the typical American model: Black vs. white.

The bourgeoisie cannot really undo what they have done. They are hoisted on their own petard. Detroit is a pariah society in the national media still, as the latest Time article shows. White masses are shy to move back into Detroit, desegregate; although in 2014, there has been some white popular migration into Detroit.

 The bourgeoisie will not invest in an African town like this, with so few white people to benefit. The are trying to move more white people in so that they can feel better about investing.

 They , the bourgeoisie had to economically blockade us like Cuba, or Haiti have been for decades and scores of decades.
 Like the great heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Jack Johnson, Detroit is unforgiveably Black and Proud as the PBS television documentary has it.

Wait, I take that back. They are trying to find ways to invest "in" Detroit, but so that most of the local population will not benefit. They will exploit and "skate" - in other words, con and run, get away without being held responsible for their wrongdoing...unless we hold them responsible, somehow. We, the 99%.

So, Time Magazine had  a cover story back in 2009 saying that poverty in Detroit today is in part due to the rebellion of 1967, cause and effect, politically and economically - case closed.

Actually, it's true. The bourgeoisie are still punishing the rebellion, among other things. Perhaps, Time is making a confession.

Jack Johnson — the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World, whose dominance over his white opponents spurred furious debates and race riots in the early 20th century —...…/msg12528.html…/…/465954460093259

Detroit Belle Isle is the Isle of Haiti, Unforgiveably Black. The State of Michigan doesn't want to help Detroiters with Belle Isle. It wants fewer Detroiters and more non-Detroiters on Belle Isle.
  • Glenn  I agree with you about most things, Charles, but not on this one. Belle Isle is a jewel. The city has allowed it to languish and decay, be overrun with overgrowth, broken glass. And this is not just a recent development. While Idon't trust many of the outstate politicians, its long past time that this world class attraction be cared for andmanaged and be used to help bring people and their money back to Detroit, even if its just for a day.
  • Charles Brown Those problems are readily remedial by the City. It is not necessary to turn control of the whole island over to the State to get it done. And the State is not taking it to do that but to get Detroiters off and non-Detroiters on. It's primary purpose shouldn't be to make money. And it can't be made to make much money without turning it into Disney Land or something. The whole deal is a big fraud. Just clean it up , Mayor.
     Even if it's just for a day. What does that mean ?
  • Glenn they're not readily remediated. They haven't been remediated in DECADES. If people visit the island as a managed park, people pay have a yearly pass. Not a high price to pay. Anyone who comes to the city to go to Belle Isle may spend money on food, gas, and whatnot. For a city whose infrastructure is crumbling and cannot be supported by its meager and shrinking tax base, generating traffic and revenue is necessary to ward off having the entire CITY taken over by the state.
  • Charles Brown the entire city has already been taken over by the state with the Consent Agreement. That's not enough revenue. Not that many more people will be coming to the city. And you can be sure they won't be stopping in gas stations in Detroit. Are you kidding. Most Detroiters I know are not that dissatisfied with the Island. The cleaning problem is eminently doable by a competent Mayor. Giving the island to the State to do it is like using a sledge hammer to do the job of a scalpel. Not only too big but the wrong tool.
  • Glenn I've lived in and out of the city for 30 years. I have been a champion of the city for the entire time. I won't believe that the city can do the job until I see it. So far, I haven't seen squat. Detroit doesnt' want to give it up, then they'd best get on it

Mayor Young would ask where are the jobs in Ferguson, Missouri

The late , great Detroit Mayor Extraordinaire Coleman A. Young would ask " What are the unemployment and poverty rates in Ferguson and St. Louis, and where are the jobs ?"

Sam Stark
St. Louis Jobs with Justice is in the news regarding Ferguson, Missouri:
"... Some 47% of African American men aged 16-24 in St Louis county are unemployed. Even that understates the economic crisis since many of those who do have jobs, men and women, earn a pittance in service jobs. “It used to be McDonnell Douglas was considered a good job. Now it’s McDonald’s,” said Teresa Mithen Danieley, rector of an episcopal church.
"The scenes of looting, tear-gas and boarded up stores looked bleak, said Lara Granich, director of the Missouri branch of Jobs with Justice, an advocacy group, but they could herald positive change. “I hope we make this a turning point.”
"The energy unleashed by the protests could galvanise efforts to unionise McDonald’s workers and give home care workers the right to collective bargaining, among other causes, said Granich. “Getting rid of the idea that there has to be poverty jobs is a very important step. Economic inequality and racism are mutually reinforcing forces.”

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    1. 8.2% (Apr 2014)
      St. Louis, Unemployment rate
    Sources include: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  1. St. Louis, MO-IL - Bureau of Labor Statistics
    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Unemployment (1). Jump to page with historical data. 105.9, 115.8, 109.9, 89.6, 93.1, (P) 101.0. Unemployment Rate (2). Jump to page with historical data.

The real motive for much theatrical  hate of Black people, the great American charade of white supremacist thought,  is the love of money as, WCHB talk show host Cliff Russell said today 

Cliff Russell | WCHB-AM: NewsTalk 1200
Tag: Cliff Russell ... Sign up for WCHB-AM: NewsTalk 1200's email newsletter! Close. Thank you for subscribing! Please be sure to open and click your first ...

Ex-Mayoral Press Secretary Cliff Russell To Host WCHB ...
May 8, 2014 - Cliff Russell, a former radio reporter and ex-press secretary for Mayor Dennis Archer, will fill the radio slot that the late Angelo Henderson held ...

  • . Unemployment Rate (2). Jump to page with historical data.

  •   That is the colemanayoung position on the issue . Black and white unite and, fight the bourgeoisie. Labor in white skin will not be free while labor in black is branded.

    search: go!
    advanced search - go!

    “Our Nation Is Moving Toward Two Societies, One Black, One White—Separate and Unequal”: Excerpts from the Kerner Report

    President Lyndon Johnson formed an 11-member National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in July 1967 to explain the riots that plagued cities each summer since 1964 and to provide recommendations for the future. The Commission’s 1968 report, informally known as the Kerner Report, concluded that the nation was “moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Unless conditions were remedied, the Commission warned, the country faced a “system of ’apartheid’” in its major cities. The Kerner report delivered an indictment of “white society” for isolating and neglecting African Americans and urged legislation to promote racial integration and to enrich slums—primarily through the creation of jobs, job training programs, and decent housing. President Johnson, however, rejected the recommendations. In April 1968, one month after the release of the Kerner report, rioting broke out in more than 100 cities following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. In the following excerpts from the Kerner Report summary, the Commission analyzed patterns in the riots and offered explanations for the disturbances. In 1998, 30 years after the issuance of the Report, former Senator and Commission member Fred R. Harris co-authored a study that found the racial divide had grown in the ensuing years with inner-city unemployment at crisis levels. Opposing voices argued that the Commission’s prediction of separate societies had failed to materialize due to a marked increase in the number of African Americans living in suburbs.

    The summer of 1967 again brought racial disorders to American cities, and with them shock, fear and bewilderment to the nation.
    The worst came during a two-week period in July, first in Newark and then in Detroit. Each set off a chain reaction in neighboring communities.
    On July 28, 1967, the President of the United States established this Commission and directed us to answer three basic questions:
    What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again?
    To respond to these questions, we have undertaken a broad range of studies and investigations. We have visited the riot cities; we have heard many witnesses; we have sought the counsel of experts across the country.
    This is our basic conclusion: Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.
    Reaction to last summer’s disorders has quickened the movement and deepened the division. Discrimination and segregation have long permeated much of American life; they now threaten the future of every American.
    This deepening racial division is not inevitable. The movement apart can be reversed. Choice is still possible. Our principal task is to define that choice and to press for a national resolution.
    To pursue our present course will involve the continuing polarization of the American community and, ultimately, the destruction of basic democratic values.
    The alternative is not blind repression or capitulation to lawlessness. It is the realization of common opportunities for all within a single society.
    This alternative will require a commitment to national action—compassionate, massive and sustained, backed by the resources of the most powerful and the richest nation on this earth. From every American it will require new attitudes, new understanding, and, above all, new will.
    The vital needs of the nation must be met; hard choices must be made, and, if necessary, new taxes enacted.
    Violence cannot build a better society. Disruption and disorder nourish repression, not justice. They strike at the freedom of every citizen. The community cannot—it will not—tolerate coercion and mob rule.
    Violence and destruction must be ended—in the streets of the ghetto1 and in the lives of people.
    Segregation and poverty have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white Americans.
    What white Americans have never fully understood—but what the Negro can never forget—is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain, and white society condones it.
    It is time now to turn with all the purpose at our command to the major unfinished business of this nation. It is time to adopt strategies for action that will produce quick and visible progress. It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens—urban and rural, white and black, Spanish-surname, American Indian, and every minority group.
    Our recommendations embrace three basic principles:
    To mount programs on a scale equal to the dimension of the problems;
    To aim these programs for high impact in the immediate future in order to close the gap between promise and performance;
    To undertake new initiatives and experiments that can change the system of failure and frustration that now dominates the ghetto and weakens our society.
    These programs will require unprecedented levels of funding and performance, but they neither probe deeper nor demand more than the problems which called them forth. There can be no higher priority for national action and no higher claim on the nation’s conscience. . . .
    Chapter 1—Profiles of Disorder
    The report contains profiles of a selection of the disorders that took place during the summer of 1967. These profiles are designed to indicate how the disorders happened, who participated in them, and how local officials, police forces, and the National Guard responded. Illustrative excerpts follow:
    . . . On Saturday, July 15, [Director of Police Dominick] Spina received a report of snipers in a housing project. When he arrived he saw approximately 100 National Guardsmen and police officers crouching behind vehicles, hiding in corners and lying on the ground around the edge of the courtyard.
    Since everything appeared quiet and it was broad daylight, Spina walked directly down the middle of the street. Nothing happened. As he came to the last building of the complex, he heard a shot. All around him the troopers jumped, believing themselves to be under sniper fire. A moment later a young Guardsman ran from behind a building.
    The Director of Police went over and asked him if he had fired the shot. The soldier said yes, he had fired to scare a man away from a window; that his orders were to keep everyone away from windows.
    Spina said he told the soldier: “Do you know what you just did? You have now created a state of hysteria. Every Guardsman up and down this street and every state policeman and every city policeman that is present thinks that somebody just fired a shot and that it is probably a sniper.”
    A short time later more “gunshots” were heard. Investigating, Spina came upon a Puerto Rican sitting on a wall. In reply to a question as to whether he knew “where the firing is coming from?” the man said:
    “That’s no firing. That’s fireworks. If you look up to the fourth floor, you will see the people who are throwing down these cherry bombs.”
    By this time four truckloads of National Guardsmen had arrived and troopers and policemen were again crouched everywhere looking for a sniper. The Director of Police remained at the scene for three hours, and the only shot fired was the one by the Guardsmen.
    Nevertheless, at six o’clock that evening two columns of National Guardsmen and state troopers were directing mass fire at the Hayes Housing Project in response to what they believed were snipers. . . .
    . . . A spirit of carefree nihilism was taking hold. To riot and destroy appeared more and more to become ends in themselves. Late Sunday afternoon it appeared to one observer that the young people were “dancing amidst the flames.”
    A Negro plainclothes officer was standing at an intersection when a man threw a Molotov cocktail into a business establishment at the corner. In the heat of the afternoon, fanned by the 20 to 25 m.p.h. winds of both Sunday and Monday, the fire reached the home next door within minutes. As residents uselessly sprayed the flames with garden hoses, the fire jumped from roof to roof of adjacent two- and three-story buildings. Within the hour the entire block was in flames. The ninth house in the burning row belonged to the arsonist who had thrown the Molotov cocktail. . . .
    * * *
    . . . Employed as a private guard, 55-year-old Julius L. Dorsey, a Negro, was standing in front of a market when accosted by two Negro men and a woman. They demanded he permit them to loot the market. He ignored their demands. They began to berate him. He asked a neighbor to call the police. As the argument grew more heated, Dorsey fired three shots from his pistol into the air.
    The police radio reported: “Looters, they have rifles.” A patrol car driven by a police officer and carrying three National Guardsmen arrived. As the looters fled, the law enforcement personnel opened fire. When the firing ceased, one person lay dead.
    He was Julius L. Dorsey . . .
    * * *
    . . . As the riot alternatively waxed and waned, one area of the ghetto remained insulated. On the northeast side the residents of some 150 square blocks inhabited by 21,000 persons had, in 1966, banded together in the Positive Neighborhood Action Committee (PNAC). With professional help from the Institute of Urban Dynamics, they had organized block clubs and made plans for the improvement of the neighborhood. . . .
    When the riot broke out, the residents, through the block clubs, were able to organize quickly. Youngsters, agreeing to stay in the neighborhood, participated in detouring traffic. While many persons reportedly sympathized with the idea of a rebellion against the “system,” only two small fires were set—one in an empty building.
    * * *
    . . . According to Lt. Gen. Throckmorton and Col. Bolling, the city, at this time, was saturated with fear. The National Guardsmen were afraid, the residents were afraid, and the police were afraid. Numerous persons, the majority of them Negroes, were being injured by gunshots of undetermined origin. The general and his staff felt that the major task of the troops was to reduce the fear and restore an air of normalcy.
    In order to accomplish this, every effort was made to establish contact and rapport between the troops and the residents. The soldiers—20 percent of whom were Negro—began helping to clean up the streets, collect garbage, and trace persons who had disappeared in the confusion. Residents in the neighborhoods responded with soup and sandwiches for the troops. In areas where the National Guard tried to establish rapport with the citizens, there was a smaller response.
    . . . A short time later, elements of the crowd—an older and rougher one than the night before—appeared in front of the police station. The participants wanted to see the mayor.
    Mayor [Patricia] Sheehan went out onto the steps of the station. Using a bullhorn, she talked to the people and asked that she be given an opportunity to correct conditions. The crowd was boisterous. Some persons challenged the mayor. But, finally, the opinion, “She’s new! Give her a chance!” prevailed.
    A demand was issued by people in the crowd that all persons arrested the previous night be released. Told that this already had been done, the people were suspicious. They asked to be allowed to inspect the jail cells.
    It was agreed to permit representatives of the people to look in the cells to satisfy themselves that everyone had been released.
    The crowd dispersed. The New Brunswick riot had failed to materialize.
    Chapter 2—Patterns of Disorder
    The “typical” riot did not take place. The disorders of 1967 were unusual, irregular, complex and unpredictable social processes. Like most human events, they did not unfold in an orderly sequence. However, an analysis of our survey information leads to some conclusions about the riot process.
    In general:
    The civil disorders of 1967 involved Negroes acting against local symbols of white American society, authority and property in Negro neighborhoods—rather than against white persons.
    Of 164 disorders reported during the first nine months of 1967, eight (5 percent) were major in terms of violence and damage; 33 (20 percent) were serious but not major; 123 (75 percent) were minor and undoubtedly would not have received national attention as “riots” had the nation not been sensitized by the more serous outbreaks.
    In the 75 disorders studied by a Senate subcommittee, 83 deaths were reported. Eighty-two percent of the deaths and more than half the injuries occurred in Newark and Detroit. About 10 percent of the dead and 38 percent of the injured were public employees, primarily law officers and firemen. The overwhelming majority of the persons killed or injured in all the disorders were Negro civilians.
    Initial damage estimates were greatly exaggerated. In Detroit, newspaper damage estimates at first ranged from $200 million to $500 million; the highest recent estimate is $45 million. In Newark, early estimates ranged from $15 to $25 million. A month later damage was estimated at $10.2 million, over 80 percent in inventory losses.
    In the 24 disorders in 23 cities which we surveyed:
    The final incident before the outbreak of disorder, and the initial violence itself, generally took place in the evening or at night at a place in which it was normal for many people to be on the streets.
    Violence usually occurred almost immediately following the occurrence of the final precipitating incident, and then escalated rapidly. With but few exceptions, violence subsided during the day, and flared rapidly again at night. The night-day cycles continued through the early period of the major disorders.
    Disorder generally began with rock and bottle throwing and window breaking. Once store windows were broken, looting usually followed.
    Disorder did not erupt as a result of a single “triggering” or “precipitating” incident. Instead, it was generated out of an increasingly disturbed social atmosphere, in which typically a series of tension-heightening incidents over a period of weeks or months became linked in the minds of many in the Negro community with a reservoir of underlying grievances. At some point in the mounting tension, a further incident—in itself often routine or trivial—became the breaking point and the tension spilled over into violence.
    “Prior” incidents, which increased tensions and ultimately led to violence, were police actions in almost half the cases; police actions were “final” incidents before the outbreak of violence in 12 of the 24 surveyed disorders.
    No particular control tactic was successful in every situation. The varied effectiveness of control techniques emphasizes the need for advance training, planning, adequate intelligence systems, and knowledge of the ghetto community.
    Negotiations between Negroes—including your militants as well as older Negro leaders—and white officials concerning “terms of peace” occurred during virtually all the disorders surveyed. In many cases, these negotiations involved discussion of underlying grievances as well as the handling of the disorder by control authorities.
    The typical rioter was a teenager or young adult, a lifelong resident of the city in which he rioted, a high school dropout; he was, nevertheless, somewhat better educated than his nonrioting Negro neighbor, and was usually underemployed or employed in a menial job. He was proud of his race, extremely hostile to both whites and middle-class Negroes and, although informed about politics, highly distrustful of the political system.
    A Detroit survey revealed that approximately 11 percent of the total residents of two riot areas admitted participation in the rioting, 20 to 25 percent identified themselves as “bystanders,” over 16 percent identified themselves as “counter-rioters” who urged rioters to “cool it,” and the remaining 48 to 53 percent said they were at home or elsewhere and did not participate. In a survey of Negro males between the ages of 15 and 35 residing in the disturbance area in Newark, about 45 percent identified themselves as rioters, and about 55 percent as “noninvolved.”
    Most rioters were young Negro males. Nearly 53 percent of arrestees were between 15 and 24 years of age; nearly 81 percent between 15 and 35.
    In Detroit and Newark about 74 percent of the rioters were brought up in the North. In contrast, of the noninvolved, 36 percent in Detroit and 52 percent in Newark were brought up in the North.
    What the rioters appeared to be seeking was fuller participation in the social order and the material benefits enjoyed by the majority of American citizens. Rather than rejecting the American system, they were anxious to obtain a place for themselves in it.
    Numerous Negro counter-rioters walked the streets urging rioters to “cool it.” The typical counter-rioter was better educated and had higher income than either the rioter or the noninvolved.
    The proportion of Negroes in local government was substantially smaller than the Negro proportion of population. Only three of the 20 cities studied had more than one Negro legislator; none had ever had a Negro mayor or city manager. In only four cities did Negroes hold other important policy-making positions or serve as heads of municipal departments.
    Although almost all cities had some sort of formal grievance mechanism for handling citizen complaints, this typically was regarded by Negroes as ineffective and was generally ignored.
    Although specific grievances varied from city to city, at least 12 deeply held grievances can be identified and ranked into three levels of relative intensity:
    First Level of Intensity
    1. Police practices
    2. Unemployment and underemployment
    3. Inadequate housing
    Second Level of Intensity
    4. Inadequate education
    5. Poor recreation facilities and programs
    6. Ineffectiveness of the political structure and grievance mechanisms.
    Third Level of Intensity
    7. Disrespectful white attitudes
    8. Discriminatory administration of justice
    9. Inadequacy of federal programs
    10. Inadequacy of municipal services
    11. Discriminatory consumer and credit practices
    12. Inadequate welfare programs
    The results of a three-city survey of various federal programs—manpower, education, housing, welfare and community action—indicate that, despite substantial expenditures, the number of persons assisted constituted only a fraction of those in need.
    The background of disorder is often as complex and difficult to analyze as the disorder itself. But we find that certain general conclusions can be drawn:
    Social and economic conditions in the riot cities constituted a clear pattern of severe disadvantage for Negroes compared with whites, whether the Negroes lived in the area where the riot took place or outside it. Negroes had completed fewer years of education and fewer had attended high school. Negroes were twice as likely to be unemployed and three times as likely to be in unskilled and service jobs. Negroes averaged 70 percent of the income earned by whites and were more than twice as likely to be living in poverty. Although housing cost Negroes relatively more, they had worse housing—three times as likely to be overcrowded and substandard. When compared to white suburbs, the relative disadvantage is even more pronounced.
    A study of the aftermath of disorder leads to disturbing conclusions. We find that, despite the institution of some post-riot programs:
    Little basic change in the conditions underlying the outbreak of disorder has taken place. Actions to ameliorate Negro grievances have been limited and sporadic; with but few exceptions, they have not significantly reduced tensions.
    In several cities, the principal official response has been to train and equip the police with more sophisticated weapons.
    In several cities, increasing polarization is evident, with continuing breakdown of inter-racial communication, and growth of white segregationist or black separatist groups. . . .
    Chapter 4—The Basic Causes
    In addressing the question “Why did it happen?” we shift our focus from the local to the national scene, from the particular events of the summer of 1967 to the factors within the society at large that created a mood of violence among many urban Negroes.
    These factors are complex and interacting; they vary significantly in their effect from city to city and from year to year; and the consequences of one disorder, generating new grievances and new demands, become the causes of the next. Thus was created the “thicket of tension, conflicting evidence and extreme opinions” cited by the President.
    Despite these complexities, certain fundamental matters are clear. Of these, the most fundamental is the racial attitude and behavior of white Americans toward black Americans.
    Race prejudice has shaped our history decisively; it now threatens to affect our future.
    White racism is essentially responsible for the explosive mixture which has been accumulating in our cities since the end of World War II. Among the ingredients of this mixture are:
    Pervasive discrimination and segregation in employment, education and housing, which have resulted in the continuing exclusion of great numbers of Negroes from the benefits of economic progress.
    Black in-migration and white exodus, which have produced the massive and growing concentrations of impoverished Negroes in our major cities, creating a growing crisis of deteriorating facilities and services and unmet human needs.
    The black ghettos where segregation and poverty converge on the young to destroy opportunity and enforce failure. Crime, drug addiction, dependency on welfare, and bitterness and resentment against society in general and white society in particular are the result.
    At the same time, most whites and some Negroes outside the ghetto have prospered to a degree unparalleled in the history of civilization. Through television and other media, this affluence has been flaunted before the eyes of the Negro poor and the jobless ghetto youth.
    Yet these facts alone cannot be said to have caused the disorders. Recently, other powerful ingredients have begun to catalyze the mixture:
    Frustrated hopes are the residue of the unfulfilled expectations aroused by the great judicial and legislative victories of the Civil Rights Movement and the dramatic struggle for equal rights in the South.
    A climate that tends toward approval and encouragement of violence as a form of protest has been created by white terrorism directed against nonviolent protest; by the open defiance of law and federal authority by state and local officials resisting desegregation; and by some protest groups engaging in civil disobedience who turn their backs on nonviolence, go beyond the constitutionally protected rights of petition and free assembly, and resort to violence to attempt to compel alteration of laws and policies with which they disagree.
    The frustrations of powerlessness have led some Negroes to the conviction that there is no effective alternative to violence as a means of achieving redress of grievances, and of “moving the system.” These frustrations are reflected in alienation and hostility toward the institutions of law and government and the white society which controls them, and in the reach toward racial consciousness and solidarity reflected in the slogan “Black Power.”
    A new mood has sprung up among Negroes, particularly among the young, in which self-esteem and enhanced racial pride are replacing apathy and submission to “the system.”
    The police are not merely a “spark” factor. To some Negroes police have come to symbolize white power, white racism and white repression. And the fact is that many police do reflect and express these white attitudes. The atmosphere of hostility and cynicism is reinforced by a widespread belief among Negroes in the existence of police brutality and in a “double standard” of justice and protection—one for Negroes and one for whites.
    To this point, we have attempted to identify the prime components of the “explosive mixture.” In the chapters that follow we seek to analyze them in the perspective of history. Their meaning, however, is clear:
    In the summer of 1967, we have seen in our cities a chain reaction of racial violence. If we are heedless, none of us shall escape the consequences.
    [1] The term “ghetto” as used in this report refers to an area within a city characterized by poverty and acute social disorganization, and inhabited by members of a racial or ethnic group under conditions of involuntary segregation. Back to text.

    Source: United States. Kerner Commission, Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1968)
    See Also:"The Primary Goal Must Be a Single Society": The Kerner Report's "Recommendations for National Action"
    "The Communications Media, Ironically, Have Failed to Communicate": The Kerner Report Assesses Media Coverage of Riots and Race Relations

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