George Graham

Class Warfare? Yes!

bernie

 

So you say you don’t believe in class warfare. Give Mr. Moneybags a break, you tell me. He worked hard for his millions – make that billions – and deserves to keep his hard-earned loot. After all, you, too, could get lucky, and when your ship comes in, you don’t want Uncle Sam dipping into your pocket.

Furthermore, you never got a job from a poor man. It’s the rich who hire folks like you. Right?

It’s that kind of thinking that empowers the Republican Party. And it has been promoted relentlessly in America for the past 45 years. Deliberately and skillfully promoted, with unlimited funds fueling a propaganda mission of awesome proportions.

A man named Lewis Powell, who was later to become a  Supreme Court Justice, is credited with being the evil genius behind this brainwashing crusade.  In 1971, he wrote a letter, now known as “the Powell Memorandum,” outlining the strategy that has enabled America’s ruling class to capture so many hearts and minds in the American working and middle classes.

In a Salon.com article today, journalist Conor Lynch explains that the memo:

… called for a counter movement to “the assault on the free enterprise system” being led by “Communists, New Leftists, and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic.”

The plan included founding think tanks, taking over media outlets and funding college departments, as well as an unprecedented kind of aggressive political activism guided by PR professionals and psychologists.

Clearly, Powell was advocating class warfare.

But when it’s the rich waging war on the rest of us, the media don’t think of it that way. “Class warfare” to them is when the poor cry enough and turn on the rich. As Lynch explains:

Since the ’70s, the ruling class has gone on the offensive, while the middle and lower classes have been brought to their knees. Of course, when the lower classes go on the attack, its class warfare; but when the ruling class does it, it’s reform

Obviously, the Powell strategy has been a big success. It captured Congress for the Republicans. It also brought such side effects as the Koch Brothers, an even more massive military-industrial complex, enhanced racism and child hunger.

But America is waking up at last. The unlikely success of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is evidence of this awakening.

As the Salon writer reports, Sanders “has struck a nerve in the heart of America.” He is attracting huge and enthusiastic crowds across the country and is polling unexpectedly well against rival Hillary Clinton.

And while he is not likely to win the Democratic nomination, his populist message will undoubtedly push Hillary to the left, forcing her to line up with the have-nots against the have-lots.

And if that turns out to be class warfare, I say bring it on!

Click for the Salon.com article.

Click for more on the Powell memo.

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com