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CLASS WAR: The Attack on Working People Audio CD – January 1, 1996
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We learn how since the 1970s wages have decreased in real terms even as worker productivity, overtime, and corporate profits have increased significantly. Chomsky then shows how the increasing exploitation of the American workers parallels the decline in union membership and the failure of the USA government to enforce its own laws against employers firing workers that try to organize employees into unions.
Chomsky is best when he shows relationships between his subject matter and other phenomena that seem unrelated. For example, Chomsky traces the "angry American" phenomenon to the felt, but not consciously understood, decline in his standard of living. Instead, the angry American is encouraged to direct his anger at a whole host of illusory devils (e.g. immigration policy) that are not the real source of his grievance. The real source is corporate power manipulating the economic policies of the United States to benefit itself at the cost of the American worker.
Chomsky also shows how the "anti-politics" animus in the USA is an attempt to direct worker frustration at the shadow (government) and not at the source of the shadow (corporate power). American workers are encouraged to distrust government because government is potentially amenable to democratic processes and, therefore, can change (can, in effect, give substance to the shadow that can result in some measure of equity). Whereas, corporations (the source of the problem) cannot be changed democratically because they are, by their very nature, "unaccountable tyrannies."
I have only sketched a small sample of the range of insights and understanding that Chomsky offers in this talk. If you are interested in the condition and history of the American worker, then this CD is a must.
There is truth here that you never hear anywhere else. Even wild-eyed radicals seldom deliver hard, unpleasant facts this well. Let's face it, human rights have always been subordinant to business rights in this country. But things have gotten outrageously worse in modern times. We are a corporate tyranny far surpassing any level of totalitarianism found in the rest of the developed world. And it really started with outright criminal behavior under the "great" Ronald Reagan. I know- I saw it happen.
Perhaps the most frightening thing about this speach is its talk of "anti-politics." Briefly, this is the organised campaign to blame everything on the government- even when big business is really in control. They want the people to hate and fear the government, because democratic government has a dangerous flaw- it actually has the slight chance of becoming truly democratic. You see, corporations are perfect- perfect tyrannies. The average worker, the average citizen, is never going to be able to change or control them. The government is the only thing the average citizen has the potential to control. Therefore the average citizen must be taught to hate, fear, or simply dismiss organised political action. What you get is "anti-politics" where people are totally atomised, fearful and hateful of nearly everything- and totally blind to the real problems.
Even though this was recorded over a decade ago, there is nothing in it that is dated. If anything, it accurately predicts the present.
I agree that Chomsky is the conscience of the nation- and I rank him with Thoreau and Emerson. Even if no one else is listening to the truth these days- God is...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The problem is Chomsky seems to be lying a lot.Read more