with Chris Hedges
RT America on Feb 6, 2021
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to filmmaker and journalist, Eleanor Goldfield about her documentary, Hard Road of Hope.
Farm workers in various regions of Peru – such as Ica, Viru La Libertad and Piurahad – went on a strike in the first week of December 2020, blocking the strategic Pan-American motorway to demand wage increases, basic social security benefits and the repeal of the decades-old Agrarian Promotion Law, enacted in 2000, as a mechanism to bolster the bourgeoisie’s power in the agro-export sector. The law benefits agro-export corporations in two ways. Firstly, it cuts the corporate tax rate by 30 to 15%, making the government lose out on more than $1 million in tax revenue. Agrokasa, Beta and Miranda are some of the companies benefitting from such hefty income tax cuts.
“Capitalism keeps us in a state of panic. Most of us are just one medical bill away from bankruptcy. It keeps us overworked and underpaid so we don’t have time to question its dominance over our lives. It takes the fruits produced by the many and gives them to the few. Concentrated wealth means concentrated power, concentrated power means less democracy, less democracy means less freedom, and less freedom means you are reduced to a precarious life of servitude.” — The Anti-Social Socialist
As Chile gets convulsed by the aggravating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the structural brutality of copper mining is being starkly outlined. At Codelco or the National Copper Corporation of Chile, approximately 3,000 workers have been infected with Coronavirus and El Teniente and Chuquicamata are the hardest hit regions with 1,044 and 636 cases, respectively. In June itself, unionized workers had reported the suspect deaths of 3 workers and had demanded a proper investigation. Codelco peacefully airbrushed these cases by saying that the workers contracted the virus from an outside area. Chile´s Federation of Copper Workers (FTC), in response to the sheer carelessness and profit-mindedness of Codelco, stated that “It is unacceptable that Codelco’s senior management tries to evade its legal responsibilities to protect … the health and safety of its workers.”
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the reputation of the Democratic Party from the party of the Southern slaveholders to that of “friend of the working people”—a reputation that the Democratic Party, undeservedly, continues to enjoy.
The Laura Flanders Show on Apr 26, 2016
Author and professor Peter Linebaugh discusses his new book, The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day. Later in the show filmmaker Avi Lewis discusses worker-owned factories in Argentina, and Laura focuses on the intersectional feminism of 19th Century Anarchist Lucy Parsons.
The Historical Gastonia Textile Mill Strikes Are Not Forgotten
When in the early part of this millennium I was writing a rather surrealistic novel, ASHEVILLE, about the town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina where I started out my life, I ran into the story of the Asheville-based self-professed Communist writer, Olive Tilford Dargan, of whom I had never heard before. Visiting then her gravesite in the little known Green Hills Cemetery in West Asheville and researching her and her activities I fell into a gossamer review of early 19th century labor struggles in the good old U.S. South.
The super-indoctrinated, Trump-voting American working class, dulled by the mass media and the “American dream”, has changed very little since the crushing of the great textile strikes that swept the United States in the 1920s. Not an iota of class-consciousness has it absorbed. (Nor has it been explained and offered to all wage earners in sufficient doses.) For also the middle classes, crushed by an ever more desperate, an “end of times” form of capitalism, has not yet grasped that they too are now part of the American proletariat. In that respect it seems that the old, often criticized word proletariat is still quite adequate.
The class struggle in the United States is in limbo. So many Americans are struggling amid declining living standards and are angry at the system, yet they aren’t rebelling like the people in France, Chile, and other deteriorated neoliberal countries have recently been doing. Where are the mass protests? Where are the general strikes? Understanding why an American class revolt still hasn’t manifested is key to understanding how it can be brought about.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Nov 23, 2019
Chris Hedges talks to author Amitav Ghosh about the natural world and sacred forces that sustain life and the conflict when treated by the human species as an inert commodity to exploit. In his novel Gun Island, Ghosh explores how these ecosystems have turned with a vengeance on the hubris and collective lunacy of modern industrialized society.