cj#692> Husayn Al-Kurdi: Class War Gets Serious (fwd)


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997
Sender: Francisco Lopez <•••@••.•••>
Subject: (en)Class War Gets Serious (fwd)

From: Lyn and Shawn <•••@••.•••>

           AAAA        The A-Infos News Service
         AA   AA
       AA       AA
     INFOSINFOSINFOS   http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/
   AAAA       AAAA

Class War Gets Serious

by Husayn Al-Kurdi
(Portland Free Press; May/June 1997 issue, Page 26)

There has been one constant refrain in the history of that criminal
enterprise known as "The United States Government" and it has
entailed the merciless and genocidal dispossession, exploitation and
oppression of the vast majority of its "own" population as well as
that of the world as a whole. No entity has ever projected the sheer
violence or destroyed more places and people than the aforementioned
entity and its associates. From the beginning, it was a racist,
genocidal, colonialist project involving genocide against three
peoples - Black, Brown and Red. It also exploited waves of poor
Whites, many of whom had an indentured servitude status not
dissimilar from the out-and-out formal slavery which was the lot
assigned to Africans in the enterprise. Today, a vicious U.S.
Government, acting as the executive political wing of a ruling class
which virtually rules the whole world now in what has been called a
"New World Order," is carrying out a series of measures which will
further impoverish tens of millions of people, marginalizing them
into a desperate situation of homelessness, disease and hopeless

One of the main schemes in the current war of the ruling capitalist
class against the poor takes shape under the guise of "Welfare
Reform," which is actually a reduction in services to tens of
millions of poor people - mostly children and women
(disproportionately Black, Red and Brown folks) as well as a swelling
mass of poor Whites. To properly understand this, we must go back and
study the formation of the country. The "Founding Fathers" of the
U.S.A. were rich, large-landowning aristocrats and merchants. George
Washington was reputed to be the largest landowner in the Virginia of
his time. John Jay, a member of the set who became the first Supreme
Court Justice, openly stated that, "Those who own the country should
run it." Class warfare to hold down the threatening impulses to
insurrection and freedom from below has been practiced from the start
and will not end until the system itself is eliminated or decisively
transformed. Until then, an all-out fight continues: The fight for
the corporate capitalists to increase their profit margins by any
means necessary while plundering and despoiling the planet, and the
struggle for billions of poor people - mostly people of color from
the "Two-Thirds World," what Malcolm X called the "Dark World" and
what apologists for the system still demeaningly refer to as the
"Third World" even after the "Second World" has ceased to exist!) -
merely to survive their execrable condition of immiseration and
enforced servitude. Ultimately, the battle to eradicate this vicious
system and bring actual social justice to fruition must and will be
taken up.

A feature of this class struggle is the ever ongoing tussle over the
distribution of wealth created in this society. The working class has
been badly mauled by its tormentor in this contest, especially in the
last thirty years or so. Real wages have been driven down as union
membership has decreased. Tax "expenditures," actual government
giveaways to U.S. corporations, amounted to over $440 billion in
1996. In 1994, the U.S. Forest Service spent over $140 billion on
roads and infrastructure to help the timber industry. Meanwhile,
taxes on corporations have plummeted from 52 percent of the total in
1950 to a paltry eight percent in 1996. The average corporate
executive who made 12 times what the average worker made in 1960 is
now making an average salary 185 times what the hapless worker is
taking home.

The concentration of wealth is unparalleled in U.S. history and in
the world today. In the U.S., the richest 20 percent of all
households hold over 85 percent of U.S. household wealth. Thirty-nine
percent of total household wealth is controlled by one percent of

The character of the massive looting which got going with a vengeance
during the Reagan Presidency (1981-89) was accurately portrayed by
conservative commentator Kevin Phillips:

"Even as the poor, elderly and students must prepare to give up
hundreds of billions of dollars in federal-program support from now
until 2002, tax preferences - mostly for corporations and the richest
25 percent of American families - are scheduled to grow by about a
third and to total about $3.5 trillion over the next seven years.
Packaged as `deficit reduction,' this has become one of the decade's
biggest rip-offs" (from Los Angeles Times article, "On a Collision
Course," 29 October 1995, p. M-6).

The U.S. Government's own statistics acknowledge that over 40 million
people are living below what it defines as the poverty line, with
another 25 million or so "poised at the brink." Official poverty
rates for what they call Blacks and "non-White Hispanics" are more
than three times those for Whites. However, almost one in ten Whites
are themselves officially poor, including a majority of all people on
Welfare programs such as Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC) and Food

The system is quick to throw women and children overboard first.
Female-headed households experience a shocking 44 percent rate of
poverty. Female-headed families form 38 percent of the poor, while
married-couple families constitute another 34 percent. More than
one-fifth of the children in the U.S. are poor, almost twice the
share of other age groups. Meanwhile, those who make it past age 65
are less likely to experience poverty. They will not include most
Black males growing up in Harlem, two-thirds of whom are projected to
die before that age, with most falling prey to heart disease, cancer
and stress-related illnesses in their 30s and 40s.

"Welfare Reform" is directed at programs such as AFDC, General
Assistance and Food Stamps, which help impoverished people meet some
of their basic needs. The largest program, AFDC, takes no more than
two percent of the U.S. Budget, but is being slashed while subsidies
to military contractors and a variety of major multinational
corporations are actually raised. Those receiving AFDC saw their
payments decline by nearly 50 percent in inflation-adjusted real
terms between 1970 and 1994. Even so, just one-fifth of 23 million
officially "poor" adults and under one-half of over 15 million
similarly classified children are enrolled in AFDC. Of 14 million
AFDC recipients, 67 percent are children.

So the legislative branch of the ruling class passed a law to reduce
or eliminate various social Welfare programs. The "Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act" was moved
through Congress in the Summer of 1996. This act ended the so-called
"entitlement" status of Welfare, which formally guaranteed that any
eligible American could receive benefits. It prevents unemployed
people from receiving Food Stamps for more than three months out of
every three years. It denies benefits to children of unwed teens and
to many legal immigrants. It imposes a five-year lifetime limit for
receiving federal cash assistance for at least 80 percent of each
state's recipients. It also leaves it up to individual states to run
whatever "welfare" program they see fit. For example, states can deny
Welfare benefits for teenage unwed mothers and their children, unless
the mothers attend school and live with an adult. It will actually
reward states with additional cash grants if they can demonstrate
that they have reduced births to unmarried women! AFDC will be
replaced by "TANF" - Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. People
on Welfare can now be more easily forced into "workfare" schemes,
used by city governments and corporations alike as a source of "cheap
labor," without enjoying the rights of unionized or even non-union
workers. New York City has already replaced much of its park
maintenance staff with what it calls "Work Experience Program"

California will be on the cutting edge of the anti-Welfare drive.
Immigrants, both legal and illegal, are a main target for repression
in the "Golden State." Mexicans are the targets of choice.
Ironically, they are among the earliest inhabitants of the area, long
predating the self-styled (mostly White) "Native Californians" who
have set up their nefarious enterprises here. Of course, Blacks and
Indians are continuing to experience genocidal conditions in the
ghettos and on the reservations in Apartheid America, with no letup
in sight.

The ruling class has been effective in pitting poor people against
each other. Worsening conditions may help bring together a wide
variety of nothing-to-lose-but-their-chains types who have yet to be
heard from. When they are, the criminal enterprise will be in
trouble. California will be in the vanguard - soon, it will be a
majority "Two-Thirds World" state. Then we may fight to have a
society based on actual social welfare, equality and
self-determination, rejecting oppressive capitalism and its psychotic
project of racist and avaricious world domination.

The Portland Free Press
"Tell the truth and run" -- George Seldes


     ****** A-Infos News Service *****
  News about and of interest to anarchists

Subscribe -> email •••@••.•••
             with the message SUBSCRIBE A-INFOS
Info      -> http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/
Reproduce -> please include this section

Posted by Richard K. Moore - •••@••.••• - PO Box 26   Wexford, Ireland
  Cyberlib:  ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib    |   (USA Citizen)
  * Non-commercial republication encouraged - Please include this sig *