A reformer with a printing press

It was bitterly cold in New York City on January 13, 1874.  An icy wind penetrated the threadbare coats of the unemployed workers who massed in Tompkins Square Park that morning, while leaden skies darkly threatened afternoon snow.  The depression of 1873 had thrown thousands of northeastern laborers out of jobs, and in New York City, desperate and hungry workers had gathered in the Lower East Side park to press for public employment.  The rally on January 13 was organized by the Committee of Safety, an amorphous group that included socialists, trade unionists, and antimonopolist reformer…

The figuting began when the police tried to disperse the crowd, and it ended with what trade unionist Samuel Gompers called “an orgy of brutality,” as the police attacked the workers with billie clubs…

For any populist movement to be effective, it must be seen and heard.  Reformers count on the free press that is a thousand-year tradition in the English-speaking world.  But the ability of reformers to be heard has always hung by a thin thread, dependent as they are on printing presses that are owned, almost all, by capitalists.  In 1873,

[Only] one major New York newspaper did not join the near-universal condemnation of the protestors:  Charles A. Dana’s New York Post was both sympathetic to the unemployed workers and highly critical of the actions of the police.  Its four pages contained vivid accounts of the violence and of the confusion and panic of the mostly-peaceable demonstrators as they ran for cover from the horses of the mounted Squad: “Men tumbled over each other…into the gutters or clambered up high stoops to get out of the way of the chargers.  The horsemen beat the air with their batons and many persons were laid low.  There seemed to be a determination on the part of the mounted police to ride over somebody, and they showed no mercy.”

Charles Dana owned and managed The Sun at a time when slavery was being abolished and monopoly capitalism was first beginning to crush organized labor.  Dana’s was a reliable voice for decent working conditions.

Charles A Dana was born 200 years ago today.
Quotes are from The Sun Shines for All, by Janet E. Steele

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Your calling

We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to classical economic theory, he must justify his right to exist. living.

— Bucky Fuller was born this day in 1905

The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.

Democratize the money supply

Could it be that what’s wrong with the global economy is simply a tight money supply?  We have people who want to work and we have others who need their services.  All we need is to put cash in people’s hands, and we’ll all be better off.  

Until recently, I imagined that money stood for value, that there was a certain amount of value in the world and the amount of money in circulation was matched to value by an invisible hand.  Sure, the government could print more money, but then each dollar would be worth less because the total value available for purchase didn’t change.

I no longer think this way.  I think that people create value in response to demand, and when there’s not enough money in circulation, 

I also have learned that it’s not the government that prints money, or decides how much money is in circulation.  The Federal Reserve is a private consortium of the world’s biggest banks, not at all subject to democratic control, except in that the President appoints a chairman every ten years, and in practice he always appoints someone who has a long association with these same bankers.

It’s naive to think that these people who control the money supply are thinking only about the welfare of the average American, and not a wee bit concerned about the bottom line of the banks that employ them.  Keeping money tight means that people have to borrow more at higher interest rates because they don’t have the cash to make ends meet. This is profitable to the bankers. Worse, when the economy crashes it is a disaster for the homeowner who may lose his job and fall behind in his mortgage payments; but it is a bonanza for the banks who repossess millions of homes at bargain prices, hold them until the economy bounces back, then sell the houses at a fat profit.  

Bitcoin is History’s First Ledger System that is Honest by Design

Listen to Caitlin Long talk to the Mises Institute.  (I don’t agree with all that she said, but I’ve learned a great deal from her, both new facts and new perspectives.)

Read Ellen Brown’s new book on the damaged caused by private control of public currency, and how we can organize to take back control of our money supply.

Democratizing the money supply may be the single most powerful change to give us all freedom, prosperity, and peace.  (Yes, wars are being pursued for bankers’ profits.) All we have to do is demand enforcement of the Constitution.

Congress shall have power…to coin money [and] regulate the value thereof.
— Constitution of the United States

Wall Street’s days are numbered

The majority that’s been abandoned by the managerial / ruling elites are increasingly aware that the unprecedented asymmetries of wealth and power that have undermined American social and economic life can be traced directly back to the Federal Reserve, tool of the Big Banks.

The same awareness of central bankers’ responsibility is spreading in other nations as well.

The political moment when the “losers” make the connection is approaching. Perhaps the wires will arc in 2020, or maybe another few years; but whatever the timing turns out to be, the all-powerful Cargo Cult of the central bankers will be swept away in a global political convulsion unlike any in memory.

Read more from Charles Hugh Smith

May Day Mayday

31
As flowers beneath May’s footstep waken,
As stars from Night’s loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where’er that step did fall.

32
And the prostrate multitude
Looked—and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien:

34
A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and felt — and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose

35
As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother’s throe

36
Had turnèd every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood,—
As if her heart had cried aloud:

37
‘Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another;

91
‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number—
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many—they are few.’

Percy Bysshe Shelley (excerpted from The Mask of Anarchy:
Written on the Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester)

Peterloo_Massacre

Temperament and Culture

Fact: In Inuit communities that have not yet come under the influence of Western economics, the people seem preternaturally serene.  Domestic violence is unknown, and violence of any kind is rare.

As viewed through the eyes of an academic psychologist, this is about individuals who have more inner strength and self-control.

What NPR is permitted to say about it:  It’s because parents don’t yell at their kids or punish them, but tell them morality tales instead.  How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger

What NPR doesn’t or can’t say: Maybe they don’t have any anger that needs controlling.  Inuits live in tightly interdependent societies, where no one is left out, everyone is included.  There is much more cooperation and sharing, much less individual competition.  The wide individual differences in wealth and status that we take for granted are unknown in Inuit villages.

Maybe the anxiety that we carry with us and have come to think of as ‘the human condition’, maybe it’s not the human condition, but an artifact of our Western culture.  Maybe there’s another way to live, which doesn’t produce the isolation and self-doubt that are facts of everyday life for most of us.

We believe that man’s nature is uncaring and selfish, and that it is control and authority and discipline that tame our wild instincts so that we can be nice to each other.  We believe that indigenous people had little so they must have been fighting over the little they had.  We thought we could bring them both prosperity and the civilizing influence of law and central control.

Maybe we should focus more on what we have to learn and less on what we have to teach.

General Strike, Seattle 1919

It shut down a major U.S. city, inspired a rock operaled to decades of labor unrest and provoked fears Russian Bolsheviks were trying to overthrow American capitalism. It was the Seattle General Strike of 1919, a century ago this month.  All told, striking workers represented about half of the workforce and almost a fifth of Seattle’s 315,000 residents.  Still, the strike didn’t achieve the higher wages that the 35,000 shipyard workers who first walked off their jobs sought, even after 25,000 other union members joined the strike in solidarity.  Read why, nevertheless, the story of this particular strike is surprisingly hopeful for the future of labor, and holds lessons for today’s labor activists – whether they’re striking teachers in West Virginia or Arizona, mental health workers in California or Google activists in offices across the world.

— Read more from Steven Beda, writing for Consortium News

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