Capitalism’s War on Democracy

Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford says capitalism’s greatest foes are an organized and united working class

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JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jaisal Noor in Baltimore. And welcome to this latest edition of the Ford report.

Now joining us from Plainfield, New Jersey, is Glen Ford. He’s the cofounder and executive editor of Black Agenda Report.

Thanks so much for joining us again, Glen.

GLEN FORD, EXEC. EDITOR, BLACK AGENDA REPORT: Thank you for the opportunity, as always.

NOOR: So, Glen, what do you have for us this week?

FORD: Well, when the weather’s cold like this, you get a lot of time to yourself and time to think. And so I’ve been thinking about how long it’s been considered passé, so unforgivably old-fashioned, so 19th-century, to urge workers of the world to unite against the capitalist classes. And yet every day, all of our news is filled with the conspiracy by the capitalists to take all the wealth of the public sector and of the working class for themselves. These capitalists, if anything, have grown over the years more outrageously rapacious, more and more murderously aggressive in their zeal to steal the wealth of the peoples and the nations of the world, including the wealth of the people in their own countries.

Internally, within those countries, like the United States, like Western Europe, the rush is on to transfer as much wealth as possible into the hands of the superrich. And that, of course, means stealing, stealing the public wealth, and it means canceling, canceling any contract, whether explicit or implied, between the capitalists who own everything and [incompr.] and working people. And to do that, well, that means canceling democracy itself. And that is the current project that I’ve been thinking about on these cold days in February.

Here in New Jersey, the governor, Chris Christie, who wants to be the president, recently took on as a consultant Kevin Orr. And Kevin Orr is the corporate lawyer who oversaw the dissolution of the sovereignty of the people of Detroit, that is, the disenfranchisement of those people. It was necessary to take their vote away before their water could be stolen and before their land could be stolen for the benefit of capitalists downtown Detroit.

Governor Christie wants Kevyn Orr to come to New Jersey. He’s already signed him on to do the same thing, at least initially, in Atlantic City. Atlantic City is–oh, it’s population is more than one-third poor. Nearly a quarter of Atlantic City’s people don’t even have a high-school education.

But what they do have still is a vote. And Governor Christie wants to take that away, too, because the state can’t take over Atlantic City’s finances and give lots more breaks to big business and thereby rejuvenate the economy, as long as those poor people at least have the vote. So disenfranchisement is part of the capitalist Renaissance, and that’s what’s in order for Atlantic City.

But Gov. Christie is greedy for more for his rich friends. So he wants to take over the water resources of New Jersey. And New Jersey is blessed with an abundance of fresh water, most of which is controlled by public utilities. Well, that’s not acceptable. So Governor Christie is now lobbying to change the law so that no public vote is necessary before water resources can be transferred to private hands in New Jersey.

So, once again we see that for the capitalists to be satisfied, democracy has to go. That is the project of the capitalists worldwide. It’s why the people of Greece and their desires mean nothing to the European Union, which is run by a bunch of bankers who are intent on staying their course in Greece, a course that has already caused the Greek economy to shrink 25 percent. It’s the same reason that President Obama is conducting his Trans-Pacific Partnership, free trade, so-called, negotiations in secret, because if the people knew about the contents of that free trade agreement, they would immediately reject it. So this requires that democracy, effective democracy, an informed public, all of that must go. This is the evidence of a worldwide conspiracy at all levels by the capitalist class.

So what is wrong with saying in response, workers of the world unite against this capitalist class? They are actually the ones who are getting away like bandits in the freezing wintertime and in the summertime and all the time that we don’t unite as a people, as the people against the 1 percent.

NOOR: Well, Glen, we appreciate that report as always. And thank you so much for making the connections from the local level to the national and international, because that’s often what people need to kind of see the bigger picture and see what’s happening even on a city-wide level is connected to a much bigger process. So we definitely appreciate that, Glen.

FORD: Yes.

NOOR: Thank you.

FORD: Yes, it’s about them. It’s not about the 19th century.

NOOR: Thank you so much, Glen.

FORD: Thank you.

NOOR: Thank you for joining us at The Real News Network.

End

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