Make Revolution Not War

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This article contains subjective observations and original research. PortlandWiki welcomes this! But if you can expand on these observations with your own, feel free to fold them in within the flow, or create a new commentary page and link to it from here.

The intent of this page is to explore how Portlandians might work towards focusing and strengthening economic investment at the regional (Cascadian), local (Portland metro) and even neighborhood level while doing everything possible to reduce entanglements with the most pernicious elements of the global economy.

For well over three decades policy makers in business and government have subjected Americans, most Europeans and others to a relentless and sustained propaganda assault promoting a particular form of neoliberal, globalized "free market."[1] According to the sales pitch, handing over the keys to the global economy to a relative handful of society's most aggressive, acquisitive and profit-motivated "wealth creators" would not only allow them to enrich themselves, but allow them to trickle a steady stream of that wealth down onto the rest of us.

In reality, the wealth gusher flowed out of nearly everyone's pockets and into the coffers of a tiny elite. That same tiny elite then tells the rest of us to blame ourselves for any "failure" successfully navigate their pathological system -- one that demands total conformity to its opaque and constantly mutating "rules."

Getting Started

With the current economic, legal and political systems stacked so heavily against ordinary people, what can each of us do to help create alternatives that better serve our interests, and the interests of our communities?

Perhaps the most important starting point is to inform yourself. Arming yourself with at least a basic understanding of why the dominant political and economic structures of our society are only marginally functional (at best) for most of us creates a potentially valuable touchstone you can use to keep yourself mentally and emotionally oriented.

Trickle-Down Slavery

File:US incarceration rate timeline.gif
American Gulag: World’s Largest Prison Complex
The US, by far, has more of its citizens in prison than any other nation on earth.[2][3] China, with 1.357 billion citizens (2013), doesn’t imprison as many people as the US, with only 316.1 million (2013) American citizens. The US per capita statistics are 700 per 100,000 citizens.[4] In comparison, China has 110 per 100,000. In the Middle East, the repressive regime in Saudi Arabia imprisons 45 per 100,000. US per capita levels are equivalent to the darkest days of the Soviet Gulag,[5] and similar to North Korea's per-capita incarceration rate.[6] North Korea is one of the world’s most despotic and repressive regimes.[7][8][9][10]
As American As Prison Pie
“Ignoring State Jails and Probation and only taking Federal Prisoners the U.S. has 1,587,403 more federal prisoners than in China; 1,307,001 more than in Russia; 1,799,543 more than in Brazil and 1,813,544 more than in India, yet these countries has significantly larger populations. Why?[11]
Source: Liberty For Life

In his book, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy,[12] author Kevin Bales defines slavery as "a relationship in which one person is controlled by violence through violence, the threat of violence, or psychological coercion, has lost free will and free movement, is exploited economically, and paid nothing beyond subsistence."[13] Using this measurement, Bales estimates that "more than twenty-seven million people are still trapped in one of history's oldest social institutions." His investigations reveal how this "new slavery," producing $13 billion in goods and services, "is inextricably linked to the global economy."[14]

According to their website, Free the Slaves -- the organization Bales founded[15] -- makes it their mission to "liberate slaves around the world & attack the systems that allow slavery to exist."[16] Those systems, however, are daunting. Not only do they include the "global free market's" poisonous alphabet soup of usual culprits -- IMF, World Bank, TPP, GATT, NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, MAI, GATS, FTAA, BIS and so on[17] -- they also include the much beloved The U.S. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).[18]

Perhaps it's not surprising to discover that neoliberal, "free markets" contribute to slavery.[19][20] Limiting freedom to the marketplace, after all, gives that marketplace permission to buy the land out from under the feet of you and your indigenous neighbors, then drive you off of it.[21] Even if it's the same land you and your ancestors have lived on since the beginning of time. It's the kind of freedom that can sell you a fraudulent mortgage on an overpriced suburban McCrackerbox, deflate its value by crashing the global economy, then foreclose you out of your home even as it plucks the remaining coins from your pocket in order to bail itself out of the financial catastrophe of its own making.[22] Markets want to be free. Markets want people to serve as commodities within the "labor market," a globalized pool of working people. Drowning at the bottom of this free-market cesspool, sucked in by globalization's relentless undertow, is the slave.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, by contrast, is not usually associated with "freedom." In fact, it's a central component of what some call "by far the biggest police and incarceration state ever known to man: an empire of dungeons."[23] Under the influence of "free market fundamentalism," however, the Bureau is eager to throw the prison gates wide open, just as it has in days of yore.[24][25] To the marketplace, at least.[26][27] "But," you might wonder, "I thought the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons is as American as mom, apple pie and predator drones. How could something as un-American old-school American as slavery get mixed up with our beloved Bureau, the epitome of Americanism?" The answer, of course, is "privatization" -- the New Americanism.[28]

For free-market privatization, shipping jobs off to China is so last decade. Nowadays, uppity Chinese wage slaves are demanding wage increases amounting to several dollars a day! But why give in to such extortion by ungrateful, shiftless foreigners when you can hire good ol' bred-in-the-U.S.-of-A. indentured serfs for mere pennies on the dollar? Besides, what else are they supposed to do while they're locked up behind bars?[29][30][31][32]

New Americanism stipulates that the land of the free market is the home of the slave. It's a homeland that requires lots of protection, surveillance, security and the world's largest and most extensive gulag system.[33] It's also a brave homeland; a homeland secured by the abject bravery of fine young predator drone pilots who -- with the click of a mouse and jerk of a joystick -- display their abject braveism by transforming impoverished villagers all over the globe into the tiny, bloody, blown-up chunks of flesh, bone and sinew of "neutralized threat."[34]


The New Feudalism and You

You Americans, you have mastered the art of living with the unacceptable.[35]
-- Breyten Breytenbach

In order to come to grips with how and why the Land of the Free is undergoing an enforced disfigurement into the Home of the Slaves, it's important to understand the role of feudalism, in both its historical and its emerging contexts. A relentless, extreme and uncompromising assault on working people is underway right now. It’s the worst attack on ordinary workers seen in decades, and it’s taking place all over the globe. This latest battle comes on the heels of a four decade long war waged on working people by large corporations, corporate-owned politicians, paid-off judges, corporate-controlled media, right wing “think tanks” and chambers of commerce.

This war on working people is not new. What is new are the stakes. It is no secret that anti-worker forces have kept working people in their cross hairs for decades. What’s different this time is these same forces now aim to kill. The terrible plagues unleashed by the Great Recession -- rising unemployment, falling wages and growing desperation -- are precious gifts to those obsessed with keeping working people afraid and off balance.

Copping A Buzz

The assault on working people comes with a purposeful lexicon. This vicious vocabulary includes a buzzword and a buzz phrase. The buzzword of the moment is “austerity.” It comes on the heels of a buzz phrase: “too big to fail.” Each buzz contains exactly four syllables. The initial buzz explains why, despite your better judgement, you absolutely, positively had to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out a criminal gang of overpaid Wall Street gamblers whose reckless greed crashed the entire global economy. The buzz that followed insists there’s no money left over for you or your family, not even chump change. Working people didn’t cause this economic train wreck, but we’re forced to pay for it.

The first buzz guarantees that the most avaricious amongst us can immediately go right back to wild partying without ever having to even think about sobering up, despite indulging in a decades-long orgy of obscene wealth accumulation and value destruction that drove the whole planet into bankruptcy. The second buzz describes the horrific tab these orgy masters have foisted onto the rest of us, and the hangover they’re demanding that we suffer on their behalf. The fact that their party tab is one we can’t afford to pay, and the hangover is so severe that we may never recover from it is not their concern.

Let’s understand that the goal here is not to incite a class war. Unfortunately, the class war began long ago and working people didn’t start it. Our goal instead is to look at what working folks are up against, and the available choices we might consider as we pick up the pieces and fix what we don’t own and didn’t break. A quick history lesson is a good place to start.

The Olden Days -- Feudalism 1.0

Ye olde feudalism from days of yore.

Before the arrival of industrial capitalism, feudal societies were found throughout medieval Europe and elsewhere. They consisted of a social hierarchy that looked something like this:

  • The Crown (king, queen or other royalty) granted land holdings to nobles in exchange for military service.
  • Nobles (barons and lords) appointed knights and vassals to serve as tenants on the land granted to them by the Crown.
  • Knights / Vassals presided over serfs (or peasants). Considered “high born,” knights came from noble families while the “low born” vassals usually rose up from more common folk.
  • Serfs / Peasants worked the land and were obliged to turn over a large share of the produce in exchange for “military protection.”

The emerging industrial age disrupted this arrangement by requiring peasants to leave rural farms and congregate in urban slums where they toiled in mechanized factories. In addition to “the rise of the factory towns” and “the emergence of slums,” this migration from medieval agrarianism to urban industrialism demanded “the long working hours of children, the low wages of certain categories of workers, the rise in the rate of population increase, (and) the concentration of industries.”[36]

So why did they do it? Why did rural peasants leave their homes in the countryside to live in urban squalor and toil for long, miserable hours in dangerous factories under some of the most brutal conditions imaginable? Most of the time, they had no choice. Elites in any society are ingenious at finding ways of keeping common folk dependent and destabilized. When all means to provide for themselves are taken away, and there’s nowhere else to turn, formerly self-sufficient subsistence farmers are forced to depend on others to put them to productive use.

Grand Theft Commons

An effective way to make folks helpless and dependent is to take all means for maintaining self-sufficiency and independence away from them. In Medieval Europe, one tactic for turning independence into dependency was to employ what some social historians call “Enclosure” or “primitive accumulation.”[37] That’s just fancy talk for “theft.” If it was a video game you’d call it “Grand Theft Commons.”

The “Enclosure” was the process of driving peasants off the land.[38] The argument for doing this centered on the one-sided fairy tale that peasants didn’t really own the land. They merely lived on the land. Just as their parents, grandparents, great grandparents and even greater grandparents had lived there before them. Indeed, much of the land rural peasants depended on for their livelihoods was known as the commons.[39] “Enclosure” was the legalese used to drive peasants off their land, separating them from their subsistence-based livelihoods and forcing them into wage slavery.

Over time, rule by royalty gave way to alternate forms of government, including representative democracy. The nation state became the new Crown. Robber barons[40] like Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Jay Gould (who infamously asserted he could “hire one half of the working class to kill the other half”)[41][42] became the new nobility. The executives and managers they hired served as their vassals. Workers, of course, were handed the role of industrialized serfs.

“Industrialized serfs” in Europe, the United States and other regions gradually gained greater economic rights, often only after long and bitter struggles. In the United States, the most rapid gains came with reforms enacted during the New Deal era of the 1930s, in the midst of the Great Depression. Living standards for American workers continued to improve with the emergence of the United States as the dominant economic and military power at the end of World War Two.

For the next several decades living standards for workers in the United States and Western Europe continued to improve. The balance of social and economic power continued to tilt towards ordinary workers, although it never tipped the scales away from elite rule. Even so, the capitalist world’s ownership class grew more and more alarmed. By the 1960s, the general consensus among this ownership class was that ordinary workers had too much power. They worried that society’s rightful masters (the major economic, social and political elite) were losing control.

By the 1960s, uppity workers had become a problem for society’s elites. Despite efforts to limit labor power, including legislation like the Taft–Hartley Act (dubbed the “slave-labor bill” by labor leaders, and in “conflict with important principles of our democratic society” according to President Truman),[43] big business felt that “big labor” still wielded far too much power. A decision emerged to “discipline” labor by slowing, stopping and even reversing the economic and political gains that labor had won, often at great cost, over previous generations.

Big Business Gets Organized

On August 23, 1971 future Supreme Court justice, Lewis F. Powell wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At that time Powell was a corporate lawyer and a member on the boards of eleven corporations. Later dubbed “the Powell Manifesto,” the memo called for big business to awake from its “apathy” and “conduct guerrilla warfare with those who propagandize against the system.” Two months later President Nixon nominated Powell to the U.S. Supreme Court.[44][45][46]

“The system” that many Americans “propagandized” against was already engaged in “guerrilla warfare” against its detractors. The “Powell Manifesto” merely gave it permission to declare open war on anyone or anything standing in the way of big business interests. Within a decade two pro-business, anti-labor arch-conservatives -- Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan -- were installed as the new “leaders of the free world.” Executive pay skyrocketed while pay raises for ordinary workers came to a screeching halt. Health care and retirement benefits were slashed or eliminated. Trade unions were suppressed while union membership shrank.

Americans began working longer hours for less pay. Living standards that once took a single breadwinner to maintain now required two incomes. With both parents at work (or the only parent economically forced away from home) American kids were forced to fend for themselves. The “lucky” kids found a surrogate “parent” in a babysitter, daycare provider or member of the child’s extended family. Less lucky children became “latchkey kids,” were “raised by television,” joined gangs or had to find some other way to fend for themselves.

The statistics clearly demonstrate that we now live in a Neo-Feudal society. In comparison to the wealthiest one-tenth of one percent of the population, who are sitting on top of tens of trillions of dollars in wealth, we are modern day serfs, essentially propagandized peasants.[47]

“Trickle Down” Bottoms Out

As regulations, barriers and other obstructions were cleared from the path of big business and big finance during recent decades, deep pools of unprecedented wealth accumulated all over the globe. For the first time major countries like India and China developed a sizable middle class, even as the majority of the population in each country remained poor. Huge numbers of people remained mired in desperate poverty while the world’s population of billionaires grew from a mere handful to more than a thousand.[48]

Accompanying the new billionaires and the emerging middle classes in select portions of the developing world was massive wage stagnation amongst the relatively more prosperous wage earners in Europe and North America. Wealth accumulating at the top failed to “trickle down” onto the rest of society, despite the promise made to ordinary workers in order to justify the huge tax reductions and other “incentives” lavished on large businesses, financial institutions and wealthy individuals. Instead, ordinary wage earners were subjected to a relentless series of economic recessions and commodity shocks. Not only did “trickle down economics” fail to deliver the goods as advertised, it managed to actually transfer unprecedented wealth from the pockets of ordinary workers and into the bank accounts of the already wealthy.[49]

Then came the Great Recession. Millions of people lost their jobs, with thousands more continuing to lose jobs every day. Banks foreclosed families out of their homes and into tent cities. Small businesses on Main Street went bust and closed up shop. But “too big to fail” financial institutions and multinational corporations were immediately flooded with vast oceans of cash, despite outraged objections from ordinary people. Worse still, despite most ordinary folks wanting no part of bailing out the obviously rampant criminality that brought the global economy to its knees, ordinary taxpayers got stuck with the tab.

Feudalism 2.0 -- Neofeudalism

Stop your bitching they're job creators don't you know how feudalism works.jpg

Some call this modern era of extreme economic, political and social polarization that we now find ourselves in the beginning of the age of “new feudalism” or “neofeudalism.” Like its predecessor, neofeudalism is characterized by class stratification, wealth concentration and elite rule. Its more modern features include globalization, neoliberal “free market” economics, wage suppression, and the rise of multinational corporations. The “primitive accumulation” of the old feudalism, the forced and public taking of common property from the commoners, has transformed into “advanced accumulation,”[50] theft through secretive trade negotiations, aggressive business lobbies, onerous patents and copyrights, spurious legal claims and other shadowy means. Even so, many of neofeudalism’s “new” features are just more modern aspects of the original feudalism.[51]

In the industrialized world, ordinary people never did get back their “commons,” the scraps of land on which they could eke out a subsistence living. Instead, the “labor market” became the primary resource most folks had to rely on for their livelihoods. As long as living standards kept rising, ordinary working people usually accepted this bargain. But decades of union busting, wage suppression and income polarization have stripped away much of the labor market’s appeal. And as the global economy continues to sink deeper into a semi-permanent malaise, continued membership in the labor market looks more like playing a game of Russian roulette.

This brings us to the dangerous moment we now find ourselves in. More and more ordinary people are catching on to the fact that society’s “movers and shakers” lie to us, continuously and pathologically. Deliberate and purposeful social, financial and economic engineering insures that wealth does not “trickle down,” but gushes up. The endless and expanding military conflicts Americans are force-marched into ultimately reveal themselves not as “wars on terrorism,” but as wars of domination, control and immense profit-taking.

Today the “too big to fail” institutions Americans were forced to bail out are stuffing themselves with another round of tax cuts and obscene bonuses while demanding “austerity” for the rest of us. Unemployment is rising and wages are falling while the “too big to fail” folks recklessly drive the global economy towards another crash. This next crash will probably hit us sooner than later. What do you suppose the chances are that the world’s “too big to fail” folks will again demand that ordinary workers pick up the tab? And how many “too big to fail” catastrophes will ordinary people put up with before we begin wheeling out the guillotines?

Let’s Get Real

If we accept the view that democracy is now a given fact, everything is lost. On the contrary, it must be understood that democracy can no longer be anything except will, conquest, creation. It must be admitted that democracy is the exact opposite of our natural and historical inclinations, our laziness, our blindness, our taste for comfort and tranquility...
 

The point here is not to whine about all the burdens piled onto the backs of ordinary workers, but to come to a realistic assessment of where we stand. We can see that every advance ordinary workers have achieved, through much struggle, at great cost and over many generations, is quickly unwinding. Have we responded with an effective response designed to reverse, stop or at least slow the destruction of everything we’ve gained? No, we have not.

Instead we have bitched, moaned, pointed fingers and placed blame elsewhere, or have simply kept our heads buried in the sand. We’re as susceptible as ever to tactics that keep us divided and conquered. We have forgotten that the obsessive greed, lust for power and the pathological drive for domination and control knows no bounds and observes no limit. Our own susceptibility to small-scale greed, petty hatreds or run-of-the-mill apathy weakens us. It distracts us from the dangers posed by the large-scale interests that remain hell bent on keeping us divided and conquered.

Instead of investigating, learning and thinking for ourselves, we’ve let major media barons, politicians, celebrities and other hucksters tell us what to think and how to behave. We’ve allowed slick sales techniques and manipulative marketing tactics pander to the ephemeral whims, farcical fantasies and petty desires conjured from the deepest recesses of our easily confused minds.[52] Why do we participate? Why do we allow this?

Let’s Get Organized

The challenges facing us are terribly real.[53] There’s no easy button to push to make them disappear, nor is there any guarantee that we’ll succeed in overcoming them. Defending our interests -- not to mention winning back all the gains we’ve allowed others to snatch away from us -- will not happen without a struggle. Wishing for a magical return to the glory days of some mystical past will get us nowhere except further down the hole.

We’ll also only perpetuate our downhill slide if we fail to recognize where our loyalties lie. To that end, we might remind ourselves of a few simple truisms that we tend to easily forget:

  1. Anyone who panders to you is not your friend. They simply want to sell you something. Whether it’s a product, service, ideology or belief they’re hoping to sell you, it’s up to you to decide if it’s something worth buying. If someone has to give you a hard sell to coax that decision from you, that fact alone might tell you something.
  2. Anyone promoting any idea that essentially boils down to “they are bad and we are good” does not have your best interests in mind. Some of humanity’s worst tyrants habitually use this technique to keep folks divided and squabbling with each other. We almost always have more in common with others than any differences that separate us. When will we understand that we’re better off coming together over what unites us?
  3. An injustice to one is an injustice to all. Injustice comes in many forms: economic, political, legal, environmental, etc. Whether you’re a bleeding-heart liberal or a hard-nosed conservative, any injustice imposed on anyone anywhere is ultimately bad for all people everywhere. Our failure to grasp this most basic human understanding is the root cause of humanity’s worst conflicts.

Whenever people are willing and able to set aside petty squabbles and focus on what matters most they become, as the great historian Howard Zinn put it, “a power governments cannot suppress.”[54] Nor can big business, high finance or any other institutional prerogative stop such a power. That’s why they are all afraid of such power and do everything imaginable to keep it under their control. They can usually win by keeping us distracted, disunited and at each other’s throats. But the only way they can do that is if we let them.

Community Resources

Local

Occupy Portland! The revolution is here. The revolution is now. The revolution is being wikified.
"Working to empower the houseless and disenfranchised, and to oppose abuses of power by government."

Regional

Occupy Portland OccupyOregon | October 6, 2011 | 1020 SW Naito Parkway | One city in a worldwide nonviolent movement for change. | By the masses, for the masses. | Hashtag for info: #OccupyPortland | Hashtag for planning: #OccupyPDX #Oct6 | occupyportland.org
The devastation of foreclosure; what can be done (Audio | 55:37 minutes) More Talk Radio hosts Cecil Prescod speaks with Nancie Koerber from Good Grief America.
Housing was the vehicle that Wall Street used to drain the life out of America. The result has caused record unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness and the unweaving of our community fiber. All linked to this issue are increased suicides, divorces, bankruptcies, and small business failure. Our community services such as food stamps, unemployment, foster care, homeless shelters and many others are over burdened and unable to meet the needs of struggling families.

National

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET is a people powered movement for democracy that began in America on September 17 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City. Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the Spanish acampadas, we vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy … join us!
OCCUPY TOGETHER is an unofficial hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. As we have followed the news on facebook, twitter, and the various live feeds across the internet, we felt compelled to build a site that would help spread the word as more protests organize across the country. We hope to provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing, and building across the U.S. as we, the 99%, take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.
The Take Back the Land Movement is a national network of organizations dedicated to elevating housing to the level of a human right and securing community control over land. The Movement must be led by impacted communities and is firmly rooted in 'Positive Action' campaigns, including those which break the immoral laws which allow banks to gain billions in profit while human beings are made homeless.

External Links

Energy

Finance

Incarceration

From enabling climate capitalism to compounding horrid living conditions, this infographic exposes the connections between the prison system and climate change.

Wealth Concentration and the Psychopathy of Greed

New research suggests that more money makes people act less human. Or at least less humane.

Plutonomy & Rationalized Avarice

The World is dividing into two blocs - the Plutonomy and the rest. The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies - economies powered by the wealthy.
The Plutonomy Reports
  1. Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances
  2. Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer
  3. The Plutonomy Symposium — Rising Tides Lifting Yachts
plutonomy (uncountable)
  1. An economy that is significantly influenced by the very wealthy.
  2. The study of the production and distribution of wealth
Quotations: 1866, Frederic Harrison, "Industrial Co-operation", in The Fortnightly Review, vol. III, page 499:
On this side it [Socialism] is a crude compromise between the claims of labour and of capital — the hybrid child of Plutonomy and Communism.
A plutonomy is a form of capitalism that is designed to make the rich who control a nation's government and its economy -- aka, the plutocrats -- even richer. Cornerstone policies of plutonomies include government deregulation and reduced taxes on the rich. In order to sell the idea of plutonomy to the citizens of a democracy, the plutocrats must convince average citizens that trickle down economics will not only work, but ultimately make it possible for them to get rich, too.
What Does Plutonomy Mean?
Economic growth that is powered and consumed by the wealthiest upper class of society. Plutonomy refers to a society where the majority of the wealth is controlled by an ever-shrinking minority; as such, the economic growth of that society becomes dependent on the fortunes of that same wealthy minority.
Investopedia explains Plutonomy
This buzz word was initially coined by analysts at Citigroup in 2005 to describe the incredible growth of the U.S. economy during that period despite increasing interest rates, commodity prices and an inflated national debt. Citigroup analysts argued that as such an economy continues to grow in the face of contradictory elements, the more important the society's ultra rich become to maintaining such growth. The analysts also believed that in addition to the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and China are also becoming plutonomies.

See also

References

  1. Marketing a Myth: the Selling of Neoliberalism
  2. Watch America's Prison System Explode in One Alarming GIF
  3. Does the United States really have 5 percent of the world’s population and one quarter of the world’s prisoners?
  4. Prison Policy Initiative: The Prison Policy Initiative documents the impact of mass incarceration on individuals, communities, and the national welfare in order to empower the public to improve criminal justice policy.
  5. The Caging of America - Why do we lock up so many people? - Six million people are under correctional supervision in the U.S.—more than were in Stalin’s gulags.
  6. US and North Korea Have Something in Common: The Highest Incarceration Rates
  7. Episodes in Gulag History: The Soviet Gulag existed neither as a single unified experience, nor as a single unified institution. This massive and lethal machine influenced the lives of millions of people from 1917-1988.
  8. American Gulag: World’s Largest Prison Complex
  9. Human rights in North Korea#Criminal justice
  10. U.N. Investigator: North Korean Prisons Like Nothing Seen Since Nazi Atrocities
  11. Ava DuVernay’s Netflix film ’13th’ reveals how mass incarceration is an extension of slavery
  12. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy
  13. Defining and Measuring Modern Slavery (PDF)
  14. Educate Yourself | TraffickFree.org
  15. Free the Slaves (Wikipedia)
  16. Free the Slaves (Official web site.)
  17. Charlie Rose November 15 1994 with Sir James Goldsmith - Sir James Michael "Jimmy" Goldsmith (26 February 1933 - 18 July 1997) was an Anglo-French financier. Towards the end of his life, he became a magazine publisher and a politician. In 1994, he was elected to represent France as a Member of the European Parliament and he subsequently founded the short-lived eurosceptic Referendum Party in Britain. In this interview, Sir Goldsmith discusses the ramifications of free-trade agreements that were about to take place in 1994 (GATT), as you can retrospectively see, he correctly predicted many of the things that happened after that.
  18. The U.S. The Federal Bureau of Prisons "Protecting Society & Reducing Crime"
  19. Modern Slavery as a Management Practice: Exploring the Conditions and Capabilities for Human Exploitation
  20. Slavery Footprint
  21. The tragedy of public lands: The fate of the commons under global commercial pressure (PDF)
  22. Take Back The Land - The Crisis and the Movement (PDF)
  23. Hunger Strike in the Empire of Dungeons - It is way past time that people stop saying that the United States is “moving towards” becoming a police state. It is, in fact, by far the biggest police and incarceration state ever known to man: an empire of dungeons.
  24. The Prison State of America - The massive U.S. prison industry functions like the forced labor camps that have existed in all totalitarian states.
  25. Locking Down an American Workforce: Prison Labor as the Past--and Future--of American “Free-Market” Capitalism -- Sweatshop labor is back with a vengeance. It can be found across broad stretches of the American economy and around the world. Penitentiaries have become a niche market for such work. The privatization of prisons in recent years has meant the creation of a small army of workers too coerced and right-less to complain.
  26. Prison Labor, Slavery & Capitalism In Historical Perspective
  27. BP Hires Prison Labor to Clean Up Spill While Coastal Residents Struggle | The Nation
  28. Occupy the Prison-Industrial Complex -- The current regime of mass incarceration is very much tied to the emergence of the neoliberal state in America. The neoliberal state demands stability for the market, but ultimately generates instability with its generation of surplus populations and lack of social resources. This means that while neoliberalism seeks to limit state intervention in the market and slash social welfare nets in the name of "freedom," it inevitably results in increased coercion, militarization and incarceration. And with its desire to subject every aspect of society to the market, prisons become not just a necessity under neoliberalism, but a profitable venture. These factors, not an epidemic of criminality, are the chief causes of mass incarceration in America. Prisons are therefore very much tied to the larger economic polices that Occupy opposes.
  29. The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor | The Nation
  30. Modern Day Slavery: "Another shocking example of how far we have descended into fascism is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is a group of corporate executives who literally write government legislation. They have gone as far as setting up a system that imprisons the poor and then puts them to work, instead of paying living wages to non-imprisoned workers. Make no mistake, this is a modern day system of slavery unfolding before our eyes."
  31. New Exposé Tracks ALEC-Private Prison Industry Effort to Replace Unionized Workers with Prison Labor
  32. Prison labor booms in US as low-cost inmates bring billions (Video) - US breeds a Chinese-style inmate labor scheme on its own soil. Both state and some of the biggest private companies are now enjoying the fruits of a cheap and readily available work force, with tens of millions of dollars spent by private prisons to keep their jails full.
  33. The Prison-Industrial Complex Atlantic Magazine
  34. A Look Inside Obama's Predator Drone Killing Machine
  35. The Politics of Place: An Interview with Terry Tempest Williams
  36. Polanyi, Karl. The Great Transformation. Boston: Beacon Press, 4th printing January 1963. Print. (page 40)
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  41. Jay Gould - "I Can Hire One Half of the Working Class to Kill the Other Half"
  42. Looking Back in Anger at the Gilded Age’s Excesses
  43. Taft–Hartley Act | Wikipedia
  44. The Powell Memo (Also known as the "Powell Manifesto.") | ReclaimDemocracy.org
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  48. The World's Billionaires | Forbes
  49. Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% - Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.
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  54. Zinn, Howard. A Power Governments Cannot Suppress. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2007. Print.

See Also

Occupy Portland | Foreclosure | Portland General Strike | Food Not Bombs | City Wiki | Rally For Peace: Time To Break The Spell | Represent The People,,,