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Examining, analyzing and drawing political conclusions about the most critical issues facing the revolutionary movement in the U.S. today

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Corporate Money Aims to Control the Rising Movement

The capitalist class has always used the age-old tactic of divide and conquer based on race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, religion, and more to divide the working class. In order to contain, divert and control the independent aspirations of the workers, the ruling class creates its own opposition, doing all it can to guarantee that such opposition remains loyal to ruling class institutions and the protection of its private property interests. With this in mind, what we are seeing today is the ruling class accelerating this process to get a section of the working class to accept its fascist program.

Electronic production is rapidly replacing human labor in more sectors of the economy. A new class of workers created by the electronic revolution is forming. This growing new class is comprised of the millions of workers thrown out of or to the margins of the economy, replaced in the production process by robotics and computer automation. This class ranges from the casual, contingent, gig workers and day laborers, to those who work part-time, the newly unemployed ,and those destitute who make up the growing ranks of permanently unemployed. These workers are increasingly denied the basic necessaries of life and means for human survival.

Created out of these deteriorating material conditions of life, this class cannot survive under the fascist economic, political and social system that is being constructed to protect the private property interests of the ruling class. Requiring distribution of the necessaries of life according to need, this new class is the only revolutionary social force in capitalist society. The ruling class is conscious of this reality. The new class is not. The ruling class works through the State apparatus, the corporate media, corporate think tanks and corporate social movement funders to stigmatize, marginalize and ideologically divide the new class. The aim is to impede, divert, and ultimately block the natural impulses of the workers for an independent political identity and unity, based on the workers’ common economic needs and class interests.

Corporate Grant Making Foundations

Corporate money has always been funneled into the social movement to shape the thinking and the actions of the workers. Frustrated by their rapidly deteriorating conditions, the workers rejected status quo ruling class politics in the 2016 general election. The ruling class is now busy framing the parameters of the debate, aiming to contain and prevent any working class independent political impulses and motion from developing. As Michel Chossudovsky wrote in an August 2016 article in Global Research entitled “Rockefeller, Ford Foundations Behind World Social Forum. The Corporate Funding of Social Activism”:  “The corporations are funding dissent with a view to controlling dissent.”

The fascist program of the ruling class is being conveyed by a full spectrum of political views. One example is Robert Mercer. He is the billionaire Chief Executive Officer of Renaissance Technologies, which is one of the most successful and profitable hedge funds in the country. Mercer is the principal stakeholder of Breitbart News, an openly fascist, “anti-establishment” news outlet formerly operated by Stephen Bannon, who is now the Assistant to the President, as Donald Trump’s chief political strategist. The Mercer Family Foundation, run by Mercer’s daughter Rebekah also gives millions of dollars in funding to an assortment of interconnected, ideological right-wing non-profit organizations. The Mercers have joined forces with others, including the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the owners of Koch Industries, the principal funders of Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council, among others.

Another example is George Soros. He is also a hedge fund billionaire and is owner of Soros Fund Management. His Open Society Foundations (OSF) gives millions of dollars of funding to civil rights and social justice non-profit organizations in the U.S. as a means of influencing the movement. According to Nicolas Guilhot, who wrote in Critical Sociology, the international journal of the Association for Critical Sociology, “…the Open Society Foundations serve to perpetuate institutions which reinforce the existing social order, with the same history of capitalist philanthropy as the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others who promote a capitalist view…”

Soros is also a founder of Democracy Alliance, a large donor fundraising club that funnels money to thousands of non-profit organizations throughout the country. With the intention of corralling the movement back into the Democratic party, they are building a “left-progressive” base of support on a local, regional and national level for Democratic Party initiatives and to elect Democratic Party candidates to political office.

Soros’ influence was on display at the group’s November 2016 meeting, held right after the election. Shocked by the defeat of Hillary Clinton and in need of a new meeting agenda, the gathering reorganized around the need to build a Resist Trump movement and rebuild the Democratic Party on that basis. At the last minute, Soros, who seldom attends Democracy Alliance formal proceedings, agreed to become part of the agenda on the concluding day. Billed as a “Conversation with George Soros,” the gathering agreed to redouble its efforts to fund a “new progressive agenda” and channel the rising discontent toward helping to rebuild the Democratic Party.

The Ford Foundation is one of the largest and oldest corporate foundations in the United States. In 2015 it announced that it would refocus its grant making on social justice, including programs centered on gender, ethnic, racial justice, and inclusive economics. It plans to commit up to $1 billion in grants to non-profits through the year 2020 towards this effort, as a part of their efforts to shape the movement. That part of Ford’s new focus called “inclusive economics,” is designed to develop long-term partnerships with U.S. social movement organizations. This includes influencing those organizations fighting against the growing conditions of poverty spreading across the country.

The Battle for Ideas

There are thousands of these corporate foundations in the United States. Constrained by the funding boundaries and ideological outlook of their corporate funders, many progressive non-profit organizations are limited from moving beyond their critique of the results of the capitalist system, to a unified and programmatic strategy to overturn the capitalist system. Instead they are compelled to concentrate their activity on promoting partial, incremental solutions and narrow governmental reforms to address social divisions and inequities that plague capitalist society.

Regardless of the intentions of those who work with or for them, who are drawn to them or helped by them, these organizations are designed to limit the class from addressing the class nature of the systemic ills in society. They often promote single issues or coalition building that highlight the disparities and differences among those with common interests. To maintain their funding, they are forced to avoid any mention of private property relations and the actual class relations of capitalist society, and instead focus on effects rather than cause. Their purpose is to carry out the strategic objectives of the ruling class by diverting and blocking workers impulses towards class identity and class unity. Increasingly, fighters are coming to see the limitations placed on them by these restrictions.

Clearly, the ruling class sees the development of a new class in its early stage of formation. Its strategy is to prevent the developing new class from understanding the class nature of its conditions. The ruling class aims to divert the movement by keeping it focused on the conditions of poverty, rather than the movement gaining an understanding of the actual cause of its poverty conditions.

New ideas have to be introduced — and be broadly accepted — to facilitate the objective changes taking place. The question is in whose interests will these changes take place.

The ruling class needs a political motion to clear away the obstacles to moving the new economy forward. They are laying the foundation for a new political movement that is based on the interests of corporate power that is completely merged with the State.

Various sectors of the ruling class continue to fight over the different tactical approaches they propose the State should take. However, the ruling class is strategically united to control the State, in order to protect its interests, namely private property. This requires it to implement a fascist  program. The workers, on the other hand, have to control the State if they are going to turn private property into public property, the only way they can gain control of their lives. This is the entrenched objectivity of the struggle, which is the beginning of revolution.

Workers cut loose from their economic security can go either way politically. Just as some can be agitated into a mass base for a fascist program, others can be politicized to fight for their own class interests. It all depends on the new ideas. United across color lines, fighting for its economic and class interests, the new class can be the driving force in determining the political direction in which the entire class fights.

A New Social Response

The protests and marches of the past months are signs that a new social movement is being born. The natural impulse to unity drew people to the three millions strong Women’s March, to town hall meetings to speak in the interests of those who would be thrown off of health insurance, to airports to speak out against the travel ban, to march against “The Wall” and the growing number of deportations around the country, to march for science and truth, and in defense of the environment.  Amongst the many protest demands, including the fight for equality, immigrant rights, democracy, human rights, the environment and a peaceful society, were also the common demands for basic necessities: safe water, food, housing, healthcare, education and more.

Will this social motion be organized into disconnected, single-issue, non-profit based organizations that ultimately get corralled into the ranks of the Democratic Party? Or will this social motion develop a politically independent course, that puts forward a program based on a vision that captures the commonality and class nature of its multiple demands?

Revolutionaries welcome the opportunity to politicize the beginning steps and impulses along the path of a class fighting consciously for its actual interests. These are the first steps of the revolution. From inside the movement, revolutionaries have a responsibility and special role to play in pushing forward the common, class-based interests and ideas necessary for the development of an independent political course.

July/August 2017 Vol27.Ed4
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
P.O. Box 477113 Chicago, IL 60647 rally@lrna.org
Free to reproduce unless otherwise marked.
Please include this message with any reproduction.

 

Photo of Protest

30,000 March in Support of
Chicago Teachers Union Strike
Photo by Ryan L Williams
used with permission

The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.

'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011

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Rally, Comrades! is the political paper of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America. If you are one of the thousands of revolutionaries around the country looking for a perspective on the problems we face today, and for a political strategy to achieve the goal of a world free from exploitation and poverty, then Rally, Comrades! is for you.

Rally, Comrades! examines and analyzes the real problems of the revolutionary movement, and draws political conclusions for the tasks of revolutionaries at each stage of the revolutionary process. We reach out to revolutionaries wherever they may be to engage in debate and discussion, and to provide a forum for these discussions. Rally, Comrades! provides a strategic outlook for revolutionaries by indicating and illuminating the line of march of the revolutionary process.

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