Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Class warfare or Race warfare?

According to the always ahead of the curve The Big Picture:

The Terrible Handling of the Economic Crisis Is a Cause of the Ferguson Riots

TBP's points basically come to "we told you 3 years ago that the economy was going to cause class warfare and riots".  And you can check the archive, they did indeed say that (several links in their article.)  And they have several good points in their prediction.

But the fact that they predicted class warfare does not prove that the current riots in Ferguson are in fact class warfare.  How would we go about distinguishing class warfare from race warfare?

Kareem Adbul-Jabar (yes, that guy) says that Ferguson is class warfare.  His argument amounts to "the upper class are using government against the lower class, and that should lead to riots and protests."  And while I agree whole-heartedly with what he says here, "should" is not proof.

Why does this matter?  Because class warfare matters.  The 1% have been abusing the system for generations, and when the 99% really begin to move we need to have a goal in mind.  I have a goal in mind, and I need to know if it is time for me to drop everything and begin shouting that goal from the roof-tops.

So, how do we really determine if Ferguson is a race riot or class warfare?  I've googled, and I can't find an answer.  If you can find an answer, please comment and let me know.

In the meantime, these are my theories for the difference:
* Race riots are generally directed at a single event.  Class warfare will have to be broader in scope.
* Race riots are local.  Class warfare has to be regional or national.
* Race rioters are almost exclusively members of a single race.  Class warfare will require many races to stand together in unison.

At this point Ferguson looks like a race riot to me.  It could still escalate.  I have great confidence in Eric Holder's ability to screw up the situation further.

I do not wish for violence. But something has to change.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Near constant financial distress

Interesting article about how poverty impacts the way a person thinks.

The author uses the term "financial distress" as an equivalent to poverty.  I think this is a brilliant insight.  I earn a good income (and I'm thankful for it), but because I have a big family and lots of stuff happening we are in a perpetual state of financial distress.  We're one big medical bill away from bankruptcy.  We would have to go into ugly debt if (when) our home A/C goes out or if (when) one of our cars dies.

I wonder if the coming revolution will tap into all of the financially distressed, or only with the extremely disaffected (see Ferguson.)  If I can explain to the financially distressed how Democracy 2.0 would help them get out of distress (without violence), then I might see this in my lifetime.