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June, 2006

The Future is Up to Us!

Will more secure workers be pitted against the new class of poor?

Editor's note: This column is based on excerpts from the book, "The Future is Up To Us: A Revolutionary Talking Politics with the American People ," by Nelson Peery. We encourage our readers to join the discussion. Send your thoughts to info@peoplestribune.org. Order the book by sending $12 to Speakers for a New America Books, c/o People's Tribune, PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654-3524.

Nelson Peery

Question: A new social class is forming, made up of workers who are being driven outside the capitalist economy by automation. Will the more secure workers be pitted against them?

Answer: There may be some of that, but probably not much. There isn't any road to take other than a cooperative society. That doesn't mean that the ruling class won't try to pit people against each other. They are already preparing a police state to hold this restless mass of poor in check. But they know ultimately they can't do that. They have to have something more than cops and an army to control people who are striving to live. The Roman Empire couldn't do it; neither can the U.S. The only way that Hitler could to do it was through constant warfare.

The new economic foundations will solve problems [among the people] that could not have possibly been solved in previous times. Privileged positions in society are maintained through control of scarcity. But if there is plenty, you can't have privileges. Today it's a privilege to have a Rolls Royce, a BMW or a Lexus. If everybody has adequate transportation, then a status symbol doesn't mean anything. To the extent that you do away with shortages, you do away with privileges. Part of the process of changing society is changing people's conceptions of what they want. The people have to be won over to want to contribute to society. More than that, they must embrace an ideology which declares that contributing is a source of satisfaction; it is what makes your life worthwhile.

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