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We see signs of desperation all around us at all times.
America: The Low Intensity War on the Poor
Despite what has been mouthed and how hands have been wrung in the public relations campaign about ending poverty by 2015, the recent economic landslide to virtual oblivion has strongly reversed course for the worlds poor. But the messages we have heard over the decade including various "Band Aid" solutions are about helping the poor and the financially challenged. However, not one of these messages and solutions dealt with the core of the problem, that is, how capitalists manage finances and how fictitious value has been behind the massive increase of poverty, especially beginning in the spring of 2008. The result of these unspoken policies has been a huge increase of homelessness, especially among families. Whole families now find themselves in that sector of humanity identified as bums.
If you want to target a certain minority, you begin by demonizing them and making them the target for blame for what is going wrong. Then the next step is to exclude them from the community of business and from the protection and sanctions of human rights. Finally, when enough hysterical rage is whipped up, the physical attacks come in a bid to eliminate the problem. From a program of vilification comes the pogrom of elimination. The Rwanda holocaust unfolded in exactly this fashion. The attack on gay people has always worked this way. The Nazis targeted the Jews and now the Jews target the Palestinians in Gaza in just these ways. In N. America, and in the capitalist sphere of influence in South America, the poor are under just such a program. In fact, at a recent rally in Vancouver, BC, the poor who were promised social housing in the Olympic Village have experienced a betrayal and lie with the breaking of the promise for subsidized housing. Responses for would be condo owners is “that the bums should be dead”.
When workers are no longer required in the chain of profit where surplus production is necessary, they are "released" (read fired) from the employ of the owner of the means of production. Most workers are just one paycheck away from complete disaster. This disaster has unfolded over and over hundreds of millions of times just in the last century. Most wind up on the streets to beg, steal, prostitute or to dumpster dive for a living, having no knowledge on how to survive when disaster comes from unemployment. For them, the disaster might as well have been and earthquake or a flood. After Reagan and Thatcher's voodoo economic reform, and Clinton's "End welfare as we know it" this disaster has deepened and widened like a sink hole right under the feet of the people. Meanwhile, in the current economic collapse, the welfare for the rich valve has been turned on full blast to the current tune of 7.7 trillion dollars. But what do the poor do, like the ten million who have been thrown out of their homes as a result of the sub-prime loan disaster? Some no doubt find rental in a slumlord's paradise. Some find help through agencies like the Salvation Army. Some wind up homeless.
Under the "Not in My Back Yard" (NIMBY) syndrome, a program has emerged to in effect bury the problem under the carpet. In order to do this, it requires a carpet of huge proportions. "Bum proofing" (1) has become a regional answer to a continent wide problem. "Bum proofing" is an answer in politically correct language in answer to poor bashing and bullying. Each borough and city seems to have there own method for dealing with the problem from closing and demolishing public washroom facilities, public showers and baths under and anti gay-anti AIDS hysteria, to building transit shelter that are grossly uncomfortable. Some hire security companies to chase poor people out of the business district and up-scale residential areas. Some outlaw churches from feeding the poor in public parks, their own buildings and allowing people to sleep in pews in the same churches during times when no services are going on. Further, anything that can serve as a makeshift shelter is lined with boulders and stones to make rest out of a storm impossible. Shelters made of cardboard and other building materials are systematically destroyed when discovered. On the coldest nights of the Holiday Season, many people are found dead from exposure. The fact that temporary places are "found" suggests that these have always been available, but are kept out of reach due to the "no market" line of thought.
The "Bum", who can be born the moment any one of us lands homeless on the street, is often vilified as a drunk, a drug addict or someone with "mental issues". The poor are often profiled this way. In the last case, the sick used to have a place where they were looked after and treated with the goal to heal; but many of these facilities were closed under the Reagan-Thatcher-Clinton era of reforms. Now they find their homes in jail when they have an attack resulting from their condition. Some find their way temporarily into hospital emergency wards from all these groups. Others find stairwells in parkades and malls to live in. Security and police deal with these issues continually.
But not all homeless people are alcoholics, illegal drug users/pushers, or mentally unstable. Some are seniors whose pensions have either been cut off or are insufficient to cover the cost of living. Working people suddenly out of a job end up as "bums". Some are families with children and babies. Can we honestly say that infants are drug user/pushers, alcoholic or mentally challenged? Many of these homeless families have resulted due to an emerging depression sweeping the world. They were as normal as you and I, holding down jobs, paying mortgages, raising a family and so on. Now they are members of a vilified group; the eternal "bum". They too are subject to "bum proofing." They can't sleep on park and transit stop benches because they are now constructed with handles that define separate seating areas and are impossible to lie down on. Charity groups are discouraged to feed the poor because they will wind up defecating and urinating everywhere due to the lack of public facilities. Some “new bums” commit suicide.
The poor in many regions are ghettoized into run down areas or on the outskirts of the community. Raids by the police and vigilantes are reminiscent of the "Great Depression" of the 1930s. These raids are done to discourage them from camping en-masse. In 1933, General Macarthur directed the military to clear the Bonus Army from an encampment in Washington DC that was seeking to obtain WW1 benefits early due to the depression, unemployment, lack of other benefits and poverty. The answer provided by Washington was to purge them at the point of a bayonet. This furtive war continues still, but is conducted usually out of public view and it is not found in the local and regional news, but it is going on. Often it reported in the unpopular "left wing" or: liberal" press, so most people don't get to know the real extent of the problem. Solutions in other countries consist of the government advising the poor to capture and eat rats. As a go-between, people are suggested to buy hamsters for $4.00 and preparing these to eat. In post apartheid under Nelson Mendala in South Africa, whole shanty communities of disenfranchised blacks were bulldozed, leaving almost a million homeless.
The issue of the poor being a "drain on the resources" was the very idea of Reagan-Thatcher-Clinton that was used to curtail the food stamp program and end welfare. This drain or the economic resources was a mere one percent of the total economy as opposed to war costs that were tallied in the hundreds of billions of dollars and over thirty percent drain on the economy. The result was that the military industrial complex got a one percent recovery on their costs. The problem of the "bum" was summarily dealt with and the "bum" was cut out of the economy. This fulfilled the second step of the three toward holocaust.
The only step remaining at this juncture is the one where hysteria is incited in the people to "deal with the problem in no uncertain terms." We see hints of this emerging where poor protesters are tasered and pepper sprayed at demonstration. We see this when security is hired to patrol the streets to flush them out and drive them out of the region. We see this when churches are legislated into not feeding the poor, and kept from opening the churches for them to sleep in and use restroom facilities. There is nowhere for the poor left to go except to the grave. The policies that are being enacted prove that there is a covert, low intensity war going on against the poor. It is not about the war on poverty to eliminate it by a certain date that keeps being pushed further into the future. This is being done in Christian countries that espouse the Biblical teachings of salvation but ignore the issues dealt therein about the treatment of the poor.(2) These same Christians are nothing more than hypocrites and we know what Jesus said about them.
"Bum proofing" turns out to be an escalating war against the very citizens of the country who at one time, farmed, mined, manufactured, found and otherwise ran the economy at its very foundation. There is only one difference between a bum and those of us still in the economy and that is a single paycheck. In effect, we are all bums in waiting, and the field of battle and slaughter is being prepared for us. Some would have us believe that the elite of the world seek to reduce the world's population by some 93 percent so that there are only half a billion people left. For this they have engineered "Codex Alimentarus"; a program that will see a reduction in the production and distribution of nutritious food to developing nations. This will result in billions dying of starvation and preventable nutrition deficiency disease. (3) As it stands now, several hundred millions are too poor to survive. Food like massive amounts of milk are dumped because “there is no market”. Most of them are children, seniors and the sick who got that way from malnutrition. These very problems are starting to emerge in the richest nation on the planet. It does not say much for capacity to feed people.
"Bum proofing" is no way to deal with human issues if we are to be humane. But our actions toward our fellow human beings; indeed the rest of nature has been irrepressible to say the very least. What is needed is a total overturning of our thinking and the way things are done. If most of us are to escape the consequences of "bum proofing" we are going to have to deal with those who label us as bums. The days are shortly coming where a great number of us will suffer the label and liable "bum" and dealt with in the harshest terms possible including beatings, vilification, demonization expropriation of everything in your possession, tasering (electrocution), exclusion from society and total alienation. The time to act is in the present for the "Kingdom of God does not come by watching and waiting, but as a thief in the night" when we least expect it.
1. Courier Weekly Newspaper, Jan. 02, 2009, page 9. http://www.vancourier.com
2. King James Bible: Luke 4:18 &19; 20-49; 12:16-21; 16:10-13; Leviticus 25:-25-30,33-40; Jeremiah 22:13-17; Ezekiel 18:14-17; James 2:6 -8; 2:14-20; 5:1-6; Psalm 37:9-24; Matthew 5:3-48; 25:40,45; Hebrews 11:1; 1 Timothy 6:10;
3. http://www.Infowars.com See Endgame by Alex Jones