Angela Davis - How Capitalism Affects The Working Class



given the demagoguery emanating from our current government and the explicit exploitation of racism and xenophobia to persuade poor and working-class white populations that their interests call for an attack on racialized communities it is important to point out that the suffering of poor white and working-class communities has been caused pretty much by the same economic phenomena that are responsible for the rise of mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex and for the reasons that lead people from Central America Mexico elsewhere in the global south to migrate to other countries the United States can claim 25% of all incarcerated people on the planet as compared to its 5% of the world's population with respect to women there are more women in prison in the u.s. today than there were people of all genders in prison during the 1970s between 1980 and 2014 the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700 percent rising from a total of 26,000 a little more than 26,000 in 1982 more than two hundred and fifteen thousand in 2014 I want to look for a moment at the conditions that led to these increases in the imprisoned population in the US and in other countries that led also to increased immigration and that led to the impoverishing impoverishment of further impoverishment of poor and working-class communities of all racial and ethnic backgrounds so let's begin with the period of the 1980s which marks what we know now as the last stage the last instantiation of capitalism a mode of production that has indeed become global capital has always had global aspirations and I should point out that capitalism is very much linked to the global conditions produced by slavery and as as political scientist Cedric Robinson has insisted capitalism should be referred to as racial capitalism but of course during this period manufacturing begins to take place across national borders and incidentally we might note that this stage of capitalism has begun to reveal further reveal the obsolescence of the nation-state as the most appropriate form of human community we have witnessed over the last decades capital flowing across national borders information commodities knowledge everything moves easily across the borders of the nation but of course when human beings join that flow when human beings begin to mooove largely as a result of the consequences of the flow of capital they are deemed illegal and of course all of this began to take place at a time when the welfare state was under assault at a time of the ascendancy of international finance capital and its demands for structural adjustment that is to say demands to move capital away from sectors of the economy that serve the needs of the people and we're referring to housing in healthcare and education etc away from sectors that serve the needs of the people and toward more profitable sectors of the economy the point is these are dangerous shifts away from investment and processes that reflect people's needs and toward the production of profit and of course this happened all over the world countries and in the global South were especially affected by this this was one of the embassies along with war that have driven people to leave their homelands in in search of a better life but in the global north of course we witnessed the loss of jobs deindustrialization the production of surplus populations especially among those who have always been vulnerable to job loss and the lack of resources this is how racism works thus the spread of the prison industry the emergence of the prison industrial complex and the repressive means of managing populations that can no longer find a place in the world as corporations migrated to other parts of the world in search of people cheap cheaper labor sources they disrupted local economies and this was in part this served in part as an impetus for migration away from the homeland to places that appeared to represent hope the point that I'm trying to make is that white economic suffering in the u.s. is directly linked to black and Latino poverty and to the tendency to lock up people who have been defined as superfluous or irrelevant many years ago a number of us began to organize against what we decided to refer to as the prison industrial complex we did not know that our analysis would become even more important during the second decade of the 21st century with the election of a billionaire capitalist to office who presumes to want to reverse the very processes that allowed him to make his billions we now recognize that that the election of Trump could have been avoided and I don't have time to develop a critique of the Democratic Party but I will say that many of the same issues we are confronting today what we would be confronting even if a Democratic candidate had been elected even if that candidate became the first woman first white woman elected to the presidency in the US this this devastation could have been avoided had radical organizers devoted attention to those white communities that have seen their jobs and their lives slip away as a result of the rise of global capitalism as a result of the assault on the labor movement and as a result of the continuing massive transfer of wealth to the already wealthy we know that eight billionaires owned as much as the poorest half of humanity today it has been calculated that there are approximately seven point six billion people in the world half of which would amount to 3.8 billion now eight people including Mark Zuckerberg Bill Gates Jeff Bezos and we could continue Warren Buffett Michael Bloomberg and others they owned more than 3.8 billion people combined isn't that obscene why then can people be led so easily to believe that they are poor because immigrants cross the border from Mexico [Applause] the figure the figure of the immigrant is an ideologically constructed scapegoat designed to deter poor and working-class people in the u.s. from recognized from recognizing how much they have in common with people who are fleeing difficult economic circumstances often created by the very corporations that have left people in the US we're effed of employment




Comments
  1. Been following this Queen Mother since middle school in the early 1970s in the equatorial forest of Central West Africa (believe it or not)! It turns out – as we "discovered" in the early 1990s – our Christian school was CIA-sponsored and financed and had been at least since the 1940s.

  2. People who understand the system don't have a need to separate by politics because they understand that the wheel is pushed by the same animal.

  3. America is infatuated with lucking up it citizens creating massive incarceration to continue enriching private investors of the prison industrial complexes.

  4. She is a good speaker, but she just seems to be making claims with no evidence whatsoever, a priori or empirical.

  5. Preach!. My sister, if you'll accept me–I wouldn't–you have my voice. Preach, My Sister, Preach. 100%

  6. She doesn't critique the Democratic Party because she knows that all the present tactics and big government schemes are what she advocates for. A total fraud.

  7. She gives a wrong explanation for what capitalism is, she rails against financial capitalism like Hitler did in Nazi germany. She conflates the voluntary movement of production factors with coerced movement and says it's racism. What a fraud. This woman is a crook, a sympathizer of Marxism, communism and socialism, a student of Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno : well documented fascists and pioneers of cultural Marxism. I wouldn't greet this woman's with a ten foot pole.

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