The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Don't let them use September 11 against us!

Sep 9, 2002

For one whole year, they have been using September 11 against us – they being Bush, his administration, and every boss in the country, starting with the very biggest corporations.

The bosses announce job cuts; they demand wage concessions; they cut benefit programs – declaring that they have no choice, given the economic situation created by September 11.

Corporations declare bankruptcy, blaming this, too, on an economic situation created by September 11. But behind the scenes, the wealthy owners and executives are doing exactly what they were doing before September 11 – shifting the wealth of the bankrupt companies into other companies and into their own offshore bank accounts, throwing workers out into the street without a job and without, in most cases, any hope of getting back a penny of the 401(k) money they had been saving for retirement.

Governments, from the federal level down to the smallest little town, declare they are having budget problems. They cut back on funding for education, public services and social programs – in order to increase subsidies to the biggest corporations and financial interests. They are bailing out the bosses, pretending they need money to fight the "war on terrorism."All of this is nothing but a pretext – the bosses were cutting jobs and demanding sacrifices before September 11; the crooks like Bush's friends at Enron were taking the money and running with it; government was cutting back on social services. September 11 didn't make them do it – these crooks, capitalists and politicians – it just gave them an incredible opportunity to get away with doing what they wanted to do.

They believed they could play on our fears and anger in order to trick us into making sacrifices for them. They believed they could get us to accept any war they decided to wage on people in any other country for whatever reason. Waving the flag, chanting patriotic songs, they called on us to accept everything. And, for the most part, it's worked for them – this scummy trick they used. They have been able to plunder the economy and government finances, without any response from the population.

Now, with the anniversary of September 11, Bush is trying once more to enlist us in the bosses' parade of national unity, trying to make us forget that we have different interests than the bosses do.

Be done with it! It's time to turn our backs on their outrageous demands – outrageous whether they are trying to enlist us in still more wars against other people or in the economic war they are carrying out against us here at home.

We have our own interests to defend: we all need a job, a good paying job. We need the wages that let us and our family have a decent life. And we need cities that are cared for so we can live in them, school systems that have the money needed really to educate our children. We need roads that don't destroy our cars, public transportation that doesn't break down, bridges that don't fall down, streets free of garbage, vermin and filth.

In short, we need the wealth and resources of this country to be devoted to giving us a decent life – in our lifetime. Put another way – we need to devote our attention to fighting for what we need, not for what the owners of the big companies want.

This week, as we are being bombarded by all the images of September 11, we will remember those who died, but we should also remember the filthy way that Bush and the bosses have tried to use their deaths.