In our age of cutting-edge technology, where greedy corporations shamelessly exploit the labor of the mass of their employees and leave them to live little more than from payday to payday, no one remembers words like the following. They did, in fact, come from a Republican president:
“Today in America, unions have a secure place in our industrial life. Only a handful of reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions and depriving working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice. I have no use for those – regardless of their political party – who hold some vain and foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when organized labor was huddled, almost as a hapless mass. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.”
The statement was made in 1952 by Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War II and 34th President of the United States of America. Eisenhower, a Republican socialist; a forerunner of Bernie Sanders, so to speak. Imagine that.
The fools today would be: Walmart, Amazon, Kroger, Starbucks …, to name just a few. They all have one thing in common: they suppress workers’ rights by all legal and illegal means and do everything they can to prevent representation of the interests of the weak. They all rake billions into their own pockets and have little more than starvation wages left for their ordinary employees, who can barely make ends meet.
This is what the modern age of the 21st century looks like.
If Eisenhower’s words are anything to go by, then the fools of our day would unfortunately also be those who are sorely informed and believe they must elect Trump, DeSantis or even Biden to represent the interests of the American majority. The exact opposite is the case: for these sorts of politicians use their power and influence in the interests of the billionaire class and ensure that corporations can continue to wallow in their greed.
The latter is obviously not what Eisenhower wanted for the American future. “Ike” would be shocked to hear today’s bullies like Trump and DeSantis talking.
Most Americans today don’t seem to know this – that in their history they have had presidents from both major parties who were nothing more than socialists helping millions of people out of economic despair with government measures, such as FDR during the Great Depression. The views of Bernie Sanders today are not even half as radical as those of Franklin Delano Roosevelt yesterday.
Of course, there are also institutions and agencies in the U.S. that can be called socialist, because they are actually state-controlled, such as the police, the fire department, the U.S. Army, the United States Postal Service, Medicare, Medicaid, and many others.
As a result of widespread, deliberate misleading, the majority of Americans today confuse socialism with the authoritarian version I grew up with in the GDR and think that democratic socialism is the devil incarnate because that is what is drummed into them every day from the corporate media to the churches at the behest of big money, and that is why in all their Christian grandeur they will vote for Trump again. They are ill-informed? Only ignorant people can vote for a pervert like Trump, a demagogue like DeSantis, or another big money directed person like Biden, who on top of it all calls himself a “capitalist” so as not to give any other impression.
Those who really want something good for their country should internalize the following:
If I weren’t so appalled at the state of my own homeland, I could laugh my head off at the Trump saga. Germany is in the process of ruining itself beyond repair, and in the U.S. the Punch and Judy show is ruling to the detriment of the people, only a minority of whom – as on the other side of the Atlantic – seem to have their wits about them.
For the first time in 25 years in the U.S., it feels like my native country is slipping away from me – a process I would not have thought possible until recently.
A human being has to stay somewhere. Perhaps one should only enjoy butterflies and self-grown tomatoes and peppers, as long as it is still possible.
Once upon a time there was a country … I no longer have one.
It’s not because I am writing this – it’s something to think about:
As a child, I had no choice but to attend a so-called “socialist school.” There was no other kind of school in my childhood. We sometimes had a bleeding knee or elbow, which we got while playing in the schoolyard. But none of us died.
I grew up in the middle of the Cold War and on its immediate front line. Only a hundred yards away from my school, columns of Soviet military vehicles drove by every hour. There were thousands of soldiers there, under the tarpaulins were strategic missiles, possibly even nuclear weapons.
We could hear the engines humming and smelled the stinking Russian gasoline.
And we heard foreign sounds.
But not a single one of us children in the entire country did not return home after school because he or she would have been shot and killed – unlike thousands of schoolchildren in the USA today. Today I am convinced we grew up in a mentally healthy society, as paradoxical as this may sound in historical retrospect. In any case, firearms were strictly forbidden. Why do you need firearms in a halfway normal, civilized community?
The overwhelming cause of death among children in the United States of America is death by gun. This is the result of the influence of the gun lobby in Congress, which most likely reaches down to the local level, owning lawmakers and officials like pawns through bribery and corruption and making billions in profits at the expense of the lives of their country’s children. Because that’s what it’s really about, and that’s why the true meaning of the Second Amendment has been deliberately distorted by the US Supreme Court.
Who calls this country Christian and the freest country in the world, where not even children can be sure of their lives in their schools? Really – this is a free country?
U.S. President Joe Biden called the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Russian President Putin “justified” and termed it “a strong signal.” However, it is the U.S. that does not recognize this criminal court, for good reasons. For otherwise, quite a few of their own politicians would have been internationally indicted for crimes in the past, possibly even Biden himself for his involvement in the Iraq war – and not only that.
As a reminder:
In 2001, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden supported President Bush’s decision to attack and invade Afghanistan, a mission which ended in disaster under the current President’s leadership.
In 2002, he pushed for a bipartisan resolution authorizing President Bush to attack and invade Iraq. Five years later, Biden approved a plan to divide Iraq into three regions – one Kurdish, one Sunni, and one Shiite – that was consistent with U.S. strategy.
Between 2009 and 2017, Biden participated in the planning and execution of the wars against Libya and Syria and the coup in Ukraine. The current U.S. President played a direct role leading to the mass protests on the Maidan in Kiev and ultimately to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was legally elected to office.
Facts no longer matter today.
The shamelessness and mendacity of the West along with its corporate media is unprecedented.
Deregulation of financial markets serves the top one percent, not the common people. It lays the foundation and sets the course for future crises that put the safety and health of hundreds of millions of people at risk. This is the reality of the so-called “free market,” where there is little or no regulation, and where lobbyists in the service of big business corrupt the legislature to ensure that laws are passed according to their ideas and wishes. It no longer has anything to do with real democracy to the good of society.
What more proof and evidence do clear thinking people need to grasp the truth? It cannot be true that people voted for Trump, who in 2017 not only gave a trillion (i.e., $1,000,000,000,000) in tax breaks to corporations and the top one percent of the wealthiest people instead of “cleaning up the swamp” as he promised before the election – rather, he did the opposite: he appointed mostly billionaires to his cabinet.
Who do you think these billionaires would serve? The interests of the working class, which is the majority of the American people?
The mass of people simply do not learn, but are deceived. How is such a thing possible? Only 15 years after the last bank crash, there are still speculators in the financial institutions who gamble away people’s savings – and not only that: Contrary to all the protestations of politicians like Biden now, they not only go unpunished, but are also rescued as under Obama in 2008/09) with taxpayer funds. In plain terms, those who caused the problem in their criminal greed are being bailed out at the behest of the government.
But no one bails out the working-class families who are losing their jobs, are threatened with eviction, and don’t know how to put food on the table.
Against such a legalized Wall Street criminality no election helps anymore. Only mass movements that revolt against injustice can help.
I am ahead of Bernie Sanders in only one thing, if not two, but I do not really know. I actually lived in a socialism, unlike probably him; I was born there and grew up in it, for nearly three decades. Like most folks back then, I despised it.
However, this was more than likely a different socialism than Sanders is striving for. It was a dictatorial, for especially outwardly inhuman socialism in the former GDR, today widely known as “East Germany.” The Cold War circumstances played a big role. In the fall of 1989, hundreds of thousands of protesting people were able to get rid of this socialism, while Soviet party leader Mikhail Gorbachev did not send tanks to crush the revolutionary movement. I was 29 years old at that time and, as today, just a sand corn in the process.
Without our rejection of the socialist form of government, the upheaval leading to German reunification, which took place peacefully in 1990, would not have been possible. The discontent did not come out of nowhere; it had been building up among the people for years.
The second thing that distinguishes me from Bernie Sanders – I don’t know exactly – may be the fact that I spent eight years in the U.S. working with ordinary people at a lower level, so to speak. Here, too, I can base my opinion on personal experience.
After immigrating to the United States for family reasons and going through a period of acclimation – including working for an insurance company in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, and attending college in Clearwater – I was eventually employed by Pinellas County government, wrongly concluding that all the social benefits I could enjoy there were part of the general standard in the United States, a country I still believed at the time to be the freest country in the world. For ten years, so to speak, I walked around with half-closed eyes, seeing only what concerned myself. Actually, a not unusual human trait.
Then my wife and I moved to beautiful Blairsville, Georgia, where we still live today, now retired, aided by circumstances that originated not in the United States of America but in my home country. It was here in North Georgia that I first encountered the social issue in my life, through an employer famously named “Walmart.” Never in my life would I have thought such a thing possible; the way the American upper class treats Americans. My whole way of thinking has changed since then.
I am not a friend of socialism. For nothing in the world would I like to live again in a socialism as I had to get to know it from the GDR. But in the USA, there is also a dictatorship – that of big money, which takes away people’s rights or restricts them, such as health insurance or workers’ rights; for example, the right to organize unions.
I was born in the dictatorship of socialism and will most likely die in a dictatorship of big money. Neither dictatorship leaves much for members of the working class, as I have seen with my own eyes. In the GDR, Socialism locked up its own people behind an impenetrable western border. Anyone who did not agree with the political system had to fear repression.
Those who, through no fault of their own, live under financial constraints in a rich country like the U.S. simply because they needed surgery or are not academics are not living free lives. Fundamental rights such as the right to freedom of expression or freedom of religion do not change this. You do not feel free if you have to worry about health care or food, the rent for your apartment or the mortgage for your house. In the USA, 60 percent live from paycheck to paycheck, and I was one of them for eight years in Blairsville, Georgia.
I am a proponent of a social order in which the capitalist economy is controlled by the legislature through regulations and laws to protect the working majority, rather than allowing corporations a free hand in return for billions in campaign contributions – to the detriment of the many and the benefit of the few at the top. A human system that was once called a “Social Market Economy” at the time I left my home country in 1998.
Be clear about it – in Germany, too, a once comparatively exemplary system is disappearing with each passing day.
If I am not mistaken, Social Market Economy is the kind of “socialism” Bernie Sanders is striving for. I don’t care what he calls it. I don’t care what he calls it. All I know is that he’s right, because he stands up for the human side of society.
There is such a nice saying in German: “When two do the same thing, it is far from being the same.”
More than any other country in recent history since World War II, the United States under the leadership of presidents from both parties has instigated wars on more than questionable grounds, interfered, supplied weapons, bombed, killed, actively contributed to the overthrow of disagreeable governments around the world, and, not least, planned, paid and directed the political upheaval in Ukraine in 2014. Each time, it was not about democracy and freedom or humanity, but about maintaining U.S. supremacy in the world and the acquisition of sales markets. Millions of U.S. citizens do not want to believe this; instead, they pay homage to a fabricated patriotism and believe in things that can neither be rationally explained nor proven.
It is the result of what their own country’s media successfully drums into them on a daily basis. Partial truths serve to distract from the truth about one’s own country, which should not even arise in the consciousness of the population. Only what is useful for the purposes of the leading class should be present in the minds of the people.
This is the result of paid journalism – again, as with politics, big money is behind it, because the corporations don’t want the majority of people to realize the facts that have led to the polarization within the US. The social division is deliberate, because nothing is more dangerous to the corporations than a united people who would have the idea of truly exercising power in the sense of “WE THE PEOPLE.” At the same time, media outlets like CNN or Fox News not only engage in politics on behalf of their clientele – they also earn billions from it. It doesn’t bother them to mislead the people through and through.
The sanctions against Russia and Russia’s war against Ukraine have ensured that this no longer applies only to the USA. People are only presented with stories agreeable to Western politics, and the back story is often deliberately completely omitted. The public should not even think about who the profiteers of wars are, while people pay with their lives.
Each time, as today, American defense corporations made billions and wrote their own laws and regulations along the way, which were rubber-stamped by members of Congress because the corporations gave them huge grants for their election campaigns. The Biden administration has not the slightest interest in ending the war in Ukraine through negotiations and therefore let the near Istanbul agreement of last year fail. The fact that the war is causing the U.S. national deficit to take on ever more astronomical forms is of no concern to the politicians, because the taxpayer has to fix the problem that has been put on the back burner.
Now the Biden administration accuses China of trying to supply Russia with weapons.
The West risks new tensions with China over, among other things, spy balloons that Pentagon military strategists apparently could not say with certainty might have been sent into the sky by amateur groups from their own country.
The only reason why large parts of the population of Western countries agree with current policies toward Ukraine is the fact that people are exposed to widespread war propaganda, which makes them draw irrational conclusions and, in any case, hardly allows any different opinion, if one does not want to be put in the corner of the malicious.
Instead, everyone who shares non-governmental opinions about Ukraine is on the side of the Russians – no other option is allowed to the dissenters. This is the state of democracy in the self-proclaimed “value-regulated society” of the West.
Targeted misrepresentation about my home country in many U.S. media, not just CNN, and also in Germany itself: The truth of the tank issue is rather that the Biden administration, at least in its official presentation, has also changed course, primarily to help Polish demands for the delivery of German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to gain acceptance.
It is downright absurd to speak of “growing German influence” in this context, and the authors of such articles know this very well. The deliberate intention is not to let the USA appear as a profit-hungry, all-determining power on the globe, at least not all the time. Anyone who disagrees should take a look at the US defense budget figures – a budget that does not deserve the name. They are more than double the military spending of China and Russia combined to ensure American military presence and superiority in all parts of the world. A so-called “defense” budget looks different.
A clear-thinking person must ask why a supposedly peace-loving country has to spend so much money on the military, moreover for the strategic orientation to dominate others – with military presence even in the remotest corners of the earth. Russia maintains 20 military bases outside its own country, the U.S. nearly a thousand worldwide. What for?
The whole world had seen and heard who set the pace when US-President Joe Biden gave the answer in the press conference nearly a year ago about how the USA would prevent Nord Stream 1 and 2. A grinning German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stood by and had nothing to say in response to the open threat against German infrastructure. Since then, no “transatlantic power dynamic” has changed, because the U.S. doesn’t let anyone tell it anything when it comes to their interests. NATO is essentially them, and the others are mere vassals and performing agents.
From the beginning, the Americans intended to cut off Russian energy supplies to Germany in order to sell their dirty fracked gas to Europe at higher prices while weakening Russian-German relations. There are corresponding documents, including public ones, which prove this, up to the written threat to “destroy the ferry port of Sassnitz” on the Baltic coast, where the last pipelines for the completion of Nord Stream 2 were stored.
The U.S. is the only country to benefit from the end of Russian energy supplies to Europe and especially Germany. In this context, the statement by political scientist George Friedman, after which it has been the goal of U.S. policy for a hundred years to prevent Russian raw materials from coming together with German technology, is highly interesting.
The big losers today are first and foremost the people of Germany, who are now suffering the greatest loss of prosperity since the end of World War II after their own government willingly subjugated itself to the repressive policies of the United States in the form of the imposed sanctions against Russia.
For those still capable of recognizing the facts of our times, it should be a ridiculous staircase joke to speak of a shift in the “transatlantic dynamic.” The reality is a cold power politics of the Biden administration against Europe and in particular against Germany. Most people there are not foolish enough not to notice this.