Common Themes

If you boycott Uber, remember that Hugo Boss designed uniforms for the Nazi SS using slave labor, and Hitler enjoyed a fine Mercedes Benz.

And George W. Bush's granddad helped American finance outmaneuver the embargo against the Nazis, while Trump and his father made millions off federal subsidies helping poor black families get affordable housing, and then millions more tearing that housing down to build the modern playground for the rich that is NYC.

President Obama was widely vilified by the Right for cooling relations with the right-wing government of Israel, yet his administration approved the largest arms sales ever to that same government, and Israel's Arab neighbors.

We protest Trump's callous disregard for thousands of innocent Muslims blocked entry to our country, yet by and large people ignored the streets and halls of power as Obama funnelled millions of dollars of arms to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to fight a proxy war in Yemen, as they did against the civil democracy protests in Bahrain in 2011, against nameless desperate peoples locked in invisible misery.

Millions of Americans spend millions of dollars on automobiles and gasoline annually and are therefore complicit in diminishing the planet's viablility for sustaining life, in a system reliant on the suppression of wages and rights for workers at home and overseas.

Yet, millions of Americans are told by their elected politicians that state budgets are tight, wages too high, the projects too expensive, to build a different, healthier world. It's market forces, they say, that age-old canard.

So GM and Ford continue to produce thousands of vehicles that guzzle gasoline and destroy the environment, while siphoning off profits away from workers' livelihoods (who are being replaced by robots, anyhow) and away from the communities affected by the environmental damage caused by them. Their executives and shareholders are well rewarded by profits insured by both major parties, and union membership in manufacturing has fallen 50% since 2000 alone. The Republicans are now contemplating broad national anti-union legislation to cement that decline.

Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn just received a payout of $100 million to take up his new job as Trump's chief economic adviser. Yet this act eludes a legal or formal definition of corruption, and life goes on hunky-dory, if a bit shaky from time to time, for those who aren't directly impacted by the brutalizing forces of capital.

There are some common themes above, which call into question how we approach this political moment.

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