We fought for better working conditions. We got better pay. We got forty hour work weeks. Benefits! Workers’ unions were put in place to protect these things, and push for more. These things became status quo. Now we have anti-union rhetoric spreading through all classes of people, anti-worker rhetoric saying what they have now is enough, that they’re too lazy to get more, that they’re a drain on the system… the system that requires them in order to keep its wheels turning. Some anti-union rhetoric is even true in some cases, where unions exploit their members just like the bosses do, collecting their dues and doing little else. Union gate-keeping where jobs are only available to union workers, and union entry is only available to current employees. The very exclusivity of power the unions were meant to protect workers from. But this isn’t considered extreme any more either.
Employers call paying for a fraction of their workers’ health care ‘taking care of their employees’. Those who fought for workers’ rights expected us to get more than this by now. Those who died for workers’ being treated better than the machines they worked beside were forgotten, their struggle forgotten; the fact that capitalists will kill their fellow citizens when their capital is threatened was forgotten. We didn’t beat them when we shifted the status quo. They just changed tactics.
Wait. Dr. King was ANTI-CAPITALIST? Next you’ll tell me he didn’t really preach pacifism!
Political centrism is not balance. Political moderates do not harmonize the far left with the far right. There is no value in finding the golden mean between equity and violent prejudice. There is no value in finding the golden mean between communal liberty and violent oppression. Feminism is a leftist view and misogyny is right wing. What is the middle ground there? Tolerance of women? The ‘Oppression Olympics’ is not a leftist practice, no matter what its participants call their selves. Communism can not be statist or fascist, despite what so-called Russian or Chinese ‘communists’ might’ve said. The National Socialists (Nazis) achieved pseudo-socialist ideals by stealing property from Jews and redistributing it to ‘true Germans’. Socialism ‘for us, but not for them’ is not socialism. A balance between left and right can not be achieved by defending the right and belittling the left. Some one is not ‘fighting polarization’ by saying ‘not all right-wingers are Nazis’ while also preaching that ‘leftists need to calm down’.
It is not status quo to protect free speech. We censor far more sexuality than we do brutal, physical violence. We censor words on public television because we’ve arbitrarily deemed them vulgar, as if vulgarity ever stopped us before, yet we encourage our children to cheer on soldiers, people who kill for money, without even explaining to them the nuances of the international conflicts. We use patents to censor the replication of technology in order to protect capital. Copyright is censorship that protects money. We fire our workers for being insubordinate. We fire our workers for demanding better working conditions. Most bosses don’t even have to fire any one any more; the fear of retaliation by the bosses is so ingrained, most don’t even think to speak up about their poor working conditions. It is status quo to silence those who work against the current power structure, and it is status quo to glorify violence as if to remind the public that, while our leaders are afraid of us expressing our selves and cooperating to spread affordable technology, they are not afraid to use violence to get what they want.
It is normal for police to plaster the faces of those who have wronged the wealthy across our streets, on our screens, through our media, and it is normal for police to tell the poor, ‘There’s no thing we can do’ (it’s normal for Human Resources to shrug their shoulders at your case of work place harassment, but slam you in court for trying to sue the company). It is normal for police to protect and serve elites. They favor businesses over individuals, corporations over small businesses, whites over blacks, men over women, abled over disabled, who ever is higher in the power structure. What do they get out of it? Are they not working-class? Well, they answer to the state: the most powerful cozied up against the most wealthy. The state can do more than just fire you, if you demand better working conditions. It is normal for our courts to favor the dignity of violent aggressors over that of traumatized victims.
‘How is a registered sex-offender supposed to get a decent job?’
How are women supposed to live safely when unregistered sex-offenders stalk their places of business, after leaving a court room with a head full of encouragement? I’m all for rehabilitating criminals in stead of punishing them; brief punishment set beside some twisted form of coddling is not rehabilitation.
State-sanctioned murder. Gate-keeping basic needs. Priority to wealth. Money buying freedom. These are all status quo, and these are all things centrists are defending by saying that every one’s ideas of change are wrong. Democratic and Republican politicians act like they’re fighting, but both sides of the aisle are happy with the current system because they’re profiting from the current system, and both are right there neighboring the ‘center’ where the centrists are.
Keep in mind that the common view of what is politically central changes over time, as the norms change, and right now it’s far more right than it is left, considering the true differences between leftist and right wing values. Centrism is not trying to stay center; it is trying to stay comforted in the current system, which is impossible, because politics/economics is always changing.
Moderates during feudalism would not be moderates under capitalism. Centrists before the Civil War of the USA would not still be centrists during that war. Sympathizing with the South is very different from sympathizing with the traitors. Supporting your neighbors is very different from supporting the enemy. Centrism is relative, and not to the ends of the spectrum, but to current political norms. Holding a centrist view is not civil; it is cowardice. It is pride in taking the road that requires zero effort, the beaten path, and the road that is cracking and crumbling as we speak.