Sunday, January 14, 2018

Posing With a Rifle IS NOT Fighting the Money Power...,

subrealism |  However, money does not emerge from barter-based economic activities, but rather from the sovereign's desire to organize economic activity. The state issues currency and then imposes taxes. Because citizens are forced to use the state's currency to pay their taxes, they can trust that the currency will carry value in day-to-day economic activities. Governments with their own currency and a floating exchange rate (sovereign currency issuers like the United States) do not have to borrow from "bond vigilantes" to spend. They themselves first spend the money into existence and then collect it through taxation to enforce its usage. The state can spend unlimited amounts of money. It is only constrained by biophysical resources, and if the state spends beyond the availability of resources, the result is inflation, which can be mitigated by taxation. 
These simple facts carry radical policy implications.

theroot |  I first met Zac Henson a few years ago when we were both invited to a forum in Birmingham, Ala., to talk about economic development. He has an unkempt beard and talks with a Southern accent as thick as Karo Syrup. He looks like a redneck. He sounds like a redneck. I figured that I would be the lone voice railing against the gentrification of one of the blackest cities in America, until he spoke up.

It turns out that Henson is a redneck. It also turns out that Henson is a UC Berkeley-educated economist and scholar with a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management and heads the Cooperative New School for Urban Studies and Environmental Justice. Henson doesn’t consider the term “redneck” a pejorative, and defines a redneck simply as “a white working-class Southerner.” He has been working for years to separate redneck culture from its neo-Confederate, racist past and redefine it according to its working-class roots.

“The only culture that white people and upper-middle-class white people have is whiteness, Henson explains. “To fit in that class, you must strip yourself of everything else. What I would like to do is show white working-class whites that the neo-Confederate bullshit is a broken ideology. ... A lot of the activism in anti-racism is all about white people giving up their privilege in regards to white supremacy. I believe that will never work with working-class whites. You have to find a way to show working folks that anti-racism is within the self-interests of working-class white people. And you have to do that with a culture.”

Henson is one of the people trying to renew the legacy of the Young Patriots and build the anti-racism redneck movement. He is one of the people trying to spread the message and history of the Young Patriots Organization and its connection to redneck culture.

The original YPO was led by William “Preacherman” Fesperman and made up of “hillbillies” from Chicago’s South Side. They saw the similarity in how the Chicago machine treated blacks and how it treated poor whites. Preacherman believed that solidarity was the only answer.

“Let racism become a disease,” he said at the 1969 conference. “I’m talking to the white brothers and sisters because I know what it’s done. I know what it’s done to me. I know what it does to people every day. … It’s got to stop, and we’re doing it.”

Modeled after the Black Panther Party, the YPO adapted the Panthers’ ideas into its platform. It used an 11-point plan (pdf) similar to the Panther Party’s 10-point plan. It opened a free health clinic like the Panthers. The YPO, too, was raided by the “pigs” (pdf).

Today the Young Patriots Organization is looking to build on the legacy interrupted by the death of Fred Hampton. It embraces the term “redneck” as a cultural term and wants to build a movement that fights racism the same way as the Black Panthers it modeled itself after almost five decades ago.
Hy Thurman, an original member of the YPO who is looking to resurrect the organization, says: “Racism was a demon that had to be driven out and slain if we were going to have unity with other groups and to believe that all people have a right to self-determination and freedom. … We had to change to make life tolerable, and for life to have some sort of meaning.”

Henson, Thurman and the YPO chapters across the country are using their history with the Panthers to fight racism, class warfare and oppression on all fronts, and they are rounding up unafraid rednecks willing to fight the power structure in any way possible.