Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Does Adam Levine Really Hate America?

Who the hell is Adam Levine?  I have to say, I have no idea.  The reason Adam Levine is even on my radar is that I saw a headline that says he is in hot water for saying “I hate this country.”, “this country” being, the United States of America.  Now, how can you “hate” the US? It is, after all, the bastion of democracy and freedom.  It is engaged in multiple military expeditions around the world to ensure that all people on this planet share in this freedom.

What caused Adam to make such a condemning statement about the country of his birth?  Is it that the government of his country slaughtered some three million Vietnamese and poured chemicals on their food? Is it that his nation invaded Iraq illegally without provocation an event that wreaked death deformity and destruction in its wake and that as John Pilger pointed out recently basically amounted to a “nuclear” assault on the Iraqi people? Or is it that the US government is waging an equally savage assault on the wages and working conditions of US workers and the middle class?

Being a smart fella I did a little checking. It turns out that Adam, poor old Adam, made this very provocative and un-American statement privately and it was unfortunately caught on mic.  Adam, according to Reality TV Magazine, “….isn’t very happy with the way America voted this week on The Voice. After the top six finalists were revealed on Tuesday night, the usually chipper judge was caught muttering, “I hate this country.” Obviously, Adam had reason to be unhappy, as his favorite contestants Sarah Simmons and Judith Hill were both eliminated.”

Adam's "favorite" contestants were eliminated on one of those mindless US TV shows. Good grief, call out the National Guard. Some of Adam’s fans apparently thought his comments were, “..incredibly inappropriate.”  the equally mindless media reports

We Americans are very patriotic and this means that we all stick together, “United We Stand” as they say.  So we are very upset when a public figure makes a statement like that.  After all, how could anyone “hate” America? Levine tried to deflect the criticism telling the media that his comment was, “…supposed to be funny, not divisive.”.

 Check this out. The media claims that the comment is so upsetting, “Some have gone so far as to accuse him of being a communist and not deserving of a spot on the judging panel”  

This is the face of the mass media.  But it reflects one thing; the US bourgeois more than any other, is terrified of anything that might disturb the status quo, it is terrified of its own working classes. Levine is a waster who has been in a number of bands and has appeared on numerous mindless US TV shows.  Many of them fall under the category “reality shows” which means they have nothing to do whatsoever with reality. He also does what a lot of these wasters in entertainment do, adds his name to a name to a brand of perfume or a pair of underpants or whatever. In the business press, they call these characters, “entrepreneurs.”  Levine also lends his name to that skin cream called “proactive” and has done ads for K Mart.

He’s one of those pathetic characters who we can hopefully rehabilitate when the collective wrests control of society from the few thousand unelected coupon clippers that run it.

Meanwhile, lets leave this mundane character for a moment and reflect on a little bit of US working class history, an excerpt from Art Preis’ book about the factory occupations and sit downs that forced General Motors to recognize a Union. There are real reasons to oppose the US government and the US capitalist class that unfortunately share our name as Americans. (Hate has nothing to do with it).  But there are so many more reasons to admire and love the history of struggle from below that brought us this far, from the resistance of the indigenous people and the kidnapped Africans to the wars in the factories of Detroit and the textile mills of New England. This is our America our history and we should be proud of it. 

This is our history of which we should be proud. It’s about the struggle US workers waged to win a Union at the General Motors Corporation and from the book,  Labor's Giant Step by Art Preis

"Several thousand strikers marched to Chevrolet plant No. 9 from Union headquarters.  They were led by Roy Reuther and Powers Hapgood.  GM informers, as had been expected, had tipped off management about the march on # 9.  Armed Flint detectives and company guards had been installed in the plant.  The workers inside began yelling "sit-down!" and a forty-minute battle was waged inside the plant.  The Women's Emergency Brigade, organized and led by Genora Johnson (now Dollinger), fought heroically on the outside, smashing the windows to permit the tear gas to escape from the plant."

Johnson already inside plant #4, describes the occupation in the  "Searchlight":

"Plant #4 was huge and sprawling, a most difficult target, but extremely important to us because the corporation was running the plant, even though they had to stockpile motors, in anticipation of favorable court action." (to get the workers ousted from the plants RM).

"GM had already recovered from the first shock of being forced to surrender four of their largest body plants to sit-down strikers.  They already had the legal machinery in motion that would, within a short time, expel by force if necessary, the strikers from the plants.  If that happened, we knew the strike would be broken, and the fight for a union in General Motors would be lost." 

"The next few minutes seemed like hours, as I ambled toward the door, my previous confidence was rapidly giving way to fear--fear that we'd lost our one big gamble.  My thoughts were moving a mile a minute, and I was rehashing the same plan over and over, but this time, all its weaknesses stood out like red lights."  ".......then the door burst inward and there was Ed!  Great big Ed, his hairy chest bare to his belly, carrying a little American flag and leading the most ferocious band of twenty men I had ever seen.  He looked so funny with that tiny flag in comparison with his men, who were armed to the teeth with lead hammers, pipes, and chunks of sheet metal three feet long.  I felt like laughing and crying at the same time."

"When I asked where the hell the three hundred men were that he had guaranteed to bring with him, he seemed dumbfounded.  I don't think he'd ever looked back from the time he'd dropped his tools, picked up the flag, and started his line plunge to plant 4.  It didn't take a master mind to know that trying to strike a roaring plant of more than three thousand men and almost as many machines with just twenty men was almost impossible.  We huddled together and made a quick decision to go back to plant 6 for reinforcements, and if that failed to get out of Chevrolet in a hurry.  Luckily we encountered little opposition in Ed's plant and in a short time we were back in Plant 4 with hundreds of determined men."

"Although we didn't know it then, a real war was going on in and around plant 9, the decoy.  Every city cop and plant police were clubbing the strikers and using tear gas to evacuate the plant.  In retaliation the men and women from the hall were smashing windows and yelling encouragement from the outside."

"Back in plant #4, a relatively peaceful operation was proceeding according to plan; a little late, but definitely moving now.  Up and down the long aisles we marched, asking, pleading, and finally threatening the men who wouldn't get in line.  For the first hour the men in plant #4 were being bullied not only by us but by management as well.  Almost as fast as we could turn the machines off, the bosses, following our wake, would turn them on, and threaten the men with being fired.  As the lines of marchers grew longer, the plant grew quieter, and finally after two hours every machine was silent."

"The men were standing around in small groups, sullenly eyeing members of supervision.  No one knew who belonged to the Union because no one had any visible identification.  We had successfully taken the plant, but we knew that our gains had to be immediately consolidated or we'd face counteraction.  We had a few men go through the plant and give a general order that all who didn't belong to the Union should go upstairs to the dining room and sign up.  While the vast majority were thus taken care of, a few hundred of us were left unhampered to round up the supervisors.  It didn't take long to persuade them that leaving the plant under their own power was more dignified than being thrown out.  Herding the foremen out of the plant, we sent them on their way with the same advice that most of us had been given year after year during layoffs.  "We'll let you know when to come back." "

"The next day, when Judge Gadola issued his injunction setting a deadline for the following day, the strikers held meetings and decided to hold the plants at all costs. The Fisher #1 workers wired Governor Murphy "Unarmed as we are, the introduction of the militia, sheriffs, or police with murderous weapons will mean a blood bath of unarmed workers...We have decided to stay in the plant.  We have no illusions about the sacrifices which this decision will entail.  We fully expect that if a violent effort is made to oust us, many of us will be killed, and we take this means of making it known to our wives, to our children, to the people of the state of Michigan and the country that if this result follows from an attempt to reject us, you (Governor Murphy) are the one who must be held responsible for our deaths."

"Early the next day, all the roads in to Flint were jammed with cars loaded with Unionists from Detroit, Lansing, Pontiac and Toledo. More than a thousand veterans of the Toledo Auto-Lite and Chevrolet strikes were on hand.  Walter Reuther, then head of the Detroit West Side UAW Local, brought in a contingent of 500.  Rubber workers from Akron and coal miners from the Pittsburg area joined the forces rallying to back the Flint strikers.  No Police were in sight.  The workers directed traffic.  Barred from Fisher #2 and Chevrolet # 4 by troops with machine guns and 37 millimeter howitzers, the workers from other areas formed a huge cordon round Fisher #1"

Andy Levine.  Maybe we can help him, maybe we can’t.

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