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If Progressives Were for 'No Rich and No Poor' They Wouldn't Have Lost the Working Class: But They Weren't, and They Did

by John Spritzler

February 13, 2017

Robert "Mr. Progressive" Reich wrote on his blog in 2014 this gem:

"Charles and David Koch should not be blamed for having more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans put together. Nor should they be condemned for their petrochemical empire. As far as I know, they’ve played by the rules and obeyed the laws."

This is the exact opposite of what most Americans believe. The vast majority of Americans, contrary to what all of the print and electronic media propaganda try to make us think, want society to be one in which there are NO RICH AND NO POOR.

If you don't believe this is what most Americans actually want, then do what I did. Go ask random people on the street in the town where you live, and see what they say. Here's a video of me doing that, and I swear to you that what you see on this video is every interview, not just cherry picked ones. People (91% of the 68 who are interviewed!) say they want society to be one in which there are NO RICH AND NO POOR.

If the Progressive movement advocated NO RICH AND NO POOR it would have a massive following of ordinary (working class in the broad sense of the phrase) Americans--of all races and genders and religious persuasions!

But no! The Progressive movement is led by the nose by people such as Robert Reich, agents of the ruling class, whose job it is to make sure that a movement for NO RICH AND NO POOR never develops.

This is why Robert Reich went to the Occupy Wall Street encampments and told those people that what they REALLY wanted was "Equal Opportunity." What this means is making our society one that is a "Level Playing Field" so that everyody has an equal opportunity to get rich (meaning much richer than others) like Charles and David Koch, by "playing by the rules" and "obeying the laws." These are Reich's actual words to this effect, as he told the Occupiers at UC Berkeley:

"Some of you are concerned also about the increasing concentration of wealth and income in our society, an increasing concentration that has meant, for example, that the 400 richest Americans now own more of America than the bottom 150 million Americans.

(The crowd boos)

"But fundamentally — and let me try to connect some of these dots — fundamentally, the problem with concentrated income wealth and fundamentally with an education system that is no longer available to so many young people and even a K-12 system that is letting so many people down — the fundamental problem is that we are losing equal opportunity in America. We are losing the moral foundation stone on which this country and our democracy are built."

Why the Progressive Movement PISSES OFF Working Class People

To avoid calling for NO RICH AND NO POOR while at the same time attracting the people we know today as "progressives," the Progressive movement's leadership has advocated all sorts of things that working class people rightfully oppose. Top on this list was Affirmative Action, which called for official racial discrimination--the very opposite of the Civil Rights Movement's call for the abolition of racial discrimination.

The ruling class used Affirmative Action to destroy the solidarity between white and non-white working class people that had developed during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. The rulers needed white working class people to experience several decades of hearing from employers or schools that "We're sorry. We couldn't give you the position you applied for because we had to give it to a less qualified minority person." This is how the ruling class turned solidarity into resentment. If you don't understand that this is what Affirmative Action was really all about then please read all about this attack on the working class here, and realize how the Progressive movement played the role of cheerleader for this ruling class scam.

As I discuss in detail here, the ruling class has been very pro-active about keeping the vast majority who want NO RICH AND NO POOR thoroughly divided against each other. Big Money uses "social" issues ("white privilege," same-sex marriage, feminism/patriarchy, abortion, transgender bathrooms) and funds the main organizations agitating on both sides of these issues for this precise purpose. The ruling class carefully frames these issues--by censoring unifying ideas--to ensure there will be two approximately equal-sized opposing camps, each viewing the other with utter contempt if not outright fear.

Instead of exposing the divide-and-rule purpose of the ruling class's censoring of unifying ideas related to each of these "social" issues, the Progressive movement has simply constituted itself as one of the two opposing camps. This is how, again, the Progressive movement has played right into the hands of the ruling class. No surprise when one realizes it is lead by the likes of Robert Reich, who made a career of giving speeches to the corporate elite for big money payments (see gory details here.)

If you want our society to be based on NO RICH AND NO POOR, then the Progressive movement is an obstacle, not a vehicle, for your aspirations.

To make our society truly equal with NO RICH AND NO POOR requires a movement that has that as its explicit aim. This is what is all about.

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