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How to Remove the Rich from Power and Abolish Class Inequality

by John Spritzler

February 13, 2014


Here are step by step instructions for removing the rich from power and abolishing class inequality. The instructions, however, will be in reverse order: from the last step (at some time in the future) described first, then the second-to-last step that takes place just prior to the last step and is required to make the subsequent step possible, and so forth ending with the description of the very first step that can actually take place at the present time. When read in this order, the purpose and necessity of each step is more apparent. But after reading this the first time, you may want to re-read the steps in the opposite order (starting at the bottom of this article and working up) to get a sense of how these steps proceed forward in time--the way we're used to thinking.

Last Step: Create an egalitarian society along the lines described very briefly in This I Believe, which is the basis of unity of an organization I belong to whose website is PDRBoston.org, where the First Step is described in detail and the way people are carrying it out is described with words and photos. (Egalitarianism is discussed in greater detail in Thinking about Revolution and its supplementary articles at NewDemocracyWorld.org, which some PDR-Boston members also agree with.)

This last step entails creating a society in which 1) laws are only made at the local level at local assemblies at which all egalitarians (those who support equality and mutual aid, i.e., most people) in the community are invited to participate as equals, with voluntary federation of these local assemblies creating order and coordination on a larger scale; and 2) the economy is a sharing economy in which those who contribute work reasonably share products and services with each other as equals, according to reasonable need and desire, without buying and selling. In an egalitarian society there are no rich and no poor and there is no law-making central government, and thus it is easy for people to prevent the emergence of a new oppressive ruling elite like the plutocracy that rules the United States today or like the Communist Party of the Soviet Union or China. (Note that in a non-egalitarian society, it is virtually inevitable that an oppressive ruling elite will eventually emerge: the evidence is all around us today in every nation on the planet.)

The obstacle to carrying out this step is obvious: the ruling plutocracy has the power to rule over us (with a huge military and police force that they have at their command*) and this plutocracy is determined to stay in power and maintain class inequality at all costs.

2nd to Last Step: Persuade the ruling plutocracy that they no longer have any power to rule, and their only choice is either to run away somewhere or agree to obey the laws crafted by the local assembly for the communities where they live, because otherwise they will be forced to obey these laws.

The obstacle to this is of course that the military and police forces obey the mayors and governors and president who in turn are beholden to the ruling plutocracy. (If you have illusions that the plutocracy will allow people to vote in politicians who will remove the rich from power and abolish class inequality, please read "Voting for President in America: History is Trying to Tell Us Something.")

3rd to Last Step: Persuade all the people in the police and military (and other security) forces who have up until now continued to obey orders from the plutocracy (via its obedient politicians in executive offices from mayor to governor to president) to surrender to the forces of the egalitarians.

The obstacle to this is, clearly, that these police and military forces will not, under prevailing circumstances, surrender.

4th to Last Step: Persuade a very substantial number (a "critical mass") of the people in the military (and other security forces) to refuse to obey orders from the plutocracy and to use their weapons instead to defend egalitarians against any people who use violence or the threat of violence against egalitarians. Faced with superior numbers of equally well-armed forces, the police and military forces loyal to the plutocracy will either surrender or be forcibly disarmed.

Members of the military forces, as opposed to police forces, are the most likely to go over to the side of the egalitarians because, unlike the police who are trained to attack American civilians, people in the military are trained to attack foreigners and view their role as defending American civilians.

The obstacle to persuading working class members of the military to go over to the side of the egalitarians is not that they oppose egalitarianism, but that they fear what would happen to them if they refused to obey orders to attack the egalitarians. If the egalitarians end up being defeated, then any soldier, marine, sailor or airman (or police officer, National Guardsman, FBI agent, etc.) who had refused to obey his or her orders would be at high risk of extremely harsh punishment including possibly execution. This step can only be carried out, therefore, when the egalitarian revolutionary movement demonstrates that it is so large and so determined to succeed that, with the support of members of the military and other security forces, it is far more likely to succeed than to fail.

5th to Last Step: Build a mass movement that is explicitly for egalitarian revolution, and make it so large and determined to succeed that, with the help of its armed supporters in the military and other security forces, it is far more likely to succeed than to fail. This mass movement would include very large mass organizations that challenge the power of the plutocracy, over immediate issues of concern to its members, by framing these issues as a conflict between the egalitarian values of its members versus the contrary values of the plutocracy. These revolutionary mass organizations would tell the wider public that the reason they are fighting for this or that specific issue is because they want to shape all of society one day by egalitarian values and remove from power those who oppose this goal. This will result in greater support by the larger public for the specific struggle: people unfamiliar with the specific issue will say, "They're fighting for the same values and goals I'm fighting for." It will also result in strengthening the egalitarian revolutionary movement itself.

To demonstrate its determination to succeed, the egalitarian revolutionary movement should defend itself, including with violence when necessary and appropriate. Even though the ruling plutocracy has more violence at its command than the revolutionary movement, there are circumstances in which the revolutionary movement can protect itself better and win greater public support by using violence in self-defense than by not doing so, because the ruling class knows it will lose valuable legitimacy in the eyes of the public if it employs too much of the violence it is capable of using. In such circumstances (as discussed here) the revolutionary movement can use violence (or the threat of it) in self defense and demonstrate its determination to succeed. (Those who object to violence in self defense because they adhere to the philosophy of nonviolence, please read about the problem with this philosophy here.)

The obstacle to this step is that people feel hopeless about the possibility of doing it, and so don't even try. What makes people feel so hopeless? They feel all alone; they believe that only a very small, and hence hopelessly weak, minority of people want an egalitarian revolution. They feel this way because the ruling class devotes more effort to making them feel this way than anything else. With its control of the mass media and the "alternative press" as well as virtually all of the major organizations that purport to represent ordinary people (such as political parties, unions and religious bodies), the ruling class makes people who have egalitarian revolutionary aspirations feel all alone. At the institutions where we work, at the places where we play or watch sports, or pray or socialize or go to be entertained, expressing egalitarian revolutionary aspirations is taboo. The mirrors we hold up, to see what our fellow Americans think, are the television and theater screens we watch and the pages of the newspapers and magazines we read, and these mirrors lie! They tell us that nobody expresses revolutionary egalitarian aspirations, and if you do other people will think you're weird or crazy.

6th to Last Step: Make it so that a majority of Americans KNOW that a majority of Americans want an egalitarian revolution. This step is possible because it is already true that most Americans want an egalitarian revolution. You may not believe this is true, but it is, as you can verify for yourself by joining the PDRBoston.org "Ring the Bells of Revolution" campaign of collecting signatures for This I Believe and displaying the signatures to the public. We've discovered that a good 75% of the people who read it sign it. We don't have to persuade them to agree with it; they already do! At most, we sometimes need to clarify things it says a bit, but not even that is neccessary most of the time. If most people already believe something, it shouldn't be impossible to let most people KNOW that most people believe it. Yes, it takes a lot of work, and requires recruiting a lot of people to do the work. And it may take a long time. But it is doable.

The tactic PDRBoston is using to carry out this step is to collect signatures from 130 million Americans (a majority of adults) for This I Believe and display these signatures (or at least communicate the fact of their existence) to the public.

What is the obstacle to implementing this step? It's not that people won't sign This I Believe when asked; it's that only very few people presently engage in collecting signatures. The obstacle to persuading people to help collect signatures is that they don't believe most Americans want an egalitarian revolution.

7th to Last Step (Doable today!): Use the already-collected signatures (693 at last count) to persuade at least a small number of additional people that it's easy to collect signatures and important for them to join the effort, because it can lead to the 6th to Last Step, and then the 5th to Last Step, and eventually to the Last Step. Even though initially we'll only have a small number (compared to 130 million) of signatures, the more it increases the easier it will be to persuade more people to join the Ring the Bells of Revolution campaign. At some point we'll have so many signatures that it will be very easy to recruit more people to the campaign, and the goal of 130 million signatures will not seem so far away.

What is the obstacle to this very modest step? Maybe there isn't one! Visit PDRBoston.org and see if you want to join the effort to make an egalitarian revolution, starting today.


* These steps focus on the United States. The same steps need to be taken by people in other countries as well. The more globally this happens, the less able the ruling class in one country will be to remain in power because of help from the ruling class in another country.



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