From Los Angeles, it looks like the lords of the manor have stolen the piggy bank, and that only spiritual gridlock remains. On this Labor Day, nobody talks about labor; instead, everybody talks about sales. Everybody talks about war, but no one about the war on labor in the name of national security.
And so, there are those who sweat, from morning until midnight, in our nation's sweatshops, and those who profit from their sweat. There are those who send their sons and daughters to the front lines of Baghdad, and those whose bank portfolios grow from the spilling of blood. There are those who promote world struggle in order to hold onto class privilege, and the kind of class system our ancestors left the mother country to escape. When thinking of today's lords of the manor, those oil barons who make huge profits on the escalating cost of energy, those who steal from their employees' pension plan in order to secure their luxurious lifestyle, a line from a T.S. Eliot poem comes to mind: "We are the hollow men" as indeed we have a contagion of hollow men.
On this Labor Day, one cannot help but wonder what Karl Marx would say were he to find himself on Main Street today; would his "Communist Manifesto" change, as well as his image of the proletariat? Would he see toxicity as merely an environmental issue, or instead as a record on a broken phonograph, a needle stuck in a groove playing the same empty tune over and over again like a little boy saluting a dead soldier in a stale parade. More importantly, one wonders if it would even matter what Karl Marx would think as we quickly strip history, and the past, of all its working parts like a stolen Buick.
America has become the beltway to all elements that have brought down civilizations from the beginning of time like a rack of unfulfilled dreams where hope hangs like a spineless steer. Hope now has become a lost prayer in the mouth of a homeless child, a cheap fraud inflicted on a welfare mother, a kind of antidepressant taken in order to survive. As, increasingly, survival comes at a higher and higher price, especially for those who can least afford it.