by Muhammad K. Muqtadir
The minority class in America has suffered oppression as the rest of Americans have enjoyed the benefits of the American Dream.
In recent years, capitalism has created a kind of class warfare, where not only does the lowest level of an economic stratified system, but we now find more and more Americans falling into this class and race is not a factor. For many decades, every class has been victimized by racial inequality at some point in the history of this country, but has been able to rise above it and assimilate into mainstream American society. Unfortunately Blacks have been the only class to transcend this glass ceiling.
Now the lower class is growing as the world economy has been crippled and American economics has shifted, capitalism has begun to push many Americans into what I will term as the new minority class. The face of the classless society is rapidly dissolving and what were once considered lower class blacks has now become the new minority class.
With Whites and Latinos being forced out of jobs due to corporate greed, the new minority class is growing very rapidly. Capitalism has shown itself to serve the very few and with the emergence of the corporation overtly dictating, markets, financial institutions and having great political influence.
The face of America is changing.
The capitalist machine has used its influence to keep the minority class in a state of false consciousness, by affording the minority some minor pleasures through material possessions. These material possessions keep the minority in a mental state of euphoria by convincing the minority that material possessions are power and influence. The minority has historically been the largest consumer of goods in our society.
The minority through his consumption of material products spends more and more of his resources toward meaningless things. These material things have no real value and only serve to pacify the minority class. By mass consumption the minority believes they have spending power and continually contributing to the perpetual descent into economic exclusion from the capitalist dream.
As time goes on the minority will continue fall into a state of decadence ultimately becoming a class of subjects to the corporate elite.
Through exclusion, the minority has been reduced to a new form of serfdom. Historically the minority class at one time enjoyed some fruits of capitalism but very little. This exclusion from political and economic representation has crippled the minority class.
The minority has been given the illusion that the political process belongs to the people. The corporate elite dictate economics, foreign policy as well as domestic policy. The minority is now subject to capitalistic governance that does not adhere to the voice of the people including the minority class. The political system now functions to serve corporate interest by now limiting the economic power of the minority by the creation of laws that serves to place the minority in a position of civil disability.
The minority has no power.
Through the marketing of material possessions, the minority consumes products of destruction. Cigarettes, alcohol, pollutants, products with carcinogens and so forth; are material products that serve to destroy and cripple the minority class.
This is due to the manipulation of people’s minds through the media that tell them they are inadequate without these products. If you do not consume this product, you are deficient, or if you do not consume that product you are missing out on the American dream. Through the media, the minority is sold his identity, told how to think and taught to be passive. Material possessions serve as a means of pacification to the minority.
By allowing the minority few material possessions with so little resources, the minority is consumed with holding on to those resources and valueless material possessions; he becomes distracted allowing for the systematic destruction of his political and economic power.
The minority has no control over daily necessities, such as cost of materials. Gasoline, health insurance, and housing prices are all material needs of sustenance yet the minority can barely afford them. The minority in essence has no choice and no spending power.
I cannot discuss the exploitation of the minority class and its expansion without discussing the obvious creation of laws that are now designed to keep the minority in a place of powerlessness. There are multiplicities of points that can be addressed, but for the sake of brevity, I will discuss a primary one and that is crime and punishment.
Through laws, many acts, intentional or unintentional, have become criminalized. The criminalization of these acts serves to further civilly disable the minority inadvertently creating a third class and that is what I will term as the civilly indigent class. This class has been stigmatized and civilly disabled which prevents them from becoming active and productive participants in our society. The felony system has created this civilly indigent class.
Once an individual has been convicted of a felony, they lose all voting rights and dependent on the nature of the crime, becomes permanently removed from the political and economic process. A subject, who has served their time and supposedly paid their debt to society, never repays it. This is not to excuse criminal behavior, but it serves to illustrate that the felony system permanently disables the individual so they are basically removed from the political and economic process.
The civil disability of an individual lessens their chance to participate productively thereby creating a high recidivism rate for convicted felons. To give one an idea as to the magnitude of the problem, understand this. We are the largest incarcerator in the world. No other nation is even close to housing the number of prisoners we house. We are responsible for roughly 25% of the world’s incarcerated population, yet our entire population is only 5% of the world total. According to some estimates, the American felon population is anywhere between 15-25% of the total country’s population. We’ve be become a prison!
Capitalism is not only an economic system; it is a political system that functions to protect its own survival and the self interests of the ruling class. The face of the new minority class is rapidly changing.
The new minority class will soon become the majority class; there is no middle class. We are faced with a future where there will be three classes; the corporate elite, the new minority class, and the civilly indigent class. The false consciousness that our population embraces will surely lead to the expansion of the new minority class. Exclusion will continue to exist with the exclusion of the new minority class and civilly indigent class becoming greater and greater. As we can see the corporate elite gain more and more economic and political power. As the new minority class expands, criminalization, exclusion and exploitation continues to develop.
There needs be a new political and economic system that can meet the needs of minority class while abolishing the power of the corporate elite. The system which the minority class has been oppressed by needs to be torn down and restructured, for it is an antiquated and destructive system. All of the problems within the minority class, is not solely attributed to capitalism, it only contributes to 99% of it.