Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

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B. Traven’s novel The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1927):

All right,” Curtin shouted back. “If you are the police, where are your badges? Let’s see them.”

“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and chinga tu madre!

This is not just flippancy, but the reality in our chaos, that capitalism is all about survival of the fittest, the dog-eat-dog mentality. I got mine, so screw you if you don’t have yours. You understand the paradigm. And the captains of industry, the titans of tech, lords of war, shufflers of laws, and all the others in the Fortune 1000 hit men/women in the Industrial Pharma Chem Energy Prison Ed. Finance Banking Insurance AI Tech Military Media Med Complex.

I am working on another job I have, part-time, site manager here in Lincoln County with national outfit– with backing by Google and others — looking to get families in Lincoln County to move toward self-sufficiency via working on their own strengths and individualized skills to then communicate with others facing poverty to collectively solve some of the issues around episodic poverty. I’m reading books, articles, watching videos, tied to a sense of collective action and working as people who have the solutions, versus the so-called “experts” having the answers. I am listening to Peter Moskowitz, the author of ‘How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood.’

Holding out hands for hand-outs, well, that has been the problem of our times, tied to the war on poverty, all part of the white man’s burden, etc. We have to show people the space and agency to make choices. And, we have to free up capital. Yes, I am a socialist, so the methods of production are the largess of we the worker. We need safety nets that are set — single health payer bill, strong social security, progressive taxation, putting the tax dodgers and off-shorers in jail, free education, public transportation to the tenth power, dental care to the tenth power. Universal Basic Income that doesn’t put money directly into the Amazon’s and Home Depots. We need Small Business incubators by the 100th power. We have to stop sprawl, auto use, death of parks, death of schools, and penury capitalism. NOW. We need true democracy, not this predatory, parasitic, disruptive, violent capitalism.

I’ve talked with several people in my circle, over the past days who are facing evictions, loss of a truck that one depends on to make a living (a good one at $35 to $45 an hour as a craftsman), physical health issues, mobility issues, and so many more hurdles this neoliberal and capitalistic society throws at us to the 10th power. In each case, the powers that be — developers, bankers, doctors, repo men, landlords, property managers, insurance outfits, zoning and city code thugs, cops, prisons, more — have put hurdles up in front of my people, my friends, my family.

You see, if it does take a village to raise a child or a village to help a young couple get their business going or assist aging or medically fragile people to survive with dignity or to provide with the health, welfare, safety and well being of our fellow humans, then we have to as a society make that happen. Us, which is what solidarity is about. We have to support us. We do that by listening, having people tell their stories, and allowing ourselves space to facilitate creative thinking and outside the box solutions.

Solidarity is based on the principle that we are willing to put ourselves at risk to protect each other. — Starhawk

When ‘I’ replaced with ‘We’, even the illness becomes wellness. — Malcolm X

There is no power in the world that can stop the forward march of free men and women when they are joined in the solidarity of human brotherhood. — Walter Reuther

The most important word in the language of the working class is “solidarity.” — Harry Bridges

I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people. — Eduardo Galeano

Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the granite foundations of a skyscraper. If the basic elements, identity of interest, clarity of vision, honesty of intent, and oneness of purpose, or any of these is lacking, all sentimental pleas for solidarity, and all other efforts to achieve it will be barren of results. — Eugene V. Debs

If you come only to help me, you can go back home. But if you consider my struggle as part of your struggle for survival, then maybe we can work together.—Aboriginal wise woman

My friends, it is solidarity of labor we want. We do not want to find fault with each other, but to solidify our forces and say to each other: “We must be together; our masters are joined together and we must do the same thing.”—Mother Jones

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