The United States celebrates the July 4th, the Independence Day, while dire economic crisis, continuous crackdown on the ‘Occupy’ movement along with rampant home foreclosures as well as the record high evictions raise doubts whether Americans have much to celebrate these days.
The United States’ wars across the globe, in the past few years, have cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars each year, in a situation where millions of average Americans are living on food stamps and millions of others risk losing their hard-earned assets and homes as the foreclosure process becomes more and more widespread across the country.
The US administration, however, seems reluctant to pay due attention to the legitimate demands of the nation and as some analysts believe, the only way for Americans as well as for the people of the world to live freely and prosperously is to get rid of the capitalism and the one percent elite, considered as the source of the sufferings of US citizens.
Press TV has talked with Caleb Maupin, who is with the International Action Center to further discuss the issue.
The program also offers the opinions of two additional guests: member of the Veterans for Peace, Bill Perry and Bruce Dixon, with the Georgia Green Party.
The following is a rough transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Today, July 4th , 2012, independence day, the day that America is celebrating its birthday, in that regards does the US or Americans have reasons to celebrate this day?
Maupin: Well, I think there are many parts of the history of the United States, that we are definitely celebrating. For example people often talk about the US revolution in 1776, but they do not realize [that] we had a second revolution to end slavery, when the people of this country rose up and fought against slavery and there was a heroic revolution that ended the Slavocracy in the South, that was the second American Revolution.
There are strong traditions of organized labor, of people organizing for the rights of women, of mass demonstrations of people organizing, being involved and fighting against the one percent.
So those are traditions we can certainly be proud of, but this notion that the US is the greatest country in the world, that has the right to go around, bombing and destroying other people’s countries; that is not anything to celebrate and the idea that we are the freest country in the world, this freedom did not come from the one percent giving it to us. It came from the fact that people poured into the streets numerous times and won that freedom, through mass rallies, through mass demonstrations.
The bill of rights was not even originally in the [American] constitution, it took a popular struggle to win it and if we want to have freedom, the struggle to expand freedom has always been struggle against the one percent, the bosses and the bankers who would really like all of us to silently march behind them in obedience.
And so if we are going to celebrate anything about the history of this country, it is people’s refusal to go along with this.
The spirits of the Civil Rights Marchers, the spirits of Black Panthers, the spirits of the Trade Union Unity League [TUUL], the spirits of all the revolutionary organizations who have fought against the one percent, and it is the hope that we could have another revolution at some point and get rid of this one percent, who talk about freedom when in reality they want to take away our rights and they continue to let the country slip into poverty.
This could be an expiring date to study the history of this country and look forward to the hope that we can get rid of the one percent and free the people of the world not just of the United States from the tyranny of the bankers and the corporations.
Press TV: How do you think the US government has done, in terms of reaching out to the masses who have come out in droves and not only in terms of the Occupy movements, but in all different facets of their life that has been affected when these record numbers of US Americans who are, for example on food stamps, or for example, that are being evicted, these foreclosures that we keep hearing about, the record numbers?
Maupin: There is always rhetoric, [that] we constantly hear in the United States from television, from the media in schools. Everywhere we hear it that the US is a free country and it is a democracy and you should just blindly wave the flags because you are free.
But this is not a democracy when so many people are suffering and there is so much economic misery.
It is not a democracy when people are losing their homes, it is not a democracy when so many people barely have enough to eat or are depending on food stamps to survive.
That is not democracy, that is not a democracy and democracy is really inconstant with a system where you have one percent, a small group of people that has all the wealth and all the power and controls the government. That is not consistent with democracy.
And if we actually want to see democracy and have a system where the people control [the] society and not just, an elite but actually the people.
That would require abolishing capitalism. The one percent, the bankers and the corporations, they own all the wealth that all of us in the United States and around the world have created. They own the profits from the labor, from the work that we do
So if we are going to see a real democracy and want to actually see this democracy and have it not just be something that they scream and have it be this rhetoric they scream at us.
We are going to have a real thing, that is going to require getting rid of the one percent and getting rid of the capitalist system. The struggle for democracy is struggle against capitalism and it is also the struggle against the wars because the war is waged around the world. The threats of war on Syria, the threats of war against Iran, the brutal bombing of Libya, it is all rooted in the desire of this one percent to make profits.
It is a people struggle against the one percent of bankers and corporations who have all the power and if we want to see democracy and we want to see that for real, we have to bring them down and we have to have real democracy where people are in control and that requires the abolition of the capitalist system.
Press TV: Caleb Maupin, I would like to experience a flash back here, based on the statement that the US President Obama made and that was back in November 2011.
It was at a fundraiser in which Barack Obama warned that the US was headed down a perilous path if its leaders, and I say underline the word (Leaders), if its leaders can not quickly and responsibly, this was in reference to getting people back to work.
Has that changed? I mean, what we have seen in terms of leaders, has been the bickering between the democrats and republicans like on the debt ceiling, if you recall, and also more recently Obama-care [Obama’s healthcare reform plan]?
Maupin: Well, the US is certainly headed down a perilous path, because all this rhetoric about freedom…, look what happens around this country when people actually try to use that freedom.
They get caught in orange nets, they get their heads clubbed in by the police and they get maced and now with these laws that have been passed, the National Authorization Act [NDA], I mean that is a horrific law that makes any notion of freedom kind of a joke; if the President has the right to detain you without any charges.
So yes, the country is heading in a dangerous path and it is because of the economic system of the capitalism [is] having a meltdown.
And as that is happening, many more people are going to try and use the freedom that they have to pour into the streets and demand economic justice and when that happens, the one percent is desperately going to try to clampdown and make sure that people’s voices are not heard and that is why they are headed in a perilous path.
It is rooted in the economic system of the capitalism and its fundamental meltdown and they may be moving toward a gradual abolition of democracy in order to preserve their wealth from the millions of people who would take it away from them and create a real democracy in the streets.