In a move that is being widely attributed to pressure from activists and Bernie Sanders’ famous Stop BEZOS Act, Amazon has announced a pay increase for all workers inside the US to $15 an hour as of next month.
Which is of course a good thing. It is a good thing that the aggressively anti-union Amazon, which is owned and operated by the planet’s wealthiest man Jeff Bezos, is finally taking a step in the direction of treating its workers like human beings after the sound of sharpening guillotine blades began to echo off the walls of its warehouses. But that isn’t something people should be grateful for, let alone something that causes them to ease up the intensity of the fight against plutocracy. You don’t thank a man for ceasing to punch you in the face, especially not while he’s still stabbing you in the chest.
Careful, there, @SenSanders. You’re going a bit far with the praise. Let’s not forget that in Australia, starting pay at Amazon’s “hellscape” warehouses is $18.26/hour (in US $).
— Stacy Mitchell (@stacyfmitchell) October 2, 2018
Institute for Local Self-Reliance co-director Stacy Mitchell has as usual provided some useful insights into this new development in Bezos’ master plan, pointing out how Amazon is now slashing stock options for some workers, how Amazon workers in Australia already make 18.26 USD per hour, how this concession is largely being made out of fear of an antitrust case which could break up the massive corporation, how this won’t pose much of a challenge for Amazon as it is steadily increasing its automation of jobs, and how this is ultimately just a small band-aid on a gaping wound because no company should ever have this much power. Mitchell described last year how Amazon is not merely working to kill off competition and dominate online product sales, but is actively working to control the underlying infrastructure of the economy itself.
In an article titled “Bezos’ Decision to Raise Wages is Largely a Machiavellian Distraction“, political blogger Michael Krieger observes that Bezos is also calling for a nationwide wage hike, which Amazon would be far more capable of absorbing than its competitors. Amazon can move into automation at a speed other companies won’t be able to afford to keep up with, and can thereby use this maneuver to shore up its domination even further.
“You really think Bezos is advocating for a national minimum wage increase because he’s suddenly a Bernie Sanders populist?” Krieger writes. “Don’t be stupid.”
Yes, please don’t be stupid. Jeff Bezos is an extremely dangerous plutocrat who is forming extensive ties with secretive government agencies while buying up media influence and working to control the way money itself moves and operates in the world. He is most certainly nowhere near anything like a Bernie Sanders populist, and his plans for our species include shipping all heavy industry along with a trillion humans off of our planet’s surface to inhabit the greater solar system. He wants a trillion human beings out in space toiling to fuel his insatiable capitalist empire while his heirs continue to inhabit the beautiful home for which our species is evolutionarily adapted.
Seriously, check it out: Bezos has openly described this as his grand plan for our species, and said this is why he sees his private space program as the most important work that he is doing currently. He wants a trillion humans working in space colonies while perhaps a lucky billion (0.1 percent) of them get to inhabit our beautiful blue planet, and you can be damn certain that he has no intention for his heirs to be among the 99.9 percent.
That’s it. That’s his whole vision. That’s the best possible future we can hope for if we leave control of our species in the hands of the plutocratic class. Not a future in which humanity learns to peacefully coexist with itself and the ecosystem on its home world, but a future in which a trillion of us are bred to turn the gears of the Amazon empire in outer space. Personally I think a much better vision would include shipping Bezos off to space right now, by himself, never to return.
We mustn’t ease off the revolt against the plutocracy just because the richest man in the world decided to give his workers what only amounts to a living wage in some parts of America. The fact that a plutocrat made a small concession is not a sign that it’s time to stop fighting, it’s a sign that fighting works. That fight must be continued until the plutocratic class no longer controls the fate of our species and our beautiful blue planet, until such time as humanity is able to control its own fate in the interests of all living creatures.
Don’t turn our fate over to depraved oligarchs for the price of a few dimes. Keep pushing these sociopathic bastards. Keep pushing them right off the stage.
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